Elgar portrait -
from a painting belonging to Arthur Reynolds

ELGAR
an Elgar Timeline
- - -
Events of 100 Years Ago


1903

January

2
President Roosevelt closes Missouri post office
for refusing to employ a black post mistress

14
In the USA, blacks demand pensions for former slaves

19
In France a new cycle race - the Tour de France - is announced

22
A USA/Columbia treaty paves way for building of Panama Canal

27
51 die in fire in mental hospital north of London

January
1 Elgar working at the opening scene of The Apostles
2 Jaeger writes to say he will be visiting Ivor Atkins in Worcester tomorrow
3 George Hope Johnstone of the Birmingham Festival writes to Novello finalising terms for The Apostles
4 Jaeger visits the Elgars at Craeg Lea
5 Elgar, still enjoying his Christmas present of the Encyclopaedia Britannica, writes an 'Ode' - I know the height of Ararat, Specific gravity of Fat, And heaps of other things besides, - As what makes vermin scratch their hides!
6 Novello agree to pay Elgar £1000 and a royalty for The Apostles
7 Elgar gets 'Neue Musik Zeitung' magazine, containing an article about him
8 Elgar discusses the 'Apostles' contract with George Johnstone of the Birmingham Festival
9 Carice goes to a children’s party - and is not home until 9.15!
10 Elgar gets a new bicycle
11 Elgar arranges to meet Alfred Littleton of Novellos to finalise the 'Apostles' contract
12 Hans Richter visits Elgar at Craeg Lea
13 The Elgars stay with the Speyers in Hertfordshire for a week
14 The Elgars go skating with the Speyers
15 Hans Richter conducts the Coronation Ode in Manchester
16 Marie Hall, former pupil of Elgar, and first to record the Violin Concerto, makes her solo debut
17 Alice and Carice are photographed by E T Holding of Wimbledon
18 Elgar plays piano duets with Leonard Borwick
19 Elgar goes to London for the day
20 The Elgars go home to Craeg Lea
21 The first portion of The Apostles is sent to Novellos
22 Novellos write about the German translation of The Apostles
23 Elgar working on The Apostles
24 A Royalty Statement comes from Booseys - “very delightful - the 1st good one”
25 More of The Apostles is sent to Jaeger at Novellos
26 Jaeger sends samples of binder's linen for Elgar's full scores
27 Edward Capel-Cure spends the day at Craeg Lea helping with The Apostles libretto
28 A trio of friends come to tea - Rosa Burley, Hilda Fitton, and Edward Capel-Cure
29 Elgar attends Malvern Golf Club meeting
30 Elgar cycles 16 miles
31 Elgar continues work on The Apostles

February

3
New headquarters for NSPCC opened in London

10
LCC names two new streets: Kingsway and Aldwych

12
Dr Randall Davidson made Archbishop of Canterbury

20
Pope Leo XIII celebrates 25 years as Pope

21
Chamberlain makes an important speech in Cape Town
regarding the future of the colony

22
Hugo Wolf dies

28
Parliament debates call to restrict UK immigration

February
1 Troyte Griffith comes to Sunday lunch
2 Alice finishes typing the libretto for Part 1 of The Apostles and posts it to Novellos
3 A large royalty cheque from Booseys for, among other things, Land of Hope and Glory
4 "E. is very hard at work, & I hear most uplifting sounds"
5 "... the weather is too cold for me to go and sit in the marsh with my beloved wild creatures to get heartened up and general inspiration"
6 "I am changing my Bike for a free-wheel ..."
7 Elgar continuing to work on The Apostles
8 Troyte to Sunday lunch again
9 Elgar visits a neighbour, Dr Charles Grindrod, for a portrait photograph in his Cambridge academic robes
10 E conducts the weekly Worcester Philharmonic Society choral rehearsal
11 Alice has a bicycle lesson
12 'Dorabella' comes to lunch: "I found E.E. very busy with the 'book' of The Apostles. The study seemed to be full of Bibles. He had a Bible open on the table in front of him and there seemed to be a Bible on every chair and even one on the floor."
13 Elgar visits Winifred Norbury at Sherridge
14 Elgar visits his father in Worcester
15 Carice home from boarding school (The Mount) for the day
16 "When Elgar dined with the Atkins on 16 February, he told them that he had now posted the whole of the first section of Apostles to Novello’s and that he expected to complete the first draft of the libretto within the next two or three days."
17 The first proof of The Apostles arrives at Craeg Lea
18 Mr. Lyttleton Wheeler, Secretary of the Worcester Festival, comes to lunch: "A treat to see a cultivated serious man with belief"
19 'Nimrod' writes about German translations of 'Gerontius', 'The Apostles', and the 'Greek Anthology' part songs.
20 Apostles Scene 2 is finished and posted to Novellos. Ivor Atkins comes to tea: "Much of Atkins’ visit was devoted to going through the libretto and the first proofs which had arrived from Novello’s"
21 Elgar writes to Novellos: "Will you tell me what you think about communicating any particulars of the 'Apostles' to the press? I am asked a great deal & have said nothing: I see some nonsense has already been paragraphed
22 Troyte comes to lunch, and Carice comes home for the day
23 Elgar rehearses the Worcester Festival Choral Society for tomorrow's performance of the Coronation Ode: "He turned to me and said 'What do you think of that tune, my boy?' I expressed my sense of the stir and swing of such a direct appeal as his in that tune. He said 'Well, I've had that tune in my pocket book for twenty years without using it'."
24 The dentist followed by the Coronation Ode!
25 Golf with his friend Alfred Rodwald
26 "... a lot of Apostles have just come. Sinclair to lunch en route home"
27 "out dentistring"
28 A stormy day spent at home

