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Music with Ease > Classical Music > Concert Guide: Turn of the 20th Century > Symphonic Prelude, "Palonia" - Elgar


Symphonic Prelude, "Palonia"

Edward Elgar
(1857-1934)



Elgar's symphonic prelude, "Palonia" is one of the few compositions by an eminent composer, inspired by the European war. The composer says of it, "that some sort of symphonic prelude might be practical and perhaps even a useful tribute to my friend Paderewski for the concert in aid of his countrymen was the final inducement to weave into a concise orchestral movement some typical Polish themes."

After a brief introduction a martial theme by the composer himself is heard in the brasses and woodwinds. After it reaches its climax three national themes are introduced. The first appears in the cellos and English horn, thence transferred to full orchestra; the second march tempo in the cellos and bassoons, then fully orchestral; and the third, "Poland is not yet lost" in full orchestra. After repetition of the martial theme, the muted violas and cellos give a suggestion of Chopin's G minor nocturne, followed by phrases in the violins from Paderewski's "Polish Fantasie." These are followed by the march, worked up to vigorous climax, based upon the opening theme.





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