Online Events

The Elgar Society has a programme of online events. It is hoped that members and non-members will be able to take advantage of this service in order to enjoy a wide-ranging selection of talks and presentations. Some are recordings of live meetings; others are prerecorded presentations produced on behalf of the Society.

All online events and recordings are free of charge and available to members and non-members. Please request access by email as stated below.

Forthcoming Online Events

All are welcome, including non-members — no charge.

7th May 22: ELGAR AND THE YSAŸE AFFAIR
A Zoom talk by Arthur Reynolds
Saturday 7 May 2022, 2.00 p.m.

From the time he was at work on his Violin Concerto, Elgar nourished the hope that he would one day hear his great work played by Eugène Ysaÿe. The Belgian was widely acknowledged as the greatest living lyrical violinist. Despite herculean efforts, Elgar’s hope would never be realised. Arthur Reynolds, Chairman of the Elgar Society’s North American Branch, tells the story.

Please e-mail Sam Dobson for access details.

Live talks have been booked for three more dates later in 2022. These will take place via Zoom. More information about speakers, subjects and access details will appear here nearer the time.

  • Saturday 8 October 2022
  • Saturday 19 November 2022
  • Saturday 17 December 2022

As they become available, details of further events will appear on this page.

Catch up on past presentations

2022

Sir Andrew Davis in conversation with Andrew Neill
In this sound only interview, Vice-President of the Elgar Society, Sir Andrew Davis, speaks candidly to Andrew Neill about his long and varied music life, his association with orchestras both here and overseas and the music that has been the focus of his conducting career.

Please e-mail Peter Newble for access details.

2021

18th Dec 21: Elgar and the world of commercial reality

An unedited recording of a Zoom talk by Richard Westwood-Brookes.

Money, or the lack of it, was a constant complaint throughout Elgar’s life. But how much did he really understand the requirements of the commercial world and how much did his understanding shape what he produced, and even the way some works were written? Richard Westwood-Brookes explores this subject and wonders whether it was this, more than anything else, which caused Elgar to retire from mainstream composing after Alice’s death.

Originally presented 18 December 2021.
Original resolution: 1280×720.
Duration 101′23″
Please e-mail Peter Newble for access details.

30th Oct 21: Elgar, englishness & nostalgia

Saturday 30 October 2021, 2.00 p.m.

A 50-minute Zoom talk by Dr Martin Firth ‘Elgar is the very epitome of Englishness’. Dr Firth examines this statement setting his remarks against the tide of nostalgia that was so much a feature of Edwardian England.

The theme is explored in Elgar’s melodic writing and orchestration, with particular reference to the Cello Concerto.

For access, please e-mail Sam Dobson.

19 June 21: Memories of a brass-band player and the Elgar connection

A recording of a North-West Branch meeting held via Zoom at which Geoff Scargill interviewed Paul Cull, a North-West Branch member and a brass-band player for sixty years.

Produced by David Ll. Jones.
Originally presented 19 June 2021.
Maximum resolution: 1920×1080. Duration 73′09″
Please e-mail Peter Newble for access details.

29th May 21: The very model of a modern major conductor

From the world of the brass band to ENO

Martyn Brabbins, one of Britain’s leading conductors and a Vice-President of the Elgar Society, talks to Andrew Neill. He considers his early career, his musical influences and his life and support for British music. Currently Music Director of English National Opera, he discusses some of the challenges he faces and his aspirations for the company, including the next Ring cycle.

This was recorded before the sudden death of the composer, Anthony Payne. Both Martyn and Andrew, who discuss Tony’s work, would like this release to be in his memory.

Produced by Oscar Torres.
Originally presented 29 May – 5 June 2021.
Maximum resolution: 1280×720. Duration 123′50″
Please e-mail Peter Newble for access details.

1st March 21: Elgar's Orchestral Miniatures

In a recording of a live meeting held via Zoom, Dr Steven Halls, former Chairman of the Elgar Society, examines the varied and delightful works from throughout Elgar’s career that helped secure his popularity and financial stability, even if they do not always scale the heights of his masterpieces.

Originally presented 1 March 2021 by the London Branch.
Duration 75′48″
Please e-mail Ruth Hellen for access details.

16th Jan 21: Christopher Bishop

Recollections of a Recording Producer

Christopher Bishop was a senior record producer at E.M.I. from 1964 to 1979 and later managed the Philharmonia and Royal Scottish National Orchestras. His time at E.M.I. coincided with the ‘Indian summer’ in the recording studio of Sir Adrian Boult, many of whose later recordings he produced. They included works by Bach, Brahms and Wagner, and many by English composers, including The Pilgrim’s Progress by Vaughan Williams, and most of Elgar’s greatest orchestral and choral works, including the first complete recordings of The Apostles and The Kingdom. Illustrated by musical extracts, Christopher Bishop discusses his career and the making of these records, known and loved by Elgarians throughout the world.

