“We are the music makers, And we are the dreamer of dreams”. The opening words from the Music Makers very much reflect Elgar’s view of himself as the private artist struggling isolated against the tide. In this work, Elgar gives full rein to those introspective feelings whilst also taking the opportunity to colour the music as a retrospective of some of his most successful musical creations to date; hence quotations from The Dream of Gerontius, Sea Pictures, the First and Second Symphonies, the Violin Concerto, ‘Nimrod’ and others.
Alongside this, the plangent Cello Concerto, contemplative, imbued with sadness, Elgar’s last great work which looks elegiacally back at a changing world and one lost forever, performed in this special concert by world-renowned cellist, Julian Lloyd Webber.
In contrast to these great works is Vaughan Williams’s exquisite setting, written in 1938 for the 50th anniversary of Sir Henry Wood’s first concert, of words from William Shakespeare’s The Merchant of Venice.