View Poll Results: Do you like Elgar's music?

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  • No, not at all

    8 8.42%
  • Well, not very much

    14 14.74%
  • It's good

    28 29.47%
  • Yes, it's very good

    25 26.32%
  • I love it!

    20 21.05%
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Thread: Do you like Elgar?

  1. #1
    Senior Member Lisztfreak's Avatar
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    Default Do you like Elgar?

    Do you like this great composer's music? I'm personally very fond of it lately.
    ''Oh, the String Quartet - oh, the Divine Scratching!''

  2. #2
    Administrator Krummhorn's Avatar
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    Here in the US, one of the most played pieces is Pomp and Circumstance March No. 1 - used at graduations for high school and college. I'm keep hoping internet radio will do more of his works.
    Kh
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  3. #3
    Senior Member Kurkikohtaus's Avatar
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    Not very much.

    I must however qualify my answer with the following: I respect Elgar for reviving a tradition and passing something down to composers like Vaughan-Williams, Holst and Britten. I enjoy his cello concerto and a few of the Enigma variations (but certainly not all of them).

    But for me, on the whole, I find Elgar's music simply boring. There is too much "Fluff and Procedure" in between the ideas, and for me, the concentration that it takes to really follow every note is not worth the effort, as I find myself lapsing in and out of engagement when listening to his music.

  4. #4
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    He's good for an English composer
    He wouldn't have gotten very far outside of the UK, I don't think.

  5. #5
    Senior Member Lisztfreak's Avatar
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    Well, doesn't the fact that he conducted and toured the USA show that he did get far outside the UK? And the fact that I, here in Croatia, can buy disks with his music and attend concerts with Elgar repertoire?
    ''Oh, the String Quartet - oh, the Divine Scratching!''

  6. #6
    Senior Member Kurkikohtaus's Avatar
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    Interesting point about performances of Elgar...

    I'm wondering, which pieces of his are heard in Croatia?

    A quick glance at my personal references (I do an indepth study of the programming of about 200 orchestras every year and make charts) shows me that many orchestras play the cello concerto, some big orchestras play Enigma (I found 9 listings of Enigma over a 3 year period among 200 orchestras) and I also found a few performances of the Serenade and Pomp and Circumstance... other than that, nothing.

    Can anyone else, either of the top of their head or scientifically, tell me what Elgar they have seen programmed for performances?

  7. #7
    Senior Member Lisztfreak's Avatar
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    Yes, this season they'll perform the Cello concerto in Zagreb, and the Philharmonic's maestro promised that there will be more of his works in autumn, since it's Elgar's 150th birth anniversary this year. The Iceland Symphonic Orchestra played some Elgar as an addition to their Sibelius-Rachmanninov concert on February 17th - but that doesn't count.
    ''Oh, the String Quartet - oh, the Divine Scratching!''

  8. #8
    Senior Member oisfetz's Avatar
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    IMHO, he wrote the second best cello concerto (after Dvorak's op.104), one of
    the best violin concertos ever written, and beautiful violin sonata,SQ and piano
    quintet. It's enough for me.

  9. #9
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    Default Some Elgar is fantastic

    Try listening to his March of the Mogul Emperors, probably one of the finest in the genre (IMHO). How can anyone not like it!

  10. #10
    Andante
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    I am surprised that no one has mentioned the “Wand of Youth suites 1 and 2” or the “Nursery Suite” these are very pleasant works!!
    Sym #1 by Halle Orch, James Judd is also work well worth getting to know.
    St Qt E min Op 83 and Piano Quintet in A min Op 84, both breath a breath of fresh air into any listening, IMHO.

  11. #11
    Senior Member Kurkikohtaus's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by MungoPark View Post
    Try listening to his March of the Mogul Emperors, probably one of the finest in the genre.
    Certainly, this march is the best Mogul Emperor March ever written. As far as general marches go, however, it is rather ordinary.

    Andante goes on to say that Elgar has written another few pleasant pieces. I agree, Elgar often sounds pleasant, and at other times downright jolly. But in all these little works I hear a totally different composer than in the cello concerto. In that piece (the concerto) I hear an artist... in the rest, I hear a skillfull craftsman with unfortunately absolutely nothing to say.

  12. #12
    Senior Member oisfetz's Avatar
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    It's sad that works pleasant and jolly, and written by a skilfull craftsman, does
    absolutely nothing to say to you. Others thinks different. Tell me, if you listen
    to his little violin piece called La Capricieuse played by Josef Hassid, it don't
    say absolutely nothing to you?

  13. #13
    Andante
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    Kurkikohtaus
    I did not say “another few pleasant pieces“!!!
    Do you consider that he has absolutely nothing to say in his Violin Con ?. And of course Symphony 1 and 2, ??, Do you not like the St Qt??
    Perhaps you just do not like Elgars Foot Print and that is fine, like a good wine you have to develop a taste to enjoy, and we all have different tastes.

  14. #14
    Junior Member riverbank's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Lisztfreak View Post
    Do you like this great composer's music? I'm personally very fond of it lately.
    oh yes .. only recently got into Elgar but he is now one of my top four composers, definitely Britain's finest composer by some distance in my opinion.

  15. #15
    Senior Member Kurkikohtaus's Avatar
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    Andante, sorry for paraphrasing you.

    Let me be more specific about what I mean by "nothing to say", and yes, it is a matter of taste.

    As I said before, I find Elgar's skill in the orchestral medium very high in terms of how he writes for instruments and total orchestral sound that he creates. But very often I find that when his works go beyond the initial ideas, his development of those ideas are just an exposition of his orchestral craftsmanship, and to me it is not interesting neither musically nor expressively.

    As examples I give 3 pieces:

    1) The Violin Concerto you mention, which has very nice tunes but all the things in between are expressionless to me and serve no real formal musical function (my points of reference are the Tchaikovsky, Mendelssohn and Brahms concertos)

    2)Enigma variations, which is a great display of craft and ingenuity but for me does not stand the test of repeated hearings, I simply find it boring (except for Nimrod)

    3)Cockaine Overture, which has an incredible closing tune... but the piece is about 15minutes long, which for me is 14 minutes too long.

    What I find interesting is that you say that Elgar is like a fine wine, that one must develop a taste for him to enjoy him (I'm paraphrasing again, I hope I got it right this time).

    I disagree with this point. I think Elgar's strength as a composer is that his main ideas are clear and immediately digestible for the average listener. To me, on first hearing of his works, he has the same "instant appeal" quality as Tchaikovsky. The problem I find is that on further listening to his music I don't experinece more than I did the first time through, and the ideas that excited me the first time don't move me in the same way the third or fourth time.

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