Sir Edward Elgar


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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Work: Pomp and Circumstance, Op. 39 no 1

Browse 1-25 of 82 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  ... 
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  • 2.
    Classics For The People Vol 1 / Royal Philharmonic Orchestra
    Label: Brilliant Classics   Catalog: 94982 Release Date: 10/28/2014   Number of Discs: 2
    Composer:  George Frideric Handel,  Richard Wagner,  Giuseppe Verdi,  Sir Edward Elgar  ... 
    Performer:  Wynne Evans,  Donald Maxwell,  Deborah Norman
    Conductor:  Owain Arwel Hughes,  Philip Ellis,  Nick Davies
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Royal Philharmonic Orchestra,  Goldsmith's Choral Union Choir
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  • 3.
    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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  • 4.
    Beruhmte Marsche
    Label: Da Capo Austria   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
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  • 5.
    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  ... 
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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
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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
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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
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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,  Arndt Netzel,  Judit Izsak,  Gesine Forberger  ... 
    Conductor:  Anton Popovic
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Trompetenensemble Joachim Schäfer,  Camerata Instrumentale Berlin
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  • 10.
    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
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  • 11.
    Eugene Ormandy Conducts 20th Century Classics
    Label: Sony   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
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  • 12.
    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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  • 13.
    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: $6.99
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  • 14.
    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
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  • 15.
    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
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  • 16.
    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
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  • 17.
    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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  • 18.
    The Organ In The Church Of The Holy Rude / Kitchen
    Label: Harmonia (Generic)   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
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  • 19.
    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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  • 20.
    The Firebird And Other 20th Century Masterpieces / United States Army Concert Band
    Label: Altissimo   Catalog: 63492 Release Date: 10/25/2011   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Sir Edward Elgar,  Igor Stravinsky,  Ottorino Respighi
    Conductor:  Thomas Rotondi Jr.
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  • 21.
    Elgar, Vaughan Williams, Holst / Cooke, Royal Philharmonic Orchestra
    Label: Royal Philharmonic Masterworks   Catalog: 28740 Release Date: 09/13/2011   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Sir Edward Elgar,  Ralph Vaughan Williams,  Frederick Delius,  Anonymous  ... 
    Conductor:  Richard Cooke
    CD: $9.99
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  • 22.
    Great Organ Classics
    Label: Gift Of Music   Catalog: 1233 Release Date: 01/25/2011   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Richard Wagner,  George Frideric Handel,  Felix Alexandre Guilmant,  Edwin Lemare  ... 
    Performer:  Martin Souter
    CD: $17.99
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  • 23.
    Label: Northquest   Catalog: 315003 Release Date: 10/12/2010   Number of Discs: 3
    Composer:  Edvard Grieg,  Antonín Dvorák,  Georges Bizet,  Alexander Borodin  ... 
    CD: $9.99
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  • 24.
    A Grand Celebration / Milanov, Conte, Philadelphia Orchestra
    Label: Gothic Records   Catalog: 49270 Release Date: 02/09/2010   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Joseph Jongen,  Marcel Dupré,  Sir Edward Elgar
    Performer:  Peter Richard Conte
    Conductor:  Rossen Milanov
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Philadelphia Orchestra
    CD: $18.99
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  • 25.
    Pomp & Circumstance - Magnificent Marches
    Label: Decca   Catalog: 411954 Release Date: 12/29/2009   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Hector Berlioz,  Sir Edward Elgar,  Felix Mendelssohn,  Giacomo Meyerbeer  ... 
    Conductor:  Sir Georg Solti,  Christoph von Dohnányi,  Richard Bonynge,  Walter Weller  ... 
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Chicago Symphony Orchestra,  London Philharmonic Orchestra,  Vienna Philharmonic Orchestra  ... 
    ArkivCD $16.99
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