Elgar’s “Chanson de Matin”: Sunshine and Flowers

This week, we have explored music of the English composer Sir Edward Elgar (1857-1934), from the blazing orchestral virtuosity of In the South, to the youthful charm of the Serenade for StringsWe’ll finish the week with a brief and breezy aubade—music which suggests the cheerful innocence of pastoral flowers catching the first light of dawn.

Chanson de Matin (“Morning Song”) is the sunny companion to the more melancholy Chanson de NuitPublished as Op. 15, No. 1 and 2 respectively, these songs without words were written originally for solo violin and piano. Even in this ebullient music, there are passing moments of quiet lament and contemplative solitude. This is an atmosphere which hovers around much of Elgar’s music. The restless second theme takes a sudden turn into minor. Then, listen to the way we come “home” again (1:28) with a passionate musical “embrace” which falls back into the ultimate quiet comfort and satisfaction.

Here is Sir Mark Elder’s 2003 recording with the Manchester, UK-based Hallé Orchestra:

My idea is that there is music in the air, music all around us; the world is full of it, and you simply take as much as you require.

-Sir Edward Elgar

Recordings

  • Elgar: Chanson de Matin, Op. 15 No. 2, Sir Mark Elder, Hallé Orchestra halle.co.uk

Photograph: Stour Valley and Dedham Church, John Constable

About Timothy Judd

A native of Upstate New York, Timothy Judd has been a member of the Richmond Symphony violin section since 2001. He is a graduate of the Eastman School of Music where he earned the degrees Bachelor of Music and Master of Music, studying with world renowned Ukrainian-American violinist Oleh Krysa.

The son of public school music educators, Timothy Judd began violin lessons at the age of four through Eastman’s Community Education Division. He was a student of Anastasia Jempelis, one of the earliest champions of the Suzuki method in the United States.

A passionate teacher, Mr. Judd has maintained a private violin studio in the Richmond area since 2002 and has been active coaching chamber music and numerous youth orchestra sectionals.

In his free time, Timothy Judd enjoys working out with Richmond’s popular SEAL Team Physical Training program.

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