CD of the week
EDWARD ELGAR (1857-1934)
The Wand of Youth Suite, Suite No. 1, Op. 1a
The Wand of Youth Suite, Suite No. 2, Op. 1b
Salut d’Amour, Op. 12
Chanson de Nuit, Op. 15 No. 1
CD of the Week – Elgar: The Wand of Youth Suites
Hallé Orchestra, Sir Mark Elder
The latest release in the Hallé’s award winning Elgar Edition features works which reveal aspects of Elgar as both man and composer, reflecting his nostalgic strain and his gift for memorable, melodic invention.
The Wand of Youth Suites are based on the incidental music to a play written by the teenage Elgar and his siblings. They are delightful orchestral pieces, displaying the composer’s mastery for scoring and for musical lines which are fully evocative of the titles of the movements.
Salut d’Amour is a charming piece of Victorian salon music. Written as a musical love letter to his once student Caroline Alice Roberts on the eve of their engagement, the piece is graced by Elgar’s melodic flair. Along with the other early work in this collection Chanson de nuit its success contributed to the gradual establishment of Elgar’s reputation as a composer.
The Nursery Suite, was based on a number of early compositions which Elgar, by then Master of the King’s Musick, had rediscovered in 1930 not long after the birth of the Duke and Duchess of York’s second daughter, Princess Margaret Rose. Dedicated to the royal family the work’s eight movements feature expert embellishments of childhood material, skillful melodic writing a nd characterful use of solo instruments, evoking feelings of nostalgia with a real charm.