With references to the brilliant warmth and light of Italy and the rugged grandeur of the Cornish coast, Elgar’s Second Symphony is far more complex and deeply personal than his First. Riddled with doubts, questioning and conflict it reflects not only the true spirit of the age but also the personality of the composer as it meanders from extrovert exuberance to melancholy introversion.
Elgar himself stated that “I have written out my soul”. In this most lyrical, poetic and fantastical of his concertos, Beethoven does not abandon Mozartian concerto form but imbues it with a genuinely romantic voice. It is ardent and melancholy, heroic and ethereal, anguished and whimsical.