SIR HENRY WOOD and His SYMPHONY ORCHESTRA
ELSIE BLACK (Contralto)
FRANK TITTERTON (Tenor)
LEFF POUISHNOFF (Pianoforte)
Relayed from the Queen's Hall, London (Conducted by the COMPOSER)
BEETHOVEN'S Fidelio had several vicissitudes of fortune before it became a success, and for each new production he wrote a fresh
Overture. One of these exists in two different forms, so we may count Fidelio's Overtures as actually five.
The so-called Third
Overture (actually the second in order of composition) begins with a short, slow Introduction, and then the vigorous main body of the Overture begins. There are two chief tunes-the very soft and mysteriously-opening one, and a succeeding smoothly - flowing one.
Note the dramatically i nterrupti ng Trumpet call in the middle of the Overture (generally performed, in the concert-room, by a player out of sight behind the Orchestra) ; this represents the crucial moment in the play, when the Minister of State appears-just in time to save the hero from execution.
THIS, one of the less frequently heard Concertos of Saint-Saëns, came out in 1875, when the composer himself (aged forty) played the pianoforte part.
The first two Movements, a quick one and a slow one, are linked together the slow portion starting with a tune for Woodwind, accompanied by pianoforte arpeggios.
The next Movement is quick and lively-a Scherzo. It contains reminiscences of tunes heard near the opening of the work. Another slow section (following without pause) brings back a tune by now familiar, from the earlier slow section, and then comes the final quick portion,
THIS piece, celebrating the salvation of Russia from Napoleon, was written for the consecration of a church in Moscow which had been erected in thanksgiving for that event, and was to be performed in the open air by a huge military band, with cannon firing-all very grandiose ! That performance, however, never took place.
Tchaikovsky himself afterwards described it in his diary as ' an indifferent sort of work, possessing merely a patriotic and local significance.'