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: An Orchestral Concert

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

In Euripides' play, it will be remembered, Alceste was the Queen of King Admetus, who offered herself as a sacrifice to save the life of her consort, condemned to die; Apollo, remembering the King's virtues, rescued her, and restored her safely to her royal husband.
A libretto in Italian was made for Gluck from the old Greek play, by Calzabigi, and Gluck's operatic treatment of it was so successful as to be hailed at once by contemporary opinion as 'a wonder work' and as a masterpiece which would be so regarded not only by musicians, but by posterity for all time.
In the preface, in which Gluck dedicates the work to his patron, the Grand Duke Peter Leopold of Toscana, he gives his views on dramatic music, explaining that the Overture should prepare the hearer for the character of the action, and give him some idea of the course of the drama.
This Overture does indeed foreshadow the tragic part of the tale. It begins with an impressive main theme, in which massive fortissimos for the whole orchestra are answered by string phrases, played softly. This leads to a climax, and that in turn introduces a second subject, which is first presented by the winds and strings in dialogue. Soon another very vigorous theme makes its appearance, with the whole orchestral force engaged in it, and on these three elements the Overture is built up. When given in front of the opera, it has no actual close, but leads straight into the first scene; Weingartner has added a close so that the Overture may be played separately as a concert piece. He develops the existing material somewhat further and brings the piece to an end with soft, mysterious chords played by the whole orchestra.

(to 14.00)


Musicians: National Orchestra of Wales

: For the Schools: Plant and Animal Life by the Seashore: Plants as Civil Engineers, Plants of the Salty Marshes

Mr. H. A. Hyde

A few flowery plants which can survive a regular bath in salt water inhabit mainly mud estuaries. They have been responsible for forming many an acre of good grazing land, a task which the human Engineer could hardly have accomplished without their aid.


Speaker: H. A. Hyde

: Mr. Isaac J. Williams: The Land of Spain - Cordova

Cordova from the ninth to the close of the fifteenth century was a Moorish town of the first rank Its cathedral was built as a mosque in the eighth century and was the most magnificent Mohammedan temple in Europe. In 1236 it was converted into a Christian church.


Speaker: Isaac J. Williams

: John Stean's Carlton Celebrity Orchestra

From the Carlton Restaurant


Musicians: John Stean's Carlton Celebrity Orchestra

About this project

This site contains the BBC listings information which the BBC printed in Radio Times between 1923 and 2009. You can search the site for BBC programmes, people, dates and Radio Times editions.

We hope it helps you find information about that long forgotten BBC programme, research a particular person or browse your own involvement with the BBC.

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