Jekyll Island Beach 2012

Jekyll Island Beach 2012
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Monday, May 16, 2011

Sir Edward Elgar


The Rogue Speaks:

This is the time of year when seniors everywhere don cap and gown and march to the familiar sounds of Pomp and Circumstance. It brings back memories of those final days in school, doesn't it? How many know that the music was written by Sir Edward Elgar? Probably not many, unless it was printed in the graduation program. Maybe not even then, because the guests were searching for familiar names in the long list of graduates.



The world has certainly changed since Elgar was born in 1857. The pressure for young people to perform in the workplace is greater than it ever has been, but unfortunately, the jobs are just not there currently. Young people are having to move back in with their parents while looking for employment. I am glad that our children have finished school and are all gainfully employed, because when we left Memphis, we gave them only an 800 number and not our address, so they couldn't show up at the door with all their worldly belongings in black plastic trash bags. We felt that was a good incentive to find a job and keep it.

Of course, now the grandchildren are growing up. Most of them live on the other side of the country, and with the cost of gas these days, they can't afford to park themselves on our doorstep even if they wanted to. Some of them are way too young for college, and the way education is being decimated, and tuition is almost out of sight for most young people, there may be no schools left when that time comes

As of today, student loan debts for college exceeds eight hundred billion dollars. For those trying to pay off student loans and keeping their heads above water, declaring bankruptcy does not cancel student loans.


"Young Man Contemplating His Future"


I have really gotten off track here! Of course you shall learn about Sir Edward Elgar! I would not want to disappoint you, dear reader, so here are the facts!

Edward Elgar's father had a music shop in Worcester in the English Midlands, so it was only natural that young Edward loved musical instruments, and even taught himself to play a large number of them. He was a very determined student of musical composition. He was a Roman Catholic, and in the minority in Protestant England, who felt the Catholics were part of a lower class. Many of his early compositions met with apathy due to religious bigotry.

He continued on, though, perfecting his style, and in the 1880's and 1890's, he also taught the violin and played the organ in a Catholic church.



It was in 1889 that he married one of his students, Caroline Alice Roberts. Her family was against the marriage because they felt she was marrying beneath herself. Alice had great confidence in Edward's genius and played a great role in helping to develop his career as a composer.

Alice continued to be the driving force behind Edward, encouraging him and championing him at every opportunity. However, in 1920 Alice died, and a bereaved Edward lost his inspiration.



Throughout the 20's, Edward lead a quiet life in the country with his dogs. He occasionally visited London to conduct or record his music. In 1928 he was made Knight Commander of the Victorian Order. This gave him a new lease on life and he began to compose again.

In 1933 he conducted his violin concerto in Paris with a young Yehudi Menuhin, with whom he had recorded in London earlier that year. In October of that same year, Elgar was diagnosed with a malignant tumor in his lower back. He died the following year.

If I had dug deeper into Elgar's life, I might have come up with a skeleton in the closet, but I think we have enough of those falling out of the closets of politicians these days.

This concludes my "E" offering for Jenny's Alphabe-Thursday. If you would like to hear more of Elgar's music, just stay tuned, because another familiar piece follows Pomp and Circumstance.

35 comments:

Birgit said...

The interesting things we learn through Alphabe-Thursday... Thanks for sharing!

Rocky Mountain Woman said...

I love the idea of the 800 number, it probably would have saved me three years of living with my daughter in law!

JJ said...

Judie: My kind of article. Great post! I don't think you got off the track at all. The education system is a mess. However, that's for another day.

Jenny said...

An 800 number! Judie, Judie! You are a clever one! I actually never knew the back story of that song (or even who wrote it) I agree with you on our education system. It's a scary world out there. I wonder how some kids can actually survive in it.

Thanks for an excellent, thought-provoking link to Alphabe-Thursday.

A+

☆☆Mumsy said...

Wonder, fantastic lesson to learn about Edward Elgar, Judie, and I feel for the young generation with their college loan..

EG Wow said...

I enjoyed this post, Jude. You are correct that did NOT know the composer of Pomp and Circumstance NOR had I ever given it any thought. But hey! I'm truly glad you enlightened me. :)

JDaniel4's Mom said...

College prices are soaring. We don't have many public colleges here in South Carolina, but we will find one for JDaniel.

BEAR's Mom said...

every time i read one of your posts i have that song "only you" running thru my head...your posts entertain, educate, and give me ideas (800#)
thanks for another good one Judie :D
~victoria~

Esther Joy said...

Loved your post and enjoyed the music!

Teresa said...

What a heartfelt post. We really do need to look at the fate of our educational system and how we expect young people to gain the education we tell them they need.

Strummed Words said...

Thanks for the excellent information on Elgar. A sad personal life but interesting.

Ames said...

I never knew the back story of that piece of music either. Very interesting!

Your 800 number scenario gave me a chuckle. I wish my poor sister had that litle piece of knowledge years ago. Her life seems to be fashioned after the "Failure to Launch" movie.

Thanks for sharing the life history on Elgar!~Ames

Jo said...

My daughter has just started to accumulate student debt ... there are just not enough part time jobs out there for students ... The info on Elgar was wonderful ... sad but wonderful.

