THE AUGMENTED STATION ORCHESTRA, conducted by T. H. MORRISON
FOR two hundred years past Festivals of - Music have been held yearly in rotation at the three Cathedral cities of Gloucester, Worcester and Hereford. Every year the three Cathedral choirs unite at one of these three' cities. In 1898 this ' Three Choirs Festival ' was to be held at Gloucester. The Festival Committee asked Sir Edward Elgar (who was already well known) to write an orchestral work for the Festival. He was too busy to do so, and asked them to commission young Coleridge-Taylor in his place. Coleridge -Taylor was then only twenty-three and had yet to make his name, and was, of course, overjoyed at gaining the distinction of writing a Festival work. He produced the Ballade in A Minor, and became famous.
The work begins with a roughly energetic introductory Theme on the Strings. Woodwind has the First Main Tune, Strings accompanying.
The opening matter having been repeated, an episode (starting with a lengthened form of the First Main Tune on the Trumpet), leads to the Second Main Theme (Muted Violins and Violas). On this material the Ballade is built up. Though it has no actual story behind it, one can easily imagine it as a musical commentary on some old chivalric tale of love and warfare.
The Voices All Are Still ........ Landon Ronald When I Was One and Twenty. .Armstrong Gibbs Berceuse (Cradle Song) .............. Järnefelt
THERE is a quality of thought in Housman's
' A Shropshire Lad ' (a collection of sixty-three poems, among which is found When I Was One-and-Twenty) which appeals irresistibly to every man or woman who knows anything of the England which lies beyond her towns and cities. And nearly every living English composer has been attracted by these poems.
The poem, of which Mr. Armstrong Gibbs 's setting is now to be heard, begins :-
' When I was one-and-twenty I hcatd a wise man say, " Give crowns and pounds and guineas But not your heart away....."
But I was one-and-twenty, No use to talk to me.'
At the last he says: ' And I am two-and-twenty, And oh, 'tis true, 'tis true.'