March

3
Scott and Shackleton get nearer the South Pole than anyone previously

10
French Academy of Medicine reports that alcohol is detrimental to health

22
USA side of Niagara Falls runs dry

29
Regular transmissions of news between London and New York by Marconi wireless

March
1 Percy Pitt writes re The Apostles: "Many thanks for your breezy note & news re the 'Apostles'- I hope the back (of the work, not the Apostles) is broken ere this & that we'll soon meet you wandering somewhere within the magic circle - Langham Hotel - Queen’s Hall - Pagani - No. 1, Berners St."
2 Elgar writes to Frank Schuster: "We are having atrocious weather & do not get out much: the work goes on slowly to the printers & proofs of portions drop in: I send you a few pages - very incorrect - which you can bless for me & destroy. The work grows very large & there are decided 'moments' I hope."
3 Elgar takes a Worcester Philharmonic Society rehearsal.
4 Elgar writes to Richard Strauss: "Last week at the WFCS I had the pleasure to hear your ‘Sturmlied’ (I was conducting the Coronation Ode at the same concert) & it was a real joy to me to hear an English chorus in a country town wrestling with your music: they sang well & had been well trained and interested in the work by Mr. Atkins."
5 Golf!
6 David Ffrangcon-Davies writes re The Apostles: "I have been in deep waters - pneumonia for a fortnight. Writing from a gloomy standpoint - that of a bed-ridden man - you will forgive me for a weak letter. I want to make it clear to you that - if it be true that you meant to entrust me with your new work for the Birmingham Festival (for which you have my deepest thanks) I am ready to hold myself entirely at the disposal of yourself and the Festival Committee."
7 As ever with an eye for detail, Elgar writes to John West, Novello's Music Editor, about The Apostles chorus parts: "Two bars before 64 - do like a good fellow devise some means of obviating what will be a chorus singer's joke for ever - cue 'righteousness & peace have kissed each Sow'!! see voc. parts."
8 Troyte to Sunday lunch.
9 Elgar sends more manuscript to Novello - up to Fig. 94
10 "E. Very busy, did not go to Philc. A. went, Mr. Claughton conducted. The whole soul seemed gone though he did it very well & carefully."
11 Elgar’s new Sunbeam bike delivered.
12 Mr. Robbins, the cycle shop owner, took the bike back for repair - the brakes had failed.
13 Elgar conducts Gerontius at Hanley with North Staffs District Choral Society, John Coates, Muriel Foster and Andrew Black.
14 Alice Stuart-Wortley writes about the possibility of a London performance of Gerontius: "I enclose you a letter from Lady Edmund Talbot which explains itself. She is anxious for a performance of 'Gerontius' in the 'new Westminster Cathedral' & already moved so far in the matter as to try to get the Sheffield Choir."
15 Elgar replies to Alice Stuart-Wortley: "Very many thanks for your letter: I am quite in sympathy with the plan."
16 Elgar discusses a scheme to set up a 'Malvern Musical Club'.
17 Another Worcester Philharmonic rehearsal.
18 Elgar writes to Earl Beauchamp: "I have talked over the question of the chamber music concerts - which I mentioned to you sometime back - & we think it might be practicable."
19 Elgar is laid up with lumbago.
20 "Lumbago - better, rheumatism - bad, temper - evil, disposition - venemous, mind - vacant."
21 Elgar recovers sufficiently to walk to the Golf Club.
22 Elgar writes to Jaeger in a time-honoured tradition: "your writing looks like 'a new terror' - meaning tenor - Ja! it's mostly the same thing!"
23 The Apostles vocal score complete to Fig. 111
24 Frederick Cowen conducts Gerontius in Liverpool: "we had a really excellent performance last night in Liverpool. The only thing was that Wullner’s English was rather unsatisfactory."
25 The Brodsky Quartet performs at a Worcester Philharmonic Society concert. Elgar accompanies Mozart's Sinfonia Concertante on the piano."
26 Sinclair conducts Gerontius in Birmingham with William Green, Muriel Foster and Andrew Black.
27 Elgar writes to Parry: "Will you tell me how you would accent in music the word ‘toward’. I have searched Saul, Job etc. in vain. At school I was taught to say ‘to-wards’ and my dictionary (Webster) gives a lot of others who say the same thing. But some well educated persons still say ‘toward’ - this is naturally easier to sing - but is there any authority? Now do not, please, answer this except on the enclosed p.c."
28 Elgar working on The Apostles
29 Elgar working on The Apostles
30 Elgar working on The Apostles
31 Another Worcester Philharmonic rehearsal.

