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Elgar: Enigma Variations

Elgar: Enigma Variations


Part of Cambridge Music Handbooks

  • Date Published: March 1999
  • availability: Available
  • format: Paperback
  • isbn: 9780521636377

£ 22.99

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About the Authors
  • Elgar's Variations for Orchestra, commonly known as the 'Enigma' Variations, marked an epoch both in his career, and in the renaissance of English music at the turn of the century. First performed in 1899 under Hans Richter, the work became his passport to national fame and international success. From the first it intrigued listeners to know why it was called 'enigma', and who were the 'friends pictured within', to whom the work is dedicated. Appearing in the centenary year of the work's composition, this book elucidates what is known, and what has been said about the work and the enigma, and directs future listeners to what matters most: the inspired qualities of the music.

    • Comprehensive survey of an exceptionally famous composition
    • Discusses, in relation to the music, the available information concerning Elgar's 'friends pictured within'
    • Provides a critical survey of purported 'solutions' to the enigma
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    Reviews & endorsements

    'Rushton has both professorial persistence and critical acumen.' The Elgar Society Journal

    ' … wholly admirable.' The Musical Times

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    Product details

    • Date Published: March 1999
    • format: Paperback
    • isbn: 9780521636377
    • length: 128 pages
    • dimensions: 215 x 138 x 7 mm
    • weight: 0.15kg
    • contains: 6 tables 13 music examples
    • availability: Available
  • Table of Contents

    1. Introduction
    2. Composition
    3. Variations: the theme
    4. Friends pictured within
    5. A form of self-portraiture
    6. The enigmas
    7. Postscript.

  • Author

    Julian Rushton, University of Leeds

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