What Music Tells Me
Enigma Variations: Dora, Dan, Basil and Mary

Enigma Variations: Dora, Dan, Basil and Mary

November 24, 2020

There are so many different portraits hidden in Elgar's Enigma Variations. Here we look at four more: a friendly page-turner, a swimming bulldog, a cellist, and a mysterious lady on the other side of the world. This takes us through variations 10, 11, 12, and 13 – we're really getting to know that 'Enigma' theme by now!

Enigma Variations: Winifred and Nimrod

Enigma Variations: Winifred and Nimrod

November 19, 2020

Here we get to the heart of Elgar's Enigma Variations. First we join the composer on a visit to Sherridge, country home of the Norbury family. Then we revel in 'Nimrod', a heartfelt tribute to a very dear friend. What does the music tell us about these people, and how does it work?

Enigma Variations: Richard, Ysobel and The Ninepin

Enigma Variations: Richard, Ysobel and The Ninepin

November 18, 2020

We meet three more friends of Edward Elgar, as captured in the Enigma Variations. Enjoy the charming company of Richard Arnold, listen in on Isabel Fitton's music lesson, and laugh at Troyte's attempt to play the piano...

Enigma Variations: Hew, Richard and Bill

Enigma Variations: Hew, Richard and Bill

November 10, 2020

Continuing our look at the portraits in Elgar's Enigma Variations, this time Variations 2, 3 and 4. Featuring a pianist with a distinctive warm-up, an Oxford academic on a tricycle, and a country squire who slams the door.

Enigma Variations: Edward & Alice

Enigma Variations: Edward & Alice

November 5, 2020

The first episode in a series on musical portraiture. Elgar dedicated his Enigma Variations "to my friends pictured within". We unpack his enigmatic theme, and then explore who gets to be portrait number 1...

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