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The Composer Chronicles

73 EpisodesProduced by Alexandrian MediaWebsite

Stephen Trygar recounts the stories of composers past and present through the music they write. Historical episodes focus on a particular work by the featured composer and examines their life during the time the piece was written and performed. Additionally, living composers, musicians, industry pro… read more


Ep. 8: Living Portraits - Elgar and Enigma Variations

Edward Elgar's Variations on an Original Theme (a.k.a. Enigma Variations) is one of the most mysterious and puzzling pieces of music of all time. Using a theme he referred to as "the Enigma", he depicts thirteen of his closest friends as if they were taking a stab at cracking the code. One in particular was given the chance to truly solve the case, but she never figured it out.

If you want to provide a question for the Q&A episode via voicemail, here is the link to do so, be sure to give your first name and where you’re from before asking your question.

Become a member of The Composer Chronicles on Patreon to get ad-free versions of all the episodes, monthly member only episodes, and other things podcast related!

My Friends Pictured Within by Edward Elgar:

The Dorabella Cipher:

Music for this episode:
Modern Enigma by Spectacles Wallet and Watch
Chanson De Matin, Op. 15, No. 2 by Edward Elgar
Berceuse, Op. 16 by Gabriel Faure
Cello Concerto in E Minor, Op. 85, Mvt. 1: Adagio by Edward Elgar
Variations on an Original Theme ("Enigma"), Op. 36, Mvt. IX "Nimrod" by Edward Elgar
Largo from Xerxes by George Friedric Handel
Pomp and Circumstance March No. 4 by Edward Elgar
Una Noche De Luces by Trevor Kowalski

Sources for this episode:
My Friends Pictured Within by Edward Elgar (see link above)
Variations on an Original Theme, Op. 36 by Edward Elgar (Score)
The Musician's Guide to Symphonic Music: Essays from the Eulenberg Scores, edited by Corey Field:

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