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From the Naxos Blog: Trying sighing

May 19, 2023

Photo: Irasutoya

A reference to sighing in music often reflects the emotional state of the person involved rather than the sound of the sigh itself. Song texts might simply encourage people to refrain from sighing, or probe further the possible reasons behind someone’s weary expression. Other works have more eccentric representations and references. This blog presents a cross section of them, which we’ll visit in random order.

We start with Elgar’s Sospiri which he wrote immediately before the outbreak of the First World War. Elgar had moved to live in London in 1911; Sospiri followed in 1914 and was dedicated to W. H. Reed, his close friend and the most distinguished orchestral leader of his time. Reed led the London Symphony Orchestra from 1912 until 1935, the year after Elgar’s death, and was subsequently to write a biography of the composer – Elgar as I knew him. Continue reading and listening at