IT is not long ago that listeners were invited to hear a debate that was broadcast on the subject of Town v. Country. Fortunately we are rapidly approaching the day when the enjoyment of both in a measure, wiil be open to us all. That is, of course, if the countryside is not all swept away in the general tide of social evolution. Anyway, for those Londoners who care to take a little trouble, Sundays and week-ends can be spent in some delightful rural places-if you know where to look for them and how to get to them. Let Mr. Valentine give you, in these two talks, a hint or two.
Relayed from The Nave, Canterbury Cathedral
THE WIRELESS SYMPHONY ORCHESTRA
Conducted by ADRIAN BOULT
ARTHUR CATTERALL (Violin)
ALTHOUGH Butterworth was only thirty when he was killed in action in 1916, he had already made his own mark on English music. Strongly national in idiom, his music owes something to his enthusiasm for Folk-song and dance, but a sound knowledge of the orchestra, and a happy fertility of invention were his too.
This Rhapsody was intended first as an epilogue to his own Song Cycles on A. E. Housman's poems ; it was played for the first time under the late Arthur Nikisch at the Leeds Festival in 19)3. It begins with a soft theme which is heard first on'muted violas and then on clarinets, and along with part of the main theme of the section which follows, this provides the material for an introduction. The principal tune of the main section which succeeds is a broad, flowing melody in two phrases, to the second of which reference has been made above. It is given out with sonorous strength and full accompaniment. It includes, as most listeners will remember, a quotation from one of the songs' Loveliest of trees, the cherry ... wearing white for Eastertide.' There is a further theme of tranquil character given to the strings, and it with the first subject, is freely used in a development of varied interest and resource. Harp and woodwinds, in particular, are employed with fine effect, and there is a beautiful passage for solo violin. At the close the music returns to the meditative spirit of the opening and we hear the first subject again with its expressive accompaniment; the work is rounded off by a sad little melody for the flute.
THE third ' Leonore'
Overture has long established itself as first favourite among the four, and there are grounds for believing that Beethoven himself would have agreed with this verdict. It begins with a solemn descending scale, and then we hear the beautiful air which in the opera, Florestan, the hero, sings of the happy springtime of his own youth. This tune is presented with some variants, and the whole of the introductory slow section is devoted to Florestan. Leonore appears with the beginning of the quick section in a very beautiful tune eloquent of noble strength and dignity. A little later another impressive tune reminds us once more of Florestan and his unhappy lot in prison. After these have foreshadowed the action of the story there is a dramatic moment when the whole orchestra falls silent and a trumpet call is heard from without. In the opera, the same trumpet call announces the arrival of the Governor, through whose coming Florestan is released from his unjust imprisonment. A quiet tune on the woodwinds expresses the dawning of hope in the prisoner's heart, the trumpet call is heard again, and the theme of hope grows stronger. All the former tunes return, lending the music a note of exaltation, and the Overture ends' with a great song of joy in which the first Leonore tune rings out triumphantly.
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