Produced by Peter Newble.
Originally presented 16 – 23 January 2021.
Maximum resolution: 1920×1080. Duration 79′22″
Please e-mail Peter Newble for access details.

2020

12th Dec 20: Christmas Quiz

An especially compiled online quiz was presented by Vice Chairman, Stuart Freed. This light-hearted presentation features a wide variety of general musical teasers and one or two surprises — but no Christmas questions! If you would like to check your answers, please e-mail Stuart Freed.

Produced by Peter Newble.
Originally presented 12 – 19 December 2020.
Maximum resolution: 1920×1080. Duration 57′00″
Please e-mail Peter Newble for access details.

15th Nov 20: Sir John Barbirolli

Miracle in Manchester

From his arrival in the Blitz-ravaged city of Manchester in the midst of the Second World War to his death, fifty years ago, Sir John Barbirolli revived and nurtured the Hallé. In twenty years he transformed it into a world-class orchestra, and he tirelessly promoted the work of English composers, notably Elgar. In this tribute by the North-West Branch of the Elgar Society, John Knowles introduces Geoff Scargill, who tells the story of this ‘Miracle in Manchester’ with the help of David Jones’s unique collection of images and recordings.

Produced by Peter Newble.
Originally presented 15 – 22 November 2020.
Maximum resolution: 1920×1080. Duration 108′57″
Please e-mail Peter Newble for access details.

9th Nov 20: The pursuit of Diarmuid and Gráinne

Elgar and Irish cultural identity

The music Elgar called Grania and Diarmid was composed for the 1901 play Diarmuid and Grania, written by W. B. Yeats and the author George Moore. Little more than 12 minutes in length, the music is, nevertheless, of great beauty and contains some of Elgar’s most subtle and beautiful orchestration Andrew Neill, a Vice-President of the Elgar Society, explores the story behind the commissioning of Elgar to write music for a now long-forgotten play.

He unravels the complicated relationship between Yeats and Moore and the offence taken, both that an English theatre company should come to Dublin to perform the play and the commissioning of an English composer to write the music. It is, at times, an amusing story.

Produced by Oscar Torres.
Originally presented by London Branch, 9–16 November 2020.
Maximum resolution: 1280×720.
Duration 79′48″
Please e-mail Peter Newble for access details.

31st Oct 20: Judas Iscariot in music

Elgar’s The Apostles and beyond

Elgar’s portrayal of Judas Iscariot in his oratorio, The Apostles, is perhaps his most heartfelt characterisation. In this illustrated talk, Peter Newble explores how Judas’s portrayal in musical works has evolved over a period of nearly 500 years, and examines his role in The Apostles in more detail.

Produced by Peter Newble.
Originally presented by Yorkshire & North-East Branch, 31 October 2020.
Maximum resolution: 1920×1080. Duration 82′02″
Please e-mail Peter Newble for access details.

19th Oct 20: Pomp and Poetry

A programme of poetry by Thomas Hood, Roger McGough, D. H. Lawrence, J. A. Linden, Thom Gunn, Walter de la Mare, G. K. Chesterton, Alfred, Lord Tennyson, William Shakespeare, C. Day-Lewis, Dorothy Parker and W. E. Henley, complemented by the music of Sir Edward Elgar. Compiled by Stella and Stuart Freed, with readings by Peter Sutton.

Produced by Peter Newble.
Originally presented 19–25 October 2020.
Maximum resolution: 1280×720.
Duration 79′38″
Please e-mail Peter Newble for access details.

20th Sept 20: Sir Mark Elder & Joyce Kennedy

Sir Mark Elder, the distinguished British conductor, Music Director of the Hallé and President of the Elgar Society, discusses his lifelong love of Elgar’s music (and much more besides) with Dr Joyce Kennedy, illustrated by several of his recordings.

Produced by Peter Newble.
Originally presented 20–27 September 2020.
Maximum resolution: 1280×720.
Duration 64′16″
Please e-mail Peter Newble for access details.

18th June 20: Elgar and the Gramophone

Peter Newble examines the development of sound recording throughout the whole of Elgar’s lifetime, and in particular the composer’s own close and invigorating involvement with the Gramophone Company (‘His Master’s Voice’) in his last twenty years. The talk is illustrated by recordings by Elgar and others, with the help of one of the H.M.V. gramophones which Elgar helped to promote.

Produced by Peter Newble.
Originally presented 18–20 June 2020.
Maximum resolution: 1920×1080.
Duration 95′41″
Please e-mail Peter Newble for access details.