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Enigma Variations

Enigma Variations

Overview
Variations on an Original Theme for orchestra ("Enigma"), Op. 36, commonly referred to as the Enigma Variations, is a set of a theme and its fourteen variations
Variation (music)
In music, variation is a formal technique where material is repeated in an altered form. The changes may involve harmony, melody, counterpoint, rhythm, timbre, orchestration or any combination of these.-Variation form:...

 written for orchestra by Edward Elgar
Edward Elgar
Sir Edward William Elgar, 1st Baronet OM, GCVO was an English composer, many of whose works have entered the British and international classical concert repertoire. Among his best-known compositions are orchestral works including the Enigma Variations, the Pomp and Circumstance Marches, concertos...

 in 1898–1899. It is Elgar's best-known large-scale composition, for both the music itself and the enigmas behind it. Elgar dedicated the piece to "my friends pictured within", each variation being an affectionate portrayal of one of his circle of close acquaintances.
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Encyclopedia
Variations on an Original Theme for orchestra ("Enigma"), Op. 36, commonly referred to as the Enigma Variations, is a set of a theme and its fourteen variations
Variation (music)
In music, variation is a formal technique where material is repeated in an altered form. The changes may involve harmony, melody, counterpoint, rhythm, timbre, orchestration or any combination of these.-Variation form:...

 written for orchestra by Edward Elgar
Edward Elgar
Sir Edward William Elgar, 1st Baronet OM, GCVO was an English composer, many of whose works have entered the British and international classical concert repertoire. Among his best-known compositions are orchestral works including the Enigma Variations, the Pomp and Circumstance Marches, concertos...

 in 1898–1899. It is Elgar's best-known large-scale composition, for both the music itself and the enigmas behind it. Elgar dedicated the piece to "my friends pictured within", each variation being an affectionate portrayal of one of his circle of close acquaintances. See: musical cryptogram
Musical cryptogram
A musical cryptogram is a cryptogrammatic sequence of musical notes, a sequence which can be taken to refer to an extra-musical text by some 'logical' relationship, usually between note names and letters. The most common and best known examples result from composers using ciphered versions of their...

.

After its 1899 London premiere, the piece achieved popularity and was given international performances. The people portrayed in the variations include his wife Alice
Caroline Alice Elgar
Caroline Alice, Lady Elgar was an English author of verse and prose fiction, who married the composer Edward Elgar.- Family :...

, Augustus J. Jaeger
August Jaeger
August Jaeger was an Anglo-German music publisher, who developed a close friendship with the English composer Edward Elgar.Born in Düsseldorf, Germany, Jaeger met Elgar through his employment at the London music publisher Novello...

 and Elgar himself. It has been arranged for various instruments. The enigma is not the identity of the persons portrayed, as those are known, but rather a hidden theme that is, in Elgar's words, "not played". This hidden theme has been the subject of much speculation, and various musicians have proposed theories for what melody it could be, although Elgar did not say that it was a melody. The enigma could be something else, such as a symbol or a literary theme. Elgar accepted none of the solutions that were put forward in his lifetime, and, pleased with his little joke, took the secret with him to the grave. The Enigma Variations have been given over sixty recordings since 1924.

History


Elgar's account of the piece's genesis was that after a tiring day of teaching in 1898, he was daydreaming at the piano. A melody he played caught the attention of his wife Alice, who liked it and asked him to repeat it for her. So, to entertain her, he began to improvise variations
Variation (music)
In music, variation is a formal technique where material is repeated in an altered form. The changes may involve harmony, melody, counterpoint, rhythm, timbre, orchestration or any combination of these.-Variation form:...

 on this melody, each one either a musical portrait of one of their friends, or in the musical style they might have used. Elgar eventually expanded and orchestrated these improvisations into the Enigma Variations. He considered including variations portraying Arthur Sullivan
Arthur Sullivan
Sir Arthur Seymour Sullivan MVO was an English composer of Irish and Italian ancestry. He is best known for his series of 14 operatic collaborations with the dramatist W. S. Gilbert, including such enduring works as H.M.S. Pinafore, The Pirates of Penzance and The Mikado...

 and Hubert Parry
Hubert Parry
Sir Charles Hubert Hastings Parry, 1st Baronet was an English composer, teacher and historian of music.Parry's first major works appeared in 1880. As a composer he is best known for the choral song "Jerusalem", the coronation anthem "I was glad" and the hymn tune "Repton", which sets the words...

, but was unable to assimilate their musical styles without pastiche, and dropped the idea.

The piece was first performed at St James's Hall
St James's Hall
St. James's Hall was a concert hall in London that opened on 25 March 1858, designed by architect and artist Owen Jones, who had decorated the interior of the Crystal Palace. It was situated between the Quadrant in Regent Street and Piccadilly, and Vine Street and George Court. There was a...

, London, on 19 June 1899, conducted by Hans Richter
Hans Richter (conductor)
Hans Richter was an Austrian orchestral and operatic conductor.-Biography:Richter was born in Raab , Kingdom of Hungary, Austro-Hungarian Empire. His mother was opera-singer Jozsefa Csazenszky. He studied at the Vienna Conservatory...

. Critics were at first irritated by the layer of mystification, but most praised the substance, structure, and orchestration of the work. Elgar revised the final variation, adding 100 new bars and an organ part; the new version, the one usually played today, was played at the Worcester
Worcester
The City of Worcester, commonly known as Worcester, , is a city and county town of Worcestershire in the West Midlands of England. Worcester is situated some southwest of Birmingham and north of Gloucester, and has an approximate population of 94,000 people. The River Severn runs through the...

 Three Choirs Festival
Three Choirs Festival
The Three Choirs Festival is a music festival held each August alternately at the cathedrals of the Three Counties and originally featuring their three choirs, which remain central to the week-long programme...

 on 13 September 1899, with Elgar conducting.

The European continental premiere was performed in Düsseldorf
Düsseldorf
Düsseldorf is the capital city of the German state of North Rhine-Westphalia and centre of the Rhine-Ruhr metropolitan region.Düsseldorf is an important international business and financial centre and renowned for its fashion and trade fairs. Located centrally within the European Megalopolis, the...

, Germany on 7 February 1901, under Julius Buths
Julius Buths
Julius Buths was a German pianist, conductor and minor composer. He was particularly notable in his early championing of the works of Edward Elgar in Germany. He conducted the continental European premieres of both the Enigma Variations and The Dream of Gerontius...

