The Starlight Express, Op.78 (Elgar, Edward)



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Sheet Music

Arrangements and Transcriptions


For Piano solo (Ketèlbey)

PDF scanned by Unknown
Guifré (2011/8/22)

Arranger Albert William Ketèlbey (1875-1959)
Publisher. Info. London: Elkin & Co., 1916.
Reprinted Borough Green: Novello, No.10 0238 04, n.d.(1960s?).
Misc. Notes 1. To the children 2. Dance of the pleiades, 3. Sunrise song, 4. In the forest, 5. The blue-eyes fairy, 6. Finale
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General Information

Work Title The Starlight Express
Alternative. Title Suite for vocal soloists and orchestra (from the incidental music)
Composer Elgar, Edward
Opus/Catalogue NumberOp./Cat. No. Op.78
Movements/SectionsMov'ts/Sec's 3 acts
  • Act I
1. To the Children. "O children, open your arms to me" (Organ Grinder - Baritone)
  • Act II
2. The Blue-Eyes Fairy. "There's a fairy that hides" (Organ Grinder - Baritone)
3. Sc.1: Curfew Song. "The sun has gone" (Organ Grinder - Baritone)
4. Sc.1: The Laugher's Song. "I'm ev'rywhere" (Laugher - Soprano)
5. Sc.1: Come Little Winds. "Wake up you little night winds" (Organ Grinder - Baritone)
6. Sc.3: Tears and Laughter. "Oh! stars shine brightly!" (Laugher - Soprano)
7. Sc.3: Sunrise Song (or Dawn Song). "We shall meet the morning spiders" (Jane Anne - Soprano)
  • Act III
8. My Old Tunes. "My old tunes are rather broken" (Organ Grinder - Baritone)
9. Sc.1: "Dandelions, daffodils" (Jane Anne - Soprano)
a. Blue-Eyes Fairy
b. Dance of the Pleides
10. Sc.2: "Laugh a little ev'ry day" (Laugher - Soprano)
11. The Dawn. "They're all soft-shiny now" (Organ Grinder - Baritone)
12. "Oh, think Beauty" (Jane Anne - Soprano)
13. Finale (duet): Hearts must be soft-shiny dressed.
"Dustman, Laugher, Tramp and busy Sweep" (Jane Anne - soprano, Cousin Henry - baritone)
Year/Date of CompositionY/D of Comp. 1915
First Performance. 1915-12-29 in London, Kingsway Theatre
voices, orchestra, Julius Harrison (conductor)
First Publication. 1916
Librettist Violet Pearn
after A Prisoner in Fairyland by Algernon Blackwood (1869-1951)
Language English
Average DurationAvg. Duration 60 minutes
Composer Time PeriodComp. Period Early 20th century
Piece Style Romantic
Instrumentation Soprano, Baritone and Orchestra
2 flutes (2nd also piccolo), 2 oboes, 2 clarinets, 2 bassoons
2 horns, 2 trumpets, 2 trombones
3 percussion, harp, organ, barrel organ, strings
External Links Wikipedia article on the play
Elgar Society

Misc. Comments

  • According to the Elgar Society, this is "Incidental music to the play by Violet Pearn, based on the play A Prisoner in Fairyland by Algernon Blackwood, comprising orchestral entr'actes and songs for soprano and baritone soloists". Therefore, it is a little unclear whether Elgar took the words to the songs from Pearn's text or Blackwood's.