Edward Elgar variations on a variation Saturday night music

Sir Edward Elgar and the Enigma Fountain Worcestershire, England photo by Bob Embleton courtesy Wikimedia Commons

Three versions of Edward Elgar - Enigma Variations - Variation IX (Adagio) "Nimrod" that I found on YouTube. This is absolutely beautiful music and by listening to all three of these versions played by different orchestras with different giants of conductors is a kind of variations on Elgar's variations.

Inspiration came from a performance by a local community orchestra. The Annandale Symphony Orchestra of Northern Virginia is the "orchestra-in-residence" at Northern Virginia Community College in Annandale Virginia and is made up largely of amateur musicians. One of the pieces they played was Edward Elgar's Enigma Variations, Op. 36, an ambitious piece for this orchestra to say the least, but it is not out of character for this orchestra to take on ambitious programs under the direction of its conductor and music director Christopher Johnston, recipient of numerous music education awards and a composer and keyboard recitalist in his own right. The night was thoroughly enjoyable with some Mozart, Beethoven Coleridge-Taylor and Duke Ellington thrown into the mix.

The first version that I post here of the Elgar variation IX is by the London Symphony Orchestra conducted by Georg Solti.

From the YouTube site, "This performance of Elgar's Enigma Variations forms an historic account of the first concert Sir Georg Solti conducted as Chief conductor of the LPO in 1975. It is also the first DVD release with Solti performing Elgar's Symphony No.2. Solti, who prepared new works by listening to Elgar's own recordings, identified closely with his music. The virtuoso playing of the orchestra combined with his fresh, energetic approach make for an exciting, uplifting experience."

Now here's another version.

Sir Colin Davis - Edward Elgar - Enigma Variations - Variation IX (Adagio) "Nimrod"

Frank R.

Published on May 18, 2012

And a third version.

Edward Elgar ~ Nimrod (Enigma Variations) ~ Daniel Barenboim

Google Classical

Published on May 11, 2015

Daniel Barenboim with the Chicago Symphony Orchestra, opening the 1997 season at Carnegie Hall in this gorgeously performed dedication to the recently deceased Sir Georg Solti. Solti was the previous music director of the CSO for many years. Original video from "medpiano": https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sUgoB...

Standard YouTube license for all three.

For a discourse on theme and variations in musical theory go to


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