The original score of Edward Elgar’s The Dream of Gerontius, a setting of the poem by Cardinal Newman, is now available to view online after a digitisation project completed at the Oratory earlier this year.

The project was carried out in partnership with Dr Joanna Bullivant of Oxford University, the National Institute for Newman Studies, the British Library and the National Trust. It is hoped that the digitisation will facilitate scholarship and encourage general interest in this striking work, hitherto inaccessible in its fragile manuscript form.

The temporary digitisation workstation at the Birmingham Oratory (photo by Eugenio Falcioni)

On giving the score to the Fathers of the Oratory in 1902, Elgar wrote:
‘I must add that nothing would give me greater happiness than to feel that the work, into which I put my whole soul, should be, in its original form, near to where the revered author of the poem made his influence felt.’