 (who would also conduct the European premiere of The Dream of Gerontius
The Dream of Gerontius
The Dream of Gerontius, popularly called just Gerontius, is a work for voices and orchestra in two parts composed by Edward Elgar in 1900, to text from the poem by John Henry Newman. It relates the journey of a pious man's soul from his deathbed to his judgment before God and settling into Purgatory...

 in December 1901). The work quickly achieved many international performances, from Saint Petersburg, where it delighted Alexander Glazunov
Alexander Glazunov
Alexander Konstantinovich Glazunov was a Russian composer of the late Russian Romantic period, music teacher and conductor...

 and Nikolai Rimsky-Korsakov
Nikolai Rimsky-Korsakov
Nikolai Andreyevich Rimsky-Korsakov was a Russian composer, and a member of the group of composers known as The Five.The Five, also known as The Mighty Handful or The Mighty Coterie, refers to a circle of composers who met in Saint Petersburg, Russia, in the years 1856–1870: Mily Balakirev , César...

 in 1904, to New York, where Gustav Mahler
Gustav Mahler
Gustav Mahler was a late-Romantic Austrian composer and one of the leading conductors of his generation. He was born in the village of Kalischt, Bohemia, in what was then Austria-Hungary, now Kaliště in the Czech Republic...

 conducted it in 1910.

Orchestration


The work is scored for 2 flute
Flute
The flute is a musical instrument of the woodwind family. Unlike woodwind instruments with reeds, a flute is an aerophone or reedless wind instrument that produces its sound from the flow of air across an opening...

s (one doubling piccolo
Piccolo
The piccolo is a half-size flute, and a member of the woodwind family of musical instruments. The piccolo has the same fingerings as its larger sibling, the standard transverse flute, but the sound it produces is an octave higher than written...

), 2 oboe
Oboe
The oboe is a double reed musical instrument of the woodwind family. In English, prior to 1770, the instrument was called "hautbois" , "hoboy", or "French hoboy". The spelling "oboe" was adopted into English ca...

s, 2 clarinet
Clarinet
The clarinet is a musical instrument of woodwind type. The name derives from adding the suffix -et to the Italian word clarino , as the first clarinets had a strident tone similar to that of a trumpet. The instrument has an approximately cylindrical bore, and uses a single reed...

s in B flat, 2 bassoon
Bassoon
The bassoon is a woodwind instrument in the double reed family that typically plays music written in the bass and tenor registers, and occasionally higher. Appearing in its modern form in the 19th century, the bassoon figures prominently in orchestral, concert band and chamber music literature...

s, contrabassoon
Contrabassoon
The contrabassoon, also known as the double bassoon or double-bassoon, is a larger version of the bassoon, sounding an octave lower...

, 4 horn
Horn (instrument)
The horn is a brass instrument consisting of about of tubing wrapped into a coil with a flared bell. A musician who plays the horn is called a horn player ....

s in F, 3 trumpet
Trumpet
The trumpet is the musical instrument with the highest register in the brass family. Trumpets are among the oldest musical instruments, dating back to at least 1500 BCE. They are played by blowing air through closed lips, producing a "buzzing" sound which starts a standing wave vibration in the air...

s in F, 3 trombone
Trombone
The trombone is a musical instrument in the brass family. Like all brass instruments, sound is produced when the player’s vibrating lips cause the air column inside the instrument to vibrate...

s, tuba
Tuba
The tuba is the largest and lowest-pitched brass instrument. Sound is produced by vibrating or "buzzing" the lips into a large cupped mouthpiece. It is one of the most recent additions to the modern symphony orchestra, first appearing in the mid-19th century, when it largely replaced the...

, timpani
Timpani
Timpani, or kettledrums, are musical instruments in the percussion family. A type of drum, they consist of a skin called a head stretched over a large bowl traditionally made of copper. They are played by striking the head with a specialized drum stick called a timpani stick or timpani mallet...

, side drum
Snare drum
The snare drum or side drum is a melodic percussion instrument with strands of snares made of curled metal wire, metal cable, plastic cable, or gut cords stretched across the drumhead, typically the bottom. Pipe and tabor and some military snare drums often have a second set of snares on the bottom...

, triangle
Triangle (instrument)
The triangle is an idiophone type of musical instrument in the percussion family. It is a bar of metal, usually steel but sometimes other metals like beryllium copper, bent into a triangle shape. The instrument is usually held by a loop of some form of thread or wire at the top curve...

, bass drum
Bass drum
Bass drums are percussion instruments that can vary in size and are used in several musical genres. Three major types of bass drums can be distinguished. The type usually seen or heard in orchestral, ensemble or concert band music is the orchestral, or concert bass drum . It is the largest drum of...

, cymbal
Cymbal
Cymbals are a common percussion instrument. Cymbals consist of thin, normally round plates of various alloys; see cymbal making for a discussion of their manufacture. The greater majority of cymbals are of indefinite pitch, although small disc-shaped cymbals based on ancient designs sound a...

s, organ
Organ (music)
The organ , is a keyboard instrument of one or more divisions, each played with its own keyboard operated either with the hands or with the feet. The organ is a relatively old musical instrument in the Western musical tradition, dating from the time of Ctesibius of Alexandria who is credited with...

 (ad lib) and string
String section
The string section is the largest body of the standard orchestra and consists of bowed string instruments of the violin family.It normally comprises five sections: the first violins, the second violins, the violas, the cellos, and the double basses...

s.

Structure


The work consists of the theme, followed by 14 variations. The variations spring from the theme's melodic, harmonic
Harmony
In music, harmony is the use of simultaneous pitches , or chords. The study of harmony involves chords and their construction and chord progressions and the principles of connection that govern them. Harmony is often said to refer to the "vertical" aspect of music, as distinguished from melodic...

 and (especially) rhythm
Rhythm
Rhythm may be generally defined as a "movement marked by the regulated succession of strong and weak elements, or of opposite or different conditions." This general meaning of regular recurrence or pattern in time may be applied to a wide variety of cyclical natural phenomena having a periodicity or...

ic elements, and the extended fourteenth variation forms a grand finale.

