THE SWANSEA POLICE BAND
(By kind permission of Mr. THOMAS RAWSON ,
' Directed by A. SHACKLEFORD
ARTHUR FEAR (Bass-Baritone) THE beautiful air which is known the wide world over as ' Handel's Largo' was composed as a song for a contralto voice. In this country, where we like to draw a hard-and-fast distinction between Sunday and week-day music, this has always been regarded as suitable for playing or singing on the most solemn occasions, although it comes from a secular work and the words have nothing to do with any religious subject. It is a stout witness on behalf of the plea that any good music which is not frivolous in its intention is also sacred music.
It is so universally known, that the following little misunderstanding has very likely happened more than once. A well-known fiddler had been engaged as soloist for a concert in a little country town which boasted an enthusiastic, though not very efficient, amateur orchestra. Among the pieces he proposed to play ho had included a Largo (the word, of course, simply means ' broad,' and is used for any very slow movement), by Boccherini. But when he arrived he was kindly but firmly told that even there they knew better; even in so remote a part of the world they did at least know that ' Largo ' was by Handel. The orchestra had practised it zealously in order to accompany the soloist, in a key which was wholly unsuited for his instrument, but he had to play it ; and he was not unkind enough to disillusion the enthusiastic local team.
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