Relayed from the Assembly Room, City Hall
NATIONAL ORCHESTRA OF WALES (Cerddorfa Genedlaethol Cymru)
Conducted by WARWICK BRAITHWAITE
ALTHOUGH the Overture' Poet and Peasant'
A is easily the first favourite of the few works of Suppe's which are now heard, this brisk and sparkling piece must be a very good second. He was one of the many musicians whose great gifts appeared at an early age, and who had to overcome some opposition before he was allowed to take up music in earnest. He spent a busy life as conductor and composer, and one authority reports that he left no fewer than two
Grand Operas and 165 stage pieces of less serious dimensions, as well as at least two big works for the Church. In the latter part of last century two or three of his Light Operas were produced : in London and enjoyed real success.
BRAHMS had completed his first Symphony for some years before he would allow it to be made public. It was eagerly anticipated by the whole musical world ; his position as one of the greatest masters of all time was already assured, and in earlier orchestral work he had made it plain that ho was as thoroughly at home there as in pianoforte or chamber music and in songs. There is ample evidence to show that the Symphony was finished about 1862, but it was not until 1876 that it was first played. It was at Carlsruho that it had its first performance under Otto Dessoff , Brahms himself wishing to hear his work ' for the first time in the little town that holds a good friend, a good conductor, and a good orchestra.'
The last movement is based on a big, simple tune, like a sturdy, popular hymn. It has often been pointed out how like it is to the principal tune of the last movement of Beethoven's Ninth Symphony. There is the usual second main tune, a more graciously flowing melody, as well as a third energetic figure near the end, but for the most part the big tune from the beginning has the leading share in the movement.