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Prelude to Part II of "The Apostles"

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Uploaded by: Agnus_Dei (03/03/13)
Composer: Elgar, Edward
Sample Producer: Milan Digital Audio
Sample Set: Salisbury Cathedral Father Willis
Software: Hauptwerk
Genre: Romantic
Sir Edward Elgar (1857-1934) needs little introduction, so instead, I'll tell a little about the piece from which this is taken, the arrangement itself, and some performance info,

The Apostles, Op. 49, is an oratorio for soloists, chorus and orchestra composed by Edward Elgar. It was first performed on 14 October 1903.

After his international success with the Enigma Variations and The Dream of Gerontius, Elgar was commissioned by the Birmingham Triennial Music Festival, which had also produced Gerontius, to write a new choral work. This encouraged Elgar to start composing a large-scale work on a subject he had been contemplating, according to the composer, since boyhood when he had even started selecting the words. The Apostles, like its successor The Kingdom, depicts the disciples of Jesus and their reactions to the extraordinary events they witness.

It is a narrative work, dealing with the calling of the Apostles and their experiences of Jesus’ preaching, crucifixion (which is not directly depicted), and ascension. The Kingdom would carry the story onward. Elgar was more interested in human motivations than philosophical underpinnings, and the most memorable characters in the work are the two sinners Mary Magdalene and Judas Iscariot.

Elgar's conception outgrew the confines of a single work: The Kingdom was first conceived as the last part of The Apostles, but later Elgar considered them as the first two parts of a trilogy. In any case, the projected third part was never written.

This arrangement was done by Geroge Robertson Sinclair (1863-1917), a close friend of the composer, and organist of Hereford Cathedral. (I guess I SHOULD have played it on THAT organ!) It requires all the resources of a large cathedral organ, as all the stops, including a variety of strings, reeds, etc. get their chance.

It's tricky to play. At one 4 measure-long spot, you're playing octaves in the pedal and both hands, with some "inner notes" stuck in.
Performance: Live
Recorded in: Stereo
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