Music review: Elgar's The Kingdom, Usher Hall, Edinburgh

Following on from The Apostles, Elgar’s The Kingdom was to be the second oratorio in a trilogy about the disciples founding the church.

Elgars The Kingdom, Usher Hall

Elgar's The Kingdom, Usher Hall, Edinburgh * * *

But the final one, The Last Judgement, was never written. In the opening Prelude, conductor Martyn Brabbins and The Hallé set the mood as they created the rich full-bodied orchestral sound Elgar is famed for.

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Thereafter Elgar’s own texts, taken mainly from Acts of the Apostles and the Gospels, were too wordy and sat awkwardly with the music. Despite this the Edinburgh Festival Chorus, trained by their new director Aidan Oliver, impressed with their vocal colours, especially in O ye priests and the hushed Lord’s Prayer which ends the oratorio.

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