Edward Elgar

~ Person

Legal name: Edward William Elgar


Sir Edward William Elgar, 1st Baronet OM GCVO (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 microphone in 1925 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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Year Title Artist RatingReleases
1999 The Dream of Gerontius, Op. 38 (Hallé Orchestra, Hallé Choir, Sheffield Philharmonic chorus and Ambrosian Singers feat. conductor: Sir John Barbirolli, tenor: Richard Lewis, mezzo-soprano: Dame Janet Baker, bass: Kim Borg) Sir Edward Elgar 1
2000 The Sketches for Symphony no. 3 elaborated by Anthony Payne Edward Elgar / Anthony Payne; Bournemouth Symphony Orchestra, Paul Daniel 1
2000 Cello Concertos Dvořák, Elgar; André Navarra, Sir John Barbirolli, Rudolf Schwarz 1
2000 Enigma Variations / Cockaigne / Serenade in E minor Elgar; Royal Philharmonic Orchestra, Sir Thomas Beecham 1
2001 English String Miniatures, Volume 2 Edward Elgar, Frank Bridge, Haydn Wood, John Ireland, Frederick Delius, Peter Warlock, Geoffrey Bush, Ralph Vaughan Williams; English Northern Philharmonia, David Lloyd-Jones 1
2001 Enigma Variations / Cockaigne Overture / Introduction and Allegro / Serenade for Strings in E minor Elgar; BBC Symphony Orchestra, Sir Andrew Davis 2
2001 String Quartet / Piano Quintet Sir Edward Elgar; Sorrel Quartet, Ian Brown 1
2001 Symphony no. 1 in A-flat / Serenade for Strings / Chanson de nuit / Chanson de matin Sir Edward Elgar; London Philharmonic Orchestra, Sir Adrian Boult 1
2001 Symphony no. 2 in E-flat / Cockaigne Overture Sir Edward Elgar; London Philharmonic Orchestra, Sir Adrian Boult 1
2002 Enigma Variations Sir Edward Elgar; Wiener Philharmoniker, Sir John Eliot Gardiner 1
2002 Cello Concertos (London Philharmonic Orchestra feat. cello: Robert Cohen) Elgar / Dvořák 1
2002 Introduction and Allegro for Strings / Symphony no. 1 Elgar; Hallé Orchestra, Sir John Barbirolli 1
2002 Overtures Elgar; Scottish National Orchestra, Sir Alexander Gibson 1
2002 Symphony no. 2 in E-flat / Sea Pictures Elgar; London Philharmonic Orchestra, Vernon Handley, Bernadette Greevy 1
2003 Cello Concertos Elgar, Barber; Anne Gastinel 1
2003 Elgar: Coronation Ode / The Spirit of England / Parry: I Was Glad Elgar, Parry; Dame Felicity Lott, Sir Philip Ledger, Richard Hickox 1
2003 Falstaff / Cello Concerto / Romance for Bassoon / Smoking Cantata Elgar; Hallé Orchestra, Mark Elder, Heinrich Schiff 2
2003 Symphonies 1 & 2 Sir Edward Elgar; London Symphony Orchestra, Jeffrey Tate 1
2003 Symphony No. 2 / In the South (Alassio) Elgar; BBC Symphony Orchestra, Sir Andrew Davis 1
2003 The Dream of Gerontius Elgar; Dame Janet Baker, John Mitchinson, John Shirley‐Quirk, CBSO Chorus, City of Birmingham Symphony Orchestra, Simon Rattle 1
2004 The Wand of Youth / Nursery Suite Edward Elgar; New Zealand Symphony Orchestra, James Judd 1
2004 Elgar: Violin Concerto / Vaughan Williams: The Lark Ascending Elgar, Vaughan Williams; Hilary Hahn, London Symphony Orchestra, Sir Colin Davis 3
2004 Symphony no. 2 / Introduction and Allegro Elgar; Hallé Orchestra, Mark Elder 1
