Elgar's Variations for Orchestra, commonly known as the 'Enigma' Variations, marked an epoch both in his career, and in the renaissance of English music at the turn of the century. The first extended study of the work, this Cambridge Music Handbook contains historical information concerning the conception and writing of the work, an extended musical discussion requiring only a little technical knowledge of music, and a fascinating survey of the "solutions" to the mystery implied by the title of Elgar's most famous work.
Table of Contents1. Introduction; 2. Composition; 3. Variations: the theme; 4. Friends pictured within; 5. A form of self-portraiture; 6. The enigmas; 7. Postscript.