Relayed from the QUEEN'S HALL, LONDON
Sir HENRY J. Wood and his SYMPHONY
MARGARET BALFOUR (Contralto)
DALE SMITH (Baritone)
QIEGFRIED, the hero, having killed a dragon and tasted its blood, is enabled to understand the voices of Nature. Resting under a tree, he listens to the murmur of the forest's life. He would imitate the birds' songs, and from a reed. after several attempts, fashions a pipe. Then his thoughts turn to his mother, who died when he was born, and the music clouds over for a moment, only to resume its cheerful course with a new theme. The whole episode is one of the loveliest scenes Wagner ever wrote.
TRISTAN, a Cornish Knight of royal birth, -L has fought successfully in Ireland on behalf of his uncle. King Mark of Cornwall. He brings Isolda. an Irish princess, as an unwilling bride for the King, but discovers that he himself loves Isolda. They hide their love. and her marriage with the King is carried out. But the lovers cannot be denied. During one of their secret meetings the King surprises them, and one of his followers stabs Tristan, who will not defend himself.
The prelude to the last Act expresses the anguish of the Knight, who lies dying, and his yearning for Isolda. We hear also (from the Cor Anglais) the shepherd playing upon his pipe— surely, the most plaintive melody in all music.
Sir Henry J.
DEATH AND TRANSFIGURATION is one of the best-known of Strauss s Symphonic Poems.' It was completed in 1889 (when the Composer was only twenty-five), and when published in 1891 the score was prefaced by a poem by Alexander Ritter. This was, however, as a matter of fact, written after the music, and is somewhat in the nature of a commentary, Strauss having composed the work on his own imaginative basis.
Though Death and Transfiguration is a continuous work. it consists of four more or less definite sections, to which the sections of the poem correspond.
I. (Slow.), The sick man ties in his bed and dreams of ' childhood's golden day.'
II. (Quick, with great agitation.) A fierce, delirious fight with Death. Once again there follows stillness. and in III. (Slower-a lengthy section) the dying man reviews, as in a trance. all his past life. At length, there comes a briefer, fiercer struggle, in which Death strikes hie final blow.
IV. (At a moderate speed, and Tranquil.) The stillness of death is succeeded by the Transfiguration.
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