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Lot 44
ELGAR (EDWARD) Autograph sketch for his setting of W.B. Yeats's poem 'There are Seven that Pull the Thread'
Sold for £1,434 (US$ 2,259) inc. premium

Lot Details
ELGAR (EDWARD)
Autograph sketch for his setting of W.B. Yeats's poem 'There are Seven that Pull the Thread' from Diarmuid and Grania by Yeats and George Moore, headed "Song in Diarmid" and signed at the end "Edw.d Elgar/at 66 Huskisson St/Liverpool", also inscribed by Edward Speyer "Edward Elgar/p[iano] Sketches for 'Grania and Diarmid' op.42", comprising the setting for the whole song over 22 bars, in three-stave piano score, with notes for orchestration at the end, two pages on two leaves, the orchestration notes in ink, otherwise in pencil throughout, filing-hole, minor creasing, 4to, [October 1901]

Footnotes

  • ELGAR SETS A YEATS POEM TO MUSIC. In dramatising the Celtic legend of Diarmuid and Grania, Yeats and Moore were attempting something along the lines of Wagner's Tristan, although with music playing a subsidiary role. For the music, Moore turned first to Henry Wood, and then Elgar, fresh from the triumph of The Enigma Variations. Elgar supplied Moore with an especially fine funeral march, marked both 'nobilmente' and 'maestoso'. He then added a horn call and, as a result of a last minute request, set Laban's song. In Moore's opinion, he "must have seen the primeval forest as he wrote", while the tone-deaf Yeats described the music as "wonderful in its heroic melancholy". The play caused a political furore, prompting the young James Joyce to protest with his broadside 'The Day of the Rabblement'. Meanwhile, by way of complete contrast, Elgar's first two Pomp and Circumstance Marches received their première at Liverpool on 21 October, under Alfred Rodewald (at whose house in Huskisson Street Elgar was staying when he wrote Yeats's song); the trio from the first being soon afterwards fitted out as the anthem 'Land of Hope and Glory'.
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