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: Violin Concertos;  Vaughan Williams / Hahn, Et Al
Release Date: 09/28/2004   Label: Deutsche Grammophon  
Catalog: 000302602   Number of Discs: 1
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Elgar: King Olaf… / Davis, Bergen
Release Date: 02/24/2015   Label: Chandos  
Catalog: 5149   Number of Discs: 2
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Elgar: Violin Concerto;  Vaughan Williams / Hahn, Et Al
Release Date: 11/09/2004   Label: Deutsche Grammophon  
Catalog: 000312136   Number of Discs: 1
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Elgar: Enigma Variations, In the South / Menuhin, RPO
Release Date: 10/13/2009   Label: Royal Philharmonic Masterworks  
Catalog: 28330   Number of Discs: 1
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Elgar: Cello Concerto, Nursery Suite, Chanson De Matin / Menuhin
Release Date: 10/13/2009   Label: Royal Philharmonic Masterworks  
Catalog: 28680   Number of Discs: 1
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Work: Serenade for Strings in E minor, Op. 20

Browse 1-25 of 59 Available Recordings
1 2 3
  • 1.
    Decca Sound - Mono Years 1944-1956
    Label: Decca   Catalog: 002280602 Release Date: 04/07/2015   Number of Discs: 53
    Composer:  Igor Stravinsky,  Maurice Ravel,  Sergei Rachmaninov,  Claude Debussy  ... 
    Performer:  Wilhelm Backhaus,  Clifford Curzon,  Alfredo Campoli,  Henry Datyner  ... 
    Conductor:  Ernest Ansermet,  Ataulfo Argenta,  Roger Desormière,  Karl Münchinger  ... 
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Suisse Romande Orchestra,  Paris Conservatoire Orchestra,  Orchestre de la Société du Conservatoire Paris  ... 
    On sale! $199.98
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  • 2.
    And The Bridge Is Love / Julian Lloyd Webber, English Chamber Orchestra
    Label: Naxos   Catalog: 8573250 Release Date: 03/10/2015   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Sir Edward Elgar,  William Lloyd Webber,  Howard Goodall,  Ralph Vaughan Williams  ... 
    Performer:  Julian Lloyd Webber
    Conductor:  Julian Lloyd Webber
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  English Chamber Orchestra
    CD: $12.99
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  • 3.
    Vaughan Williams: The Lark Ascending, Violin Concerto; Elgar / Waley-Cohen
    Label: Signum U.k.   Catalog: 399 Release Date: 10/14/2014   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Ralph Vaughan Williams,  Sir Edward Elgar
    Performer:  Tamsin Waley-Cohen
    Conductor:  David Curtis
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Orchestra of the Swan
    CD: $17.99
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  • 4.
    The Argo Years / Neville Marriner, Academy Of St Martin In The Fields [28-CD Set]
    Label: Decca   Catalog: 002081902 Release Date: 06/03/2014   Number of Discs: 28
    Composer:  George Frideric Handel,  Arcangelo Corelli,  Giuseppe Torelli,  Pietro Antonio Locatelli  ... 
    Performer:  Gwynne Howell,  Philip Langridge,  Anna Reynolds,  Elly Ameling  ... 
    Conductor:  Sir Neville Marriner
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Academy of St. Martin in the Fields,  Academy of St. Martin in the Fields Chorus,  Philip Jones Brass Ensemble
    Recommendation
    CD: $163.49
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  • 5.
    Castle Classics: Mozart, Haydn, Elgar
    Label: K & K Verlagsanstalt   Catalog: 114 Release Date: 05/27/2014   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Sir Edward Elgar,  Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart,  Franz Joseph Haydn
    Performer:  Sibylle Mahni,  Benedicte Elnes,  Moritz Haas,  Jannik Ness
    Conductor:  Gernot Schulz
    CD: $18.99
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  • 6.
    The Great Recordings / Malcolm Sargent [18-CD Set]
    Label: Warner Classics   Catalog: 634121 Release Date: 04/08/2014   Number of Discs: 18
    Composer:  Sir Edward Elgar,  Sir William Walton,  Ralph Vaughan Williams,  Gustav Holst  ... 
    Performer:  Richard Lewis,  John [baritone (50s)] Cameron,  James Milligan,  Duncan Robertson  ... 
    Conductor:  Sir Malcolm Sargent,  André Previn
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Royal Liverpool Philharmonic Orchestra,  Huddersfield Choral Society,  London Symphony Orchestra  ... 
    CD: $64.49
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  • 7.
    English String Masterpieces
    Label: Regis   Catalog: 1138 Release Date: 07/12/2013   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Michael Tippett,  Benjamin Britten,  Sir Edward Elgar,  Ralph Vaughan Williams
    Conductor:  Charles Groves
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Royal Philharmonic Orchestra
    CD: $11.99
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  • 8.
