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Leader, FRANK CANTELL
PONCHIELLI'S 'Dance of the Hours ' is ono of those engaging trifles-there are many examples of such in music-which seem destined by a kindly fate to keep alive their composers' names, if not for ever, at all events long after their more ambitious productions have gone the way of all things.
Certainly it is the only example of Ponchielli which is now heard in the ordinary way outside of his native Italy, with the exception, perhaps, of the well-known air, ' Cielo ! o mar I ' from the same opera.
' La Gioconda,' based on Victor Hugo 's ' Angelo, was produced at La Scala, Milan, on April 8, 1876, and was subsequently heard all over tho world. The ballet entitled ' The Dance of the Hours,' occurs in the third act and represents successively the hours of Dawn Day, Evening and Night, being also intended to symbolize the eternal struggle between the forces of darkness and of light.
TRÄUME.— This ex. quisite little piece, written as a song in the first instance, is generally spoken of as one -of several preliminary studies which Wagner made for the music of 'Tristan'; and it is certainly tho fact that it was composed before the Opera and that it was subsequently utilized in the love music of the latter.
Yet it would seem that this came about more by accident than design, since a letter written by Wagner himself on the subject makes it plain that he wrote the song in the first place without any thought of afterwards using it in ' Tristan.' When, however, he was engaged later on the Opera, it recurred to him so insistently that he recognized its suitability for thispurposo and so came to incorporate it.
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