Sir Edward Elgar

Biography

Born: 1857   Died: 1934   Country: England   Period: Romantic
One of the pre-eminent musical figures of his time, Edward William Elgar (1857-1934) bridged the nineteenth and twentieth centuries as the finest English composer since the days of Handel and Purcell. Elgar's father owned a music shop and was a church organist who taught his son piano, organ, and violin; apart from this instruction, Elgar was basically self-taught as a musician. At the age of 16, the composer became a freelance musician and for Read more the remainder of his life never took a permanent job. He conducted locally, performed, taught, and composed, scraping by until his marriage to Caroline Alice Roberts, a published novelist of some wealth, in 1889.

Elgar had by this time achieved only limited recognition. He and his wife moved to London, where he scarcely fared better in advancing his career. They couple eventually retreated to Worcester, Elgar suffering from bitter self-doubt and depression. Alice stood by him the entire time, her unfailing confidence restoring his spirits. He was further buoyed by the success of his Imperial March, Op. 32, which earned him a publisher and a vital friendship with August Jaeger, his editor and confidant. In 1899, Elgar composed one of his best-known works, the "Enigma" Variations, Op. 36, which catapulted him to fame. The work is a cryptic tribute to Alice and to the many friends who stood behind the composer in the shaky early days of his career. German conductor Hans Richter proclaimed it a masterpiece, and his performances of the work in Britain and Germany established the composer's lasting success.

Elgar's most fruitful period was the first decade of the twentieth century, during which he wrote some of his noblest, most expressive music, including the Symphony No. 1 in A flat major, Op. 55 (1907-1908), and the Violin Concerto in B minor, Op. 61 (1909-1910). His best-known works from this period, however, are the first four of his Pomp and Circumstance Marches (1901-1907); the first of these, subtitled "Land of Hope and Glory," became an unofficial second national anthem for the British Empire.

Elgar suffered a blow when Jaeger (the "Nimrod" of the "Enigma" Variations) died in 1909. The composer's productivity dropped, and the horrors of World War I deepened his melancholy outlook. His music became more intimate, even anguished; still, he wrote some of his best chamber music during this period, as well as the masterly Cello Concerto in E minor, Op. 85 (1919), whose deep feeling of sadness and impending loss surely relates to the final illness of his faithful Alice, who died in 1920.

For some time after that, he wrote little of significance but made a historic foray into the recording studios when new electrical recording processes were developed; the fortunate result was a number of masterly interpretations of his own orchestral music that have survived for posterity. In the early '30s, Elgar set to work on a third symphony, left unfinished at his death in 1934. The work was brought to a generally well-received realization by Anthony Payne in the late '90s and was subsequently recorded. Read less

Elgar: Symphony No 1, Cockaigne / Oramo
Release Date: 08/12/2014   Label: Bis  
Catalog: 1939   Number of Discs: 1
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Elgar: Symphony No 2, Sospiri, Elegy / Oramo
Release Date: 04/30/2013   Label: Bis  
Catalog: 1879   Number of Discs: 1
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Elgar: The Apostles / Hickox, London Symphony Orchestra & Chorus
Release Date: 08/26/2014   Label: Chandos  
Catalog: CHAN 241-49   Number of Discs: 2
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Elgar: Sea Pictures;  Wagner: Wesendonck Lieder;  Etc
Release Date: 04/04/1994   Label: Bis  
Catalog: 530   Number of Discs: 1
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Through Gold And Silver Clouds - Delius, Elgar, Etc
Release Date: 07/24/2007   Label: Bis  
Catalog: 1589   Number of Discs: 1
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ArkivCD

