Enigma Variations, Op. 36: Nos. 6-8

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Elgar had expected she would: "I'm surprised. I thought that you of all people would guess it. If Robert Buckley 's statement about the theme being "a counterpoint to some well-known melody" which is endorsed by what Elgar himself disclosed to F. Edwards in is disregarded or discounted the field opens up to admit other kinds of connection with well-known themes.

On 24 May Elgar conducted a performance of the Variations at a Memorial Concert in aid of the family survivors of musicians who had been lost in the Titanic disaster. Frederick Ashton 's ballet Enigma Variations My Friends Pictured Within is choreographed to Elgar's score with the exception of the finale, which uses Elgar's original shorter ending see above , transcribed from the manuscript by John Lanchbery.

The ballet, which depicts the friends and Elgar as he awaits Richter's decision about conducting the premiere, received its first performance on 25 October at the Royal Opera House, Covent Garden, London. The acclaimed television play Penda's Fen includes a scene where the young protagonist has a vision of an aged Elgar who whispers to him the "solution" to the Enigma, occasioning astonishment on the face of the recipient.

Elgar suggested that in case the Variations were to be a ballet the Enigma would have to be represented by "a veiled dancer". Elgar's remark suggested that the Enigma in fact pictured "a friend", just like the variations. His use of the word "veiled" possibly indicates that it was a female character.

The film Dunkirk features adapted versions of Elgar's Variation IX Nimrod , the primary adaptation given the name "Variation 15" on the soundtrack in honor of its inspiration. There have been more than sixty recordings of the Variations since Elgar's first recording, made by the acoustic process in From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia.

For the Enigma Records compilation album, see Enigma Variations album. Main article: Enigma Variations discography. Powell , pp. ITV News. Retrieved 27 March The New Yorker. Archived from the original on 24 July The Boston Globe. She sailed for Australia after the completion of the Variations but before the work's first performance. Elgar Society Journal.

Reprinted in: Redwood , pp. Buckley , p. Conducting Elgar. Clarendon Press. The Musical Times. Saturday Review. Edward Elgar: Music and Literature in Monk , p. November New Republic. The book has been reviewed in the Elgar Society Journal , vol. Retrieved 7 September The arguments which J. De Volkskrant. Elgar Society Newsletter. The Music Review. See Reed , p. Elgar Society Newsletter : The Times. Music Review. Current Musicology Music Review : 38— The Telegraph. Retrieved 20 January Enigma Variations, in Royal Opera House programme, Edward Elgar.

Violin Concerto —10 Romance Cello Concerto — Symphony No. Elgar film. August Jaeger Caroline Alice Elgar. Jerrold Northrop Moore. Symphonies by Edward Elgar. Categories : Compositions by Edward Elgar Variations Music for orchestra and organ compositions Music with dedications. Elgar dedicated the work "to my friends pictured within", each variation being a musical sketch of one of his circle of close acquaintances see musical cryptogram.


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Those portrayed include Elgar's wife Alice , his friend and publisher Augustus J. Jaeger and Elgar himself. In a programme note for a performance in Elgar wrote:. In naming his theme "Enigma" Elgar posed a challenge which has generated much speculation but has never been conclusively answered. The Enigma is widely believed to involve a hidden melody. After its London premiere the Variations achieved immediate popularity and established Elgar's international reputation. The work has been recorded over 60 times.

Elgar described how on the evening of 21 October , after a tiring day's teaching, he sat down at the piano. A melody he played caught the attention of his wife, and he began to improvise variations on it in styles which reflected the character of some of his friends. These improvisations, expanded and orchestrated, became the Enigma Variations. Critics were at first irritated by the layer of mystification, but most praised the substance, structure, and orchestration of the work.

Elgar later revised the final variation, adding 96 new bars and an organ part. The new version, the one usually played today, was first heard at the Worcester Three Choirs Festival on 13 September , with Elgar conducting. The theme is followed by 14 variations. The variations spring from the theme's melodic, harmonic and rhythmic elements, and the extended fourteenth variation forms a grand finale. Elgar dedicated the piece to "my friends pictured within" and in the score each variation is prefaced the initials, name or nickname of the friend depicted.

As was common with painted portraits of the time, Elgar's musical portraits depict their subjects at two levels. Each movement conveys a general impression of its subject's personality. In addition, many of them contain a musical reference to a specific characteristic or event, such as a laugh, a habit of speech or a memorable conversation. The sections of the work are as follows. The unusual melodic contours of the G minor opening theme convey a sense of searching introspection:.

