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Track(s) taken from CDH55070

Severn Suite, Op 87

1930; commissioned for the 1930 Brass Band Festival at Crystal Palace; dedicated to George Bernard Shaw

London Brass Virtuosi
Recording details: September 1987
Unknown, Unknown
Produced by Charles Hilz
Engineered by Tony Faulkner
Release date: August 1988
Total duration: 19 minutes 34 seconds

Other recordings available for download

Robert Quinney (organ)


'The London Brass Virtuosi are an accomplished group, and the sound is first class' (Gramophone)

'The playing itself, as you would imagine is first-rate and enjoyable' (Cathedral Music)

'Timeless and tuneful, the refreshing music on this medium priced reissue of a 1988 Hyperion recording is played with immense authority and affection by an ace ensemble' (The Inverness Courier)
Some fifty years before he came to write the Severn Suite Edward Elgar first became professionally involved with band music when he was appointed director of the band of the county lunatic asylum at Powick in Worcestershire. It was in this position that he made arrangements of opera arias and composed some original material for band.

The Severn Suite came to be written at the instigation of a brass band music editor, Herbert Whiteley, whose ambition it had been for some time to secure from Elgar a competition piece for the annual Brass Band Festival at Crystal Palace. In 1930 there fell the twenty-fifth anniversary of this festival and Elgar was enticed, with a generous offer made in somewhat hard times, to fulfil this commission. The music he wrote was scored for brass band by Henry Geehl, an acknowledged expert in this particular skill. The arranger recalls that Elgar supplied him with a sketchy piano part, a figured bass and a kind of skeletal orchestral score, together with an indication of the counterpoint that he was required to add. Geehl went on to complain that he had much difficulty in persuading the great composer to write idiomatically for band. However, the work was successfully completed and Elgar accorded it an opus number, 87, and dedicated it to George Bernard Shaw who received the honour with delight. Later, Elgar scored the work for orchestra and added names of local reference to each movement: Introduction (Worcester Castle), Toccata (Tournament), Fugue (Cathedral) and Minuet (Commandery). This new version was recorded by Elgar with the London Symphony Orchestra in April 1932.

from notes by Peter Lamb © 1988

Other albums featuring this work

Elgar: Organ Music
SIGCD266Download only
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