Elgar composed five of a projected six military marches between 1901 and 1930. He gave them the title Pomp and Circumstance, taken from Shakespeare’s Othello: ‘The neighing steed and the shrill trump, the spirit-stirring drum, the ear-piercing fife, the royal banner, and all the quality, pride, pomp and circumstance of glorious war’. It was an unprecedented effort to give the full-dress military march something of symphonic status. Although each is written on the same pattern of a vigorous, rhythmical first section followed by a broad lyrical trio, the five marches are extraordinarily varied in character. Nos. 1 and 4 are the best known because of their unforgettably singable trios, great tunes of a kind, as Elgar rightly remarked, that come to a composer once in a lifetime.