Elgar: The Dream of Gerontius, Op. 38

Decca: 4831585

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Elgar: The Dream of Gerontius, Op. 38


Presto Disc of the Week

14th July 2017



Catalogue No:




Release date:

7th July 2017




93 minutes


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Elgar: The Dream of Gerontius, Op. 38

Catherine Wyn-Rogers (Angel), Andrew Staples (Gerontius), Thomas Hampson (Priest/Angel of the Agony)

Staatskapelle Berlin, Staatsopernchor, RIAS Kammerchor, Daniel Barenboim

CD - 2 discs


(also available to download from $10.75)

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Read Presto's complete review of this disc here.

‘Barenboim's long association with, and love for, Elgar has effectively made it part of his musical DNA’ Gramophone

‘Barenboim made this a Gerontius of transcendental splendour’ Financial Times concert review

‘If anyone can make a case for Elgar outside Britain, and without special pleading, it's Daniel Barenboim, returning to conduct this British composer's works’ New York Times

Sir Edward Elgar: The Dream of Gerontius, Op.38 / Pt. 1


Jesu, Maria, I am near to death

Kyrie eleison

Rouse thee, my fainting soul

Be merciful, be gracious

Sanctus fortis, Sanctus Deus

I can no more; for now it comes again

Rescue him, O Lord

Novissima hora est

Proficiscere, anima Christiana

Go, in the name of Angels and Archangels

Sir Edward Elgar: The Dream of Gerontius, Op.38 / Pt. 2


I went to sleep

My work is done, my task is o'er

Low-born clods of brute earth

The mind bold and independent

I see not those false spirits

Praise to the Holiest

Glory to him

But hark! A grand mysterious harmony

And now the threshold as we traverse it

Praise to the Holiest in the height

Thy judgement now is near

Jesu! by that shuddering dread which fell on Thee

Praise to His name!

Take me away!

Lord, Thou hast been our refuge

Softly and gently, dearly ransomed soul

Gramophone Magazine

August 2017

“Staples is a young-sounding and affecting Gerontius…he uses his vulnerability to good effect…Wyn-Rogers sings with great feeling and intensity and an always vivid response to text…Hampson is hugely authoritative in his priestly exhortations…Barenboim’s Berlin choirs are both sensitive and impressive, and refreshingly true in intonation…So plenty to savour…I know I shall be returning to if often and with great pleasure.”

Presto Classical

14th July 2017

“A Gerontius of staggering power and terrible beauty...Barenboim’s reading plays up the work’s affinity to Parsifal, and even to the fire-and-brimstone sound-world of Verdi’s Requiem - the apocalyptic vision of God is the most terrifying and transcendent I’ve ever experienced...The sweetness of Staples' timbre doesn't preclude the strength needed for the work’s climactic moments.”

Sunday Times

20th August 2017

“a must-hear release thanks to his big-boned, romantic conducting and the magnificent playing and singing of his Berlin forces...this is Barenboim’s set, which places Gerontius as a mainstream European masterpiece.”

The Times

21st July 2017


“The best parts of this recording are exactly those passages when this superb orchestra gives the impression of floating into celestial regions...Even when his pacing is unconvincing, there’s a gripping integrity and intensity to Barenboim’s approach...Barenboim’s account will takes its place alongside Elder’s (Hallé) and Britten’s (Decca) on my shelf marked “essential deathbed listening”.”

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