April

7
London County Council takes over responsibility for education in London

18
Bury beat Derby 6-0 on FA Cup Final

23
The cost of the Boer War and the Boxer Rising has been 1/3 of the UK national budget

29
Dissolution of French monasteries started

April
1 Alfred Littleon, Chairman of Novello, writes to Elgar about plans for performing The Dream of Gerontius in London.
2 Elgar writes to Earl Beauchamp: "Will you - and we should like to say Lady Beauchamp also - accept a copy of the full score of Gerontius?"
3 Elgar writes to Jaeger about a presentation score for the Beauchamps.
4 Jaeger replies: "An extra nice copy of the Score shall go to the DOOK, I mean the Herle, to-day."
5 The usual Sunday mixture of Church, Carice home for the day, and Troyte to lunch - and, of course, more work on The Apostles.
6 Elgar bikes to Upton, Pershore & Worcester, returning by train. His neighbour, Charles Grindrod, wrote of Upton: "... it is chiefly the drive that is interesting, there being little to see in the place except a few old houses and a broad reach of the Severn."
7 More 'Apostles' in the morning, a rehearsal in Worcester in the afternoon, followed by a vist to the dentist to have a tooth out.
8 The day after the dentist! "E. dreadfully bad with pain in head."
9 Jaeger gently cracks the whip: "Mind you 'clear up' during the [Easter] Holidays. There will be lots of proofs next week. We have done with Parry's 'War & Peace' now and Brause can put all his strength into the Apostles. But he says its awfully difficult music to engrave & he really cannot rush it, if it's to be engraved properly. Meanwhile DONT delay in sending us your M.S."
10 Good Friday. Elgar writes to the singer David Ffrangcon-Davies: "Very many thanks indeed for sending me the letter: you know how I feel about 'things' & it is good to me to read what people really feel."
11 Elgar goes to Hereford to stay with George Sinclair, the Cathedral organist (GRS of the Enigma Variations).
12 Stanford and his family called at Craeg Lea.
13 Elgar is still at Hereford, and working on 'The Apostles'. Outside the study door appears a notice: "INCUBATING IN PROGRESS. PLEASE DON’T DISTURB THE OLD HEN”
14 Elgar, back at Craeg Lea, writes to Ernest Newman: "I am sadly tired out & this vast view from my window makes me feel too small to work: I used to feel that I 'expanded' when I looked out over it all - now I seem to shrink & shrivel: this is silly & I wax old."
15 Firm plans for the first London performance of Gerontius are beginning to take shape. Alfred Littleton writes: "I understand that Dr. Coward is bringing 200 of his Sheffield Choir up to sing at the Handel Festival. What would you think of a performance of 'Gerontius' at Queen's Hall with them as chorus say on Wednesday June 24. Would you conduct it."
16 Elgar replies about Gerontius: "I should be delighted if Wood did it - he wd. be so sympathetic & loves the work - but you may want me!"
17 Elgar works all day on The Apostles.
18 More work on The Apostles.
19 Elgar cycles to Malvern and calls on the Stanfords.
20 Elgar works on The Apostles in the morning, and in the afternoon travels to Leeds to conduct a rehearsal with the Leeds Choral Union.
21 After staying overnight in Leeds, the Elgars travel to Middlesborough.
22 Elgar conducts Gerontius with Nicholas Kilburn’s choir. The soloists are William Green, Muriel Foster and David Frangcon-Davies.
23 A slow trip home from Middlesborough.
24 Back to work on The Apostles - the Judas scene.
25 More 'Judas'
26 A peaceful Sunday at home.
27 Elgar writes to Jaeger about Ludwig Wüllner, the proposed tenor for the London Gerontius performance, who will be singing the 'Sanctus fortis' solo transposed down.
28 Dorabella comes over from Wolverhampton to hear Elgar conduct a Worcester Philharmonic Society concert, including 'Songs from the Bavarian Highlands'.
29 E conducts the final rehearsal for a performance of the Coronation Ode at Lady Mary Lygon's Madresfield Music Competition.
30 The Elgars travel to Morecambe for the Festival, to include a performance of 'The Banner of St. George'. They stayed with Canon Gorton. His daughter wrote: "I always remember them staying with us at the Rectory, my father arranging for the Morecambe Madrigal Society to be set up on the 'landing' after dinner, their singing a number of Sir Edward's part-songs. He having never heard them sung before said 'I never realised I had written anything so beautiful'."

May

1
State Visit by King Edward VII to France

8
Paul Gaugin dies

20
Kew Bridge over the River Thames opened

26
Paris-Madrid motor race banned after 6 deaths on first day

28
Constantinople earthquake kills 2000

May
1 Elgar adjudicating at Morecambe with William McNaught, Henry Coward and R H Wilson
2 Elgar conducts the first performance of Weary Wind of the West at Morecambe, and also The Banner of St. George.
3 Sunday - a day of rest. Elgar stays in bed while Alice is at church in the morning. After lunch they stroll by the sea.
4 A trip to the Lake District.
5 The Elgars return home to Craeg Lea.
6 Elgar conducts the Coronation Ode at the final concert of the Madresfield Music Competition. Earl Beauchamp says: "When a great many other things about the Coronation have been forgotten, this Coronation Ode will still be remembered".
7 Elgar has been discussing the text of The Apostles while at Morecambe, and now he writes to Jaeger: "I regret having to ask you to alter in libretto Mary to The Blessed Virgin. It's not my fault. This is one of the points I consult the Anglican Clergy so as to give offence to no one & they differ! Now I'm told it must be as amended this by a man (a Canon) whom I can trust."
8 Elgar is elected a member of the Athenaeum Club. His proposer was Hubert Parry and his seconder Charles Stanford.
9 Muriel Foster vists Craeg Lea for the weekend to go through her 'Apostles' scenes.
10 A busy Sunday socialising.
11 "Miss Foster sang through the M. Magdalene scene - most splendid."
12 Novellos write to Elgar: "Mr. Johnstone of Birmingham called this morning to make enquiries about the 'Apostles'. He is very anxious that the Choir should have something to go on with, & we have therefore promised him to let them have say half the work at a very early date. Not having seen the whole of the oratorio, however, we could not tell him what 'half the work' implied."
13 Elgar and Charles Grindrod bike to Bromsberrow. To quote Grindrod: "the drive to Bromsberrow - through Castle Morton, and by Camer's Green, and sharp to the right from the latter - is one of the loveliest round Malvern, full of varied charms, and far from the sound of a railway whistle".
14 Elgar writes to Frank Schuster: "I am over head & heels in debt - to my composing desk only"
15 Jaeger writes: "I find I have not yet replied to your letter of the 7th ... I have discussed the matter with Mr. Littleton, & although he will of course be most happy to make whatever alterations you may wish, he considers the suggested substitution quite unnecessary. Considering that such an Ultra 'Roman Catholic' work as Gounod's 'Redemption' has been in print for over 20 years, with the Mother of Christ referred to - in all kinds of type - as 'Mary'; & seeing that in spite of the work having been sung in almost every Anglican Church in the Kingdom without our ever having received even so much as a hint that the designation 'Mary' was objectionable. Mr. Littleton doubts very much whether you need be afraid of any difficulties when the work is published."
16 Elgar working on The Apostles
17 Lady Mary Lygon (Earl Beauchamp's sister) writes to Elgar: "Thank you vy much for remembering my wish to have some photographs of your Marsh (Longdon): I can quite see from them, what its fascination must be"
18 Elgar writes to Percy Hull: "I am glad you like what you have heard of the Apostles - I wd. like to send some proofs for Dr. Sinclair & you to see, but I hesitate to do that because he - & you I suppose - are too busy."
19 Elgar writes to Frederick Edwards at Novellos: "I have had a chill & laid up & the 'cast' PLAN of the work is to have a slight rearrangement owing to vocalist difficulties."
20 Jaeger writes about adverts for the first London performance of The Dream of Gerontius, promoted by Hugo Gorlitz: "Gerontius is on the Bus' Knife Boards now (but not your name, though Gorlitz's is) there's fame!!"
21 Elgar bikes to Little Malvern
22 Muriel Foster writes to Elgar: "Thank you ever so much for the charming photo which I am proud to have ... it is an excellent likeness."
23 Elgar working on The Apostles
24 Elgar working on The Apostles
25 Elgar working on The Apostles
26 Elgar sends a telegram to Jaeger: "Please send me further proofs as quickly as possible."
27 Elgar writes to Parry: "I hope the chorus (at the Duisberg Festival) was good in your “Sirens” (Blest Pair of Sirens) which is amongst the noblest works of man!"
28 Elgar invites Jaeger to do an analysis of The Apostles.
29 Novello sends Elgar a cheque for £20 for Weary Wind of the West.
30 Elgar gives Carice a postcard of himself: "for Carice - a new card sent to me to ‘approve of’ - but Carice must approve first!"
31 Alfred Rodewald and his friend Gordon Chapman drive over from Liverpool and come to lunch. Inevitably, as this is a Sunday, Troyte Griffith is there, too. After lunch they take the Elgars for a drive.

