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
EDOUARD LALO 'S first opera, The King of Ys, was not begun until the composer was fifty-two. It took him twelve years to complete and another yeaf to get it put on at the Opera-Comique in Paris. The subject is a Breton one to which Lalo was probably attracted because ho was born in Brittany, although actually he was of Spanish descent. The plot includes the scene of an inundation, for it will be recalled that in the legend the city of Ys was submerged in the sea; it is a very remarkable piece of music and contributed to the success the opera had, although the whole work. which is still in the repertory of Paris opera houses, is a very fine one. Lalo, with admirable foresight, completed the overture long before he was able to finish the opera ; indeed, he was not certain of ever finishing it, so leisurely was his progress, so that for some ten years* before Parisians heard the opera they were thoroughly familiar with. the music of the overture. The Kinti of Ys was first produced in Paris in 1888; in London it had great success in 1901 :and a little over two years ago it was broadcast on two occasions from the London studio.
THIS song occurs in the last act of the opera.
Desdemona in her bed-chamber has offered up her nightly prayer to the Virgin and is now preparing for bed and talking with Emilia. The sail story of a maiden abandoned by her lover is in her thoughts and she cannot dismiss it from her mind. She now sings the lovely ballad describing the poor girl's fate which we know as the Willow Song. The dramatic touches are, of course, Shakespeare's, but the music, which so wonderfully interprets them, is Verdi at his finest. The almost agonizing repose of this scene throws up tho subsequent tragedy of Desdemona's death at the hands of Othello with overwhelming power.
THESE two entr'actes form part of the incidental music written for Rosamunde. Princess of Cyprus, a romantic drama which lives in name only, and that for the sole reason that it is associated with Schubert's music. These little numbers are so universally known that, in listening to them, one is content to reflect that some of the most frequently-heard melodies are transfigured and made fresh when rendered by a symphony orchestra of the first distinction.
THIS music is designed to il. lustrate a railway engine of the type known as ' Pacific,' the largest engine now used in this country. Honegger chose this subject for one reason, because railway engines appeal to him in an extraordinary degree; he thinks of them as living things and like a true mechanic regards them with the affect ion ordinary men have for women nnd horses. Consequently, tho listener should not expect to hear the usual trite imitation of railway noises or a crude description of a railway journey. Honegger's music is rather a musical impression of the sensuous pleasure he finds in machines. Katurally, the music conveys motion and is strongly rhythmic; indeed, rhythms, together with Honegger's individual harmonies, are the main characteristics of the work.
THIS brilliant transcription of Bach's famous organ piece was made by Paul Klenovsky , one of Glazounov's most promising pupils; unhappily for Russian music, he died young. The transcription is for a very large orchestra, every available instrument being made use of. It is scored, however, with such skill and with so sympathetic an understanding of Bach's expressive needs that the huge forces used make more for clarity than sonorous confusion. The impressive effect of the climax is thrilling in the extreme.