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Visual arts >

An Anglo-German Gerontius

Martin Dreyer attends a fine farewell concert

IT is a salutary thought that, but for a far-sighted German composer, The Dream of Gerontius might never have survived, let alone caught the public imagination. Though commissioned by the Birmingham Festival and conducted by the renowned Hans Richter, its première there, on 3 October 1900, was a disaster. The chorus had been hopelessly under-prepared, additionally demoralised by the death during rehearsals of its long-standing trainer. Elgar was shattered. “[My heart] is now shut ...

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