The Twenty-Fifth Leith Hill
CHORUS of CHOIRS and full
(Orchestra led by W. H. REED )
ASTRA DESMOND (contralto)
STEUART WILSON (tenor)
HAROLD WILLIAMS (baritone)
Conducted by VAUGHAN WILLIAMS
Relayed from the Dorking Halls
The Chorus is formed from the Ashtead, Banstead, Dorking Madrigal, Dorking Oriana, Epsom, Fetcham, Leatherhead, and Leatherhead Orpheus Choral
WHEN The Dream of Gerontius was given its first performance in 1900 at the Birmingham Festival, under Dr. Hans
Richter, it was neither well performed nor particularly well received.
Time and further performances, however, very quickly moulded opinion, and for more than thirty years Gerontius has been recognised as the greatest choral work composed by an English-man in recent times, probably in all -ime.
The poem which Elgar took for his ext, and which he used almost intact, is that written by Cardinal Newman in 1865. It was written in distressing circumstances. Cardinal Newman had lost a dear friend, and his consequent emotion invested the poem with a profound sincerity. The Dream of Gerontius as a poem is a masterpiece, and it is a convincing manifestation of Elgar's genius that it remains a masterpiece as set by him to music.
The dramatic content of Gerontius is the passing of a soul from life to death, his bringing into the presence of God, and his subsequent transmutation. Gerontius is dying, and in a vision he sees mysteries presently to be revealed to him. His soul leaves him and is met and carried through space by his Guardian Angel to the aivful presence of the Divine Judge.
On their way they pass the lesser and the greater celestial beings, and the derisive, demoniacal throngs. Before the veiled presence of God, the Angel of the Agony intercedes for the soul of Gerontius, who ' consumed yet quickened by the glance of God,' submits with a glad faith to the ecstatic agony of the experience, and, given again to the enfolding arms of his Guardian Angel, is at last left to his healing transmutation after she has bid him a tender consolatory farewell.
To be given before an audience in The Concert Hall, Broadcasting House
A Pianoforte Recital by WILHELM BACKHAUS
(The unbroadcast portion of the Concerts which begins at 8.30 p.m., consists of Two Sonatas, Quasi una fantasia, Op. 27, by Beethoven)
Tickets may be obtained from [address removed] (Telephone : Welbeck [number removed]), and the usual Agents. (Prices : 12S., 9S., 6s., 4S.,
2s. 6d., including Entertainments Tax)