The Apostles, Op. 49 (Edward Elgar)
Prologue: The Spirit of the Lord is upon me
- Editor: John Henry Fowler (submitted 2007-08-11). Score information: Letter, 11 pages, 134 kB Copyright: CPDL
- Edition notes: In this edition, the choir is accompanied by a piano part which is a reduction of the original orchestral scoring.
Title: The Apostles, Op. 49
Composer: Edward Elgar
Description: The Apostles, Op. 49, is an oratorio for soloists, chorus and orchestra in two parts by Edward Elgar. It was first performed on 14 October 1903. Elgar chose the text from various parts of the New Testament and the Apocrypha
Adapted from the Wikipedia article:
The scoring is for a large orchestra, of typical late Romantic proportions, with the addition of a shofar (usually substituted by a more conventional instrument, such as a flugelhorn). There is a double chorus with semichorus, and six solo singers representing: The Blessed Virgin and the Angel Gabriel (soprano), Mary Magdalene (contralto), St John (tenor), who also narrates, St Peter (bass), Jesus (bass) and Judas (bass).
The oratorio, like its successor The Kingdom, depicts the disciples of Jesus and their reactions to the extraordinary events surrounding them. It is a narrative work, dealing with the calling of the Apostles and their experiences of Jesus's preaching, crucifixion (which is not directly depicted), and ascension.
- Wikipedia article
- BBC Radio 3 Programme Notes
- BBC Radio 3 Synopsis
- 1966 YouTube performance of "The spirit of the Lord is upon me" (Guildford Cathedral Choir) - Barry Rose
Original text and translations
Prologue: (Chorus and Orchestra)
The Spirit of the Lord is upon me, because He hath anointed me to preach the Gospel to the poor: He hath sent me to heal the broken-hearted to preach deliverance to the captives and recovery of sight to the blind – to preach the acceptable year of the Lord; to give unto them that mourn a garland for ashes, the oil of joy for mourning, the garment of praise for the spirit of heaviness; that they might be called the trees of righteousness, the planting of the Lord, that He might be glorified. For as the earth bringeth forth her bud, and as the garden that causeth the things that are sown in it to spring forth; so the Lord God will cause righteousness and praise to spring forth before all the nations. The Spirit of the Lord is upon me, because He hath anointed me to preach the Gospel.