Elgar ‘Enigma Variations’
The Enigma I will not explain – its “dark saying” must be left unguessed.— Edward Elgar
What do an architect, a secretary, a poet’s son and a friend with a stutter have in common? The answer to this riddle lies in the title of this concert. In his Enigma Variations, Edward Elgar pays a teasing tribute to his friends, colleagues and loved ones through a series of variations bearing their initials or colourful nicknames: R.B.T., Dorabella, W.N. and Nimrod. All the variations are based on a theme improvised by the composer one evening at the piano which his wife Alice had greatly enjoyed. Elgar is also said to have encrypted the score … Although the enigma remains unsolved, the composition occupies a prominent place in the repertoire.
Two other pieces by British composers complete the programme. Benjamin Britten’s Serenade for Tenor, Horn and Strings, a song cycle based on several centuries of Anglo-Saxon poetry, invites us to familiarize ourselves with the charms and dangers of the night. Finally, the opening of The Tempest by Thomas Adès unleashes an almost savage intensity. With this Made in UK evening, Alain Altinoglu and the musicians of La Monnaie will conclude their symphonic season in the most beautiful manner: as in a dream.
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Dates & Tickets
Fri 17 May 2024
Overture ‘The Tempest’, op.22 (2003-04)
Serenade for Tenor, Horn and Strings, op.31 (1943)
Variations on an Original Theme ‘Enigma Variations’, op.36 (1899)
TenoreED LYON French hornJEAN-PIERRE DASSONVILLE
La Monnaie Symphony Orchestra
ProductionLA MONNAIE CoproductionBOZAR MUSIC