May 18Elgar: The Dream of Gerontius, Peking University Centennial Hall
June 15An Evening of Madrigals, Residence of the British Ambassador
October 26Opera Choruses, Peking University Centennial Hall
December 14/15Handel: Messiah
Tomkins: Music DivinePurcell: If Music Be the Food of LoveBritten: Hymn to St CeceliaParry: Music, when soft voices dieMozart arr. Parry: Take it from Figure 0
Elgar: Weary Wind of the WestElgar: My love dwelt in a northern landPoulenc: Belle et ressemblantePoulenc: MariePorter: Miss Otis RegretsLoesser arr. Ives: Sit Down You’re Rockin the Boat
The Dream of Gerontius is one of Edward Elgar's finest works, and indisputably one of the finest choral-symphonic works in all of music. It is also one of those works from the romantic period that needs to be experienced live in order to understand and appreciate its full power.
The Dream of Gerontius is a great spiritual journey - the human spirit on a quest for greater self-awareness and compassion. The work is cast in two sections. The first represents struggle; struggle with ingrained ways of thinking and old habits that are hard to break, struggle for greater openness and an ability to embrace the new and the unknown. The second part represents the possibilities for greatness of spirit when this has been achieved; a greater ability for compassionate understanding.In the first part of the work, Gerontius is alone; in the second part of the work, he realizes that he is not, and indeed has never been alone, and this realization leads to devastating self-knowledge and an understanding that a new, harder path has begun.
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