Enigma Variations (includes Nimrod)
Up 1. Highest of Elgar's 8 entries.
Each one of Elgar's 14th Enigma Variations is dedicated to 'friends pictured within'.
Nimrod, the most famous movement, was written for Elgar's close friend and mentor, the publisher August Jaeger. On closer inspection then, Nimrod reveals itself to be a typical Elgarian pun as both Jaegar and Nimrod are connected to the word 'hunter'. Jaeger is 'hunter' in German and the word 'nimrod' derives from the word 'hunter', as in, 'Nimrod the mighty hunter' from the book of Genesis.
Yet despite the mighty imagery Nimrod conjures up, this is not a jovial piece. Its sweeping elegiac lines have made it a recurring choice at funerals and other solemn occasions including at the Cenotaph in London on Remembrance Sunday.
Elgar said of Nimrod that the variation is not really a portrait, but 'the story of something that happened', and he suggested that the quiet opening of the piece is a nod to Beethoven's Piano Sonata No. 8.
Find out more
Win every hour with the Hall of Fame
We're offering you the chance to win a Roberts Radio, the Classic FM Hall of Fame 2014 album, and a copy of our brand new book, 50 Moments That Rocked The Classical Music World, every hour during the countdown.
The Hall of Fame album
We've compiled some of the greatest tracks from this year's Hall of Fame and housed them on one album for your listening pleasure.
Download the Classic FM app for your Apple device
Got an Apple mobile device? Listen to Classic FM on the move with our beautifully-designed, brand new app.
Download the Classic FM app for your Android device
Got an Android mobile device? Listen to Classic FM on the move with our beautifully-designed, brand new app.