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CHAN 5140M
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CHAN 5140
(multiple CD Set)

Elgar: The Dream of Gerontius/Sea Pictures

The Classical Shop
release date: October 2014

Recorded in 24 Bit / 96Khz
album available as a Studio Master
Originally recorded in 2014


BBC Symphony Orchestra

Sir Andrew Davis

David Soar


Sarah Connolly


Stuart Skelton


BBC Symphony Chorus


Fairfield Halls, Croydon


Brian Pidgeon


Ralph Couzens

Jonathan Cooper


Record Label



Orchestral & Concertos

Total Time - 123:41
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Sea Pictures

1 1 Sea-Slumber- Song. Andantino - Tranquillo - Tempo I - Tranquillo - 4:43
2 2 In Haven (Capri). Allegretto 1:37
3 3 Sabbath Morning at Sea. Moderato - Più mosso - Più mosso - Tempo I - Molto maestoso - 5:31
4 4 Where Corals Lie. Allegretto ma non troppo 3:37
5 5 The Swimmer. Allegro di molto - Largamente - Poco meno mosso - Tempo I - Largamente 6:00

The Dream of Gerontius

  Part I  
6 Prelude. Lento, mistico - 9:07
7 Gerontius: 'Jesu, Maria - I am near to death' - 3:42
8 Assistants: 'Kyrie eleïson' - 2:11
9 Gerontius: 'Rouse thee, my fainting soul, and play 0:51
  the man' -  
10 Assistants: 'Be merciful, be gracious' spare him, Lord' - 2:48
11 Gerontius: 'Sanctus fortis, Sanctus Deus' - 5:43
12 Gerontius: 'I can no more; for now it comes again' - 2:06
13 Assistants: 'Rescue him, O Lord, in this his evil hour' - 2:06
14 Gerontius: 'Novissima hora est; and I fain would sleep' - 1:21
15 The Priest: 'Proficiscere, anima Christiana, 1:54
16 Assistants: 'Go, in the name of Angels and Archangels' 4:38
  de hoc mundo!' -  

The Dream Of Gerontius

  Part II  
17 Introduction. Soul of Gerontius: 'I went to sleep; and now I am refresh'd' - 6:15
18 Angel: 'My work is done' - 2:20
19 Soul of Gerontius: 'It is a member of that family' - 1:42
20 Soul of Gerontius: 'I ever had believed' - 4:06
21 Soul of Gerontius: 'But hard! upon my sense comes a fierce hubbub' - 0:49
22 Demons: 'Low-born clods of brute earth' - 2:20
23 Demons: 'The mind bold and independent' - 2:23
24 Soul of Gerontius: 'I see not those false spirits' - 3:10
25 Choir of Angelicals: 'Praise to the Holiest in the height' - 2:59
26 Choir of Angelicals: 'Glory to Him, who evermore by truth and justice reigns' - 1:18
27 Soul of Gerontius: 'But hark! a grand, mysterious harmony' - 1:17
28 Choir of Angelicals: 'Praise to the Holiest in the height' - 6:49
29 Angel: 'Thy judgment now is near' - 3:05
30 Angel of the Agony: 'Jesu! by that shuddering dread which fell on Thee' - 3:53
31 Soul of Gerontius: 'I go before my Judge' - 1:30
32 Angel: '…Praise to His Name!' - 1:30
33 Soul of Gerontius: 'Take me away, and in the lowest deep there let me be' - 3:20
34 Souls in Purgatory: 'Lord, Thou hast been our refuge: in every generation' - 1:03
35 Angel: 'Softly and gently, dearly-ransom'd soul' 6:34
36 Prelude, concert version 9:23
 Stuart Skelton tenor
 David Soar bass
 Sarah Connolly mezzo-soprano
 Sir Andrew Davis
  3-5 April 2014  
  TT 123:41      

Elgar: The Dream of Gerontius; Sea Pictures – Sarah Connolly, Stuart Skelton, David Soar, BBC Symphony Chorus, BBC Symphony Orchestra, Sir Andrew Davis

Chandos Records is delighted to present this new recording of Elgar’s choral masterpiece The Dream of Gerontius and the enduringly popular song cycle Sea Pictures. The BBC Symphony Orchestra and Chorus are conducted by Sir Andrew Davis, a peerless Elgarian who this year was awarded the prestigious Elgar Society Medal in recognition of his outstanding contribution to the composer’s music. In Gerontius the soloists are Stuart Skelton, David Soar, and Sarah Connolly who also sings Sea Pictures. This recording was made in the days leading up to their triumphant live performance of Gerontius in April this year, after which The Guardian praised Skelton as ‘the ideal tenor for the role of Gerontius’, Soar as ‘an implacable, dark-sounding Priest’, and Connolly as ‘a consummately polished Angel’.

