Edward Elgar (1857-1934)

Episodes

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01London20190729

Today, Donald Macleod focuses on Elgar’s connection with London - the place he travelled to in his twenties for the occasional violin lesson, the place he married his wife Alice and where his only child Carice was born, and the place they returned to many years later to live in their grandest residence 'Severn House', the first house they actually owned and the home where Alice later died.

Worcester-born, with his roots in the beautiful English countryside around Hereford and the Malverns yet drawn to the bright lights of London, English composer Edward Elgar moved house a lot. He lived in over 25 residences in his lifetime, stayed with friends, travelled often for work and pleasure in the UK, Europe and further afield, and had a number of second homes he rented as retreats. This week we’re focusing on the locations that were important to Elgar, and the places that inspired his music.

Pomp and Circumstance March Op 39 No 1 in D major
Hallé Orchestra
Mark Elder, conductor

Cockaigne (In London Town)
London Philharmonic Orchestra
Leonard Slatkin, conductor

Salut d'amour, Op 12
Sarah Chang, violin
Sandra Rivers, piano

O Happy Eyes, Op 18 No 1
Quink Vocal Ensemble

The Dream of Gerontius Op 38 (part two –from ‘The Angel and the Soul’ to the end)
Arthur Davies, tenor (Gerontius)
Gwynne Howell, bass (The Priest & The Angel of the Agony)
Felicity Palmer, mezzo soprano (The Angel)
London Symphony Orchestra & Chorus
Richard Hickox, conductor
Roderick Elms, organ

Produced by Amy Wheel for BBC Cymru Wales

Donald Macleod focuses on Edward Elgar\u2019s connection with London

Donald Macleod offers a weekly guide to composers and their music.

03Retreats20190731

Elgar composed best when he was close to nature, away from towns and cities. During his lifetime he often rented retreats or visited friends in idyllic locations to relax and write. In today's programme Donald Macleod introduces us to Elgar's two country cottages 'Birchwood', near Malvern, and 'Brinkwells', in the Sussex countryside, and one of his closest friend's riverside mansion 'The Hut' on the Thames at Bray, near Maidenhead. Music includes his Sea Pictures, and the first two movements of his Cello Concerto in the classic recording with Jacqueline du Pré.

Worcester-born, with his roots in the beautiful English countryside around Hereford and the Malverns yet drawn to the bright lights of London, English composer Edward Elgar moved house a lot. He lived in over 25 residences in his lifetime, stayed with friends, travelled often for work and pleasure in the UK, Europe and further afield, and had a number of second homes he rented as retreats. This week we’re focusing on the locations that were important to Elgar, and the places that inspired his music.

Introduction ‘The woodland interlude’ (Caractacus)
Orchestra of Opera North
Martyn Brabbins, conductor

Sea Pictures Op 37
Bournemouth Symphony Orchestra & Chorus
Simon Wright, conductor
Sarah Connolly, mezzo-soprano

Piano Quintet Op 84 (3rd movt - Andante – Allegro)
Piers Lane, piano
Goldner String Quartet

Cello Concerto in E minor Op 85 (1st movt - Adagio - Moderato & 2nd movt - Lento – Allegro molto)
London Symphony Orchestra
Sir John Barbirolli, conductor
Jacqueline du Pré, cello

Produced by Amy Wheel for BBC Cymru Wales

Donald Macleod discovers Elgar's country cottage retreats.

Donald Macleod offers a weekly guide to composers and their music.

04Abroad20190801

Elgar’s well known for his association with English landscapes, but he also travelled abroad often, and was inspired by his visits to many locations whilst holidaying, or conducting. In today's programme Donald Macleod explores Elgar's travels abroad, and we hear music inspired by a wild trip to Paris, his love of the Bavarian Highlands and a villa stay in Italy. We also learn of his mysterious cruise up the Amazon.

Worcester-born, with his roots in the beautiful English countryside around Hereford and the Malverns yet drawn to the bright lights of London, English composer Edward Elgar moved house a lot. He lived in over 25 residences in his lifetime, stayed with friends, travelled often for work and pleasure in the UK, Europe and further afield, and had a number of second homes he rented as retreats. This week we’re focusing on the locations that were important to Elgar, and the places that inspired his music.

In Smyrna
Stephen Hough, piano

Paris – Five Quadrilles
Innovation Chamber Ensemble
Barry Collett, conductor

From the Bavarian Highlands Op 27 -
No. 3. Lullaby [In Hammersbach]
No. 4. Aspiration [Bei Sankt Anton]
No. 5. On the Alm [Hoch Alp]
No. 6. The Marksmen [Bei Murnau]
Worcester Cathedral Choir
Christopher Robinson, conductor
Frank Wibaut, piano

In the South (Alassio)
BBC Scottish Symphony Orchestra
Martyn Brabbins, conductor

Produced by Amy Wheel for BBC Cymru Wales

Donald Macleod explores the music inspired by Elgar's travels abroad.

Donald Macleod offers a weekly guide to composers and their music.

