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French Music

on National Programme Daventry

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(Led by F. WEIST HILL)
FRANCOIS ADRIEN BOIELDIEU spent his early life in Rouen, composing operas to books written by his father, and pot-boilers, for which he got an average of ten shillings a piece.
Ho then went to Paris and wrote a number of operas, including The Caliph of Baghdad, the success of which so upset the academic Cherubini, that he remonstrated with the composer: 'Are you not ashamed of it?' he said. Boieldieu turned the other cheek, and asked the older man to teach him better musical manners. Cherubini did so, as a matter of fact, to his ultimate cost. Then Boieldieu went to Russia, got any amount of experience, and returned to take Paris by storm. For things had changed; Cherubini and the Parisians were out of humour with one another, the city wanted amusement, and Boieldieu was their man. He wrote opera after opera, the most charming of which are Jeanne de Paris and La Dame blanche. The latter opera, founded on a mixture of Scott's The Monastery and Guy Man nering, was, however, his last real success. Other gods had supplanted the popular Boieldieu; the Opera Comique had gone bankrupt, and Boieldieu was pensioned off by the government.
SAINT-SAENS, one of the most versatile of all French musicians of his period, was a man of indefatigable energy, but, as is so often the case with such untiring workers, he felt the uncontrollable necessity, every now and then, of throwing work to the winds, and taking a holiday. At these times he would suddenly disappear from Paris ; nobody knew where he was. In point of fact, he was probably in Africa, Algiersor some such place, enjoying himself immensely, having completely severed his connection with urgent musical matters. But on these trips he was not necessarily idle. Local colour and the call of work were doubtless too strong for him. It is to such periods that we owe, for example, the popular Algerian Suite, and this fantasy entitled Africa.


F. Weist Hill
Adrian Boult
Francois Adrien Boieldieu
Guy Man

National Programme Daventry

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National Programme is a radio channel that started transmitting on the 9th March 1930 and ended on the 9th September 1939. It was replaced by BBC Home Service.

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