Relayed from the Assembly Room, City Hall.
The National Orchestra of Wales, conducted by Warwick Braithwaite
In 1837 Wagner, then a young man of twenty-four, read a German translation of Bulwer Lytton's Rienzi, and determined to push ahead at once with an idea that he had hid in mind for some time-that of writing an Opera on the subject of Rienzi, the Roman hero. With characteristic boldness and lofty imagination he conceived a work on a grandiose scale. That spirit is reflected in the somewhat blatant, pulse-stirring Overture.
Faust and Mephistopheles, taking a walk abroad, come to a village inn, where the folk are dancing after a wedding. Faust instantly falls in love with one of the girls, and Mephistopheles urges him to nsk her for a dance. Taking a fiddle from one of the players, the Evil One declares he will show them how to play. His wild playing sets everyone dancing madly, Faust with his lady amongst them. In the midst of the excitement the two dance out through the open door, and slip away to the woods, pursued by the sound of Mephistopheles' demoniac fiddling.
The National Orchestra of
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