Relayed from THE QUEEN's HALL, LONDON
(Sole Lessees, Messrs. Chappell and Co., Ltd.)
THE B.B.C. SYMPHONY ORCHESTRA
(Principal First Violin, CHARLES WOODHOUSE)
Conducted by Sir HENRY WOOD
March, Tannhauser Prelude, Lohengrin
THE scene is the Great Hall of the Castle in which the Knights are to compete in a Tournament of Song. Their subject is to be the nature of love, and Elizabeth, niece of the Land-grave of Thuringia, will herself crown the victor. She has, at the opening of the second act entered alone, full of joy at the return of Tannhauser, the man she loves, and in the greeting which she sings to the Hall of Song she cannot refrain from expressing her delight that she is so soon again to hear his voice thrilling her as it has done often before.
The guests now assemble with due ceremony to the music of this impressive march, and greet their host, the Land-grave, in full chorus. In this instrumental arrangement, however, the voices are transferred to the orchestra.
LOHENGRIN is forced to declare himself, at the end of the opera, to be the son of Parsifal, the Knight of the Holy Grail. The Holy Grail is the Sacred Cup used by our Lord at the Last Supper, and the legend is the subject of, amongst other works, Mallory's Romance of King Arthur. In the music of this Prelude Wagner illustrates the vision of the Holy Grail appearing in the Heavens, becoming increasingly brighter till it assumes a blinding radiance, fading thereafter until it disappears in space. It is intended to be symbolic of the whole opera.
ISOBEL BAILLIE and Orchestra
Elsa's Dream (Lohengrin)
ELSA, the daughter of the Duke of Brabant, is falsely accused of the murder of her brother by Frederick of Telramund, who hopes thereby that her land shall be forfeit to him. Thus accused, Elsa recounts how she dreamed in answer to her prayers that a mysterious and resplendent knight came to her aid, and she now declares that when he does come in reality, he shall be her lord and champion.
Prelude, Act III (Lohengrin) Siegfried Idyll
Forest Murmurs (Siegfried)
Prelude, Act III (Tristan and Isolda)
(Cor Anglais, TERENCE McDONAGH )
THE marriage of Lohengrin and Elsa has just been celebrated and in the third Act of Lohengrin we see them, at the end of the festivities, left alone in the Bridal Chamber. This introduction is in the nature of a ceremonious fanfare symbolizing the joyful festivities accompanying the marriage. There is a passage in the middle much quieter which musically concerns the happy pair alone.
WHEN Siegfried, Wagner's son, was only a few days old, the grateful father composed this lovely idyll and had it played one morning beneath the window of his wife's room. A beautiful and significant gesture, and Siegfried Wagner , doing his best in later life to live up to it, gave up his chance of being a possibly good architect to become a not very good composer. He wrote a number of operas, conducted at Bayreuth, bore the long burden of his forceful mother's personality, and went through life positively ham-strung by the hatchet of his father's reputation. He died only recently.
SIEGFRIED, after all little more than a boy in years and still a boy in mind, has arrived at the cave of the dragon which he intends to kill with the magic sword he forged only that morning, and now finds a moment to rest before getting seriously to work. The summer morning is perfect, and the forest alive with Nature's sound-effects. He thinks first of what he can remember of his mother, but the song of a bird pleasantly distracts him. He cuts a reed in an attempt to answer the bird, and failing in that, sounds his horn. The bird takes no notice, but the dragon does, and Siegfried, recalled to action by its raucous bellowing, promptly kills it. A drop of the dragon's blood has, however, fallen on his finger, and in that blood there is magic. He is now able to hear what the persistent bird is saying, and urged on by her to further adventure, follows in the wake of her flight. This forest music is of extreme loveliness ; never has nature been schooled to sing more movingly.
HORACE STEVENS and Orchestra
Wotan's Farewell and Magic Fire
Music (The Valkyrie)
, at 9.0