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HL 7534
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HL 7534

Elgar - The Apostles

The Classical Shop
release date: October 2012

Originally recorded in 2012


Mark Elder

Jacques Imbrailo


Brindley Sherratt


Alice Coote

(Mary Magdalene/Narrator 2)

Paul Groves

(Narrator 1/John)

David Kempster


Rebecca Evans

(The Angel Gabriel/The Blessed Virgin Mary)

Hallé Choir

(Frances Cooke - director)

Halle Youth Choir

(Richard Wilberforce - director)


Bridgewater Hall, Manchester

5 May 2012


Steve Portnoi


Steve Portnoi

Record Label



Vocal & Song

Total Time - 114:19
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The Apostles, Op.49

  PART 1  
1 Prologue 6:59
2 I The Calling of the Apostles 7:28
3 The Dawn 5:05
4 'And when it was day' 7:56
5 II By the wayside 6:42
6 III By the Sea of Galilee 1:27
7 In the Tower of Magdala 5:37
8 'This shall ye have of mine hand 7:44
9 In Caesarea Philippi 4:40
10 In Capernaum 5:14
11 'Turn you to the stronghold' 6:08
  PART 2  
12 Introduction 3:46
13 IV The Betrayal 1:51
14 'Then gathered the chief Priests and Pharisees' 3:22
15 In Gethsemane 4:42
16 'Then Judas, which had betrayed Him' 3:51
17 'Wither shall I go' 5:42
18 'Mine end is come' 2:29
19 V Golgotha 4:16
20 VI At the Sepulchre 3:46
21 VII The Ascension 3:41
22 'And when He had spoken these things' 5:28
23 'They platted a crown of thorns' 6:25

Hallé HLD 7534

Elgar: The Apostles, Op. 49 - Rebecca Evans, Alice Coote, Paul Groves, Jacques Imbrailo, David Kempster, Brindley Sherratt, The Hallé, Sir Mark Elder

Elgar planned a trilogy of oratorios, which was preceded by The Dream of Gerontius, and which was never completed, perhaps in part because of his own faltering faith. Previously released by Hallé, The Kingdom was originally planned as the third part of the trilogy and has attracted a growing following. This new release presents the oratorio planned to open the trilogy, the lesser known and hitherto rather under-served work The Apostles, in a performance which the Guardian described as being ‘revelatory’.This retelling of Christ's Passion from the viewpoint of His followers features extensive and effective use of leitmotivs and choral writing which is arguably an advance on that of Gerontius, with the work’s closing section – depicting Christ’s Ascension to heaven – thought to be one of the most poignant ever written.

Recorded live and in rehearsal at The Bridgewater Hall on 5 May 2012.

‘Elder’s dramatic sense of the whole structure and of the significance of every detail made it all thrillingly compelling.... the choral sound was truly imposing.’

The Guardian

‘It was thrilling to experience the mingling of solos, two or three, or a dozen or so voices, with the Mystic Chorus formed by the massive and resonant Hallé Choir and the fresh-voiced Hallé Youth Choir. The culmination of the work and, indeed, every stage of it, was superbly paced and managed by Elder and his orchestra.’

The Times

                             Choral category Winner

                   Gramophone Classical Music Awards 2013

"...I was particularly taken by Brindley Sherratt’s gritty depiction of Judas. Both choral and instrumental work are very fine, and the sound is excellent. The piece itself has many passages of great music and excellent craftsmanship... Elgar fans shoud take note of this fine recording."

Paul L Althouse - American Record Guide - July/August 2013

 "... For those looking to approach the work for the first time ... this one probably has the edge; it is in all cases heartily recommended."

James A Altena - Fanfare - July/August 2013

 "...Mark Elder conducts with a sure sense of the structure and the style ..."

William R Braun - Opera News - July 2013

 " A superb rendition of Elgar’s The Apostles, with Sir Mark Elder conducting the Hallé, The Hallé Choir and the Hallé Youth Choir, with stellar cast ... Elder makes good sense of the work as whole and excellently communicates the dramatic thrust of this great oratorio ..."

EM Marshall-Luck - Spirited - The Gazette of the English Music Festival - December 2013

                        Recording of the Year & Choral Award

 BBC Music Magazine Awards 2013

               Critics Choice 2012

"...Sir Mark Elder’s thrillingly committed and magisterially paced account of Elgar’s The Apostles with his Hallé forces - a benchmark achievement for all involved."

Andrew Achenbach - Gramophone magazine - Christmas Special Issue December 2012

                     Gramophone Choice
"...A set absolutely not to be missed."

Andrew Achenbach - Gramophone magazine - November 2012

"...This is quite simply the best performance ever of The Apostles on disc. Those who enjoyed Elder’s Proms performance and BBC broadcast will find their favourable impressions reinforced, and indeed bettered. Those who found the Boult recording good but not overwhelming will find this an answer to their prayers, with soloists just as good and a much better chorus. Those who like Hickox’s more impetuous approach may find some of Elder’s slower speeds disconcerting, but will I think find that they pay dramatic dividends in the long run. The quality of the recording enables us to hear every detail superbly."
Paul Corfield Godfrey - - 10 October 2012

          Recording of the Month

"...this superb Apostles is a mandatory purchase for all Elgar enthusiasts."
John Quinn - - August 2012


                    IRR Outstanding 

"... the new Apostles of choice."

Piers Burton-Page - International Record Review - October 2012

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