ELGAR, Sir Edward, letters, autographs, documents, manuscripts

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ELGAR, Sir Edward (1857-1934). Composer.
Series of eight letters, four on cards and one dictated, to Isaiah Burnell (1872-1959), February 1914 to December 1933. A friendly series, three of the cards signed 'E.E.', one letter separated at the central fold, with two original envelopes, to an amateur or semi-professional composer, at one time music master at Bromsgrove School.
The letters are accompanied by a substantial corpus of original manuscripts by Burnell.

Burnell, who was a talented and published composer, organised a number of performances of Elgar's music, and he became a personal friend who was invited to visit Elgar on various occasions.
[6 February 1914. Severn House]
'My niece has sent a copy of your announcement of Caractacus. I write to congratulate you on your enterprise in giving the work & to thank you for all you have done for music in Bromsgrove.
If you shd. be in town I should be glad to see you here.'

[27 December 1928. Tiddington House, near Stratford-upon-Avon]
'Many thanks. I fear it will not be possible for me to come but I shall be thinking of you.'

[11 March 1930. Worcester (on paper of the Lord Chamberlain's Office)]
'Thank you for your letter - the new proof song and for all your kind care of my music. I heard of the eventful evening from my nieces & am so glad you had a good time. I congratulate you on your 'Scena' which is well-wrought & poetical.'

[29 September 1932. Marl Bank]
'I was glad to see you here at the fest[iva]l time. I think you have some enforced leisure now & if that is so, I should be glad if you can find time to see me occasionally: we might "put on" the gramophone etc.'

[Marl Bank (on card - postmark 30 January 1933)]
'Good. I expect you! / Yrs sincerely / E.E.'

[Picture postcard of Ombersley - received stamp of 1 February 1933]
'So sorry: I hope you will soon be all right / Yrs s[incere]ly / E.E.'

['Friday'. Marl Bank (on card - postmark 28 April 1933)]
'Sorry not to see you: I am better & hope to have a talk soon. Yours, E.E.'

[5 December 1933 (Nursing Home, Worcester - the text secretarial)]
'Dictated
I am very much obliged to you for your kind letters but as you will easily understand I have not been capable of writing or even dictating a letter until now.
 'I am glad to hear all your news and that you have been far afield to hear music. They used to do things very well in Bristol.
 'It is good and kind of you to take so much pains over good old Caractacus and your enthusiasm is very infectious and this makes me very happy in thinking of music in Bromsgrove.
 'Please give my kind regards to Mrs Burnell
[PS in margin] 'I have been able to see very few people up to the present but when I get stronger I shall hope to see you here if you can find time to come. E.E.'


The music manuscripts of Isaiah Burnell
Brass Band Music

Suite for Brass Band, full score, 18 staves on 24 pages oblong folio, dated 4 September 1935 at the end. Each movemement titled; instructions (for copyists etc.) included.
Another version. Full Score, 18 staves on 30 pages oblong folio, paper wrappers. A 'cleaner' copy, entirly autograph, lacking the titles to the movemements, with some differencs in metronome markings etc.
'The Gay Cavalier'. Quick march, inscribed to the Rawmarsh Prize Band, 18 staves, 15 pages folio, paper wrappers.
Another copy (minus inscription), 15 pages oblong folio on pre-printed paper. Paper wrappers.
'Aria', dated 23 October 1936. Full score, unbound, pages numbered 1 to 15 (lacking '2' but apparently complete).
'Postlude', dated July 1936, 13 pages folio, brown paper wrappers.
'Solemn March', 7 pages folio, unbound.
'Benediction', inscribed 'To follow the Quartette'; 4 pages folio, disbound with another version of the same.
Overture 'Bromsgrovia': bass trumpet, Tuba and double bassoon parts only, 7½ pages folio.

Orchestral Music


'Elegy' for full orchestra. Full score, 18 pages folio, undated and unbound (some adhesive tape damage to pages). This work was performed at a concert conducted by Burnell in Bromsgrove Parish Church, which included Elgar's King Olaf and was given in the presence of the latter composer. (See Gerald Lawrence, Elgar and the missing Beau Brummell Music by Robert Kay in The Elgar Society Journal, December 2011).
Another copy, 20 pages folio, smaller format.
'Scherzo' for full orchestra. Full score, 32 pages folio.
Minuet and Trio for strings. 7 pages folio.
Gavotte (for strings), 4 pages folio.
'Concert Overture' (in G Major). Orchestral parts only, in a copyist's hand. Parts for strings, 2 flutes, 2 oboes, 2 clarinets, 2 bassoons, 4 horns, 2 trumpets, 3 trombones, tuba and timpani. Loose in folder.

Chamber Music


'Prelude and Fuguette' in E minor, for string quartett [sic] ("The Hove"). 7 pages, dated January 1945.
Another version in piano score.
Pianoforte Trio in G. Four movements, in total 56 pages in 3 sections.
'Romance' (in D Major) for vioin and piano, 4 pages.
'Meditation' (in F Major) for organ, 2 pages.

Piano Music

Six short pieces (generally of 2 pages): The Bells (numbered '1'), The Legend ('2'), The Gypsy ('4'), A Little Fugue, Berceuse, and 'A Cheerie [six] Duet'.

Vocal Music

Several works for SATB, some with organ accompaniment; many of a religious nature.
Psalm XXIII - The Lord is my Shepherd, 11 pages.
'England' (words by Mary Cowden Clarke), 7 pages.
'He that loves a rosy cheek' (inscribed 'To the Cornelly Choral Union'), 4 pages.
'Serenade, Starts of the Summer Night', 4 pages.
'I am the Resurrection and the Life', 3 pages.
Magnificat and Nunc Dimittis, 12 pages.
'Cast thy Burden upon the Lord', 2 pages.
'I heard a voice from Heaven', 3 pages.
'Never dying fire', 3 pages.
'Irish Farmer's Serenade' (for baritone or bass and piano), 5 pages (incomplete).
Four further works in short score.

Printed or duplicated Music

'The Sands of Dee' / choral song for mixed voices (SATB). First proot for Novellos' part-song book. Engraved on 8 separate sheets and heavily annotated and corrected, largely in red ink.
Three songs for TTBB: 'Gather ye Rosebuds', 'O Mistress Mine' and 'You are my God'.

Miscellaneous

Photocopies of 'For us Men' / a Passiontide Cantata', by IKB. Novello's Original Octavo Edition, 51 numbered pages.
Psalm XXIII, 15 numbered pages, duplicated.
Programme for the Hallowing of the War Memorial Chapel of Bromsgrove School, 9 May 1931 (probably including music by Burnell).
Programme of the annual Choral Concert of Bromsgrove Musical Club, 13 March 1933, conducted by Burnell. Comprising music by Burnell (the Overture in E Minor and the Elegy) and by Elgar (The Fourth of August, and For the Fallen) in the first half, and Mendelssohn's Hymn of Praise in the second.

Provenance: the Burnell family by descent.
[No: 25492]

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