Andris Nelsons has had to withdraw from conducting The Dream of Gerontius on 14 April due to the illness of his daughter. We are very grateful to CBSO’s principal guest conductor Edward Gardner, who has agreed to conduct this performance on his behalf. We wish Andris’ daughter a speedy recovery and we look forward to welcoming him back to the Barbican in the near future.
Tenor Toby Spence has also been forced to withdraw from this concert due to illness. We’re grateful to Robert Murray for taking his place.
Elgar The Dream of Gerontius City of Birmingham Symphony Orchestra Edward Gardner conductor Sarah Connolly mezzo-soprano Robert Murray tenor James Rutherford bass-baritone CBSO Chorus
Elgar's Dream of Gerontius is a richly dramatic and beautifully expressive work, one widely considered the composer's choral masterpiece, and certainly to be counted among his very finest works. Setting a poem by Cardinal Newman, it follows the journey of a dying man's soul to judgement before God. That tonight's musical forces hail from Birmingham is appropriate. The work was first performed there, and the city's Triennial Festival also premiered several more of Elgar's major works. In his second year as Principal Guest Conductor of the CBSO, Edward Gardner has developed a fine rapport with the ensemble, while the main soloists roles are here taken by tenor Robert Murray and Sarah Connolly, a mezzo sought after for her rich interpretative skills.
'Sarah Connolly was utterly captivating, singing with a slightly veiled yet glowing voice, full of deeply felt expression. In the work's final pages, she brought Gerontius's soul to rest with all the gentleness and warmth you could ask for.' Boston Globe