The Dream of Gerontius was commissioned in 1900 for that year’s Birmingham Festival. The score was produced in a hurry but Elgar had long before known the text which the work sets, Cardinal Newman’s religious poem that powerfully recounts the final dream of a dying believer and the journey of his soul through death to Purgatory. At the disastrous premiere the performers struggled with Elgar’s score but this did nothing to stop the immediate popularity of the work. It is recognised today by many as the greatest choral work by an English composer.

Written not long before Gerontius, the song cycle Sea Pictures sets a collection of poetry by different authors, all on a single, loosely related theme. Inspired by Elgar’s love of nature, the songs explore the emotional resonances of the sea, from serene still waters to a mighty ocean storm.

                         Winner  - Gramophone Music Awards - Choral   2015

"... marvellous and truly Worthy winner."  

 “…This rewarding performance of The Dream of Gerontius by Andrew Davis, beautifully annotated, is yet further confirmation of Elgar’s international reputation … comfortingly alive, perfectly recorded, and heartbreakingly beautiful… Skelton is moving and fine in the role. David Soar’s bass, ditto. Sarah Connolly’s voice is beyond beautiful here throughout… The Sea Pictures here are wonderfully and evocatively done as well… If I look around at the more modern Gerontius recordings, I’d say this is now the one to have, especially if you enjoy Sea Pictures…”

Steven Kruger – Fanfare – March/April 2015

                              Winner of Choral Award 2015

BBC Music magazine Awards 2015                   


“… an excellent recording to place alongside the classics. Conductor Davis brings sympathetic warmth to the score with excellent contributions from the BBC Chorus and orchestra. The piece, though, rests heavily on the tenor, who sings about half the entire score. The Australian Skelton sings with fine technique and careful attention to the text… Skelton sings with sensitive beauty …  He is joined by an excellent Sarah Connolly, who is perhaps Britain’s leading mezzo today, and David Soar, a fine young English bass, who unfortunately has only a small role. This performance, then, belongs in the company of Barbirolli … and Boult… The recording is filled out with an excellent performance of Sea Pictures by Sarah Connolly …”                        

Paul Althouse – American Record Guide – March/April 2015

                             Choc de Classica

                       Sound  **** (Exceptional)
“After Adrian Boult, John Barbirolli and Benjamin Britten, Andrew Davies now belongs to the finest interpreters of Elgar’s music.”          
Michel Fleury – Classica magazine (France) – February 2015             

 “…I think fans of Elgar’s music, such as myself, should really like this disc. Andrew Davis is a superb interpreter of Elgar and the performances are wonderful. Even those who really are not acquainted with these works or with Elgar’s output ought to find much to admire. The sound quality is terrific and the packaging is at Chandos’ usual high quality and class. Highly recommended!”   ****

Daniel Coombs - Audiophile - 16 December 2014

“… A recording of the year and not to be missed.”    *****

Philip Reed – Choir & Organ magazine – January/February 2015

                             Album of the Week

“…The BBC Symphony Chorus outdo themselves in Praise to the Holiest. Elgar at his most dramatic”

 Hugh Canning – The Sunday Times (Culture magazine) – 19 October 2014    

               Critics’ Choice 2014

“Sir Andrew Davis’s inspired performance of Elgar’s glorious masterpiece is perfect …”

Ivan March - Gramophone magazine - December 2014

               Recording of the Month

Simon Thompson -  - December 2014

 "...Overall, this recording must rank among the finest for these two works... "

Barry Collett - Elgar Society Journal - Vol 18 No 6 - December 2014

                              Recording of the Month

                        Performance *****          Recording *****
“…This Gerontius is a wonderful achievement, a deeply considered interpretation whose convincing spirituality never seems stuffy or over-reverential. It takes an honoured place among the finest-ever versions of this much-recorded masterpiece, and would unquestionably be my preferred digital version.”      
Terry Blain – BBC Music magazine – Christmas 2014                      

 “… A superbly paced and lovingly shaped Prelude immediately proclaims Sir Andrew Davis’s formidable credentials in this repertoire; indeed, his patient and scrupulously observant conception of the whole work evinces a selfless authority, wisdom and instinctive ebb and flow, and he certainly secures a splendidly disciplined and consistently fervent response from his massed BBC Symphony forces… Chandos’s thrillingly tangible SACD sound packs an almighty punch in terms of lustre, amplitude and range…”

Andrew Achenbach – Gramophone magazine – November 2014

“… In this performance [Sea Pictures] the intimate nature of much of the work is brought out by some excellent quiet singing and playing. Sir Andrew Davis and the BBC Symphony Orchestra are on top form…   This new reading [Gerontius]  is artistically superior, and superior also to those more recent performances I have heard…”

William Hedley – International Record Review – November 2014


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