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Relayed from THE QuEEN's HALLE.
(Sole Lessees, Messrs. Chappell and Co., Ltd.)
THE B.B.C. SYMPHONY
(Principal First Violin, CHARLES
Conducted by Sir HENRY WOOD
AMONGST the most beautiful of all the music written for strings, the Fantasies of Purooll Rtand out almost alone. It would bo wrong to say that they have only recently boon discovered, but it is very certain that their extreme beauty has only recently been appreciated. Much of this is due to the late Peter Warlock , who, with the assistance of Andre Mangeot , re-edited them and introduced them to the publishers. The fact that in this Fantasy Purcell makes use of the ingenious device of roitorating one note throughout the work (toes not detract in the least, as it might do in the hands of a man of lesser genius, from its almost extravagant loveliness.
The Trumpet Voluntary, which was no doubt written for an occasion but which does not appear to have connection with any of the bigger works of Purcell, has been arranged by Sir Henry Wood for trumpets, trombones, drums, and organ.
(Conducted by THE COMPOSER)
ONE of the many characteristics that distinguish the British composers of tho twentieth contury-and, for that matter, all European composers-from the majority of their predecessors is the extreme and unfailing care, taste, and discrimination shown by them in their choice of texts and poems to set. Whether the composer contemplates writing a song, a choral work, or even an opera, nothing will serve him in the matter of words but the finest. This practice has had distinct repercussions. In the first place, the composer has, in sheer justice to the poet, made it his business to see that his music is at least on the same plane of merit and distinction as the poem he is setting, and he rarely fails; indeed, he occasionally lifts a poem to a height it might not otherwise aspire to. And that this collaboration and the mutual sympathy which now exist between poet and musician, where before they did not, is to the benefit of both arts can hardly be disputed. In the second place, it is very evident that the average public-which may have read poetry at school, but not after- wards, and never with gusto-is today getting to know and like more poetry than ever it did before, and getting to know it almost entirely by way of musical settings. Masefield, Yeats, de la Mare, Housman, and a dozen other modern poets, all are better known in name and achievement since they have consented to exchange courtesies with composers, to share their triumphs in the concert-halls, and, incidentally, their royalties.
RUPERT BROOKE , the brilliant and much-loved young poet, who died during the early part of the War, wrote during the short period of his service six Sonnets, at least two of which are in the Anthology of Immortality. This one which Frank Bridge has set to music has already found its monument; it is carvel in full on the plinth of the memorial, designed by Sir Edwin Lutyens , to the memory of those of the Royal Naval Division who fell in the War.
(Conducted by THE COMPOSER)
EDGAR BAINTON and Promenaders are old friends. Over a period of nearly thirty years four other orchestral works of his have had their first performances at Promenade Concerts, and though Epithlamion has already been broadcast, this is its first introduction to a concert public.
Bainton was a Royal College student, and a pupil of Sir Charles Stanford-almost a diploma in itself-before taking up, at the age of twenty-one, a professorship at the Newcastle Conservatory of Music. Later, he became principal, and has now held that office for twenty years—excluding the unhappy four he spent at Ruhleben Camp in Germany. His work, both as conductor and teacher, ties, therefore, in the North, where his influence is wide and progressive.
Epithalamion formed a part of the wedding ceremony in ancient Greece. It was sung to the wedded pair as an invocation to their happiness. References to the ceremony
1 are found in the works of Sappho,
Anacreon, and Theocritus, hut the English poet Spenser has given us the best and best-known. Bainton has modelled his work on the text of Spenser, and though he has made no attempt at a programme, the following lines may be held to serve as his motto:
' Harke how the Minstrels gin to shrill aloud
Their merry musick that sounds from afar.
And evermore they Hymen Hymen sing,
Tkat al the woods them answei and theyr oceho ring '
ARNOLD BAX wrote the greater part of this symphony, which dates from 1928,9, on the west coast of Scotland, and it may bo that the music has absorbed some of the moody and passionate history of that region, and has taken on a little of the colour of -the legendary past. But there is no definite programme to the work, and the music is pure Bax of the maturest period.
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