Relayed from the Assembly Room, City Hall
National Orchestra of Wales
Conducted by Warwick Braithwaite
Dvorak's Violoncello Concerto is one of his best works, and one of the best existing works for the instrument. It is written in three separate Movements, and scored for a fairly large Orchestra.
First Movement (Quick). - The First Main Tune is given, without preliminary, by Clarinets in their low, reedy register, joined at the third bar by Bassoons an octave lower.
This Tune is really a 'motto' theme, dominating this Movement and recurring in the last one. In the present Movement it is gradually taken up and brought to a climax in the Full Orchestra.
Very soon after this has died down a Horn plays a splendid song-like Second Main Tune.
After a sudden climax, the Solo Violoncello enters with the first main tune. The rest of the Movement need not be described.
Second Movement. (Not too slow). - The chief substance of this Movement consists in expressive, lyrical and decorative work for the soloist. The chief Tune opens in the Clarinet.
The Solo Violoncello enters after the first phrase.
Third Movement (Moderately quick). - Dvorak's instinct for musical colour led him to open the main tune, at the start of the Finale, with Horns; indeed, the very nature of the Tune is obviously that of a Horn-call.
The Horns are answered by Oboe and Clarinet, and this is followed by a steady growth in the volume of sound.
A moderate climax develops, after which the Solo Violoncello enters, with the Main Tune of the Movement.
There are many other tunes introduced in this Movement, but that just described is the one that should stick in one's mind, together with the 'motto' theme from the First Movement, softly referred to in the Finale.
National Orchestra of
Two of Shakespeare's Welshmen
Sir Hugh Evans, 'Merry Wives of Windsor', Act III, Scene I
Captain Fluellen, 'Henry V', Act V, Scene I