Falstaff (Elgar)

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Description Falstaff – Symphonic Study in C minor, Op. 68, is an orchestral work by the English composer Edward Elgar. Though not so designated by the composer, it is a symphonic poem in the tradition of Franz Liszt and Richard Strauss. It portrays Sir John Falstaff, the "fat knight" of Shakespeare's Henry IV parts 1 and 2.The work was well received at its première in 1913, but did not inspire the great enthusiasm aroused by some of Elgar's earlier works. The composer thought it his finest orchestral piece, and many Elgar admirers agree, but it has not become a popular favourite. Compared to other Elgar works, it is infrequently played in the concert hall, although it is well represented in the CD catalogues.StructureElgar set out the divisions of the score in an "analytical essay" in The Musical Times in 1913:I. Falstaff and Prince Henry II. Eastcheap – Gadshill – The Boar's Head. Revelry and sleep – Dream Interlude: 'Jack Falstaff, now Sir John, a boy, and page to Thomas Mowbray, Duke of Norfolk' (Poco allegretto) III. Falstaff's march – The return through Gloucestershire – Interlude: Gloucestershire. Shallow's orchard (Allegretto) – The new king – The hurried ride to London IV. King Henry V's progress – The repudiation of Falstaff, and his death

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