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CHAN 241-49M
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CHAN 241-49
(multiple CD Set)

Elgar: The Apostles

The Classical Shop
release date: August 2014

Recorded in 24 Bit / 48Khz
album available as a Studio Master
Originally recorded in 1990


London Symphony Orchestra

Richard Hickox

Stephen Roberts

bass - Jesus

Robert Lloyd

bass - Judas

Bryn Terfel

bass - St Peter

Alfreda Hodgson

contralto - Mary Magdalene

Alison Hargan

soprano - The Blessed Virgin, The Angel Gabriel

David Rendall

tenor - St John

London Symphony Chorus


St Jude on the Hill, Hampstead, London


Ralph Couzens


Ralph Couzens

Peter Newble


Record Label


Orchestral & Concertos


Total Time - 122:03
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The Apostles, Op. 49

  Oratorio in Two Parts  
1 Chorus: 'The Sprit of the Lord is upon me' 7:33
  Part I  
  The Calling of the Apostles  
2 Recitative. Tenor: 'And it came to pass in those days…' 2:46
  In the Mountain. Night  
3 The Angel Gabriel: 'The voice of Thy watchman!' - 5:38
  The Dawn  
4 Sound of the shofar - The Watchers: 'It shines! - 1:34
  Morning Psalm  
5 The Singers: 'It is a good thing to give thanks unto the Lord' - 4:08
6 Recitative. Tenor: 'And when it was a day, He called unto Him His disciples' 9:23
  By the Wayside  
7 Jesus: 'Blessed are the poor in Spirit' 7:56
  By the Sea of Galilee  
8 Recitative. Tenor: 'And straightway Jesus constrained his disciples to get into a ship' - 1:50
  In the Tower of Magdala  
9 Mary Magdalene: 'O Lord Almighty, God of Israel' - 5:56
10 Mary Magdalene - '''This shall ye have of Mine hand''' - 8:29
  In Caesarea Philippi  
11 Recitative. Tenor: 'When Jesus came into the ports of Caesarea Philippi' - 5:20
  In Capernaum  
12 Mary Magdalene: 'Thy face, Lord, will I seek' - 5:12
13 Chorus: 'Turn you to the stronghold, ye 3:19
  prisoners of hope'  
  Part II  
14 Orchestral Introduction 4:21
  The Betrayal  
15 Recitative. Tenor: 'And it came to pass that He went 1:50
  throughout every city and village' -  
16 Recitative. Chorus: 'Then gathered the chief Priests and 3:19
  Pharisees a council' -  
  In Gethsemane  
17 Judas: 'Hail, Master!' - 2:16
  In the Palace of the High Priest  
18 Servants: 'Thou also wast with Jesus of Nazureth' - 3:21
  The Temple  
19 Recitative. Contralto: 'Then Judas, which had betrayed Him' - 3:39
  Without the Temple  
20 Judas: 'Whither shall I go from Thy Spirit?' 9:12
21 Chorus: 'Truly this was the Son of God' 4:36
  At the Sepulchre  
22 Recitative. Contralto: 'And very early in the morning they came 4:32
  unto the sepulchre…'  
23 The Apostles: 'We trusted that it had been He which should 4:21
  have redeemed Israel' -  
  The Ascension  
24 Recitative. Contralto: 'And when He had spoken these things' 11:32
  TT 126:53      
 Alfreda Hodgson contralto - Mary Magdalene
 Alison Hargan soprano - The Blessed Virgin, The Angel Gabriel
 David Rendall tenor - St John
 Bryn Terfel bass - St Peter
 Stephen Roberts bass - Jesus
 Robert Lloyd bass - Judas
 Richard Hickox
  26-29 March 1990  

Inspiration for The Apostles came at an early age for Elgar who, as a child, was fascinated to learn about Christ’s disciples, ordinary men who witness the most extraordinary events. A commission from the Birmingham Triennial Music Festival gave him the opportunity to explore this theme and in 1903 Elgar wrote The Apostles, the first in a planned trilogy of works depicting the lives of Jesus’ disciples (the third, intended to follow The Kingdom, never materialised). A narrative work, it deals with the calling of the disciples and their experiences of Jesus’ preaching, miracles, crucifixion, resurrection, and ascension.

An expansive oratorio, The Apostles calls for six soloists, lavish orchestration, and large chorus. Although often overshadowed by The Dream of Gerontius, written shortly before, it contains some of Elgar’s most inspired music, particularly in the dramatic portrayal of Judas and in the exalted, moving finale.

On this ‘241’ reissue Richard Hickox, a true champion of British music, conducts the London Symphony Orchestra and Chorus. The two most prominent roles, Mary Magdalene and Judas, are sung by Alfreda Hodgson and Robert Lloyd, respectively. The recording also features an outstanding performance from a young Bryn Terfel as Peter. The set is released as part of the Richard Hickox Legacy series.

 “…Hickox was at his best in English choral repertory, so this Elgar oratorio shows us the conductor at his strongest and most characteristic… This is a wonderful work with many lovely passages … I am happy with Hickox’s soloists … and the choral work is excellent. Through all the singing one can understand almost every word, a testimony to both Elgar and Hickox. Chandos has excellent sound, and the notes include the text …”

Paul L Althouse – American Record Guide – January/February 2015   

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