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: Caractacus & Severn Suite / Howarth, Hickox, London Symphony
Release Date: 08/26/2016   Label: Chandos  
Catalog: 24158   Number of Discs: 2
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Sir Charles Mackerras Conducts Delius, Dvorák, Etc
Release Date: 11/08/2005   Label: Decca  
Catalog: 4757061   Number of Discs: 3
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Browse 101-125 of 125 Available Recordings
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  • 101.
    Elgar: Enigma Variations; Kodaly, Blacher / Solti, Vienna PO
    Label: Decca   Catalog: 452853 Release Date: 10/14/1997   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Boris Blacher,  Sir Edward Elgar,  Zoltán Kodály
    Conductor:  Sir Georg Solti
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Vienna Philharmonic Orchestra
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  • 102.
    Elgar: The Kingdom / Leonard Slatkin, London Philharmonic
    Label: Rca Victor Red Seal   Catalog: 57862 Release Date: 08/30/1997   Number of Discs: 2
    Composer:  Sir Edward Elgar,  George Frideric Handel
    Performer:  Christopher Gillett,  Benjamin Luxon,  Alfreda Hodgson,  Yvonne Kenny
    Conductor:  Leonard Slatkin
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  London Philharmonic Orchestra,  London Philharmonic Choir
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  • 103.
    Reverie - Romantic Music For Quiet Times / Nathaniel Rosen
    Label: John Marks Records   Catalog: 10 Release Date: 09/01/1996   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Richard Strauss,  Johann Sebastian Bach,  Johannes Brahms,  Edouard Lalo  ... 
    Performer:  Kaaren Erickson,  Doris Stevenson,  Nathaniel Rosen,  Arturo Delmoni
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  • 104.
    Exile On Classical Street
    Label: Decca   Catalog: 452500 Release Date: 08/13/1996   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Sir Edward Elgar,  Igor Stravinsky,  Modest Mussorgsky,  Claude Debussy  ... 
    Performer:  Julian Bream,  Itzhak Perlman,  Cecilia Bartoli,  György Fischer  ... 
    Conductor:  Sir Georg Solti,  Ernest Ansermet,  James Levine,  David Zinman  ... 
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Chicago Symphony Orchestra,  Suisse Romande Orchestra,  Borodin String Quartet  ... 
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  • 105.
    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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  • 106.
    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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  • 107.
    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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  • 108.
    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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  • 109.
    Elgar: Enigma Variations, Falstaff / Rattle, Birmingham
    Label: Warner 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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  • 110.
    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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  • 111.
    Elgar: Cello Concerto;  Bloch: Schelomo / Isserlis, Hickox
    Label: Virgin Classics Special Import   Catalog: 61125 Release Date: 10/11/1994   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Ernest Bloch,  Sir Edward Elgar
    Performer:  Steven Isserlis
    Conductor:  Richard Hickox
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  London Symphony Orchestra
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  • 112.
    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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  • 113.
    British Composers - Elgar: Symphony No 2, Etc / Barbirolli
    Label: Emi Classics Special Import   Catalog: 64724 Release Date: 02/15/1994   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Sir Edward Elgar
    Conductor:  Sir John Barbirolli
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  New Philharmonia Orchestra,  Hallé Orchestra
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  • 114.
    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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  • 115.
    Music For All Occasions
    Label: Rca   Catalog: 61488 Release Date: 01/12/1993   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Traditional,  Irving Berlin,  George Frideric Handel,  Adriaen Valerius  ... 
    Performer:  Alfred Krips,  James Galway
    Conductor:  Robert Shaw,  Arthur Fiedler,  James Galway,  Sir Thomas Beecham  ... 
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Robert Shaw Chorale,  Boston Pops,  Royal Philharmonic Orchestra  ... 
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  • 116.
    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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  • 117.
    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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  • 118.
    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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  • 119.
    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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  • 120.
    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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  • 121.
    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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  • 122.
    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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  • 123.
    Label: Sony   Catalog: 482652 Release Date: 10/12/1992   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Sir Edward Elgar
    Performer:  Rodney Friend
    Conductor:  Daniel Barenboim
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  London Philharmonic Orchestra
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  • 124.
    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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  • 125.
    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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