Elgar - The Music Makers, The Spirit of England
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Cat No: CHSA5215
Number of Discs: 1
Release Date: 2nd November 2018
ArtistsSarah Connolly (mezzo-soprano)
Andrew Staples (tenor)
BBC Symphony Chorus
BBC Symphony Orchestra
The maturity of Elgar as an orchestrator is obvious in both works on this disc, notably, in The Music Makers (1912), during passages in which he quotes from Sea Pictures and the Violin Concerto, and in representing the sound of aircraft in The Spirit of England (1917).
Elgar uses self-quotation to reflect: The Music Makers is a canvas of self-reflection, written quickly following a period of illness. The orchestral introduction is introspective, melancholic and noble, before the words of Arthur O’Shaughnessy’s poem and much self-quotation within the music offer an insight into the sense of nostalgia and awareness of the loneliness of the creative artist felt by the composer. The Spirit of England reflects on the sadness and desolation of war felt by a nation, with the inclusion of quotations from The Dream of Gerontius in some of the more negative stanzas that Elgar found harder to set. Specified in the score for tenor or soprano, all three movements are sung here by a tenor in a recording first.
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