Music for the Powick Asylum Volume 22 in The Elgar Complete Edition
Music for the Powick Asylum Volume 22 in The Elgar Complete Edition
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Music for the Powick Asylum Volume 22 in The Elgar Complete Edition

xxvi + 340 pages 250mm x 350mm hardback
11 b/w illustrations; 307pp score
ISBN: 978 1 904856 22 1
Publication date: 22 September 2008

11 complete works for the Asylum band, comprising:
Menuetto;
4 sets of Quadrilles:

Die junge Kokette
L'Assomoir
La Brunette
Paris
A set of Lancers
The Valentine
5 Polkas
Maud
Nelly
La Blonde
Helcia
Blumine
& 1 substantial set of sketch scores for the Five Singing Quadrilles
& 7 sets of Quadrille fragments and sketches.

It was at the Powick Asylum, situated between Worcester and Malvern but now demolished, that Elgar obtained his first paid employment as a musician. Joining the asylum band as a violinist in 1877, he took on the role of bandmaster from 1879 until 1884, a job which involved not only conducting the assembled forces but also composing pieces for the band to play at its Friday evening dances.

During his time at Powick, Elgar turned out 31 completed works, mainly in the style of the popular dances of the day four sets of quadrilles and one of lancers (with five quadrilles or lancers to each set), five polkas and a Menuetto and also sketched a further set of quadrilles.

The band was a somewhat ad hoc affair of varying composition, requiring Elgar to provide parts for instruments such as the bombardon, and in some cases a part for whatever instrument turned up on the day.

The music has not previously been published; it has survived only in the form of the part books used by the musicians and now held in the Elgar Birthplace Museum.

The volume has been edited by Andrew Lyle, former BBC Radio 3 producer, who has developed a particular interest and expertise in this music.