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Introduction and Allegro

Edward Elgar
(1857-1934)



The "Introduction and Allegro" was first performed in London in 1905. It is written for a solo quartet (two violins, viola and cello) and string orchestra. The composer states that he was impressed by the sound of distant singing to which the cadence of a falling third caught his fancy. "From the train of thought thus generated sprang the main theme of the work, the pseudo Welsh tune. Later on, a song heard in the Valley of the Wye reinforced the Welsh impressions and led to the completion of the work." It opens with a theme given out in all the strings, followed by another subject. After development, the Welsh melody appears in the viola. Following further treatment of the first theme and Welsh tune, the Allegro begins with a theme in the first violin. This is turn is developed and the second theme appears in the quartet, alternating with the other strings. The Welsh theme is once more suggested and followed by a fugato, introduced in the second violin. All this material is developed and the recapitulation ends with the first theme of the Allegro.





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