Edward Elgar (composer)

~ Person

Legal name: Edward William Elgar


Sir Edward William Elgar, 1st Baronet, ( ; 2 June 1857 – 23 February 1934) was an English composer, many of whose works have entered the British and international classical concert repertoire. Among his best-known compositions are orchestral works including the Enigma Variations, the Pomp and Circumstance Marches, concertos for violin and cello, and two symphonies. He also composed choral works, including The Dream of Gerontius, chamber music and songs. He was appointed Master of the King's Musick in 1924.

Although Elgar is often regarded as a typically English composer, most of his musical influences were not from England but from continental Europe. He felt himself to be an outsider, not only musically, but socially. In musical circles dominated by academics, he was a self-taught composer; in Protestant Britain, his Roman Catholicism was regarded with suspicion in some quarters; and in the class-conscious society of Victorian and Edwardian Britain, he was acutely sensitive about his humble origins even after he achieved recognition. He nevertheless married the daughter of a senior British Army officer. She inspired him both musically and socially, but he struggled to achieve success until his forties, when after a series of moderately successful works his Enigma Variations (1899) became immediately popular in Britain and overseas. He followed the Variations with a choral work, The Dream of Gerontius (1900), based on a Roman Catholic text that caused some disquiet in the Anglican establishment in Britain, but it became, and has remained, a core repertory work in Britain and elsewhere. His later full-length religious choral works were well received but have not entered the regular repertory.

In his fifties, Elgar composed a symphony and a violin concerto that were immensely successful. His second symphony and his cello concerto did not gain immediate public popularity and took many years to achieve a regular place in the concert repertory of British orchestras. Elgar's music came, in his later years, to be seen as appealing chiefly to British audiences. His stock remained low for a generation after his death. It began to revive significantly in the 1960s, helped by new recordings of his works. Some of his works have, in recent years, been taken up again internationally, but the music continues to be played more in Britain than elsewhere.

Elgar has been described as the first composer to take the gramophone seriously. Between 1914 and 1925, he conducted a series of acoustic recordings of his works. The introduction of the moving-coil microphone in 1923 made far more accurate sound reproduction possible, and Elgar made new recordings of most of his major orchestral works and excerpts from The Dream of Gerontius.

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1992Great European Organs, No. 34: John Scott Plays the Organ of St. Paul's Cathedral, LondonElgar, Bairstow, Harris; John Scott1
Debussy La Mer, Elgar Enigma VariationsClaude Debussy, Edward Elgar; BBC Symphony Orchestra, Arturo Toscanini1
The Apostles, The Kingdom and the Light of LifeEdward Elgar; Sir Adrian Boult, [unknown]1


