Elgar 150th Anniversary

Tom Service and Anthony Payne introduce concerts celebrating the 150th anniversary of Elgar's birth.

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PO30120070601

The Philharmonia perform some of the composer's most popular orchestral works, spanning the whole of his career from the early Froissart overture, full of youthful exuberance, to his opulent First Symphony, not begun until his fiftieth year.

Norwegian cellist Truls Mork joins the orchestra for Elgar's popular Cello Concerto.

Truls Mork (cello)

Philharmonia

Andrew Davis (conductor)

Elgar: Froissart; Cello Concerto in E minor; Symphony No 1 in A flat.

PO302Dream Of Gerontius20070602

As Radio 3 celebrates Elgar's 150th anniversary, Tom Service and Anthony Payne introduce a performance of Elgar's Dream of Gerontius recorded at Symphony Hall, Birmingham.

The composer was a Midlander through and through, and Sakari Oramo conducts the orchestra that Elgar helped found.

Angel....Jane Irwin (mezzo-soprano)

Gerontius....Peter Wedd (tenor)

Priest....Clive Bayley (bass)

City of Birmingham Symphony Chorus

BBC National Chorus of Wales

City of Birmingham Symphony Orchestra

Sakari Oramo (conductor).

PO303The Apostles20070603

As Radio 3 celebrates Elgar's 150th anniversary, Tom Service and Anthony Payne introduce a concert recorded in Birmingham's Symphony Hall.

Elgar devoted the best years of his career to one tremendous project: setting the entire New Testament to music.

Conductor Sakari Oramo continues the celebrations with The Apostles, the first part of Elgar's epic, but incomplete, New Testament Trilogy.

Premiered in Birmingham in 1903, the sweeping spiritual drama set in the days of the early Church is filled with some of Elgar's noblest and most deeply-felt music.

Mary....Claire Rutter (soprano)

Mary Magdalene....Jane Irwin (mezzo-soprano)

St John....John Daszak (tenor)

St Peter....Clive Bayley (bass)

Jesus....Stephen Gadd (baritone)

Judas....James Rutherford (baritone)

City of Birmingham Symphony Chorus and Orchestra

Sakari Oramo (conductor)

Elgar: The Apostles.

PO304The Kingdom20070604

A concert given in Birmingham's Symphony Hall.

Elgar's The Kingdom is based on New Testament themes, with St Peter as the focus of the work.

Opening with a majestic orchestral prelude, and painted in glowing orchestral colours, this was the closest the composer ever came to writing an opera.

Mary....Amanda Roocroft (soprano)

Mary Magdalene....Jane Irwin (mezzo-soprano)

St John....John Daszak (tenor)

St Peter....James Rutherford (baritone)

City of Birmingham Symphony Chorus, Choir and Symphony Orchestra

Sakari Oramo (conductor).

PO30520070605

a concert conducted by Elgar specialist Andrew Davis given last month at London's Queen Elizabeth Hall.

The Violin Concerto is performed by Canadian violinist James Ehnes and the concert concludes with Elgar's Second Symphony, which was composed amid the growing tensions that culminated in World War I.

James Ehnes (violin)

Philharmonia Orchestra

Andrew Davis (conductor)

Elgar: Violin Concerto; Symphony No 2.