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Music and Time

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Edward Elgars Scenes from the Saga of King Olaf
E.D. Kuznetsova

The article is devoted to the first large-scale work of Edward Elgar, the English composer of the XIXXX centuries. After its
successful first night he was named the greatest English genius since Purcell. Scenes from the Saga of King Olaf are studied
in the context of the epoch`s historical, literary and musical interests, Elgar`s professional aspirations and personal priorities
(among others: British and Scandinavian culture; the world of Wagner`s music; questions of a spiritual and religious choice; choral
festivals; the works of Grieg; the poetry of Longfellow; the romanticized main hero; and the image of the mother-figure). This work
encompasses the most important subjects of Elgar`s artistic world, together with his individual dramatic and stylistic devices. The
cantata is viewed as a distinctive prelude to the works of Elgar`s main creative period: the Orchestral Variations Enigma (1899):
the vocal cycle Sea Pictures for contralto and orchestra (1899); and the oratorio The Dream of Gerontius (1900).
Keywords: Elgar, Olaf, northern mythology, Heimskringla, Christianization of Norway, spiritual and religious choice, Wagner, Grieg,
Longfellow, image of the mother-fi gure, Enigma, Sea Pictures, The Dream of Gerontius.

Contacts: E-mail: e_kuznetsova@mail.ru

Pp. 53-58.

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