MARY JOHNSTON (soprano)
CLIFTON HELLIWELL (pianoforte)
Conducted by, PETER MONTGOMERY
THE SEA, the river, and the lake, no less than the countryside, have inspired composers to write fanciful programme music on these subjects. The present programme offers a characteristic selection of this kind of music. It begins with one of the most beautiful and poetical of all Overtures, namely, ' Fin-gal's Cave ', of Mendelssohn, which was inspired by his visit to Scotland in the summer of 1829. In a letter he says : ' In order to make you understand how extraordinarily the Hebrides affected me, the following came into my mind there ' ; and here he reproduces the first twenty-one bars of his Overture. As a seascape or an impression of the sea the music gives a wonderful and subtle suggestion of the slow surge of the waves and the lonely beauty of the Hebrides. As a piece of music it is written with that perfection of craftsmanship and finely-balanced form so characteristic of all Mendelssohn's works.
The little piece ' En bateau ' (On the boat) of Debussy, from the ' Petite Suite ', is very simple in construction, but gives a charming idea of the movement of the water. Its naive realism is similar to that of Schubert's song ' Whither the accompaniment to which suggests the babbling of the brook with extraordinary fidelity. Elgar's ' The Fountain Dance ', from ' The Wand of Youth ' Suite, No. 2, is very graceful in rhythm and is scored with clarity and suggestiveness. The play of the fountain is delicately
One of the most perfect little tone poems of its kind is Delius's ' Summer
Night on the River ' ; it is not that any actual impressions of the water are described, but the composer seeks to express in the music his own emotions felt one summer night on the river.
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