Relayed from the Assembly Room, City Hall
National Orchestra of Wales
(Cerddorfa Genedlaethol Cymru)
Leader, Albert Voorsanger
Conducted by Warwick Braithwaite
Soprano, May Blyth
Baritone, Arthur Fear
Chorus, The Choir of The Cardiff Musical Society
Dr. Vaughan Williams tells us himself of this Symphony that 'the words as well as the music are treated symphonically; the orchestra has an equal share with the chorus and soloists in carrying out the musical ideas.' It is thus unlike other works in which solo voices, chorus, and orchestra join forces; the nearest parallel in classical music is the ninth Symphony of Beethoven. In this work, however, more than in Beethoven's, the voices are used almost as though they were parts of the orchestra, taking their share in elaborating and developing the themes; in a sense in which it is hardly true even of Beethoven's ninth, voices and orchestra are combined in one, and given as nearly as may be equal shares. The three movements are all based on passages chosen from Walt Whitman's poems. Listeners will remember that it is a poem of Walt Whitman's which furnishes the text for another work of Vaughan Williams, 'Toward the Unknown Region.'
Here each movement sets forth, in something of a pictorial way, the images which the poet calls up, and the symphony, although what is called programme ' music, does not set out to tell any coherent story, but rather to present moods. The poems which inspire the three movements are all taken from 'Leaves of Grass'; they are, first, 'Seadrift'; second, 'Song of Exposition'; and, third, 'Passage to India.' Besides full modern concert orchestra and a big Choir, the work calls on Soprano and Baritone solo singers.
National Orchestra of
Orchestra conducted by:
The Choir of The Cardiff Musical
Christmas Eve does not necessarily mean an abundance of good things, and in the cottage of the poor shepherd there are few delicacies. His daughter-in-law, Martha, complains, but her little girl, Gracie, is more in sympathy with the old man, and lights a candle to attract one of the Lord's Poor Brothers. Guided by the candle, but he is no Saint, only a fugitive from justice, a stranger arrives.
An Old Shepherd:
Martha, his daughter-in-law:
Gracic, a child of eight:
The Stranger, a townsman:
A Police Constable:
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