According to Elgar, the concert overture came to him in a single moment of inspiration while visiting Italy with his family in the winter of 1904. It was given its premiere by the Hallé Orchestra in March of that year with the central Viola serenade winning particular acclaim. Elgar then adapted the work as a song, then for Viola and Piano and then for other instruments.At the time this piece was written, Elgar had achieved universal renown with his Enigma Variations and The Dream of Gerontius and was established not only as a composer at the peak of British music of that time but also as a major Romantic composer. The Italianate rendering of the work is a nod to the piece’s beginnings on the Adriatic coast. The work is full of the unrequited yearning of Elgar’s lyric work and a very effective sonatina for performance.