It is extremely welcome news that the excellent Hallé label has been taken under the wings of the Nimbus group and this latest new recording of Elgar's "Dream of Gerontius" is most certainly a wonderful re-start to the orchestra's programme of recordings.
Sir Mark Elder is a consummate and highly accomplished Elgarian and his interpretation of this seminal work in the composer's discography has been well worth the wait. Joined by three excellent soloists in Alice Coote, Paul Groves and Bryn Terfel, Elder coaxes some magnificent playing from the orchestra and the chorus also sings pretty spotlessly throughout, the pacing and character of the work reminds me of Boult and Barbirolli such is the grandeur of this reading.
The Hallé recording is quite flawless with fine balance between orchestra, soloists and chorus as after all is to be expected from this excellent source. The notes by Michael Kennedy are as authoritative as one could wish whilst there are also full texts. This "Gerontius" is right up there with the greats and deserves every possible recommendation.
Copyright © 2008, Gerald Fenech