Plural Sax

Sax Octets

Enigma Variations

Edward Elgar, arr. Ben Tordoff


Elgar's "Variations on an Original Theme" was immediately popular when first performed in 1899 and has been a mainstay of British concert programmes ever since. It features a simple theme followed by fourteen variations in a range of styles and moods. Elgar stated that the theme is actually a counter-melody to a well known tune and the titular "enigma" is to work out exactly what that melody is. Elgar thought that his close colleagues would quickly work it out but none did and Elgar never revealed the answer. More than a hundred years later new theories about the answer are still occasionally proposed.

Here we present a sax octet arrangement of the main theme and four of the simpler variations that still cover a good range of styles and moods of the full suite.

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© 2021 Ben Tordoff

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