Elgar’s Serenade for Strings!
Previously in this blog, I have mentioned that I have become a great fan of Sir Edward Elgar. Certainly I enjoy many of his compositions, including the Violin Concerto, the Cello concerto, and many of the shorter pieces. I also enjoy him because of the sense that I have that Elgar had a marvelous sense of humor, and he never took himself too seriously…
When Yehudi Menuhin was a very young man, he gave the premier performance of Elgar’s Violin Concerto. Menuhin came to England for the rehearsals, and he was, of course, a bit nervous while waiting for Elgar to show up, since Elgar was the conductor for the premier performance. Things got started, and after a page or two of rehearsing, Elgar suddenly said (hear this in a heavy British accent):
“I say, this is going swimmingly; we’ll do it all so well tonight; so now I am off to the Races!!”
With that, Elgar took off for his favorite race track, and Menuhin was stunned, and a bit concerned that the preparation was so short. But… the concert was a huge success, and Elgar’s concerto is still loved by worldwide audiences to this day.
I liked this CD because of the Elgar Serenade for Strings. Yes… we have string serenades by Tchaikovsky and Dvorak; but Elgar’s work is equally lovely and takes no back seat to other two. The serenade is recorded along with the Enigma Variations and “In the South”. The serenade is a wonderful, romantic and melodious piece you are sure to enjoy…
Click below for an audio/visual sample of this music: