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Elgar: An Anniversary Portrait [Paperback]

Nicholas Kenyon
4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (3 customer reviews)
RRP: £13.99
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Book Description

4 Sep 2008
Too frequently a multi-author work on a composer obscures rather than illuminates its subject. This volume casts a genuinely prismatic light upon it. R.J. Stove, The New Criterion "An Anniversary Portrait succeeds in offering a sufficient yet panoramic view of Elgar's life and music. The impressive list of authors and concise nature of their contributions make this book an easily digestible and enjoyable read". Muso Edward Elgar was a man of many contradictions. He was born an outsider, into a family of lower-middle class, Catholic, origins. Yet his fame, and ability to write music that struck a chord in the national consciousness, led him to adopt a sycophantic attitude towards the Royal Family and high society, even though he always felt ill at ease with them. Elgar was a depressive with a problematic marriage, who craved recognition, but in many ways he regretted the piece of music which made him famous. 'Pomp and Circumstance' made him the leading English composer of his age, but also contributed to the jingoism which he so disliked during the First World War. Yet, unquestionably, he was the greatest musical genius that England had produced in centuries. This Portrait, by some of the scholars and musicians that understand him best, offers new light on a wide range of aspects of Edward Elgar's life and work.

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Product details

  • Paperback: 210 pages
  • Publisher: Continuum (4 Sep 2008)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1847065333
  • ISBN-13: 978-1847065339
  • Product Dimensions: 21.3 x 13.7 x 1.8 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (3 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 74,192 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
  • See Complete Table of Contents

Product Description

Review

"Too frequently a multi-author work on a composer obscures rather than illuminates its subject. This volume casts a genuinely prismatic light upon it." R.J. Stove, The New Criterion "An Anniversary Portrait succeeds in offering a sufficient yet panoramic view of Elgar's life and music. The impressive list of authors and concise nature of their contributions make this book an easily digestible and enjoyable read." Muso"

About the Author

Nicholas Kenyon was Director of the Proms from 1996--2007. He was formerly head of Radio 3 and music critic for the Observer and the New Yorker. He is currently Managing Director of The Barbican in London.

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Customer Reviews

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews
21 of 21 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars essential reading for the British musicologist 29 Feb 2008
Format:Hardcover
This wonderful book was published to coincide with Elgar's anniversary in 2007. It consists of a variety of essays and articles by leading musicians on specific topics, e.g. Stephen Hough writes about Elgar's faith, Yehudi Menuhin writes about the Violin Concerto. There are also contributions from Janet Baker, Jaqueline Dupre, and Mark Elder, amongst others. As might be seen from this list of distinguished Elgar-lovers, this book is essential reading for any serious Elgar fan, British composers, and the aspiring musicologist. Although I would imagine anyone with an interest in Elgar would enjoy some of the more biographical chapters (of which there are only a few), I think the book is aimed primarily for the musically educated and those with a serious interest in approaching the subject from an analytical point of view, as I was - from this point of view, the book is superb and is unique in providing such wonderful insight into the composer and his music from such a distinguished group of musicians. I bought this book because I wanted to discover the great man's music in more detail, and, as a musician and aspiring music historian, I found this book an invaluable source and introduction to the composer's world - essential reading for the British musicologist.
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4.0 out of 5 stars A present for my brother 15 Dec 2012
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
Very interesting book with good information. Will make a super Christmas present for my brother who loves listening to Elgar's works.
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3.0 out of 5 stars Three Stars 13 Sep 2014
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
Still reading this book.
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Amazon.com: 4.0 out of 5 stars  1 review
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Interesting set of essays on a great composer 25 Aug 2007
By Reader - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
This book contains several rewarding essays on Sir Edward Elgar that help provide a fuller picture of the composer of several well-known pieces (the Pomp & Circumstance March #1 being in the super-well-known category). Each reader is likely to find a different set of essays to be most interesting; mine are those by Diana McVeagh, Stephen Hough and Mark Elder. One problem is that the authors are not identified. Some, such as Hough, Janet Baker and Yehudi Menuhin are well-known, but the others are known mostly to persons already well familiar with the composer, and some will be new to most readers. Many chapters have notes, but the one by Hans Keller does not despite his quoting three sources.
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