Tune of the Day: Salut d'Amour
Elgar finished this piece in July 1888, when he was engaged to be married to Caroline Alice Roberts, and he called it “Liebesgruss” (“Love's Greeting”) because of Miss Roberts' fluency in German. When he returned home to London from a holiday at the house of his friend Dr. Charles Buck, he presented it to her as an engagement present. The dedication was in French: “à Carice”. “Carice” was a combination of his wife-to-be's names Caroline Alice, and was the name to be given to their daughter born two years later.
The work was not published until a year later, and the first editions were for violin and piano, piano solo, cello and piano, and for small orchestra. Few copies were sold until the publisher changed the title to “Salut d’Amour”, and the composer's name as “Ed. Elgar”. The French title, Elgar realized, helped the work to be sold not only in France but in other European countries as well.