Vintagesouthernlife said...

Loved your post. Thanks for the information. Happy Alphabet Thursday!

Vicki aka Jake said...

Oh yes, I had an 800# when my kids were in school and a son in the Air Force. Think my mom used it too:) Great post that proves behind every great man is an awesome woman!

Pondside said...

What a great post - all new to me.
Education is so expensive up here, that most people graduate with huge debt. I'm so proud of my daughter, who will graduate in June - debt free. She made some hard choices, worked hard and delayed gratification in many ways, but not the world is her (paid for!) oyster.

Bruce Coltin said...

I have a somewhat troubling prediction. When you get old and begin losing it (as most of us will), you will find yourself living in a rambling old (mental) farmhouse, inhabited by all the dead artists who have already begun moving into your brain.

Jo said...

Hey Judie my friend out west,as soon as I got here,the music started and I had flashback to my graduation(high-school 1973) immediately,I got all nervous about walking across the stage for my diploma,teehehe.
Great "E" post,your always "E"ducating us,I enjoy it so.
Thanks for visiting southeast GA.My little flower garden ain't much I do like 'em.
~JO
LazyonLoblolly

Judie said...

Dear Bruce,
I will be in good company!!

Lola said...

Hi again Judie!

Great ‘E’ post! Elgar's music invariably brings tears to my eyes when I hear it played when I'm far away from the UK! It's very British!

Do hope you enjoy your Kindle version of my novel! Happy reading!

Have a great weekend ahead & look forward to *seeing* you again next time,

LOLA:)

Karen S. said...

Seriously an 800 number and no address?!!! Great move (sounds a bit like my mother) ha ha...it does seem odd with the cost of college and when one graduates that hmmmm why did I do that? Although just a degree gets them faster into a job, even if it's not what they went to school for...but maybe we need to get back to the basics....find a trade something that still exists, with a life span, but most importantly find work that pays and you enjoy.....what a great inspiring post, and background into quite a man! Love that though provoking photo too...hmmmm"What oh what shall I do?????

nothingprofound said...

My daughter has decided to eschew further schooling at this time, and travel around the world. Her mother is worried, but I think she made the right decision. As Mr. Twain so sagely remarked: "I never let my schooling get in the way of my education."

Personalized Sketches and Sentiments said...

I just get goosebumps(aka chicken skin), whenever I hear Pomp and Circumstance played! It truly brings together the feeling of accomplishments already achieved and the hopes of those aspirations, successes for the future.

I love your posts, my friend!!!!

Blessings & Aloha!
...also laughed (here at home today, off of work, by myself) about the 800 number :o) ...oh and I know I have said this before, but have to say again about Emaline's cute photo on your sidebar and your description beneath it...too cute! actually...I love scrolling down your sidebar and seeing all your photos and captions...when I stop by :o)

Pat @ Mille Fiori Favoriti said...

This was another wonderfully interesting post, Judie! I admit I did not know the composer of "Pomp and Circumstance" and I never listened to the entire version of the song. I enjoyed listening to it and learning about the composer.

Gattina said...

I never heard of Edward Elgar! Or he is unknown here or I slept at school !

Tammy said...

What a wonderful post for this time of year! My youngest is about to graduate high school, so I will be sure to listen especially well. Will need the comfort of good music since I'll have two in college next year....

THE SNEE said...

What? My Girls are moving back in with me! Great history on Edward Elgar and "Pomp and Circumstance". Our eldest graduates from college next year. What? She's moving back home!

askcherlock said...

This was so interesting, Judie, and of course, I loved they way you tied it into how too many young people cannot afford higher education these days. Nevertheless, Pomp and Circumstance is always refreshing to hear.

Stef said...

Thanks for that bit-o-info!

Mari Sterling Wilbur said...

Hi- I'm now following your very interesting and creative blog and hope you will follow mine as well.

Regards, Mari

http://www.mariscamera.blogspot.com/

Splendid Little Stars said...

Here's to Alice!
Pomp and Circumstance--what a great composition!
interesting bio!

800 number--LOL!! How clever of you!
Cost for college these days is way high--tuition, books. books! Don't get me started on the cost of books.

PS: I've had your blog open and have been listening to the music. enjoyable!

Su-sieee! Mac said...

I can't, and don't even want to, imagine how tough it must be to get a job right out of college. Heck, it was tough back in the mid 70s when I graduated. It's really mean (to be polite) of what certain people are doing to our society in the name of their profits.... As for Sir Edward Elgar, he seems like a rather interesting fellow.

H said...

Pomp and Circumstance is always a key feature of The Last Night of the Proms at the Royal Albert Hall in London each summer.

Amiko said...

I learned a lot about Sir Edward Elgar from you. Thanks Judie, I enjoy reading your blog post!.

myorii said...

Wow, what an interesting post about the life of the composer of Pomp and Circumstances. I've heard that song so many times but never did it cross my mind to look up who composed it. I always just assumed it was someone well known.

The situation with the education system in the US is quite disheartening. I have friends leaving Japan and moving back to the states because they feel that the education system there is better than it is here. Not sure how things will fare for them now.

Thanks for the wonderful lesson on Sir Edward Elgar!