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Tony Grist

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Pomp And Circumstance [Oct. 13th, 2014|08:08 pm]
Tony Grist
There's anxiety and a frenetic gaiety in Elgar but underneath everything- like a bass drone- lies the melancholy. Even that great tune that got itself turned into Land of Hope and Glory is- in its original orchestration- sad. It suggests repletion rather than triumphalism. We're at the high point of empire, poised at the top of the turning wheel; it reminds me of Kipling's Recessional:

Far called our navies melt away
On dune and headland dies our fire.
Lo, all our pomps of yesterday
Are one with Nineveh and Tyre...

There's that word again- pomp. It always makes me think of summer clouds- enormous, solid-seeming, impermanent.
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Comments:
[User Picture]From: poliphilo
2014-10-14 12:50 pm (UTC)
Yes, but there's more to it than that. I love Elgar.
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From: cmcmck
2014-10-14 01:04 pm (UTC)
I like what I like- mostly his choral music.
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[User Picture]From: poliphilo
2014-10-14 02:46 pm (UTC)
I don't know that at all.
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From: cmcmck
2014-10-14 03:19 pm (UTC)
As Elgar himself said of this piece, 'The Dream of Gerontius' "this was the best of me"

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