Into His Marvelous Light
If someone says he enjoys "classical music," he probably doesn't mean to designate precisely the period that excludes the Baroque, Romantic, and Modern eras. Bach and Handel would make the cut, as would Brahms and Rachmaninoff, Wagner and Liszt, and many others. The creative careers of the most popular "classical music" composers stretch from the mid-seventeenth to the late nineteenth centuries.
There aren't many (if any) American-born composers who would show up on this list. Neither are there many (if any) great English composers that one could include. In fact, it has often been remarked that after the death of Henry Purcell in 1695 (when J. S. Bach was only ten years old), no widely acclaimed composers were born in England until 1857.
That was the year that Ann Greening Elgar (daughter of a farm worker) and her husband William (a piano tuner and music-shop owner) welcomed their fourth child into their cottage in the village of Lower Broadheath in the West Midlands. They christened him Edward and had him baptized at St. George's Roman Catholic Church in Worcester. The Elgars were a very musical household, and Edward's father performed in the Worcester Glee Club and was organist at St. George's. From the age of fifteen, Edward served as his father's substitute when needed, later inheriting the post. And since Worcester was one of the sites hosting the prestigious Three Choirs Festival (an active institution since the early eighteenth century), the young Edward Elgar was exposed to choral works intended for large public—and non-liturgical—performance.
THIS ARTICLE ONLY AVAILABLE TO SUBSCRIBERS.
FOR QUICK ACCESS:
Ken Myers is the host and producer of the Mars Hill Audio Journal. Formerly an arts editor with National Public Radio, he also served as editor of Eternity, the Evangelical monthly magazine, and This World, the quarterly predecessor to First Things. He also serves as music director at All Saints Anglican Church in Ivy, Virginia. He is a contributing editor for Touchstone.
more on music from the online archives
calling all readers
"There are magazines worth reading but few worth saving . . . Touchstone is just such a magazine."
—Alice von Hildebrand
"Here we do not concede one square millimeter of territory to falsehood, folly, contemporary sentimentality, or fashion. We speak the truth, and let God be our judge. . . . Touchstone is the one committedly Christian conservative journal."
—Anthony Esolen, Touchstone senior editor
• Not a subscriber or wish to renew your subscription? Subscribe to Touchstone today for full online access. Over 30 years of publishing!
Purchase Print &
Get six issues (one year) of Touchstone PLUS full online access including pdf downloads for only $39.95. That's only $3.34 per month!
Get a one-year full-access subscription to the Touchstone online archives including pdf downloads for only $19.95. That's only $1.66 per month!
GIVE Print &
Give six issues (one year) of Touchstone PLUS full online access including pdf downloads for the reduced rate of $29.95. That's only $2.50 per month!
Transactions will be processed on a secure server.
Order Touchstone subscriptions in bulk and save $10 per sub! Each subscription includes 6 issues of Touchstone plus full online access to touchstonemag.com—including archives, videos, and pdf downloads of recent issues for only $29.95 each! Great for churches or study groups.
OR get a subscription to Touchstone to read on your Kindle for only $1.99 per month! (This option is KINDLE ONLY and does not include either print or online.)
Your subscription goes a long way to ensure that Touchstone is able to continue its mission of publishing quality Christian articles and commentary.
more from the online archives