EDITH VANCE (Violoncello) OLIVE BYRNE (Pianoforte)
MENDELSSOHN, always a hard worker, was exceedingly busy in 1843, when he wrote this Sonata. He was responsible for much in the conduct of a newly started ' Conservatorium ' at Leipzig, and was conducting a great deal, as well as directing the Prussian Court Music in Berlin. He was, indeed, at the beginning of those last years in which he wore himself out with duties that one of so sensitive a temperament and constitution ought not to have allowed to weigh upon him.
The Sonata is in four Movements.
In the First, the Violoncello gives out both main tunes. In the Second, we have a skilful, light-handed Scherzo. In the Third, the Slow Movement, the Pianoforte gives out a hymn-like melody at the start, and the Violoncello supplies the Movement's contrast by its declamatory, and often excited, passages. In the Fourth Movement a prelude of about a score of bars leads to the first main tune on the Pianoforte, an animated, singing air. The Violoncello repeats it, and adds an idea of its own. and then the Pianoforte takes up the second main tune, beginning over a low note sustained by the other partner. Building happily on these themes, the composer constructs a lithe and vigorous Finale.
(Shakespeare) mHE play that first introduces Falstaff to us needs no further commendation ; the battles and treasons, the Percies and Northumberlands and Glendowers, pale into insignificance beside the rich humour of the fat knight, the fiery Bardolph and sweet Ned Poins. In the series of Shakespeare's histories Henry IV, Part I, is notable for being the first of the trilogy which culminates with the apotheosis of one of Shakespeare's most popular heroes, Henry V, of the Harfleur and Agincourt scenes ; but in the Shakespearean range as a whole it is important as the beginning of that little story of low life that ends (also in Henry V) with the pathetic story of the last scene in Eastcheap, when Falstaff ' babbled of green fields.'
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