05Worcester20190802

Today Donald Macleod focusses on Worcester, where Elgar was born, and where he lived for the final five years of his life. We hear his last completed work in a recording his daughter played to him just a week before he died, and The Wand of Youth - music based on a play he put on at the age of eleven.

Worcester-born, with his roots in the beautiful English countryside around Hereford and the Malverns yet drawn to the bright lights of London, English composer Edward Elgar moved house a lot. He lived in over 25 residences in his lifetime, stayed with friends, travelled often for work and pleasure in the UK, Europe and further afield, and had a number of second homes he rented as retreats. This week we’re focusing on the locations that were important to Elgar, and the places that inspired his music.

Mina
New Light Symphony Orchestra
J. Ainslie Murray, conductor

The Wand of Youth Suite No 1, Op 1a
Hallé Orchestra
Mark Elder, conductor

Organ Sonata No 1 in G major Op 28 (2nd movt - Allegretto)
Christopher Herrick, organ

Severn Suite Op 87
John Foster Black Dyke Mills Band

Lux Aeterna (choral arrangement of Enigma Variations Op 36 Nimrod by John Cameron)
The Choir of New College Oxford
Edward Higginbottom, director

Produced by Amy Wheel for BBC Cymru Wales

Worcester - where Elgar was born, and where he lived for the final five years of his life.

Donald Macleod offers a weekly guide to composers and their music.

01The Roots Of An Enigma20130617

Donald Macleod follows Elgar from birth to the brink of his first acknowledged masterpiece

Celebrating British Music: Donald Macleod explores the life and work of the 'quintessentially English' composer, Edward Elgar, whose musical roots lay firmly in Europe, and whose Catholicism and class background bequeathed him a lifelong sense of isolation from mainstream British society.

Today's programme follows Elgar from birth to the brink of his first acknowledged masterpiece via unrequited love, wind quintets written for performance in the family shed, a spell as music director at a lunatic asylum, marriage, early recognition, the advent of 'Nimrod' (August Jaeger), and the first glimmerings of success beyond the confines of his native Worcestershire.

02Cracking The Enigma20130618

Donald Macleod focuses on two works: the Enigma Variations and The Dream of Gerontius.

Celebrating British Music: Donald Macleod explores the life and work of the 'quintessentially English' composer, Edward Elgar, whose musical roots lay firmly in Europe, and whose Catholicism and class background bequeathed him a lifelong sense of isolation from mainstream British society.

Today's programme focuses on two works: the Enigma Variations and The Dream of Gerontius. The former grew out of Elgar's musical doodlings at the piano after a hard day's teaching; the latter from his childhood faith, which was soon to suffer a serious knockback. The Variations were a huge success from the outset, while The Dream had to rebuild its reputation after a disastrous first performance.

03The Long-awaited Symphony20130619

Celebrating British Music: Donald Macleod explores the life and work of the 'quintessentially English' composer, Edward Elgar, whose musical roots lay firmly in Europe, and whose Catholicism and class background bequeathed him a lifelong sense of isolation from mainstream British society.

Today's programme explores two very different facets of Elgar's musical personality: on the one hand, the confident unflappability of the first Pomp and Circumstance march; and on the other, the nuanced, doubt-ridden progress of the First Symphony, whose conclusion is just as triumphant but much harder won. Both works were huge, instant and enduring successes.

04A Fat Knight And A New King20130620

Donald Macleod learns how Elgar shunned the coronation of King George V.

Celebrating British Music: Donald Macleod explores the life and work of the 'quintessentially English' composer, Edward Elgar, whose musical roots lay firmly in Europe, and whose Catholicism and class background bequeathed him a lifelong sense of isolation from mainstream British society.

Today's programme has a royal thread running through it. In 1911, Elgar was commissioned to write music for the coronation of George V. He fulfilled his commission but a last-minute bout of depression kept him, and his bemused wife and child, away from the ceremony, where they were to have been honoured guests. Elgar's symphonic study of Shakespeare's Fat Knight has divided audiences. He considered it his orchestral masterpiece; others find its reputation enigmatic.

05 LASTWar And Beyond20130621

Donald Macleod focuses on Elgar's life during the First World War and beyond.

Celebrating British Music: Donald Macleod explores the life and work of the 'quintessentially English' composer, Edward Elgar, whose musical roots lay firmly in Europe, and whose Catholicism and class background bequeathed him a lifelong sense of isolation from mainstream British society.

Today's programme charts Elgar's progress during and after World War I. The blithe bluster of Carillon, written at the beginning of the conflict, gives way to the deep melancholy of the Cello Concerto, written at the other end of the collective European nightmare. Within a year of the concerto, Elgar's wife Alice died of undiagnosed lung cancer and from that point on he completed no new works of substance. He did, however, throw himself into a major recording project, committing interpretations of much of his own orchestral output to disc - the first such undertaking by a composer.

01Dreamer20150907

In his sixties, Elgar said: "I am still at heart the dreamy child who used to be found in the reeds by Severn side with a sheet of paper, trying to fix the sounds and longing for something very great." In this first programme, Donald Macleod recounts Elgar's early years, and explores how those childhood experiences never left him.

