Sheep-Farming in the Australian bush, playing the violin to the Governor-General, cruising on a whaler, mutiny, capture by ferocious rebel Maoris-all these were among the lively experiences of the Irish composer of Lurline. He is not to be confused, by the way, with the William Wallace of our own time, composer of the Freebooter Songs, etc. Vincent Wallace was born in 1814 and died just over sixty years ago. He wrote, among other things, half a dozen Operas, but Maritana was the only really successful one, and it has, indeed, easily made up for the rest as far as popularity goes.
Lurline, first produced in London in 1860, is about a Rhine-nymph who gains the love of a Count, and takes him to live with her in the depths of the river. The Overture, fashioned after Wallace's customary manner, includes several of the Opera's leading airs.
The Siegfried Idyll, as most hearers know, is not an extract from one of Wagner's Operas, but one of his separate works, composed as a birthday present to bis wife, after the birth of her son Siegfried (who was named after the hero of the Ring cycle of drama). The music contains several tunes from the Ring, and one which is an old German cradle song.
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