Edward Elgar wrote very little for the piano, and what exists has the feeling of someone improvising, playing around with ideas which would come fully to life when later refined and orchestrated. In Smyrna
was inspired by a Mediterranean cruise the composer had taken in 1905. It is instantly recognizable as Elgar and thus is a marvellous example of how even a fragment from a great composer can contain his genetic code.
from notes by Stephen Hough © 2002