Elgar, O.M.: A Study of a Musician

By Percy M. Young | Go to book overview

CHAPTER IX
ORDER OF MERIT

Rarely, rarely, comest thou,
Spirit of Delight.

Shelley

THE EDWARDIAN era, despite the succession of George V to the throne in 1910, effectively ended in 1914. It was in the final years of this era that Elgar was at the height of his fame, and that he produced three incomparable works: the violin concerto--which Henry Wood considered to be the finest ever written, the eloquent and memorial second symphony, and Falstaff. The first was dedicated to Kreisler, who so many years before had hoped for such a work from Elgar. But this dedication was underwritten by another Aquí está encerrada el alma de . . . (Herein is enshrined the soul of . . .): the soul of Julia Worthington, so it was said many years later.1 The second was inscribed to the memory of King Edward VII, but remembered also2 the beloved Rodewald. The third bore the name of Landon Ronald but, while dedicated to him in sincerity and gratitude, truthfully enshrined the character of Edward Elgar. Dedications, and "interpretations" based on them, should in all these cases be treated with reserve, and in conjunction with the development of the musical ideas over many years. These are discussed in detail in the second part of this work.

It is in the years of acknowledged greatness that Elgar's two- wordly character is most prominently displayed. The conflict between the two worlds is apparent. The Violin Concerto is a highly

____________________
1
See Mrs. R. Powell, op. cit. p. 86, but see also the sketches "The Soul," inscribed to Miss Adela Schuster (p. 390), and the discussion on p. 355.
2
Lady Eigar Diary, see below, p. 156.

-150-

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Elgar, O.M.: A Study of a Musician
Table of contents

Table of contents

  • Title Page 3
  • Contents 9
  • Illustrations 11
  • Preface 13
  • Part One 17
  • Chapter I - Greenings and Elgars 19
  • Chapter II - Edward 30
  • Chapter III - "Passed with Honours" 39
  • Chapter IV Mr. Elgar 51
  • Chapter V - "Splendid Saga-Ing" 66
  • Chapter VI - Dr. Elgar 78
  • Chapter VII - Sir Edward 96
  • Chapter VIII - The Professor 124
  • Chapter IX - Order of Merit 150
  • Chapter X - "The Spirit-Stirring Drum" 168
  • Chapter XI - ". . . and All Remote Peace" 189
  • Chapter XII - Master of the King's Musick 205
  • Chapter XIII - Three Score and Ten 225
  • Chapter XIV - Unfinished Symphony 239
  • Chapter XV - The Man Himself 248
  • Part Two 261
  • Chapter XVI - In Search of a Style 263
  • Chapter XVII - Music for Orchestra 273
  • Chapter XVIII - Music for Voices 294
  • Chapter XIX - Ad Majorem Dei Gloriam 307
  • Chapter XX - The Symphonic Composer 326
  • Chapter XXI - Chamber Music 345
  • Chapter XXII - Incidental Music 354
  • Chapter XXIII - Unfinished Opera 360
  • Chapter XXIV - Epilogue 376
  • Musical Examples 383
  • Appendix - Inscriptions by Elgar in G. R. Sinclair's "Visitors' Book" 398
  • Index of Works 402
  • Bibliography 426
  • Sources & Acknowledgments 429
  • General Index 431
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