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Some of his works have, in recent years, been taken up again internationally, but the music continues to be played more in Britain than elsewhere.
Elgar has been described as the first composer to take the gramophone seriously.
Elgar said, "my first music was learnt in the Cathedral ...
from books borrowed from the music library, when I was eight, nine or ten." Elgar began to learn German, in the hope of going to the Leipzig Conservatory for further musical studies, but his father could not afford to send him.
His second symphony and his cello concerto did not gain immediate public popularity and took many years to achieve a regular place in the concert repertory of British orchestras.
Elgar's music came, in his later years, to be seen as appealing chiefly to British audiences.
George's Roman Catholic Church, Worcester, from 1846 to 1885.
At his instigation, masses by Cherubini and Hummel were first heard at the Three Choirs Festival by the orchestra in which he played the violin.
He did not find an office career congenial, and for fulfilment he turned not only to music but to literature, becoming a voracious reader.
He also composed choral works, including The Dream of Gerontius, chamber music and songs.
He was appointed Master of the King's Musick in 1924.
His later full-length religious choral works were well received but have not entered the regular repertory.
In his fifties, Elgar composed a symphony and a violin concerto that were immensely successful.