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Greenlit: Elgar – The Man Behind the Mask, BBC4

Elgar – The Man Behind the Mask (1×60′) – With his noble bearing, stiff upper lip and imperial moustache, Edward Elgar, the composer of Land of Hope and Glory, is often seen as the epitome of Edwardian England. But this image was deliberately contrived, and far from reality.

Based on the enigmatic clues he left in his music and in his private correspondence, this feature-length documentary looks behind the moustache to discover the apparently self-confident Elgar as a brilliant but neurotic musician, with a chip on his shoulder about his lowly origins and his Catholic religion, who despised the Establishment, yet longed to belong to it.

Elgar’s intense relationships with several women apart from his wife belong to his restless, obsessive nature, and fresh evidence of the nature of these relationships is revealed in the film.

With contributions from Sir Colin Davis, Sir Mark Elder and Vladimir Ashkenazy, and specially-filmed performances by the BBC Symphony Orchestra conducted by Edward Gardner, director John Bridcut (Britten’s Children, The Passions Of Vaughan Williams) this film explores the secret conflicts in Elgar’s heart, which produced some of Britain’s greatest music.

Channel: BBC4

Producer: Crux Productions

TX: Autumn 2010 / Winter 2011

Source: BBC Press Office


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