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Romance, Op 62


Composed in 1910, Edward Elgar’s short Romance Op 62 came from one of his most prolific and richly creative periods, sandwiched between the First Symphony (1908) and the Second Symphony (1911), written in the same year as the Violin Concerto. Yet, the work has links with the composer’s humble beginnings as a young musician in Worcester, when he played the violin in local orchestras, conducted the Glee Club, and played the bassoon in a wind quintet with two flutes and no horn, also composing a number of works for this unusual combination. His love for and understanding of the bassoon is evident in all his major orchestral works, and it was the playing of his friend Edwin F James (principal bassoonist in the London Symphony Orchestra) that inspired Elgar to compose this lyrical, somewhat reflective work. The majority of the Romance was written on 11 January 1910 when Elgar was busy working on sketches for his Violin Concerto, and comparisons between the opening tuttis and solo entries of both works reveal a striking similarity of ideas. It was first performed by James in a Herefordshire Orchestral Society concert conducted by the composer on 16 February 1911. The rather melancholy character of the Romance may well be a reflection of Elgar’s sadness following the recent deaths of two close friends whom the composer immortalized in his ‘Enigma’ Variations – A J Jaeger (the dedicatee of Variation 9, ‘Nimrod’) and Basil G Nevison (Variation 12, ‘B.G.N.’). Beautifully written for the instrument, with a sensitive and imaginative accompaniment, this is undoubtably one of the great miniature masterpieces for the solo bassoon.

from notes by Laurence Perkins © 2004

La Romance pour basson fut composée en 1909-10, à la même époque que le Concerto pour violon dont elle est un avatar thématique. Ecrite pour le premier basson du LSO, Edwin F. James, qui la créa en février 1911, c’est une pièce délicieuse qui met en valeur les qualités lyriques de cet instrument (Elgar joua lui-même du basson dans sa jeunesse).

extrait des notes rédigées par Michael Kennedy © 2004
Français: David Ylla-Somers

Die Romanze für Fagott ist 1909/10 entstanden, um die gleiche Zeit wie das Violinkonzert, dessen thematischer Ableger sie ist. Komponiert für Edwin F. James, den Ersten Fagottisten des London Symphony Orchestra, der im Februar 1911 die Uraufführung besorgt hat, streicht dieses reizvolle Stück den lyrischen Charakter des Instruments heraus (Elgar hatte in seiner Jugend selbst Fagott gespielt).

aus dem Begleittext von Michael Kennedy © 2004
Deutsch: Anne Steeb/Bernd Müller


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