Conducted by FRANK Gomez
Relayed from The Spa, Whitby
Rossini was only twenty-one when his opera-buffa, L'Italiana in Algeri, appeared in Venice. But his position as one of the most popular composers of the day was already established, by the charm of his own personality almost as much as by his genius for music, and in the previous year, 1812, he had produced no fewer than six operas. It was in one of these that he first made notable use of a device which was afterwards recognised as peculiarly his own, although he could make no claim to its invention—a long crescendo, rising gradually from quite soft tone to the fullest volume of sound which could be drawn from the orchestra of that simpler age. He made use of it so frequently that for years he was known to a very wide circle of admirers as ' Signor Crescendo '.
Except for the recent Covent Garden revival, L'Italiana in Algeri has long ago gone from the repertoire, but the Overture is still a popular item in concert programmes. It is, indeed, a characteristic example of Rossini's wonderful gift for sparkling melody, and his favourite device of the crescendo is used very effectively.
Leader, Philip Whiteway
Conductor, E. GODFREY BROWN
The plot of Danse Macabre is of the simplest. The scene is a graveyard at night ; the clock strikes and Death appears, knocks on the graves, and starts tuning his fiddle. In answer to his summons, several skeletons appear and dance wildly to Death's fiddling. Presently the cock crows, the dance ceases, and all disappear as day breaks.
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