Edward Elgar and the Nostalgic Imagination

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Februar 2007



During his lifetime, and in the course of the twentieth century, Edward Elgar and his music became sites for a remarkable variety of nostalgic impulses. These are manifested in his personal life, in the content of his works, in his critical and biographical reception, and in numerous artistic ventures based on his character and music. Today Elgar enjoys renewed popularity in Britain, and nostalgia of various forms continues to shape our responses to his music. From one viewpoint, Elgarian nostalgia might be dismissed as escapist, regressive and reactionary, and the revival in Elgar's fortunes regarded as the symptom of a pernicious 'heritage industry' in post-colonial, post-industrial Britain. While there is undeniably a grain of truth to that view, Matthew Riley's careful treatment of the topic reveals a more complex picture of nostalgia, and sheds new light on Elgar and his cultural significance in the twentieth and twenty-first centuries.


1. Nostalgia; 2. Memory: thematic reminiscence in Elgar; Hauntings; Epiphanies; Autumnal harmonies; 3. Nobility: the ideal in the present; Negative nobility; Faith and ruin; 4. Nature: the rural Pan; The wind among the pines; Aeolian visitations; Nature and form; 5. Childhood: the Romantic child; Moore's 'Better Land'; Starlight and recollection; The Elgarian child transformed; 6. Identity: the feminine element inside; Imperialist nostalgia; A demon for counterpoint; 7. Waters: A flowing-awayness; Penal waters; Severn and Amazon; Bibliography.


Matthew Riley is Lecturer in Music at the University of Birmingham.


Review of the hardback: '... a heavyweight and widely researched production, at its most distinguished when close descriptive musical analysis focuses ideas and sets off fascinating trains of thought.' Musical Times Review of the hardback: 'It is built round various abstracts nouns, each applied to Elgar in turn.' Times Literary Supplement Review of the hardback: 'There is a particularly limpid and acute discussion of the relations between music and literature involved...' Times Literary Supplement
EAN: 9780521863612
ISBN: 0521863619
Untertitel: Sprache: Englisch.
Erscheinungsdatum: Februar 2007
Seitenanzahl: 243 Seiten
Format: gebunden
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