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A switch to the major key introduces a flowing motif which briefly lightens the mood before the first theme returns, now accompanied by a sustained bass line and emotionally charged counterpoints. In a programme note for a performance of his setting of Arthur O'Shaughnessy 's ode The Music Makers , Elgar wrote of this theme which he quoted in the later work , "it expressed when written in my sense of the loneliness of the artist as described in the first six lines of the Ode, and to me, it still embodies that sense.

Elgar's personal identification with the theme is evidenced by his use of its opening phrase which matches the rhythm and inflection of his name as a signature in letters to friends. Caroline Alice Elgar , Elgar's wife. The variation repeats a four-note melodic fragment which Elgar reportedly whistled when arriving home to his wife. After Alice's death, Elgar wrote, "The variation is really a prolongation of the theme with what I wished to be romantic and delicate additions; those who knew C.

In these notes Elgar's words are quoted from his posthumous publication My Friends Pictured Within which draws on the notes he provided for the Aeolian Company's pianola rolls edition of the Variations. Hew David Steuart-Powell. Elgar wrote, "Hew David Steuart-Powell was a well-known amateur pianist and a great player of chamber music. He was associated with B. His characteristic diatonic run over the keys before beginning to play is here humorously travestied in the semiquaver passages; these should suggest a Toccata , but chromatic beyond H.

Richard Baxter Townshend, Oxford don and author of the Tenderfoot series of books; brother-in-law of the W. This variation references R. He "expressed himself somewhat energetically". This is the shortest of the variations. Richard Penrose Arnold, the son of the poet Matthew Arnold , and an amateur pianist. This variation leads into the next without pause. Isabel Fitton, a viola pupil of Elgar. Elgar explained, "It may be noticed that the opening bar, a phrase made use of throughout the variation, is an 'exercise' for crossing the strings — a difficulty for beginners; on this is built a pensive and, for a moment, romantic movement.

Arthur Troyte Griffith, a Malvern architect and one of Elgar's firmest friends. The variation, with a time signature of 1 1 , good-naturedly mimics his enthusiastic incompetence on the piano. It may also refer to an occasion when Griffith and Elgar were out walking and got caught in a thunderstorm.

The pair took refuge in the house of Winifred and Florence Norbury Sherridge, Leigh Sinton, near Malvern , to which the next variation refers. Winifred Norbury, one of the secretaries of the Worcester Philharmonic Society. The gracious personalities of the ladies are sedately shown.

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Augustus J. He was a close friend of Elgar's, giving him useful advice but also severe criticism, something Elgar greatly appreciated. Elgar later related how Jaeger had encouraged him as an artist and had stimulated him to continue composing despite setbacks. In Elgar told Dora Penny "Dorabella" that this variation is not really a portrait, but "the story of something that happened". He referred to Ludwig van Beethoven , who had a lot of worries, but wrote more and more beautiful music.

Elgar disclosed to Dora that the opening bars of "Nimrod" were made to suggest that theme. Only a hint, not a quotation. This variation has become popular in its own right and is sometimes used at British funerals, memorial services, and other solemn occasions. A version was also played during the Hong Kong handover ceremony in and at the opening ceremony of the London Olympic Games. Sir Edward Elgar composer track 2. Sir Edward Elgar composer — tracks 9— Sir Edward Elgar composer tracks 7—8.

Sir Edward Elgar composer — tracks 3—6. Sir Edward Elgar composer track 1. Frank Schuster tracks 3—6. Royal Albert Hall Orchestra track 2. London Symphony Orchestra — tracks 3—6. London Symphony Orchestra track 1. Works of Edward Elgar by opus number number: op. Viola Concerto: I. Lionel Tertis track 9.

Viola Concerto: II. Lionel Tertis track Viola Concerto: III. Viola Concerto: IV. Canto popolare for viola and piano tracks 3—6. Cello Concerto in E minor, op. Revelry and sleep — Dream Interlude Poco allegretto track 7. In the South Alassio , op. Cockaigne In London Town , op. Adagio - Moderato — track 9. Lento - Allegro molto — track Adagio — track Allegro - Moderato - Allegro ma non troppo — track Froissart Overture, op.

Edward Elgar composer tracks 9— Edward Elgar composer tracks 3, 3. Alexander tracks 16— Blyton engineer track Bulkley tracks 8, Clarke Engineer tracks 1—8, 14—15, 18— Dillnutt tracks 14— Ellis engineer tracks 1—7. Edward Fowler engineer tracks 1—7, 14—15, Larter tracks 16— Edward Elgar composer track 5.

