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Cracking the Enigma

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.

1 hour

Last on

Tue 18 Jun 2013 18:30

Composers A to Z


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