2008Cello Concerto, Serenade for StringsEdward Elgar1


1957Elgar Centenary 1857–1957Sir Edward Elgar; Royal Albert Hall Orchestra, London Philharmonic Orchestra, B.B.C. Symphony Orchestra,Sir Edward Elgar1
1965Cello Concerto / Sea PicturesElgar; Jacqueline du Pré, Sir John Barbirolli, Dame Janet Baker, London Symphony Orchestra414
1974Elgar and WorcesterEdward Elgar; The Choir of Worcester Cathedral, Christopher Robinson, Harry Bramma, Frank Wibaut2
1977Violin ConcertoElgar; Kyung Wha Chung, London Philharmonic Orchestra, Sir Georg Solti3
1977Music of EnglandDelius, Elgar, Holst, Vaughan Williams; Daniel Barenboim, Eugen Jochum, William Steinberg1
1978Holst: The Planets / Elgar: Pomp and Circumstance MarchesHolst, Elgar; Koninklijk Concertgebouworkest, Sir Neville Marriner6
1981Symphony no. 2Elgar; London Philharmonic Orchestra, Vernon Handley42
1982Violin ConcertoElgar; Itzhak Perlman, Chicago Symphony Orchestra, Daniel Barenboim4
1983Enigma Variations / Introduction & Allegro for Strings / Serenade for StringsElgar; London Philharmonic Orchestra, Vernon Handley41
1983Music for Organ and Brass BandElgar, Walton, Wills; Arthur Wills, The Cambridge Co-operative Band, David Read2
1983The English ConnectionVaughan Williams, Elgar, Tippett; Academy of St Martin in the Fields, Sir Neville Marriner2
1984Salut d’amour & Other Elgar FavouritesElgar; Nigel Kennedy3
1984Violin ConcertoElgar; Nigel Kennedy, London Philharmonic Orchestra, Vernon Handley3
1985English Music for StringsHolst, Elgar, Warlock, Ireland; The Bournemouth Sinfonietta, George Hurst1
1985Pomp and Circumstance Marches / Cockaigne Overture / The Crown of India SuiteElgar; Scottish National Orchestra, Sir Alexander Gibson1
1985Elgar: Cello Concerto, op. 85 / Walton: Cello ConcertoElgar, Walton; Yo‐Yo Ma, London Symphony Orchestra, André Previn2
1986Symphony no. 1 in A-flat, op. 55Elgar; London Philharmonic Orchestra, Bryden Thomson2
1986Cello Concerto, op. 85 / Enigma VariationsSir Edward Elgar; Julian Lloyd Webber, Royal Philharmonic Orchestra, Yehudi Menuhin1
1986Cello ConcertosEdward Elgar, William Walton; Ralph Kirshbaum, Scottish National Orchestra, Sir Alexander Gibson1
1986Symphony no. 1Elgar; Royal Philharmonic Orchestra, André Previn1
1986String Orchestra PiecesElgar, Vaughan Williams; Orpheus Chamber Orchestra1
1986Sullivan: Cello Concerto in D / Herbert: Cello Concerto no. 2 / Elgar: RomanceSullivan, Herbert, Elgar; Julian Lloyd Webber, London Symphony Orchestra, Sir Charles Mackerras1
1986Symphony No. 2 in E flat Op. 63Edward Elgar; London Philharmonic Orchestra, Bryden Thomson1
1987Cello Concerto in E minor / In the South, Concert Overture / Elegy for Strings (London Philharmonic Orchestra feat. conductor: Norman Del Mar, cello: Robert Cohen)Sir Edward Elgar1
1987A Serenade to MusicVaughan Williams, Elgar, Britten; The New York Virtuosi Chamber Symphony, Kenneth Klein1
1987Con AmoreBrahms, Kreisler, Elgar; Kyung Wha Chung2
1987Elgar: Scenes from the Bavarian Highlands, op.27 / Holst: Motets, op.43, etcEdward Elgar, Gustav Holst;Simon Halsey & City of Birmingham Symphony Orchestra Chorus1
1987Pomp and Circumstance Marches 1-5 / Enigma VariationsElgar; Sir Georg Solti2
1987Symphony no. 2 in E-flat / Cockaigne OvertureSir Edward Elgar; London Philharmonic Orchestra, Sir Adrian Boult2
1987The Soloists of Australia in Concert, Volume IIJohann Bach, Mozart, Elgar, Tippett, Brian Howard; The Soloists of Australia1
1988"Enigma" Variations / Coronation March / Imperial March / Pomp and Circumstance MarchesElgar; London Symphony Orchestra, Barry Tuckwell1
