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Elgar finished the piece in July 1888, when he was engaged to be married to Caroline Alice Roberts, and he called it "Liebesgruss" (’Love�s Greeting’) because of Miss Roberts� fluency in German. When he returned home to London on 22nd September from a holiday at the house of his friend Dr. Charles Buck, in Settle, he presented her with it as his engagement present. Alice, for her part, offered him a poem called ’The Wind at Dawn’ which she had written years before and which he soon set to music. The dedication was in French "Carice". The first forms of the work were then for piano solo and for violin accompanied by piano.
It was not published (by Schott & Co.) until a year later, and the first editions were for piano solo, violin and piano, cello and piano, and for small orchestra. Few copies were sold until Schott�s changed the title to "Salut d�Amour" with (Liebesgruss) as a sub-title, and the composer�s name as ’Ed. Elgar’. The French title, Elgar realised, would help the work to be sold not only in France but in other European countries: Schott’s was a German publisher, with offices in Mainz, London, Paris and Brussels.
The first public performance was of the orchestral version, at a Crystel Palace concert on 11th November 1889, conducted by August Manns.
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