June

6
Aram Khachaturian born

16
Ford Motor Company formed

16
Pepsi-Cola registered as trade name

18
16 die in explosion at Woolwich arsenal

June
1 Elgar writes to Canon Gorton about a study of the libretto to accompany the music.
2 Parry replies to Elgar's query as to whether 'toward' should be set as one syllable or two: "But still with certain associations I can imagine its being rightly treated as a very short almost disappearing first syllable & a weighty second - specially in prose with an 's' at the end - as 'towards me'."
3 Alice spends the day at Birchwood.
4 The Elgars travel to London in preparation for the first London performance of Gerontius, staying with Frank Schuster, and hear Don Quixote played by the Concertgebouw Orchestra conducted Strauss in the evening.
5 Elgar conducts Gerontius rehearsals, and a young cellist, Paul Grummer, asks him for a cello concerto.
6 Elgar conducts the first London performance of Gerontius in the as yet unfinished Westminster Cathedral. The soloists are Ludwig Wüllner, Muriel Foster and David Ffrangcon-Davies. Parry comments in his diary: "In afternoon to the new R. C. Cathedral in Westminster to hear Elgar’s Gerontius. The work gave me a better impression than when I heard it at Birmingham, the surroundings lent it additional effect. But it reeks too much of the morbid and unnatural terrors and hysterics engendered by priestcraft to be congenial - vivid though it certainly is."
7 The Elgars are at 'The Hut', Schuster's country house near Maidenhead.
8 Back in London, Schuster takes Alice to hear Grania and Diarmid while Elgar stays behind to work.
9 The Elgars dine with the Stuart Wortleys at Cheyne Walk. The guests include Duke of Norfolk and Alfred Austin (the Poet Laureate). Alice has a fall and hurts her ribs.
10 Elgar goes through the part of Judas with the Dutch bass Anton Van Rooy, and he and Alice return to Craeg Lea.
11 It is Carice’s confirmation - but neither Elgar nor Alice go, leaving it all to Rosa Burley.
12 Elgar bikes with Dr. Grindrod to Twyning ("one of the loveliest spots on the Avon") and Ivor Atkins calls.
13 Grindrod and Atkins call again, and also Troyte Griffith.
14 Elgar is working on what is to become the final chorus of The Apostles.
15 Lady Mary Lygon writes about the "…splendid Gerontius at Westminster …the most gratifying thing must have been the inability of the audience to applaud at the end: they just went away quietly & reverently."
16 Rosa Burley comes to dinner.
17 Elgar visits his father in Worcester.
18 Elgar writes to Novello about possible performances of The Apostles in Manchester, Leeds and Hanley.
19 Elgar goes to Longdon Marsh. His friend W H Reed later said: "Here he used to sit and dream. A great deal of The Apostles took shape in his mind there. He told me he had to go there more than once to think out those climaxes in the Ascension"
20 Another visit to Longdon Marsh.
21 Elgar finishes the final chorus, "all but just the very end".
22 Elgar takes a day trip to London.
23 Elgar is in bed with a dreadful headache.
24 The Elgars travel to London for a performance of the Coronation Ode, organised by Maud Warrender, in the presence of the King and Queen.
25 The day of the concert. Maud Warrender remembers: "The Hall was packed. King Edward and Queen Alexandra were present, and the scene at the end was exhilarating. Union Jacks had been served out to everyone in the audience. The waving mass of these flags from floor to gallery was an amazing sight; one felt as if encompassed by surging fields of flowers. Lady Elgar was with me in my box, which was next to the King's. I noticed that he was fast asleep during the Coronation Ode. I was so anxious that Lady Elgar should not observe this that I made her change her place, and succeeded in distracting her attention. And as H. M. did wake up when “Land of Hope and Glory” blazed forth, all was well.
26 The Elgars see the ceremony of Trooping the Colour.
27 Alice is despatched to Novello to say that Elgar can't complete The Apostles as originally planned, and that it must therefore end with the 'Ascension' chorus.
28 Back home in Malvern, Elgar begins his orchestration.
29 Elgar continues his orchestration, while Alice goes to Birmingham to explain his decision to curtail The Apostles.
30 Alfred Littleton writes: "I am exceedingly sorry to hear that the state of your health prevents the completion of the 'Apostles'. This must be a great disappointment to you - but I hope and believe it is for the best: an enforced rest will do you no end of good and add very many years to your life and work."

