by the HALLÉ ORCHESTRA,
Conducted by Sir HAMILTON HARTY Relayed from the Free Trade Hall
Relayed to London and Daventry
ONLY in middle age did Brahms begin to write
Symphonies. This is a work of his full maturity, written when he was fifty. Its first performance was given in Vienna, under Richter (afterwards so well known in this country), and as each Movement ended, there arose excited applause and also hissing. Very soon the work settled down as a solid success, and for forty years it has been one of the unfailing delights of the concert room-a work of true power, depth, and sweetness, the product of a noble mind.
There are four Movements-a quick, big-spirited one, a gentle song-like one, a romantically melancholy one, and another quick and vigorous one.
SOME of us are old enough to remember that there was a great quarrel about this work when it was first played in England, a quarter of a century ago. ft was supposed to be tremendously ' advanced,' exeruciatingly ' modern,' and part of it was declared to be horribly ugly.
But (in those days, at any rate) Strauss did not make noise merely for noise s sake. And if in music you are to depict a hero's ups and downs at all realistically, you are bound to show him in hot water some time-and that means using pretty strong discords !
Concerning the ' programme ' of the work the Composer, at the first performance, said to a friend : ' It is enough to know that there is a hero fighting his enemies.' A detailed analysis, however, has been published, with his consent and approval. Six scenes or incidents are clearly to be distinguished. -
FIRST SCENE. We have a portrait of the Hero, and some indication of his qualities-his pride, his imaginative nature, and his strength of will.
SECOND SCENE. The Hero s Enemies (Wood-wind) snapping and snarling as they flock round him.
THIRD SCENE. The Hero's Helpmate. She ia represented in her varying moods by a Solo Violin melody.
A trumpet call behind the scenes brings us to the FOURTH SCENE. The Battlefield. Here came the toughest test for the sensitive ears of 1902. Note the powerful and persistent drum rhythm.
FIFTH SCENE. The Hero's Works of Peace.
Here Strauss quotes largely from his own works.
SIXTH SCENE. The Hero's Flight from the World, and Completion. After a moment of dejection, the Hero finds serenity and peace of mind—perhaps in a pastoral life, as the mood of the music seems to suggest.
He has to face one more storm, however, but it is brief.
The end comes in a great climax that rounds off the Hero's life-work in completeness of Joy.