FRANCES MORRIS (Soprano) ; CORDON BRYAN
The STATION ORCHESTRA, conducted by Joseph LEWIS
PETER SCHMOLL AND HIS
NEIGH BOURS was one of the works written in intervals between the restless wanderings of the Webers, father and son, during the latter's early 'teens. Weber was only fifteen (1801) when ho wrote the Opera, in Salzburg, one of their places of call. It was produced a year or two later, but without success.
THE words of this exhilarating song of rejoicing and of praise to Cod for the preservation of a loved one run thus :—
0 had I Jubal's lyre,
Or Miriam's tuneful voice,
To sounds like his I would aspire, In songs like hers rejoice.
My humble strains but faintly show How much to Heav'n and thee I owe.
RACHMANINOV has written considerably in the larger forms, his compositions comprising several Operas, three Symphonies, four Pianoforte Concertos, Pianoforte and concerted String music, and many notable songs.
The Second Pianoforte Concerto contains three Movements.
FIRST MOVEMENT. (At a moderate speed.) Some opening chords for the pianist alone, beginning very softly, and gradually becoming louder, lead straight into the First Main Tune of the Movement, a broad, impassioned one given to Strings and Clarinet (the Piano meanwhile accompanies, with rapid, harp-like passages).
This continues for some time, and then works up to a climax, and stops dead, the Viola and Clarinet just keeping tilings going for a bar or two by a softly-played phrase that leads into the Second Main Tune of the Movement, a song-like, rhapsodical passage, given out as a Piano Solo, with occasional orchestral trimmings.
The chief material of the Movement has now been heard, and all that follows grows out of it.
SECOND MOVEMENT. (Slow and sustained.)
Here the Stringed instruments wear their mutes throughout, so producing a silvery tone.
After a few bars of very quiet Introduction, the Piano is heard alone, and then, whilst it continues, there creep in little solo passages for Flute and for Clarinet. A few moments later the Piano takes over these bits of tune, and the Clarinet with the First Violins (plucked, instead of bowed) takes over the accompaniment formerly played by the Piano.
., Much in this style the Movement continues. In one place, tQwards the end, a brilliant Cadenza (or showy flourish) offers the Pianist an opportunity.
THIRD MOVEMENT. (Quick and playful.) This opens with quiet, detached chords in the Orchestra, which gradually got louder and lead into another Cadenza by the Pianist.
A few more bars of Orchestra, and then the Pianist takes over again, this time giving out, near the top of the keyboard (the Orchestra taking a rest meanwhile) the First Main Tune of the Movement, a florid, light-handed one. This is then repeated (in a shortened form) with a light orchestral accompaniment.
The passage works up to an impressive climax, answered by the Piano alone, and there enters the Second Main Tune, played by the Oboe, in its lower range, with the Viola doubling it (soft Horn chords and plucked 'Cellos and Double-basses as accompaniment.)
This is the musical material of the Movement, and having noted it and so attained a subconscious intimacy with it, the listener will readily follow tho rest of the music.
IT used to be almost impossible to say exactly how many Symphonies Haydn wrote, for some of his works could be described either as Symphonies or Overtures, or by other names ; and of some compositions described as Haydn's it could not be surely said that they were authentically his. Now a hundred and four Symphonies have been certified as truly the Composer's work. Of these the one we are to hear is No. 102. It is one of the set called ' Salomon ' Symphonies, because a London concert promoter of that name arranged for their performance at his concerts during the years 1791 and 1795. There are the usual four Movements.
It is interesting to note that Haydn, a Croat, often used bits of Slavonic folk-tunes for his themes. The slow opening melody of this Symphony has a melodic curve like that of many such tunes, and the Finale, a particularly fine example of Haydn's powers, is much like a march often played at country weddings in the districts Haydn knew well.