The Sanguine Fan
The Sanguine Fan, Op. 81, is a single-act ballet written by Sir Edward Elgar in 1917. It was one of the pieces he composed to raise money for wartime charities, having been asked to write it by his close friend and confidante Lady Alice Stuart-Wortley.
The theme of the ballet was inspired by a scene depicting Pan and Echo that an artist, Charles Conder, had drawn in sanguine on a fan, although the title itself is incidental to the theme. The first performance was part of the revue Chelsea on Tiptoe at the Chelsea Palace Theatre, London on March 20th, 1917, and was conducted by the composer. Afterwards he added a further piece, a shepherd's dance, which received its premiere at a second charity performance in May. The piece did not find great favour with the public until rediscovered by the conductor Sir Adrian Boult in the 1960s, it also being the subject of his final performance in a production by London Festival Ballet at the London Coliseum.
An extract from the ballet, "Echo's Dance", as a piano solo, was published by Elkin in 1917.
- Moore, Jerrold N. "Edward Elgar: a creative life" (Oxford University Press, 1984) ISBN 0-19-315447-1
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