The Clinton Symphony Orchestra will present their “Youthful Visions” winter concert on Saturday, February 9, 7:30 pm, Morrison IL High School Auditorium. Please enjoy the following program notes about Edward Elgar and his work Salut d’amour, Op 12.


Edward Elgar (1857-1934) composed Salut d’Amour as a love song to his future bride, Alice Roberts. In the summer of 1888 (age 31), Elgar decided to take a holiday with his dear friend Dr. Charles Buck. As Elgar departed Worcester for Dr. Buck’s Settle, Yorkshire estate, Alice gave him a poem she had written entitled Love’s Grace. While at Settle, Elgar, much taken with Alice’s poem, decided to reciprocate with a short piece of music especially for Alice. He titled the piece Liebesgruss (Love’s Greeting), dedicated “To Carice”, a mashup of Alice’s forenames Caroline Alice. Elgar presented the musical love poem to his future bride on his return from Settle. They were married the following year. At the birth of their daughter two years later, they named her Carice.

Elgar sold the piece outright to the music publisher Schott for two guineas (approx. $2.50). Under its original title Liebesgruss, the piece did not sell well, so slowly in fact that Schott changed the title to Salut d’Amour, trusting that a more exotic name would enhance the appeal of the work. The firm also shortened Elgar’s name to Ed. Elgar to give the composer a more exotic air. Apparently, the ploy worked for sales increased dramatically to the publisher’s delight, but with no financial gain for Elgar.

Towards the end of 1888, Edward submitted three arrangements of the work – for solo piano, for violin and piano, and an orchestral arrangement in order to increase the prospects of performances. Later, Elgar composed a follow up to Salon d’Amour, Mot d’Amour (Liebesahnung or Love’s Word). Which some consider superior to its predecessor. It, however, is rarely performed today. ~Program notes by William Driver

Salut d’amour, Op 12 – Program Notes

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