Elgar dedicated the piece to "my friends pictured within" and in the score each variation is prefaced with either a nickname or initials, a clue to the identity of the friend depicted. As was common with painted portrait
Portrait
thumb|250px|right|Portrait of [[Thomas Jefferson]] by [[Rembrandt Peale]], 1805. [[New-York Historical Society]].A portrait is a painting, photograph, sculpture, or other artistic representation of a person, in which the face and its expression is predominant. The intent is to display the likeness,...

s of the time, Elgar's musical portraits depict their subjects at two levels. Each movement conveys a general impression of its subject's personality; in addition, most of them contain a musical reference to a specific characteristic or event, such as Dorabella's stutter, Winifred Norbury's laugh, or the walk in the woods with Jaeger. The sections of the piece are as follows.

Theme (Andante)

The theme consists of two contrasting melodic fragments, the first one the main theme:

The main theme is played by the first violins at the beginning. It is played for a second time, with a slightly different accompaniment, after the second melody has been introduced by the woodwinds. Both fragments are further developed in the following variations.

The theme leads into Variation 1 without a pause.

First four variations with photographic montage of Elgar performed by the CBSO
City of Birmingham Symphony Orchestra
The City of Birmingham Symphony Orchestra is a British orchestra based in Birmingham, England. The Orchestra's current chief executive, appointed in 1999, is Stephen Maddock...

 with Simon Rattle
Simon Rattle
Sir Simon Denis Rattle, CBE is an English conductor. He rose to international prominence as conductor of the City of Birmingham Symphony Orchestra and since 2002 has been principal conductor of the Berlin Philharmonic ....


Variation I (L'istesso tempo) "C.A.E."

Caroline Alice Elgar
Caroline Alice Elgar
Caroline Alice, Lady Elgar was an English author of verse and prose fiction, who married the composer Edward Elgar.- Family :...

, Elgar's wife. The variation contains repetitions of a four-note melodic fragment which Elgar reportedly whistled whenever arriving home to his wife. In 'My Friends Pictured Within' Elgar wrote, "The variation is really a prolongation of the theme with what I wished to be romantic and delicate additions; those who knew C.A.E. will understand this reference to one whose life was a romantic and delicate inspiration."

Variation II (Allegro) "H.D.S.-P."

Hew David Steuart-Powell. In 'My Friends Pictured Within' Elgar wrote, "Hew David Steuart-Powell was a well-known amateur pianist and a great player of chamber music. He was associated with B.G.N. (Cello) and the Composer (Violin) for many years in this playing. His characteristic diatonic run over the keys before beginning to play is here humorously travestied in the semiquaver passages; these should suggest a Toccata, but chromatic beyond H.D.S.-P.'s liking."

Variation III (Allegretto) "R.B.T."

Richard Baxter Townshend, author of the "Tenderfoot" series of books. The Variation has a reference to R.B.T's presentation of an old man in some amateur theatricals- the low voice flying off occasionally into "soprano" timbre.

Variation IV (Allegro di molto) "W.M.B."

William Meath Baker, squire of Hasfield, Gloucestershire
Gloucestershire
Gloucestershire is a county in South West England. The county comprises part of the Cotswold Hills, part of the flat fertile valley of the River Severn, and the entire Forest of Dean....

 and builder of Fenton
Fenton, Staffordshire
Fenton is one of the six towns of the Stoke-on-Trent conurbation which were federated in 1910. It is situated in the south-east of the city. Arnold Bennett called his fictionalised version of Stoke on Trent the "Five Towns", and Fenton has been dubbed the town Arnold Bennett...

, Stoke-on-Trent
Stoke-on-Trent
Stoke-on-Trent , also called The Potteries is a city in Staffordshire, England, which forms a linear conurbation almost 12 miles long, with an area of . Together with the Borough of Newcastle-under-Lyme Stoke forms The Potteries Urban Area...

, who "expressed himself somewhat energetically". This is the shortest of the variations.

Variation V (Moderato) "R.P.A."

Richard Penrose Arnold, the son of the poet Matthew Arnold
Matthew Arnold
Matthew Arnold was a British poet and cultural critic who worked as an inspector of schools. He was the son of Thomas Arnold, the famed headmaster of Rugby School, and brother to both Tom Arnold, literary professor, and William Delafield Arnold, novelist and colonial administrator...

, and himself an amateur pianist. This variation leads into the next without pause.

Variation VI (Andantino) "Ysobel"

Isabel Fitton, a viola
Viola
The viola is a bowed string instrument. It is the middle voice of the violin family, between the violin and the cello.- Form :The viola is similar in material and construction to the violin. A full-size viola's body is between and longer than the body of a full-size violin , with an average...

 pupil of Elgar. The variation begins with the viola section playing three notes on different strings, as if to imitate Fitton's string crossing etudes. The melody of this variation is played by a solo viola.

Variation VII (Presto) "Troyte"

Arthur Troyte Griffiths, an architect. The variation good-naturedly mimics his enthusiastic incompetence on the piano. It also refers to a specific memory, of a day on which Griffiths and Elgar were walking and got caught in a thunder-storm. The pair ran for it, and took refuge in the Norbury house, to which the next theme refers.

Variation VIII (Allegretto) "W.N."

Winifred Norbury, a friend Elgar regarded as particularly easygoing, hence the relatively relaxed atmosphere. The theme also refers to the Norbury house, which Elgar was fond of. At the end of this variation, a single violin note is held over into the next variation, the most celebrated of the set.

Variation IX (Adagio) "Nimrod"

Augustus J. Jaeger
August Jaeger
August Jaeger was an Anglo-German music publisher, who developed a close friendship with the English composer Edward Elgar.Born in Düsseldorf, Germany, Jaeger met Elgar through his employment at the London music publisher Novello...

 was employed as music editor by the London publisher Novello & Co. For a long time he was a close friend of Elgar, giving him useful advice, but also severe criticism, something Elgar greatly appreciated. Remarkably, Elgar later related on several occasions how Jaeger had encouraged him as an artist and had stimulated him to continue composing despite setbacks. The name of the variation refers to Nimrod
Nimrod
Nimrod means "Hunter"; was a Biblical Mesopotamian king mentioned in the Table of Nations; an eponym for the city of Nimrud.Nimrod can also refer to any of the following:*Nimród Antal, a director...

, an Old Testament patriarch described as "a mighty hunter before the Lord" - the name Jäger being German for hunter.
In 1904 Elgar told Dora Penny (“Dorabella”) that this variation is not really a portrait, but “the story of something that happened”. Once, when Elgar had been very depressed and was about to give it all up and write no more music, Jaeger had visited him and encouraged him to continue composing. He referred to Ludwig van Beethoven
Ludwig van Beethoven
Ludwig van Beethoven was a German composer and pianist. A crucial figure in the transition between the Classical and Romantic eras in Western art music, he remains one of the most famous and influential composers of all time.Born in Bonn, then the capital of the Electorate of Cologne and part of...

