This is the ultimate list of organ music, ranging from powerful symphonies to delicate toccatas.
Not content with mere rings to mark their engagement in 1888, Edward Elgar and his wife-to-be Alice exchanged artistic gifts too.
She had given him a poem that she had written a few years earlier, entitled ‘The Wind at Dawn’, although she retitled it ‘Love’s Grace’ for the occasion. Elgar immediately set it to music, winning himself a rather useful £5 in the process when he entered it into a composing competition. (Using a measure of average earnings, that’s the equivalent today of some £2,600 – not a bad day’s work for a would-be composer and his fiancée). In return, Elgar gave Alice a musical love token, entitled Liebesgruss – written in Settle, in Yorkshire.
Never one to look a gift piece in the mouth, Elgar sent a few versions to Schott’s publishers, who gave him just two guineas for it and promptly published it as Salut d’Amour, calling him mysteriously ‘Ed. Elgar’ – the hope being that if he sounded less English, it would sell more. And it did. Sadly, Elgar received only his two guineas.
Illustration: Mark Millington