Edward Elgar and the Nostalgic Imagination
During his lifetime, and in the course of the twentieth century, Edward Elgar and his music became sites for a remarkable variety of nostalgic impulses. These are manifested in his personal life, in the content of his works, in his critical and biographical reception, and in numerous artistic ventures based on his character and music. Today Elgar enjoys renewed popularity in Britain, and nostalgia of various forms continues to shape our responses to his music. From one viewpoint, Elgarian nostalgia might be dismissed as escapist, regressive and reactionary, and the revival in Elgar's fortunes regarded as the symptom of a pernicious 'heritage industry' in post-colonial, post-industrial Britain. While there is undeniably a grain of truth to that view, Matthew Riley's careful treatment of the topic reveals a more complex picture of nostalgia, and sheds light on Elgar and his cultural significance in the twentieth and twenty-first centuries.
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adult Aeolian harp Alice Alice Elgar Alice’s augmented fourth Britain British Broadheath cadenza Caractacus Cello Concerto Chapter childhood chord climax coda composer compositional countryside creative cresc critic culture Day Lewis’s diatonic dream Edward Elgar Edwardian Elgar Elgar’s music Elgarian nostalgia enchanted English epiphany episode Ernest Newman Falstaff finale Gerontius ghost harmonic haunting hear idea ideal identity imagination impulse interlude inthe Introduction and Allegro J.B. Priestley landscape later literary lyrical Malvern Hills melancholy melody memory minor modern molto mood Moore Moore’s motto movement nature nineteenth century nobility noble nostalgia nostalgic novel Olaf opening theme orchestral passage pastoral play poem present Priestley Priestley’s recollection reeds reference rhetoric river Romantic child Rondo Sassoon Second Symphony seems sense Severn solo sonata soul sound Starlight Express Stephen story strings suggest Symphony’s texture thematic reminiscence tonal tune Victorian Violin Concerto Wand of Youth wind Worcestershire youth