In 1905 Elgar was traveling around the Mediterranean and stopped off in Smyrna (what is now Izmir in Turkey). In his diary he notes the ‘extraordinary colour & movement’ and the intoxicating ‘light & shade’ of the city – a near perfect description of this piece for solo piano. Elgar subtitled his sketches In the Mosque and it is clear that the Islamic call to prayer made quite an impression on him, an important idea reflected in this arrangement for trombone and piano.
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