GLADYS HAYSACK (Soprano) HARDY WILLIAMSON (Tenor) MIRIAM ANGLIN (Violoncello)
THE DAVENTRY STRING QUARTET
GWEN KNIGHT (Soprano)
HENRY BRONKHURST (Pianoforte)
LAST year Major Hemming gave a talk on air surveying-the interesting process by which aeroplanes can, photographically, map and chart a country that may be almost impenetrable by ordinary means. Air surveying has been successfully used for detecting the mineral deposits in trackless forest country, and now Major Hemming's company has obtained contracts to make new and extensive surveys on the Zambesi River. (Picture on page 679.)
MENDELSSOHN'S PIANOFORTE WORKS
Played by MAURICE COLE
Characteristic Pieces, Nos. 4, 6, 7.
rpHE. Victorian Age expired, after all its glories, in a storm of derision and ridicule ; but it has come back. Whether we like it or not, we cannot avoid talking about it; the force of its attraction can bo clearly seen in the constant argument about it that goes On now. Mr. Godfrey Elton , who will make his contribution to-it this evening, is a historian (Fellow of Queen's College, Oxford) who is also an author, his books including ' The Testament of Dominic Burleigh ' and ' The Years of Peace.'
A RECITAL OF His PIANOFORTE WORKS
Played by Mrs. NORMAN O'NEILL
The Prophet Bird Carnival (Op. 9)
Preamble ; Pierrot ; Harlequin ; Noble Valse ; Eusebius ; Florestan ; Coquette ; Reply; Butterflies ; A.S.C.H.—S.C.H.H. (Dancing letters); Chiarina ; Chopin ; Estrella ; Reconnaissance ; Pantaloon and Columbine ; German Waltz, Intermezzo—Paganini ; Avowal ; Promenade ; Pause ; March of the David-league against the Philistines
MOST of the pieces are based on four notes the names of which are to be found as letters in Schumann's name, and also in that of a town, Asch, where lived a lady friend of his, Ernestine van Fricken (one of the little pieces is named after her). By making the scene a carnival ball he was able to bring in all sorts of people, real and imaginary. The latter included two characters whom he had invented in the musical paper he edited-Florestan and Eusebius, who represent two sides of his own character, the lively and the introspective. Chiarina is a pet name for Clara Wieck , whom Schumann later married. The ' Dancing Letters ' (usually not played) are three forms of those on which Carnival is founded. These are printed in the score as S (=Es—i.e., E Flat), C, H, A ; as As (=A Fiat), C, H, and as A, S, C, H. The last piece of all is a March in which Schumann typifies himself and his idealistic friends making war on bad, old Philistine traditions in art.
WHAT more can be said, at this stage, about
Harry Lauder ? Since his last appearance before the microphone his fame has increased still more-only last month, for instance, the City of Edinburgh conferred its freedom upon him ; but the one thing that ho could hardly increase is his appeal to all the humanity in everyone, Scot or Sassenach, high or low. The one hope that all listeners will have tonight is that he will bo what he hus always been-and he will.
WITH diaries, as with mustard, ono always feels that it cannot bo what people use that makes the manufacturers' profits; it must bo what they waste. Keeping a diary has become a New Year's joke, and' for all that most people are concerned, the diary might have nothing but blank pages after about January 12. Mr. Ponsonby. however, will say a good word for the diary habit. He himself, in the intervals of a diplomatic and political career (which led him to the Under-Seeretaryship for Foreign Affairs in the Labour Government three years ago) has studied English diaries, published anthologies of them. and developed an enthusiasm for them, that he will try to communicate to his listeners tonight.
THE WIRELESS ORCHESTRA, conducted by JOHN ANSELL
DURING the war between Turkey and Serbia, in 1876, a great Russian pianist,
Nicholas Rubinstein , organized a charity concert for the relief of the wounded, and for the occasion Tchaikovsky, who was enthusiastic for the Slavonic cause, wrote this Slav March which, in fact, he sometimes called a ' Russo-Serbian ' March.
The opening of the March is very sombre : in fact, it begins ' in the manner of a funeral March.' Later, the Russian National Hymn is heard, and the whole ends brilliantly and joyously.
Tchaikovsky tells in one of his letters how, one day when he was trying to * lay the foundation for a new Symphony,' he found the germ, not of - a Symphony, but of a future Suite. A few days later lie had one of his frequent fits of depression, and was asking himself ' Am I played out ? Soon his mood changed, and thereafter the work went well.
When he came to London in 1888 to conduct a Philharmonic Concert, lie chose these Variations as one of the Movements to represent his music.
There are twelve delightful Variations on the Air, the last, a brilliant Polonaise, being the longest and most developed.
Theme and Variations from Third Suite
Suite, ' Tho Nutcracker ' Ballet
' T HAVE discovered a new instrument in Paris,'
J- wrote Tchaikovsky to his publisher when lie was writing his Nutcracker Ballet-' a new instrument, something between a piano and a glockenspiel, with a divinely beautiful tone. I want to introduce this into the Ballet. The instrument is called the ' Celesta Mustel. " '
This instrument is now known simply as the Celesta, and is often to be seen on concert platforms. It looks rather like a harmonium, but it is really a kind of small piano, with little steel bars instead of wires. Its high-pitched tone is very silvery and liquid.
The Dance ef the Sugar Plum Fairy, in which
Tchaikovsky introduced the Celesta, makes delightful use of the instrument.
The whole of the Movements are as follows :— First comes the Overture—remarkable in that no 'Cellos or Double Basses are used in it.
Then comes a set of six short dances—' Characteristic Dances,' Tchaikovsky calls them, and the title is very apt; they are all vivid, and some arc very amusing.
First of all there is a humorously-formal
Next we haar the Dance of the Sugar Plum Fairy
-the very essence of grace and daintiness.
The third Dance is a short whirling Russian
Now we have a languorous, mysterious Arab
After the Arab Dance comes a very vivid suggestion of an odd, whimsical Chinese Dance.
The last of these Dances is a pleasant little
The Suite ends with a loud piece, the lively
Velse of the Flowers.