Relayed from the National Museum of Wales.
For the Ballet Prometheus, produced in Vienna in 1801, Beethoven wrote this Overture and a number of incidental pieces.
The music is naturally not that of the Composer's full maturity (he was only thirty-one when he wrote it), but it has plenty of vivid life and attractive grace.
It commences with a slow Introduction, in which Beethoven repeats an effect he had made in his first Symphony a year before-choosing a discord, out of the key, as the very first chord of the piece.
Immediately after the loud opening bars we hear a grave, tender melody, which does not continue long, for the first Main Tune of the Overture proper breaks in impetuously. The Second Main Tune soon follows, and there is a romantic episode soon afterwards.
The Composer develops and recapitulates this material and ends the work with a lively Coda.
Handel's 'Concerti Grossi' (Great Concertos) are not Concertos in the modern meaning of works for (usually) one Soloist and an Orchestra.
Handel used an Orchestra generally containing Stringed instruments and a Harpsichord, and divided it into two groups of players. One group, called the 'Concertino', consisted of two Violins and a 'Cello, and the other comprised the remainder of the Orchestra.
These groups are played off one against another, all through the work, having alternate cuts at the music, so to speak, and sometimes they are combined.
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.
We are to hear the Symphony formerly known as 'No. 2', and now numbered 104. It has received the nickname of the 'London'; it is one of those Haydn wrote at the invitation of the impresario Salomon, for performance in London when the composer came over to conduct several concerts.
The 'London' Symphony was first heard in 1795, when he (then aged sixty-three) had a benefit concert. In style and power the music looks forward to Beethoven.
There are four Movements: (1) Slow, leading to Quick; (2) Slow Air, with two Variations; (3) Minuet; (4) Quick and spirited.
The Station Trio: Frank Thomas (Violin); Ronald Harding (Violoncello); Hubert Pengelly (Pianoforte)
Arnold Trowell, born at Wellington, New Zealand, in 1887, came to Europe to finish his musical education and made his debut in London at the age of twenty, with a Violoncello recital. He was at once noticed as an outstanding player. He has busied himself also with the composition of a number of works, including a Quartet and a Quintet that have won good opinions.
The Trio was originally written for Pianoforte, Clarinet and 'Cello. We are to hear two of its three Movements. The last is a set of Variations on an air from an Opera by one Weigl-a tune that was very popular at the time Beethoven wrote this Trio-about 1798.