, who had a lot of worries, but wrote more and more beautiful music. “And that is what you must do”, Jaeger said and he sang the theme of the second movement of Beethoven's Piano Sonata No. 8

' Pathétique '
Piano Sonata No. 8 (Beethoven)
Ludwig van Beethoven's Piano Sonata No. 8 in C minor, Op. 13, commonly known as Sonata Pathétique, was written in 1798 when the composer was 27 years old, and was published in 1799. Beethoven dedicated the work to his friend Prince Karl von Lichnowsky...

. Elgar disclosed to Dora that the opening bars of "Nimrod" were made to suggest that theme. “Can’t you hear it at the beginning? Only a hint, not a quotation”.
This variation has become popular in its own right and is sometimes used at funerals, memorial services, and other solemn occasions. It is always played at the Cenotaph
Cenotaph
A cenotaph is an "empty tomb" or a monument erected in honour of a person or group of people whose remains are elsewhere. It can also be the initial tomb for a person who has since been interred elsewhere. The word derives from the Greek κενοτάφιον = kenotaphion...

 in London on Remembrance Sunday.

Variation X (Intermezzo: Allegretto) "Dorabella"

Dora Penny, a friend whose stutter is depicted by the woodwind
Woodwind instrument
A woodwind instrument is a musical instrument which produces sound when the player blows air against a sharp edge or through a reed, causing the air within its resonator to vibrate...

s. Dora, later Mrs. Richard Powell, was the stepdaughter of the sister of William Meath Baker, inspiration for the fourth variation, and sister-in-law of Richard Baxter Townsend, inspiration for the third. She was also the recipient of another of Elgar's enigmas, the so-called Dorabella Cipher
Dorabella Cipher
The Dorabella Cipher is an enciphered letter written by Edward Elgar to Miss Dora Penny, which was accompanied by another dated July 14, 1897. Penny was never able to decipher it and its meaning remains unknown to this day....

. She described the 'Friends Pictured Within' and 'The Enigma' in two chapters of her book Edward Elgar, 'Memories of a Variation'.

Variation XI (Allegro di molto) "G.R.S."

George Robertson Sinclair
George Robertson Sinclair
George Robertson Sinclair was an English cathedral organist, who served at Truro and Hereford cathedrals.As a young man, Sinclair was destined for the Anglican priesthood, but in 1880 his father died and Sinclair needed to earn a living immediately. He became the first cathedral organist of the...

, the energetic organist of Hereford Cathedral
Hereford Cathedral
The current Hereford Cathedral, located at Hereford in England, dates from 1079. Its most famous treasure is Mappa Mundi, a mediæval map of the world dating from the 13th century. The cathedral is a Grade I listed building.-Origins:...

. In the words of Elgar: 'The variation, however, has nothing to do with organs or cathedrals, or, except remotely, with G.R.S. The first few bars were suggested by his great Bulldog, Dan (a well-known character) falling down the steep bank into the River Wye
River Wye
The River Wye is the fifth-longest river in the UK and for parts of its length forms part of the border between England and Wales. It is important for nature conservation and recreation.-Description:...

 (bar 1); his paddling upstream to find a landing place (bars 2 and 3); and his rejoicing bark on landing (second half of bar 5). G.R.S. said, "Set that to music." I did; here it is.'

Variation XII (Andante) "B.G.N."

Basil G. Nevinson, a well known cellist
Cello
The cello is a bowed string instrument with four strings tuned in perfect fifths. It is a member of the violin family of musical instruments, which also includes the violin, viola, and double bass. Old forms of the instrument in the Baroque era are baryton and viol .A person who plays a cello is...

, who gets a cello melody for his variation. Later, Nevinson inspired Elgar to write his Cello Concerto
Cello Concerto (Elgar)
Edward Elgar's Cello Concerto in E minor, Op. 85, his last notable work, is a cornerstone of the solo cello repertoire. Elgar composed it in the aftermath of the First World War, by which time his music had gone out of fashion with the concert-going public...

.

Variation XIII (Romanza: Moderato) "* * *"

Lady Mary Lygon. This person is not identified by initials, but Mrs. Dora Powell (herself a variation, "Dorabella") has identified her as Lady Mary Lygon, sister of Lord Beauchamp
William Lygon, 7th Earl Beauchamp
William Lygon, 7th Earl Beauchamp KG, KCMG, PC , styled Viscount Elmley until 1891, was a British Liberal politician. He was Governor of New South Wales between 1899 and 1901, a member of the Liberal administrations of Sir Henry Campbell-Bannerman and H. H...

 of Madresfield Court near Malvern. Lady Mary Lygon was a personal friend of Elgar and his wife, promoter of the Madresfield Music Festivals and interested in Elgar's music. In 1899, when the Variations were being finished, Elgar wrote to Lady Mary Lygon to ask permission to use her initials, but as she and her brother were on the point of leaving for Australia (he had been appointed Governor of New South Wales
New South Wales
New South Wales is a state of :Australia, located in the east of the country. It is bordered by Queensland, Victoria and South Australia to the north, south and west respectively. To the east, the state is bordered by the Tasman Sea, which forms part of the Pacific Ocean. New South Wales...

) and there was not time for a reply Elgar used "***" instead. Sketches for this variation refer to it as 'L' and sketches for the Finale show that Elgar thought of re-introducing 'L. M. L.' She became Lady Mary Trefusis when she married Lt.-Col. Henry Hepburn-Stuart-Forbes-Trefusis in 1905.

Appropriately, Elgar included in the variation a quotation from Felix Mendelssohn
Felix Mendelssohn
Jakob Ludwig Felix Mendelssohn Barthóldy , use the form 'Mendelssohn' and not 'Mendelssohn Bartholdy'. The Grove Dictionary of Music and Musicians gives ' Felix Mendelssohn' as the entry, with 'Mendelssohn' used in the body text...

's concert overture Calm Sea and Prosperous Voyage. This is played by a solo clarinet, and is included within quotation marks in the score. At intervals the timpani create a sound reminiscent of a ship's engines by means of hard sticks, or, traditionally, coins.

