Edward Elgar

Pomp and Circumstance March No. 1, for orchestra in D major, Op. 39/1

    Description by Robert Cummings

    This first of the five Pomp and Circumstance marches is the most popular, and one of Elgar's most widely performed compositions. Its trio section contains one of the most-famous tunes ever to come from an English composer. Dedicated to conductor Alfred Rodewald and the Liverpool Orchestral Society members, the work was not conducted by Rodewald at its premiere -- as was commonly thought for years -- but by Elgar, who led the Liverpool Orchestral Society Orchestra in a concert that also featured Pomp and Circumstance No. 2. Rodewald conducted the other works on that evening's program. Elgar got the idea of naming the series of five marches Pomp and Circumstance from Act III of Shakespeare's Othello, where Othello refers to the "...Pride, pomp, and circumstance of glorious war!" But there is nothing warlike about Elgar's music in this piece. It opens with a rousing introduction, after which a jaunty, quite lively march tune is given. The orchestration is colorful and at times even boisterous. The famous trio march theme is then played, first in a subdued, solemn manner then blaring forth in a brass-dominated glorious rendition. After a return of the main theme, the big march tune reappears near the end. This work became so instantly popular because of its trio theme that Elgar was prompted to make immediate use of it in the finale of his Coronation Ode (1902). It was set to the words "Land of Hope and Glory" and has ever since been a popular patriotic song in England. The theme was also used on the popular American television show from the 1950s and '60s Queen for a Day.

    Appears On

    Year Title Label Catalog #
    2018 ABC Classics
    2018 Menuetto Classics
    2018 ABC Classics 4829892
    2018 ABC Classics ABC 4829893
    2018 Capriccio Records C 7275
    2018 Guild / Guild GMCD 7814
    2018 Menuetto Classics
    2018 Decca / Deutsche Grammophon 4798418
    2018 ABC Classics
    2017 Not Now Music NOT 3CD269
    2016 Warner Classics 556482
    2016 Sony Classical / Sony Music 88985301152
    2016 ABC Classics 4812424
    2016 ABC Classics
    2016 Classic FM / Decca CFMD 47
    2016 Royal Philharmonic Orchestra / RPO RPOSP 009
    2016 Sony Classical 88985357942
    2015 Deutsche Grammophon 4793590
    2015 MDG Gold MDGCD 3161907
    2015 Brilliant Classics 94959BR
    2015 ABC Classics 4811143
    2015 Klanglogo KL 1506
    2015 Sony Classical 88875141222
    2015 BGS Records (British Guitar Society) BGS 126
    2014 Piano 21 P 21052 N
    2014 Da Capo / Dacapo DC 277
    2014 ABC Classics 5351040
    2014 Decca
    2014 Brilliant Classics 94892BR
    2014 Rondeau / Rondeau Productions ROP 6089
    2014 ABC Classics 4811142
    2014 Deutsche Grammophon
    2013 Carl Davis Collection CDC 020
    2013 Priory Records PRCD 5048
    2013 Christophorus CHE 01832
    2013 Back Door Productions
    2013 Guild Historical GHCD 2393
    2013 The Gift of Music CCLCDG 1272
    2013 ABC Classics ABC 5343879
    2013 Sony Classical 88883710032
    2012 Altissimo ALT 01072
    2012 Decca
    2012 EMI Classics / Warner Classics 5099932735
    2012 RPO RPOSP 035
    2012 Sony Classical 88765412002
    2012 Deutsche Grammophon 4783619
    2012 Decca / Deutsche Grammophon
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    2012 Heritage HTGCD 241
    2012 Memory Lane GLMY 54
    2012 Warner Music
    2012 LPO LPO 0063
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    2012 Topaz Records
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    1997 Dutton Laboratories 8008
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    1996 Philips
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    1994 Chesky Records 53
    1994 Naxos 550008
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    1994 Naxos 550229
    1994 EMI Music Distribution 68008
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    1994 Teldec 97868
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    1994 Intersound 3612
    1994 Madacy 5458
    1994 EMI Classics 568125
    1994 Laserlight 15815
    1994 EMI Music Distribution 4580
    1994 Bainbridge BCD-2501
    1993 IMP Classics 3
    1993 Classics for Pleasure / EMI Music Distribution CDCFP-4611
    1993 Maxiplay 833
    1993 RPO 7018
    1993 RCA 61488-2
    1993 EMI Music Distribution 62932
    1993 Pickwick Group 12
    1993 Decca 4338702
    1993 Maxiplay / Pro-Arte Records 821
    1992 Chandos Brass / Chandos CHAN-4513
    1992 RCA 61369
    1992 Teldec 73278
    1992 Madacy 4615
    1992 CBS Records / Sony Classical 48473
    1991 Laserlight 35895
    1991 BMG 60835
    1991 London 430447
    1991 RCA 60838-2-RG
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    1991 Decca 430 094-2DWO
    1990 Universal Classics & Jazz / Universal Distribution
    1990 Intersound / Pro-Arte Records 869
    1990 RCA 60700
    1990 Laserlight 15510
    1990 Telarc CD 80122
    1990 Warner Bros. 2573
    1988 Cors 141601
    1988 Hyperion 66258
    1986 ASV / ASV/Living Era 6028
    Deutsche Grammophon 442877
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    History 204555
    Reader's Digest Music 068
    ABC Classics 4766955
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