Edward Elgar and His World (The Bard Music Festival)
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Edward Elgar (1857-1934) is undoubtedly one of the most fascinating, important, and influential figures in the history of British music. He rose from humble beginnings and achieved fame with music that to this day is beloved by audiences in England, and his work has secured an enduring legacy worldwide. Leading scholars examine the composer's life in Edward Elgar and His World, presenting a comprehensive portrait of both the man and the age in which he lived.
Elgar's achievement is remarkably varied and wide-ranging, from immensely popular works like the famous Pomp and Circumstance March no. 1--a standard feature of American graduations--to sweeping masterpieces like his great oratorio The Dream of Gerontius. The contributors explore Elgar's Catholicism, which put him at odds with the prejudices of Protestant Britain; his glorification of British colonialism; his populist tendencies; his inner life as an inspired autodidact; the aristocratic London drawing rooms where his reputation was made; the class prejudice with which he contended throughout his career; and his anguished reaction to World War I. Published in conjunction with the 2007 Bard Music Festival and the 150th anniversary of Elgar's birth, this elegant and thought-provoking volume illuminates the greatness of this accomplished English composer and brings vividly to life the rich panorama of Victorian and Edwardian Britain.
The contributors are Byron Adams, Leon Botstein, Rachel Cowgill, Sophie Fuller, Daniel M. Grimley, Nalini Ghuman Gwynne, Deborah Heckert, Charles Edward McGuire, Matthew Riley, Alison I. Shiel, and Aidan J. Thomson.
Beauchamp) thought were bigoted. William Lygon’s opinion of his father leaves room to speculate about the later Lygons’ Catholic sympathies. • 37 • Elgar I 6/13/07 4:51 PM Page 38 Elgar I 6/13/07 4:51 PM Page 39 Elgar the Escapist? MATTHEW RILEY One of the more serious charges that can be brought against Elgar is that his art is escapist. This criticism can be targeted in several ways. Most obviously, Elgar was committed to a late-Romantic expressive idiom, to overall monotonality
Newman.67 Elgar’s response to Cumberland thus places Ruskin in a triumvirate at the top of his pantheon. Brian Trowell remarks that today it seems “not only odd, but disappointing” that Elgar declined to evoke Ruskin’s name during the course of the Peyton Lectures he gave at the University of Birmingham in 1905–6.68 But Elgar may have had cogent reasons for not quoting Ruskin directly, for as Trowell astutely observes, “Few people read Ruskin today, and it is curious how superficial our notions
Elgar to transpose this theme to E-flat major, but, as we shall see, there may well have been another reason for this change. The broader questions of why Elgar projected human emotions onto a dog and how this anthropomorphic projection called forth such varied and expressive ideas are unanswerable, though the surprisingly varied “moods of Dan” themes are suited perfectly to the scores in which they appear.115 Shortly after Schuster’s death in 1928, Elgar wrote to Adela Schuster, who had
Adams 49. Late in life Elgar sent a Christmas card that featured a quotation from Leaves of Grass; see Moore, Elgar: A Creative Life, 782–83. 50. Robert J. Buckley, “Elgar at ‘Forli’” in Redwood, An Elgar Companion, 113. 51. Brian Trowell, “Elgar’s Use of Literature,” in Edward Elgar: Music and Literature, ed. Raymond Monk, (Aldershot: Scolar Press, 1993), 193. 52. Rose, Intellectual Life of the British Working Classes, 4–5, 38–39, 126, 187. 53. De Cordova, “Elgar at ‘Craeg Lea,’” 118–19. Robert
Northrop Moore, this review (15 October 1903) was by J. A. Fuller-Maitland (1856 –1936), the chief music critic of the Times (London), and one of those members of the British musical establishment who was most hostile to Elgar (Elgar: A Creative Life, 417). The passage quoted in Musical News forms the central section of the review. 25. See Jaeger, The Apostles. 26. “Christ the Man of Sorrows” is one motif, not two; “Gospel” first appears one measure before rehearsal number 3. 27. The theme