Sir Edward Elgar
Arranged by Ian Shepherd
£ 11.00 

Regarded as a typically English composer, Elgar wrote his Enigma Variations between 1898 and 1899; an orchestral work comprising fourteen variations on an original theme.

  • Bite-Size Brass Band
  • 3 Cornets
  • 1 Flugel
  • 1 Tenor Horn
  • 3 Trombones
  • 1 Euphonium
  • 1 Tuba




Sir Edward William Elgar (1857–1934) is often regarded as a typically English composer, many of whose works have entered the British and international classical concert repertoire. Among his best-known compositions are the Enigma Variations, the Pomp and Circumstance Marches, concertos for violin and cello and two symphonies. He also composed choral works, including “The Dream of Gerontius”. He was appointed Master of the King's Musick in 1924 and has been described as the first composer to take the gramophone recording seriously. Between 1914 and 1925, he conducted a series of acoustic recordings of his works. The introduction of the microphone in 1925 made far more accurate sound reproduction possible, and Elgar made new recordings of most of his major orchestral works.

He composed his Enigma Variations between 1898 and 1899; it is an orchestral work comprising fourteen variations on an original theme. Elgar dedicated the work “to my friends pictured within”, each variation being a musical sketch of one of his circle of close acquaintances and is prefaced by their initials, name or nickname. Those portrayed include Elgar's wife Alice, his friend and publisher Augustus J. Jaeger and Elgar himself. In naming his theme “Enigma” Elgar posed a challenge that has generated much speculation but has never been conclusively answered. The Enigma is widely believed to involve a hidden melody. Variation IX (Adagio) “Nimrod” describes his publisher. The London publisher Novello & Co employed Augustus J. Jaeger as music editor. He was a close friend of Elgar, giving him useful advice but also severe criticism, something Elgar greatly appreciated. Elgar later related how Jaeger had encouraged him as an artist and had stimulated him to continue composing despite setbacks. The name of the variation refers to “Nimrod”, an Old Testament patriarch described as “a mighty hunter before the Lord” – Jäger being German for hunter. This variation has become popular in its own right and is sometimes used at British funerals, memorial services and other solemn occasions. It is always played at the Cenotaph, Whitehall in London on Remembrance Sunday. A version was also played during the Hong Kong handover ceremony in 1997 and at the opening ceremony of the London 2012 Olympic Games.


“Every now and again a recording that is both truly outstanding and will have great appeal to brass band listeners appears on the shelves. We are delighted to make it the first recipient of our CD of the Year Editors Award.”

Kenneth Crookston
British Bandsman

“This is joyous stuff; an intelligent, coherent crossover disc, performed with phenomenal punch. Brilliantly recorded too – what’s the point of assembling a collective of virtuoso brass players if they can’t make your ears bleed ?”

Graham Rickson

"WOW !!!!! all of you should be locked up !!!! What great stuff - the compositions/arrangements, the playing (OUTRAGEOUS !!! ), everything is simply fantastic. (actually - i couldn't have expected anything less ! ) Many, many thanks to you and all for your superb contributions. yet again, you've managed to raise the bar! (an inch or two is ok but a few yards is really unfair !!!!!!!!!! )"

Jiggs Whigham
International Jazz Trombone Soloist, Musical Director, BBC Big Band, President International Trombone Association and Professor Hanns Eisler College of Music, Berlin

“All cleverly arranged and beautifully played, with excellent sonics.”

John Sunier
Audiophile Audition

“Exploding onto the brass music scene with their debut album ‘Under the Spell of Spain’, the depth of versatility and virtuosity within the ranks of Superbrass has firmly secured it's place as one of the greatest large brass ensembles of all time”

Tom Davoren
Brass Band World

"The more I listen to this album the more I find to enjoy and the more impressed I am. The wealth of talent on display in terms of composing, performing, recording and producing is fantastic"

Kevin Morgan
The British Trombone Society

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