Eamonn Dougan conducts Elgar

Singers at Six

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Smaller scale choral Elgar that finds the composer lifting some beautiful British poetry as well as sacred texts into song.

Edward Elgar’s feeling for poetry, and particularly the poetry of his own time, stimulated his composition. And while many of his choral works were written on a grand scale, he left a substantial body of small works, many of them written as test pieces for the then very popular choral competitions. Tonight’s BBC Singers programme gives us a handful of them, including the four choral songs of his Op 53, settings of Tennyson, Byron, Shelley and a poem he wrote himself, The Owl, which brought forth one of his most harmonically advanced pieces. Organist Stephen Disley plays Elgar’s Imperial March written for the Diamond Jubilee of Queen Victoria in 1897.

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