Elgar. Hoy 24 de Mayo de 1911 se estrena La "Segunda Sinfonía" de Elgar, una de las obras favoritas del nuevo director de la Filarmónica de Berlín, Kirill Petrenko.

Elgar nació el 2 de junio de 1857 y murió el 23 de febrero de 1934. La grabación de la imagen es de la Staatskapelle de Berlín con Barenboim.

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Sir Edward Elgar's Symphony No. 2 in E-flat major, Op. 63, was completed on 28 February 1911 and was premiered at the London Musical Festival at the Queen's Hall by the Queen's Hall Orchestra on 24 May 1911 with the composer conducting. The work, which Elgar called "the passionate pilgrimage of the soul", was his last completed symphony; the composition of his Third Symphony, begun in 1933, was cut short by his death in 1934.

The dedication reads:

Dedicated to the memory of His late Majesty King Edward VII. This symphony, designed early in 1910 to be a loyal tribute, bears its present dedication with the gracious approval of His Majesty the King

The more personal nature of this work, however, is clear in a letter to friend and close correspondent Alice Stuart-Wortley, in which Elgar states:

I have written out my soul in the concerto, Symphony No. 2 and the Ode and you know it ... in these three works I have shown myself.

Composition and influences
In every movement its form and above all its climax were clearly in Elgar's mind. Indeed, as he has often told me, it is the climax which he invariably settles first. But withal there is a great mass of fluctuating material which might fit into the work as it developed in his mind to finality – for it had been created in the same "oven" which had cast them all. Nothing satisfied him until itself and its context seemed, as he said, inevitable.

These remarks, recounted by Elgar's friend Charles Sanford Terry, shed light on Elgar's creative process. Some sketches of the Symphony No. 2 date back to 1903, a letter from October of that year indicating an idea for a symphony in E-flat major to be dedicated to his friend and conductor Hans Richter. The symphony was set aside during the composition of In the South, the First Symphony, and the Violin Concerto.Rejected ideas from the latter work and earlier sketches joined the material Elgar began developing in late 1910 to complete the piece.

The Second Symphony's Theme thematic material, like much of Elgar's work, consists of short, closely interrelated motives which he develops via repetition, sequential techniques, and subtle cross references. Harmonically, the piece often borders on tonally ambiguous, with the composer employing musical devices such as chromaticism and, in the third movement, a whole tone scale in order to heighten the feeling of tonal uncertainty.

Elgar also tends to emphasise a tonic-subdominant dichotomy rather than the more typical dominant; examples of this include the C minor Larghetto's second theme in F major, and the A-flat major beginning to the first movement's recapitulation. The repetition of similar rhythm forms an essential part of the structural backbone of the piece, much in the manner of Brahms.

Various large and small scale musical allusions, both obvious and implied, may be found throughout the work. Robert Meikle draws attention to the Mahlerian treatment of the material in the last movement, as well as likenesses to Brahms's A German Requiem. Meikle also notes the similarities to certain aspects of Brahms's Symphony No. 3, in particular the cyclical return of thematic material and the subdued texture which concludes both works.The motive in the first violins at rehearsal of the first movement, reappearing in both the rondo and the finale, resembles both Elgar's own so-called "Judgment" theme from The Dream of Gerontius and the Dies irae.An inverted chord appears at the conclusion of the work, and Allen Gimbel illustrates many possible links between this symphony and Wagner's Die Meistersinger von Nürnberg, a work Elgar admired deeply.

Specifically, Gimbel points out the resemblance of the motive on the last three beats of m. 2 of the first movement and the "Abgesang" of Walther's Prize Song from Die Meistersinger, thus linking the trials of the opera's hero to Elgar's desire to assert his independence as an artist.

Extra-musical considerations

There is much speculation as to who inspired Elgar to write this symphony. It was officially dedicated to Edward VII, who died in May 1910, but many scholars nonetheless believe his close friend Alice Stuart Wortley, with whom he was rumoured to have a romantic liaison, served as inspiration. Others tie the work to Elgar's grief over the death of his close friend Alfred E. Rodewald in 1903, as shortly thereafter, Elgar started sketching the Larghetto movement of the symphony.

Elgar told close friends that the symphony represented everything that had happened to him from April 1909 to February 1911, from the people he was with and the places he visited. During this time, Elgar visited Venice where he admired St. Mark's Basilica and its square, which, he later explained, inspired the opening of the Larghetto movement. Later in this period, he visited Tintagel in Cornwall in the southwest of England, spending time with Alice Stuart Wortley and her husband Charles. His friendship with Alice strengthened over the course of their many walks; Alice's daughter Clare later recalled one such stroll in the evening sun, the lyrical beauty of the countryside and the coastline engaging Elgar's interest. These events explain the words "Venice and Tintagel" inscribed at the bottom of Elgar's score.

Another known inspiration for the piece is the poem "Song" by Percy Bysshe Shelley, one of the last poems published before his death in 1822:

Rarely, rarely, comest thou, Spirit of Delight!
Wherefore hast thou left me now
Many a day and night?
Many a weary night and day
'Tis since thou art fled away.

Percy Bysshe Shelley

The first line of this first stanza is written on the score, at the bottom of Page 1. Elgar said, "To get near the mood of the symphony the whole of Shelley's poem may be read, but the music does not illustrate the whole of the poem, neither does the poem entirely elucidate the music."

Scholars speculate about the "Windflower" influence on this symphony, "Windflower" the affectionate nickname, inspired by Elgar's favourite buttercup flower, given to Alice Stuart Wortley by the composer. That Elgar and Alice were close friends is beyond question; the two kept in regular, frequent contact for several years. By virtue of Elgar's letters (the only side of their correspondence which survives), some suggest the composer harboured romantic feelings for the talented pianist and, furthermore, that his feelings may have been reciprocated.

Concrete evidence of such a relationship, however, does not exist; Alice and Charles Stuart Wortley were well-known music lovers, and several members of both the Elgar and Stuart Wortley families maintained close ties through visits and letters. Alice spent much time with Elgar during his visit to Tintagel, and Elgar clearly admired her; however, whether he thought of her as anything more than a friend and confidante is unknown. She may have served as some form of muse for the composer as he drew upon his time in Tintagel whilst writing his second symphony.

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