The STATION ORCHESTRA, conducted by JOSEPH LEWIS
(Picture on page 336.)
OF the music of Spohr, once one of the most popular composers in Europe, little is now heard in public, though fiddlers rightly cherish his notable works for their instrument.
He wrote this ' Dramatic Concerto in the style of a Vocal Scena ' for a performance in Italy in 1816. at which be himself played the solo part. The Italians loved vocal music more than that for instruments, and Spohr sought to please them by casting his work into a form somewhat similar to that of an extended ' Aria ' or 'Seena.'
The work is in three linked sections. In the first, an orchestral prelude is followed by a long passage in recitative (declamatory) style for the Violinist. The second section corresponds to the. ‘cavatina' of the Italian or extended Aria. and to the Slow Movement of the normal Concerto (which is ultimately derived from the 'Aria' form). After another (short) portion of recitative comes the last and most fully developed part of the work. which may be compared to the 'cabaletta' that concluded the operatic 'Scena.'
AT twenty-two Mozart was travelling about with his mother, hoping to find a permanent post worth the accepting. The Court
Organistship at Versailles was a possibility, but the post was not of importance and the salary too small to supply even the modest needs of the Mozarts.
He did not receive much attention in Paris. which was then too much excited over the rival Opera Composers. Gluck and Puccini, to pay much attention to him. This Symphony was almost his only success there.
For the first time he included Clarinets in the orchestration, for he had only a short time before found these instruments in regular use. at Mannheim. The Orchestra of the Paris ' Concerts Spirituels,' for which he wrote this Symphony, also had them.
There are three clear Movements in the work. The FIRST is a blend of strength and joyous grace, its two Main Tunes representing these qualities in charming contrast.
The SECOND MOVEMENT, the usual slow one. is scored more lightly, for Strings. Woodwind without Clarinets, and Horns only. the Trumpets and Drums which enlivened the First Movement being omitted. It is a sweet, delicate piece of song-like expressiveness.
The LAST MOVEMENT, as fully orchestrated as the First, has all the clear-eyed vivacity and resource of Mozart in his best and lightest vein. The Composer uses his skill in the interweaving of parts and the development of material in so easy a style that science is never obtruded, but reinforces the music's appeal as only it can when a Composer knows his business from A to Z, and when his technique is completely at the service of his inspiration.
WHEN' in 1873 Manzoni, the great Italian writer, died, Verdi wrote a Requiem
Mass in his memory. From this we are to hear the seventh movement, a Tenor Solo, in which a penitent sinner seeks God's mercy, remembering the hope vouchsafed even to those who feel their prayers are not worthy of acceptance.