Browse 101-121 of 121 Available Recordings
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  • 101.
    English String Music / Hickox, City Of London Sinfonia
    Label: Emi Classics   Catalog: 54407 Release Date: 03/31/1996   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Sir Edward Elgar,  Ralph Vaughan Williams,  Sir William Walton
    Conductor:  Richard Hickox
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  City of London Sinfonia
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  • 102.
    Edward Elgar At Woolsey Hall - Music For Organ / Murray
    Label: Gothic Records   Catalog: 49076 Release Date: 10/17/1995   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Sir Edward Elgar
    Performer:  Thomas Murray
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  • 103.
    Elgar: Symphonies 1 & 2, In London Town, In The South / Solti
    Label: London/Decca Double Decker   Catalog: 443856 Release Date: 06/13/1995   Number of Discs: 2
    Composer:  Sir Edward Elgar
    Conductor:  Sir Georg Solti
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  London Philharmonic Orchestra
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  • 104.
    Elgar: Enigma, Cello Concerto, Serenade / Maisky, Sinopoli
    Label: Dg Masters   Catalog: 445511 Release Date: 05/16/1995   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Sir Edward Elgar
    Performer:  Mischa Maisky
    Conductor:  Giuseppe Sinopoli
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Philharmonia Orchestra
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  • 105.
    British Light Music Miniatures / Ernest Tomlinson
    Label: Marco Polo   Catalog: 223522 Release Date: 03/21/1995   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Sir Edward Elgar,  Robert Docker,  Arthur Benjamin
    Conductor:  Ernest Tomlinson
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Dublin RTE Concert Orchestra
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  • 106.
    Debussy: Images; Elgar: Enigma Variations / Levine, Berlin Philharmonic
    Label: Sony   Catalog: 53284 Release Date: 03/07/1995   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Sir Edward Elgar,  Claude Debussy
    Conductor:  James Levine
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Berlin Philharmonic Orchestra
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  • 107.
    Elgar: Enigma Variations, Falstaff, Etc / Rattle, Birmingham
    Label: Emi Classics   Catalog: 55001 Release Date: 01/17/1995   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Sir Edward Elgar
    Conductor:  Simon Rattle
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  City of Birmingham Symphony Orchestra
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  • 108.
    Elgar: The Music Makers, Etc / Davis, Bbc Symphony
    Label: Teldec   Catalog: 92374 Release Date: 11/01/1994   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Sir Edward Elgar
    Performer:  Jean Rigby
    Conductor:  Sir Andrew Davis
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  BBC Symphony Orchestra,  BBC Symphony Chorus
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  • 109.
    Elgar: In The South;  Brahms: Serenade No 1 / Muti, La Scala
    Label: Sony   Catalog: 57973 Release Date: 08/09/1994   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Johannes Brahms,  Sir Edward Elgar
    Conductor:  Riccardo Muti
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  La Scala Philharmonic
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  • 110.
    Strings - The Definitive Collection / Guildhall Ensemble
    Label: Rca Victor Red Seal   Catalog: 61275 Release Date: 07/13/1993   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Johann Pachelbel,  Johann Sebastian Bach,  Antonio Vivaldi,  Roman Hoffstetter  ... 
    Performer:  Paul Nicholson
    Conductor:  Paul Nicholson
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Guildhall String Ensemble
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  • 111.
    Elgar: Enigma Variations, Pomp And Circumstance / Barenboim
    Label: Sony Classical Essential Classics   Catalog: 48265 Release Date: 11/17/1992   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Sir Edward Elgar
    Performer:  Rodney Friend
    Conductor:  Daniel Barenboim
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  London Philharmonic Orchestra
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  • 112.
    The Telarc Collection Vol 6
    Label: Telarc   Catalog: 89106 Release Date: 09/29/1992   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  P.D.Q. Bach,  Sir Edward Elgar,  Bert Kaempfert,  John Denver  ... 
