Sir his first major orchestral work, the Enigma

Sir Edward William Elgar was born on June 2, 1857, in Broadheath, United Kingdom.   His father was a music dealer, and he was able to teach himself the history of music, which complemented his music lessons in the piano and violin. His family didn’t have much money, and at the age of 15, he started work in a solicitor’s office before later becoming a piano and violin music teacher.  He got very well known as a local violinist, and he began playing at the Worcester and Birmingham festivals.  Edward began to arranging the music of Mozart, Beethoven and Handel, when he was playing in a wind quarter.  This wasn’t enough to make a comfortable life.  He married Alice Robert, an older women who was of a higher class, she was a major supporter of his music as well as emotionally supporting him.  At the age of 42 Elgar finally achieved a big musical breakthrough with his first major orchestral work, the Enigma Variations.  The work was highly acclaimed critically and established Elgar as the pre-eminent composer of his generation.  He branched out out to choral works between 1901 and 1930.  Elgar died on February 1934.  His piece The Dream of Gerontius is probably his most well known pieces and is even considered to be one of the greatest English choral pieces of all time.   The first piece that I chose to look into was The Dream of Gerontius, the piece is for choral and orchestra in two parts.  Elgar created this piece in 1900, he got the words for the song from a poem by John Henry Newman that was named the same thing, The Dream of Gerontius.  Both of these pieces tell about a journey of a man when he is on his deathbed to when he finds himself in Purgatory, till it is his time of judgment before God.  This work of Edward’s is considered to be his finest piece of choral work, and by some it is even considered to be his masterpiece.  He composed this work for the Birmingham Music Festival of 1900, and was first performed on October 3rd of 1900, at the Birmingham Town Hall.  At the time that the song was first played then and there, it is said to be played poorly but that other  later performances that happened in Germany showed its true potential and greatness.  This piece sticks out to me because of what it is about and how it tells a story.  It makes me think about the man and how things must have felt as they changed from him being on his deathbed to being there almost being before God and all of his glory, from feeling terrible and probably in some forms of pain to being right and feeling no pain and that all is good.  This piece is written for what is says is mezzo-soprano, tenor, baritone, and bass, as well as organ and an orchestra.  It is written in the language of English and is played kind of slow and has a small hint of being sad with it at the same time not seeming sad at all.  This song has two parts to it.  All of the sites that I went to for vocal scores were blocked and I am not sure the reasoning behind that.  This is the only youtube video of it that I could find of singing and it only has excerpts of it,  . The second piece that I decided to learn more about was The Wanderer.  There isn’t much of any things that I can find out about it so I am choosing to add the lyrics in a quote here.  “I wander through the woodlands,Peace to you – day’s a-dying;I tune a song The trees among, But oft-times comes a-crying.  I know more than Apollo; For, oft when he lies sleeping, I see the stars At mortal wars, And the rounded welkin weeping. The morn’s my constant mistress, The lovely owl my morrow; The flaming drake And the night-crow make Me music, to my sorrow. With a heart of furious fancies, Whereof I am commander: With a burning spear, And a horse of air, To the wilderness I wander. With a knight of ghosts and shadows, I summoned am to tourney: Ten leagues beyond The wide world’s end: Methinks it is no journey. ”  Edward Elgar composed this song after his world come to a stop at the death of his wife Alice.  He began composing it in 1920 when she then died and it was not until three years later in 1923 that he returned to writing it in the middle part of the song.  This song is written for all male voices only, although Noello’s just wasn’t seeing it and claimed that a song with just male voices will not do well and felt that Elgar was asking too much for it.  The song was latter negotiated down to a lower price.  This song is rather fast moving and a lot of fun at the same time.  As I said before the part is for all men.  I really like the tone of this piece and how it sounds as a whole and it is written in English.  This is the link for the video of a men’s choir singing this song.   I couldn’t find any sites that would let me look at scores for free and I wasn’t about to pay so money to look at one and I am definitely not rewriting this because I don’t think that is right.The third piece that I’m looking into is Zut, Zut, Zut .  In the same way that The Wanderer was after a long period of time when his wife had died he had stopped writing.  The song sounds like it is a march but of the voices.  Elgar composed the song and wrote the words to this song, something that he didn’t do with too many of his works.  It is a faster moving song than the other two songs that I looked at.  I really like the tempo and the beat to this song and that is why I wanted to have it as one of my songs that I’m writing about. These songs were lots of fun to get to know more about although I feel that a single paper talking a little bit about him as a composer and one of his songs would have been enough work in itself.  My composer was easy to find facts about but the songs other than the first one were very difficult as there were lots of blocked sites and others that were just a description about what they are and that wasn’t enough to write much on without copy writing.  My guy was dead so I didn’t have away to contact him but that would have been fun to talk to him and ask what his favorite piece to work on is and why as well as other things about all his pieces.Links well as the links of the videos and other sites already in the paper.