July

7
UK announces that the fall in the birth rate
will lead to zero population growth by 1921

17
Whistler dies

23
Ford sells its first production car, a Model A

27
15 die in Glasgow train crash

July
1 George Sinclair writes to Elgar about his bulldog, Dan, of Enigma fame: "Poor dear old Dan died an hour ago. He was my best friend."
2 Alice is packing for a holiday in Wales with their friend Alfred Rodewald.
3 Elgar writes to Carice: "We have just arrived, had a nice journey but very long."
4 Nimrod writes to Elgar: "To day I have only time to say 'thank you very much' for your kind letters & to rejoice that you are not ill as I had imagined, from what I had heard."
5 Elgar asks Canon Gorton to write an interpretation of the libretto of The Apostles.
6 Elgar replies to Jaeger: "Here come 48 pp full score - a score to do your heart good to see!"
7 The Elgars go sight-seeing in Rodewald's motor-car.
8 Jaeger gets down to his Analysis of the music of The Apostles: "eight weeks’ hard study, spending every spare morning, 4-7, and evening, 10-2 (or 3), on the difficult task."
9 More orchestration - and an otter hunt.
10 The first chorus rehearsal in Birmingham of The Apostles.
11 Jaeger joins the Elgars in Wales.
12 More sight-seeing by car "(frightful pace)".
13 "E. & Jaeger very busy playing on the river."
14 More pages of full score are sent to Novello.
15 "Very hot & steamy day. "
16 Elgar hears from Novello: "We of the Editorial Department are enjoying “The Apostles” very much."
17 Another chorus rehearsal in Birmingham.
18 The chorus master, R H Wilson, is inWales to go through Part 2 of The Apostles with Elgar.
19 Wilson gets a lift back home. Jaeger goes too, but the car breaks down - and is henceforth known as ‘The Shover’.
20 William Dodd, the chief Novello copyist, sends news of progress with the wind parts.
21 'The Shover' makes it back to Wales.
22 Orchestration, etc.
23 David Ffrangcon-Davies, booked to sing the part of 'Jesus' in The Apostles premiere, writes: "On a circular turret, forming the corner of the verandah of this quaint old renewed house in New England - I sat with you and the Apostles this morning."
24 Carice's first day in Wales, having been fetched the previous afternoon.
25 Orchestration, etc.
26 Another excursion in 'The Shover' - but Elgar stays behind to work.
27 Orchestration, etc.
28 The Birmingham chorus rehearse 'Turn ye to the Stronghold'.
29 Jaeger sends his tanks for the holiday: "Meanwhile many hearty thanks once more to Rodewald & Yourself & Mrs Elgar for the delightful time I have enjoyed; also to monsieur le Shover for the gentle pastime of shoving without accidents to fellow, fowl or female on the Road."
30 Elgar writes to Ivor Atkins: "I have been working like 10,000 smiths & we return home for Monday ... The weather has been truly awful but we have motored about & had much fun."
31 The Elgars return to Craeg Lea, arriving at about 7pm.

August

5
Religious instruction abolished in French schools

11
84 die in Paris Metro fire

15
Joseph Pullitzer gives $2 million to New York’s
Columbia University to start a school of journalism

22
Ex-Prime Minister Lord Salisbury dies

25
Royal Commission on the Boer War reports 100,000 British dead

31
Edward VII makes State Visit to Austria

August
1 Elgar goes into Worcester for a Philharmonic Society Committee Meeting
2 Elgar writes to Jaeger in response to criticism about some doubtful harmonies in The Apostles: "You are a perditioned old Moose: p. 109, 2nd Sc: bars 3 & 4 are all right - & you were good enough to admire them a fortnight ago! - I played 'em to you."
3 Canon Gorton comes to Craeg Lea for two nights to discuss the writing of an Interpretation of The Apostles from an Anglican viewpoint.
4 Jaeger writes to Elgar: "I work hard at my analysis now get up at 5 a.m. & slave away at the beastly thing."
5 Alice completes her task of laying out the full score framework for The Apostles
6 Elgar writes to Jaeger once more in response to his continued (and justified!" mithering.
7 Elgar orchestrates and bicycles.
8 Elgar, still orchestrating, adds an unusual note to the score: "Aug. 8. 03 Took my watch to pieces, oiled it, & put it together at this point."
9 Elgar writes to Hans Richter, conductor of the Birmingham Festival: "Mr. Johnstone spoke to me long ago about my conducting my own work and I left it with him, saying I should be more than happy with you: there seemed to be a sentimental wish that I should direct my own work & that has now become a certainty according to the programme."
10 George Hope Johnstone (from the Birmingham Festival) visits Elgar at Craeg Lea.
11 Elgar, working hard at his orchestration, and also at proofs of The Apostles and the Greek Anthology partsongs, still finds time for cycling: "I went for ride 6 am this morning Cold to the tummy!"
12 Elgar writes again to Jaeger: " I always get [John] Austin to play thro' everything with me & we generally manage to turn out the parts pretty correctly: will it do if I do the whole of the string parts at once i.e. when Geidel has engraved & sent proofs of the whole shoot or must I go on in driblets. We have plenty of time I think & it is difficult to get Austin at a moment's notice & I don't like to ask him to come for less than a day."
13 "E. & Dr. Grindrod [his neighbour] for long ride."
14 Carice's 13th birthday
15 "The Cornet", writing of an arrangement of Caractacus for the national brass band competition, calls it "… the best selection we have had at Belle Vue for many years."
16 Sir Walter Parratt writes to Elgar: "The King has taken a great fancy to you. He commanded the Pomp and Circumstance for one Court: which caused a comical incident. The Lord Chamberlain sent word up to me that it was too loud, and asked me to play it PP.!! which I flatly refused to do!"
17 Elgar completes The Apostles full score: "To what a heaven the earth might grow, If fear beneath the earth were laid, If hope failed not, nor love decayed".
18 Jaeger sends a telegram: "Receive warmest congratulations upon completing your greatest and wonderful work"
19 Granville Bantock is staying at Craeg Lea.
20 Elgar writes again to Jaeger: "Never mind the B[ritish] P[ublic] - they must wait; so long as my intimate friends - friends I have gathered round me because of their hearts and brains - are satisfied - nay even only interested in my work, I have my reward."
21 Alice writes in her diary: "Packed E.'s bag & he started Gloucester way. Had a long ride rain came on & he came back by train from Newent."
22 Elgar and Dr. Grindrod go on a three-day cycling expedition.
23 Alice writes in her diary: "Lovely morning. He & Dr. G. had a ride to Danky Beeches. then after lunch rain came on & they had a short walk after tea then pouring rain"
24 George Boosey, Elgar's other main publisher, writes: "When can you & Mrs. Elgar come & see my little house? I can put you up any weekend as I generally go down Sat to Monday."
25 Percy Pitt writes about The Apostles: "I ... can't help sending you a word of hearty congratulations on your fine work."
26 Alice writes in her diary: "Pouring rain came on - E. & C. for walk after tea. We were to have gone to Madresfied Rectory. E. vesy tired of the bad weather."
27 Elgar is busy making notes for a proposed separate edition of The Apostles libretto showing all the Biblical references and annotated with his own comments.
28 Elgar is staying with George Sinclair in Hereford.
29 Elgar is still in Hereford.
30 Elgar is still in Hereford.
31 On his last day in Hereford, Elgar writes another 'Mood of Dan' in the Visitors Book, the first since Dan's death. It is a simple scale of Eb major, missing “alas” the D.