1988Elgar: The Dream of Gerontius / Parry: Blest Pair of Sirens / Parry: I Was GladSir Edward Elgar, Sir Hubert Parry; Felicity Palmer, Arthur Davies, Gwynne Howell, London Symphony Orchestra, London Symphony Chorus, Richard Hickox2
1988Elgar: Enigma Variations / In the South / SerenadeSir Edward Elgar; Royal Philharmonic Orchestra, Andrew Litton2
1988Orchestral Favourites, Volume 7: Pomp and Circumstance Marches / The Wand of Youth / Bavarian DancesElgar; English String Orchestra, William Boughton3
1988SongsSir Edward Elgar, Frederick Delius; Benjamin Luxon, David Willison1
1988Symphony no. 1Elgar; London Philharmonic Orchestra, Vernon Handley1
1988Symphony no. 1 in A-flat / Pomp and Circumstance March no. 5Elgar; Philharmonia Orchestra, Bernard Haitink1
1988The Apostles / Meditation from 'The Light of Life'Edward Elgar; London Philharmonic Choir, London Philharmonic Orchestra, Sir Adrian Boult1
1989English FestivalElgar, Delius; CSR Symphony Orchestra (Bratislava), Adrian Leaper3
1989Dream of GerontiusSir Edward Elgar1
1989Enigma Variations / Cockaigne OvertureElgar; Baltimore Symphony Orchestra, David Zinman1
1989Enigma Variations / Cockaigne and Froissart OverturesElgar; English Symphony Orchestra, William Boughton1
1989Enigma Variations / The Sanguine Fan / Grania & DiarmidElgar; London Philharmonic Orchestra, Bryden Thomson1
1989Orchestral WorksVaughan Williams, Elgar; Academy of St Martin in the Fields, Neville Marriner1
1989Piano QuintetsElgar, Frank Bridge; Allan Schiller, The Coull String Quartet1
1989Symphony No. 2 / Serenade op. 20Elgar; London Philharmonic Orchestra, Leonard Slatkin2
1989Serenades for StringsDvořák, Elgar, Tchaikovski; Orpheus Chamber Orchestra1
1989The Kingdom / Sospiri / Sursum cordaElgar; Margaret Marshall, Felicity Palmer, Arthur Davies, David Wilson-Johnson, London Symphony Chorus, London Symphony Orchestra, Richard Hickox2
1990Enigma Variations / Pomp and CircumstanceSir Edward Elgar; Royal Philharmonic Orchestra, Norman Del Mar1
1990Enigma Variations / Pomp and Circumstance Marches Nos. 1-5Elgar; Royal Philharmonic Orchestra, André Previn2
1990Enigma Variations / Serenade for Strings / In the SouthSir Edward Elgar; Philharmonia Orchestra, Giuseppe Sinopoli2
1990Enigma Variations / Pomp And Circumstance Marches 1-5Elgar; Scottish National Orchestra, Sir Alexander Gibson2
1990The Great Composers, Volume 45: Enigma Variations, op. 36 / Pomp and Circumstance, op. 39 no. 1Sir Edward Elgar; London Symphony Orchestra, Eduardo Mata, Cincinnati Pops Orchestra, Erich Kunzel3
1991Violin Concerto / CockaigneElgar; Dong-Suk Kang, Polish National Radio Symphony Orchestra, Adrian Leaper1
1991Enigma Variations / Viola ConcertoElgar / Tertis; Andrew Litton, Mark Braunstein, Richard Stamp2
1991Enigma Variations / FalstaffElgar; Orchestre symphonique de Montréal, Charles Dutoit1
1991Elgar: Cello Concerto / Tchaikovsky: Rococo VariationsElgar, Tchaikovsky; Philharmonia Orchestra, Giuseppe Sinopoli, Mischa Maisky1
1991Enigma VariationsElgar; London Philharmonic Orchestra, Sir Adrian Boult2
1991Symphony no. 1 / Pomp and Circumstance Marches 1, 3 & 4Elgar; BBC Symphony Orchestra, Andrew Davis2
1991Symphony no.1 in A-flat, op. 55Elgar; Halle Orchestra, James Judd1
1991Symphony no. 1 / Cockaigne OvertureElgar; London Symphony Orchestra, Sir Charles Mackerras1
1991Symphony No. 2Edward Elgar1
1992Cello ConcertosDvořák, Elgar; Maria Kliegel, Royal Philharmonic Orchestra, Michael Halász2
1992Symphony no. 1 / Cockaigne OvertureSir Edward Elgar; Hallé Orchestra, James Loughran, Philharmonia Orchestra, Owain Arwel Hughes1
