This fifth volume of the Elgar family diaries once again draws on a wealth of contemporary sources including
letters from and to the Elgars. It covers a period of activity and creation. Elgar was now able to complete and
hear Richter conduct the first performance of his first Symphony, continuing to the composition of the Violin
Concerto and, towards the second half of 1910, to progress the composition of the Second symphony. The old
frustrations concerning a lack of money and time for ‘real composition’ may have remained but, through these
pages, we see how his success was achieved. It is also clear from the diary entries – particularly when the Elgars
are travelling in Italy – how profound the cultural and religious impact of that country was on all in their party.
A first draft of the text was prepared by Martin Bird before his sudden death in May 2019. Martin, an
authority on the life of Elgar, edited the Elgar Society Journal from 2011 to 2017. He studied music at school
in the days when the A-level syllabus always included a work by Elgar and was bowled over by The Dream
of Gerontius, a work he subsequently conducted. Graduating from the University of Kent and Canterbury
with a degree in Economic and Social History and a subsequent career with British Airways, Martin devoted
much of a productive retirement to compiling a database including transcriptions of all letters to and from
Elgar he managed to locate plus full transcriptions of all surviving Elgar family diaries. These form the
basis of the Collected Correspondence series. In 2016 Martin was awarded the Elgar Society Medal ‘for his
significant scholarship in editing the Elgar diaries and correspondence’. The volume is dedicated to Martin in
recognition of his instrumental role in transcribing the diaries and correspondence and in helping to launch
the Collected Correspondence series.
Under the guidance of the series’ General Editor Chris Bennett, the text has been taken forward to
completion by another keen student of all things Elgarian, Paul Chennell. His interest in Elgar is part of
a wider fascination with the history of music in Britain from the late 19th century through to the mid-20th
century. After five happy years as a functionary in BBC Radio at Broadcasting House in the 1970s Paul took
an MA Honours degree in history from St Andrews University. Four happy and successful years in Scotland
were followed by work in local government and the voluntary sector for the rest of his working life. In 2012
he took early retirement and has since been involved in various voluntary-sector projects. He has been a
member of the Delius Society since 1984, serving on the committee of that Society for eleven years and
editing the Delius Society Journal for almost the same period as Martin edited the Elgar Society Journal.
Volumes of the Collected Correspondence edition can be obtained through all good book stores, specialist music shops and wholesalers, or directly from the publisher. For details, visit the How to Purchase page.
Series V Vol.5 ; xviii + 394 pages ; 152mm x 232mm ; 8 plates containing 19 monochrome illustrations
cloth binding ; ISBN: 978-1-904856-61-0 ; Publication date: 3 February 2020