Pomp and the Circumstance March
Updated: Feb 29, 2020
Before the World War I, Edward Elgar was commissioned to write a piece celebrating the glory and power of Britain on the international stage. Considered the unofficial national anthem of Britain, the tune of pomp and the circumstance march is a moment of calm surrounded with the brass and timpani-clad textures. Surfacing gently at a piano dynamic, the hymn-like nature of its theme feels simultaneously reassuring and nostalgic. Originally an orchestral piece, the stately slow-moving tempo suggests granduer and regality. The melody rises gradually with Elgar’s choral influence shining through its melody. Longer phrasing works to increase the anticipation and tension, thus delivering great satisfaction at the very end. Breathtakingly beautiful and melodic, today, it is a symphony performed around the world sung softly with a British restraint.
'Land of Hope and Glory,
Mother of the Free,
How shall we extol thee, who are born of thee?
Wider still and wider shall thy bounds be set;
God, who made thee mighty, make thee mightier yet,
God, who made thee mighty, make thee mightier yet."
(lyrics by A. C. Benson, written in 1902)