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A MILITARY BAND CONCERT

Synopsis

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RUSSELL OWEN (Tenor)
EFFIE KALISZ (Pianoforte)
THE WIRELESS Military BAND
Conducted by B. WALTON O'DONNELL
MICHAEL WILLIAM BALFE, though counted as one of our English composers, was really Irish, born in Dublin in 1808. At the early age of six he was playing the violin for his father's dancing classes, and a year later was able to score the dance music for a band. In 1817 he appeared as solo violinst and in the same year made his debut as a composer with a ballad which was afterwards sung by Madame Vestris. After several years of varied experience, which included playing in the orchestra at Drury Lane, travelling abroad and meeting Cherubim, Rossini, and other masters, singing too as an operatic baritone with decided success, he began his career as a writer of English Opera in 1835. For some time he combined his activities in that direction with singing, and among the parts in which he made successful appearances was that of Pagagono, in the first performance of The Magic Flute in English, in March, 1838.
In 1841 he removed to Paris, where several of his works were produced with real success. It was during his stay there that he composed The Bohemian Girl, the most successful of all his operas, and the only one which maintains its hold on public affection today. He came back to England and produced it at Drury Lane Theatre in November, 1843. Fifteen years later it was given in Italian at Her Majesty's with the name La Zingara , and in 1869 the Theatre Lyrique,
Paris, staged it in an enlarged form with several additional numbers by Balfe himself, calling it La Bohemienne.
THIS was the first Ballet which the Imperial
Opera of Moscow commissioned from
Tchaikovsky. He had just finished his Third Symphony, and composed this music in the quiet country house of a married sister, working so happily that the first two acts were finished in a fortnight.
The first performance was not a great success, inadequate performance being more to blame than the music itself. Its tuneful grace and charm soon won their way to popularity, and in the form of a Suite the music has ever since held a place of its own in the affections of Tchaikovsky's admirers.
In the Ballet, the Swan is a beautiful maiden who has been enchanted by a wicked magician and who is in the end rescued by her faithful Knight. There are six movements in the Suite, called respectively :-
(1) Scene; (2) Waltz; (3) Dance of the Swans; (4) Scene; (5) Hungarian Dance; (6) Scene

Contributors

Pianoforte: Effie Kalisz
Conducted By: B. Walton O'Donnell
Unknown: Michael William
Sung By: Madame Vestris.
Unknown: La Zingara

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