Friday, March 16, 2012

A Little Pomp and Circumstance

This week was an easy one for our composer study - I considered starting on the next composer too, but then things got crazy busy and I abandoned that idea!  We learned about British composer Sir Edward Elgar.

Elgar didn't receive much formal training in music as a youngster, but music played a huge part in his family's lifestyle.  He learned a lot from his father and uncle's music store, where he had access to books, musical scores, and instruments.  He claimed to be mostly self-taught!  Elgar's greatest supporter and encourager was his wife, Caroline.  Although not all his compositions were initially well-received, Elgar gained a reputation as a bold and ingenious composer, and made a huge impression on England as the first uniquely British composer since Henry Purcell.

It was during World War I that Elgar wrote a number of patriotic pieces, among them Pomp and Circumstance, March No. 1 (also known as Land of Hope and Glory).  It was first publicly performed at the coronation of King Edward VII in 1902, and has since become a second national anthem for the English, and is  regularly used as a processional for graduation ceremonies.

a teaching heart 


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