Relayed from the National Museum of Wales
NATIONAL ORCHESTRA OF WALES
THE Suite was written as a series of short dances for a ballet produced by the Japanese dancer, Michio Ito, at the London Coliseum in 1916. He supplied all the themes (which are from native sources), except that for the Marionettes' Dance, which is of the composer's invention.
The Song of the Fishdman. This is a plaintive melody, which the Harp decorates.
Next comes a Ceremonial Dance, to which Bells and Drums add their gay colour. (This is sometimes omitted from the Suite).
Dance of the Marionettes. This has an appropriately jerky rhythm in two-time, three notes to a beat.
Interlude. A short, slow section, founded on the Fisherman's Song.
Dance under the Cherry Tree. A dainty, light Movement, started by the Flute.
Finale. Dance of the Wolves. This works up to a fine climax of excitement, the Xylophone and Gong helping things along.
ELGAR'S Canto Popolare comes from his Overture In the South—Alassio, which is a musical record of impressions of Italy-more especially of a glorious afternoon in the Vale of Andora,' with snow-tipped mountains on the horizon, and the blue Mediterranean, and with thoughts of the strife and power of the old Roman civilization, suggested by the ruins at hand. '
In the extract we are to hear, which brings in the tune of pastoral feeling, the theme is Elgar's own.