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Elgar and Empire

45 minutes
First broadcast:
Sunday 04 November 2007

Elgar and Empire

To mark the 150th anniversary of Elgar's birth, historian Tristram Hunt explores how his music articulated the notion of British Empire: its triumph and its decline.

Examining a controversial aspect of the composer, for many feel that Elgar's music is somehow tainted by the association with imperialist aims and ideals, this documentary presents different views about Elgar and Empire from historians Jeffrey Richards, John Mackenzie and Bernard Porter, pianist David Owen Norris and conductor Mark Elder.


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