Edward Elgar composer tracks 6, 14— Edward Elgar composer track Edward Elgar composer track 7. Sir Edward Elgar composer tracks 1—2, 5—7. Sir Edward Elgar composer — tracks 3—4. Edward Elgar composer track 3. Winifred Stephens track 7. Arthur Christopher Benson track Royal Albert Hall Orchestra tracks 14— Recording Session for Gramophone Company track 7. May Song for piano track 6. Carissima for piano track 7. Carissima for violin and piano track 7.

Pomp and Circumstance Marches, op. Finale: "Land of Hope and Glory" contralto soloist, with chorus track The Viking Song track Land of Hope and Glory The Enid version track Nederland en Oranje track Beau Brummel tracks 1, 8. Five Piano Improvisations tracks 9— Pomp and Circumstance Military Marches, op.

Beau Brummel: Minuet track 8. Five Piano Improvisations: No. Beau Brummel: Minuet track 1. Carissima for small orchestra track 7. May Song for small orchestra track 6. Minuet, op. Land of Hope and Glory track Berkeley Mason track 2. Edward Elgar composer tracks 6—8.

Edward Elgar composer tracks 2—3. Edward Elgar composer — track 1. Edward Elgar composer track 4. Edward Elgar composer track 9. Edward Elgar composer tracks 12— Sir Edward Elgar composer tracks 2—3. Sir Edward Elgar composer tracks 1, 4—5. Sir Edward Elgar composer tracks 6—9. Lawrance Collingwood tracks 10— Edward Elgar composer tracks 10— Ainslie Murray conductor track Haydn Wood track Sir Landon Ronald track Fred Gaisberg tracks 12— BBC Symphony Orchestra tracks 2—3. BBC Symphony Orchestra tracks 1, 4—5. London Philharmonic Orchestra tracks 6—9.

London Symphony Orchestra tracks 10— New Light Symphony Orchestra track Light Symphony Orchestra track London Philharmonic Orchestra track Rex Palmer tracks 10— Caractacus, op. The Triumphal Procession track Finale: "Land of Hope and Glory" contralto soloist, with chorus track 2. The Viking Song track 2. The Kingdom, op. Serenade for Strings in E minor, op. Elegy, op. Allegro piacevole track 6. Larghetto track 7. Allegretto track 8. Mina track Coronation March, op. Release mastering: Paul Baily audio engineer Michael J. Dutton Anthony C.

Andante: nobilmente e semplice—Allegro balance engineer: F. Allegro molto— balance engineer: F. Adagio balance engineer: F. Lento—Allegro balance engineer: F.

Enigma Variations, for orchestra, Op. 36

Falstaff—Symphonic Study in C minor, op. Falstaff and Prince Henry balance engineer: A. Allegro vivace e nobilmente balance engineer: M. Larghetto balance engineer: M. Rondo Presto balance engineer: M. Moderato e maestoso balance engineer: M. Rondo to cue : first take CR balance engineer: M. Praise to the Holiest four before cue 73 balance engineer: A. Richard Baxter Townshend balance engineer: Arthur S. Baker balance engineer: Arthur S. Richard P. Arnold balance engineer: Arthur S. Ysobel Isabel Fitton balance engineer: Arthur S. Troyte Troyte Griffith balance engineer: Arthur S.

Winifred Norbury balance engineer: Arthur S. Nimrod A. Jaeger balance engineer: Arthur S. Sinclair balance engineer: Arthur S. N Basil G. Nevinson balance engineer: Arthur S. Allegro violin : Yehudi Menuhin violinist — balance engineer: unknown Special Purpose Artist - Do not add releases here, if possible. Andante violin : Yehudi Menuhin violinist — balance engineer: unknown Special Purpose Artist - Do not add releases here, if possible.


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Allegro molto— violin : Yehudi Menuhin violinist — balance engineer: unknown Special Purpose Artist - Do not add releases here, if possible. Overture Allegro molto balance engineer: F. Serenade Andantino balance engineer: F. Minuet Old Style Andante balance engineer: F. Sun Dance Presto balance engineer: F. Fairy Pipers Allegretto balance engineer: F. Slumber Scene Moderato balance engineer: F. Fairies and Giants Presto balance engineer: F. March Alla marcia: allegro moderato balance engineer: F. Moths and Butterflies Dance Allegretto balance engineer: F. Fountain Dance Allegretto comodo balance engineer: F.

The Tame Bear Allegro moderato balance engineer: F. The Wild Bears Presto balance engineer: F. Dreaming Lento — balance engineer: unknown Special Purpose Artist - Do not add releases here, if possible. Severn Suite, op. Worcester Castle Introduction balance engineer: unknown Special Purpose Artist - Do not add releases here, if possible. Tournament Toccata balance engineer: unknown Special Purpose Artist - Do not add releases here, if possible.

