Elgar Works is pleased to anounce the publication of another volume in the Elgar Complete Edition. The volume, edited by Iain Quinn, contains Elgar’s Coronation Ode and his orchestration of God save the King, two works which, to an extent, are familiar to all; and in contrast his Civic Fanfare. Few will have heard the latter and their knowledge of it will probably be limited to three oft-repeated anecdotes: that he composed it for an orchestra lacking violins; that the delayed entry of the mayoral procession at the work’s première, the opening ceremony of the 1927 Three Choirs Festival, required Elgar to encore the work immediately following its first performance; and that in the run-up to a later Three Choir’s Festival the original full score was found to be missing, a loss which Elgar rectified by transcribing an HMV recording of the first performance.
The lost original score has since resurfaced along with an even earlier full draft, but it was the discovery of a new score towards the end of 2016 which provided a fresh perspective on Elgar’s gestation of the work. This suggests substantial uncertainties in all three anecdotes. Most intriguingly, the three scores show Elgar’s introduction of a ‘vamp until ready’ repeat section at the start of the work which offers a far more plausible explanation of events at the work’s première.
Similarly surprising findings have surfaced from work on the Coronation Ode, prompting the intriguing question: if King Edward’s appendicitis had not caused the postponement of the 1902 coronation, would ‘Land of Hope and Glory’ be as familiar to us as it is today? Correspondence between Elgar and representatives of the Grand Opera Syndicate who had commissioned the work records pressure on Elgar to reduce the length of the work, culminating in an agreement to do so. The correspondence does not reveal how this was to be achieved, but a comparison of the surviving autograph scores of the work suggests that it was Elgar’s intention to cut ‘Daughter of Ancient Kings’, ‘Hark upon the Hallowed Air’, ‘Only Let the Heart be Pure’ ... and ‘Land of Hope and Glory’. The cancellation of the London première removed the time constraints, enabling the work to be performed in full in Sheffield. One can only speculate what might have become of ‘Land of Hope and Glory’ had the London première proceeded without the now universally renowned finale.
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.
Series I : Choral Works
- Publication date : 25 August 2017
- Publisher : Elgar Works
- ISBN : 978-1-904856-07-8 (hardback)
- Editor : Iain Quinn
- Number of pages : xlii + 142
- Page size : 432 mm x 280 mm (portrait)
- Number of illustrations : 12 (monochrome)
- Binding : cloth (hardback)
- Contents :
- The complete full scores, re-originated in their entirety, of:
- the Coronation Ode,including Elgar's 1911 addition of 'The Queen', together with his three arrangements of ‘Daughter of Ancient Kings’ and one of ‘Peace, Gentle Peace’ for other vocal forces;
- three full scores of Civic Fanfare: those used in the opening ceremonies of the 1927 and 1933 Three Choirs Festivals and an undated full score seemingly predating the 1927 score;
- Elgar’s 1902 orchestration of God save the King;
- A scholarly foreword recording the history of Elgar's composition of the works;
- A comparative description of all known source material;
- A comprehensive commentary detailing editorial decisions and amendments;
- A range of facsimiles illustrating significant features of the work's development;
- Composer's note recording the forces required;
- The full libretto as printed in the vocal scores, with editorial amendments.