Enigma Variations was arranged for the Brass of the Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra. (RCO Brass)
Edward Elgar composed his Variations, Op. 36, popularly known as the Enigma Variations, between October 1898 and February 1899.
It is an orchestral work comprising fourteen variations on an original theme.
Elgar dedicated the work “to my friends pictured within”, each variation being a musical sketch of one of his circle of close acquaintances.
Those portrayed include Elgar’s wife Alice, his friend and publisher Augustus J. Jaeger and Elgar himself.
In naming his theme ‘Enigma’ Elgar posed a challenge which has generated much speculation but has never been conclusively answered. The Enigma is widely believed to involve a hidden melody.
4 Trumpets (1 Flugelhorn) – 4 Horns – 4 Trombones (1 Euphonium) – 1 Tuba – 1 Percussion (Timpani)