Brian Elias: Electra Mourns

Brian Elias: Electra Mourns

NMC Recordings
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Release Date: 21 April 2017

The title work on this new album by Brian Elias sets text from ‘Electra’, a 5th Century BC play by the Greek dramatist Sophocles. It is sung in the original ancient Greek by mezzo-soprano Susan Bickley, accompanied by cor anglais and string orchestra, and recounts the tale of Electra and the vengeance that she and her brother Orestes take on their mother and stepfather following the murder of their father.

Continuing Elias's fascination with ancient Greece, Geranos is a dramatic and rhythmic ensemble piece inspired by a ritual 'crane dance' associated with Theseus, the mythical king of Athens.

In contrast, the two song cycles on this album are set to texts by English poets. Meet me in the Green Glen for unaccompanied solo voice is a setting of five John Clare poems, here performed by both Susan Bickley and Roderick Williams, and Once did I breathe another's breath for baritone and piano was commissioned for the 2013 Ludlow Weekend of English Song; the poems (some anonymous) were all written in the first half of the seventeenth century.

Bonus tracks: Meet me in the Green Glen performed in full by both Susan Bickley and Roderick Williams. Available for FREE with all purchases of the Electra Mourns album. Also available separately in our store.

Susan Bickley mezzo-soprano
Roderick Williams baritone
Nicholas Daniel cor anglais
Iain Burnside piano
Britten Sinfonia
Clark Rundell conductor
Nicholas Kok



‘A fascinating mix of quiet and disquiet, utterly modern in spirit’ Classical Iconoclast

'Brian Elias has become an expressive and lyrical composer, a rare phenomenon today' Opera Nederland

‘Elias’s sharply drawn sonorities fall easily on the ears ... Recommended’ The Arts Desk

'Newcomers to Elias should begin with the scintillating disc of his orchestral pieces The House that Jack Built, A Talisman and Doubles, to which this arresting follow-up is cordially recommended' Gramophone

‘An outpouring of grief and outrage’ Financial Times ★★★★

‘If you’re looking for a first-class studio recording as your own Elias entry point, I suggest you couldn’t do better’ Gramophone

‘This is a great album that leaves me curious to hear more of Elias’ vocal works.’ American Record Guide

‘Vivid and characterful’ Records International


Produced in association with BBC Radio 3


Electra Mourns was recorded live by the BBC on 11 August 2012 Cadogan Hall, London for the BBC Proms.

ANTHONY SELLORS Recording Producer

Geranos  was recorded on 20-21 September 2016 at Hallé St Michael's Ancoats, Manchester. Once did I breather another's breath and Meet me in the Green Glen were recorded on 7 December 2016 at The Menuhin Hall, Yehudi Menuhin School, Surrey.

DAVID LEFEBER Recording Engineer, Producer, Mastering

Catalogue number: NMC D235
Release Date: 21 April 2017