Elgar’s Gerontius, composed in 1900, is one of the greatest of the late-Romantic choral works. Based on the epic poem by Blessed John Henry Newman, the work follows the protagonist Gerontius (an ‘everyman’ character) as he faces his death, meets his guardian Angel, encounters the all-encompassing vision of God and, finally, begins his journey through purgatory with the promise of life with God forever.
This extraordinary work is equally matched in the brilliance of Elgar’s score and orchestration. In a manner similar to last year’s performance of Benjamin Britten’s War Requiem, the performance will combine the forces of Haileybury Chapel Choir and Choral Society with Royston Choral Society, accompanied by Hertfordshire Philharmonic Orchestra, together with a group of talented pupil members from Haileybury’s Symphony Orchestra. A pre-concert talk on the life of Blessed John Henry Newman will be given at 6.15 pm.