TOHANN WOLFGANG VON GOETHE, the greatest of German poets, died a hundred years ago this month, aged eighty-throe. The great length of his life, which was a most arduous one, was a sign of his vitality : he lived life as no other man has ever done. Lyric and dramatic poet, novelist, art critic, scientist, statesman, political economist, theatre-director, philosopher, he was incredibly versatile : and in all his work there is the same gusto and originality of mind. Napoleon's famous comment after meeting him says the last word : 'He was a man.' Mr. Lowes Dickinson , who gave a talk on him two years ago, collaborated in an important interpretation of Goethe and Faust, published in 1928, and there could be no more sympathetic talker to celebrate his centenary. The recital of songs which follows forms an apt tribute to Goethe's achievement in lyric poetry: he was probably the world's finest lyric poet, and all the great composers of lieder have 'set' some of his poems.
A Concert of some of his lesser-known music given on the Eve of the 200th anniversary of his
NOEL EADIE (Soprano)
ERNEST HALL (Trumpet)
HIS translator strongly disagrees with Bombet's remarks, previously quoted, about Haydn's songs. 'The canzonets, which Haydn wrote during his residence in England,' he remarks in a footnote, ' must surely have been absent from the author's recollection.' ... ' We would challenge any author, in any language, to produce their equal in simple gracefulness and exquisite sensibility.' Of course, this enthusiastic commentator could scarcely be expected to know that Schubert was in a few years utterly to refute him.
Symphony No. 96, in D (No. 6 of the London
Adagio-Allegro; Andante ; Minuet; Finale, Vivace assai
HAYDN wrote this symphony in London, and relied on his experience to orchestrate it effectively. But at home he had a very different method. Bombet informs us that If any doubt arose during the composition of a symphony, his situation at Eisenstadt enabled him easily to resolve it. 'He rang his hell in the way agreed on to announce a rehearsal; the performers repaired to the rehearsing-room. He made them execute the passage which he had in his mind, in two or three different ways; and having made his choice, he dismissed them, and returned to resume his composition.'
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