Happy Birthday Sir Edward Elgar

Happy Birthday Sir, Edward Elgar That Is

On June 2, 1857 was born the great English [Broadheath, United Kingdom] composer Edward Elgar. In 1904, King Edward VII would knight, Edward Elgar, for recognition of his great works, and from that day on he would become known as Sir Edward Elgar.

Sir Edward Elgar [June 2, 1857 – Feb. 23, 1934]

From Elgar-biography: “[As a child Edward Elgar] studied the music available in his father’s shop and taught himself to play a wide variety of instruments. It is a remarkable fact that Elgar was very largely self-taught as a composer – evidence of the strong determination behind his original and unique genius.”

“For many years he had to contend with apathy, with the prejudices of the entrenched musical establishment, with religious bigotry (he was a member of the Roman Catholic minority in a Protestant majority England)”

“In 1889 he married one of his pupils, Caroline Alice Roberts, daughter of the late Major- General Sir Henry Roberts” … “[Alice would] play a vital part in the development of Elgar’s career.”

“His first big success came with the Variations on an Original Theme (Enigma) in 1899. Dedicated to “my friends pictured within”, this work, which is a masterpiece of form and orchestration, showed that Elgar, by that time, had surpassed the other leading English composers of his day, both in technical accomplishment and sheer force of musical personality.”

From Classic FM-Composers, Elgar: “As well as being behind some of the most beloved English music of all time, Sir Edward Elgar was also a keen amateur chemist.” … “the culmination was most certainly his invention of the Elgar Sulphuretted Hydrogen Apparatus, which was a device for synthesising hydrogen sulphide.”

“One of the masterpieces of the modern cello repertoire, it’s funny to think that Elgar’s cello concerto wasn’t that widely performed until a certain Jacqueline Du Pré got hold of it in 1965. The premiere recording was made by Beatrice Harrison, with Elgar himself conducting in 1920.”

Also from Classic FM-Elgar: “Elgar was one of the first composers to fully embrace recorded music. He regularly teamed up with the bods at HMV to make premiere recordings of his works, including the ‘Enigma’ Variations, the Cello Concerto and Falstaff.”

On this Thursday June 2nd, please turn up the volume and enjoy some of the wonderful music from Sir Edward Elgar on his 165th birthday.

Edward Elgar: Variations on an Original Theme, “Engima”:

Edward Elgar: Symphony #1 in Ab Major:

Edward Elgar: Pomp and Circumstance March #1 in D Major:

Edward Elgar: Serenade for Strings:

Happy Birthday Sir Edward Elgar!

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