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Campoli (violin)
BBC Symphony Orchestra
(Leader, Paul Beard )
Conducted by Sir Malcolm Sargent
From the Royal Albert Hall, London
Irmelin and Koanga are both early operas by Delius. The former has a fairy-tale as its subject; the latter reflects the composer's experiences of tropical scenery when as a young man he worked as an orange-planter in Florida. Koanga is an African chieftain who is captured by Spanish slave-masters. But he refuses to submit to them. He escapes into the jungle and brings ruin on his captors by invoking the aid of voodoo and black magic. ' La Calinda ' comes from the second act.
So popular is Mendelssohn's Violin Concerto, so engagingly melodious and smooth in its workmanship, that it is sometimes overlooked how unconventional it is in its form. The orchestral introduction is of the briefest: after only a bar and a half the soloist is launched on his fascinatingly wistful melody. The cadenza, written by Mendelssohn himself, occurs at an unusual place in the opening movement, shortly before the return or the main theme. There is a link (in the shape of a note held by a solo bassoon) between the first and second movements; and the finale, that miracle of lightness and gaiety, is prefaced by a short Allegretto section.
When he wrote his Second Symphony, Borodin was, also at work on his opera, Prince Igor; and a great deal of it was undoubtedly inspired by visions of the glories of medieval Russia. Borodin told a friend that in the opening Allegro he was thinking of the gatherings of Russian princes and warriors in the eleventh century. The slow movement recalled the songs of the Slav troubadours, and the finale represented a festival of the heroes of Kiev, held amid the rejoicings of the people. Harold Rutland


Leader: Paul Beard
Conducted By: Sir Malcolm Sargent
Written By: Mendelssohn

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BBC Home Service Basic, 1 August 1949 19.45

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