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ELGAR, Edward.

The Dream of Gerontius

by Cardinal Newman, set to Music for Mezzo-Soprano, Tenor and Bass Soli, Chorus and Orchestra by Edward Elgar, (Op. 38).

Stock Code
London, Novello & Co., 1900

The Dream of Gerontius is considered to be one of Elgar's greatest religious compositions; based on Cardinal Newman's poem about a soul's journey through to its judgement and beyond. Unfortunately, due to inadequate rehearsals, the first performance at Birmingham, in October 1900 of this complex and original work, proved to be a failure but the majority of the critics recognised its greatness. Fortunately, the composition was rescued from oblivion by a second performance under Julius Buths at Dusseldorf, in December 1901; then again at the Lower Rhine Festival in Dusseldorf in May the following year (after which it also won British favour). Following this latter performance, Richard Strauss praised Elgar as the first English progressive musician. The work dispenses with the traditional mixture of recitatives, arias, and choruses, using instead a continuous musical texture in the same vein as Richard Wagner's operas.

In the first decade after its premiere, the

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Boldly signed vertically by the composer 'Edward Elgar' to title-page; large 8vo; a few small pen and pencil annotations relating to performances in 1912 and 1924 to early leaves, probably in the hand of Mabel Bailey whose ownership signature appears on the upper cover, free endpapers browned; publisher's cloth-backed printed boards, slightly rubbed and soiled but in the main a very good example in original, unrestored state; viii, [2], 177, [1]pp. and 11 pages of advertisements.


Martin Bird (An Elgarian Who's Who).

Stock ID:97555

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