(Led by Laurance Turner )
Conducted by ADRIAN BOULT
TATIANA MAKUSHINA (Soprano)
Kitesh was the last but one of Rimsky-
Korsakov's fifteen operas, and it is not often performed outside Russia. In some ways Kitesh is said to resemble Parsifal, not, of course, in the music, but in the story itself and in the composer's treatment of the story. The plot, as was usual with all Rimsky-Korsakov's operas, is drawn from Russian legendary and folk-tales. A notable occasion was the studio broadcast of the opera in April, 1931.
George Butterworth , one of the most promising of the young composers of the pre-war period, was killed in action in 1916 at the age of thirty-one. What work he did leave has an intrinsic value outside any considerations of sentiment, and this work, and ' The Banks of Green Willows,' also for orchestra, are in the permanent concert repertory. The subject of the Rhapsody, 'A Shropshire Lad,' refers, of course, to the volume of poems under that title, by A. E. Housman. No title could better have represented the years immediately preceding the war. Folk-song, ballad, and all they implied, had seized the imagination of practically all young English composers. Housman's poems which are in effect folk-ballads in a modern idiom, were cast like seed upon a soil already well prepared and fertilised.
Many of those who have heard both, declare that the opera Konigskinder is even more charming than Hänsel and Gretcl, and altogether a better work. It was introduced here by Sir Thomas Beecham nearly twenty years ago, and it then so impressed that it is odd that it has not been performed since. The text is by Ernst Rosmer , a German dramatist, and it is founded on an old German fairy tale. The list of characters is a long one, and perhaps the most difficult of all to cast is the Goose, who has to appear and behave herself decorously whenever the Goose-girl, another character, appears on the stage. The scene, to which this music is an introduction, shows a meadow outside the town; the townsfolk expect the arrival of the King's Children, and a holiday spirit pervades the scene.
Tristan, seriously wounded by Melot for his treachery to King Mark, has been put on a ship by Kurvenal and brought to Brittany. There he lies overcome with pain and despair hoping against hope for Isolda to come to him. This is the Prelude to the Act which opens on such a scene and it is full of the melancholy that obsesses the mind of Tristan. A shepherd has been set to watch the arrival of a ship, and as he gazes out to sea he plays on his pipe a poignant melody. On this the curtain rises.
TATIANA MAKUSHINA and Orchestra
Isolda's Liebestod (Tristan and Isolda) .. Wagner
The Liebestod is sung by Isolda over the dead body of Tristan right at the end of the opera. Isolda has hastened across the sea to the mortally wounded Tristan, only to witness his death in her arms. She now sings of her longing to follow him into the dark beyond, and surrendering herself to death, sinks lifeless across his body.
This programme will originate in one of the New York studios of the Columbia Broadcasting System, who are presenting it as a final summing up in a series of round table discussions which they have recently broadcast under the title of ' America's Grub Street Speaks.' The participants in tonight's discussion will include Mr. RICHARD Roy SMITH , a New York publisher of note, on the subject of English and American Publishing; Mr. GEORGE JEAN NATHAN , editor, author and critic, on International Relationships among Authors; Mr. ERNEST BOYD , I the author, on International Criticism; and Mr. THEODORE Dreiser on World Affairs and Literature.
Mr. Richard Roy
Mr. George Jean