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A Symphony Concert

Synopsis

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Relayed from the Assembly Room, City Hall
National Orchestra of Wales
Leader, Albert Voorsanger
Conducted by Warwick Braithwaite

The composer said that in this Overture he intended to suggest the atmosphere of religious merry-making on Easter Sunday morning. The influence of old pagan customs was, in Russia, mingled with the more solemn Easter celebrations. Rimsky-Korsakov had in mind also 'reminiscences of ancient prophecy and of the gospel narrative', prefixing to his piece two scriptural quotations. One is from Psalm lxviii, beginning 'Let God arise, and let His enemies be scattered...' and the other from St. Mark, chapter xvi, describes Mary Magdalene and the others coming to the sepulchre of Jesus. finding the stone rolled away, and hearing the wonderful tidings from the angels: 'He is risen!'

Harold Williams (Baritone) and Orchestra
I have attained to power ('Boris Godounov) Moussorgsky

As everyone knows, the 'New World' of A Dvorak's Symphony is America, in which country the composer spent some years, teaching and conducting. His interest in the music of the American Negro led him to give characteristic colour to certain of his works by using themes based on, though not exactly reproducing, Negro popular tunes-the 'spirituals' with which we are now so familiar. The second chief theme of the Movement we are to hear for instance, is much like that favourite Negro tune set to 'Swing low, sweet chariot'. The keen response which this Symphony always arouses is due not a little to its wealth of lovely orchestral colouring. Sometimes we have soft, rich, warm tones, sometimes splendour of brilliance, sometimes the bright and varied delicacy of mosaic.
Of the four Movements, the First, beginning with a rather solemn Introduction, goes on to lead a vigorous, lively life; the slow Second Movement, we are told, was intended as an expression of the composer's reflections on Hiawatha's courtship of Minnehaha: the Third is a boisterous Scherzo (scratch Dvorak and you find the Bohemian peasant); and the Fourth, forceful and dramatic, contains recollections of tunes from the other Movements.

Contributors

Musicians: National Orchestra of Wales
Orchestra leader: Albert Voorsanger
Orchestra conducted by: Warwick Braithwaite
Baritone: Harold Williams






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