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LEILY HOWELL (violoncello)
Relayed from
The Pavilion, Bournemouth
Mendelssohn's overture, otherwise known as Fingal's Cave, was inspired by a visit paid by the composer to Scotland in 1829. This very beautiful work has well been described as a seascape, and it certainly suggests the surge of the sea in all its power and ruggedness. As a piece of musical construction it is perfect in form. and the orchestration shows the hand of a delicate and masterful colourist. ' Death and Transfiguration ' is the second of Strauss's symphonic poems ; it is based on an idea of a poem communicated to the composer by his friend Alexander Ritter. The poem itself was actually written !ater than the music.
Strauss's work falls into four sections, but there is no break in the performance. In the first three sections the soul is struggling with death, while the fourth treats of the soul's transfiguration.
The listener will notice the opening bars which announce the death theme in the halting pianissimo figure on the strings. As the music proceeds, the reminiscent thoughts of the sick man are revealed to us ; the music becomes more agitated, he is struggling with death, but he is putting up a losing fight ; again the reminiscences of his childhood flood his memory. Presently the Transfiguration motif breaks in upon the music of the conflict, and soon the soul is conquered, death has won. The fourth section, ' Transfiguration ', is of noble serenity, and makes a moving finish to a work which in description may sound morbid, but in the heiring is of great beauty and nobility.


Alexander Ritter.

National Programme Daventry

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National Programme is a radio channel that started transmitting on the 9th March 1930 and ended on the 9th September 1939. It was replaced by BBC Home Service.

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