I will always reply to comments and always re-reply to re-replies.

Sunday, June 03, 2007


(click image to enlarge and read text )

This is a note to register the 150th anniversary of the birth of Sir Edward Elgar one of England's greatest composers. He was also a keen cyclist, riding the renowned "Sunbeam" bicycles, although his preferred clothing must have been most uncomfortable on a hot day! He called all his cycles "Mr Phoebus".

T.E. Lawrence (of Arabia - aka, T.E. Shaw)) was a connoisseur of Elgar's music, as a letter from him to the composer amply illustrates. Many must be aware of his "Enigma Variations", but his "Cello Concerto" should be more widely known. It is a lament for the lost world of pre 1914, destroyed by the First World War.

(I am indebted to Bob Cordon-Champ's book "Sunbeam Bicycles and Motorcycles" for the image.)


Granny J said...

I guess I have to vote for Henry Purcell when it comes to British composers, tho I will certainly listen to the Cello Concerto when NPR plays it, which is every so often.

Patry Francis said...

Thanks for the wonderful links.

Avus said...

Granny: Yes I, too, am a Purcell fan - I love classical trumpet music - so stirring.
Patry: glad to please!

herhimnbryn said...

Have just listened to a wonderfaul play on radio4 ( via the net) about Elgar and how he composed the E variations .Mr Pheobus was mentioned.
I understand that The Sunbeam was the Rolls Royce of bicycles at the time?
Great links.

herhimnbryn said...

That would be wonder FULL!

Lee said...

Ah! The good ol' days! The good ol' music! And the less than good ol' wars.

Nea said...

That indeed looks like a cadillac of bicycles, especially for its day......I am not familiar with his music, or at least I don't think I am. Often I will hear a piece, and know the music, but haven't a clue who composed it.......

Knowleypowley said...

Ah, Pomp and Circumstance - Divine

Lucy said...

Like 'Dream Children' myself, and the Chansons des nuit & matin; cello concerto's great but you have to be set up for a good howl.
I often wonder how people in The Old Days coped with the heat, they certainly didn't dress for it!

Vita said...

Oh, you are so interesting. So clever with all those LINKS. We're having fun with Elgar right now, rehearsing for an upcoming event.

Avus said...

Sunbeam - yes one of the very best bicycles and also made superb motorcycles. But they both fell by the wayside because they were too well made for modern finances.

When you really look into it all there was not very much good about "The good old days". Nostalgia wears rose tinted specs!

I know what you mean about liking a piece of music without knowing its origins.

As one who "enjoys" "In Memoriam" and Elgar's cello concerto I just love a good howl!
How the hell did those Victorian settlers manage the heat of Australia I wonder? HHnB finds it almost unbearable at times in modern togs!

You are doing Elgar - great stuff, a tribute from our American cousins - he would have liked that. Which piece?

chiefbiscuit said...

Very interesting indeed ... I love cello music; must come back and visit links.

Vita said...

What knowley powley said, divine Pomp and Circumstance.