1. Introduction and Allegro for string quartet & string orchestra in G major, Op. 47
Sir Edward Elgar’s Introduction and Allegro for Strings, Op. 47, was composed in 1905 for performance in an all-Elgar concert by the newly formed London Symphony Orchestra. Scored for string quartet and string orchestra, Elgar composed it to show off the players’ virtuosity. Though initial critical reception was lukewarm at best, the score soon came to be recognized as a masterpiece. The work, which is roughly twelve to fourteen minutes in length, is like a multi-layered symphonic poem for string orchestra, with several prominent themes.
The work is dedicated to Samuel Sanford, who had been instrumental in having Elgar awarded an honorary doctorate of music at Yale University on 28 June 1905, where the Pomp and Circumstance March No. 1 was played for the first time at such a conferral ceremony.
Serenade for Strings in E minor, Op. 20, is a piece for string orchestra in three short movements, by Edward Elgar.
It was written in March 1892 and first performed in private in that year, by the Worcester Ladies’ Orchestral Class, with the composer conducting. It received its first public performance in Antwerp, Belgium on 21 July 1896.
Dedicated to the philosopher W. H. Whinfield, it is approximately 12 minutes in duration.
Although not formally published until 1892, the Serenade is believed to be a reworking of a suite Elgar had written some years earlier, before he had firmly set his sights on a career as a composer. Apart from the two suites called The Wand of Youth, it is therefore probably the earliest of his compositions to survive into the standard repertoire. Certainly, it has a youthful charm while at the same time displaying indications of the skills Elgar developed as he progressed towards musical maturity. It is reportedly the first of his compositions with which he professed himself satisfied.
The central Larghetto is generally accepted as containing the work’s finest and most mature writing. The work remains among the most frequently performed of all his music.