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Oakfield Choir to perform Elgar

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Frome’s very own Oakfield Choir’s next concert is on Saturday 8th June when they join forces with Bath Cantata Group, also led by musical director, Neil Moore, to perform Elgar’s wonderful oratorio, The Kingdom, in the impressive setting of St John the Evangelist Catholic Church in Bath.

Considered by many to be Elgar’s greatest choral work, The Kingdom was commissioned for the Birmingham Triennial Music Festival of 1906, but Elgar claimed to have been thinking about the themes of the piece since boyhood. 

Originally conceived as a trilogy, the first part being the earlier work, The Apostles, Elgar wanted to show the Apostles as ordinary men reacting to extraordinary events; an idea prompted by a quote from his former school teacher – “the Apostles were poor men, young men, at the time of their calling; perhaps before the descent of the Holy Ghost, not cleverer than some of you here.”

The Kingdom describes the lives of Jesus’s disciples and the descent of the Holy Spirit at Pentecost and although Elgar made Peter the focus, one of its most memorable moments is Mary’s aria, The sun goeth down, which brilliantly encapsulates the very best of Elgar’s writing. The effort in producing a work of such scale and magnitude led to Elgar eventually abandoning the last part of the trilogy.

Both choirs and 50-piece full orchestra will be led, as always, by musical director, Neil Moore and joined by soloists Maria Danishvar (soprano), Arabella Heaton (mezzo soprano), Joseph Doody (tenor) and Craig Bissex (baritone). 

The concert starts at 7.30pm. Tickets £20, students £10 and under 12 free purchased from choir members, Hunting Raven Books, Bath box office or on the door. Organisers say, “This really special work is not often performed and simply shouldn’t be missed. We hope to see you there!”

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