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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: Cello Concerto; Tchaikovsky: Rococo Variations / Queyras, Belohlavek
Release Date: 09/10/2013   Label: Harmonia Mundi  
Catalog: 902148   Number of Discs: 1
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Bach - Orchestral Transcriptions By Respighi And Elgar
Release Date: 03/27/2012   Label: Naxos  
Catalog: 8572741   Number of Discs: 1
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Elgar: Falstaff, Elegy, The Sanguine Fan / Lloyd-jones
Release Date: 03/09/1999   Label: Naxos  
Catalog: 8553879   Number of Discs: 1
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Elgar-Payne: Symphony No 3 / Daniel, Bournemouth So
Release Date: 05/16/2000   Label: Naxos  
Catalog: 8554719   Number of Discs: 1
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Elgar: Enigma Variations, Etc / Hurst, Bournemouth So
Release Date: 06/23/1998   Label: Naxos  
Catalog: 8553564   Number of Discs: 1
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Work: Pomp and Circumstance, Op. 39 no 1

Browse 1-25 of 117 Available Recordings
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  • 1.
    100 Classical Masterworks
    Label: Deutsche Grammophon   Catalog: 002188102 Release Date: 01/06/2015   Number of Discs: 5
    Composer:  Richard Strauss,  Edvard Grieg,  Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart,  Giuseppe Verdi  ... 
    Performer:  Lorin Maazel,  Neeme Järvi,  Herbert von Karajan,  Carlo Maria Giulini  ... 
    Conductor:  Lorin Maazel,  Neeme Järvi,  Herbert von Karajan,  Carlo Maria Giulini  ... 
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Bolshoi Theater Violin Ensemble,  Ansbach Bach Week Soloists Union,  Salzburg Mozarteum Camerata Academica  ... 
    On sale! $29.98
    CD: $25.99
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  • 2.
    Classic Marches - Elgar, Verdi, Strauss
    Label: Abc Classics   Catalog: 4763772 Release Date: 06/10/2014   Number of Discs: 2
    Composer:  Jeremiah Clarke,  Georges Bizet,  Hector Berlioz,  Ron Goodwin  ... 
    Conductor:  Benjamin Northey,  John Lanchbery,  Jorge Mester,  David Measham  ... 
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  • 3.
    Beruhmte Marsche
    Label: Da Capo   Catalog: 277 Release Date: 05/20/2014   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Johann Strauss Sr.,  Richard Wagner,  Josef Schrammel,  Peter Ilyich Tchaikovsky  ... 
    Conductor:  Matthias G. Kendlinger
    On sale! $25.98
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  • 4.
    Leonard Bernstein Collection Vol 1 [59 CDs & 1 DVD]
    Label: Deutsche Grammophon   Catalog: 2027800 Release Date: 04/22/2014   Number of Discs: 60
    Composer:  Ludwig van Beethoven,  Johannes Brahms,  Leonard Bernstein,  Benjamin Britten  ... 
    Performer:  René Kollo,  Dame Gwyneth Jones,  Kurt Moll,  Hanna Schwarz  ... 
    Conductor:  Leonard Bernstein,  Michael Tilson Thomas,  Kent Nagano
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Vienna Philharmonic Orchestra,  Vienna State Opera Concert Choir,  Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra  ... 
    Recommendation
    CD: $342.99
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  • 5.
    Orchestral Organ Classics
    Label: Priory Records   Catalog: 5048 Release Date: 07/09/2013   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Johann Strauss Jr.,  Johann Strauss Sr.,  Camille Saint-Saëns,  Sir William Walton  ... 
    Performer:  Malcolm Archer,  Ian Tracey,  Adrian Partington,  Thomas Murray  ... 
    On sale! $22.98
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  • 6.
    Carl Conducts... Classical Festival Favourites
    Label: Carl Davis Collect   Catalog: 20 Release Date: 04/30/2013   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Johann Strauss Jr.,  Jean Sibelius,  Giuseppe Verdi,  George Frideric Handel  ... 
    Conductor:  Carl Davis
    CD: $17.99
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  • 7.
    Sir Malcolm Sargent: An Evening At The Proms
    Label: Guild   Catalog: 2393 Release Date: 04/09/2013   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Recorded Sound,  Arthur Sullivan,  Antonín Dvorák,  Emmanuel Chabrier  ... 
