THE WIRELESS MILITARY BAND. conducted by B. WALTON O'DONNELL , R.M. ; MURRAY BROWN
(Tenor) ; RAYMOND NEWELL (Baritone)
WE know the March as a famous extract from
Berlioz' Faust, but it had no place in the first version of that work. In 1846 Berlioz was visiting Buda-Pesth. and on tho advice of a friend picked out from a collection a national air (it may or may not be a folk-tune), which is named after the patriot Rakoczy, and worked it up into this March, to please the Hungarians. It went so well that he introduced it into Faust, ' taking the liberty,' as he said, ' of putting Faust in Hungary, and making him witness the passage of a Hungarian army across the plain.'
THE busy Rossini, with the twenty Operas he wrote in eight years between 1815 and 1823, contrived to score a great many bulls' eyes. The Thieving Magpie, which came out the year after The Barber. had a very poor libretto, based on one of the distant relations of the ' Jackdaw of Rheims ' story.
The Overture, with its exciting Drum-roll opening, is one of the most brilliant of all Rossini's operatic preludes. It was long the Italians' first favourite among all such pieces.
' MY Swan Lake,' wrote Tchaikovsky, ' is poor stuff compared with Sylvia.' He, at any rate, greatly admired this Ballet Music ; and though its Composer, the Frenchman Delibes, afterwards turned to the production of light Opera, it is certainly chiefly due to his Ballet Music that he remains popular today. Sylvia was the successor to his extremely successful first Ballet. Coppélia, but there was a gap of six years between the two, for the Franco-German War of 1870 broke out a few weeks after Coppélia was produced.