Image by Roberta Gentry.
When composer Edward Elgar debuted his orchestral work the Enigma Variations in 1899, he included the following mysterious note in the playbill:
“The Enigma I will not explain – its ‘dark saying’ must be left unguessed, and I warn you that the connexion between the Variations and the Theme is often of the slightest texture; further, through and over the whole set another and larger theme ‘goes’, but is not played …. So the principal Theme never appears, even as in some late dramas (…) the chief character is never on the stage.”
For more than a century, musicologists have tried to figure out Elgar’s ‘dark saying.’ One violin teacher in Plano, Texas thinks he’s cracked the code.
Read more about Bob and Elgar’s Enigma in Daniel’s New Republic article.Playlist
Artist – Title – Album
Edward Elgar – Theme (Enigma: Andante) – Enigma Variations
Variation X (Intermezzo: Allegretto) “Dorabella”
Edward Elgar – Introduction and Allegro for Strings, Op. 47
Variation VIII (Allegretto) “W.N.”
Felix Mendelssohn – Calm Sea and Prosperous Voyage
Martin Luther – Ein feste Burg ist unser Gott
Variation II (Allegro) “H.D.S-P.”
Variation V (Moderato) “R.P.A.”
Variation VI (Andantino) “Ysobel”
Variation VII (Presto) “Troyte”
Variation XIV (Finale: Allegro) “E.D.U.”
Lucrecia Dalt – Atmospheres Touch – Anticlines
Transcript coming soon.