A competing story, propounded by conductor Sir Andrew Davis, is that this movement is about Helen Weaver, to whom Elgar was engaged for fourteen months. Weaver left for New Zealand (also by boat) in 1885, "breaking his heart."

Variation XIV (Finale: Allegro Presto) "E.D.U."

Elgar himself, nicknamed Edu by his wife, from the German version Eduard. The themes from two variations are echoed: "Nimrod" and "C.A.E.", referring to Jaeger and Elgar´s wife Alice, "two great influences on the life and art of the composer", as Elgar wrote in 1927. Elgar called these references "entirely fitting to the intention of the piece".

The original version of this variation is 100 bars shorter than the one now usually played. In July 1899, one month after the original version was finished, Elgar's friend Jaeger, the person depicted in Variation IX, urged Elgar to make the variation a little longer. Elgar agreed, and also added an organ part. The new version was played for the first time at the Worcester
Worcester
The City of Worcester, commonly known as Worcester, , is a city and county town of Worcestershire in the West Midlands of England. Worcester is situated some southwest of Birmingham and north of Gloucester, and has an approximate population of 94,000 people. The River Severn runs through the...

 Three Choirs Festival
Three Choirs Festival
The Three Choirs Festival is a music festival held each August alternately at the cathedrals of the Three Counties and originally featuring their three choirs, which remain central to the week-long programme...

, with Elgar himself conducting, on 13 September 1899.

Arrangements


Arrangements of the Variations include:
  • The composer's arrangement of the complete work for piano solo
  • The composer's arrangement of the complete work for piano duet (two pianos)
  • Piano duet (one piano) - by John E. West
  • Brass band
    Brass band (British style)
    A British-style brass band is a musical ensemble comprising a standardised range of brass and percussion instruments. The modern form of the brass band in the United Kingdom dates back to the 19th century, with a vibrant tradition of competition based around local industry and communities...

     - by composer Eric Ball
  • There are many arrangements of individual variations, particularly the popular Variation IX "Nimrod"
  • Variation X "Dorabella", also popular, was published separately in its orchestral version
  • Transcription for Wind Band by Earl Slocum

The enigma


Determining which of Elgar's friends is represented in each variation is, surprisingly, not the "enigma" mentioned in the title. The identities of all are known, and Elgar himself even provided brief notes on the subjects to accompany the five Duo-art pianola rolls
Player piano
A player piano is a self-playing piano, containing a pneumatic or electro-mechanical mechanism that operates the piano action via pre-programmed music perforated paper, or in rare instances, metallic rolls. The rise of the player piano grew with the rise of the mass-produced piano for the home in...

 of the Variations that the Aeolian Company introduced in 1929.
Instead, there is a theme hidden in the work that is "not played." Various attempts have been made to link the clues Elgar gave throughout his lifetime to any one solution; in a programme note for the first performance, Charles A. Barry quoted:
Elgar also wrote the following, in a set of notes issued with the Aeolian Company pianola rolls
Player piano
A player piano is a self-playing piano, containing a pneumatic or electro-mechanical mechanism that operates the piano action via pre-programmed music perforated paper, or in rare instances, metallic rolls. The rise of the player piano grew with the rise of the mass-produced piano for the home in...

 published in 1929:
Julian Rushton suggests that any solution must satisfy five criteria, three of which stemming from the above quotations: a "dark saying" must be involved; the theme "is not played"; the theme should be "well known", as Elgar stated multiple times; Dora Penny (to whom Elgar also wrote the Dorabella Cipher
Dorabella Cipher
The Dorabella Cipher is an enciphered letter written by Edward Elgar to Miss Dora Penny, which was accompanied by another dated July 14, 1897. Penny was never able to decipher it and its meaning remains unknown to this day....

) should have been, "of all people," the one to solve the Enigma; and finally, the details mentioned in the notes accompanying the pianola rolls must be part of the solution.

Norman Del Mar speculates that “there would be considerable loss if the solution were to be found, much of the work’s attraction lying in the impenetrability of the riddle itself”, that interest in the work would not be as strong had the Enigma been solved during Elgar's lifetime.

Possible musical themes


Various musicians have tried to tease out the hidden theme in the belief that it is a derivation of some well-known tune. Others have concluded that the theme is not a musical phrase but a literary or philosophical theme. Of the musical themes suggested as the Enigma, one of the most frequently proposed is the Scottish song "Auld Lang Syne
Auld Lang Syne
"Auld Lang Syne" is a Scots poem written by Robert Burns in 1788 and set to the tune of a traditional folk song . It is well known in many countries, especially in the English-speaking world; its traditional use being to celebrate the start of the New Year at the stroke of midnight...

", which has been favoured by Elgar's friend Richard Powell (husband of Dorabella), the musicologist Roger Fiske, and the writer Eric Sams
Eric Sams
Eric Sams was a British musicologist and Shakespeare scholar.Born in London, he was raised in Essex; his early brilliance in school earned him a scholarship to Corpus Christi College, Cambridge at the age of sixteen. His life-long passion for puzzles and ciphers stood him in good stead in his...

. Elgar himself, however, said, "'Auld Lang Syne'" won't do.
Two British patriotic songs have been proposed as the theme: "God Save the Queen
God Save the Queen
"God Save the Queen" is an anthem used in a number of Commonwealth realms and British Crown Dependencies. The words of the song, like its title, are adapted to the gender of the current monarch, with "King" replacing "Queen", "he" replacing "she", and so forth, when a king reigns...

" and "Rule, Britannia!
Rule, Britannia!
"Rule, Britannia!" is a British patriotic song, originating from the poem "Rule, Britannia" by James Thomson and set to music by Thomas Arne in 1740...

". Troyte Griffiths asked Elgar if the former was the hidden theme, and Elgar replied, "Of course not!" Proponents of the latter as the theme have pointed out that the theme is similar to the "never, never, never" section of the song. This theory was accepted by the president of the Elgar Society, Yehudi Menuhin
Yehudi Menuhin
Yehudi Menuhin, Baron Menuhin, OM, KBE was a Russian Jewish American violinist and conductor who spent most of his performing career in the United Kingdom. He was born to Russian Jewish parents in the United States, but became a citizen of Switzerland in 1970, and of the United Kingdom in 1985...

. Before conducting the variations at Carnegie Hall
Carnegie Hall
Carnegie Hall is a concert venue in Midtown Manhattan in New York City, United States, located at 881 Seventh Avenue, occupying the east stretch of Seventh Avenue between West 56th Street and West 57th Street, two blocks south of Central Park....

