DOROTHY CLARK (Contralto)
THE B.B.C. ORCHESTRA
(Led by LAURANCE TURNER)
Conducted by JOSEPH LEWIS
Johan Severin Svendsen, the Scandinavian composer who figures in the programmes of orchestral concerts mainly with his Norwegian Rhapsodies, of which he wrote four, the brilliant Carnival in Paris, and his Romance, beloved of violinists, was born in 1840 and died in 1911. Like Sullivan and many another composer, he was the son of a military bandmaster, and found in his association with his father's activities an excellent and very thorough apprenticeship which in the same way made Sullivan a well-equipped musician at an age when the average boy knows no more of music than what he is made to learn at school. At fifteen Svendsen already played several instruments with considerable skill, and he was, in his turn, an army bandmaster before he was twenty. He left the army at twenty-one, and for the rest of his life held many distinguished posts in Germany and Scandinavia, both as conductor and teacher. He was in England in 1888 conducting one of his Symphonies at a Philharmonic Concert. Actually he did not write a great deal, but all his music has a definitely individual character, high technical finish, and an engaging brilliance.
The songs of Richard Strauss have passed into the very limited catalogue from which the artists draw who specialize in what the Germans call Lieder, and in the programmes of these singers Strauss's songs rank with those of Schubert, Brahms, Wolf, and a few others. Naturally all his songs are not of the same superb standard, but such songs as 'Morgen,' 'Cacilie' and 'Allerseelen' rank with the finest in the literature of songs. He takes his texts mostly from modern German poets and exercises great thought in the selection of those he chooses to set. In the case of a few of them he transcribes his accompaniments for orchestra, thus imparting to them an added colour in the handling of which he is so supreme a master.
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