<< -- 3 -- Robert Anderson GLORIOUSLY INSPIRED
The main difference is the soloists. What Heddle Nash was in 1945, Richard
Lewis had become in his different way ten years later. His Credo is
less profoundly felt than Nash's but pronounced with ringing authority
[listen -- CD1 track 15, 0:00-1:33]. Whereas
Sargent had a couple of basses in 1945, John Cameron manages both the
forthright declamation of the priest and the much darker agonies he must
command in Part II.
It is difficult to imagine anything more tender than the quiet comfort of
Marjorie Thomas's Angel
[listen -- CD2 track 3, 1:06-2:31].
And what of the chorus? 'Demons' shows these northerners on flame-spitting
form. Elgar was notoriously partial to 'somewhere further north' and loved the
freshness and conviction of northern singers in his music, turning to
North Staffordshire or Leeds for the range and weight of sound he liked.
It may be that by the end of the recording, and with purgatory in view,
the women were beginning to wilt. If a little freshness has deserted them in
the 'Angel's Farewell', it is hardly a blemish on a magisterial achievement
[listen -- CD2 track 13, 3:17-4:38].
Sargent was never less than workmanlike; in these two favourite works he is
Copyright © 29 June 2004
Robert Anderson, London UK
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Elgar: The Dream of Gerontius; Walton: Belshazzar's Feast
5 85904 2 ADD Mono REISSUE (2 CDs) 71'15"/57'47" - TT 129'02" 1955,1958 and 2004 EMI Records Ltd
James Milligan, bass-baritone (Belshazzar's Feast); Richard Lewis, tenor (Gerontius, The Soul of Gerontius); Marjorie Thomas, mezzo-soprano (The Angel); John Cameron, baritone (The Priest, The Angel of the Agony); Huddersfield Choral Society; Royal Liverpool Philharmonic Orchestra; Sir Malcolm Sargent, conductor
William Walton (1902-1983): Belshazzar's Feast (1931; text selected from Biblical sources by Osbert Sitwell); Edward Elgar (1857-1934): The Dream of Gerontius, Op 38 (1900; words by Cardinal Newman)