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(Cerddorfa Genedlaothol Cymru)
LIKE many of his followers in the modern school of Russian music, of which he was the actual founder, Glinka had passed the usual age for musical apprenticeship before taking up any serious study of the subject. But his influence on the school which looks to him as its father, was perhaps the more strongly racial on that account. The music which ho heard in his young days, music which naturally made a very profound impression on the boy's mind, was real native music played and sung by the peasantry of his village, or by the little local band which his uncle employed there. It was only after some years in a Government post in St. Petersburg, and after a stay in Italy, where he made the acquaintance both of Donizetti and Bellini, that he determined to begin work in earnest on a project of which he had till then thought only vaguely-a national Russian opera.
THE whole-hearted enthusiasm with which he devoted himself to the task had its reward in the immediate success of his first opera, which is at the same time the first really national Russian opera. A Life for the Czar was produced in 1836, and the public was at once carried away by tho freshness and national character of its music, and by the patriotism of the story.
Russian and Ludmilla, was his next opera.
Although musically a great advance on the other, it has never had anything like the same popularity, and it is only the Overture which is at all well known outside the borders of his native country.
Its design is straightforward and easily followed, there is a bright introduction and the succeeding section is founded on two vigorous themes, one in a bold D Major, and the other a flowing, song-like theme, in the key of F.
ONE of the most vivid and stirring pieces of descriptive music in existence, the beginning of the Third Act of Wagner's Valkyrie sets before us the gathering of the warrior maidens on their grim rock. The galloping horses, rushing across the sky through a great storm of thunder and lightning, the greeting which the warrior maids call to one another as they come, each with a slain hero across her saddle bow, bearing him to Valhalla—these are so eloquently presented in the music that no stage setting is needed to bring the whole picture vividly to the hearer's thought as he listens.


Conducted By: Reginald Redman

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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.

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