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
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

Album + Compilation

Year Title Artist RatingReleases
1977 Music of England Frederick Delius, Sir Edward Elgar, Gustav Holst, Ralph Vaughan Williams; Daniel Barenboim, Eugen Jochum, William Steinberg 1
1982 Enigma Variations / Pomp and Circumstance / The Crown of India Elgar; BBC Symphony Orchestra, Leonard Bernstein 2
1983 Wand of Youth Suites / Nursery Suite Sir Edward Elgar; Ulster Orchestra, Bryden Thomson 1
1988 Cello Concertos Dvořák, Elgar; Pierre Fournier, Berlin Philharmonic Orchestra, George Szell, Alfred Wallenstein 2
1988 Violin Concertos Walton, Elgar; Jascha Heifetz 1
1989 Elgar: Cello Concerto / Walton: Violin Concerto Elgar, Walton; Lynn Harrell, Kyung-Wha Chung 1
1989 A London Symphony Ireland, Vaughan Williams, Elgar; Philharmonia Orchestra, Owain Arwel Hughes 1
1989 Enigma Variations / Cockaigne & Froissart Overtures Sir Edward Elgar; London Philharmonic Orchestra, Leonard Slatkin 1
1989 Enigma Variations / Falstaff Sir Edward Elgar; Sir Georg Solti 1
1989 Enigma Variations / Serenade for String Orchestra / Chanson de Nuit no. 1 / Chanson de Matin no. 2 Sir Edward Elgar; London Philharmonic Orchestra, Hilary Davan Wetton 1
1989 The Dream of Gerontius / Sea Pictures Elgar; Hallé Orchestra, London Symphony Orchestra, Hallé Choir, Sheffield Philharmonic Chorus, The Ambrosian Singers, Dame Janet Baker, Richard Lewis, Kim Borg, Sir John Barbirolli 2
1989 Violin Concerto / Cello Concerto Edward Elgar; Yehudi Menuhin, Beatrice Harrison, Edward Elgar 2
1990 Dvořák: Cello Concerto / Elgar: Cello Concerto / Bruch: Kol Nidrei Dvořák, Elgar, Bruch; Pau Casals 2
1991 The World of Elgar Sir Edward Elgar 1
1991 Cello Concerto / Enigma Variations / Introduction and Allegro for Strings / Elegy for Strings Elgar; André Navarra, Hallé Orchestra, Sir John Barbirolli 1
1991 Enigma Variations / Pomp & Circumstance Marches 1-5 Sir Edward Elgar; London Symphony Orchestra, London Philharmonic Orchestra, Sir Adrian Boult 1
1991 Pomp and Circumstance Marches Elgar; Royal Philharmonic Orchestra, Yehudi Menuhin 1
1992 Meditations for a Quiet Night Delius, Barber, Elgar, Sibelius, Copland 5 1
1992 The Planets / Adagio for Strings / Pomp and Circumstance Military March no. 1 Holst, Barber, Elgar; New York Philharmonic, Leonard Bernstein 1
1993 BBC Music, Volume 1, Number 11: Elgar: Cello Concerto / Lloyd: Symphony no. 9 Sir Edward Elgar, George Lloyd; Colin Carr, BBC Philharmonic, Yan Pascal Tortelier, George Lloyd 1
1993 Elgar: Enigma Variations / Holst: The Planets Edward Elgar / Gustav Holst 1
1993 Favourite Elgar Sir Edward Elgar 1
1993 Holst: The Planets / Elgar: Enigma Variations Holst, Elgar; London Philharmonic Orchestra, London Symphony Orchestra, Sir Adrian Boult 5
1993 Violin Concertos Elgar, Delius; Yehudi Menuhin 1
1994 Cellokonzert / Enigma-variationen Sir Edward Elgar; Pierre Fournier, Berliner Philharmoniker, Alfred Wallenstein, London Symphony Orchestra, Eugen Jochum 1
1994 "Enigma" Variations / Cello Concerto / Cockaigne Overture Elgar; London Symphony Orchestra, Sir Colin Davis, Heinrich Schiff, Staatskapelle Dresden, Sir Neville Marriner 1
1994 Enigma Variations / Cello Concerto / Serenade for Strings Elgar; Philharmonia Orchestra, Giuseppe Sinopoli, Mischa Maisky 1
1994 Stanford: Irish Symphony / Elgar: From the Bavarian Highlands Stanford, Elgar; Bournemouth Sinfonietta, Bournemouth Symphony Chorus, Norman Del Mar 1
1995 Violin Concertos Sibelius, Elgar; Dong-Suk Kang, Adrian Leaper 1
1995 Cello Concerto / "Enigma" Variations Sir Edward Elgar; Jacqueline du Pré, London Philharmonic Orchestra, Philadelphia Orchestra, Daniel Barenboim 4
1995 Cello Concertos Dvořák, Elgar; Jacqueline du Pré 1
1996 Holst: The Planets, op.32 / Elgar: Enigma Variations Gustav Holst, Sir Edward Elgar; Wiener Philharmoniker, Herbert von Karajan, London Symphony Orchestra, Pierre Monteux 1
1996 Elgar: Cello Concerto / Bach: Cello Suites No. 1 & 2 Elgar, Bach; Jacqueline du Pré, BBC Symphony Orchestra, Sir John Barbirolli 1
1996 The Best of Elgar Sir Edward Elgar 2
