'THE GOLDEX THRESHOLD '
Indian Song Cycle for Solo Voices, Chorus, and Orchestra
KATE WINTER (Soprano)
ESTHER COLEMAN (Contralto)
ERic GREENE (Tenor)
FRANK PHILLIPS (Baritone)
THE WIRELESS CHORUS and Orchestra
Conducted by JOSEPH LEWIS
LIZA LEHMANN (1862.1918) was one of the comparatively few British women who were known as composers in the 'eighties and 'nineties. Her first lessons were given by her mother, who was herself a composer and arranger well known under the initials ' A. L.' Randegger continued her education as a singer, and she also studied composition-abroad, in Italy and Germany, and under Hamish MacCunn in England. For about ten years she appeared on the concert platform as a singer, retiring from this branch of music on her marriage to the painter and composer Herbert Bedford , and devoting herself to teaching and composition. She was the first woman to be commissioned to write u Musical Comedy—Sergeant Brue (1904)—which many listeners will remember.
The Golden Threshold, described as An Indian
Song Garland, is a setting of poems by Soragini Naidu.
There are sixteen items-songs, duets, and choruses. These are taken from five sections of the poem, respectively entitled Songs of the Lover and of the Beloved, Songs of the One Alone, Song of a Youth, Song of the Little Sister, and Songs of the Crowd.
The concert work makes up the following programme : :-
1. Harvest Hymn (Chorus). Praise is offered to the gods of Harvest.
2. Song of a Dream (Baritone). A vision of the birds as spirits of Truth, of the stars as spirits of Love, and the streams as spirits of Peace.
3. Henna. (Soprano and Contralto Duet, with Chorus). An injunction to hasten and gather the leaves of the henna-tree, whoso dye shall bedeck lovely maids.
4. Palanquin-Bearers (Tenor and Bass Duet).
The men's song as they lightly bear a dainty lady.
5. The serpents are asleep (Contralto).
6. The Snake Charmer (Soprano). A song of a youth calling to the snake as the ' subtle bride . of my mellifluous wooing,' the ' silver-breasted moonbeam of desire.'
7. The Royal Tombs of Golconda (Baritone solo and Chorus). A musing, amidst the ruins, on the memories of ancient grandeur and of the beauty that ' wakens with the Spring to kindle these pomegranate groves.'
8. Love Song (Tenor).
9. Like a serpent (Contralto and Tenor Duet). 10. Nighifall in Hyderabad (Chorus). Impressions of the sights and sounds of the great city, as night comes to her, ' borne like a queen to a sumptuous festival.'
11. Cradle Song (Soprano). A Song of the Little Sister, who sings to the baby of the ' little lovely dream ' she has brought for him.
12. To a Buddha seated on a Lotus (Baritone
Solo and Quartet). ' What mystic rapture dost thou own, immutable and ultimate ? . .
The end, elusive and unknown, still lures us. ... How shall wo reach the great unknown Nirvana of thy Lotus-throne ? '
13. Indian Dancers (Chorus).
14. New leaves grow green (Soprano, Contralto, and Tenor). An idyll of Spring.
15. Alabaster (Contralto). 'Like this alabaster box ... is my heart..... Therein I treasure the spice and scent of rich and passionate memories.....'
16. At the Threshold (Tenor Solo, Quartet, and Chorus). The child, pleading in youthful pride to ' drink each joy and pain,' is answered. The omnipotent one decrees that he shall know all rapture and despair. After knowledge he shall seek peace. The end of the whole matter is :
L.fe is a prism of my Light,
And death the shadow of my Face.