Three Bavarian Dances

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Landscape of Garmisch Garmisch-Partenkirchen.JPG
Landscape of Garmisch

Three Bavarian Dances, Op. 27, is an orchestral work by Edward Elgar.

In musical composition, the opus number is the "work number" that is assigned to a composition, or to a set of compositions, to indicate the chronological order of the composer's production. Opus numbers are used to distinguish among compositions with similar titles; the word is abbreviated as "Op." for a single work, or "Opp." when referring to more than one work.

Edward Elgar English composer

Sir Edward William Elgar, 1st Baronet was an English composer, many of whose works have entered the British and international classical concert repertoire. Among his best-known compositions are orchestral works including the Enigma Variations, the Pomp and Circumstance Marches, concertos for violin and cello, and two symphonies. He also composed choral works, including The Dream of Gerontius, chamber music and songs. He was appointed Master of the King's Musick in 1924.


It is an arrangement for orchestra of three of the set of six songs Elgar wrote titled From the Bavarian Highlands . The original song lyrics were written by the composer’s wife Alice, as a memento of a holiday the Elgars had enjoyed in Upper Bavaria, mostly at Garmisch, in the autumn of 1894. [1] As well as the titles, Alice Elgar gave the songs sub-titles in recollection of favourite places visited during the holiday.

<i>From the Bavarian Highlands</i>

From the Bavarian Highlands, Op 27 is a work for choir and orchestra by Edward Elgar.

Caroline Alice Elgar British writer

Caroline Alice, Lady Elgar was an English author of verse and prose fiction, who married the composer Edward Elgar.

Upper Bavaria Regierungsbezirk in Bavaria, Germany

Upper Bavaria is one of the seven administrative districts of Bavaria, Germany.

The suite was first performed on 23 October 1897, conducted by Elgar [2] in one of August Manns' concerts at Crystal Palace. The Times stated that Elgar conducted the Dances 'in first-rate style', and Manns the rest of the programme. [3]

August Manns German conductor in Crysal Palace

Sir August Friedrich Manns was a German-born conductor who made his career in England. After serving as a military bandmaster in Germany, he moved to England and soon became director of music at London's Crystal Palace. He increased the resident band to full symphonic strength and for more than forty years conducted concerts at popular prices. He introduced a wide range of music to London, including many works by young British composers, as well as works by German masters hitherto neglected in England. Among his British protégés were Arthur Sullivan, Charles Villiers Stanford, Hubert Parry, Hamish MacCunn, Edward Elgar and Edward German.

The Crystal Palace former building originally in Hyde Park, London, 1854 relocated to Bromley, South London

The Crystal Palace was a cast-iron and plate-glass structure originally built in Hyde Park, London, to house the Great Exhibition of 1851. The exhibition took place from 1 May until 15 October 1851, and more than 14,000 exhibitors from around the world gathered in its 990,000 square feet (92,000 m2) exhibition space to display examples of technology developed in the Industrial Revolution. Designed by Joseph Paxton, the Great Exhibition building was 1,851 feet (564 m) long, with an interior height of 128 feet (39 m). It was three times larger than the size of St Paul's Cathedral. The introduction of the sheet glass method into Britain by Chance Brothers in 1832 made possible the production of large sheets of cheap but strong glass, and its use in the Crystal Palace created a structure with the greatest area of glass ever seen in a building and astonished visitors with its clear walls and ceilings that did not require interior lights.

<i>The Times</i> British newspaper, founded 1785

The Times is a British daily national newspaper based in London. It began in 1785 under the title The Daily Universal Register, adopting its current name on 1 January 1788. The Times and its sister paper The Sunday Times are published by Times Newspapers, since 1981 a subsidiary of News UK, itself wholly owned by News Corp. The Times and The Sunday Times do not share editorial staff, were founded independently, and have only had common ownership since 1967.

The three dances are:

G major musical key

G major is a major scale based on G, with the pitches G, A, B, C, D, E, and F. Its key signature has one sharp, F. Its relative minor is E minor and its parallel minor is G minor.

Three Bavarian Dances
Three Bavarian Dances
Murnau am Staffelsee Place in Bavaria, Germany

Murnau am Staffelsee is a market town in the district of Garmisch-Partenkirchen, in the Oberbayern region of Bavaria, Germany.

Three Bavarian Dances

All three dances are characteristic of the composer. The first is bright and robust, the second is Elgar in his gentle pastoral vein, with a wistful melody for the horn, and the third – the longest (about four and a half minutes) – is an Elgar finale in miniature, lively at first, then broadening and finally quickening to end in a blaze of orchestral colour.

French horn type of brass instrument

The French horn is a brass instrument made of tubing wrapped into a coil with a flared bell. The double horn in F/B is the horn most often used by players in professional orchestras and bands. A musician who plays a French horn is known as a horn player or hornist.

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  1. Percy M. Young, Elgar O.M., p. 71
  2. Percy M. Young, Elgar O.M., p. 77
  3. The Times, Monday 25 October 1897
  4. Sonnenbichl is a district in Garmisch