The Dream of Gerontius, Op. 38, is a work for voices and orchestra in two parts composed by Edward Elgar in 1900, to text from the poem by John Henry Newman. It relates the journey of a pious man's soul from his deathbed to his judgment before God and settling into Purgatory. Elgar disapproved of the use of the term "oratorio" for the work (and the term occurs nowhere in the score), though his wishes are not always followed. The piece is widely regarded as Elgar's finest choral work, and some consider it his masterpiece.
The work was composed for the Birmingham Music Festival of 1900; the first performance took place on 3 October 1900, in Birmingham Town Hall. It was badly performed at the premiere, but later performances in Germany revealed its stature. In the first decade after its premiere, the Roman Catholic dogma in Newman's poem caused difficulties in getting the work performed in Anglican cathedrals, and a revised text was used for performances at the Three Choirs Festival until 1910.
Performances & Interviews
- Elgar's Dream of Gerontiushttps://ichef.bbci.co.uk/images/ic/240x135/p05smlv4.jpghttps://ichef.bbci.co.uk/images/ic/240x135/p05smlv4.jpg2013-08-02T09:39:00.000ZHow Elgar's poignant choral work has touched and changed people's lives. With Terry Waite and Jude Kelly. From July 2013.https://www.bbc.co.uk/music/audiovideo/popular/b037hmxd
Elgar's Dream of GerontiusHow Elgar's poignant choral work has touched and changed people's lives. With Terry Waite and Jude Kelly. From July 2013.