Pride, pomp, and circumstance of glorious war! It is these words from Shakespeare's Othello that one of the best-known works by the English composer Sir Edward William Elgar falls back on.
The work was a sensational success from the very beginning, at its premiere in 1901 under the composer's direction, the audience requested two encores. In 1902 the words of 'Land of Hope and Glory' were added to the march at the request of Edward VII for his coronation ceremonial.
The resulting version is now performed every year at the Last Night of the Proms and as an English hymn at the Commonwealth Games. Motivated by the success of the first two marches, Elgar composed another three which were performed in 1905, 1907 and 1930. No. 4 is as euphemistic and formal as No. 1 whereas the others are of a rather melancholy nature.