Elgar emerged onto the scene at a time when Britain was still described as 'a land without music'. He played a central role in reviving this country's musical reputation and his success won him fame, honours and a place at the heart of the cultural establishment. Nevertheless, he cast himself as an outsider throughout his long career.

4 Choral songs, Op.53: No. 1. There is sweet music

Cambridge University Choir,

Iain Farrington, piano

The Wand of Youth Suite No. 2

English Symphony and String Orchestra

William Boughton, conductor

The Music Makers Op. 69 (Excerpt)

Felicity Palmer (contralto)

London symphony Orchestra

Richard Hickox, conductor

Very easy melodious exercises in first position

Nigel Kennedy, violin

Peter Pettinger, piano.

Exploring Elgar's early years and how his childhood experiences never left him.

02Alice20150908

The challenges Elgar and his wife Alice met together during their first years of marriage.

Elgar might never have reached his full potential but for the care and support of his wife, Alice. Donald Macleod explores some of the challenges they met together during their first years of marriage.

Elgar emerged onto the scene at a time when Britain was still described as 'a land without music'. He played a central role in reviving this country's musical reputation, and his success won him fame, honours and a place at the heart of the cultural establishment. Nevertheless, he cast himself as an outsider throughout his long career.

Sursum Corda (elevation) Op. 11

London Symphony Orchestra and Chorus

Roderick Elms, organ

Richard Hickox, conductor

L'Assomoir: Quadrille 1-5

Innovation Chamber Ensemble

Barry Collett, conductor

Salut d'amour

Nigel Kennedy, violin

Steven Isserlis, cello

Peter Pettinger, piano

Mot d'amour

The Black Knight Op. 25 (Excerpt)

Froissart Op. 19

English Symphony Orchestra

Williams Boughton, conductor.

03Malvern20150909

In 1891, Elgar and his wife returned from London to set up home in the shadow of the Malvern hills. Donald Macleod explores how Elgar's music was influenced by the landscape around him.

Elgar emerged onto the scene at a time when Britain was still described as 'a land without music'. He played a central role in reviving this country's musical reputation, and his success won him fame, honours and a place at the heart of the cultural establishment. Nevertheless, he cast himself as an outsider throughout his long career.

The Light of Life, Op. 29

Judith Howarth, soprano

Linda Finnie, contralto

Arthur Davies, tenor

John Shirley-Quirk, baritone

London Symphony Orchestra and Chorus

Richard Hickox, conductor

3 characteristic Pieces, Op. 10 No. 1, Mazurka

Marat Bisengaliev, violin

Benjamin Frith, piano

Caractacus. Op 35 (excerpt)

David Wilson-Johnson, baritone

Stephen Roberts, bass

Alistair Miles, bass

London Symphony Orchestra & Chorus

Conducted by Richard Hickox

Sea Pictures Op 37: Sea Slumber song; The Swimmer

Felicity Palmer, contralto

Donald Macleod on how Elgar's music was influenced by the landscape of the Malvern hills.

04The Apostles20150910

As Elgar headed towards his 50th birthday, he took up cycling and started work on a major new choral project. Presented by Donald Macleod.

Elgar emerged onto the scene at a time when Britain was still described as 'a land without music'. He played a central role in reviving this country's musical reputation, and his success won him fame, honours and a place at the heart of the cultural establishment. Nevertheless, he cast himself as an outsider throughout his long career.

Cockaigne (in London town), Op. 40

English Symphony Orchestra

William Boughton, conductor

The Apostles: (Excerpt from Part 2)

Rebecca Evans, soprano

Alice Coote, mezzo-soprano

Paul Groves, tenor

Jacques Imbrailo, baritone

David Kempster, baritone

Brindley Sherratt, bass

The Halle Orchestra, Choir and Youth Choir

Sir Mark Elder, conductor

In the South "Alassio

BBC National Orchestra of Wales

Richard Hickox, conductor

Love, Op18, No 2

The Finzi Singers

Paul Spicer, director.

About to turn 50, Elgar took up cycling and started work on a major new choral project.

05 LAST'my Beloved Country'20150911

How after 1914, Elgar's inclination to nostalgia became even more heightened.

After 1914, Elgar and Alice through themselves into war work. In his music, Elgar's inclination to nostalgia became even more heightened as the world he knew was swept away by a conflict he could barely understand. Presented by Donald Macleod.

Elgar emerged onto the scene at a time when Britain was still described as 'a land without music'. He played a central role in reviving this country's musical reputation, and his success won him fame, honours and a place at the heart of the cultural establishment. Nevertheless, he cast himself as an outsider throughout his long career.

01Family And An Early Love20171030

Donald Macleod explores the impact that Elgar's family and an early love had on his music.

