- Pomp and Circumstance, marches (5) for orchestra, Op. 39
- Polonia, symphonic prelude for orchestra, Op. 76
- Sea Pictures, song cycle for alto & orchestra (or piano), Op. 37
Here's a superb Elgar album that anyone can enjoy, perhaps even more fun than the other releases in the fine Elgar series recorded by the venerable Hallé Orchestra under Sir Mark Elder. The album contains familiar music in the form of the five "Pomp and Circumstance Marches," which include the most famous of all (albeit only the last two minutes), the "D major No. 1." It contains a genuine Elgar rarity, the tone poem "Polonia, Op. 76," written in commemoration of the contributions of Polish troops in World War I. This patriotic work quotes Chopin and Polish folk music, and it's a potboiler of the best kind, held together by march rhythms and entirely infectious, as long as you don't ask too much of it. The "Pomp and Circumstance Marches" are ideal, enthusiastic but never overdone. The "Sea Pictures, Op. 37," are orchestral songs (with texts by five different poets) that deliver exactly what the title promises; the voice of mezzo-soprano Alice Coote is somehow maritime in its smoky, gentle quality, but it's unusual, and you might try sampling one of these (perhaps the lovely "Where Corals Lie," track 4) to see whether it is to your personal taste. This is a release that may appeal even to those who think they don't like Elgar.