Relayed from The Queen's Hall, London
Sole Lessees, Messrs. Chappell and Co., Ltd.
EVELYN SCOTNEY (Soprano)
STUART ROBERTSON (Bass-Baritone)
SAMUEL DUSHKIN (Violin)
THE B.B.C. SYMPHONY ORCHESTRA
(Principal First Violin, CHARLES WOODHOUSE)
Conducted by Sir HENRY WOOD
'Back to Bach,' or rather the modern equivalent to Bach's style, is Stravinsky's challenge in his Violin Concerto, which is essentially polyphonic in texture. Thus for the first movement we get a brilliant Toccata, which, in the words of the composer, is 'carved in stone'; for the second and third two rather austere arias; and for the finale another brilliant movement in the form of a Capriccio. However, Stravinsky does away with the old ideas of thematic repetition and development, even cadenzas, and condenses everything down to essentials. He tells us that now 'in a scholastic sense this development of the theme no longer exists, and still less repetitions... Every measure is the result of an enormous condensation of thought, so that sometimes in a whole day's work I just manage to write one or two. Proportions have changed, and a concerto of fifteen minutes is already a monumental work.' Stravinsky's Violin Concerto may sound at first rather harsh, but there is no denying the amazing ingenuity of the mind that created the music, the chief characteristics of which are the variety and vitality of its rhythms, striking and original use of orchestral colour, and brilliant writing for the solo instrument.
This work was first performed in October, 1931 by the young Russian-American violinist, Samuel Dushkin, to whom it is dedicated, and wife is playing it tonight.
So extraordinary was the reception of Ravel's Bolero, played after the interval in the Promenade Concert of Saturday, August 19, and no general the request for its repetition, that its inclusion in the programme tonight in place of the Tchaikovsky Variation, as originally planned, is a tribute to both the public's enthusiasm and powers of persuasionâfor to dislodge an item from the printed Prom prospectus for so unorthodox a reason is almost as unheard of an act as it would be to put in a substitute to bat at a Test Match.
But the demand of the public, in this case, is not to be withstoodâand rightly, for Bolero is a remarkable work, popular with every type of listener, and it is only just that the vast majority of listeners who were not in Queen's Hall on the earlier occasion, and to whom it was not broadcast,
should have the not often recurring opportunity of hearing Ravel's rhythmic tour de force played by the B.B.C. Orchestra in such circumstances.
(Tickets can be obtained from [address removed]. and usual Agents. Prices, including Entertainments Tax, 7s 6d, 5s (Reserved); 3s (Unreserved); Promenade (Payment at doors only) 2s.)