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Elgar - Enigma Variations, Op. 36 (5/-)
by The30YearOldVirgin on Youtube
An Assyrian relief depicting king Nimrod finishing off a wounded lion. Images of kings battling with lions are common in Assyrian art, aiming to enhance the king's representation as a powerful and virile conqueror - Assyrians, the Lords of the Massacres - Softpedia
Ancient Near East Architecture. This picture is depicting the power of Hammurabi's Codes, Mesopotamia. The stone carving is of the King defeating an (evil) lion, represented by the wounded lion in battle.
"The name of the variation punningly refers to an Old Testament patriarch described as a mighty hunter, the name Jaeger being German for hunter. This variation has become popular in its own right and is sometimes used at funerals, memorial services, and other solemn occasions. It is always played at the Cenotaph in London on Remembrance Sunday (the Sunday nearest to 11 November)." (http://www.youtube.com/watc...)
"The real theme of the Enigma Variations which is present everywhere throughout the work in different shapes, is rather short: it consists of only nine notes (the first nine notes of Nimrod with added crotchet rests) on the rhythm of Edward Elgar’s own name ("short-short-long-long", and the reverse of it, "long-long-short-short" and an endnote). He composed his “Elgar-theme” as a countermelody to the beginning of the mysterious “principal Theme” which is “not played” in the Enigma Variations. This turns out to be the theme of the second movement of the Pathétique-sonata of Ludwig van Beethoven. The “Elgar-theme” follows that Beethoven melody: it comprises the very notes of it." (http://en.wikipedia.org/wik...)
"As Westgeest states, the symbolism of this is evident: by composing the work Elgar follows the example of Beethoven, as Jaeger told him to do. By doing so, the artist triumphs over depression and discouragement in the Finale, "E.D.U." So, like some works of Elgar’s contemporaries Richard Strauss and Gustav Mahler, the Enigma Variations are about the artist himself: (almost) all the themes of the work are in fact derived from the ‘Elgar theme’." (http://en.wikipedia.org/wik...)
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