Elgar's Rondo
by David Pownall

David Pownall - Elgar's Rondo

BBC Radio 3: Drama on 3

Broadcast: Sunday 3rd June 2007 @ 9:00 p.m.

In an English country garden Elgar is hiding away from failure, heartbroken by the bad reception given to his second symphony. Only three years he had been hailed as Englandís answer to Beethoven and loaded with honours. Although the piano-tunerís son is now famous, knighted and wealthy, he cannot rise above criticism of the one piece of music he has written that is most detectably him. He receives sympathy from every quarter Ė his wife, his ghosts, his dream-woman, his priest, his friends, even his king.

The guns in Flanders can be heard in the Sussex garden but Elgar cannot respond. He refuses to go through the sufferings and mental dangers that being a creative artist expose him to. He wants to be himself first and a servant of musicís terrible duty second. Taking this choice, he imagines he will be free from pain Ė but the muse knows better.

With David Horovitch [Sir Edward Elgar], Robert Glenister [A.J. Jaegar / George V], Emma Fielding [Windflower], Sarah Badel [Lady Alice Elgar, Edward's Wife], Gerard Murphy [George Bernard Shaw], Carl Prekopp [Father John], Clare Corbett [Carice / Elgar's Mother / The Cellist], Robert Lister [Paul Hooker], Ian Masters [Frankie Schuster], Harry Myers [Mark / Elgar's Father], and John Evitts [The Bandmaster].

Directed by Martin Jenkins .

105 min.


    Addition by ND......... here's part of the cover of a piece of music I found in a secondhand bookshop in Worcester in about 1990. The score itself is nondescript - a piece by a forgotten composer of a century ago.

    I wasn't interested in the music. Look closely at the rubber stamp above 'Henry Lemoine'......it's a rarity.

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