THE WIRELESS SYMPHONY ORCHESTRA
(Leader, S. KNEALE KELLEY )
Conducted by JOHN BARBIROLLI JOHANNE STOCKMARR (Pianoforte)
THIS fairy tale Opera, by Humperdinek, to a story written by his sister, was produced in the first instance without any thought of public performance, intended only for the amusement of young people in the Humperdinck's circle of acquaintance. But the world at large was not to be denied such attractive music, and the Opera has long since won a world-wide popularity. It ia a favourite alike with young people, to whom it is no more than a beloved tale presented in a new and charming guise, and with the most enlightened musicians, who recognize it as a masterpiece of art. It makes use in the most skilful and fascinating way of actual German Folk tunes, and its melodies throughout are of the simplest and most immediately pleasing order. The Overture begins with the Evening Prayer which the Children sing before lying down to sleep in the woods, the prayer in which they ask for fourteen angels to watch over them till morning :—
' Two at my head to guard my thoughts
Two at my feet to guide my steps,
Two on my left to watch my heart,' and so on. Then there breaks in the stirring music of the witch and her gingerbread house ; the merrymaking of the children is heard, too, and the song of thanksgiving at their deliverance from the-witch's spell ; but the music of the Prayer dominates most of the Overture, and it is welded with the other tunes in the most cunning way.
Pianoforte Concerto in B Flat Minor Tchaikovsky
TCHAIKOVSKY'S first Pianoforte Concerto was dedicated originally to Nicolas Rubin stein, to whom the composer played it before giving it to his publisher. Rubinstein's verdict on the Concerto was so utterly damning that Tchaikovsky altered the dedication, inscribing it instead to Hans von Billow, who played the work repeatedly with constant success. Ru binstein afterwards changed his mind, and had the generosity to admit his mistake ; he, too, played' the work for many years as a regular number in his repertoire.
It begins with one of Tchaikovsky's noblest tunes, given out with the whole sonority of the orchestra, the pianoforte accompanying with great chords. In one of his letters, Tchaikovsky says that he first heard this tune sung by a blind beggar, adding that in little Russia, all blind beggars sing the same tune with the same refrain. It is astonishingly unlike any tune which blind beggars ever sing in this country. After brilliant use has been made of that first subject, a new theme appears, in which the pianoforte acts mainly as accompaniment. Then there is another expressive melody, and before the actual working out of the movement begins there is one more tune, in which the soloist has a large share.
The slow movement begins, after a few intro. ductory bars by the strings, with a melody given first to the flute. The middle section of the move. ment, in more lively time, is founded on an old French song which Tchaikovsky tells us that he and his brother * used continually to troll and hum and whistle in memory of a bewitching singer.'
The last movement is a brilliant Rondo, that is a movement in which the chief theme keeps on returning after others have interrupted it. The chief theme is the one with which the movement opens.
THERE were two brothers named Mareello, both of whom were important figures in their own day, but it is the younger, Benedetto, who is best remembered. A lawyer by profession, he held several important Government posts, and was a man of more than usually high scholastic attainments. But in spite of pressing official duties, he found time to achieve distinction both in music and in literature, and his biggest work is still regarded as taking a very high place as a historical document. It consists of eight folio volumes of Psalms for one, two, three or more voices with figured bass, and sometimes with obbligatosfor violins and violoncello. The collection was held in high esteem not only in Marcello's native Italy, but elsewhere, and the whole eight volumes were published in an English edition in 1757. Ho wrote a good deal of instrumental, music, too, as well as songs, madrigals, operas, cantatas, and at least one oratorio, furnishing the texts Himself for all these last. He wrote besides on musical and other subjects and many of the European libraries have interesting MSS. of his. To us, one of the most interesting is a Cantata, Timotheus,' for which the text is a translation by Mareello of Dryden's poem. It is in the State Library at Dresden. His music was so highly thought of even in his own day that it is odd to find our historian Burney speaking rather slightingly of it, suggesting that it had been too much praised and that it was not very original. Burney was so much more often carried away by his enthusiasm that it is odd to find him at variance with a contemporary verdict which history has wholeheartedly endorsed.
There is a monument to Mareello in the Church of San Giuseppe at Brescia, recording his achievements as Statesman, musician and poet. It is almost solely as musician that we hold him ia grateful remembrance now.
'The Prophet comforteth Sion '
Isaiah, Chap. lii, 1-10
Chap. liii Chap. Iv
IT ia difficult, if not impossible to find anything in literature to equal the poetry of the passages from Isaiah which is to be read this afternoon. But it is not only their poetry which endears them to thousands of people, although some of the verses have been used by composers in anthems and oratorios.
Isaiah's message of comfort to the people of Israel, has been universally loved, since it is full of prophetic inspiration and hope.
