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Sursum Corda

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Sir Edward Elgar

Edward Elgar (arr. Bruce H. Houseknecht)

This title translates from the Latin as "Lift up your hearts." It bears the designation Opus 11.

General Info

Year: 1894 / 1967
Duration: c. 7:20
Difficulty: (see Ratings for explanation)
Original Medium: Strings, brass, and organ
Publisher: Carl Fischer
Cost: Score and Parts – Out of print.

For availability information, see Discussion tab, above.


Full Score
D-flat Piccolo
C Piccolo
Flute I-II
Oboe I-II
Bassoon I-II
E-flat Soprano Clarinet
B-flat Soprano Clarinet I-II-III
E-flat Alto Clarinet
B-flat Bass Clarinet
E-flat Contra-Alto Clarinet
B-flat Contrabass Clarinet
E-flat Alto Saxophone I-II
B-flat Tenor Saxophone
E-flat Baritone Saxophone
B-flat Cornet I-II-III
B-flat Trumpet I-II
Horn in F I-II-III-IV
Horn in E-flat I-II-III-IV
Trombone I-II-III
Bass Trombone
String Bass
Organ (optional)
Percussion, including:

  • Bass Drum
  • Crash Cymbals
  • Snare Drum


None discovered thus far.

Program Notes

Sursum corda, Op. 11, is a musical work by the English composer Edward Elgar for strings, brass, timpani and organ, composed in 1894. The composer dedicated it to his friend Henry Dyke Acland (1850-1936), an amateur cellist who was his golfing companion, manager of the Worcester Old Bank in Malvern, and son of Henry Acland.

It was first performed at Worcester Cathedral on 9 April 1894, under the baton of Hugh Blair, organist of the cathedral. The composer was absent from this performance due to the ill health.

The title translates from the Latin to read, "Lift up your hearts".

- Program Note from Wikipedia

This early work (opus 11) of the famed English composer was originally scored for string, brass, and pipe organ. The music is of deep religious significance, reflecting Elgar's background as organist at St. George's Roman Catholic Church in Worcester, England, the post also held by his father before him. (The Sursum Corda is the Preface to the Mass.)

- Program Note from publisher (1967 edition)

As a devout Roman Catholic, Elgar endured an uneasy celebrity under the British spotlight. Lionized as Britain's greatest living composer, Elgar was also shunned by British noblesse for not being Anglican. In many personal letters, we now can read of Elgar's lifelong depression brought forth by the bigotry he experienced. Sursum Corda (Latin for "Lift Up Your Hearts") is his musical testament to Church, Country, and Self. The composition serves as powerful evidence as to the purpose of music —the expression of the human existence: our past and present, our failings and our achievements, our sentiments and our aspirations, our joys and sorrows.

The celebrated Joliet Township High School (Illinois) band director Bruce Houseknecht transcribed Elgar's org inal orchestration (strings, brass, timpani, and organ) for concert band in 1967.

- Program Note by Lawrence Stoffel for the California State University Northridge Wind Ensemble concert program, 17 March 2022


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State Ratings

  • Louisiana: IV


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Works for Winds by This Composer

Adaptable Music

All Wind Works


  • Elgar, E.; Houseknecht, B. (1967). Sursum corda = (Lift up your hearts): op. 11 [score]. C. Fischer: New York.
  • Sursum Corda, Wikipedia Accessed 7 February 2017