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Edward Elgar was self-taught as a composer, working first as an orchestral musician and as a violin teacher in Worcestershire Gained experience as an arranger and composer, establishing a reputation in the Midlands with a series of oratoriosFollowing success of Enigma Variations in 1899 his music was performed in London and throughout Europe Between 1900 and 1920 regarded internationally as the leading British composer Influenced by Romantic composers such as Wagner, Brahms, Schumann, Liszt and Franck Music explores expressive potential of chromatic harmony and virtuoso orchestration Originality lay largely in adoption of continental techniques, but he became viewed as a musical symbol of 'Englishness' and the Empire *The confident, ebullient manner of his ceremonial music is contrasted with a deeper and poetic vein, demonstrating the often painful insecurities of his period, class and religion

Works by Edward Elgar include:
Sea Pictures (1897-99) Song cycle for contralto and orchestra
Cockaigne (In London Town) (1900-01) Concert Overture
Pomp and Circumstance Marches (1901-30) for orchestra
Symphony No.3 Elgar's sketches elaborated by Anthony Payne (1997)

"Music is in the air - you simply take as much as you require!" — Edward Elgar

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