Chanson de Matin

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Chanson de Matin, Op. 15, No. 2, is a musical work composed by Edward Elgar for violin and piano, and later orchestrated by the composer. Its first publication was in 1899,[1] though it is thought that it was almost certainly written in 1889 or 1890.

It has invited comparison with its "companion" piece, Chanson de Nuit, Op. 15, No. 1, and though critically it has been described as less profound, its fresh melodic appeal has made it more popular.

The orchestral version of the work was published two years later, and first performed, together with Chanson de Nuit, at a Queen's Hall Promenade Concert conducted by Henry Wood on 14 September 1901.[2]

Elgar briefly quotes the melody in the second movement of his String Quartet in E minor of 1918.


Allegretto, 2/4, G major

\relative c' \new Staff \with { \remove "Time_signature_engraver" } {
 \key g \major \time 2/4
  g''4--_\markup { \dynamic p \italic dolce } g-- g8( fis) e( fis16 g) d8( c) a4~ a2
  b'4--_\markup { \italic { poco cresc. } } b-- b8( a) g( a16 b) g8( fis) d4~\> << d2 { s4. s8\! } >>

A performance will take about three minutes.


Elgar scored Chanson de Matin (and Chanson de Nuit) for a small orchestra consisting of one flute, one oboe, two clarinets, one bassoon, two horns, the string section, and a harp.


The work is most well known in its original setting and the composer's orchestral version.

The most important are his arrangements for cello and piano, and for viola and piano; and by his friend A. Herbert Brewer for organ.

There are arrangements for other instruments, including oboe and piano, recorder ensemble (Dom Gregory Murray),[3] brass quintet (Roger Harvey),[4] and for brass band and wind band.

There is an adaptation for voice and piano published in 1960, "Haste ye feathered songsters", to words by Laurence Swinyard.[5]


  1. ^ Kennedy, Portrait of Elgar, p. 344
  2. ^ Young, Elgar, O.M., p. 405
  3. ^ "Dom Gregory Murray, OSB, MA, FRCP, organist and composer (1905-1992)". Archived from the original on 2008-10-09. Retrieved 2009-04-27.
  4. ^ Roger Harvey, trombonist in the Philip Jones Brass Ensemble
  5. ^ Laurence Swinyard (1901-1986) was an organist, lyricist (including translations of French, German and Italian lyrics), music editor and writer. He was organist at West Norwood Congregational Church in South London, author of articles on the organ and organ music, and he wrote the Analytical Notes on Elgar's Enigma Variations published by Novello's in 1961.


  • Kennedy, Michael (1987). Portrait of Elgar (Third ed.). Oxford University Press. ISBN 0-19-284017-7.
  • Young, Percy M. (1973). Elgar O.M.: a study of a musician. London: Collins. OCLC 869820.
  • Score, Elgar: Chanson de Matin, Novello & Co., London, 1897, 1899.

External links[edit]

Performances on video[edit]