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: An Orchestral Programme

Relayed from the National Museum of Wales
National Orchestra of Wales
(Cerddorfa Genedlaethol Cymru)

From a very early age Tchaikovsky was strongly attracted by Italian opera, and its melodious influence probably has a good deal to do with the fact that his music is in some ways less obviously Russian than that of his compatriots. He made more than one visit to Italy, and this piece, among the gayest and most care-free of all his music, was composed during a trip in 1880, most of which he spent in Rome. Writing from there to Madame von Meek, the good friend who enjoyed so much of his confidence, he says, 'I am working at an Italian Fantasia based on folk songs. Thanks to the charming themes, some of which I have taken from collections, and others which I have heard in the streets, this work will be effective.' On its first appearance in Moscow, it did indeed prove to be successful, but when it was played in the following year (1881) in St. Petersburg, the critics condemned it as vulgar. In one sense it is thoroughly, vulgar- music of the people, easy to understand and enjoy without suggesting problems to be grappled with. It begins with the trumpet call which Tchaikovsky heard every morning from the barracks beside which he was living. Then the strings in octaves play what is clearly a popular tune; it is next heard in the woodwinds, and after it has reached a climax, the trumpets sound again. Then there is a pastoral tune for two oboes, repeated with various changes of instrumentation, oven a glockenspiel having a share in it. Another theme is played by the violins against a subsidiary melody on the horns. It, too, is repeated with varied instrumentation, and then, after a reminder of the opening, we come to a strenuous Tarantella which forms the last section of the piece. It is interrupted for a little by the oboes' pastoral theme, played by the whole strength of the orchestra, but is soon resumed, to bring the work to an end at furious speed.

(to 14.00)


Musicians: National Orchestra of Wales

: John Stean's Carlton Celebrity Orchestra

Relayed from the Carlton Restaurant


Musicians: John Stean's Carlton Celebrity Orchestra

: The Children's Hour: The Maid of the Mistletoe

A Christmas Fantasy written by Dorothy Coombes


Writer: Dorothy Coombes
Music: Rodney Eden

: John Henry

the Famous Yorkshire Comedian


Comedian: John Henry

: S.B. from London

(9.15 Local Announcements)

(to 23.00)

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