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A Popular Concert


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Relayed from The Assembly Room, City Hall, Cardiff
National Orchestra of Wales
(Cerddorfa Genedlaethol Cymru)
(Leader, Louis Levitus)
Conducted by Warwick Braithwaite

Mendelssohn's one Concerto for the Violin was written under the happiest possible conditions. He had returned from a phenomenally successful visit to this country, one of which he says himself, 'My visit was glorious. I was never received anywhere with such universal kindness. I have made more music in these two months than I do elsewhere in two years.' In the holiday which succeeded to that visit, he talks of happy idleness with his wife and children,' eating and sleeping, without dress-coat, without piano,' and so on, but the idleness by no means meant that he was not composing. The Violin Concerto was completed largely in consultation with his friend, David, the foremost Violin master of the day, and other works belong to this happy time also.

To a flowing accompaniment, the solo Violin enters at once with the first principal tune, a typically Mendelssohn melody; the orchestra repeat this and then the soloist enters with the-second subject, accompanied very lightly. On these foundations the brilliant and swift-flowing movement is built up in orthodox form, with a cadenza which comes at a somewhat earlier stage than is usual. A short presto brings it to an end.

The slow movement begins with a few bars of prelude for the orchestra and then the soloist enters with another of Mendelssohn's characteristic flowing melodies. There is a second main tune of more stirring character, but the suave melody returns again at the end.

The last movement opens with an energetic little introduction, and the vigorous rhythm of the closing section follows. Robust chords are heard on the winds, and then the violin enters with a little hint of the main .tune, and this is repeated four times before the tune actually soars in in all its swift-footed grace. The whole movement flows along with hardly a pause for breath, but the daintiness of it will remind listeners constantly of the Mendelssohn of the Midsummer Night's Dream music.


Musicians: National Orchestra of Wales
Orchestra leader: Louis Levitus
Conductor: Warwick Braithwaite

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