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Relayed from the I hilharmonie Hall Relayed to Daventry Experimental
Vocalist, ASTRA DESMOND (Contralto)
G )ETHE, getting into correspondence with a pessimistic young man named Plessing, took an interest in him, visited h.m daring a trip to the Hartz Mountains, and afterwards, reflectiag on his talks with the young man, wrote a poem about his journey and its interesting results. Of this poem, Brahms set several stauzas for Contralto Solo, Men's Choir and Orchestra. In the first two. poet and composer consider the sad estate of him who goes apart from men, comfortless, unloved and unloving. Lonely, he becomes self-seeking, doing nothing to help the world onward.
Then, in the last portion of the poem, comes consolation, and here Brahms finely reflects and reinforces the cheering thoughts : ' But if from Thy Psalter, 0 Father of Love, one note may come to his ear, refresh his soul. Open his clouded eyes to see the thousand fountains that are near him in the desert ! '
IF this famous work were given an English nickname, it might be called ' The Cambridge
It was composed half a century since— in 1876. Stanford, Professor of Music at Cambridge, arranged a performance of the work, which Brahms was warmly invited to come and conduct, but all efforts at persuasion failed.
When Brahms wrote this First Symphony he was already well over forty. The other three great Symphonies which stand to his credit followed in quick succession.
The Symphony in C Minor follows the usual
' classical ' forms, and is in four Movements. The First is very weighty and unusually serious even for Brahms. The vein of seriousness affects also the Second Movement, a gently-flowing piece, partly song-like, partly rhapsodie. Then comes a more light-spirited Movement, of a more seizable rhythm, but one that is far from intro- i ducing the spirit of gaiety that we often find in one of the centre pieces of a Symphony.
The Last Movement, like the First, begins with a slow Introduction (with an unintentional quotation of a theme resembling that of the 'Cambridge Chimes,' which Braluns had never heard). Then after a change from the prevailing minor to a major key, and a short pause, the urgent Finale starts on its long, exulting course.


Contralto: Astra Desmond


From the Liverpool Studio


AN Orchestral ' Serenade ' in Mozart's day was a collection of light pieces, such as might be played at intervals in an evening's entertainment. This favourite Serenade consists of four
- delightful little pieces—a kind of miniature
Symphony, but light as air and fragrant as the summer evenings for which such music was written.
The FIRST of its four pieces is a lively, dainty one, the SECOND is a thoughtful Romance, the THIRD is a rhythmical Minuet and Trio, and the FINALE is a wing-footed Rondo.

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