    Elgar: Complete EMI Recordings / Sir Adrian Boult
    Label: Warner Classics   Catalog: 35922 Release Date: 07/02/2013   Number of Discs: 19
    Composer:  Sir Edward Elgar,  Johann Sebastian Bach,  Frédéric Chopin
    Performer:  Yehudi Menuhin,  Pablo Casals,  Paul Tortelier,  Ida Haendel  ... 
    Conductor:  Sir Adrian Boult,  Sir Philip Ledger
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  London Philharmonic Orchestra,  New Philharmonia Orchestra,  BBC Symphony Orchestra  ... 
    Recommendation
    CD: $73.99
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  • 9.
    Cello Concerto
    Label: Regis   Catalog: 1150 Release Date: 01/29/2013   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Sir Edward Elgar
    Performer:  Paul Tortelier
    Conductor:  Sir Charles Groves
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Royal Philharmonic Orchestra
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  • 10.
    English Music For Strings / Sir John Barbirolli
    Label: Warner Classics   Catalog: 85187 Release Date: 01/24/2012   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Sir Edward Elgar,  Ralph Vaughan Williams,  Frederick Delius
    Conductor:  Sir John Barbirolli
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  City of London Sinfonia,  Allegri String Quartet,  New Philharmonia Orchestra  ... 
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  • 11.
    English Classics
    Label: Hallé   Catalog: 7532 Release Date: 11/08/2011   Number of Discs: 4
    Composer:  George Butterworth,  Frederick Delius,  Traditional,  Ralph Vaughan Williams  ... 
    Performer:  Joseph Taylor,  Lyn Fletcher,  James Gilchrist
    Conductor:  Mark Elder,  John Wilson
    Recommendation
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  • 12.
    Music For A Royal Celebration
    Label: Quartz Records   Catalog: 2041 Release Date: 11/08/2011   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Sir William Walton,  George Frideric Handel,  Gerald Finzi,  Peter Maxwell Davies  ... 
    Performer:  Gordon Hunt,  Ekaterina Semenchuk,  Roger Judd
    Conductor:  Christopher Warren-Green
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  • 13.
    Elgar, Delius, Warlock / Wordsworth, Royal Philharmonic Orchestra
    Label: Royal Philharmonic Masterworks   Catalog: 28820 Release Date: 07/12/2011   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Sir Edward Elgar,  Frederick Delius,  Sir William Walton,  Henry Purcell  ... 
    Conductor:  Barry Wordsworth
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Royal Philharmonic Orchestra
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  • 14.
    Elgar: The Violin Music / Bisengaliev, Frith, Bisengalieva, Ungrangsee
    Label: Naxos   Catalog: 8572643-45 Release Date: 05/31/2011   Number of Discs: 3
    Composer:  Sir Edward Elgar
    Performer:  Marat Bisengaliev,  Benjamin Frith
    Conductor:  Bundit Ungrangsee
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  West Kazakhstan Philharmonia Orchestra
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  • 15.
    Elgar: Pomp & Circumstance; Serenade For Strings / Ashkenazy, Sydney Symphony
    Label: Exton   Catalog: 30 Release Date: 05/10/2011   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Sir Edward Elgar
    Conductor:  Vladimir Ashkenazy
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Sydney Symphony Orchestra
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  • 16.
    British Composers - Barbirolli Conducts Elgar
    Label: Warner Classics   Catalog: 95444 Release Date: 05/03/2011   Number of Discs: 5
    Composer:  Sir Edward Elgar
    Performer:  Dame Janet Baker,  Jacqueline Du Pré
    Conductor:  Sir John Barbirolli
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Philharmonia Orchestra,  Allegri String Quartet,  Sinfonia of London  ... 
    On sale! $34.99
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  • 17.
    British Composers - Elgar, Stanford, Parry
    Label: Warner Classics   Catalog: 95422 Release Date: 05/03/2011   Number of Discs: 5
    Composer:  Sir Edward Elgar,  Charles Villiers Stanford,  Charles Hubert Parry
    Performer:  Francis Brett
    Conductor:  Sir Neville Marriner,  Lawrence Collingwood,  Norman Del Mar,  Richard Hickox  ... 
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Northern Sinfonia,  Royal Philharmonic Orchestra,  Bournemouth Sinfonietta Chorus  ... 
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  • 18.
    Elgar: Symphonies 1 & 2, Sospiri, Serenade, Cockaigne
    Label: Warner Classics   Catalog: 7221 Release Date: 02/15/2011   Number of Discs: 2
    Composer:  Sir Edward Elgar
    Conductor:  Bernard Haitink,  Richard Hickox,  Sir Adrian Boult
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Philharmonia Orchestra,  City of London Sinfonia,  London Philharmonic Orchestra
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  • 19.
    Lyrical Landscape
    Label: Camerata Records   Catalog: 28172 Release Date: 10/12/2010   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  M. Kutnowski,  Satoshi Ohmae,  Tylman Susato,  Johannes Crüger  ... 
    Performer:  Hiroshi Mochida
    Conductor:  Hiroshi Mochida
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Syrinx Flute Ensemble
    On sale! $25.98
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  • 20.
