A PROGRAMME or FAVOURITE EXCERPTS
WALTER WIDDOP (Tenor)
THE WIRELESS SYMPHONY ORCHESTRA,
Conducted by Sir HAMILTON HARTY
Overture to 'The Mastersing
NO such other joyous work as The Mastersingers of Nuremburg overcame from Wagner's pen ; nothing else so humorous, yet so tender, and so free from any taint of the morbid, and nothing else, perhaps, so free of Wagnerian redundancies and longueurs. The pedantry and the pageantry of the Musicians' Guild of Medival Nuremburg, the nobility of mind of its leader, the ardour of the young aristocrat in love, gracious, youthful maidenhood, loving it; return, and, as foil, the comical ineptitude of the elderly, amorous villain of the piece—all these are compounded into a score that is full of the spirit of Spring, warming and ripening into the mature glory of full summer.
And every element in this intoxicating compound enters into the Overture—which, perhaps, more than any such preparatory piece ever written, summarizes the musical, poetic and emotional content of the play to follow.
WALTER WILDOP (with Orchestra)
Prize Song from ' The Mastersingers'
WALTER is a young knight who aspires to membership of the guild of Mastersingers.
Moreover, he and Eva (daughter of the goldsmith) are in love. The hand of Eva. is to be gained by sinsing a 'Mastersong' in a contest.
On the night before the contest Walter has a vision of n sunlit garden and a lovely maiden
Eva. Out of this vision he makes his Prize Song. which everyone declares to be inspired, and which Wins Eva's hand.
Venusberg Music from ' 'Tannhäuser'
Overture to 'The Flying Dutchman'
WALTER WIDDOP (with Orchestra)
Siegmund's Love Song, from' The Valkyrie '
SIEGMUND, the beaten, warrior, lying wearied and dispirited before the hearth of his energy, whose hut he has entered unknowing, nnd whose challenge to fight upon the morrow has just been hurled at him, broods on his life of • • !-jce. '• ■ Sieglinde quietly enters, to warn him to flee and save the life that has become of so little value to 1iim.
As he looks at Sieglinde, that life takes on a new value-' Life I find with thee ! '. hd cries.
The door of the hut flies- open, revealing the beauty of the Spring in moonlight. Then follows the full of love.
A 'Faust' Overture
Woodland Murmurs (Siegfried)
THE 'Faust' Overture was written in Paris in 1840 (when Wagner was twenty-seven) in the raidst of opposition and failure. It was originally designed as the first movement of a ' Faust Siegfried find was re-written ill 1853. The subject is, of course. Goethe's story of Faust, who is tempted to sell his soul for renewed youth. The peaceful ending may, perhaps, represent his final redemption.
SIEGFRIED, the hero, having killed the dragon who guarded the gold, and tasted the monster's blood, is able to understand the voices of nature. Resting under a tree, he listens to the murmur of the forest's life. He would imitate the birds' songs, and cuts himself a reed from which he fashions a pipe. Then his thoughts turn to his mother, who died when he was born, and the music clouds over for a moment, only to resume its sunny course with a new Ihemc. The whole episode is one of the loveliest scenes even Wagner ever wrote.
WALTER WIDDor (with Orchestra) The Forging Songs (' Siegfried ')
FOR Siegfried, who was to have been the world's redeeming hero, his father's shat- which is called ' Nothung' ful'). has been preserved. The youth has been brought up in the forest by a cunning dwarf, who has tried in vain to weld the pieces of the sword together, but the lad has snapped the blade as quickly as it was forged.
At last, Siegfried himself melts Kothung and forges it, singing exultantly as he tempers and hammers it. When the work is done. the sword is complete and strong again, and Siegfried. shouting in his joy. with one blow from it splits the anvil in twain.
Siegfried's Journey to the Rhine, from ' The
Dusk of the Gods'
SIEGFRIED has won his bride, Briinnhildc. He gives her the Ring as pledge of his love, and she gives him her war-horse, Crane.
Siegfried now descends into the valley, and though in the opera house the curtain falls, the music continues to picture his journey, and his horn is frequently heard. After a time the music tells us that he has reached the deeply-flowing Rhine.
Siegfried's Death March
THERE are few more impressive pages in all
Wagner's works than those which accompany the bearing away of the body of (Siegfried, who has been treacherously killed by till enemy.
In this funeral music themes from the earlier part of The Dusk of the Gods are recalled, as well as motifs from the other Dramas of The Ring cycle. The whole of the great universal tragedy seems to be summed up in this sombre, powerful music.