Elgar’s Enigma Variations is perhaps the most popular piece of 19th-century music by an English composer – it was written in the very tail-end of that century, completed in February 1899. All of the movements are musical portraits of the composer’s friends, and the work is dedicated “to my friends pictured within”. Nimrod is perhaps the most beautiful movement of the set, growing from a hushed opening to a mighty and heartfelt climax. It was dedicated to Augustus Jaeger – in the Old Testament Nimrod is called “a mighty hunter before the Lord”, and Jäger is the German for hunter. Jaeger was a music editor who played a crucial role in encouraging Elgar, especially at his lowest ebbs as a composer.

In the original orchestration Elgar uses an alto, tenor and bass trombone, and this is reflected in this arrangement, which features two alto trombones for the high parts, four tenor trombones and two bass trombones. Eight trombones can create the most wonderful warm pianissimo for the opening section, but they also have the power to conjure up a brilliant and rousing fortissimo as demanded by the climax of the piece.

Parts included:

  • Score
  • Alto Trombone 1
  • Alto Trombone 2
  • Tenor Trombone 1
  • Tenor Trombone 2
  • Tenor Trombone 3
  • Tenor Trombone 4
  • Bass Trombone 1
  • Bass Trombone 2

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