2005 Elgar: Cello Concerto / Vaughan Williams: Fantasia on a Theme by Thomas Tallis, Fantasia on Greensleeves Sir Edward Elgar, Ralph Vaughan Williams; Felix Schmidt, London Symphony Orchestra, Rafael Frühbeck de Burgos 1
2005 BBC Music, Volume 13, Number 6: Elgar, Vaughan Williams and Tippett Elgar, Vaughan Williams, Tippett 1
2005 Favourite Cello Concertos Haydn, Dvořák, Schumann, Elgar, Tchaikovsky; Mischa Maisky 2
2005 Marches: Pomp and Circumstance / Polonia / Caractacus Edward Elgar; New Zealand Symphony Orchestra, James Judd 1
2005 BBC Music, Volume 13, Number 8: Partsongs Sir Edward Elgar, Frederick Delius, Gustav Holst 1
2005 Violin concerto / Cello Concerto / Sea Pictures Elgar; Royal Philharmonic Orchestra, Yehudi Menuhin, London Symphony Orchestra, Richard Hickox 1
2005 Elgar: Violin Concerto; Introduction and Allegro for Strings Edward Elgar; Yehudi Menuhin, London Philharmonic Orchestra, BBC Symphony Orchestra & Sir Adrian Boult 1
2005 Elgar: Symphony no. 1 / Berlioz: Overtures Sir Edward Elgar, Hector Berlioz; Staatskapelle Dresden, Sir Colin Davis 1
2006 Cello Concertos Elgar, Walton; Daniel Müller‐Schott, Oslo Philharmonic Orchestra, André Previn 1
2006 Edward Elgar: Violin Concerto / Ernest Chausson: Poème Edward Elgar, Ernest Chausson; Royal Liverpool Philharmonic Orchestra, Vernon Handley, Philippe Graffin 1
2006 Hear my Prayer: Hymns and Anthems Elgar, Stanford, Finzi, Howells, Purcell; Karina Gauvin, Matthew Larkin, Choir of St John's, Elora, Noel Edison 1
2006 BBC Music, Volume 14, Number 12: Symphony No. 1 / In the South (BBC Symphony Orchestra feat. conductors Sir Adrian Bouldt and Leonard Slatkin) Sir Edward Elgar 1
2006 Orchestral Miniatures Elgar; New Zealand Symphony Orchestra, James Judd 1
2006 Elgar: Enigma Variations / Britten: Four Sea Interludes from Peter Grimes / The Young Person's Guide to the Orchestra Benjamin Britten, Sir Edward Elgar; Cincinnati Symphony Orchestra, Paavo Järvi 1
2006 Sea Pictures / The Music Makers Elgar; Sarah Connolly, Bournemouth Symphony Orchestra, Bournemouth Symphony Chorus, Simon Wright 1
2006 Coronation Ode / The Spirit of England Elgar; Teresa Cahill, Anne Collins, Anthony Rolfe Johnson, Gwynne Howell, Scottish National Orchestra Chorus, Scottish National Orchestra, Sir Alexander Gibson 1
2007 Symphony no. 1 / Organ Sonata Sir Edward Elgar; BBC National Orchestra of Wales, Richard Hickox 1
2007 Cello Concerto Elgar; Royal Liverpool Philharmonic Orchestra, Vernon Handley, Natalie Clein 1
2007 Symphonies 1 & 2 Sir Edward Elgar; London Philharmonic Orchestra, Sir Adrian Boult 1
2008 Enigma Variations Edwad Elgar; London Philharmonic Orchestra, Paul Daniel 1
2008 Enigma Variations / Serenade for Strings / Cockaigne / Chanson de Matin Elgar; Hallé Orchestra, Mark Elder 1
2008 The Dream of Gerontius, op. 38 Sir Edward Elgar; Hallé Orchestra, Sir Mark Elder, Paul Groves, Alice Coote, Bryn Terfel, Hallé Choir, Hallé Youth Choir 1
2008 Music for Violin and Piano Grieg, Sibelius, Elgar; Isabelle van Keulen, Ronald Brautigam 1