Donald Macleod explores the life and career of Edward Elgar through the lens of his muses - his love interests, and some of his greatest friends. In today's episode, Donald explores the impact that Elgar's family, his family friends and Helen Weaver - an early love interest - had on his life and his work

Reminiscences
Marat Bisengaliev (violin)
Benjamin Frith (piano)

Wand of Youth - Suite No. 2
Academy of St Martin in the Fields
Neville Marriner (conductor)

Pastoral (Caractacus, Scene 3)
Judith Howarth (soprano), Arthur Davies (tenor),
London Symphony Orchestra and Chorus
Richard Hickox (conductor)

Polka Helcia
Innovation Chamber Ensemble
Barry Collett (conductor)

Sabbath at Sea (Sea Pictures)
Alice Coote (mezzo)
Hallé Orchestra
Mark Elder (conductor)

Une Idylle, Op. 4 No. 1 (for E.E. Inverness), solo piano arrangement
Ashley Wass (piano)

Producer: Sam Phillips.

02Alice Passing Fair20171031

Donald Macleod explores Elgar's relationship with his wife - Caroline Alice Roberts.

Donald Macleod explores the life and career of Edward Elgar through the lens of his muses - his family, his love interests, and some of his greatest friends. Today, Donald explores the powerful influence that Elgar's relationship with Caroline Alice Roberts - the woman who would become his wife - had on his life and music.

Salut d'amour
Albert Sammons (violin)
Gerald Moore (piano)

The Tournament (The Black Knight)
London Symphony Chorus
London Symphony Orchestra
Richard Hickox (conductor)

3 Bavarian Dances
London Philharmonic
Adrian Boult (conductor)

Cello Concerto
Steven Isserlis (cello)
Philharmonia Orchestra
Paavo Järvi (conductor)

Producer: Sam Phillips.

03Enigma 'friends Pictured Within'20171101

Donald Macleod focuses on the friends pictured within Elgar's Enigma Variations.

Donald Macleod explores the life and career of Edward Elgar through the lens of his muses - his family, his love interests, and some of his greatest friends. In today's programme, Donald focuses on some of Elgar's male companions and the friends pictured within his ever-popular Enigma Variations

Pomp and Circumstance March No.1
BBC Philharmonic
Sir Andrew Davis (conductor)

Sospiri
Vienna Philharmonic
John Eliot Gardiner (conductor)

Deep in my soul, Op.53 No.2
Tenebrae
Nigel Short (director)

Enigma Variations
Los Angeles Philharmonic
Zubin Mehta (conductor)

Producer: Sam Phillips.

04Windflower20171102

Donald Macleod explores the relationship between Elgar and Alice Stuart Wortley.

Donald Macleod explores the life and career of Edward Elgar through the lens of his muses - his family, his love interests, and some of his greatest friends. Today, Donald explores the complex relationship between Elgar and the woman he nicknamed "Windflower" - Alice Sophia Caroline Stuart-Wortley - the daughter of the painter Sir John Millais and wife to a Tory MP who was later elected to the peerage.

The Shower
City of Birmingham Symphony Chorus
Simon Halsey (director)

Violin Concerto
Nicolaj Znaider (violin)
Staatskapelle Dresden
Sir Colin Davis (conductor)

Producer: Sam Phillips.

05 lastVera And The End20171103

Donald MacLeod explores Elgar's final muse and the last years of his life.

Donald Macleod explores the life and career of Edward Elgar through the lens of his muses - his family, his love interests, and some of his greatest friends. In this final programme of the week, Donald explores the final years of Elgar's life following the death of his wife and the relationship between Elgar and one final muse - a young violinist called Vera Hockman.

Sonatina in G major
May Grafton (piano)

Mina
Royal Liverpool Philharmonic Orchestra
Vassily Petrenko (conductor)

The Dream of Gerontius - end of Part I
Richard Lewis (tenor)
Kim Borg (bass)
Hallé Orchestra
Sir John Barbirolli (conductor)

Violin Sonata
Lydia Mordkovitch (violin)
Julian Milford (piano)

Ave Verum Corpus
Clare College Chapel Choir
Timothy Brown (director)

Producer: Sam Phillips.

01London20190729

Today, Donald Macleod focuses on Elgar’s connection with London - the place he travelled to in his twenties for the occasional violin lesson, the place he married his wife Alice and where his only child Carice was born, and the place they returned to many years later to live in their grandest residence 'Severn House', the first house they actually owned and the home where Alice later died.

Worcester-born, with his roots in the beautiful English countryside around Hereford and the Malverns yet drawn to the bright lights of London, English composer Edward Elgar moved house a lot. He lived in over 25 residences in his lifetime, stayed with friends, travelled often for work and pleasure in the UK, Europe and further afield, and had a number of second homes he rented as retreats. This week we’re focusing on the locations that were important to Elgar, and the places that inspired his music.

