Ed's talk: May 2, 2016

Monday, May 2, 2016

Elgar's "Enigma"

Much ink has been spent trying to figure out where Elgar got his original theme from to no avail. One person (no names please!) https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5GjOtzkvhvgespecially has made himself perfectly obnoxious with his absurd and, to my mind, forced theories. Yes Sir Edward was a mystifier but he was not suffering from foolishness! So "Ein Feste Burg" is not the one in my opinion.


The facts are these: Elgar had earlier in the day heard Mozart's "Prague" Symphony


and was improvising on the piano when his wife remarked that it was a good tune and what was it? Elgar replied that it was nothing but that something might be made of it.

In the slow movement of the Symphony, a second theme (after about 2 minutes in.) is heard and, though the Enigma theme is in the minor,  it seems likely that this is the source and not "Ein Feste Burg", "Auld Lang Syne" or even Pi!

It seems that Sir Edward, early on, understood the value of free publicity!