Iain Farrington

Pianist, organist, composer, arranger

Edward Elgar: Symphony No. 1 in A flat for Piano Solo

Edward Elgar (1857-1934) composed his First Symphony in 1907-8, some years after first contemplating writing such a work. Having spent much time composing large religious oratorios, he now felt that an abstract instrumental composition was the pinnacle of musical achievement, and set about composing the symphony. About the work he wrote: "There is no programme beyond a wide experience of human life with a great charity (love) and a massive hope in the future.” It opens with a distinctive broad theme that makes several appearances throughout the piece. Although this theme is in A flat major, much of the symphony is in D minor/major, creating bold key juxtapositions and a complex harmonic framework. The symphony was an outstanding success and nearly 100 performances were given across the world within a year.

This piano arrangement is a fully playable and sympathetic version of the score, that attempts to capture the colours, emotions and sweep of the original. Although at times virtuosic, the textures are at the service of the music, and never for empty showmanship. The arrangement can be enjoyed by pianists who appreciate Elgar’s music and want to experience first hand this glorious work.

Available to purchase from Aria Editions here