A Programme of Nature and Solace.
The Augmented Station Orchestra, conducted by Warwick Braithwaite
Some of the loveliest music of this century was left us by George Butterworth, who (like many young English composers) was killed in action in France, in August, 1916. His music tells plainly that he had deep within him the rapture and tranquillity of the English country-side.
Of his small output, two song-cycles and this orchestral Rhapsody are founded on A. E. Housman's poem-cycle, A Shropshire Lad. The song-cycles are, of course, settings of certain of the poems, while the Rhapsody is a sort of epilogue to the song-cycles-a reverie, perhaps, on the whole of A Shropshire Lad.
The Opera Boabdil, the Last King of the Moors, is founded on an incident in the war of the Spaniards and the Moors, in the fifteenth century. The Ballet Music taken from the work consists of three pieces, a Spanish Malaguena (in three time, with a characteristic rhythm beginning with whole beat, two halves, whole), a Scherzo-Valse, and a Moorish Fantasia (two time, commencing with dignified chords and going on to build up the piece over a recurring motif that stumps about in the bass).
Sometimes the Fantasia is played first, and the Malaguena last.
The shrill tweedle-dee of the boy fiddler has begun, accompanied by a booming ground-bass from Elijah New, the parish clerk, who had thoughtfully brought with him his favourite musical instrument, the serpent... the dance whizzed on with cumulative fury, the performers moving in their planet-like courses, direct and retrogade from apogee to perigee, till the hand of the well-kicked clock at the bottom of the room had travelled over the circumference of an hour'. (Thomas Hardy's Wessex Tales.)
Balfour Gardiner (born in London about fifty years ago) gives us his impressions of the dance in this piece, which is dedicated to Sir Henry Wood. It was written in 1910.
The dashing youth Phaeton, having been permitted by his father, the Sun, to drive the fiery chariot, loses control of the horses. The car of flame is approaching the earth, and must set it on fire if nothing can intervene. At the last instant Jupiter hurls a thunderbolt, saving the universe, but destroying the rash youth.
This is the story Saint-Saens illustrates in his Symphonic Poem.
The Augmented Station
Relayed from Bethlehem Welsh Congregational Church.
Emyn, 'Pantgwyn' (1011 Caniedydd Newydd)
Darllen yr Ysgruthiw.
Emyn, 'Erfyniad' (749, Caniedydd Newydd)
Can. Elsie Davies
Anthem, 'Yr Arglwydd yn fy Mugail'
Pregeth. Llewelyn C. Huws
Emyn, 'Trewen' (653, Caniedydd Newydd)
Y Fendith Apostolaidd