The Apostles was the first of Elgar's two Biblical oratorios to be completed and received its first performance at Birmingham Town Hall on October 14th 1903 it tells of Jesus calling the Apostles, his teaching them and his betrayal and the ascension. Four years later its Prologue was extracted by the music publishing firm Novello and printed as part of their famous series of choruses for use in churches. It's a composite text which Elgar compiled from a variety of Biblical sources and, as you might expect from a prologue, it introduces many of the themes and motifs to be found in the oratorio. This thematic diversity is one of the reasons why it's not necessarily the easiest piece of music in the world to sing when sung well however it's a very worthwhile piece of music in its own right. Enjoy :-).