, New York, in 1984, Menuhin addressed the audience explaining that the solution to Elgar's enigma was "none other" than "Rule, Britannia".

The pianist Joseph Cooper
Joseph Cooper
Joseph Elliott Needham Cooper, OBE , pianist and broadcaster, best known as the chairman of the BBC's long-running television panel game Face the Music.- Early career :...

 proposed the theory that the theme may be based on part of Mozart
Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart
Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart , baptismal name Johannes Chrysostomus Wolfgangus Theophilus Mozart , was a prolific and influential composer of the Classical era. He composed over 600 works, many acknowledged as pinnacles of symphonic, concertante, chamber, piano, operatic, and choral music...

's "Prague" Symphony
Symphony No. 38 (Mozart)
The Symphony No. 38 in D major, K. 504, was composed by Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart in late 1786. It was premiered in Prague on January 19, 1787, a few weeks after Le nozze di Figaro opened there. It is popularly known as the Prague Symphony...

, which was on the programme at the "Enigma" Variations' premiere in 1899. This solution was favoured by Sir Charles Mackerras
Charles Mackerras
Sir Alan Charles Maclaurin Mackerras, AC, CH, CBE was an Australian conductor. He was an authority on the operas of Janáček and Mozart, and the comic operas of Gilbert and Sullivan...

, who conducted a concert entitled "Elgar – The Enigma Solved?" in February 1992. A different source is proposed by Dennis J. Whitten, who suggested "Pop Goes the Weasel
Pop Goes the Weasel
"Pop! Goes the Weasel" is an English language nursery rhyme and singing game. It has a Roud Folk Song Index number of 5249.-Lyrics:There are many different versions of the lyrics to the song...

" as the theme.

Other writers, such as F. G. Edwards in 1900 and Robert Buckley in 1905, have held that the theme is a "countermelody
Counterpoint
In music, counterpoint is the relationship between two or more voices that are independent in contour and rhythm and are harmonically interdependent . It has been most commonly identified in classical music, developing strongly during the Renaissance and in much of the common practice period,...

 to some other unheard tune": it would fit when played simultaneously, but does not necessarily contain any of its characteristics other than the most general harmonic
Harmony
In music, harmony is the use of simultaneous pitches , or chords. The study of harmony involves chords and their construction and chord progressions and the principles of connection that govern them. Harmony is often said to refer to the "vertical" aspect of music, as distinguished from melodic...

 or structural outline. Edwards wrote, "In connection with these much discussed Variations, Mr Elgar tells us that the heading Enigma is justified by the fact that it is possible to add another phrase, which is quite familiar, above the original theme that he has written. What that theme is no one knows except the composer. Thereby hangs the Enigma." Buckley, in his Elgar biography of 1905, wrote, "The theme is a counterpoint on some well-known melody which is never heard".

In 1953 the American magazine The Saturday Review organised a competition to find plausible candidates for the Enigma theme. Entries included "Una bella serenata" from Così fan tutte
Così fan tutte
Così fan tutte, ossia La scuola degli amanti K. 588, is an opera buffa by Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart first performed in 1790. The libretto was written by Lorenzo Da Ponte....

, the "Agnus Dei" from Bach
Johann Sebastian Bach
Johann Sebastian Bach was a German composer, organist, harpsichordist, violist, and violinist whose sacred and secular works for choir, orchestra, and solo instruments drew together the strands of the Baroque period and brought it to its ultimate maturity...

's Mass in B minor, the slow movement of Beethoven's Pathétique
Piano Sonata No. 8 (Beethoven)
Ludwig van Beethoven's Piano Sonata No. 8 in C minor, Op. 13, commonly known as Sonata Pathétique, was written in 1798 when the composer was 27 years old, and was published in 1799. Beethoven dedicated the work to his friend Prince Karl von Lichnowsky...

 sonata, "When I am laid in earth" from Dido and Aeneas
Dido and Aeneas
Dido and Aeneas is an opera in a prologue and three acts by the English Baroque composer Henry Purcell to a libretto by Nahum Tate. The first known performance was at Josias Priest's girls' school in London no later than the summer of 1688. The story is based on Book IV of Virgil's Aeneid...

 and "None shall part us" from Iolanthe
Iolanthe
Iolanthe; or, The Peer and the Peri is a comic opera with music by Arthur Sullivan and libretto by W. S. Gilbert. It is one of the Savoy operas and is the seventh collaboration of the fourteen between Gilbert and Sullivan....

. In 1985, Marshall Portnoy in the Musical Quarterly (Oxford) suggested that the answer to the enigma was J S Bach's The Art of Fugue
The Art of Fugue
The Art of Fugue , BWV 1080, is an incomplete work by Johann Sebastian Bach . It was most likely started at the beginning of the 1740s, if not earlier. The first known surviving version, which contained 12 fugues and 2 canons, was copied by the composer in 1745...

. The Art of Fugue contains the B-A-C-H motif (in English notation, B-flat A C B-natural) which appears in the 14th fugue, which, in Portnoy's view, also seems to have been hinted at in the Enigma variations. A recent theory, proposed by Clive McClelland of the University of Leeds, suggests that the hidden theme is the hymn tune
Hymn tune
A hymn tune is the melody of a musical composition to which a hymn text is sung. Musically speaking, a hymn is generally understood to have four-part harmony, a fast harmonic rhythm , and no refrain or chorus....

 "Now the day is over". Unlike most theories, this deals with all 24 notes of the main theme; the lyrics too, McClelland thinks, fit in with Elgar's "dark saying".

Another solution has been published in 2007 by the Dutch lexicographer Hans Westgeest. He found a connection between the enigma and the Jaeger-Beethoven-story behind the Nimrod-variation which Elgar told Dora Penny later (see var. IX above). The real theme of the Enigma Variations which is present everywhere throughout the work in different shapes, is rather short: it consists of only nine notes (the first nine notes of Nimrod with added crotchet rests) on the rhythm of Edward Elgar’s own name ("short-short-long-long", and the reverse of it, "long-long-short-short" and an endnote). He composed his “Elgar-theme” as a countermelody to the beginning of the mysterious “principal Theme” which is “not played” in the Enigma Variations. This turns out to be the theme of the second movement of the Pathétique
Pathetique
Pathetique may refer to:*Piano Sonata No. 8 , in C minor , titled Pathétique by Beethoven*Symphony No. 6 , in B minor , also titled Pathétique by the composer's younger brother, Modest Ilyich Tchaikovsky...

