Elgar Celebrates the Joy of Youth

Innocence lays at the core of these works.

Composer: Elgar
Repertoire: Wand of Youth Suites Nos 1 & 2; Nursery Suite, et al.
Artists: Ulster Orchestra/Thomson
Rating: 4/5

Genre: Orchestral
Label: Chandos CHAN 10422X

The charm of the The Wand of Youth Suites (1907-08) is that although they were composed when Elgar was 50, they were inspired by sketches he’d made over 30 years earlier when the teenage Elgar children had written a play about a perfect, untainted world full of butterflies, fairies, giants and moths. The other main work on this disc is the Nursery Suite (1931), which was written to mark the births of two children to the Duchess of York in 1926 and 1930, who were later to become Princess Margaret and our present Queen Elizabeth. Bryden Thomson and the Ulster Orchestra manage to capture the childlike innocence beautifully.