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Sunday, July 20, 2014

Musical Interlude

(If you must have politics, please scroll down)

Edward Elgar's Adagio for string orchestra, harp and organ, Op.70:

About the above:
Adagio for string orchestra, harp and organ.
First Performance : Date : 15 August 1914
Venue : Queen's Hall, London
Conductor : Sir Henry Wood
Dedicated to : W H (Billy) Reed,
leader of the London Symphony Orchestra,
close friend and confidant of Elgar
Elgar provisionally called this short work Soupir d'Amour, intending it as a companion piece to Salut d'Amour, a light popular work for the masses. What emerged, however, was a work of considerably greater substance. He composed it in the months leading up to the outbreak of the First World War and it was perhaps the gathering stormclouds of war that moved him to write a heartfelt, bleak adagio that would not be out of place as the slow movement of an Elgar symphony.


  1. This all-too-short, elegiac tone poem could only be described as exquisite. The composer, who may be one of the most underrated of all the great masters, was readily in touch with the deepest, finest,most heartfelt, most endearing, and ennobling sentiments this life has to offer.

    Elgar, like many of the great lyric poets, proved it's possible to find solace in heartbreak. He taps into wellsprings of empathy and compassion undreamt of by most, but felt by all who are fully human.

    1. FT,
      I have only recently discovered some of Elgar's works. Perhaps you know more of his works that I would like.

    2. The Enigma Variations which include the famous, very moving Nimrod often performed separately in "pop" concerts, and as an organ solo. The Dream of Gerontius, an enormous secular choral work, is well worth exploring. I need to look into his output much ore, myself. I can't imagine his writing anything not worth hearing.

  2. By the way, I disagree that Salut d'amour (Love's greeting) is a lesser work written primarily to appeal to "the masses." It certainly has proved appealing to a very wide audience in the past, but that's no sign of inferiority, as others devoted to popular music I find offensive to good taste and decency have been quick to point out.

    Salut d'amour probes the depths of human longing, and expresses the tender feelings -- and extreme vulnerability -- the overwhelming power aroused by the awakening of erotic passion, and the ultimate heartbreak that too often comes after one surrenders to it. Profound stuff, if you ask me.

  3. That is so beautiful! Words fail me...

  4. That is just beautifully calming. When I hear 'Elgar' I only think Pomp and Circumstance, so thank you And thanks FreeThinker. I checked out the Enigma Variations, here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Fql5k50PYK0

    1. Baysider,
      Thank you for the comment -- and the link.

      We as a nation are in dreadful need of beauty and tranquility -- harbors from the sea of troubles engulfing us.

      So often, when I post beautiful music or anything uplifting, readers of this blog don't care. It seems that they'd rather wallow in politics all the time. **sigh**

  5. I think the image is nicer than the music. So sue me :-=)

    1. Z,
      Really? I take it that you don't care for Elgar.

      I find this piece poignant.

  6. yes, it's POIGNANT alright :-)


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