The death of his wife in April 1920 devastated Elgar, this shattering blow combined with his difficulties in adjusting to the changes in British society wrought by World War I meant that he entered a bleak and fallow period in his life. It wasn't until 1923 that he started to compose again the impetus for this was the suggestion by his friend the critic Robin Legge that he compose two part-songs for the DeReszke Singers a popular Polish-American male-voice ensemble. Elgar responded with 'The Wanderer' a setting of a seventeenth century poem he had found to which he added an opening stanza of his own devising. It's gently nostalgic and resigned song which portrays Elgar's own emotional landscape as he wanders 'through the woodlands … tuning a song' as the song progresses he wanders into the wilderness eventually facing up to the fact of the death. All of which sounds deathly grim but in fact it's very far from gloomy and is well worth listening too. It's sung below by the London Symphony Chorus conducted by Vernon Handley. Enjoy :-).