Sir Edward Elgar (1857-1934)
Elgar was one of Thomas Hardy's favorite composers
and probably is best know for the Pomp and
Circumstance Marches, composed between 1901 and 1930.
Also, Land of Hope and Glory, which was immensely popular
and is now considered an unofficial national anthem.
It also gained Elgar the highest recognition he could have dreamed
of — honorary degrees, a knighthood, special royal audiences,
and a triumphant three-day festival of his music at Covent Garden
attended by the King and Queen in 1904. In July of that year,
Elgar was knighted by King Edward VII.
Serenade for Strings in E minor, Op 20, composed in 1892, is a piece for string orchestra in three short movements. We play here an excerpt from the second movement with its familiar, haunting melodies.