Elgar Complete Edition

Volume 4
Scenes from the Saga of King Olaf

The Elgar Society Edition Ltd is pleased to announce the imminent publication of a further volume in the Elgar Complete Edition - Volume 4 : King Olaf, the eighteenth volume to be published in the Edition and the second to be published in 2007, the 150th anniversary of Elgar's birth. The volume is jointly edited by distinguished Elgar biographer and musicologist Dr Robert Anderson and the young academic Roger Dubois.

     King Olaf resulted from Elgar's first commission to come from outside his native Worcestershire. Commissioned for the North Staffordshire Music Festival of 1896, it was his first concert-length choral work and is considered by many to be his best pre-Enigma work. And yet, in order to secure its publication by Novello, his wife Alice had to underwrite a proportion of the publication costs. The work, an adaptation of Longfellow's blood-curdling account of the Scandinavian king's efforts to convert his native land to Christianity, commanded considerable success for a number of years after its composition but its popularity was gradually overtaken by that of Elgar's later works.

     The full score of the work was not published until 1905 in a relatively cramped edition constrained to 304 pages of score. By now, Elgar was at the height of his fame and it is not clear why he appeared actively to encourage such a compressed engraving. In the current Edition, full advantage has been taken of the ESE's decision to re-originate future volumes in full to produce a much clearer and more legible score, in the process expanding the number of score pages to 386 pages and making this by some way the largest volume in the Complete Edition.

     The Volume, which comes complete with the customary apparatus of detailed source descriptions, commentaries and an introductory foreword, can be obtained through all good book stores and specialist music shops, or directly from the publisher. For details, visit the How to Purchase page. To take further advantage of the re-origination, a new vocal score and orchestral parts has been published in a companion edition by Elgar Works in the hope of encouraging performances of this now sadly neglected work. To buy or hire copies of the vocal score or parts, e-mail [email protected].

Series I : Choral Works

Publication History

  • Publication date : 2 December 2007
  • Publisher : ElgarWorks
  • ISBN : 978-1-904856-04-7
  • Availability : in print

Detailed Description

  • Editors : Robert Anderson, Roger Dubois
  • Number of pages : l (fifty) + 386
  • Size : 280mm x 432mm
  • Binding : cloth (hardback)
  • Number of Illustrations : 4 (monochrome)
  • Contents :
    • A spacious 386-page complete full score, re-originated in its entirety;
    • A scholarly foreword recording the history of Elgar’s composition of the work;
    • A comparative description of all known source material;
    • A comprehensive commentary detailing editorial decisions and amendments;
    • Four full-page facsimiles illustrating significant features of the work’s development;
    • A historical synopsis of the plot, assumed to have been sanctioned by Elgar;
    • The full libretto as printed in the second edition of the vocal score, with editorial amendments.

Return to :

What is the
Elgar Complete Edition?
A Short History of
the Complete Edition
How to Purchase from
the Complete Edition
the Complete Edition
The Full Edition,
volume by volume
Our Latest Volume Subscription Form Who is
the Complete Edition?
Our Mission Elgar Complete Edition index Welcome page index