Saturday, 25 February 2012

My Idea of Perfection

Ok, it's owning up to lifelong addiction time - but I'm definitely not looking for any cure. I don't exactly know why, but I've always felt a personal affinity to the music of Sir Edward Elgar. Whenever I listen to his music, It's almost like he's posted me a CD with a note saying "Jerry, find a quiet spot, put the headphones on an enjoy because I know you are going to like this". But why does this qualify for my blog? Well Elgar once told a friend that his music was 'outdoors music'.

Above is a photograph I took on a visit to Malvern. These hills seem to be just plonked in the middle of otherwise very flat country; this was also where Elgar spent most of his life, and the Malvern Hills have become synonymous with him. I could have chosen so many examples of what I like, but I found these three links on you tube, so perhaps if you have some time, find a quiet spot, put the headphones on and (only if you find it your 'cup of tea') enjoy!

1) 'Sospiri' which means sighs, plus a lovely outdoors video

2) 'Mina': When we visited Malvern we found the churchyard where Elgar is buried. We then went to Elgar's house and museum, and in the garden we found another little grave-stone that said 'Marco' &  'Mina'. Mina was a Cairn Terrier that Elgar was clearly so very fond off. This is such a charming, wistful piece (definitely recommend skipping the advert!).

3) 'Piano Quintet in A minor' If you did enjoy the other two links, and fancy something a little more meaty then listen to this chamber piece. If you haven't time for all three movements, try just the second movement from about 13.55 - I find it so sublime!


  1. I am still listening to the last piece as I write this and sublime is exactly right, all the pieces are beautiful as are all of his works of course. My favourite, like so many people, is Jacqueline du Pre's haunting nterpretation of his cello concerto, again absolutely sublime. Incidentally, speaking of 'outdoor music', Vaughan Williams comes to mind also.

    Your lovely photo of the Malvern hills really does 'go' with the music.

    Thank you Jerry, that's me set up nicely for the rest of my Sunday.

    1. Glad you enjoyed it. Yes, the Cello concerto is amazing; so sad that Jacqueline du Pre's life was so short. Yes, Vaughn Williams is another great favourite of mine too, in fact I live very near to Dorking where he lived for much of his life and my mother in law is very proud that she sang in a choir he conducted once. I tried with the Elgar post, to avoid the better know things (eg 'Nimrod' etc) - perhaps I'll do a similar post about RVW, though how could I ignore that Lark!!

  2. Great post, I love the rolling green hills. Beautiful landscapes. Have a great day!

  3. Cheers Eileen - and have a great day yourself!