The Dream of Gerontius
RTÉ National Symphony Orchestra
Kenneth Montgomery conductor (replacing Robert Trevino)
Catherine Wyn-Rodgers mezzo soprano
Norbert Ernst tenor
Johan Wållberg bass
RTÉ Philharmonic Choir
Elgar The Dream of Gerontius / 100’
Out of darkness, light. A shining masterpiece of the English church tradition, Elgar’s The Dream of Gerontius is a deeply moving meditation on life, death and what comes after that celebrates music’s ability to voice our deepest fears and illuminate our greatest hopes.
A stirring epic for solo voices, chorus and symphony orchestra of operatic dimensions, its sweeping grandeur is matched by a ravishing intensity of feeling and music of aching eloquence and exhilarating ecstasy.
Kenneth Montgomery makes a welcome return to conduct the RTÉ National Symphony Orchestra, RTÉ Philharmonic Choir and a trio of formidable soloists: tenor Norbert Ernst, baritone Johan Wållberg and mezzo-soprano Catherine Wyn-Rogers, who has stamped her ownership of the role of the Angel in recent years with singing of ‘great feeling and intensity and an always vivid response to text’ (Gramophone).
First performed in 1900 and setting Cardinal John Henry Newman’s poem describing the last moments of a dying man, his death and his journey, guided by his guardian angel, in the after-life to judgement and Purgatory, it is the composer’s finest choral work which he declared to be ‘the best of me’.
A touching exploration of the frailty of life at the ultimate moment of its leave-taking, The Dream of Gerontius prompts music as lush as it is luxurious in a mighty, magnificent and altogether moving experience.
Presented by RTÉ National Symphony Orchestra