Elgar's trombone playing

Written By: David Read Comments: 0

Sue Addison has been digging around in the archives and uncovered a fascinating tale of Edward Elgar's trombone playing. The discovery comes as she performs on the composer's very own instrument in performances of The Dream of Gerontius next week.

The memoirs of Elgar's friend Dora Penny (Dorabella in the Enigma Variations) reveal the composer's playing as "painful" and "comical", although the great man did take up the instrument in middle age. In a moment of desperation he cursed the instrument as a "dodgasted thing". Read more in this Telegraph story: Elgar failed to master the trombone.

His colleague, Gustav Holst, also played trombone, but made it to professional level in his youth (see BTS magazine, Summer 2009), although there was the report of his tendency to practise the instrument in the countryside, provoking sheep to lamb early...

Elgar The Dream of Gerontius
Orchestra of the Age of Enlightenment
Tue 24 Nov 2009, 7:30pm - Royal Festival Hall, London
Sat 28 Nov 2009, 7:30pm - Town Hall, Birmingham
Sun 29 Nov 2009, 4:00pm - Town Hall, Birmingham

Full details at the OAE Concert Calendar.

Share this article