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[During the following fortnight, Mendelssohn's Songs without Words will be played straight through in their correct order at this time.]
GROVE used a good expression when he praised Mendelssohn's Songs without Words for their ' domestic character.' The intimate charm of the pieces is most happily evoked when we hear them in the friendly surroundings of home. Perhaps they are not quite so widely played as at one time. It is interesting to note, however, that in the early days of publication very few copies of the first book were sold-only a little over a hundred in the first four years. There is always a corner in our affections for these expressive melodies, with their musicianly, resourceful treatment of pieces ' quite full of beauty,' as Brahms described them.
The general title Songs without Words is
Mendelssohn's own, but of the many names by which individual pieces are known, only a few were invented by the composer. They are those of the two Gondola Songs, the Duet, the Folk Song, and the Spring Song ; all other titles were devised hy publishers or the public. < Generations of players and listeners have enjoyed making up their own pleasant fancies about the Songs, and so, probably, will the audience of lo-duy.


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2LO London, 28 November 1927 19.15

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