2009 Viola Concertos Elgar, Schnittke; Philharmonia Orchestra, Christoph Eschenbach, David Aaron Carpenter 5 1
2009 The Crown of India Sir Edward Elgar; BBC Philharmonic, Sir Andrew Davis 1
2009 Nursery Suite, Serenade, Dream Children & other works Sir Edward Elgar; English Chamber Orchestra, Paul Goodwin 1
2009 Reznicek: Donna Diana Overture / Tchaikovsky: Symphony no. 3 "Polish" / Elgar: Enigma Variations Reznicek, Tchaikovsky, Elgar; Bournemouth Symphony Orchestra, Constantin Silvestri 1
2010 Violin Concerto (feat. violin Nikolaj Znaider, cond. Sir Colin Davis, orch. Staatskapelle Dresden) Sir Edward Elgar 1
2010 Cello Concerto Elgar; Sol Gabetta, Danish National Symphony Orchestra, Mario Venzago 2
2010 Violin Concerto / Interlude from The Crown of India / Polonia Elgar; Tasmin Little, Royal Scottish National Orchestra, Sir Andrew Davis 1
2010 The Kingdom Sir Edward Elgar; Hallé Orchestra, Sir Mark Elder 1
2011 Pomp and Circumstance / Serenade for Strings Edward Elgar; Sydney Symphony, Vladimir Ashkenazy 1
2011 The Violin Music: Violin Concerto / Violin Sonata / Miniatures Elgar; Marat Bisengaliev, Benjamin Frith, West Kazakhstan Philharmonic Orchestra, Bundit Ungrangsee 1
2012 Cello Concerto Elgar; Paul Watkins, BBC Philharmonic, Sir Andrew Davis 1
2012 Orchestral Transcriptions by Respighi and Elgar Bach / Respighi, Elgar; Seattle Symphony, Gerard Schwarz 1
2012 Symphonie 7 / Enigma Variations Dvořák, Elgar; London Symphony Orchestra, Pierre Monteux 1
2012 The 'Longed-for Light' - Elgar's Music in Wartime Sir Edward Elgar; BBC Concert Orchestra, John Wilson, Simon Callow, Susan Gritton 1
2012 This England Elgar, Vaughan Williams, Britten; Oregon Symphony, Carlos Kalmar 1
2012 Cello Concerto Elgar, Carter; Alisa Weilerstein, Staatskapelle Berlin, Daniel Barenboim 2
2012 Enigma Variations / The Wasps / Greensleeves Elgar, Vaughan Williams;The Kansas City Symphony, Michael Stern 1
2013 Elgar Elgar; Catherine Manoukian, Stefan Solyom, Staatskapelle Weimar 1
2013 Symphony no. 2 / Sospiri / Elegy Sir Edward Elgar; Royal Stockholm Philharmonic Orchestra, Sakari Oramo 1
2013 Elgar: Cello Concerto / Tchaikovsky: Rococo Variations Sir Edward Elgar, Пётр Ильич Чайковский; Jean‐Guihen Queyras, BBC Symphony Orchestra, Jiří Bělohlávek 1
2013 Symphony no. 1 / In the South "Alassio" Elgar; London Philharmonic Orchestra, Sir Georg Solti 1
2014 Symphony no. 1 / Cockaigne (In London Town) Elgar; Royal Philharmonic Orchestra, Sakari Oramo 1
2014 BBC Music, Volume 22, Number 10: Elgar: Violin Concerto, The Spirit of England Edward Elgar 1
2014 The Dream of Gerontius / Sea Pictures Elgar; Sarah Connolly, Stuart Skelton, David Soar, BBC Symphony Chorus, BBC Symphony Orchestra, Sir Andrew Davis 2
2014 Symphony no. 2 Elgar; Staatskapelle Berlin, Barenboim 2
2015 King Olaf / The Banner of Saint George Elgar; Emily Birsan, Barry Banks, Alan Opie, Bergen Philharmonic Choir, Collegiûm Mûsicûm, Edvard Grieg Choir, Bergen Philharmonic Orchestra, Sir Andrew Davis 1
2015 Symphony no. 1 / Cockaigne Overture Elgar; Royal Liverpool Philharmonic Orchestra, Vasily Petrenko 1
