The strange bird Richard, the organist George and his bulldog Dan – Edward Elgar's circle of friends is immortalised in his Enigma Variations.

Joonas Pitkänen
conductor

Ethel Smyth
The Wreckers, overture

Edward Elgar
Enigma Variations

Piracy, love and religion are the ingredients of Ethel Smyth’s psychological drama The Wreckers. The strange bird Richard, the stuttering beauty Dorabella, the cathedral organist George and his bulldog Dan – Edward Elgar’s circle of friends are immortalised in the composer’s Enigma Variations. But whose portrait is the 13th variation, at the beginning of which Elgar wrote three enigmatic asterisks.

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