SO, WHERE NEXT…?
We suggest works to explore after Elgar’s
Berlioz’s orchestrations were a huge influence on Elgar, who loved the Frenchman’s music – he was once reported to have been ‘trembling all over’ on hearing the Symphonie fantastique. Harold in Italy, a work for viola and orchestra in which the soloist describes the hero’s moods as he travels from Italian scene to scene, contains Elgarian whisperings, from sighing falls to full orchestra scamperings – even the way Berlioz scores his strings had a deep impact on the English composer. No doubt Elgar called Harold to mind as he sketched the sixth movement of the Enigma Variations, ‘Ysobel’, a witty tribute to an amateur violaplaying friend. certain rusticity to it before ‘Autumn’ plunges us into mists and wistfulness. ‘Winter’, meanwhile, reminds that this is also a season of chilly gloom, before eventually lightening its soul as, in a distinctly Slav manner, Christmas hones into view.
seasons to be cheerful: Edward German wrote a highly characterful orchestral suite