    Performer:  Shura Cherkassky,  Dame Joan Hammond
    Conductor:  Sir Malcolm Sargent
    Recommendation
    On sale! $15.98
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  • 8.
    Spirit Of England
    Label: Gift Of Music   Catalog: 1272 Release Date: 03/26/2013   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Traditional,  Sir Edward Elgar,  Eric Coates,  Ronald Binge  ... 
    Performer:  Jon Banks,  Martin Souter
    Conductor:  Carl Davis,  Guy Williams
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Guards Division Massed Bands
    CD: $17.99
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  • 9.
    Label: Christophorus   Catalog: 1832 Release Date: 03/01/2013   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Sir Edward Elgar,  Alessandro Scarlatti,  Antonio Vivaldi,  Gaetano Donizetti  ... 
    Performer:  Joachim Schäfer,  Judit Izsak,  Arndt Netzel,  Gesine Forberger  ... 
    Conductor:  Anton Popovic
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Trompetenensemble Joachim Schäfer,  Camerata Instrumentale Berlin
    CD: $9.99
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  • 10.
    100 Best Organ Classics
    Label: Emi Classics   Catalog: 332452 Release Date: 02/26/2013   Number of Discs: 6
    Composer:  Johann Sebastian Bach,  Jeremiah Clarke,  Dietrich Buxtehude,  Felix Mendelssohn  ... 
    Performer:  Nicolas Kynaston,  Nicholas Kynaston,  Noel Rawsthorne,  Lionel Rogg  ... 
    Conductor:  Michel Plasson,  Yehudi Menuhin,  Georges Prêtre
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Toulouse Capitole Orchestra,  Menuhin Festival Orchestra,  Orchestre de la Société des Concerts du Conservato  ... 
    CD: $19.99
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  • 11.
    The English Cathedral Series, Vol. 17: St. Edmundsbury Cathedral
    Label: Regent   Catalog: 383 Release Date: 01/08/2013   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Charles Villiers Stanford,  Harold Drake,  Herbert Howells,  Norman Cocker  ... 
    Performer:  David Humphreys,  James Thomas
    On sale! $18.98
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  • 12.
    Classics For A Summer Evening From Leeds Castle / Carl Davis
    Label: Conifer   Catalog: 51302 Release Date: 11/29/2012   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Jeremiah Clarke,  George Frideric Handel,  Léo Delibes,  Edvard Grieg  ... 
    Performer:  Janice Watson,  Ruby Philogene
    Conductor:  Carl Davis
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Royal Liverpool Philharmonic Orchestra,  King's Division Normandy Band,  Royal Liverpool Philharmonic Choir
    ArkivCD $16.99
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  • 13.
    Eugene Ormandy Conducts 20th Century Classics
    Label: Sony (Nax615)   Catalog: 417202 Release Date: 11/06/2012   Number of Discs: 12
    Composer:  Gustav Holst,  Claude Debussy,  Maurice Ravel,  Modest Mussorgsky  ... 
    Performer:  John Williams,  Vladimir Ashkenazy,  Van Cliburn,  Isaac Stern  ... 
    Conductor:  Eugene Ormandy
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Philadelphia Orchestra,  Mendelssohn Club Chorus Philadelphia,  Rutgers University Chorus
    Recommendation
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  • 14.
    100 Famous Marches
    Label: Altissimo   Catalog: 1072 Release Date: 10/30/2012   Number of Discs: 5
    Composer:  Julius Fucik,  Charles Beisterling,  Harry L. Alford,  Roland Forrest Seitz  ... 
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  "President's Own" United States Marine Band,  United States Army Band,  United States Navy Band  ... 
    CD: $48.99
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  • 15.
    Elgar: Enigma Variations; Cello Concerto
    Label: Deutsche Grammophon   Catalog: 001739802 Release Date: 10/09/2012   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Sir Edward Elgar
    Performer:  Mischa Maisky
    Conductor:  Giuseppe Sinopoli
    CD: $8.99
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  • 16.
    Essential British Classics
    Label: Emi Classics   Catalog: 40306 Release Date: 10/09/2012   Number of Discs: 2
    Composer:  George Frideric Handel,  Henry Purcell,  Jeremiah Clarke,  Ralph Vaughan Williams  ... 
    Performer:  Susan Graham,  Emmanuelle Haïm,  Maurice André,  Jane Parker-Smith  ... 
    Conductor:  Sir Neville Marriner,  Alexander Briger,  Sir Charles Mackerras,  Emmanuelle Haïm  ... 