1992Cello Concerto / Enigma VariationsEdward Elgar; Alexander Baillie, BBC Philharmonic, Sir Edward Downes1
1992Music for StringsElgar, Grieg, Delius, Warlock, Holst; Scottish Ensemble, Jonathan Rees1
1992Piano Quintet in A Minor op. 84 / String Quartet in E Minor op. 83Sir Edward Elgar; The Medici Quartet, John Bingham2
1992String Quartet / Piano QuintetSir Edward Elgar; Mistry Quartet, David Owen Norris1
1992Sea Pictures / The Music MakersSir Edward Elgar; Linda Finnie, London Philharmonic Choir, London Philharmonic Orchestra, Bryden Thomson1
1992Symphony no. 1 / Pomp and Circumstance Marches nos. 1 and 2Sir Edward Elgar1
1992Symphony no. 1 / "Pomp and Circumstance" Marches nos. 1 & 4Elgar; Philharmonia Orchestra, Giuseppe Sinopoli1
1993Piano Quintet / Violin SonataElgar; The Nash Ensemble2
1993Cello Concerto / Enigma VariationsElgar; Robert Cohen, Royal Philharmonic Orchestra, Sir Charles Mackerras1
1993Cello Concerto / The Dream of GerontiusSir Edward Elgar; Paul Tortelier, Heddle Nash, Gladys Ripley, Dennis Noble, Norman Walker, Sir Malcolm Sargent1
1993Elgar: String Quartet / Bridge: Three Idylls / Walton: String QuartetElgar, Bridge, Walton; The Coull Quartet52
1993SerenadesTchaikovsky, Wolf, Barber, Elgar; Berliner Philharmoniker, Semyon Bychkov1
1993Songs of Travel / On Wenlock Edge / Orchestral SongsVaughan Williams, Elgar, Butterworth; Thomas Allen, Robert Tear, City of Birmingham Symphony Orchestra, Simon Rattle, Vernon Handley1
1993The Dream of GerontiusElgar; Royal Liverpool Philharmonic Orchestra, Vernon Handley2
1993The Light of LifeElgar; Judith Howarth, Linda Finnie, Arthur Davies, John Shirley‐Quirk, London Symphony Chorus, London Symphony Orchestra, Richard Hickox2
1993The Kingdom / Coronation OdeEdward Elgar; London Philharmonic Choir, London Philharmonic Orchestra, Sir Adrian Boult1
1993Violin Concerto / Introduction and AllegroElgar; Kyoko Takezawa, Bavarian Radio Symphony Orchestra, Sir Colin Davis1
1994Symphony No. 1 / Imperial MarchElgar; BBC Philharmonic, George Hurst1
1994Symphony no. 2 in E-flat, op. 63 / Sospiri / ElegyElgar; Hallé Orchestra, New Philharmonia Orchestra, Sir John Barbirolli1
1994Part SongsElgar; The Finzi Singers, Paul Spicer1
1994Enigma Variations / Pomp and CircumstanceEdward Elgar; Philharmonia Orchestra, Andrew Davis2
1994Enigma Variations / Falstaff / Grania and DiarmidElgar; City of Birmingham Symphony Orchestra, Simon Rattle2
1994Elgar's PianoEdward Elgar; Anthony Goldstone1
1994Enigma Variations / The Wand Of Youth Suites Nos. 1 & 2Edward Elgar, Sir Neville Marriner & Academy of St Martin in the Fields1
1994Piano Quintet / String QuartetEdward Elgar; Bernard Roberts, Chilingirian Quartet1
1994Symphony No. 2, Op. 63Elgar; BBC Philharmonic, Edward Downes1
1994The Music Makers (BBC Symphony Orchestra and BBC Symphony Chorus feat. conductor: Andrew Davis, mezzo-soprano: Jean Rigby)Sir Edward Elgar1
1994The KingdomElgar; Yvonne Kenny, Alfreda Hodgson, Christopher Gillett, Benjamin Luxon, London Philharmonic Orchestra and Choir, Leonard Slatkin1
1994Variations on an Original Theme "Enigma", op. 36 / Pomp and Circumstance Marches nos. 1-5, op. 39Sir Edward Elgar; London Festival Orchestra, Sir Charles Groves1
1995Symphonies 1 & 2 / Cockaigne / In the SouthElgar; London Philharmonic Orchestra, Sir Georg Solti2
1995Symphony no. 2 / Serenade for Strings / ElegyElgar; London Philharmonic Orchestra, English Chamber Orchestra, Daniel Barenboim1
1995Enigma Variations / Pomp & Circumstance Marches / Cockaigne Overture (In London Town)Edward Elgar; Sir Adrian Boult, Sir John Barbirolli1

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