September

3
USA beats Great Britain in the Americas Cup

8
Turks massacre 50,000 in Bulgaria

10
Great storm in southern England causes deaths and widespread damage

26
US State of Connecticut gives women vote in State elections

September
1 Elgar travels to London in preparation for orchestral rehearsals for the Hereford Three Choirs Festival.
2 Elgar rehearses Gerontius in St. James’s Hall Piccadilly in the afternoon.
3 More rehearsals for the Festival. Dorabella remembers: "September 3rd found me in London for the day between visits to Buckinghamshire and Sussex. I lunched with Mr. Jaeger and went with him to the Hereford Festival rehearsal at St. James's Hall. The gallery was full of interesting people - composers waiting to rehearse their own work, soloists, conductors. and musicians of all sorts."
4 Elgar returns to Craeg Lea.
5 The Elgars travel to Hereford for the Festival - Alice by train, and Edward by bike.
6 On his way back from Church Elgars meets "an old lady sitting in a ditch making tea & eating raw turnips & enjoying the air."
7 A day of full rehearsals for the Festival.
8 The first day of the Festival - "E. flitted about. A. went into the Cathedral & heard 'God Save the King', E.’s arrangement."
9 At the evening concert: "Variations delightful, E. had a splendid reception."
10 George Sinclair conducts Gerontius in the Cathedral, and Parry conducts the first performance of his motet 'Voces Clamantium'. Thinking of Gerontius, Parry writes in his diary that the subject is "revolting. Debased and craven religion, hysteric and morbid."
11 Alice notes in her diary: "After dinner Mr. & Mrs. Coates & Ivor Atkins came & went through the Apostles. Very much impressed. delightful evg."
12 The 'British Bandsman' reviews an arrangement of Caractacus by Lt. Charles Godfrey for the Belle Vue national brass band competition: "a fine broad chorus, wealthy in grandeur."
13 Elgar writes to Jaeger: "Home tomorrow ... we have had a most jolly week."
14 Elgar writes to David Ffrangcon-Davies: "Please accept the poor photo of a fine picture. I know it will appeal to you, it is my ideal picture of the Lonely Christ as I have tried (and tried hard) to realize (musically for a few of us) the Character. It is by a Russian artist."
15 'The Cornet' reviews the Caractacus arrangement: "... all the vigour and sturdiness which the word ‘Roman’ conveys."
16 A photographer from the Daily Sketch takes 14 pictures at Elgar for an illustrated article.
17 Elgar writes to William McNaught about Canon Gorton's 'interpretation' of The Apostles: People forget that the Messiah has had 150 years of explanation, commentary and analysis & Elijah we have heard dissected ever since our babyhood; I feel it is absolutely necessary to 'advise' a new public on a new complex work & I trust we are doing it the right way."
18 Elgar spends most of the day correcting proofs and writing letters.
19 Ivor Atkins goes through Apostles proofs with Elgar, playing piano while Elgar plays violin parts.
20 More proof playing, this time with Elgar playing the piano and John Austin the violin.
21 Elgar has his first rehearsal with the chorus in Birmingham. W T Edgley, a member of the chorus, remembers: "Quite early on in the rehearsals for The Apostles we had the great man, Elgar, to show and explain what he wanted."
22 The Elgars return from Birmingham.
23 Elgar writes to Canon Gorton: "I heard the chorus at Birmingham & it is fine - &, in all fear & trembling, I am not yet disappointed with my work."
24 Robert Buckley comes to Craeg Lea to interview Elgar for and articles for the Pall Mall Gazette.
25 Elgar starts a cold.
26 The cold gets worse. Alice writes: "E. shocking cold. Trying everything to get well in time for rehearsals &c."
27 Elgar finishes correcting the proofs of The Apostles string parts ...
28 ... but his cold is still bad.
29 Elgar rehearses the chorus in Birmingham again.
30 Elgar travels to London, arriving mid-day, and rehearses the Apostles soloists.

