Sir Edward Elgar riding high in the classical charts

Recording engineer Steve Swinden, conductor Barry Collett, executive producer Andrew Neil, recording producer Siva Oke and sponsor Ernie Kay.

Recording engineer Steve Swinden, conductor Barry Collett, executive producer Andrew Neil, recording producer Siva Oke and sponsor Ernie Kay.

First published in News

SIR Edward Elgar has swept into the classical charts 80 years after his death.

A new collection of rarely heard music by Worcestershire's most famous son, entitled Elgar’s Music for the Powick Asylum, entered the Official Charts Company's classical chart at number eight.

The record contains music composed by Elgar in the late 1870s and early 1880s when he was a young struggling musician playing in and around Worcester.

At that time the management at what was then called the County and City of Worcester Pauper Lunatic Asylum at Powick appointed Elgar to conduct and compose for the staff band.

This new recording is by the Innovation Chamber Ensemble conducted by Barry Collett and the Elgar Birthplace Museum in Lower Broadheath, near Worcester, was used as the venue for the official CD launch night last week.

Chris Bennett, the museum's supervisor, said: “We were delighted to have been chosen as the venue for such a prestigious event. But I suppose we were the obvious choice.

"Elgar was Worcestershire through and through, and this music was composed specifically to be performed in Worcestershire by a Worcestershire orchestra."

Mr Bennett added: "What’s more, we have Elgar’s original manuscripts of the music here at the Elgar Birthplace Museum. This is the very first professional recording of this music, and some of it has never been recorded at all.

"It is music to put a smile on your face, as thousands of people are now discovering."

It was released via the Somm record label and its chart position relates to sales between Sunday, March 2 and Saturday, March 8.

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