The act of defending any of the cardinal virtues has today all the exhilaration of a vice.
Variation XII is dedicated to Basil George Nevinson (1853 – 1908) who resided in London but found time to visit Malvern regularly and play cello in various musical ensembles. When Elgar visited London, he would often stay at the Nevinson home. This poignant movement features a cello solo in acknowledgment of Elgar’s friendship with Nevinson.
Ein feste Burg may play through and over Variation XII as shown in Figure 21.1. An audio file of this melodic mapping supports the efficacy of this contrapuntal solution. It should be mentioned in measure 500 Ein feste Burg modulates with the variation up a minor third from G minor to B flat major. In this context Ein feste Burg rises from A at the end of measure 499 to B flat at the beginning of measure 500 instead of cadencing downward on G. It is feasible to use a G at the beginning of measure 500 without undermining the melodic solution, but in light of the obvious modulation it was determined B-flat presents a superior resolution.
Table 21.2 breaks down melodic conjunctions between Ein feste Burg and Variation XII by note type. There are seven shared melody note types with frequencies ranging from 1 to 10.
Table 21.3 gives a breakdown of all shared notes between Ein feste Burg and Variation XII. There are 100 shared notes dispersed over 23 measures. As was previously observed, five measures were deemed inactive when Ein feste Burg does not play. This means 100% of all active measures contain sequentially shared notes with the unstated Principal Theme. 23 melodic notes and 77 chordal notes from Variation XII are shared with Ein feste Burg. There are 8 shared note types with frequencies ranging from a low of 4 to a high of 28.