THE BIRMINGHAM STUDIO AUGMENTED
(Leader, FRANK CANTELL)
Conducted by JOSEPH LEWIS GORDON BRYAN (Pianoforte)
AMONG the many different musical forms and types taken by Mendelssohn's compositions there is plenty of evidence that he had a gift for dramatic vocal writing, but he left us no successful Opera. Now and then, however, he dabbled with the form. Late in his career, for instance, he began-and left unfinished-an Opera called Loreley. The Marriage of Camacho was an early effort; it was performed in Berlin when the composer was nineteen. But it was not the earliest, for it is known that the boy Mendelssohn had written five operettas.
DUKAS' piece is a humorous musical illustration of a ballad by Goethe, about a magician's
'prentice-boy, who, while his master is away, copies his signs and spells, and raises spooks, but can't lay them. He makes them work for him-fetch buckets of water and swish them around, and sweep away vigorously.
Then he forgets the spell; the spirits can't be stopped, and the house is getting flooded. In the nick of time the sorcerer himself returns and removes the spell with a solemn incantation.
IN the brilliant and quick - changing moodsof thisFantasia, written over thirty years ago, the composer - pianist - President expresses some of the leading elements in Polish music and life.
He binds the four sections of his work together by bringing in certain themes in more than one part of the work. Actually, the Fantasia is in one Movement.
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