October

2
A Roman city wall is discovered during demolition of London's Newgate prison

5
In Berlin a Siemens electric train runs at 125 mph

6
Joseph Chamberlain makes a speech on the principles of Imperial reciprocity

10
Mrs Pankhurst forms the Women’s Social and Political Union

23

October
1 Elgar writes about The Apostles in the Musical Times: "I have endeavoured to suggest that forgiveness is possible for all who repent. To my mind Judas’ crime & sin was despair; not only the betrayal which was done for a worldly purpose. In these days, when every ‘modern’ person seems to think ‘suicide’ is the actual way out of everything my plan, if explained, may do some good."
2 On his way home from London, Elgar buys a fur coat.
3 Ivor Atkins and John Austin spend all day at Craeg Lea helping Elgar correct orchestral parts.
4 Elgar writes to Frank Schuster: "I am dead with fatigue correcting proofs for orchestra - three, yes three! copyists have become in, insane & useless & have given up work wrestling with the complications of the score - & I have to sit here (and did sit also in London) & wearily plod over their stuff."
5 The Elgars travel to Manchester, staying at the Grand Hotel.
6 The Apostles is rehearsed by the Halle Orchestra for the first time. Alice writes in her diary: "Wonderful to hear orch. for 1st time, most splendid. Glorious orchestra. Gr. impression. Marvellous music."
7 Elgar gives Alice a Vocal Score of The Apostles, with four photos of Longdon Marsh pasted in it.
8 The Elgars go from Manchester to Birmingham for the Festival. Jaeger arrives from London, and they have dinner together.
9 The first full rehearsal of The Apostles. Parry writes in his diary: "... remarkable for the richness of its colour and the directness of its appeal."
10 The Elgars go for the weekend to Lord and Lady Windsor of Hewell Grange. The Stuart Wortleys are also there.
11 Alice's diary: "At Hewell Grange - Pouring all day. Did not attempt to go out."
12 Back in Birmingham, Elgar conducts the final rehearsal. Ferruccio Bonavia, a member of the orchestra, remembers: "During the rehearsals Elgar seemed nervous and ill at ease. One had the impression that he feared lest there should be a repetition of the incidents that had marked the first performance of Gerontius."
13 "Took rather a rest day."
14 Elgar conducts the first performance of The Apostles. The Daily Mail's review is typical: "The verdict could not be mistaken. It conveyed a complete, a triumphant success for Dr. Elgar, who was three times recalled, the audience, band, and chorus giving vent to their feelings by a perfect storm of applause and cheering."
15 Elgar meets with Alfred Littleton about payment for The Apostles. As only two-thirds of the planned work had been completed Novellos only want to pay two-thirds of the money.
16 The Elgars hear the B Minor Mass and the Choral Symphony at the Festival. Dorabella remembers: "I had tea with them at the Grand Hotel on the Friday, after the B minor Mass."
17 Elgar's sister Lucy writes: "Father was most glad to get your letter last night, and quite hopes you will come to see him next week. He is stopping here with me for a time, and we get a walk each day in the sunshine, he is very well, and has eagerly read all news of the Festival during the week - I should much like to have heard the actual performance of the 'Apostles' but was only too pleased to have the opportunity of hearing the rehearsal, and thank you again for sending the ticket."
18 The Elgars are spending the weekend at with Lord Shaftsbury at Wychnor Park, Burton-on-Trent.
19 The Elgars return home.
20 "E. to Golf Club - rather dull -"
21 The impresario Harry Higgins writes to Elgar: "The idea has been suggested to me that it might be a good thing to organise an Elgar festival in the month of January, consisting of three performances, the Dream of Gerontius, the Apostles, and a miscellaneous programme including perhaps Caractacus."
22 Elgar writes to Frank Schuster, who is behind the 'Elgar Festival' idea: "As to your lovely scheme I can say nothing now save thanks: it is just like you to think of it."
23 Alice writes in her diary: "... much worried with finance side of new work & disappointed at that side."
24 David Ffrangcon Davies is staying with the Elgars.
25 Back to a routine domestic Sunday - and Troyte comes to lunch.
26 David Ffrangcon Davies write: "I am glad that the shelter of your roof has been mine. It was a time of supreme happiness to me. Please commend me cordially to dear Mrs. Elgar, and convey my deep thanks to her for her kindness."
27 Alfred Littleton finally sends a cheque for the full fee for The Apostles.
28 The Elgars give up their country cottage, Birchwood Lodge.
29 A quiet day at home.
30 Dorabella visits the Elgars: "I went down to Malvern and we had a glorious evening of music."
31 The first concert of the Malvern Concert Club. Winfred Norbury writes in her diary: "biked to Malvern for the 1st Concert - delightful - Mrs. Thurston Holland invited me to tea & I met there the E.E.’s & Dorabella, Dr. Brodsky & Rawdon Briggs."

November

3
Willem Einthoven describes the electro-cardiograph,
a new invention for monitoring the heart

18
The USA and Panama sign a treaty to build Panama Canal

29
An American report on postal services reveals a multi-million dollar fraud

November
1 A quiet domestic Sunday - church, guests for tea, and Carice home for the day.
2 Elgar goes to the dentist.
3 Elgar's friend, Alfred Rodewald, writes: "I’m in bed, bad attack of the ‘flue’ but really thought I was sickening for typhoid. But fever has left & I shall get all right".
4 Another quiet day at home.
5 Elgar writes to Frank Schuster: "I have slumbered since Birmingham & have dreaded any music."
6 A day at the Golf Club.
7 Bad news: "Horrified to hear ... that our dear friend A. E. Rodewald was they feared hopelessly ill."
8 Elgar writes to Jaeger: "I am writing now to tell you about our poor dear friend Rodewald: it came as the most awful shock to me yesterday a.m.-he is quite unconscious & four doctors say he cannot possibly recover - I had a cheerful card from him on Wedy morning last-& now - it is too awful & my heart is quite broken."
9 Elgar goes to Liverpool to see Rodewald, but is too late: "I stood it as long as I could & rushed up here - Our dear, good friend passed quietly away at 12.30. I am heartbroken & cannot believe it. God bless him."
10 Elgar returns from Liverpool.
11 Elgar writes again to Jaeger: "I am cold & don't think my doctor will let me go to the funeral."
12 "Our dear friend’s last sad earthly ceremonies - Very sad days E. out for long long walk -"
13 Elgar is out walking all day.
14 Stanford writes to the violinist Joachim: "Is the art of music going mad? You should hear the Apostles by Elgar. Ye gods! Such ugliness! and all the papers raving about it. It gave me a bad stomach-ache."
15 A domestic Sunday - Carice home, Troyte to lunch.
16 Preparations for their winter trip to Italy.
17 The Elgars travel to London.
18 Alice: "looked at dressing bags & bought tea basket & things for journey."
19 Elgar & Frank Schuster go to Manchester for Richter’s third performance of Gerontius.
20 Elgar returns to London.
21 A day of visits in London.
22 The Elgars try to go to church: " ... too late for low Mass & too early for High Mass".
23 Stanford writes to Elgar about the 1904 Leeds Festival: "... while I was delighted to hear from you that you were doing a symphony for them, I was extremely disappointed to hear that it was withdrawn."
24 Final preparations for Italy.
25 The Elgars travel to Dover and on to Calais and Paris.
26 A stopover day in Paris.
27 By train from Paris to Marseilles.
28 By train again from Marseilles to Bordighera.
29 The Elgars are in Italy: "Very wet morning. Too wet to go out early enough. Cleared later had a little walk. Very wet aftn & evg."
30 "Explored Bordighiera ..."

