DOROTHY HELMRICH (Soprano), ROBERT MAITLAND (Baritone), EDWARD ISAACS (Pianoforte), THE STATION ORCHESTRA
NIGHT AND DAY is the opening air in Don Giovanni. It is sung by poor, weary
Leporello, the Don's servant, who laments his onerous and uncomfortable task of having to keep watch while his master makes love.
Eri Tu ('It was Thou'), from 'A Masked Ball'..Verdi
THE Governor of Boston has fallen in love with the wife of his friend and secretary, Renato, who swears to be revenged.
In this air he expresses, first, his anger, and then his grief - as he thinks of the happiness that his false friend has destroyed.
BROADLY speaking, Schumann shows himself to us in one of two moods: either he is tender, even plaintive, or he is noble and forceful. We find him in both moods in his Piano Concerto, one of his most brilliant, spirited works that ranks among the most popular of all Concertos.
The work did not at first appear in its full form. The First Movement was written in 1841. and was entitled Fantasia. Four years later the Composer added two mere Movements and called the whole a Concerto.
The FIRST MOVEMENT, quick and emotional, opens with a fiery phrase on the Piano. This is no inconsequent opening; later it plays an important part in the emotional working-up of the Movement. Now Woodwind and Horns at once play the First Main Tune and the Piano repeats it. Then follows a good deal of bustling work for the Piano, with touches of other instruments, then a fairly loud climax in the Orchestra. Soon after this the opening of the First Tune is presented in a new light, chiefly by a Solo Clarinet. At last the Second Main Tune creeps in. a tiny, dainty phrase in Oboe and Piano in dialogue.
Still the Piano continues busily, until the Second Tune is declaimed by the Full Orchestra.
The rsst of the Movement consists of the foregoing material seen from many points of view. Towards the end there comes a significant 'Cadenza,' or solo passage for the Piano.
IN 1820, when he was twenty, Mendelssohn paid his first visit to this country, and spent six weeks of the summer in touring the Scottish Highlands.
Two of his works, the Hebrides Overture and this Scotch Symphony, contain impressions of his tour.
A visit to Holyrood Palace, with its sad memories of Mary Queen of Scots and the murder of Rizzio, gave him the inspiration for the opening of the Symphony.
The work is in four Movements.
Though they are separate and distinct, Mendelssohn directed that there should not be pauses between them.
The FIRST MOVEMENT begins in a romantic and melancholy spirit and goes on to treat two well-contrasted tunes, working them up into a stormy climax in the concluding pages of this part of the work, and finishing with the sad melody heard at the commencement.
In the SECOND MOVEMENT (connected with the First by two plucked String chords), the Highlander's foot is clearly on his native heath, and his step is light and free.
The THIRD (SLOW) MOVEMENT has a First Main Tune full of feeling, and a Second that is solemn and march-like.
In the LAST MOVEMENT we have a vivid picture of Scottish heroism and strife in 'old, unhappy, far-off days.' Into this Movement, we may take it, the Composer wove his memories of the Gathering of the Clans, a brave spectacle that he was fortunate enough to witness at Blair Athol.
THE first three songs of this group are from Schubert's cycle, The Fair Maid of the Mill, settings of poems by Wilhelm Muller. A miller's apprentice goes off to see the world. Whither? is the question he puts to a brooklet beside which he takes his way. 'You will find your mill to turn, some day,' is his reflection, 'and I'll find my work waiting for me, too.'
Soon he comes to a mill, and sees and falls in love with the miller's lovely daughter. He gets work there, and on a holiday evening muses on his labours, wishing he had a giant's strength, partly in order to impress the maid of the mill with his prowess.
Impatience is the expression of his longing that all Nature shall bear the message to the beloved - 'Thine is my heart, and shall be thine for ever.' But impatient love need wait for no messages: her eyes will know the unspoken thought, her heart will feel a heart's devotion.