2015 BBC Music, Volume 23, Number 7: Elgar: Sea Pictures / Bax: Tintagel / Stanford: Songs of the Sea Elgar, Bax, Stanford 1
2015 The Kingdom / Sospiri / Sursum corda Elgar; Margaret Marshall, Felicity Palmer, Arthur Davies, David Wilson-Johnson, London Symphony Chorus, London Symphony Orchestra, Richard Hickox 1
2016 Symphony No. 1 Edward Elgar; Daniel Barenboim, Staatskapelle Berlin 1
2016 Cello Concertos Elgar, Walton; Steven Isserlis, Philharmonia Orchestra, Paavo Järvi 1
2016 Organ Works Edward Elgar; Benjamin Nicholas 1
2016 Enigma Variations / In the South 'Alassio' / Carillon / Pleading / Une voix dans le désert / Le drapeau belge Edward Elgar; BBC Scottish Symphony Orchestra, Martyn Brabbins 1
2016 Idyll: Serenades by Janáček, Elgar, Kalinnikov Janáček, Elgar, Kalinnikov; Orchestra da Camera “Ferruccio Busoni”, Massimo Belli 1
Cello Concerto in E Minor Op 85 Sir Edward Elgar 1
Cockaigne Overture / Symphony no. 2 Elgar; London Philharmonic Orchestra, Daniel Barenboim 1
Elgar Favourites Elgar; Bournemouth Sinfonietta, Norman Del Mar, George Hurst 1
Elgar: Sonata for Violin and Piano, op. 82 / Fauré: Sonata for Violin and Piano, op. 13 Elgar, Fauré; Elmar Oliveira, Robert Koenig 1
Elgar: String Quartet in E minor, Op. 83 / Walton: String Quartet in A minor Elgar, Walton; The Britten Quartet 1
Elgar: The HMV Recordings: Pomp and Circumstance Marches nos. 1-5 / Cockaigne Overture / Serenade for Strings Sir Edward Elgar 1
Enigma Variations / Falstaff Symphonic Study Elgar; London Philharmonic Orchestra, Charles Mackerras 1
Enigma Variations Op. 36 & The Planets Op. 32 Elgar / Holst 1
Pomp & Circumstance Marches,Cockaigne, Crown of India Suite Sir Edward Elgar 1
Pomp and Circumstance Sir Edward Elgar, Hector Berlioz, Felix Mendelssohn, Ottorino Respighi, Pyotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky, Gabriel Prokofiev, Giacomo Meyerbeer 1
Sea Pictures / The Music Makers Sir Edward Elgar 1
Sir Edward Elgar: The sketches, drafts and recordings of his Piano Concerto realised for performance by Robert Walker (BBC Concert Orchestra feat. conductor: David Lloyd-Jones) Sir Edward Elgar 1
String Orchestra Pieces Elgar, Vaughan Williams; Orpheus Chamber Orchestra 1
Suites: Nursery / Severn / The Crown of India / etc Elgar; Royal Liverpool Philharmonic Orchestra, Sir Charles Groves 1
Symphony no. 7 / Enigma Variations Dvořák, Elgar; London Symphony Orchestra, Eduardo Mata 1
The Black Knight / Scenes From the Bavarian Highlands Elgar; London Symphony Orchestra, London Symphony Chorus, Richard Hickox 1
The English Connection Vaughan Williams, Elgar, Tippett; Academy of St Martin in the Fields, Sir Neville Marriner 1
The Great Composers, Volume 45: Enigma Variations, op. 36 / Pomp and Circumstance, op. 39 no. 1 Sir Edward Elgar; London Symphony Orchestra, Eduardo Mata, Cincinnati Pops Orchestra, Erich Kunzel 1
The Starlight Express Suite / King Arthur Suite Elgar; Cynthia Glover, John Lawrenson, Bournemouth Sinfonietta, George Hurst 1
Works for String Orchestra Elgar; English String Orchestra, William Boughton 1

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