(1857-1934) is often described as the greatest English
Purcell. He was a late romantic, a brilliant orchestrator, and a genius for the noble and majestic melody.
was born in Worcester, where his father ran a music shop and was organist at St
George's Catholic Church. Edward soon became absorbed in the musical world of
the Malvern hills, playing violin in local orchestras, teaching and
conducting. Success as a composer did not come easily or early, but he was
starting to make a name for himself in 1895 with his cantatas, and in 1899 his
breakthrough arrived with his Enigma variations.
Elgar wrote several
marches and other patriotic music, popular in England at the height of its
empire. Words were written to fit part of Pomp and Circumstance march no 1, and
it became the immensely popular anthem "Land of Hope and Glory", which
is always played on the last night of the promenade concerts in the Royal Albert
hall in London. Elgar was knighted in 1904.
Other major works
include: 2 Symphonies, Pomp and Circumstance marches, Introduction and
Allegro for String Orchestra, Violin Concerto, Cello Concerto.