The almanac

UPI Almanac for Sunday, June 2, 2013.
By United Press International

The almanac

UPI Almanac for Saturday, June 2, 2012.
By United Press International

British list 'Lark Ascending' top classic

LONDON, April 10 (UPI) -- It may not be "Roll over Beethoven" time just yet but it definitely is out the backdoor for Bach when it comes to British classical music tastes.

Economist in, composer out on British bill

LONDON, March 13 (UPI) -- The visage of long-ago economist Adam Smith graces the 20-pound British note issued Tuesday -- the first time a Scot has appeared on a Bank of England note.

Britons ignorant about classical music

LONDON, Dec. 31 (UPI) -- Most Britons don't know that one of their country's famed musicians, Edward Elgar, was English, or much more about classical music.

Brits reveal ignorance of classical music

LONDON, Dec. 30 (UPI) -- More than half of 1,183 respondents to a British poll knew little about classical music, but the same amount said more should be taught in school.

Prom to mark Queen's milestone

LONDON, July 30 (UPI) -- Queen Elizabeth will attend a musical extravaganza marking the 50th anniversary of her coronation Wednesday, the BBC reported.

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. The first of his Pomp and Circumstance Marches (1901) is well-known in the UK and in the US.

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 and did not begin to revive significantly until 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 remains more played in Britain than elsewhere.

This article is licensed under the GNU Free Documentation License.
It uses material from the Wikipedia article "Edward Elgar."
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