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Elgar The Apostles


At the Proms in August, with almost the same cast, Elgar’s The Apostles failed as always since 1903 - "its occluded, obscured vision of events has atmosphere in abundance but a distinct lack of dramatic focus".

But coming to it as a new Elgar work over a century since it was composed, vaguely aware of its poor reputation, I found myself enthralled by settling down with the libretto and hearing it at home in three listening sessions.

The performance and recording are stunning, with "pre-patching" at rehearsal and a perfect balance captured live at Bridgewater Hall by Steve Portnoi and his team.

I'll leave details to Andrew Clements, who at Bridgewater Hall found "this performance never came close to testing anyone's patience. Elder's dramatic sense of the whole structure made it all thrillingly compelling. If the recording comes close to capturing the sumptuous certainty of the live event, we'll be very lucky indeed." The Guardian

It does; if you don't know it, time to catch up.

Peter Grahame Woolf

"Elder has the full measure of this work. His recording must now be the clear first choice." MusicWeb