Order of the Cynthian Palm

About the Elgar Files

In making MIDI versions of Elgar's music, I've tried to remain as faithful as possible to the score. But there are other factors involved as well. In all the music that I have done, there are electrical recordings (all on CD transfers.) by the composer. Anyone who performs these works would do well to consult them as well as other recordings, especially of Boult and Barbirolli. I've taken some alterations from the Elgar recordings such as the added cymbal crash that ends the recording of "In the South" and a repeat alternate in the second violins towards the end of the first movement of the Second Symphony.

In addition, as in the recording, I've changed octaves in one spot in the slow movement and doubled the trombones where they don't "cut through". And the most obvious alterations of all: the faster speed for "Troyte" in the Variations and the longer-held high trumpet note towards the end of the development in the last movement of the Second Symphony.

In rehearsal, Elgar asked the trumpeter why he did that and got the reply to the effect of having gotten the note, he wanted to hold on to it. Elgar replied that it was really the way he wanted it but was afraid to write it. Of course, it's now always done that way.*

*Or so I thought and Elgar believed. In the book on Adrian Boult by Michael Kennedy, it is stated that most conductors stick to the printed score. A page on the Japanese Elgar site actually listed the various versions of this section and whether the trumpet note is held one or two measures in each version (mine included!)! The url is too long to work but go to "Elgar time table" and click on the clock >"Symphony the Second" >"the number explanation is here."

Edward Gold

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