Papers and photographs showing evidence of a relationship between Sir Edward Elgar and a young violinist named Vera Hockman have been sold at auction for £22,500.
They will be preserved and put on display at the Elgar Birthplace Museum near Worcester and provide a unique insight into Elgar’s final years of music-making, the Guardian reported.
While the relationship between the ageing composer and Hockman has been well-documented, the papers include annotated music sketches including Elgar’s unfinished Third Symphony.
One of the leaves of the music reads ‘1st sketch of VH’s own theme above/Edward Elgar’.
“The fact that he wrote anything at all must have come from this great surge of energy from his relationship with this young girl. It’s terribly romantic,” Sir Mark Elder, music director of the Halle Orchestra and president of the museum, told the news provider.
Hockman’s family had burned many of the letters exchanged between the couple after her death – at the violinist’s request – but the papers that remain had been stored in carrier bags in a loft.
The papers prove to be vital documents in the story of Elgar as he had not written any music between the death of his wife, Alice in 1920, and meeting Hockman a decade later.
According to historians, Elgar fell in love at first sight in 1931 when he saw the 35-year-old violinist playing in the orchestra for a performance of his work Dream of Gerontius. He was 73-years-old.
Speaking to the Guardian, Hockman’s granddaughter Janet Kelly said: “By the look on her face, he knew that she understood how to interpret the music. It was a soulmate thing.”
Through the sale of the papers, which include ten photographs of Hockman and Elgar, the violinist’s great-granddaughter Rebecca Hunt, will be able to study classical singing at music college.
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