Played by Mrs. NORMAN O'NEILL
LOUIS AUBERT (bom 1877) is yet another of the pupils of Faure. Besides songs, pianoforte and orchestral pieces he has written music for a lyric fairy play, The Blue Forest.
JACQUES IBERT , a Rome Prize-winner in 1919 (when ho was twenty-nine) has written an Orchestral Suite, Escales (Ports of Call-inspired by a Mediterranean tour), The Ballad of Reading Gaol (after Wilde's poem), a Ballet, Les Rencontres, an Opera, Perseus and Andromeda, music for the play The Gardener of Samos, a quartet, songs, etc. His Stories Suite includes tales about The Old Beggar, A Giddy Girl and The Woman who sells Fresh Water, besides those of The Little White Donkey, and The Crystal Cage, which wo are to hear.
By CARDINAL NEWMAN
Set to Music by EDWARD ELGAR
TN 1865, Cardinal Newman wrote the poem, The Dream of Gerontius, inspired by his thoughts as he sat by the deathbed of a friend. It pictures the dream of a dying man, as he anticipates what lies beyond.
Elgar, himself of the same faith as Newman, long afterwards set the poem to music, and hia setting had its first performance, in 1900, at tho Birmingham Festival.
The best preparation for a first hearing of Gerontius is a reading of the poem itself. This can be obtained in various editions, the cheapest costing one shilling.
In the FIRST PART of the work wo hear
GERONTIUS (Tenor), the PRIEST (Bass), and ASSISTANTS (Chorus).
The music opens with a very beautiful Prelude, and then follow these solo and chorus passages :— GERONTIUS : ' Jesu, Maria-I am near to death.' ASSISTANTS : ' Kyrie Eleison. '
GERONTius ' Rouse thee, my fainting soul.'
ASSISTANTS: Be merciful, be gracious ; spare him, Lord.'
GERONTIUS : ' Sanctus fortis, Sanctus Deus.' GERONTIUS : 'I can no more.'
ASSISTANTS: Rescue him, 0 Lord, in this his evil hour.'
GERONTius ' Novissima hora est.'
THE PRIEST: Proficiscere, anima Christiana.'
ASSISTANTS : 'Go, in the name of Angels and Archangels.'
In the SECOND PART we hear THE Soul OF
GERONTIUS (Tenor), GUARDIAN ANGEL (Mezzo-Soprano), THE ANGEL OF AGONY (Bass), and DEMONS, ANGELICALS and SOULS (Chorus). It opens with a brief Introduction, and then follows :-
SOUL OF GERONTius : ' I went to sleep ; and now I am refreshed.'
ANGEL: My work is done, my task is o'er.'
Dialogue.—Angel and SOUL : ' All hail, my child and brother, hail ! '
DEMONS : ' Lowborn clods of brute earth.'
ANGEL: It is the restless panting of their being.'
DEMONS : ' The mind, bold and independent.'
Dialogue.—SOUL and ANGEL: I see not those false spirits.'
ANGELICALS : 'Glory to Him.'
ANGEL: They sing of thy approaching agony.' Soul : ' But hark ! a grand mysterious harmony.' ANGEL: And not the tineshold, as we traverse it.'
ANGELICALS : ' Praise to the Holiest in the height.'
Dialogue.—ANGEL and SOUL : 'Thy judgment now is near.'
ANGEL OF THE AGONY : 'Jesu ! by that shuddering dread which fell on Thee.'
VOICES ON EARTH: Be merciful, be gracious : spare him, Lord.'
ANGEL : ' Praise to His Name.' Soul : ' Take me away.'
Souls IN PURGARORY : ' Lord, Thou has been our refuge.'
ANGEL : 'Softly and gently, dearly ransomed soul.'
(The titles are given by kind permission of Messrs.
Novello and Co.)
It must not be understood that these Solos and Choruses are cut off from one another in the way usual in the older Oratorios. Each of the two parts in the work is continuous, and is bound into a whole by the use of leading motifs, which are first heard in the Orchestral Prelude.