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Elgar: Enigma Variations

Duration:
20 minutes
First broadcast:
Wednesday 05 December 2012

Stephen Johnson explores Elgar's "Enigma Variations", a series of 13 musical sketches of the composer's friends which concludes with a representation of Elgar himself. The theme of the variations was spotted by his wife, as an exhausted Elgar strummed on the piano to relax after a long day teaching violin. When it was completed, this impromptu session turned into Elgar's most ambitious orchestral work to date, which, after it was first performed in London on 19th June 1899, went on to secure his reputation as a composer of international standing.

Music Played

14 items
Timings (where shown) are from the start of the programme in hours and minutes
  • Image for Edward Elgar

    Edward Elgar 5 Improvisations for piano [transcribed from recordings made by the composer 06Nov29]

    Performer: Edward ELGAR - Piano

    EMI, CDS 7-543468 2

  • Image for Edward Elgar

    Edward Elgar Variations on an original theme ('Enigma') Op.36 for orchestra

    Conductor: Andrew DAVIS Performer: Philharmonia Orchestra

    CBS, MDK-44788

  • Image for Edward Elgar

    Edward Elgar The Music makers Op.69

    Conductor: Andrew DAVIS Performer: BBC S O. Performer: BBC Symphony Chorus

    TELDEC, 4509-92374-2

  • Image for Edward Elgar

    Edward Elgar Variations on an original theme ('Enigma') Op.36 for orchestra

    Conductor: Andrew DAVIS Performer: Philharmonia Orchestra

    CBS, MDK-44788

  • Image for Edward Elgar

    Edward Elgar Variations on an original theme ('Enigma') Op.36 for orchestra

    Conductor: Andrew DAVIS Performer: Philharmonia Orchestra

    CBS, MDK-44788

  • Image for Edward Elgar

    Edward Elgar Variations on an original theme ('Enigma') Op.36 for orchestra

    Conductor: Andrew DAVIS Performer: Philharmonia Orchestra

    CBS, MDK-44788

  • Image for Edward Elgar

    Edward Elgar Variations on an original theme ('Enigma') Op.36 for orchestra

    Conductor: Andrew DAVIS Performer: Philharmonia Orchestra

    CBS, MDK-44788

  • Image for Edward Elgar

    Edward Elgar Variations on an original theme ('Enigma') Op.36 for orchestra

    Conductor: Andrew DAVIS Performer: Philharmonia Orchestra

    CBS, MDK-44788

  • Image for Edward Elgar

    Edward Elgar Variations on an original theme ('Enigma') Op.36 for orchestra

    Conductor: Andrew DAVIS Performer: Philharmonia Orchestra

    CBS, MDK-44788

  • Image for Edward Elgar

    Edward Elgar Variations on an original theme ('Enigma') Op.36 for orchestra

    Conductor: Andrew DAVIS Performer: Philharmonia Orchestra

    CBS, MDK-44788

  • Image for Edward Elgar

    Edward Elgar Variations on an original theme ('Enigma') Op.36 for orchestra

    Conductor: Andrew DAVIS Performer: Philharmonia Orchestra

    CBS, MDK-44788

  • Image for Edward Elgar

    Edward Elgar Variations on an original theme ('Enigma') Op.36 for orchestra

    Conductor: Andrew DAVIS Performer: Philharmonia Orchestra

    CBS, MDK-44788

  • Image for Edward Elgar

    Edward Elgar Variations on an original theme ('Enigma') Op.36 for orchestra

    Conductor: Andrew DAVIS Performer: Philharmonia Orchestra

    CBS, MDK-44788

  • Image for Edward Elgar

    Edward Elgar Variations on an original theme ('Enigma') Op.36 for orchestra

    Conductor: Andrew DAVIS Performer: Philharmonia Orchestra

    CBS, MDK-44788

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