Relayed from the Colston Hall, Bristol.
Relayed to Daventry Experimental
Flora Woodman (Soprano), Maurice Cole (Pianoforte)
The Cardiff Station Orchestra
Augmented by The Bristol Symphony Orchestra
(Leader, Leonard Busfield)
Conducted by Sir Henry J. Wood
This is a collection of six Bach pieces, nearly all taken from his music for keyboard instruments. Sir Henry Wood has scored these pieces for modern orchestra, but in doing so, he has tried to adhere faithfully throughout to the spirit of the original.
The First (Very quick, swift and light) is the third Prelude of Bach's famous Forty-eight Preludes and Fugues, The Well-tempered Clavier (Clavier-keyboard instrument-in Bach's day, Harpsichord or Clavichord). This is dainty and delicate throughout. Muted Strings maintain a fluttering figure, and there are light Woodwind chords.
The Second piece is a Lament taken from the Caprice on the departure of a dear brother, for Clavier.
The Third piece is taken from the Third Clavier Partita. It is a Scherzo (Very quick, rhythmical). Bach must have been one of the first composers to use the Italian word 'scherzo' as a musical title. Its literal meaning is 'jest'.
The Fourth piece is the Gavotte-and-Musette from the Sixth English Suite (for Clavier). 'Musette' was originally the name of an instrument of the bagpipe kind. Its dreamy character is well suggested in this piece, which Sir Henry Wood has scored as a delicate trio for Oboe, Viola and Horn.
The Fifth piece (At a steady pace, mystical) is another Prelude from The Well-Tempered Clavier. Sir. Henry Wood has said: 'This... always suggests to me a little Gothic side-chapel in which one lonely supplicant is praying fervently'.
The joyous Finale is the Prelude from the Third Partita for Solo Violin, of which Sir Henry Wood has provided a brilliant modern orchestral version.
Why is the 'Fifth' so great a favourite?
Surely not only because of its tunefulness, its variety of moods, and its brilliance, but. above all, because it is a drama in tone. It relies on no 'programme', but lives a full and satisfying life in every one of its Movements. We can read into it whatever ideas we like, so long as we do not obscure the essential dignity and power of its far-sweeping thought.
The First Movement (Quick and lively) opens with a striking little motif of four notes, which pervades the Movement almost from beginning to end. It is not always so imperative in its summons as at the opening; sometimes it is a more gentle reminder, quite in the background of the music, and this is the case in a minute or two, when (just after two loud chords followed by the opening motif in the Horn alone), a contrasting tune creeps in, as feminine and yielding as the first tune was masculine and commanding.
Out of these two musical themes (representing two emotions) the Movement is made.
The Second Movement is a series of connected Variations on a long-drawn Theme that has two distinct sections, the first a sinuous melody and the second suggestive of a fanfare.
A Scherzo must have gaiety, but that in the Fifth Symphony has romance as well as humour. After running its course, it leads, by a remarkable passage that arouses curiosity and works up excitement, into the Finale, a bold martial Movement. Its course is interrupted for a moment by a ghostly return of a rhythmic fragment from the Scherzo, and then the March bursts forth again, and carries the Symphony on to a triumphant end.
The Cardiff Station
The Bristol Symphony
Sir Henry J.
As a boy of twelve, Elgar wrote some music for a children's play. In 1907 he revived this, and arranged it for Full Orchestra, in the form of two Suites. We are to hear the second of these. It contains the following: March, The Little Bells, Moths and Butterflies, Fountain Dance, The Tame Bear and the Wild Bears.
Mozart wrote this Concerto for performance at one of the subscription concerts which he gave in Vienna, in 1786. It is a cheery, urbane work, in three Movements, the First of which is built on two graceful themes, both given out by the Soloist.
The Second Movement, called Siciliana, is after the style of the smoothly-flowing country-dance from Sicily, in two-time, each beat being divided into three parts.
The Last Movement is a sportive Rondo, the chief tunes being played respectively by Piano, Flute and Bassoon, and Clarinets.