From St. Ann's Church
S.B. from Manchester
'O HEILIGES GEIST UND WASSERBAD'
(Baptismal water - Holy Ghost)
GLADYS SWEENEY (Soprano)
CONSTANCE FEUTS (Contralto)
ARTHUR WILKES (Tenor)
REGINALD WHITEHEAD (Bass)
THE ST. ANN'S CHURCH CHOIR
THE NORTHERN WIRELESS ORCHESTRA (Strings and Bassoon)
Conducted by T. H. MORRISON
GEORGE PRITCHARD at the Organ
One very interesting thing about this Cantata is that the autograph score is thought to be in the handwriting of Bach's second wife, Anna Magdalena. Her handwriting had become so like her husband's that for many years the autograph was taken to be Bach's own, and even now there is some doubt about it. In spite of her large family, which she tended with devoted care, the second Frau Bach found time to become a musician of some accomplishment, and a real help-meet in her husband's work as well as in his household; the MS. of this Cantata is a beautiful piece of careful and painstaking work.
The Cantata is for four solo voices, the chorus having only the Chorale at the end to sing. It could, of course, be sung by the four solo voices, with or without the congregation.
The first aria is in fugal form, and it may be that Bach sought in this rather formal way to insist on the certainty of grace through baptism. But the whole music is so eloquent an illustration of the text as to need nothing more by way of explanation, unless it be pointed out how in the last aria before the chorale, Bach seizes, as was his way, on one word in the text to give him an idea for illustration. The words speak of the Saviour as 'a little serpent,' the reference being to Moses lifting up the Serpent in the wilderness. Listeners will remember the passage in the third chapter of John:-
'And as Moses lifted up the serpent In the wilderness, oven so must the Son of Man be lifted up.'
In this aria, Bach weaves a sinuous figure through aU his accompaniment.
The words of the Cantata are as follows :
I. -.Aria (Soprano).
Baptismal water, Holy Ghost,
Within God's grace did you enfold us : And In the Book of Life enroll'd us !
O stream, that pure and cleansing tlowest, In thy deep might our sins are drowned. With life eternal are we crowned.
II. - Recit. (Hast).
The sinful race of man, of Adam's generation. Hath earned the wrath of God. nian'9 death and his damnation.
For mortal flesh, in evil rife.
Is nought but flesh, from birth with sin acquainted, befouled and attainted.
How blest the Christian's life!
For him hath God a place appointed Amid the host of His anointed. The Christian's robe of white
Hath he put on, to shed it never; He shall be one with Christ. Iu royal robes for ever
At baptism is he dight.
III. - Aria (Alto).
Jesus, by Thy great compassion,
Through Thy baptism dost Thou fashion Me in grace and holy ways.
Help me. Thy will gladly doing, Life in Thee- to be renewing,
Here on Earth, through all my days.
IV. - Recit. (Bass).
I sware to Thee, Soul's Bridegroom, when that I
A second birth was granted,
To guard for aye the seed then planted, Thou Lamb of God. Most High I
Yet see how oft that promise have I broken. Nor aye fulfilled what I had spoken; O pity me, turn not away Thy Face.
Forgive me, Lord, hear my confession; Thou know'st how I repent my sore transgression,
My falling from Thy grace.
As gnll, hath sin my soul, my body, Feared Help me to serve Thee still unwearied ; Behold the crucifix whereon my Lord was nailed,
Now all my grief is o'er, and strength it mine, that save for Thee had tailed.
V. - Aria (Tenor).
Jesus, Victor over death. Let my faith ne'er falter,
Ev'n until my latest breath. Nought can change nor alter
That Thou still my Saviour an. From the world's temptation, Jesus, keep my soul and heart Safe In Thy salvation.
VI. - Choral.
His Word and Faith ITis people still Shall guard against all evil ;
The Holy Ghost hath taught us,
To Him, in faith, hath brought us.
English Text by D. Millar Craig.
Copyright by the B.B.C., 1928.
From All Saints' Church, Ennismort Gardens, S.W.
Hymn, 'O Sacred Head' (Ancient and Modern, No. Ill)
Lord's Prayer and Versifies Psalm 86
Lesson (St. Luke xix, 29-end)
Nuno Dimittis (Wood in E Flat)
Hymn, 'When I survey ' (Ancient and Modern, No. 108)
Words of Anthem:
Jesu, Word of God Incarnate, of the Virgin Mary born, on the Cross Thy Sacred Body for us Men with nails was torn.
Cleanse us by the Blood and water streaming from Thy pierced Side; feed us with Thy Body broken, now, and in death's Agony.
Appeal on behalf of tha Worcester College for tho Blind by Mr. Guy NICKALLS. WORCESTER COLLEGE, founded in 1866, is a Public School for blind boys and for those whose sight is defective. It aims to give its students the ability to earn their living in a congenial manner, whilst not neglecting the care of a healthy body and an interested mind. The present buildings accommodate about forty-two boys.
Contributions should be addressed to [address removed]
and The Park Lane Hotel Orchestra
ESTHER COLEMAN (Contralto)
From the Park Lane Hotel