Enigmatic Edward Elgar
The Enigma Variations are perhaps the finest large-scale masterpiece of British composer Edward Elgar’s oeuvre. A theme and fourteen variations, Elgar wrote that the “enigma” was a hidden theme and never gave hint of what it was, taking the secret to his grave. It is the perfect access point for those who are less familiar with Elgar, and for aficionados this recording of the London Symphony Orchestra is reference-quality. Presented alongside Enigma are In the South (Alassio) and Introduction and Allegro for Strings. Introduction and Allegro hearkens to the Baroque concerto grosso and has become famous for the incredible technical skill required in the violin and its overall energy. A lesser-known gem, In the South was inspired by a holiday on the Italian Riviera where the juxtaposition of the Mediterranean Sea and the visible Alps and all in between caused Elgar to instantly invent this overture.