Elgar Complete Edition

What is the Elgar Complete Edition?

The Elgar Complete Edition is a 44-volume uniform edition covering the whole of Elgar's musical output, from the symphonies, concertos and large-scale choral works, through the salon pieces and incidental music for theatre, to the unfinished works, sketches and fragments. It is intended for both scholarly and practical use. It aims to provide an authentic text of all the composer's surviving music, based on printed and manuscript sources and employing critical editorial principles. The 44 volumes are divided into six series, with each series being presented as far as practicable in broadly chronological order.

     Each volume is edited to the highest academic standard, taking account of all known sketches, drafts and proofs to produce definitive scores which capture as clearly and comprehensively as possible Elgar's final thoughts on the works covered by the volume. Each score is accompanied by a concise description of each of the known sources for the work and a critical commentary listing those editorial changes made which cannot be clearly represented in the score. Sketches and drafts of works which Elgar left unfinished, together with significant rejected passages from completed works, are presented in appendices, usually being reproduced as closely as possible to the form in which Elgar left them. Each volume also contains an editorial foreword covering the context, genesis and first performances of each work, together with a selection of illustrations relevant to the volume. Working under the guidance of the General Editors, the task of editing each volume is assigned to an editor appointed for his or her specific expertise in the music covered by the volume.

     Volumes are published in one of two page sizes - 350mm x 250mm or 432mm x 280mm - the larger size being reserved for orchestral or choral works employing a full orchestra. All new volumes are published in a hardback binding covered in maroon imitation leather with gold blocking. Some earlier volumes are available in a softback binding with black blocking. Details of the availability of volumes in the two bindings can be found elsewhere. Matching vocal scores and orchestral parts can also be supplied from the scores of some works published in the Complete Edition (including a number of works from future volumes) by the Elgar Complete Edition's parent company Elgar Works.

     Looking to the future, with increasing emphasis on electronic delivery and pressures on library storage space, the Elgar Complete Edition is intent on developing a DVD version of the Edition in which full advantage is taken of the interactivity and mixed formats allowed by the medium. The aim is to develop an edition which, while retaining all the features and values of the printed edition, facilitates access and navigation for the research student and amateur enthusiast alike.

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