Skip to main content

Elgar, Edward, Sir

ELGAR, EDWARD, SIR

Distinguished Catholic composer; b. Broadheath, near Worcester, England, June 2, 1857; d. Worcester, Feb. 23, 1934. He received most of his musical training from his father, organist at St. George's Catholic Church in Worcester, but was self-taught in composition. After producing several cantatas and orchestral pieces, he emerged as a major musical figure with the "Enigma" variations (1899) and The Dream of Gerontius (1900), an oratorio setting of Cardinal J. H. newman's poem. Like Gerontius, his Biblical oratorios The Apostles (1903) and The Kingdom (1906) are affirmations of a deep religious faith in an age of skepticism. They contain many striking passages characterized by excellent vocal and instrumental scoring, richly imaginative (if traditional) harmonies, and magnificent texts, and they are especially effective in depicting states of contemplative tranquility. Like his other extended works, they are criticized mainly for excessive length. His liturgical music consists of a few early motets written for the Worcester church, where he succeeded his father as organist in 1885. Besides the "Enigma" variations, his best-known orchestral works are the distinctively English "Pomp and Circumstance" marches and the Violin Concerto. He was knighted in 1904, received the Order of Merit in 1911, and was awarded honorary degrees by several English and American universities.

Bibliography: d. mcveagh, Edward Elgar: His Life and Music (London 1955). p. m. young, Elgar, O.M.: A Study of a Musician (London 1955). d. e. tovey et al., Music and Letters (London 1920) 16.1 (Jan. 1935) 139, a memorial issue. n. slonimsky, ed., Baker's Biographical Dictionary of Musicians (5th ed. New York 1958) 430432. h. c. coles, Grove's Dictionary of Music and Musicians, ed. e. blom, 9 v. (5th ed. London 1954) 2:909928. b. adams, "The 'Dark Saying' of the Enigma: Homoeroticism and the Elgarian Paradox," 19th-Century Music, 23 (2000) 218235. s. lindley, "This Is the Best of Me ," Organ, 79 (2000) 136138. c. e. mcguire, "Elgar, Judas, and the Theology of Betrayal," 19th-Century Music, 23 (2000) 236272. b. newbould, "'Never Done Before': Elgar's Other Enigma," Music and Letters, 77 (1996) 228241. a. payne, "Being Elgar," Tempo, 204 (1998) 23; Elgar's Third Symphony: The Story of the Reconstruction (London 1998). a. p. simco, "Interpreting Elgar's Enigma Variations, " Percussive Notes: The Journal of the Percussive Arts Society, 37/1 (1999) 4648. p. m. young, Elgar, Newman, and 'The Dream of Gerontius': In the Tradition of English Catholicism (Aldershot, Eng. 1995).

[r. m. longyear]

Cite this article
Pick a style below, and copy the text for your bibliography.

  • MLA
  • Chicago
  • APA

"Elgar, Edward, Sir." New Catholic Encyclopedia. . Encyclopedia.com. 19 Aug. 2018 <http://www.encyclopedia.com>.

"Elgar, Edward, Sir." New Catholic Encyclopedia. . Encyclopedia.com. (August 19, 2018). http://www.encyclopedia.com/religion/encyclopedias-almanacs-transcripts-and-maps/elgar-edward-sir

"Elgar, Edward, Sir." New Catholic Encyclopedia. . Retrieved August 19, 2018 from Encyclopedia.com: http://www.encyclopedia.com/religion/encyclopedias-almanacs-transcripts-and-maps/elgar-edward-sir

Learn more about citation styles

Citation styles

Encyclopedia.com gives you the ability to cite reference entries and articles according to common styles from the Modern Language Association (MLA), The Chicago Manual of Style, and the American Psychological Association (APA).

Within the “Cite this article” tool, pick a style to see how all available information looks when formatted according to that style. Then, copy and paste the text into your bibliography or works cited list.

Because each style has its own formatting nuances that evolve over time and not all information is available for every reference entry or article, Encyclopedia.com cannot guarantee each citation it generates. Therefore, it’s best to use Encyclopedia.com citations as a starting point before checking the style against your school or publication’s requirements and the most-recent information available at these sites:

Modern Language Association

http://www.mla.org/style

The Chicago Manual of Style

http://www.chicagomanualofstyle.org/tools_citationguide.html

American Psychological Association

http://apastyle.apa.org/

Notes:
  • Most online reference entries and articles do not have page numbers. Therefore, that information is unavailable for most Encyclopedia.com content. However, the date of retrieval is often important. Refer to each style’s convention regarding the best way to format page numbers and retrieval dates.
  • In addition to the MLA, Chicago, and APA styles, your school, university, publication, or institution may have its own requirements for citations. Therefore, be sure to refer to those guidelines when editing your bibliography or works cited list.