T. Gordon Parks Concerto Competition Winner
Edward Elgar: Enigma Variations, Op. 36
Like most overnight successes, it was the result of years of hard work. Elgar was 42 years old when he completed the Variations and, despite bitter disappointments and frustrations, had steadily built up a reputation, first provincially, then at a national level. In particular, a series of cantatas of increasing size had revealed Elgar’s brilliant orchestration and growing mastery of large forms. Now that mastery was demonstrated on a symphonic scale through the time-honoured form of Theme and Variations, inviting comparisons with the greatest classical masters. But it was Elgar’s uniquely personal approach to the form that gave the ‘Enigma’ Variations its initial novelty and lasting appeal.
Pre-concert talk at 6:45 p.m. with Maestro Hughes