A partly dramatised account of the life of Sir Edward Elgar classical composer. Huw Wheldon narrates the life story over backdrops of beautiful mountain scenery, especially memorable is the... See full summary »

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Episode complete credited cast:
Huw Wheldon ...
Himself - Commentator (voice)
Peter Brett ...
Mr. Elgar
Rowena Gregory ...
Mrs. Elgar
George McGrath ...
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A partly dramatised account of the life of Sir Edward Elgar classical composer. Huw Wheldon narrates the life story over backdrops of beautiful mountain scenery, especially memorable is the image of young Elgar riding his horse around Malvern Hills. Written by Archie Moore <ar.moore@student.qut.edu.au>

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classical music | See All (1) »

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Documentary

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11 November 1962 (UK)  »

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Featured in Ken Russell: A Bit of a Devil (2012) See more »

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Elgar's Elgar
11 January 2008 | by (United Kingdom) – See all my reviews

Elgar was made by three people: Ken Russell, Humphrey Burton and Huw Wheldon. All three liked Elgar's music and all three thought him under-rated. They set about, with the aid of legendary researcher Anne James, to gather as much information about the great Edwardian as possible, and soon they had vast amounts of material with which they could tell the story of Elgar's life. Russell and Wheldon fought their famous battle about the role of actors - which, contrary to general opinion, both won - but both Wheldon and Russell and Humphrey Burton were not happy with what they had. It was Burton who finally said what all were thinking - that they were not telling the right story. The right story was not the story of Elgar but the story of Elgar's music. Burton and Russell spent a week doing nothing but listening to Elgar and emerged with a 50 minute soundtrack including snippets short and long. Now they set about making pictures to go with the music. In other words the music was not an accompaniment, the music was the thing itself. The pictures illustrated it. Speaking actors would have shifted the balance of the film back towards words and pictures. The power of 'Elgar' lies in the primacy it gives to the composer's music. Often referred to as 'Ken Russell's 'Elgar'', this film is actually Elgar's Elgar, and therein lies its claim for legendary status.


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