LUCIENNE RADISSE (Violoncello)
The WIRELESS SYMPHONY ORCHESTRA
(Leader, S. KNEALE KELLEY )
Conducted by PIERRE SECHIARI
RIMSKY-KORSAKOV prefaces his music by quoting two passages from the Bible. One is from Psalm lxviii, beginning 'Let God arise and let His enemies be scattered..... ,' and the other, from the 16th chapter of Mark, describes Mary Magdalene and the others coming to the sepulchre of Jesus, finding the stone rolled away, and hearing the wonderful tidings from the angel: ' He is risen ! '
The Composer explained also in his Autobiography that in this Overture he combined ' reminiscences of the ancient prophecy and of the gospel narrative ; also a general picture of the Easter service with its ' pagan merry-making.' (He was, of course, speaking of the Russian fashion of celebrating the feast.)
'This legendary and heathen side of the holiday,' he goes on, ' this transition from the gloomy and mysterious evening of Passion Saturday to the unbridled, pagan-religious merry-making on the morn of Easter Sunday, is what I was anxious to reproduce in my Overture.'
THE web-spinning of a woman and the weakness of the strong man when love ensnares him-these are the ideas behind Saint-Saens's piece. It will be remembered that Hercules, as a penance for a crime, had to hire himself out for three years. He took service with Omphalo, Queen of Lydia, and worked at her side amongst the women - is so uncouth a manner as to win him many a blow. You may hear in this music the whirl of the wheels, the derision of the Queen, and the sorrow of the enslaved hero.
LALO, the well-known French composer
(1823-92) had his first training as a violinist, and, as is natural, we find amongst his long list of compositions a number skilfully written for' stringed instruments.
His Violoncello Concerto in D Minor was written in 1876. It has three Movements.
FIRST MOVEMENT. This begins with an Introduction (Lento-slow), in which declamatory passages for the solo Violoncello are prominent.
The Movement proper (Allegro maestoso - Quick, but majestic) opens with the bold first main tune given out by the solo Violoncello. The gentle and more plaintive second main tune, when it comes, is also given out by the soloist. A short development which follows treats briefly these two themes and also that of the Introduction. Then comes the recapitulation, or repetition of the two main tunes, and a Coda, or closing passage, brings all to an effective conclusion.
SECOND MOVEMENT. This begins (Andante con moto - steadily flowing at a fair speed), with a brief orchestral introduction. Then enters the soloist with a flowing, song-like first main tune. After a time, with a change of speed (Allegro presto-Very quick), comes a change of mood, represented by the bright and piquant second main tune given out by the soloist, over a standing note - a drone bass. Both first tune and second tune are afterwards repeated, with alterations.
LAST MOVEMENT. This opens with a short Introduction, the chief musical theme of which suggests Spain. Then the Movement proper opens (Allegro vivace-Quick and lively). It is a Rondo, in which the main tune comes round and round again, its appearances separated from one another by the interposition of other matter.
The main tune is soon loudly heard from the soloist. It runs along in triplets. (It is marked to be played Con fuoco-With fire.)
Various other tunes are heard, including the Spanish-sounding one whose acquaintance we made in the Introduction, the main tune, of course, constantly turning up again and asserting its position. The Concerto ends brilliantly. Allegro vivace ed con brio; Allegretto scherzando; Tempo di menuetto; Allegro vivace