Nimrod (from Enigma Variations) Sheet Music

Nimrod (from Enigma Variations) Sheet Music

"Nimrod" is the IX. Variation of Elgar`s “Enigma Variations”, which were written in 1899 and first performed in June of that year.

The story behind the inception fo the sheet music of Nimrod is thus: The previous year Elgar was relaxing from a hard teaching day and improvising on the piano when his wife remarked: "What was that?" Elgar replied: "Nothing, but something might be made of it." He then improvised a few “variations” in a way as to suggest the characteristics and mannerisms of some of his friends – and thus the “Enigma Variations” were created. There are fourteen variations, each titled by the initials or the nickname of Elgar`s friend though the number thirteen is only headed ***.

“Nimrod” - It was Elgar`s friend August Johannes Jaeger who he chose to portray with this variation. The name “Nimrod”, the mystical hunter, was chosen because “Jaeger” means hunter in German.

Jaeger was a great friend who often encouraged Elgar when he doubted his own talents. He was a music editor for the publisher Novello, and his critical mind was very important to Elgar. Some variations are not portraits but represent a mood. In “Nimrod” it is Jaeger`s summer evening discourse on the slow tempi of some of Beethoven`s compositions and that no one could approach him at his best in this field. The opening bars of Nimrod are meant to suggest the slow movement of the Eighth Sonata (Pathetique).

For the solo piano pieces:

  • Level 1.5 of our Nimrod sheet music has a two-part harmonisation
  • Level 2 has a three-part harmonisation
  • Level 2.5 of our Nimrod sheet music includes the middle section and is therefore 19 bars longer
  • Level 3 has a fuller harmonisation than Level 2.5, especially towards the end where up to six voices are playing at the same time
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