Nimrod from Enigma Variations

By: Edward Elgar
For: String quartet
page one of Nimrod from Enigma Variations

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Composer
Edward Elgar
Year of composition
1899
Arranger
Publisher
Difficulty
Moderate (Grades 4-6)
Duration
4 minutes
Genre
Classical music
License details
For anything not permitted by the above licence then you should contact the publisher first to obtain permission.

Variation IX (Adagio) "Nimrod" Augustus J. Jaeger was employed as music editor by the London publisher Novello & Co. For a long time he was a close friend of Elgar, giving him useful advice, but also severe criticism, something Elgar greatly appreciated. Remarkably Elgar later related on several occasions how Jaeger had encouraged him as an artist and had stimulated him to continue composing despite setbacks. The name of the variation punningly refers to Nimrod, an Old Testament patriarch described as "a mighty hunter before the Lord" - the name Jäger being German for hunter. In 1904 Elgar told Dora Penny (�Dorabella�) that this variation is not really a portrait, but �the story of something that happened�. As she wrote later in her book;[4] Once, when Elgar had been very depressed and was about to give it all up and write no more music, Jaeger had visited him and encouraged him to continue composing. He referred to Ludwig van Beethoven, who had a lot of worries, but wrote more and more beautiful music. �And that is what you must do�, Jaeger said and he sang the theme of the second movement of Beethoven's Piano Sonata No. 8 ' Pathétique '. Elgar disclosed to Dora that the opening bars of "Nimrod" were made to suggest that theme. �Can�t you hear it at the beginning? Only a hint, not a quotation�. This variation has become popular in its own right and is sometimes used at funerals, memorial services, and other solemn occasions. It is always played at the Cenotaph in London on Remembrance Sunday.

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