25. 7 March 2001 (Farewell to Elgar)

Dear Andrew,

   Thanks for yours; it was good to hear from you. I said a rather sad farewell to Elgar's Enigmas in a 1997 M&L piece (copy enclosed).

   Its p. 414 says most of what I know about the Demons. But Young also mentions (p. 253) Elgar's 'detailed references – by means of anagrammatic arrangement of note names – to persons he disliked in the demons' chorus in Gerontius'.

   I recall writing to Young, but I gathered from his affable reply that if he ever knew who was involved, or how or where, he'd forgotten; and anyhow he wasn't really all that interested. Perhaps the same applies to J. N. Moore? Anthony Thorley may be better informed, and an allusion to Stanford among others sounds quite plausibly Elgarian to me.

   But I didn't much want to spend time on that chorus, even before I became a septuagerontian myself. Perhaps you'd care to identify the encipherment – on the same system as ODIN and THOR, I reckon – in due course? That would greatly please all your regular TLS readers, such as

   yours as ever