Cathedral Fugue balance engineer: unknown Special Purpose Artist - Do not add releases here, if possible. Commandery Minuet balance engineer: unknown Special Purpose Artist - Do not add releases here, if possible. Coda balance engineer: unknown Special Purpose Artist - Do not add releases here, if possible. It comes from the misty ages organ : Arnold Greir organist balance engineer: A.

National Anthem organ : Arnold Greir organist balance engineer: A. Meditation from The Light of Life, op. Mazurka balance engineer: A. The Dance Sonnenbichl Allegretto giocoso balance engineer: M. Lullaby In Hammersbach Moderato balance engineer: M. The Crown of India—Suite, op. Menuetto Moderato balance engineer: F. March of the Mogul Emperors Moderato maestoso balance engineer: F.

Froissart—Concert Overture, op. In the South Alassio —Concert Overture, op. Interludes from Falstaff—Symphonic Study in C minor, op. Adagio—Moderato cello : Beatrice Harrison — balance engineer: M. Allegro molto cello : Beatrice Harrison — balance engineer: M. Adagio cello : Beatrice Harrison — balance engineer: M. Minuet from Beau Brummel balance engineer: A. Salut d'amour, op. May Song balance engineer: A.

Carissima balance engineer: A. Minuet from Beau Brummel balance engineer: F. Five Piano Improvisations: no. Pomp and Circumstance—Military Marches, op. Land of Hope and Glory introduced by Elgar balance engineer: A.

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Prelude to The Kingdom op. Serenade in E minor, op. Allegro piacevole balance engineer: unknown Special Purpose Artist - Do not add releases here, if possible. Larghetto balance engineer: unknown Special Purpose Artist - Do not add releases here, if possible. Allegretto—Come prima balance engineer: unknown Special Purpose Artist - Do not add releases here, if possible. Mina conductor: J. Bulkley tracks 1—4 A. Clarke Engineer tracks 1—10 Edward Fowler engineer tracks 5—10 A. Edward Elgar composer — tracks 1—4 Edward Elgar composer tracks 5— Sir Edward Elgar composer — tracks 1—4 Sir Edward Elgar composer — tracks 5— Dutton tracks 1—4 Anthony C.

London Symphony Orchestra — tracks 1—4 London Symphony Orchestra — tracks 5— Revelry and sleep — Dream Interlude Poco allegretto — tracks 6—7 Falstaff, op. Nobilmente e semplice — track 1 Symphony no. Allegro molto — track 2 Symphony no. Adagio — track 3 Symphony no. Lento - Allegro — track 4 Falstaff, op.

Falstaff and Prince Henry — track 5 Falstaff, op. Alexander tracks 1—6 A. Clarke Engineer tracks 1—6 D. Dutton tracks 1—6 Jerrold Northrop Moore track 6. Rondo: Presto tracks 5—6 Symphony no. Allegro vivace e nobilmente track 1 Symphony no. Larghetto track 2 Symphony no. Clarke Engineer tracks 1—8 Edward Fowler engineer tracks 1—8. Edward Elgar composer tracks 14—17 Edward Elgar composer tracks 1, 1—8, 10— Sir Edward Elgar composer tracks 1—8 Sir Edward Elgar composer track 9 Sir Edward Elgar composer — tracks 10—13 Sir Edward Elgar composer tracks 14— Dutton tracks 10—17 Anthony C.

Margaret Balfour tracks 1—8 Margaret Balfour — tracks 10— Steuart Wilson tracks 1—8 Tudor Davies tenor — tracks 10— I see not those false spirits Cues 55—70 track 5 The Dream of Gerontius, op. Thy judgment now is near Cues — track 7 The Dream of Gerontius, op. I go before my judge Cues — track 8 The Dream of Gerontius, op. Thy judgment now is near Cues — — track 12 The Dream of Gerontius, op. Yehudi Menuhin violinist — tracks 16— Clarke Engineer — tracks 1—15 G. Dillnutt — tracks 1—15 Edward Fowler engineer — tracks 1—15 unknown Special Purpose Artist - Do not add releases here, if possible.

Edward Elgar composer tracks 1—15 Edward Elgar composer — tracks 16— Sir Edward Elgar composer — tracks 1—15 Sir Edward Elgar composer — tracks 16— Royal Albert Hall Orchestra — tracks 1—15 London Symphony Orchestra — tracks 16— Ysobel for piano track 7 Enigma Variations, op. Troyte for piano track 8 Enigma Variations, op. Dorabella for piano track 11 Enigma Variations, op. Light Eternal Lux aeterna track 10 Nimrod track Allegro — track 15 Violin Concerto in B minor, op.

Allegro — track 16 Violin Concerto in B minor, op. Bulkley tracks 1—13 A.