1996 Violin Sonatas Sir Edward Elgar, Ralph Vaughan Williams, Sir William Walton; Yehudi Menuhin, Hephzibah Menuhin, Louis Kentner 1
1997 Holst: The Planets / Elgar: Pomp and Circumstance March, No. 1 Holst, Elgar; New York Philharmonic, Leonard Bernstein 1
1997 Enigma Variations / Pomp and Circumstance / Cello Concerto / Violin Concerto Sir Edward Elgar; Jacqueline du Pré, Pinchas Zukerman, The Philadelphia Orchestra, Philharmonia Orchestra, London Philharmonic Orchestra, Daniel Barenboim, Eugene Ormandy, Sir Andrew Davis 1
1997 Fantasia on Greensleeves Vaughan Williams, Delius, Elgar, Warlock, Butterworth; Academy of St Martin in the Fields, Neville Marriner 2
1998 Edward Elgar Sir Edward Elgar 1
1998 Pomp and Circumstance Marches / Symphonies 1 & 2 Elgar; Royal Philharmonic Orchestra, Yehudi Menuhin 1
1999 Violin Concertos Elgar, Bruch; Yehudi Menuhin, London Symphony Orchestra 1
1999 Cello Concerto in E minor / Introduction and Allegro / Serenade for Strings Sir Edward Elgar 1
1999 Violin Concerto / "Enigma" Variations Elgar; Yehudi Menuhin, London Symphony Orchestra, Royal Albert Hall Orchestra, Sir Edward Elgar 2
1999 Enigma Variations / Pomp and Circumstance / In the South Sir Edward Elgar; Philharmonia Orchestra, Giuseppe Sinopoli 1
2000 English String Music Elgar, Vaughan Williams; Sir John Barbirolli 1
2000 Cello Concertos Elgar, Saint‐Saëns; Julian Lloyd Webber 1
2000 Sibelius: Symphonie N°2 / Elgar: Variations Enigma Sibelius, Elgar; Pierre Monteux 1
2001 BBC Music, Volume 9, Number 12: Live From the Proms - Elgar: Falstaff / Dvořák: Symphonic Variations Elgar / Dvořák 1
2002 Violin Concertos Elgar, Delius; Albert Sammons 1
2002 Pomp and Circumstance Marches Nos. 1-5 / Symphony No. 1 Elgar; London Philharmonic Orchestra, Vernon Handley 1
2002 Symphonies 1 and 2 / Violin Concerto / Cello Concerto etc. Edward Elgar 1
2002 Cello Concertos Elgar, Dvořák; Pablo Casals 1
2003 "Enigma" Variations / Cello Concerto Elgar; Mischa Maisky, Philharmonia Orchestra, Giuseppe Sinopoli 3
2004 Cello Concerto / Sea Pictures / Overture: “Cockaigne” Elgar; London Symphony Orchestra, Sir John Barbirolli, Jacqueline du Pré, Dame Janet Baker 1
2004 Hallé tradition Sir Edward Elgar 1
2005 Enigma Variations / Pomp and Circumstance Marches nos. 1-5 Sir Edward Elgar 1
2005 Cello Concertos Boccherini, Haydn, Elgar; Pablo Casals 1
2006 Violin Concerto / Introduction and Allegro Elgar; Nigel Kennedy, London Philharmonic Orchestra, Vernon Handley 1
2006 Orchestral Works Elgar; Sir John Barbirolli 1
2006 The Very Best of Elgar Sir Edward Elgar 1
2007 Classic British Composers Elgar; Royal Philharmonic Orchestra 1
2007 The Collector's Edition Sir Edward Elgar 1
2007 The Dream of Gerontius / Enigma Variations Elgar; City of Birmingham Symphony Orchestra & Chorus, Janet Baker, John Mitchinson, John Shirley-Quirk, Simon Rattle 1
2007 The Elgar Experience Edward Elgar 1
2008 Elgar: Cello Concerto / Priaulx Rainier: Cello Concerto / Rubbra: Cello Sonata Elgar, Priaulx Rainier, Rubbra; du Pré 1
2009 Grandes compositores da música clássica, Volume 30: Elgar Sir Edward Elgar 1
2010 Fiðlukonsertar Edward Elgar, Herbert H. Ágústsson, Benjamin Britten, Páll P. Pálsson; Guðný Guðmundsdóttir, Sinfóníuhljómsveit Íslands 1
2012 Elgar: Cello Concerto, Sea Pictures / Delius: Cello Concerto, Songs of Farewell Elgar; Delius; Jacqueline du Pré, Dame Janet Baker, London Symphony Orchestra, Sir John Barbirolli, Royal Philharmonic Orchestra, Sir Malcolm Sargent 1
2012 Great Violin Concertos Vivaldi, J.S. Bach, Mozart, Spohr, Beethoven, Mendelssohn, Bruch, Vieuxtemps, Brahms, Paganini, Saint-Saëns, Lalo, Tchaikovsky, Glazunov, Elgar, Wieniawski, Dvořák, Sibelius, Shostakovich, Prokofiev 1
British Composers: Parry, Elgar (City of London Sinfonia feat. Richard Hickox) Sir Hubert Parry, Sir Edward Elgar 1
Cello Concertos Dvořák, Elgar; Heinrich Schiff, Staatskapelle Dresden, Sir Neville Marriner 1
Choral Works Elgar; Sir Adrian Boult 1
Great Violinists: Heifetz Elgar, Walton; Jascha Heifetz 1
La Gran Música: Música de Inglaterra Sir Edward Elgar, Gustav Holst 2
String Serenades Antonín Dvořák, Sir Edward Elgar, Jean Sibelius, Albert Roussel; Paul Angerer, Alois Springer, Jörg Faerber 1
The Ultimate Collection Sir Edward Elgar 1