    Sir John Barbirolli - The Great EMI Recordings - 40th Anniversary
    Label: Emi Classics   Catalog: 57767 Release Date: 03/09/2010   Number of Discs: 10
    Composer:  Hector Berlioz,  Giacomo Puccini,  Sir Edward Elgar,  Johannes Brahms  ... 
    Performer:  Dame Janet Baker,  André Navarra
    Conductor:  Sir John Barbirolli
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Hallé Orchestra,  London Symphony Orchestra
    Recommendation
    On sale! $77.98
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  • 21.
    Elgar Symphonies No 1 & 2 / Del Mar, Barbirolli
    Label: Emi Classics   Catalog: 68924 Release Date: 10/06/2009   Number of Discs: 2
    Composer:  Sir Edward Elgar
    Conductor:  Norman Del Mar,  Constantin Silvestri,  Sir John Barbirolli
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Bournemouth Symphony Orchestra,  Hallé Orchestra,  Philharmonia Orchestra
    Recommendation
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  • 22.
    Elgar: Enigma Variations, In The South, Serenade / Andrew Davis
    Label: Signum U.k.   Catalog: 168 Release Date: 07/28/2009   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Sir Edward Elgar
    Conductor:  Sir Andrew Davis
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Philharmonia Orchestra
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  • 23.
    Rota: Concerto Per Archi;  Barber, Respighi, Elgar /I Musici
    Label: Philips   Catalog: 416356 Release Date: 01/30/2009   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Samuel Barber,  Sir Edward Elgar,  Ottorino Respighi,  Nino Rota
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  I Musici
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  • 24.
    Elgar: Enigma Variations, Serenade For Strings, In The South
    Label: Deutsche Grammophon   Catalog: 423679 Release Date: 12/09/2008   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Sir Edward Elgar
    Conductor:  Giuseppe Sinopoli
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Philharmonia Orchestra
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  • 25.
    Elgar: Enigma Variations, Serenade, Cockaigne / Elder, Halle Orchestra
    Label: Hallé   Catalog: 7501 Release Date: 11/11/2008   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Sir Edward Elgar
    Conductor:  Mark Elder
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Hallé Orchestra
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1 2 3

Sir Edward Elgar


WORKS
Variations on an Original Theme 'Enigma' Op. 36 (1986 Digital Remaster): Theme (Andante)
Variations on an Original Theme 'Enigma' Op. 36 (1986 Digital Remaster): I. C.A.E. (the composer's wife)
Variations on an Original Theme 'Enigma' Op. 36 (1986 Digital Remaster): II. H.D.S-P. (Hew David Steuart-Powell)
Variations on an Original Theme 'Enigma' Op. 36 (1986 Digital Remaster): III. R.B.T. (Richard Baxter Townshend)
Variations on an Original Theme 'Enigma' Op. 36 (1986 Digital Remaster): IV. W.M.B. (William Meath Baker)
Variations on an Original Theme 'Enigma' Op. 36 (1986 Digital Remaster): V. R.P.A. (Richard Penrose Arnold)
Variations on an Original Theme 'Enigma' Op. 36 (1986 Digital Remaster): VI. Ysobel (Isabel Fitton)
Variations on an Original Theme 'Enigma' Op. 36 (1986 Digital Remaster): VII. Troyte (Troyte Griffith)
Variations on an Original Theme 'Enigma' Op. 36 (1986 Digital Remaster): VIII. W.N. (Winifred Norbury)
Variations on an Original Theme 'Enigma' Op. 36 (1986 Digital Remaster): IX. Nimrod (A. J. Jaeger)
Variations on an Original Theme 'Enigma' Op. 36 (1986 Digital Remaster): X. Intermezzo: Dorabella (Dora Penny)
Variations on an Original Theme 'Enigma' Op. 36 (1986 Digital Remaster): XI. G.R.S. (George Robertson Sinclair)
Variations on an Original Theme 'Enigma' Op. 36 (1986 Digital Remaster): XII. B.G.N. (Basil G. Nevinson)
Variations on an Original Theme 'Enigma' Op. 36 (1986 Digital Remaster): XIII. Romanza: * * * [Lady Mary Lygon]
Variations on an Original Theme 'Enigma' Op. 36 (1986 Digital Remaster): XIV. Finale: E.D.U. (the composer)
Serenade in E minor Op. 20 (2000 Digital Remaster): I. Allegro piacevole
Serenade in E minor Op. 20 (2000 Digital Remaster): II. Larghetto
Serenade in E minor Op. 20 (2000 Digital Remaster): III. Allegretto - Come prima
Cello Concerto in E Minor, Op.85 (1995 - Remaster): I. Adagio - Moderato
Cello Concerto in E Minor, Op.85 (1995 - Remaster): II. Lento - Allegro molto
Cello Concerto in E Minor, Op.85 (1995 - Remaster): III. Adagio
Cello Concerto in E Minor, Op.85 (1995 - Remaster): IV. Allegro - Moderato - Allegro, ma non troppo
Andante Nobilmente e semplice - Allegro
Allegro molto
Adagio
Lento - Allegro