Elgar’s distractions

In a radio interview in 1937, Edward Elgar’s violinist friend William H. Reed described Elgar’s “distractions” while composing the violin concerto:

I can never play the last movement without seeing the River Wye flowing past the meadow at Hereford where Sir Edward and I used to practise throwing a boomerang in our “off-time” between working out these themes in the Finale [of the Violin Concerto]. It has been said that all Elgar’s music owes a good deal to the inspiration of the countryside which he loved so well. He loved his rivers too, the Severn in particular. One could almost label the moments in the Violin Concerto the Severn, the Thames and the Wye; for they seem to flow through all his music.

Jeremy Pound, “First Violin”, BBC Music Magazine, October 2010, p. 36.