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Le Concert D'Astrée,  Philip Jones Brass Ensemble
    CD: $12.99
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  • 17.
    Label: Heritage   Catalog: 241 Release Date: 10/02/2012   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Kenneth Alford,  Alfredo Javaloyes,  Herman Starke,  Abraham Holzmann  ... 
    Conductor:  C.J. Taylor
    CD: $12.99
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  • 18.
    Classics For Your Wedding
    Label: Emi Classics   Catalog: 623247 Release Date: 06/05/2012   Number of Discs: 2
    Composer:  Richard Wagner,  Johann Pachelbel,  César Franck,  Gioachino Rossini  ... 
    Performer:  Aldo Ciccolini,  David [Pipe Organ] Briggs,  Katia Labèque,  Marielle Labèque  ... 
    Conductor:  Bernard Haitink,  Andrew Parrott,  Stephen Cleobury,  Paavo Järvi  ... 
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Taverner Players,  Ensemble Orchestral de Paris,  Les Arts Florissants  ... 
    CD: $17.99
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  • 19.
    Thames Diamond Jubilee Pageant
    Label: Lpo   Catalog: 63 Release Date: 06/05/2012   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Sir William Walton,  Ralph Vaughan Williams,  Eric Coates,  Fritz Spiegl  ... 
    Conductor:  David Parry
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  London Philharmonic Orchestra
    CD: $17.99
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  • 20.
    Barry Wordsworth Conducts Elgar
    Label: Royal Philharmonic Orchestra   Catalog: 35 Release Date: 05/29/2012   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Sir Edward Elgar
    Conductor:  Barry Wordsworth
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Royal Philharmonic Orchestra
    CD: $17.99
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  • 21.
    100 Best British Classics
    Label: Emi Classics   Catalog: 27315 Release Date: 05/22/2012   Number of Discs: 6
    Composer:  George Frideric Handel,  Thomas Tallis,  John Goss,  Charles Villiers Stanford  ... 
    Performer:  Jacqueline Du Pré,  Hugh Bean,  Gerald Moore,  Dame Janet Baker  ... 
    Conductor:  Stephen Cleobury,  Sir Philip Ledger,  Sir David Willcocks,  Sir Adrian Boult  ... 
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Academy of Ancient Music,  Cambridge King's College Choir,  Academy of St. Martin in the Fields  ... 
    CD: $19.99
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  • 22.
    50 Best British Classics
    Label: Emi Classics   Catalog: 27359 Release Date: 05/22/2012   Number of Discs: 3
    Composer:  George Frideric Handel,  Thomas Tallis,  John Goss,  Charles Villiers Stanford  ... 
    Performer:  Stephen Cleobury,  Thomas Williamson,  Sir David Willcocks,  Peter Stevens  ... 
    Conductor:  Stephen Cleobury,  Philip Ledger,  Sir David Willcocks,  Sir John Barbirolli  ... 
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Academy of Ancient Music,  Wallace Collection (Brass Ensemble)
    CD: $11.99
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  • 23.
    Elgar Conducts Elgar: The Complete Recordings 1914-1925
    Label: Music & Arts   Catalog: 1257 Release Date: 12/13/2011   Number of Discs: 4
    Composer:  Sir Edward Elgar,  George Frideric Handel
    Performer:  Frederick Stewart,  Harry Barratt,  Frederick Henry,  Charles Mott  ... 
    Conductor:  Sir Edward Elgar
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Symphony Orchestra,  Royal Albert Hall Orchestra,  New Symphony Orchestra
    CD: $44.49
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  • 24.
    The Organ In The Church Of The Holy Rude / Kitchen
    Label: Delphian   Catalog: 34064 Release Date: 11/08/2011   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Felix Alexandre Guilmant,  Maurice Duruflé,  Charles-Marie Widor,  Feike Asma  ... 
    Performer:  John Kitchen
    Recommendation
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  • 25.
    50 Greatest Pieces Of Classical Music / London Philharmonic Orchestra
    Label: X5 Music Group   Catalog: 105 Release Date: 10/25/2011   Number of Discs: 4
    Composer:  Edvard Grieg,  Ludwig van Beethoven,  Antonio Vivaldi,  Samuel Barber  ... 
    Performer:  Pieter Schoeman,  Finghin Collins,  Craig Ogden
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  London Philharmonic Orchestra
    CD: $24.99
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