Elgar Complete Edition

Volume 24
Music for String Orchestra

The Elgar Society Edition Ltd is pleased to announce the imminent publication of a further volume in the Elgar Complete Edition - Volume 24: Music for String Orchestra. With an official publication date of 20 May 2011, the volume is now in the final stages of production and will be available for shipping in the next two weeks.

-     The volume brings together four of Elgar's best-loved works:

     the enchanting Serenade for Strings, one of his earliest orchestral works : possibly deriving from an even earlier (1888) work for string orchestra, it was first performed by the Worcester Ladies' Orchestral Class in 1892 but did not receive its public première until 1896 in Antwerp and, in the UK, 1899 in New Brighton;
-     the solemn Elegy, commissioned by Novello Chairman Alfred Littleton at the suggestion of the Worshipful Company of Musicians in response to the sudden, premature death of its Junior Warden Rev Robert Haddon in 1909 : it was originally performed under the name Dirge, a title Elgar seemingly preferred despite heading the manuscript with the word by which the work is now known;
-     the wistful, haunting Sospiri, written on the outbreak of the First World War as a companion piece to Salut d'Amour and Carissima : rejected by its commissioning publisher Elkin for being too sombre, it was eventually published as a separate piece by Breitkopf & Hartel, firstly in a version for violin and piano and then in the arrangement for string orchestra, harp and optional harmonium which appears in this volume;
-     and the exhilarating Introduction and Allegro for Strings, composed in 1905 to enable the string section of the then recently formed London Symphony Orchestra to show off their virtuosic skills : by far the most complex of the four pieces, his 'string thing' contains (in Elgar's own words) 'a devil of a fugue' and the 'Welsh tune', supposedly caught on the wind by Elgar across a bay in West Wales, but first sketched as the curious 'Pattern for a Bag Poet', published last Autumn in Vol.16.

     Edited by Professor Emeritus Julian Rushton, the volume is dedicated to Sir Colin Davis in view of his own long association with the London Symphony Orchestra and in grateful recognition of his championing of the works of Elgar. 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 buy or hire copies of the orchestral parts, e-mail [email protected].

Publication History

  • Publication date : 20 May 2011
  • Publisher : ElgarWorks
  • ISBN : 978-1-904856-24-5
  • Availability : in print

Detailed Description

  • Editor : Julian Rushton
  • Number of pages : xxxii + 124
  • Page size : 250mm x 350mm
  • Binding : cloth (hardback)
  • Number of Illustrations : 9 (monochrome)
  • Contents :
    • 4 edited full scores :
      • Serenade Op.20 for String Orchestra
      • Introduction and Allegro Op.47 for Strings
      • Elegy Op.58 for Strings
      • Sospiri Op.70 Adagio for String Orchestra
    • plus Editorial Foreword, Source Description, Critical Commentary and Illustrations.

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