Pomp and Circumstance March Op 39 No 1 in D major
Hallé Orchestra
Mark Elder, conductor

Cockaigne (In London Town)
London Philharmonic Orchestra
Leonard Slatkin, conductor

Salut d'amour, Op 12
Sarah Chang, violin
Sandra Rivers, piano

O Happy Eyes, Op 18 No 1
Quink Vocal Ensemble

The Dream of Gerontius Op 38 (part two –from ‘The Angel and the Soul’ to the end)
Arthur Davies, tenor (Gerontius)
Gwynne Howell, bass (The Priest & The Angel of the Agony)
Felicity Palmer, mezzo soprano (The Angel)
London Symphony Orchestra & Chorus
Richard Hickox, conductor
Roderick Elms, organ

Produced by Amy Wheel for BBC Cymru Wales

Donald Macleod focuses on Edward Elgar's connection with London

Donald Macleod offers a weekly guide to composers and their music.

02Hereford And The Malverns20190730

Today Donald Macelod explores Elgar's homes in the Malverns and Herefordshire in the middle of his life, from his mid-thirties to his mid-fifties. We hear his Enigma Variations and movements from his Second Symphony and his String Quartet.

Worcester-born, with his roots in the beautiful English countryside around Hereford and the Malverns yet drawn to the bright lights of London, English composer Edward Elgar moved house a lot. He lived in over 25 residences in his lifetime, stayed with friends, travelled often for work and pleasure in the UK, Europe and further afield, and had a number of second homes he rented as retreats. This week we’re focusing on the locations that were important to Elgar, and the places that inspired his music.

Owls, an Epitaph Op 53 No 4 (Four Choral Songs)
London Symphony Chorus
Stephen Westrop, chorus master
Vernon Handley, conductor

Enigma Variations Op 36
The Royal Liverpool Philharmonic Orchestra
Vasily Petrenko, conductor

Symphony No 2 (3rd movt - Presto)
London Philharmonic Orchestra
Georg Solti, conductor

String Quartet (2nd movt - Piacevole (poco andante)
Goldner String Quartet

Produced by Amy Wheel for BBC Cymru Wales

Donald Macleod explores Elgar's homes in the Malverns and Herefordshire.

Donald Macleod offers a weekly guide to composers and their music.

Today Donald Macelod explores Elgar's homes in the Malverns and Herefordshire in the middle of his life, from his mid-thirties to his mid-fifties. We hear his Enigma Variations and movements from his Second Symphony and his String Quartet.

Worcester-born, with his roots in the beautiful English countryside around Hereford and the Malverns yet drawn to the bright lights of London, English composer Edward Elgar moved house a lot. He lived in over 25 residences in his lifetime, stayed with friends, travelled often for work and pleasure in the UK, Europe and further afield, and had a number of second homes he rented as retreats. This week we’re focusing on the locations that were important to Elgar, and the places that inspired his music.

Owls, an Epitaph Op 53 No 4 (Four Choral Songs)
London Symphony Chorus
Stephen Westrop, chorus master
Vernon Handley, conductor

Enigma Variations Op 36
The Royal Liverpool Philharmonic Orchestra
Vasily Petrenko, conductor

Symphony No 2 (3rd movt - Presto)
London Philharmonic Orchestra
Georg Solti, conductor

String Quartet (2nd movt - Piacevole (poco andante)
Goldner String Quartet

Produced by Amy Wheel for BBC Cymru Wales

Donald Macleod explores Elgar's homes in the Malverns and Herefordshire.

Donald Macleod offers a weekly guide to composers and their music.

03Retreats20190731

Elgar composed best when he was close to nature, away from towns and cities. During his lifetime he often rented retreats or visited friends in idyllic locations to relax and write. In today's programme Donald Macleod introduces us to Elgar's two country cottages 'Birchwood', near Malvern, and 'Brinkwells', in the Sussex countryside, and one of his closest friend's riverside mansion 'The Hut' on the Thames at Bray, near Maidenhead. Music includes his Sea Pictures, and the first two movements of his Cello Concerto in the classic recording with Jacqueline du Pré.

Worcester-born, with his roots in the beautiful English countryside around Hereford and the Malverns yet drawn to the bright lights of London, English composer Edward Elgar moved house a lot. He lived in over 25 residences in his lifetime, stayed with friends, travelled often for work and pleasure in the UK, Europe and further afield, and had a number of second homes he rented as retreats. This week we’re focusing on the locations that were important to Elgar, and the places that inspired his music.

Introduction ‘The woodland interlude’ (Caractacus)
Orchestra of Opera North
Martyn Brabbins, conductor

Sea Pictures Op 37
Bournemouth Symphony Orchestra & Chorus
Simon Wright, conductor
Sarah Connolly, mezzo-soprano

Piano Quintet Op 84 (3rd movt - Andante – Allegro)
Piers Lane, piano
Goldner String Quartet

Cello Concerto in E minor Op 85 (1st movt - Adagio - Moderato & 2nd movt - Lento – Allegro molto)
London Symphony Orchestra
Sir John Barbirolli, conductor
Jacqueline du Pré, cello

Produced by Amy Wheel for BBC Cymru Wales

Donald Macleod discovers Elgar's country cottage retreats.

Donald Macleod offers a weekly guide to composers and their music.

