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

By Percy M. Young | Go to book overview

CHAPTER XIII
THREE SCORE AND TEN

I think I could turn and live with animals, they are so placid and self-contain'd.

Whitman, "Song of Myself," quoted in Elgar Christmas Card, 1929

IT was for his wife's sake--so it was stated in her obituary--that Elgar departed from his earliest resolve to remain "Mr. Elgar" by accepting titles. After her death honours of one sort or another continued to accumulate. There were some he accepted with pleasure. On November 19, 1925, he received the gold medal from the Royal Philharmonic Society--and he enjoyed an informal supper party afterwards at Pagani's. During the following year this Society nearly, but not quite, persuaded from him the elusive pianoforte concerto. There were innumerable bodies which sought Elgar's patronage, and normally he returned a kindly but negative answer, saying that such duties were "outside my allotted sphere." When, however, the Choral Society at Kidderminster requested that he should become its President he accepted the invitation out of the great respect he had always had for his old fellow student Wadely, who conducted that society for many years. The third honour he especially appreciated was the bestowal, in 1928, of the W. W. Cobbett Medal for Chamber Music. For the rest he accepted without particular emotion the K.C.V.O. in 1928, membership of the American Academy of Arts in 1929, another honorary Doctorate--from London University--in 1931, a baronetcy in the same year, the first Collard Life Fellowship of the Worshipful Company of Musicians in 1931,1. and a G.C.V.O. in 1933. Symbols of this order at this time seemed irrelevant, though

____________________
1
Elgar became an Honorary Freeman of the Company in 1911. After his death his successor in the Collard Fellowship was Vaughan Williams

-225-

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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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