Mr. John Ansell, whom we recently welcomed as the new conductor of 2LO's Orchestra, has a good many years of varied conducting behind him, and a number of charming light orchestral pieces, besides several Comic Operas, to his credit. Here is one of his tuneful Overtures.
Molly on the Shore is the name of an old Irish reel, and the composer has made his piece out of this and another reel. Temple Hill. His use of the orchestra will be found to be vivid and highly coloured. Percy Grainger was born in Melbourne, in 1883, but during the war took on American nationality.
Sir Charles Villiers Stanford, who died a couple of years since, was one of the first composers in these islands to break away from the German yoke under which music had served for many years. Music must, of course (unless there is a complete break) owe much to Germany, where such big developments have been effected during the past two and a half centuries. But it is not likely that British composers will produce many works of real value if they speak, as it were, the German language instead of their own. This is commonly realized at the present day, and Stanford was one of the first to realize it. This Overture is a good specimen of his earlier work.
Shamus O'Brien is of course, an Irish Opera, concerned with the 1798 rebellion. Shamus is a rebel, who is arrested but released through Father O'Flynn's influence.
In the Overture two old Irish Tunes are used. Everybody knows the tune of Father O'Flynn, which starts,with no waste of time, with the first note of the Overture. (This tune is sometimes known as The Top of the Cork Road.) The other tune is an old march of Cromwell's time. The Glory of the West. This does not appear for some time. When it does appear (given out emphatically by the Brass), much is made of it. All other material is Stanford's own.
Though Dr. Esposito was born in Italy, he has been so long active in Dublin that we can almost count him as an Irishman, the more so as he has written Cantatas and an Opera on Irish folk subjects, as well as an Irish Symphony and this Irish Suite.
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