Elgar wrote Liebesgruss, as it was first known, whilst on holiday in the summer of 1888. It was dedicated ‘a Carice’, a play on his future wife’s forenames, Caroline Alice, to whom he proposed on his return. The publisher, Schott, bought the rights to the piece for the princely sum of two guineas. It was not a success, however, until the publisher gave it a more exotic air with its present title, Salut d’Amour (Love’s Greeting), whereupon its popularity as salon music became firmly established.
Having sold the rights outright Elgar, of course, didn’t make a penny more, but it did give him much-needed publicity. It is an utterly charming piece, and unmistakably Elgar, containing many of the ingredients common to his later, and greater, works.
Originally composed for piano with further arrangements for violin and piano and another for small orchestra here Salut d’Amour is arranged for wind quartet.