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Apr 17

David Zinman conducts Elgar

Abo A
Bamberg, Konzerthalle, Joseph-Keilberth-Saal
19:30 Uhr

In cooperation with »Britannia in Bamberg«

»There is music in the air […] you simply take as much as you require«, said the late-Romantic composer Edward Elgar – and brought British music, which, 150 years after Purcell’s death, had undergone a significant revival from the mid-19th century, into the 20th. Key to this revival was »The Dream of Gerontius«, a vision of the passage to the hereafter. This moving work is dominated by the sense of departing on a one-way journey: in a sequence of lyrical and dramatic episodes, it describes the progress of a soul after leaving its body. A remarkable musical autodidact, Elgar doggedly followed his own path and achieved a hard-won metamorphosis from provincial musician to England’s most important composer of large-scale orchestral and choral works. His breakthrough came at the turn of the century, with the »Enigma« Variations. At first, though, »The Dream of Gerontius« did not fare well in Elgar’s native land. 300 years after William Byrd, he was the first notable English composer to be brought up a Catholic, and his setting of a text by Cardinal Henry Newman delayed the Anglican world’s acceptance of »The Dream of Gerontius«. After performances in Germany’s Catholic Rhineland, his musical depiction of an aged man’s death and ascension to heaven won praise as »sounds from another world«. Gradually, the work’s significance was recognized in England too, although initially it could only be performed in Anglican cathedrals with alterations to the text. Today, an Elgar window adorns the cathedral in Elgar’s home town of Worcester. Dedicated to the composer’s memory in 1935 – a year after his death – it depicts several scenes from »The Dream of Gerontius«. With the return of David Zinman we welcome one of the conducting profession’s great personalities back to Bamberg, to take the helm for this sensuously sonorous score’s unique spiritual journey.

David Zinman Conductor
Alice Coote Soprano
Paul Appleby Tenor
Nathan Berg Bass baritone
Chor der Bamberger Symphoniker

Edward Elgar »The Dream of Gerontius« für Mezzosopran, Tenor, Bass, Chor und Orchester op. 38