The growing genius of a titan of English music comes vividly into focus in a stunning collection of Edward Elgar's music for chorus and orchestra from the Brighton Festival Chorus and BBC Concert Orchestra conducted by Barry Wordsworth. The voice was at the center of Elgar's musical life as a child, and it was to play a defining role in his own compositions. Spanning 26 years - from the imposing setting of Ecce sacerdos magnus ('Behold the great priest')* in 1888 to the richly realized psalm settings of the 1910s, it is possible to chart in these often moving, occasionally monumental works the development of Elgar's prowess in setting the voice. The muscular and poetic Op.34 Te Deum and Benedictus and consoling Offertory Anthem, O Hearken Thou are heard alongside two contrasted psalms - the mighty Great is the Lord and bold and vigorous Give unto the Lord - that have become cornerstones of the English choral tradition. Two sunny, secular works show Elgar balancing delicacy and deliberateness with consummate skill. Based on a play by Henry Wadsworth Longfellow, the Iberian-accented Spanish Serenade is courtship of exquisite beauty and warmth. Scenes from the Bavarian Alps sets words by the composer's wife, Alice, to produce six animated and colorful songs that conjure the sights and sounds of happy holiday visits by the recent newlyweds. Behold the Great Priest presents a treasure-trove of Elgar's choral compositions intriguingly mapping out his development towards the full-scale masterpieces of Sea Pictures, The Apostles and The Dream of Gerontius.