    Performer:  Doc Severinsen,  Hilton Ruiz,  Dizzy Gillespie,  Clifford Jordan  ... 
    Conductor:  Peter Schickele,  David Zinman,  Erich Kunzel,  Martin Pearlman  ... 
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Turtle Mountain Naval Base Tactical Wind Ensemble,  Baltimore Symphony Orchestra,  Cincinnati Pops  ... 
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  • 113.
    Choral Evensong Live From King's College Cambridge
    Label: Emi Classics   Catalog: 54412 Release Date: 08/18/1992   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Sir Edward Elgar,  Edward Naylor,  John Goss,  Charles Hubert Parry  ... 
    Performer:  Stephen Cleobury,  John Bowley,  Christopher Hughes,  Stephen Cherry
    Conductor:  Stephen Cleobury
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Cambridge King's College Choir
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  • 114.
    Sarah Chang - Debut
    Label: Emi Classics   Catalog: 54352 Release Date: 08/18/1992   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Sergei Prokofiev,  Franz Liszt,  George Gershwin,  Dmitri Shostakovich  ... 
    Performer:  Sandra Rivers,  Sarah Chang
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  • 115.
    Berlitz Passport - The Music Of The British Isles
    Label: Sony Classical Masterworks   Catalog: 47280 Release Date: 07/14/1992   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Thomas Augustine Arne,  Sir Edward Elgar,  George Frideric Handel,  Frederick Delius  ... 
    Performer:  David Nadien,  Edward Carroll
    Conductor:  Leonard Bernstein,  Sir Andrew Davis,  Richard P. Condie,  Richard Kapp  ... 
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  New York Philharmonic,  Philharmonia Orchestra,  Royal Philharmonic Orchestra  ... 
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  • 116.
    Elgar: Pomp & Circumstance Marches, Enigma Variations / Solti
    Label: London/Decca Jubilee   Catalog: 417719 Release Date: 10/26/1990   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Sir Edward Elgar
    Conductor:  Sir Georg Solti
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  London Philharmonic Orchestra,  Chicago Symphony Orchestra
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  • 117.
    Echoes Of London / John Williams
    Label: Cbs Masterworks   Catalog: 42119 Release Date: 10/25/1990   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Carroll Coates,  Sir Edward Elgar,  Hubert Gregg,  George Gershwin  ... 
    Performer:  John Williams
    Conductor:  William Goodchild
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Orchestra
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  • 118.
    Elgar: Enigma Variations, Pomp & Circumstance Marches / Del Mar
    Label: Dg Galleria   Catalog: 429713 Release Date: 03/01/1990   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Sir Edward Elgar
    Conductor:  Norman Del Mar
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Royal Philharmonic Orchestra
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  • 119.
    Dvorak, Elgar: Cello Concertos / Fournier, Szell, Berlin Po
    Label: Dg Galleria   Catalog: 423881 Release Date: 01/01/1980   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Sir Edward Elgar,  Antonín Dvorák
    Performer:  Pierre Fournier
    Conductor:  Alfred Wallenstein,  George Szell
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Berlin Philharmonic Orchestra
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  • 120.
    Happy & Glorious! - The Queen Mother's 100th Birthday Celebrations
    Label: Decca   Catalog: 467100 Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Barrie Hingley,  Various,  Sir William Walton,  Charles Hubert Parry  ... 
    Performer:  Vera Lynn,  Jamie Shaw
    Conductor:  Hilary Davan Wetton,  Barrie Hingley,  Philip King,  Andrew Millington  ... 
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Royal Marines Band,  Scots Guards Band,  Household Division Massed Bands  ... 
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  • 121.
    Panorama - The Sound Of England
    Label: Deutsche Grammophon   Catalog: 469274 Number of Discs: 2
    Composer:  Gustav Holst,  Ralph Vaughan Williams,  Frederick Delius,  Sir Edward Elgar  ... 
    Performer:  Pinchas Zukerman
    Conductor:  William Steinberg,  Daniel Barenboim,  Sir Charles Mackerras,  Norman Del Mar  ... 
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Boston Symphony Orchestra,  New England Conservatory Chorus,  English Chamber Orchestra  ... 
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