“Elgar’s ‘disaster’ is made a roaring success”

Writing¬† a review in the Sunderland Echo, Roy Horabin concluded that Bishopwearmouth Choral Society had given a fabulous performance of Edward Elgar’s Dream of Gerontius at Sunderland MInster. Composed in 1900 its first rendering was a disaster and Elgar was devastated, but it is now considered one of his masterpieces. Musical Director David Murray ensured a convincing interpretation from the soloists, choir and orchestra. John Graham-Hall consistently expressed the innermost feelings of Gerontius and his refined tenor voice blended well with Anne-Marie Owens, who sensitively portrayed the Angel. Philip Smith’s baritone roles as priest and angel of the Agony were exemplary. In addition to the main chorus, a semi-chorus operated from the side gallery, which included the Bishopwearmouth Young SIngers. The orchestra lent colourful support and balanced admirably with singers so the combined ensemble work was notable for its cohesion and subtlety of detail. Serene closing passages made a lasting impression.

Extracted from a review by Roy Horobin in The Sunderland Echo – 2nd April 2009.

The review echoed comments from the audience that the concert had been ‘inspirational’.