Tone Poem Tuesday (Wednesday Edition)

No excuse, I just didn’t get to it yesterday. You get what you pay for, folks!

But anyway, a repeat of a favorite work of mine. This twenty-minute concert overture by Edward Elgar is lyrical and exciting. It reminds me of the grand old film scores, in all honesty, with its muscular opening that would accompany the giant “Warner Bros.” shield, followed by a big-hearted opening them that would soar as the film’s title appears onscreen. Remember when movie titles were GIGANTIC and would take up the entire screen? They don’t do that much anymore, do they? And credit montages that set the tone…films nowadays almost never have opening credits at all anymore, saving all credits for the end.

Anyway, Elgar wrote this overture, which he called “In the South (Alassio)”, after a winter’s holiday in Italy and a village called Alassio. The piece is pure sunlight from start to finish (well, there’s a bit in the middle that might be a summer storm, if we’re pushing our musical metaphors farther than perhaps we should), and to me it’s always a wonderful delight. I don’t know why the piece isn’t better known, in all honesty; it’s one of those works that always leaves me feeling like I’ve just spent twenty minutes in the company of a master.

Here is Edward Elgar’s “In the South” overture, subtitled “Alassio”.

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