-sonata of Ludwig van Beethoven. The “Elgar-theme” follows that Beethoven melody: it comprises the very notes of it. As Westgeest states, the symbolism of this is evident: by composing the work Elgar follows the example of Beethoven, as Jaeger told him to do. By doing so, the artist triumphs over depression and discouragement in the Finale, "E.D.U." So, like some works of Elgar’s contemporaries Richard Strauss and Gustav Mahler, the Enigma Variations are about the artist himself: (almost) all the themes of the work are in fact derived from the ‘Elgar theme’.

Other possible themes


The musical scholar Sir Jack Westrup
Jack Westrup
Sir Jack Westrup was an English musicologist, writer, teacher and occasional composer.-Biography:Jack Allan Westrup was the second of the three sons of George Westrup, insurance clerk, of Dulwich, and his wife, Harriet Sophia née Allan. He was educated at Dulwich College, London 1917-22, and at...

 insisted that according to Elgar's words it was clear that the theme was a melody: "Everyone who knew Elgar at the time is quite emphatic that he meant a tune. Hence the suggestion that the larger theme is friendship – reinforced by a quotation from the Religio Medici which includes the word 'Enigmas' – can hardly have any foundation." Others have disagreed.

Professor Ian Parrott
Ian Parrott
Ian Parrott , who retired from the Gregynog Chair of Music at Aberystwyth in 1983, is a prolific Anglo-Welsh composer and writer on music. His distinctions include the first prize of the Royal Philharmonic Society for his symphonic poem Luxor, and commissions by the BBC and Yale University, and for...

, former vice-president of the Elgar Society, in his book on Elgar (Master Musicians, 1971) wrote that the "dark saying", and possibly the whole of the Enigma, had a biblical source, 1 Corinthians 13:12, which reads according to the Authorised Version of the Bible: "For now we see through a glass, darkly (enigmate in the Latin of the Vulgate
Vulgate
The Vulgate is a late 4th-century Latin translation of the Bible. It was largely the work of St. Jerome, who was commissioned by Pope Damasus I in 382 to make a revision of the old Latin translations...

); but then face to face: now I know in part; but then shall I know even as also I am known." This verse is from St. Paul's essay on love. Elgar was a practising Roman Catholic and on 12 February 1899, eight days before the completion of the Variations, he attended Quinquagesima
Quinquagesima
Quinquagesima is the name used in the Western Church for the Sunday before Ash Wednesday. It was also called Quinquagesima Sunday, Quinquagesimae, Estomihi, or Shrove Sunday...

 Mass at St. Joseph's Roman Catholic Church in Malvern. This particular verse was read. Another literary theme was suggested by Edmund M. Green in The Elgar Society Journal (November 2004, Vol.13, No. 6) in which he suggested that the "larger" theme is Shakespeare's sixty-sixth Sonnet and that the word "Enigma" stands for the real name of the Dark Lady of the Sonnets.

Another theme that has been suggested is the mathematical constant pi
Pi
' is a mathematical constant that is the ratio of any circle's circumference to its diameter. is approximately equal to 3.14. Many formulae in mathematics, science, and engineering involve , which makes it one of the most important mathematical constants...

, which is "well known". The first four notes of the Variations are the scale degrees 3-1-4-2, which correspond to an approximation of pi. The commonly used fractional approximation is also observed in the two “drops of a seventh” that follow exactly after the first eleven notes– 11 x 2/7, or 22/7. In this proposal, the "dark saying" is a pun on the nursery rhyme Sing a Song of Sixpence
Sing a Song of Sixpence
Sing a Song of Sixpence is a well-known English nursery rhyme, perhaps originating in the 18th century. It is also listed in the Roud folk song index as number 13191.-Lyrics:...

, found in “Four and twenty blackbirds (dark) baked in a pie (Pi)", used to refer to the first twenty-four black notes. Elgar wrote his Enigma Variations in the year following the Indiana Pi Bill
Indiana Pi Bill
The Indiana Pi Bill is the popular name for bill #246 of the 1897 sitting of the Indiana General Assembly, one of the most famous attempts to establish scientific truth by legislative fiat...

 of 1897, and noted in 1910 that the work was “commenced in a spirit of humour.”

Subsequent history


Elgar himself quoted many of his own works, including Nimrod (Variation 9), in his choral piece of 1912, The Music Makers. On 24 May 1912 Elgar conducted a performance of the Variations at a Memorial Concert in aid of the family survivors of musicians who had been lost in the Titanic disaster.

Frederick Ashton
Frederick Ashton
Sir Frederick William Mallandaine Ashton OM, CH, CBE was a leading international dancer and choreographer. He is most noted as the founder choreographer of The Royal Ballet in London, but also worked as a director and choreographer of opera, film and theatre revues.-Early life:Ashton was born at...

's ballet Enigma Variations (My Friends Pictured Within) is choreographed to Elgar's score with the exception of the finale, which uses Elgar's original shorter ending (see above), transcribed from the manuscript by John Lanchbery. The ballet, which depicts the friends and Elgar as he awaits Richter's decision about conducting the premiere, received its first performance on 25 October 1968 at the Royal Opera House Covent Garden, London.

Elgar suggested that in case the variations were to be a ballet the 'enigma' would have to be represented by 'a veiled dancer'. Elgar's remark suggested that the 'enigma' in fact pictured 'a friend', just like the variations. He used the word 'veiled', possibly indicating that it was a female character (Britannia).

The Enigma Variations inspired a drama in the form of a dialogue – original title "Variations Énigmatiques" (1996) – by the French dramatist Eric-Emmanuel Schmitt
Éric-Emmanuel Schmitt
Eric-Emmanuel Schmitt is a French dramatist, novelist and fiction writer. His plays have been staged in over fifty countries all over the world.- Life :...

.

