HERBERT THORPE (Tenor)
HARRY BRINDLE (Baritone)
THE WIRELESS ORCHESTRA
Conducted by JOHN ANSELL
ALTHOUGH the composer of this spirited March is best known as a theatrical conductor, particularly for his long association with His Majesty's Theatre, and for his incidental music to plays, he has given us an imposing volume of music for orchestra, as well as some for voices, and pianoforte and chamber music. He is one of the very few, moreover, who regards the brass band as a sufficiently important medium to compose serious music for it. His Epic Symphony was specially written as the test piece in the chief competition at the Annual Festival and Contest for Brass Bands at the Crystal Palace in the autumn of 1926. FEw musicians ever had so adventurous a career as William Wallace , composer of Maritana. His father was a Military Bandmaster, and the young Wallace was born in Water-ford, Ireland, in 1812. He very quickly became a good player not only of violin and pianoforte, but of the clarinet, and was only seventeen when lie was given a church organist's post. He gave it up within a year, however, the violin attracting him more. In 1834 he played a violin Concerto of his own in Dublin, with such success that he might have looked forward to a prosperous career in that line. But his health gave way and he went to Australia in the hope of warding off a threatening lung trouble. Sheep farming was nominally his job there, but he continued to play his violin, not only as a recreation, but in concerts. Australia, however, failed to hold him either to his farming or his fiddle, and for some years he wandered over many parts of the world, experiencing such vicissitudes as earthquakes, battles between rival South American States, and even a narrow escape from the clutches of a tiger. But everywhere ho went his reputation as a violinist was enhanced.
By 1845 he was in London, and someone seems to have suggested to him that he should compose an opera. Maritana was the result; it appeared near the end of 1845, and was an immediate and assured success. It has ever since maintained its hold on the popular affections, although Wallace himself wrote other and better works afterwards.
IN the first half of last century Sir Henry Bishop held a loading place in the music of this country, as composer for the stage, particularly Covent Garden Opera and Drury Lane ; he was, too, one of the original members of the Philharmonic Society. His stage works are all practically forgotten, largely because their libretti had no enduring qualities, and he is best remembered today by one or two isolated songs. Some of these have all the spontaneous charm and simplicity of folk-songs, and My Pretty Jane might well be called a classic of its own naive and innocent order.
PINSUTI spent a large ipart of his life in this country, though it was in his native Italy that his biggest works were produced. He came here as a youngster, to study music in London, returning to Italy at the age of sixteen to become a private pupil of Rossini's. Before he was twenty he came back to London and soon established himself as one of the foremost singing masters of the day, teaching both in London and in Newcastle. For many years he was Professor of Singing at the Royal Academy of Music, and had a share in training such distinguished artists as Grisi, Patti, Mario, and many others. He was a prolific composer and published close on 250 songs, many part songs and choruses, as well as some pianoforte music. Many of these enjoyed a tremendous vogue in the latter part of last century, and one or two are still popular. But in Italy he won more important successes with three Operas and special festival music for national occasions. He was created a Knight of the Italian Kingdom in 1878. ORCHESTRA
Selection, ' Show Boat' ................. Kern Waltz , ' La Source ' (The Fountain) ..
Waldteufel HERBERT THORPE and HARRY BRINDLE
The Battle Eve .................... Bonheur The Two Gendarmes ................ Offenbach
Phantasy, ' The Three Bears' ......Eric Coatee Tarantella, ' A. Day in Naples ' .......... Byng