Elgar’s Symphony

Edward Elgar:

  • Symphony No. 2

The first two works that introduced me to the compositions of British composer Edward Elgar were his violin concerto and his Enigma Variations. It was violinist Yehudi Menuhin as a young boy who first played this concerto many years ago.

At a rehearsal for the piece, Mr. Elgar seemed rather bored with the whole preparation. At one point he told Mr. Menuhin: “All right now; things are going swimmingly, and I am off to the races”. (He loved horse racing.)

The second Elgar composition that also became my great favorite was the ‘Enigma Variations’, reviewed elsewhere in this Blog.

On this CD, however, we hear neither of these two compositions. Instead, we get to hear the following:


  • Symphony No. 2 in E flat major, Op. 63
  • Sospiri, Op. 70
  • Elegy for strings, Op. 58

Performed by the Royal Stockholm Philharmonic Orchestra, Sakari Oramo conductor
As the present principal conductor of the Royal Stockholm Philharmonic Orchestra, Sakari Oramo performs three works by Edward Elgar. Oramo’s commitment to Elgar has been rewarded with a medal of honor from the British Elgar Society.

All three works presented here have a melancholic tinge with Symphony No. 2 being dedicated to the memory of King Edward VII, accompanied by two smaller string works: ‘Elegy’ and ‘Sospiri’ (‘sighs’).

Here is Laurence Dale conducting Elgar’s Symphony number2, (II – Larghetto):



And while it is not recorded on this CD, let me share with you the amazing beauty of the Elgar Violin Concerto, with Gil Shaham, violin soloist, and David Zinman conducting the Berliner Philharmoniker:


Really lovely music!


Tags: Edward Elgar, Symphony #2, Sospiri, Elegy

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