'ACH WIE FLUCHTIG, ACH WIE
(' All, how fleeting, ah, how fading')
Relayed from THE GUILDHALL
SCHOOL OF MUSIC
MARY HAMLIN (Soprano)
Doris OWENS (Contralto)
FRANK TITTERTON (Tenor)
WILLIAM BARRAND (Bass)
LESLIE WOODGATE (Organ)
THE WIRELESS CHORUS
THE WIRELESS ORCHESTRA
(Flute, Oboes, Trumpet and Strings)
Conducted by STANFORD ROBINSON
This Cantata is based on an old funeral hymn by Michael Franck , one on which Bach had made a chorale prelude some twenty years earlier. The first chorus here is really that prelude in a more elaborate form. In it Bach reproduces the text of the first verse of the old hymn, reserving the last verse for his final chorale. The melody is given, as so often, in its simple form to the soprano voices, while the others and the orchestra build up an impressive musical picture round the image which ' fleeting' suggests, 'like a cloud that quickly rises and as quickly passes.' Scale passages, hurrying upwards and downwards, and merging one into another, are the means Bach uses.
There are splendid arias for tenor and bass, the first very long and difficult, with an accompaniment, where the voice sings of our life hastening like a rushing stream, vividly presenting that idea by imitative passages.
The accompaniment throughout is richly varied, and fine use is made of the contrasting tone of oboes (there are three), flute and strings.
I. Chorus :
Ah, how fleeting. Ah, how fading
Is the life of mortals !
As a cloud-wreath quickly forming And as quickly then dissolving,
So is man's brief portion, know ye !
II. Aria (Tenor):
As rapid, rushing rivulets,
So hasten quickly days and moments.
Our life goes by. The hours do perish
As drops of water suddenly parted When streams from cliff to cliff are dashed.
III. Recitative (Contralto):
Lo ! Joy soon turns to mourning, And beauty withers like a flower, The greatest strength of man fast ebbs
And fortune changes e'en from day to day;
Brief as a breath are praise and honour,
And all man's vaunted knowledge, All his wisdom will surely in the grave disappear.
IV. Aria (Bass):
The riches and treasures that men seek and strive for
Are vain and deceitful, mere glittering toys.
As when fiery flames are devouring the stubble,
Or wild rushing torrents sweep all things before them,
So swiftly is shattered the pelf of this world.
V. Recitative (Soprano) :
The highest honour, pomp and might succumb
At last to death's dark night.
He who on earthly fame relies full soon to dust and ashes falls,
And when the mourning bell doth toll,
Down to the ground his honours tumble,
And aU his dignity is nought, His very name forgotten.
VI, Chorale :
Ah, how fleeting, Ah, how fading
Are man's richest treasures.
All things, all things that are human
Must like shadows faint and vanish;
Who God fears, he lives for ever.
The words are taken from'Bach's
Cantata Texts, Sacred and Secular,' by C. Sandford Terry , by permission of Constable and Co.
Cantatas for the next four Sundays are :
December 1. No. 62-
Nun komm, der Heidin Heiland. (Come, Thou Saviour of tho heathen.)
December 8. No. 107-
Was willst du dich betriiben T
(Why would'st thou grieve ?)
December 15. No. 125—
Mit Fried und Freud fahr' ich dahin.
(In peace and joy I now depart.)
December 22. No. 1—
Wie schon leuchtet der Morgenstem.
(How fair appears the morning star.)
(For 3.45 to 5.45 Programmes see opposite page)
BETSY DE LA PORTE (Contralto)
WALTER GLYNNE (Tenor)
ST. HILDA'S BAND (Soloist, WILLIAM OUGHTON> )
MICHAEL William BALFE , though counted as one of our English composers, was really Irish, born in Dublin in 1808. Ho was a man of many parts-a violin soloist, an operatic singer, a conductor and composer, and his career took him to many countries. He collected honours also from different parts of Europe, being a Chevalier of the Legion of Honour, and a Commander of the Order of Carlos III of Spain. The King of Prussia offered him the Order of the Prussian Eagle, but that ho was not allowed to accept. (Soloist, E. BOAM> ) (Soloist, R. SMITH> )
AN Australian by birth, Clutsam began his career as a concert pianist, playing in many parts of the world before he came to settle in London. There he made a name for himself as accompanist and as music critic. His first important work was The Lady of Shalott, played in London in 1909, and more than one Opera of his has been presented here. One was specially interesting-an opera in such miniature form that it might be only one torn in an evening's entertainment. It was ncluded in that way in a programme of the old Tivoli. Along with Hubert Bath , he made a real success with Young England to a text by Basil Hood, produced in 1916, and no one needs to bo reminded of the happy way in which his Lilac Time embodies so much of the charm of Schubert's music.
by ANTONI SALA
ONE authority lays it down fearlessly that' Porpora was tho greatest singing-master that ever lived. No singers, before or since, have sung like his pupils.' All that we know now of his method-apart from the singing exercises he left-is the highly improbable story of how he trained the famous Caffarelli, keeping him for five years to one page of vocal gymnastics and then bidding him go, with the valediction ' You are the greatest singer In Europe.' He certainly enjoyed a great renown as a teacher, and held many important posts in the world of music, not only in his native Italy, but throughout Europe. A contemporary of Handel's, he spent two or three years of his erratic career in London, directing an operatic enterprise in opposition to Handel's, in which he had the backing of a good part of influential London. None of his own operas, however, have survived, although he is supposed to have composed no fewer than thirty-three, as well as numerous oratorios, masses, and smaller vocal and instrumental pieces. It is in some of these last that his best qualities are displayed, and this melodious Sonata is a good example of his style.
ONE of the foremost violinists of France in the first part of the eighteenth century, who had a big influence on his own and following generations by grafting something of Italian grace and dignity on the French manner, Jean Baptiste Senaille was a real Parisian. His father was one of the famous ' twenty-four violins of the King,' and after winning successes and distinction in Italy, where he outshone the native artists on their own ground, he settled in his native city as a member of Louis XV's band.
Ho loft a great volume of music for his own instrument, much of which is still deservedly cherished.
(For 5.45 to 8.45 Programmes see opposite page)
S onata Largo ; Allegro; Adagio ; Allegro - Porpora
Elegie - Fauré
Allegretto - Boccherini, arr. Kreisler
Lament of Fanaid Grove - Old Tune, arr. Herbert Hughes
Allegro Spiritoso - G. B. Senaillé