Elgar's The Kingdom

Saturday 7 December 2019, 7.30pm

Winchester Cathedral

  • Elgar: The Kingdom

Sophie Bevan, soprano

Katie Bray, mezzo-soprano

Andrew Kennedy, tenor

Stephan Loges, bass

The Waynflete Singers

Bournemouth Symphony Orchestra

Andrew Lumsden, conductor

About this Event

'There is a great deal in The Kingdom that is more than a match for Gerontius' was the considered opinion of that great Elgar conductor, Sir Adrian Boult, and audiences will have a chance to reflect upon that judgement when the Waynflete Singers combine forces with the Newcastle Bach Choir for two performances of Elgar's great oratorio. The first of these will take place at The Sage, Gateshead on 24 November 2019 and will be repeated on 7 December 2019 in Winchester Cathedral.

The Kingdom is the second part of a planned trilogy of oratorios contemplating the life, work and influence of Christ's Apostles (part one is The Apostles and part three was never completed). The English choral tradition of the very early years of the twentieth century created the expectation of an oratorio, but Elgar's ambitious plans took him beyond this, into the realms of music drama (thus reinforcing his connection with a central European tradition rather than a purely English one). Yet, as well as the thrilling orchestral canvas which illuminates Elgar's own text and storms the heavens in his glorious climaxes, Elgar was also at pains to emphasise the human frailty of the Apostles - what he called their 'ordinariness'. Peter is made the focus of the work and musical highlights include the Pentecost scene and Mary's sublime solo 'The sun goeth down'.

The great conductor, Hans Richter, said that not only was he pleased with The Kingdom, but 'more than this - it is wonderful, a great work'. We hope that you, too, will find this magnificent work uplifting and thrilling.