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An Orchestral Concert


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National Orchestra of Wales
(Cerddorfa Genedlaethol Cymru)
Conducted by Warwick Braithwaite

Near the end of the First Scene of Mozart's sparkling opera Don Giovanni, the pathetic figure of Donna Elvira has the stage for a little while to herself. She sings of her grief at her betrayal by the Don, and her hatred of him. He, as it happens, is not far off, and. hearing the voice of a lady in distress, hurries forward to offer consolation. Recognizing her at once, however, he makes his escape, and sends his servant, Leporello, to take his place and calm the fair one's agitation. The servant seeks to distract the lady by recounting his master's many conquests over the fair sex, telling her that he has made a catalogue of them, from which he proceeds to read. The numbers which he has recorded in different lands reach a truly startling total. The song is often spoken of as 'the Catalogue aria.'

This Overture by the Viennese composer Goldmark is not a prelude to any bigger work; it is almost in the nature of a symphonic poem and is founded on an old Eastern tale which was recently broadcast as one of the 'Great Play' series.
The Overture begins with a soft slow Introduction, leading straight into a section at moderate speed where the clarinet and two solo violoncellos together announce the first tune. Soon another melody is heard along with it, played by oboes and first violins, and these make up the whole of this section. With a change to a slower movement. oboe and English horn have a new melody; like the first, it begins with a repeated phrase and is easily followed throughout this slower movement. It leads to a quicker and more turbulent section. with more than one emphatic climax, and then after a few bars of prelude like the beginning, the first tune returns. This time it is more vigorously worked up, to finish softly and reintroduce the second melody from the first quick section. To the end of the Overture these two themes have the principal share. The actual close, vivacious and sonorous, is no doubt meant to set before us the happy ending of the story.


Musicians: National Orchestra of Wales
Orchestra conducted by: Warwick Braithwaite

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