04Abroad20190801

Elgar’s well known for his association with English landscapes, but he also travelled abroad often, and was inspired by his visits to many locations whilst holidaying, or conducting. In today's programme Donald Macleod explores Elgar's travels abroad, and we hear music inspired by a wild trip to Paris, his love of the Bavarian Highlands and a villa stay in Italy. We also learn of his mysterious cruise up the Amazon.

Worcester-born, with his roots in the beautiful English countryside around Hereford and the Malverns yet drawn to the bright lights of London, English composer Edward Elgar moved house a lot. He lived in over 25 residences in his lifetime, stayed with friends, travelled often for work and pleasure in the UK, Europe and further afield, and had a number of second homes he rented as retreats. This week we’re focusing on the locations that were important to Elgar, and the places that inspired his music.

In Smyrna
Stephen Hough, piano

Paris – Five Quadrilles
Innovation Chamber Ensemble
Barry Collett, conductor

From the Bavarian Highlands Op 27 -
No. 3. Lullaby [In Hammersbach]
No. 4. Aspiration [Bei Sankt Anton]
No. 5. On the Alm [Hoch Alp]
No. 6. The Marksmen [Bei Murnau]
Worcester Cathedral Choir
Christopher Robinson, conductor
Frank Wibaut, piano

In the South (Alassio)
BBC Scottish Symphony Orchestra
Martyn Brabbins, conductor

Produced by Amy Wheel for BBC Cymru Wales

Donald Macleod explores the music inspired by Elgar's travels abroad.

Donald Macleod offers a weekly guide to composers and their music.

05 LASTWorcester20190802

Today Donald Macleod focusses on Worcester, where Elgar was born, and where he lived for the final five years of his life. We hear his last completed work in a recording his daughter played to him just a week before he died, and The Wand of Youth - music based on a play he put on at the age of eleven.

Worcester-born, with his roots in the beautiful English countryside around Hereford and the Malverns yet drawn to the bright lights of London, English composer Edward Elgar moved house a lot. He lived in over 25 residences in his lifetime, stayed with friends, travelled often for work and pleasure in the UK, Europe and further afield, and had a number of second homes he rented as retreats. This week we’re focusing on the locations that were important to Elgar, and the places that inspired his music.

Mina
New Light Symphony Orchestra
J. Ainslie Murray, conductor

The Wand of Youth Suite No 1, Op 1a
Hallé Orchestra
Mark Elder, conductor

Organ Sonata No 1 in G major Op 28 (2nd movt - Allegretto)
Christopher Herrick, organ

Severn Suite Op 87
John Foster Black Dyke Mills Band

Lux Aeterna (choral arrangement of Enigma Variations Op 36 Nimrod by John Cameron)
The Choir of New College Oxford
Edward Higginbottom, director

Produced by Amy Wheel for BBC Cymru Wales

Worcester - where Elgar was born, and where he lived for the final five years of his life.

Donald Macleod offers a weekly guide to composers and their music.

01The Edwardian Golden Summer20120130

Donald Macleod focuses on Elgar's work during the Edwardian Golden Summer in 1914.

By the end of the Great War, Sir Edward Elgar couldn't compose any music to celebrate peace, disillusioned as he was by the whole period, which Donald Macleod explores in conversation with Terry Charman from the Imperial War Museum. At the outbreak of war, Elgar was noted for being more concerned about his beloved horses, than for any soldiers fighting. Little did anyone know how many horses or people would die in this conflict, which lasted more than the predicted three months. Elgar did do his bit though, joining the Special Reserve, conducting charity concerts to raise much needed funds, and composing the odd bit of jingoistic music to rally the people. It is the Great War period back at home in Great Britain, with Zeppelin raids, German cruisers shelling Whitby and Scarborough, to xenophobic riots in London, which Donald Macleod explores tracing how these events affected the life and music of Sir Edward Elgar.

1914, and in the age of Empire and British supremacy at sea, it was the Edwardian Golden Summer. Few people realised that war was looming, and commissions were coming in for Elgar, such as from the Sons of Clergy Festival at St. Paul's Cathedral, for which he composed his anthem Give unto the Lord. Soon, with motor vehicles requisitioned, and the unmistakable increase of men in khaki, the Great War had begun. Elgar soon received his first war commission in aid of the Belgian Fund, writing a work for narrator and orchestra, Carillon. But many of Elgar's most fierce supporters were German, including Hans Richter, to whom he dedicated his Three Bavarian Dances.

01The Edwardian Golden Summer2011110720140623

Donald Macleod focuses on Elgar's work during the Edwardian Golden Summer in 1914.

By the end of the Great War, Sir Edward Elgar couldn't compose any music to celebrate peace, disillusioned as he was by the whole period, which Donald Macleod explores in conversation with Terry Charman from the Imperial War Museum. At the outbreak of war, Elgar was noted for being more concerned about his beloved horses, than for any soldiers fighting. Little did anyone know how many horses or people would die in this conflict, which lasted more than the predicted three months. Elgar did do his bit though, joining the Special Reserve, conducting charity concerts to raise much needed funds, and composing the odd bit of jingoistic music to rally the people. It is the Great War period back at home in Great Britain, with Zeppelin raids, German cruisers shelling Whitby and Scarborough, to xenophobic riots in London, which Donald Macleod explores tracing how these events affected the life and music of Sir Edward Elgar.

