THE BESSES o' TH' BARN BAND, conducted by FRED ROYLE
Selection from ' The Flying Dutchman'
IN sixteenth-century Nuremberg the art of singing was held in high honour. The Guild of Mastersingers—well-to-do tradesmen, crafts-men, officials and hard-working citizens, who dedicated their leisure to poetry and song-were a power in the town's affairs, and it was a great event when Pogner, one of their leaders, declared before a Sunday meeting of the Guild (in Act I) that to a Mastersinger who was judged the winner in an open singing contest he would award no less a prize than his daughter, Eva.
It is this announcement that is known as 'I'ogner's Address.' Soon after this momentous declaration a young knight, Walter voh Stolzing, steps forward to be tested for admission to the guild. His song displeasesthe Masters ngers, and he is rejected, but one Mastersinger, the cobblerpoet, Hans Sachs , has seen beauty in it. That evening as he sits outside his shop at his work (in Act II) his ear is haunted by a sweet refrain from Walter's song, a snatch of beauty which he cannot grasp, or elude. Between his musing on this song and his distracted attempts to work he idles away a delicious five minutes with this famous ' Monologue."
Selection from ' Tristan and Isolde'
Mad, mad, everyone mad ! (' The Mastersingers ') Dreams
SOON after Sachs has delivered his ' Monologue,' as explained above, events begin to occur. One thing leads to another, and the Act
; ends in a free fight. Next morning, in his house
(Act III), Sachs sings another monologue to a very different tune—' Why does this impish spell fall upon mankind and scatter their wits and set them by the ears, often for no reason whatever ? All the world's mad.'
Dreams is one of a set of five songs, the sense of which may bo given thus: What wondrous dreams have stilled my senses, dreams that every day and every hour shine in brighter beauty, dreams like the springtime sun kissing the snow and coaxing forth from it the blossoms that at length, their brief life over, sink again into the breast of earth.'
Selection from Parsifal'