Conducted by TOM MORGAN
GWÈN KNIGHT (Soprano)
CUTHBERT SMITH (Baritone) RAIE DA COSTA (Pianoforte)
(only geographically)—the ' Salient Features ' being : Songs and Stories by Frederick Cheater ; ' The Abbot's Kitchen ' (' built' by Eleanor Farjeon) ; Selected Verses (Waller de la Mare)
THE last year or two has seen a marked revival of interest in the work of Anthony Trollope , the great Victorian novelist who for so long suffered undeserved neglect ; and very recently Mr. Michael Sadleir 's remarkable book about him has started a positive boom in Trollope. This evening, however, Professor Gordon will talk not of his novels, but of his autobiography, which is itself a very readable book.
HUBERT EISDELL (Tenor)
THE SPENCER DYKE STRING QUARTET: SPENCER DYKE (First Violin), EDWIN QUAIFE
, ERNEST TOMLINSON (Viola), B. PATTER-son PARKER (Violoncello),
BERKELEY MASON (Pianoforte)
' To JULIA'
Six Lyrics by Robert Herrick
Sung by HUBERT EISDELL
(With Accompaniment of String Quartet and Pianoforte)
The Bracelet ; The Maiden Blush ; To Daisies ;
The Night Piece ; Julia's Hair ; Cherry Ripe
THERE are few such sensitive artists in modern song as Roger r Quilter, whose work is well known to listeners. He sets fine words in a way that brings out their meaning. Music and words seem ideally fitted when he chooses old English lyrics. His Shakespeare songs deserve a high place, and so does this cycle of six songs, settings of poems by Herrick, the seventeenth-century parson-poet. Herrick, surrounded by not very congenial folk in his little Devonshire parish, let his imagination stray not only over everything he saw, but also in fairy realms, to our infinite delight. The ' Julia ' of whose beauty and graces lie sings was probably not entirely a visionary person.
THIS evening Miss Royde-Smith will broadcast the report on Competition VII and the announcement of Competition VIII, the subject and rules of which will appear in next week's Radio Times, published on Friday, June 10.
Relayed from The Cambridge University Musical Society's Performance at Cambridge
VAUGHAN WILLIAMS has taken parts of poems by Walt Whitman and wrought them into a work in which, as he himself has expressed it, 'the words as well as the music are treated symphonically.'
The music is written for Orchestra, Choir, and Soprano and Baritone Soloists. The poems treated are from Leaves of Grass - those entitled Sea Drift, Song of the Exposition, and Passage to India.
FIRST MOVEMENT. A Song of all Seas, all Ships. The harmony of the opening phrase, 'Behold the sea itself,' which comes from the eighth section of the Song of the Exposition, should be noted, for it is one of two chief motifs which often recur, in one shape or another, in the work. The other motif follows immediately after it-the melody at the words ' and on its limitless, heaving breast, the ships.'
SECOND MOVEMENT. On the Beach at Night Alone. The words here are also from one of the Sea Drift poems, the title of which Vaughan Williams has adopted for the Movement. It is a meditative nocturne. In the first bars we note the 'sea' motif again. Baritone and Chorus begin, and after a page or two, a new theme enters (at 'a vast similitude inter-lacks all'). A big climax is worked up. the Orchestra constantly repeating a rhythm. Then the opening feeling of the Movement is reestablished, and the Movement dies away.
THIRD MOVEMENT. Scherzo-The Waves. The words are those of After the Sea-Ship, the last of the Sea Drift poems. The Choir and Orchestra only are used to give a vivid, at times almost breath-taking, impression of the ideas in the poem.
FOURTH MOVEMENT. The Explorers. The words are from Passage to India. The poet feels that he begins to understand the purpose of this 'vast Rondure, swimming in space,' and all the wonders of nature.
The thought of man brings a change of mood at 'Down from the gardens of Asia descending. Adam and Eve appear.' Tenors and Basses sing a modal melody. Soon Sopranos and Altos break in very softly with the eternal question. 'Wherefore, unsatisfied soul? Whither, O mocking life?' Follows the assurance that 'the first intent remains, and shall be carried out... The true Son of God shall come singing his songs.'
The Baritone and Soprano soloists join in a duet, 'O we can wait no longer, we too take ship, O soul, ...launch out on trackless, seas...
The choir too takes up the Bong, and the work ends in mystical quietness at the words 'O farther sail, O my brave soul.'