1914, and in the age of Empire and British supremacy at sea, it was the Edwardian Golden Summer. Few people realised that war was looming, and commissions were coming in for Elgar, such as from the Sons of Clergy Festival at St. Paul's Cathedral, for which he composed his anthem Give unto the Lord. Soon, with motor vehicles requisitioned, and the unmistakable increase of men in khaki, the Great War had begun. Elgar soon received his first war commission in aid of the Belgian Fund, writing a work for narrator and orchestra, Carillon. But many of Elgar's most fierce supporters were German, including Hans Richter, to whom he dedicated his Three Bavarian Dances.

02Elgar And The Zeppelin Raids On London2011110820120131

Donald Macleod focuses on the year 1915, when Elgar wrote music for The Starlight Express.

By the end of the Great War, Sir Edward Elgar couldn't compose any music to celebrate peace, disillusioned as he was by the whole period, which Donald Macleod explores in conversation with Terry Charman from the Imperial War Museum.

At the outbreak of war, Elgar was noted for being more concerned about his beloved horses, than for any soldiers fighting.

Little did anyone know how many horses or people would die in this conflict, which lasted more than the predicted three months.

Elgar did do his bit though, joining the Special Reserve, conducting charity concerts to raise much needed funds, and composing the odd bit of jingoistic music to rally the people.

It is the Great War period back at home in Great Britain, with Zeppelin raids, German cruisers shelling Whitby and Scarborough, to xenophobic riots in London, which Donald Macleod explores tracing how these events affected the life and music of Sir Edward Elgar.

1914, and in the age of Empire and British supremacy at sea, it was the Edwardian Golden Summer.

Few people realised that war was looming, and commissions were coming in for Elgar, such as from the Sons of Clergy Festival at St.

Paul's Cathedral, for which he composed his anthem Give unto the Lord.

Soon, with motor vehicles requisitioned, and the unmistakable increase of men in khaki, the Great War had begun.

Elgar soon received his first war commission in aid of the Belgian Fund, writing a work for narrator and orchestra, Carillon.

But many of Elgar's most fierce supporters were German, including Hans Richter, to whom he dedicated his Three Bavarian Dances.

At the beginning of 1915, came the realisation that the Great War was not going to be over in three months. German cruisers had been shelling Whitby and Scarborough, and Zeppelin raids were happening over London. Keen to do his bit, Elgar joined the Hampstead Special Reserve, being called out when needed for air-raid duties. He also started to compose a work genuinely inspired by the pity of war and the inhumanity of warfare, his The Spirit of England. But with the sinking of the Lusitania, riots took place in London, and xenophobia was on the rise. At this very same time, Elgar was writing his Polonia, a symphonic prelude in aid of the Polish Relief Fund. However, what the people needed more than anything, was escapism, and Elgar supplied it by returning to fairyland, with his Starlight Express.

02Elgar And The Zeppelin Raids On London2011110820140624

Donald Macleod focuses on the year 1915, when Elgar wrote music for The Starlight Express.

By the end of the Great War, Sir Edward Elgar couldn't compose any music to celebrate peace, disillusioned as he was by the whole period, which Donald Macleod explores in conversation with Terry Charman from the Imperial War Museum.

At the beginning of 1915 came the realisation that the Great War was not going to be over in three months. German cruisers had been shelling Whitby and Scarborough, and Zeppelin raids were happening over London. Keen to do his bit, Elgar joined the Hampstead Special Reserve, being called out when needed for air-raid duties. He also started to compose a work genuinely inspired by the pity of war and the inhumanity of warfare, The Spirit of England. But with the sinking of the Lusitania, riots took place in London, and xenophobia was on the rise. At this very same time, Elgar was writing his Polonia, a symphonic prelude in aid of the Polish Relief Fund. However, what the people needed more than anything, was escapism, and Elgar supplied it by returning to fairyland, with his Starlight Express.

03Elgar And The Gramophone Company2011110920120201

Donald Macleod on how Elgar was moved by the war dead arriving at Charing Cross Station.

By the end of the Great War, Sir Edward Elgar couldn't compose any music to celebrate peace, disillusioned as he was by the whole period, which Donald Macleod explores in conversation with Terry Charman from the Imperial War Museum.

The Great War dragged on, and by 1916 the government was forced to introduce compulsory national service. Elgar found himself touring the North of England and Scotland, with morale-raising concerts and music including To Women from The Spirit of England. But Elgar was unwell even before the war started, and war events combined with his exhausting work were dragging him down. His wife Alice refused to let Elgar accept the offer of a conducting tour of Russia, due to his ill health. He still managed though to keep working on a theme or two of his, such as his incomplete Piano Concerto, and a jingoistic work Fight for Right.