Album + Compilation + Live

Year Title Artist RatingReleases
1987 Elgar: Enigma Variations / Debussy: La Mer Elgar, Debussy; Arturo Toscanini & BBC Symphony Orchestra 1
2002 Vaughan Williams: Symphony no. 8 / Bax: Oboe Quintet / Rawsthorne: Street Corner Overture / Elgar: Land of Hope and Glory Vaughan Williams, Bax, Rawsthorne, Elgar; Kathleen Ferrier, Evelyn Rothwell, Hallé Choir and Orchestra, Sir John Barbirolli 1
2005 Symphonies nos. 1 & 2 / Symphony no. 3 elaborated by Anthony Paine Elgar; London Symphony Orchestra, Sir Colin Davis 2

Album + Live

Year Title Artist RatingReleases
2001 Dvorák: Violin Concerto in A minor, op. 53 / Elgar: Sonata for Violin and Piano in E minor, op. 82 Dvořák, Elgar; Maxim Vengerov, New York Philharmonic, Kurt Masur 1
2002 Symphony no. 1 Elgar; London Symphony Orchestra, Sir Colin Davis 1
2002 Symphony no. 2 Elgar; London Symphony Orchestra, Sir Colin Davis 1
2002 Symphony no. 3: Sketches Elaborated by Anthony Payne Elgar; London Symphony Orchestra, Sir Colin Davis 1
2005 Mendelssohn: The Hebrides / Elgar: Symphony no. 1 Mendelssohn, Elgar; Melbourne Symphony Orchestra, Jeffrey Tate 1
2006 The Dream of Gerontius Elgar; Sir Colin Davis, David Rendall, Anne Sofie von Otter, Alastair Miles, London Symphony Chorus, London Symphony Orchestra 2
2006 Haydn, Saint-Saëns, Elgar: Cello Concertos Joseph Haydn, Camille Saint‐Saëns, Edward Elgar, Мстислав Ростропович, Мстислав Ростропович & Геннадий Николаевич Рождественский 1
2007 Enigma Variations / Introduction & Allegro Elgar; London Symphony Orchestra, Sir Colin Davis 3
2009 Elgar: Enigma-Variationen / Vaughan Williams: Symphonie Nr. 6 Elgar, Vaughan Williams; Symphonieorchester des Bayerischen Rundfunks, Sir Colin Davis 1
2009 Elgar: The Music Makers / Rihm: Memoria Elgar, Rihm; Netherlands Radio Philharmonic Orchestra, Netherlands Radio Choir, Jaap van Zweden 1


Year Title Artist RatingReleases
Elgar, Volume 1 Sir Edward Elgar 1

Unspecified type

Year Title Artist RatingReleases
1989 Dream of Gerontius Sir Edward Elgar 1
1990 Pom and Circumstance Marches 1-5 / Enigma Variations Elgar; Sir Georg Solti 1
2003 Sacred Choral Music Sir Edward Elgar 1
2003 Grieg: Holberg Suite, op. 40 / Dvorak: Serenade for Strings, op. 22 / Elgar: Serenade for Strings, op. 20 Edvard Grieg, Antonín Dvořák, Edward Elgar; Rotterdam Chamber Orchestra, Conrad van Alphen 1
Elgar: The Light of Life Sir Edward Elgar 1
The Last Night of the Proms Sir Edward Elgar 1

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