IN Massenet's Opera tho monk, Athanael, has visited his old friend, Thais, in an attempt to convert her from her life as a courtesan.
She has openly mocked him, but he is not discouraged, and has left her with the words, ' At thy threshold until daylight I will await thy coming.'
Hero is played the well-known Meditation. As to the significance of the piece, perhaps one should add that Thais repents and takes the veil, and Athanael finds too late that ho is incurably in lovo with her.
THE French composer, Vieuxtemps, was one of those very active ' commercial travellers of music,' as we may call them-tho touring Virtuosos.
From tho ago of seven to fifty-one ho was ' on the road ' in Europe and America, awakening tho enthusiasm of crowds by his masterly violin performances.
His writing in the six concertos ho composed for his instrument is modelled a good deal on . that of Paganini. If there is no great amount of meat in them, the ' trimmings ' are extremely tasty.
PLANQUETTE (1848-1903) was a clever business-man-musician who made it his business to find out what people wanted, and to serve them with that sort of music faithfully, as long as they would have it. Graduating from the Paris Conservatoire, he began by composing songs and tit-bits for caf6 concerts, and soon took to Operettas. Perhaps his greatest success was in the work from which we are now to hear extracts. It was one of his earliest Operas, composed before ho was thirty.
THIS popular Overture almost epitomizes the Opera in which Rossini and his librettists present the story of the Swiss liberation-tho rousing of tho forest cantons by William Tell and the overthrow of the tyrant Gessler.
William Tell is one of Rossini's last operas (it is nearly one hundred years old), and has practically nono of the triviality of most of his earlier works.
The Overture is a fine piece of descriptive music, both dramatic and pictorial. Calm meditation is the mood in which it opens, suggesting the serenity of nature. Very unusual is the tone-colour : only five Solo 'Cellos and two Double Basses are used. Presently a storm gathers and gradually swells to tremendous force.
The storm goes as gradually as it came, until peace is restored. Then is heard a pastoral tune (on the Cor Anglais, representing the Swiss shepherd's pipe), with much decoration added above by a Flute This tune is the traditional ' Ranz des Vaches,' or cow call.
The Overture ends with a lively March, ' battle music, the final triumph of the Swiss people,' as it has been described.
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