December

9
Norway rejects female suffrage

12
Reichstag approves bill extending by two years the preferential treatment of British imports

17
Orville Wright makes the first successful powered flight

December
1 "E. & A. to San Remo at 11.20 train. Went to Tomaso Cooko, then to a house agent abt. Villas."
2 "E. & A. to see Corimae, Beatrice Villas then walked to Villa Irridi."
3 Elgar writes to Walford Davies about Rodewald: "The man was a good man - one of the best - & he has gone & the blank can never be filled & I resent this in some way I cannot define."
4 The Elgars meet William Dalrymple Maclagan, Archbishop of York.
5 Elgar writes to Jaeger: "I am going to buy a donkey: shall go into the Ass trade I think"
6 Alice writes to Canon Gorton about his interpretatation of The Apostles: "The Archbp. of York is here & E. has lent him yr. little book."
7 "E&A to Alassio - saw Villa San Giovanni and decided to rent it."
8 Elgar writes to Frank Schuster: "There is a lovely little place here, a mile up attainable only by mule track & I want to buy the place! Alice & I have been out with a donkey all day up in the woods & mountains - donkey's name is 'Grisia' - a lovely beast - we ate out of doors in the sun so little does it take to make us happy!"
9 "Perfectly lovely day & excursion. Sat & basked in sun at luncheon."
10 The Elgars travel to Alassio, staying the first night in the Salisbury hotel.
11 Elgar writes to Jaeger: "We have citrons, lemons, olives in the garden & heaps of flowers: the weather is again bad but not cold: this is a nice house & we are very happy with 2 Italian servants - I can't jabber much, it's an inconvenient tonguage."
12 "Finer morning. Wet again at night - Cloudy & damp all day - more or less. House getting warmer."
13 Elgar writes to Troyte Griffith: "After Sunday lunch! Dear Troyte; This cook is a clinker: do come & feast your tummy with polenta, pig'sworks, vitello, Bolito; I'm delirious!"
14 "Wretched weather"
15 "Wretched weather. Both very depressed by it. Cd. go nowhere -"
16 Elgar notes: "Ship arrived with casks of wine, unloaded by throwing them into sea and pulling ashore with ropes."
17 "Windy & wretched weather still -"
18 Elgar is busy orchestrating the 1895 Partsongs, The Snow and Fly Singing Bird.
19 Elgar writes to Clare Stuart Wortley, Windflower's daughter: "This might be anywhere! they take Sardines. Best wishes for Christmas."
20 Elgar writes again to Troyte: "The history of the Leeds Symphony is this: I always promised the dedication to Richter: early this year (I think) I promised the first performance at Leeds; at the Birmingham Festival time I learnt that R. was counting upon conducting the first performance - so I withdrew it from Leeds & gave it to him - if it’s ever ready. That’s all."
21 Rosa Burley arrives with Carice: "They met us in Genoa and we stayed the night there. Elgar seemed excited and happy. He liked the surroundings, which were lovely, and the change of food, and soon began to want to compose."
22 Rosa Burley again: "The next morning was spent in Genoa and Edward, who kept darting down little side streets and alleys, to the manifest alarm of Alice, found a music-shop where he bought some orchestral manuscript paper and arranged - not without some difficulty which it was my business as interpreter to ease - for the hire of a small piano. Carice watched our antics with her usual quiet and charming gravity."
23 Elgar and Rosa Burley go to harbour to see where the wine he saw coming ashore was being sold. "It was clear that if my reputation were to be maintained I must get some of this wine so I found my way to the trattoria and went in; I did not take Edward as he tended to embarrass one's shopping by making a running commentary on the proceedings in English. ('Tell him he's a squinting pirate', he would say while one bargained.) The proprietor sold me a large fiasco of the wine, no doubt at about five times the price paid by the habitués, but even so ridiculously cheaply, and I carried it back to the villa in triumph. Edward greeted me with shouts of joy and would drink nothing else."
24 "Not nice weather. E. & A. & Miss B. to Midnight Mass at 11 - Ceremony of blessing the lamb, & by it the flocks. Church very full. Much levity."
25 "E. & A. & C. to Duomo - to Santa Croce in aftn. - Very cold wind - back by Cornice Road -"
26 Elgar writes to Albert Webb about the Worcester Philharmonic Society: "I wrote to Miss Hyde some time ago, so as to give as much notice as possible, saying I must retire from the conductorship of the W.P.S. - my departure from the Society comes best now at the end of a season & the new election can be made in proper order. I am very sorry to leave you but my many distant engagements, likely to be more distant still, make it impossible for me to make the ghost of a promise to be at either rehearsals or concert: this saddens me somewhat but I hope the Society is now firmly established & that it will go on & prosper."
27 Elgar writes to Jaeger: "I seem to hear nothing of anybody at all! We sit & shiver in the cold - we have had 5 fine days in a month - & wonder when the fine weather is coming."
28 "All walked except A. not out."
29 Harry Higgins writes to Elgar about the forthcoming Covent Garden festival: "Rightly or wrongly, I think that Butt’s voice will more than compensate for her lack of intelligence and that on the whole the public will prefer her to Brema."
30 "Cold & wretched -"
31 "Close of a wonderful year. Morecambe was surprisingly delightful, then 'Gerontius' at Westminster Cathedral, then the Union Jack Concert, when E. was presented to the King - Much anxiety over the Apostles, E. overworked & feeling pressure - At last decided when staying at Frank's to finish for the Fest. at the Ascension. Then he became revived & plunged into orchestrating A. went to Novello & to Mr. Johnstone Birm. Then delightful week at Hereford & then later thrilling rehearsals at Manchester & Birm. then visit to Hewell Grange then the splendid performance at the Fest at Birm. then visit to Wychnor - Then home & somewhat worried with financial side of the work - That was cleared up & then the grt. sorrow at losing A.E.R. - At last started & after a week in London & E. going to 'Gerontius' at Man. & dining at Frank's & hearing his Fest. was settled came abroad -D.G. for wonderful year - In Sept. E. heard of Ignotus."

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