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Elgar and the Gramophone Company

Donald Macleod and Terry Charman explore how Elgar was moved by scenes of First World 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.

1 hour


Music Played

  • Edward Elgar

    The Spirit of England Op.80 for high voice, chorus and orchestra

    Singer: Teresa Cahill. Choir: Royal Scottish National Orchestra Chorus. Performer: Royal Scottish National Orchestra. Conductor: Alexander Gibson.
    • CHANDOS: CHAN6574.
    • CHANDOS.
    • 9.
  • Charles Mott

    The Starlight Express - incidental music Op.78 [for Algernon Blackwood's play]

    Conductor: Edward Elgar. Orchestra: Unknown.
    • PEARL GEMM: CD 9951.
    • 10.
  • Edward Elgar

    Fight for Right

    Singer: Stephen Holloway. Conductor: Barry Collett.
    • PEARL SHE: CD9635.
    • PEARL SHE.
    • 17.
  • Edward Elgar

    Concerto Op.90 for piano and orchestra

    Performer: Margaret Fingerhut. Orchestra: Munich S O. Conductor: Douglas Bostock.
    • 7.
  • Edward Elgar

    Great is the Lord (Psalm 48) Op.67 for chorus and organ

    Choir: Worcester Cathedral Choir. Performer: Adrian Partington. Conductor: Donald Hunt.
    • Helios: CDH55157.
    • Helios.
    • 7.
  • Edward Elgar

    Concerto in B minor Op.61 for violin and orchestra

    Performer: Pinchas Zukerman. Orchestra: St Louis S O. Conductor: Leonard Slatkin.
    • RCA: 82876603892.
    • RCA.
    • 3.


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