Musical Borrowing
An Annotated Bibliography

Individual record

[+] Skouenborg, Ulrik. "Elgar's Enigma: The Solution." The Music Review 43 (August/November 1982): 161-68.

The principal theme which never appears in the Enigma Variations is identified as being drawn from Brahms's Vier ernste Gesänge. The opening motive of the variations can be combined with a passage in the second song while the Nimrod tune can be combined (once a change of key is made) with a passage in tbe fourth. Other allusions which appear on the surface of the music in the variations are to Bach's Pedalexercitium (eleventh variation) and to B-A-C-H (in the Enigma theme itself) as well as to the slow movement of Beethoven's Piano Sonata, Op. 13 (ninth variation). The Enigma theme may also refer to the first of the Vier ernste Gesänge such that the Brahms was Elgar's point of departure.

Index Classifications: 1800s

Contributed by: David C. Birchler

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