Whatever the explanation the sad fact remains that never in all probability has so great an orchestra made so lamentable an exhibition of itself. Until he was fifteen Elgar received a general education at Littleton (now Lyttleton) House school near Worcester. Henry Wood and younger conductors such as Boult Sargent and Barbirolli championed Elgar's music but in the recording catalogues and the concert programmes of the middle of the century his works were not well represented.
In his fifties Elgar composed a symphony and a violin concerto that were immensely successful. His second symphony and his cello concerto did not gain immediate public popularity and took many years to achieve a regular place in the concert repertory of British orchestras. She inspired him both musically and socially but he struggled to achieve success until his forties when after a series of moderately successful works his Enigma Variations (1899) became immediately popular in Britain and overseas.