On Sunday, March 12, 2017 at 3PM EDT (8PM in Berlin, UTC -4) the Berlin Philharmonic will present a free concert on its website. The concert will feature Zubin Mehta and Pinchas Zukerman, and the program will include Tchaikovsky’s Fifth Symphony and Elgar’s Violin Concerto. The concert is a benefit concert for UNICEF.
Here’s another free webcast from the Detroit Symphony Orchestra! On December 11, 2016 at 3PM (GMT -5) pianist Emanuel Ax will be featured in a program of Beethoven and Elgar. Leonard Slatkin will conduct. Here’s the program:
Beethoven: Overture to The Creatures of Prometheus
Beethoven: Piano Concerto No. 2
Elgar: Symphony No. 1
If you can’t see the webcast at that time, the DSO offers an reasonably-priced alternative. For a donation to the orchestra of $50 or more, you can access DSO Replay, their catalog of previous webcasts, for a year. There are over 100 works available, viewable on desktops, tablets, and mobile devices, in high-definition, and more than 26 new concerts are added during the season. Find out more about DSO Replay here.
Here is a video of a bulldog rolling down a hill.
Why am I showing you a cute internet animal video? Other than it’s Monday, and besides, why not?
When Edward Elgar wrote the Enigma Variations, each variation was intended to depict a friend. In the case of Variation XI, even though it is labeled G. R. S. (George Robertson Sinclair, an organist friend), it is actually about Sinclair’s bulldog Dan. It depicts Dan falling into the river Wye (perhaps after rolling?), waddling up the bank, reaching the top and barking.
See if you can hear bulldog Dan in this recording of Variation XI from the Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra. Afterward, you might want to try playing the bulldog video at the same time as the variation (start the dog video first, then the music; they don’t synch up entirely, but it’s closer that way).
Here is Elgar’s own explanation of the Enigma Variations, a booklet titled My Friends Pictured Within, written to accompany a 1929 piano roll of the piece.
In an article in the The Elgar Society Journal on the variations I found the following passage:
It should be explained that Elgar’s notes and the running commentary are printed on the rolls themselves, which may explain why the material has been so little consulted. Copies are scarce, and the rolls are both cumbersome and fragile (I timed the rewinding of one at thirteen minutes). The running commentary was designed to be read from the roll during performance (hence, presumably, the subtitle of the series: ‘Audiographic Music’).1
Edward Elgar went multimedia—in 1929.
- Smith, Mike, “Friends Revisited: an edition of Elgar Birthplace EB722,” in The Elgar Society Journal, Vol 16 No 2, July 2009, p 8.
Image attributions: Photograph of George Robertson Sinclair and bulldog Dan from My Friends Pictured Within. London: Novello and Co. Ltd. http://javanese.imslp.info/files/imglnks/usimg/0/06/IMSLP339677-SIBLEY1802.27173.6d2a-39087004945996text.pdf
The Detroit Symphony Orchestra will present a free webcast of Mozart’s “Prague” Symphony on January 16, 2016 at 8:00 PM EST. The program will also include works by Dvorak, Elgar, and Mohammed Fairouz. Here’s the program:
Dvorak Serenade for Winds
Elgar Serenade for Strings
Mozart Symphony No 38, “Prague”
Mohammed Fairouz Concerto for Cello and Orchestra
The program will feature Israeli-born cellist Maya Beiser performing the world premiere of the concerto by Mohammed Fairouz titled “Desert Sorrows.”
You can find the webcast here. Don’t miss it!
Image attribution: Mozart c. 1780, portrait by Johann Nepomuk della Croce. Public domain. Questionably modified by C. Gallant.