Recordings



There have been more than sixty recordings of the Variations since Elgar's first recording, made by the acoustic process in 1924. Elgar himself conducted the Royal Albert Hall Orchestra
Royal Albert Hall
The Royal Albert Hall is a concert hall situated on the northern edge of the South Kensington area, in the City of Westminster, London, England, best known for holding the annual summer Proms concerts since 1941....

 for its first electrical recording in 1926 on the HMV
HMV
His Master's Voice is a trademark in the music business, and for many years was the name of a large record label. The name was coined in 1899 as the title of a painting of the dog Nipper listening to a wind-up gramophone...

 label. That recording has been remastered for compact disc; the EMI CD couples it with Elgar's Violin Concerto
Violin Concerto (Elgar)
Edward Elgar's Violin Concerto in B minor, Op. 61, is one of his longest orchestral compositions, and the last of his works to gain immediate popular success....

 conducted by the composer with Yehudi Menuhin
Yehudi Menuhin
Yehudi Menuhin, Baron Menuhin, OM, KBE was a Russian Jewish American violinist and conductor who spent most of his performing career in the United Kingdom. He was born to Russian Jewish parents in the United States, but became a citizen of Switzerland in 1970, and of the United Kingdom in 1985...

 as the soloist. Sixty years later, Menuhin took the baton to conduct the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra
Royal Philharmonic Orchestra
The Royal Philharmonic Orchestra is a British orchestra based in London. It tours widely, and is sometimes referred to as "Britain's national orchestra"...

 in the Variations for Philips
Philips Classics Records
Philips Classics Records was started in the 1980s as the new classics record label for Philips Records. It was successful with artists including Alfred Brendel, Sir John Eliot Gardiner, Sir Neville Marriner and the Academy of St...

, as a coupling to the Cello Concerto with Julian Lloyd Webber
Julian Lloyd Webber
Julian Lloyd Webber is a British solo cellist who has been described as the "doyen of British cellists".-Early life:Julian Lloyd Webber is the second son of the composer William Lloyd Webber and his wife Jean Johnstone . He is the younger brother of the composer Andrew Lloyd Webber...

. Other conductors who have recorded the work include Arturo Toscanini
Arturo Toscanini
Arturo Toscanini was an Italian conductor. One of the most acclaimed musicians of the late 19th and 20th century, he was renowned for his intensity, his perfectionism, his ear for orchestral detail and sonority, and his photographic memory...

, Daniel Barenboim
Daniel Barenboim
Daniel Barenboim, KBE is an Argentinian-Israeli pianist and conductor. He has served as music director of several major symphonic and operatic orchestras and made numerous recordings....

, Sir Georg Solti, Leonard Bernstein
Leonard Bernstein
Leonard Bernstein August 25, 1918 – October 14, 1990) was an American conductor, composer, author, music lecturer and pianist. He was among the first conductors born and educated in the United States of America to receive worldwide acclaim...

, Giuseppe Sinopoli
Giuseppe Sinopoli
-Biography:Sinopoli was born in Venice, Italy, and later studied at the Benedetto Marcello Conservatory in Venice under Ernesto Rubin de Cervin and at Darmstadt, including being mentored in composition with Karlheinz Stockhausen...

 and André Previn
André Previn
André George Previn, KBE is an American pianist, conductor, and composer. He is considered one of the most versatile musicians in the world, and is the winner of four Academy Awards for his film work and ten Grammy Awards for his recordings. -Early Life:Previn was born in...

, as well as leading English conductors from Sir Henry Wood to Sir Simon Rattle
Simon Rattle
Sir Simon Denis Rattle, CBE is an English conductor. He rose to international prominence as conductor of the City of Birmingham Symphony Orchestra and since 2002 has been principal conductor of the Berlin Philharmonic ....

.

External links


Variation IX

  • Complete variation performed by the Chicago Symphony Orchestra
    Chicago Symphony Orchestra
    The Chicago Symphony Orchestra is an American orchestra based in Chicago, Illinois. It is one of the five American orchestras commonly referred to as the "Big Five". Founded in 1891, the Symphony makes its home at Orchestra Hall in Chicago and plays a summer season at the Ravinia Festival...

     conducted by Daniel Barenboim
    Daniel Barenboim
    Daniel Barenboim, KBE is an Argentinian-Israeli pianist and conductor. He has served as music director of several major symphonic and operatic orchestras and made numerous recordings....

    .
  • Complete variation performed by the Massed Bands of the Household Cavalry
    Household Cavalry
    The term Household Cavalry is used across the Commonwealth to describe the cavalry of the Household Divisions, a country’s most elite or historically senior military groupings or those military groupings that provide functions associated directly with the Head of state.Canada's Governor General's...

     at the 2007 Remembrance Day
    Remembrance Day
    Remembrance Day is a memorial day observed in Commonwealth countries since the end of World War I to remember the members of their armed forces who have died in the line of duty. This day, or alternative dates, are also recognized as special days for war remembrances in many non-Commonwealth...

     at the Cenotaph.
  • Complate variation performed by the Amsterdam Symphony Orchestra
    Netherlands Philharmonic Orchestra
    The Netherlands Philharmonic Orchestra is a symphony orchestra based primarily in Amsterdam, the Netherlands. The NedPhO was formed in 1985 from the merger of three orchestras, the Amsterdam Philharmonic Orchestra, the Utrecht Symphony Orchestra Utrecht and the Netherlands Chamber Orchestra...

     conducted by Peter Santa in Rotterdam
    Rotterdam
    Rotterdam is the second-largest city in the Netherlands and one of the largest ports in the world. Starting as a dam on the Rotte river, Rotterdam has grown into a major international commercial centre...

  • Complete variation performed by the LSO
    London Symphony Orchestra
    The London Symphony Orchestra is a major orchestra of the United Kingdom, as well as one of the best-known orchestras in the world. Since 1982, the LSO has been based in London's Barbican Centre.-History:...

     conducted by Sir Colin Davis
    Colin Davis
    Sir Colin Rex Davis, CH, CBE is an English conductor. His repertoire is broad, but among the composers with whom he is particularly associated are Mozart, Berlioz, Elgar, Sibelius, Stravinsky and Tippett....

     in 2004
  • Complete variation in a Philip Bloom's airshow movie
  • Complete variation performed by the Philharmonia Orchestra
    Philharmonia Orchestra
    The Philharmonia Orchestra is one of the leading orchestras in Great Britain, based in London. Since 1995, it has been based in the Royal Festival Hall. In Britain it is also the resident orchestra at De Montfort Hall, Leicester and the Corn Exchange, Bedford, as well as The Anvil, Basingstoke...

     conducted by Leonard Slatkin
    Leonard Slatkin
    Leonard Edward Slatkin is an American conductor and composer.-Early life and education:Slatkin was born in Los Angeles to a musical family that came from areas of the Russian Empire now in Ukraine. His father Felix Slatkin was the violinist, conductor and founder of the Hollywood String Quartet,...

     in 1995 BBC Proms.