Book, author and publication details


A new solution is proposed to the famous enigma that is hidden in Edward Elgar’s Enigma Variations (1899). Dr. Hans Westgeest, member of the Elgar Society and researcher at the Institute for Dutch Lexicology in Leiden, has re-examined all available information. His solution has been published by Corbulo Press (

By starting his research from a few of the work’s remarkable characteristics and using comments from Elgar himself and the people around him, Hans Westgeest found that Elgar hid a clue for the solution in the Nimrod variation. Elgar himself alluded to a connection between Beethoven’s Sonate Pathétique and the Nimrod variation shortly after the Variations’ premier performance. However, to date, the precise relationship between the two works has remained unclear.

Hans Westgeest has concluded that the solution lies in the theme of the second movement of Beethoven’s Sonate Pathétique. He demonstrates how the variation theme on which the Variations is based, has its origin in a counter melody to Beethoven’s theme in thePathétique. This throws a new light on the work and discloses a general idea behind it.

Hans Westgeest is an lexicographer at the Institute for Dutch Lexicology in Leiden. Apart from his scientific work, he has always been active in the research of music and early literature. Hans Westgeest has found and published the definitive answers to several difficult questions in the fields of 16th century music and Dutch literature (see

Publication details
Elgar’s Enigma Variations. The Solution
has been published by Corbulo Press, Leidschendam-Voorburg (The Netherlands). 69 pages, 3 ills.
Paperback (ISBN: 978-90-79291-03-8), hardcover (ISBN: 978-90-79291-01-4).

Besides the English version the book has also been published in Dutch:
Elgars Enigma-variaties. Het raadsel opgelost
. 73 pages, 3 ills.
Paperback (ISBN: 978-90-79291-04-5), hardcover (ISBN: 978-90-79291-02-1).


  Website © 2008 Corbulo Press, The Netherlands. Website made by RAPwebdesign.