A Critical Guide: Cantatas, choirs and a centenary in the cathedral

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THE Three Choirs is the quintessential English music festival: circulating since the 18th century between cathedrals at Gloucester, Worcester and (this year) Hereford, and a spotlit venue for new work back in the days of Elgar and Vaughan Williams. Now, in competition with so many others, it claims less attention, but on Thursday it premieres a big new cantata from Alan Ridout. There are also centenary celebrations for E J Moeran and Peter Warlock; Elgar's Dream of Gerontius; and Richard Hickox (what English music beano could survive without him?) conducting Walton's 1st Symphony. (Three Choirs, 0432 274455, today-Fri.)

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