03Elgar And The Gramophone Company2011110920140625

Donald Macleod on how Elgar was moved by the war dead arriving at Charing Cross station.

By the end of the Great War, Sir Edward Elgar couldn't compose any music to celebrate peace, disillusioned as he was by the whole period, which Donald Macleod explores in conversation with Terry Charman from the Imperial War Museum.

The Great War dragged on, and by 1916 the government was forced to introduce compulsory national service. Elgar found himself touring the North of England and Scotland, with morale-raising concerts and music including To Women from The Spirit of England. But Elgar was unwell even before the war started, and war events combined with his exhausting work were dragging him down. His wife Alice refused to let Elgar accept the offer of a conducting tour of Russia, due to his ill health. He still managed though to keep working on a theme or two of his, such as his incomplete Piano Concerto, and a jingoistic work Fight for Right.

04Elgar And The Fringes Of The Fleet2011111020120202

Donald Macleod explores Elgar's song cycle The Fringes of the Fleet.

By the end of the Great War, Sir Edward Elgar couldn't compose any music to celebrate peace, disillusioned as he was by the whole period, which Donald Macleod explores in conversation with Terry Charman from the Imperial War Museum.

With no end in sight for the war, it continued on into 1917. This is when Elgar heard of the death of his friend and supporter Hans Richter, who had given the premiere of some of Elgar's best known works, including the Enigma Variations. Things however were starting to change in Britain, with a new government, and the introduction of convoys to protect cargo and hospital ships from the German u-boat campaign. But with the continued reports of atrocities on the front line, and increased deprivations at home, Elgar finally found the stimulus to finish his work The Spirit of England, with a setting of The Fourth of August. It wasn't only war music which Elgar concentrated on during this time, as he also composed his only ballet incorporating 18th century French costumes and classical mythology, in The Sanguine Fan.

Donald Macleed explores Elgar's song cycle The Fringes of the Fleet.

04Elgar And The Fringes Of The Fleet2011111020140626

Donald Macleod explores Elgar's song cycle The Fringes of the Fleet.

By the end of the Great War, Sir Edward Elgar couldn't compose any music to celebrate peace, disillusioned as he was by the whole period, which Donald Macleod explores in conversation with Terry Charman from the Imperial War Museum.

With no end in sight for the war, it continued on into 1917. This is when Elgar heard of the death of his friend and supporter Hans Richter, who had given the premiere of some of Elgar's best known works, including the Enigma Variations. Things however were starting to change in Britain, with a new government, and the introduction of convoys to protect cargo and hospital ships from the German u-boat campaign. But with the continued reports of atrocities on the front line, and increased deprivations at home, Elgar finally found the stimulus to finish his work The Spirit of England, with a setting of The Fourth of August. It wasn't only war music which Elgar concentrated on during this time, as he also composed his only ballet incorporating 18th century French costumes and classical mythology, in The Sanguine Fan.

05 LASTArmistice Declared, But No Celebration For Elgar2011111120120203

Donald Macleod on the effect of the Armistice in Great Britain in 1918.

By the end of the Great War, Sir Edward Elgar couldn't compose any music to celebrate peace, disillusioned as he was by the whole period, which Donald Macleod explores in conversation with Terry Charman from the Imperial War Museum.

By 1918, Elgar had stomach problems and was continually unwell, finally being operated on to remove his tonsils. Compared to what hundreds of thousands were enduring in the trench warfare of the first world war, this was no great thing, but Elgar was 61 and not in great shape. Once installed with his wife in a rustic thatched cottage in West Sussex to recuperate, his creativity started to flow again, in particular sketching out a germ of a theme on his piano entitled "?", which would later become part of his Cello Concerto. There were also more rustic pursuits, including gardening and fishing, but then came an official request from the Ministry of Food for a new war work, Big Steamers. When the Armistice was signed, with his Land of Hope and Glory proving ever popular, Elgar did not feel inclined to compose any work in celebration of peace. Many of his friends had died, and his life was dramatically changed for ever.

05 LASTArmistice Declared, But No Celebration For Elgar2011111120140627

Donald Macleod on the effect of the Armistice in Great Britain in 1918.

By the end of the Great War, Sir Edward Elgar couldn't compose any music to celebrate peace, disillusioned as he was by the whole period, which Donald Macleod explores in conversation with Terry Charman from the Imperial War Museum.

By 1918, Elgar had stomach problems and was continually unwell, finally being operated on to remove his tonsils. Compared to what hundreds of thousands were enduring in the trench warfare of the first world war, this was no great thing, but Elgar was 61 and not in great shape. Once installed with his wife in a rustic thatched cottage in West Sussex to recuperate, his creativity started to flow again, in particular sketching out a germ of a theme on his piano entitled "?", which would later become part of his Cello Concerto. There were also more rustic pursuits, including gardening and fishing, but then came an official request from the Ministry of Food for a new war work, Big Steamers. When the Armistice was signed, with his Land of Hope and Glory proving ever popular, Elgar did not feel inclined to compose any work in celebration of peace. Many of his friends had died, and his life was dramatically changed for ever.