Wikipedia:Main Page history/2011 June 2

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Edward Elgar in 1917

Edward Elgar (1857–1934) was an English composer. Among his best-known compositions are orchestral works such as the Enigma Variations, the Pomp and Circumstance Marches, concertos for violin and cello, and two symphonies. He also composed choral works, including The Dream of Gerontius, chamber music and songs. He was appointed Master of the King's Musick in 1924. Although his works are regarded as quintessentially English, most of his musical influences were not from England but from continental Europe. A self-taught Catholic composer from a poor background, he nevertheless married the daughter of a senior British army officer. He struggled to achieve success until his forties, when his Enigma Variations proved immediately popular. His following work, The Dream of Gerontius (1900) remains a core repertory work in Britain and elsewhere. One of the first composers to take the gramophone seriously, he conducted a series of recordings of his works between 1914 and 1925. Elgar's music came, in his later years, to be seen as appealing chiefly to British audiences. More recently, some of his works have been taken up again internationally, but the music remains more played in Britain than elsewhere. (more...)

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June 2: Ascension Thursday (Christianity, 2011)

The Capture of Diamond Rock

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The Great Presidential Puzzle

An 1880 political cartoon depicts Senator Roscoe Conkling over a "presidential puzzle" consisting of some of the potential Republican nominees as pieces of a sliding puzzle. Conkling held significant influence over the party during the 1880 Republican National Convention and attempted to use that to nominate Ulysses S. Grant, only to lose out to "dark horse" candidate James A. Garfield.

Artist: James Albert Wales; Lithography: Mayer, Merkel, & Ottmann; Restoration: Jujutacular

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