Led by LAURANCE TURNER
Conducted by Sir HAMILTON HARTY
I. Intermezzo; 2. Ballade; 3. Alia marcia
Tone Poem, The Mermaids
Sibelius's tone poem ' The Mermaids ', or ' The Oceanides', was written in 1914 and is considered to be one of his finest tone poems. Although there is no definite programme to the music, Cecil Gray has suggested that the lovely passage in Hesiod's Theogony is not inappropriate : ' three thousand neatankled daughters of Ocean who are scattered far and wide, and in every place alike serve the earth and the deep waters-children who are glorious among goddesses.'
In describing ' The Occanides' in THE RADIO TIMES Mr. Gray pointed out that ' the sole thematic material of the work consists in one subject, first heard near the outset on the flutes over gently-swaying figurations for the violins and harps. The orchestral texture, on the other hand, is best described by the French word pointilliste, consisting in an accumulation of minute, almost microscopic, spots of instrumental colour. Remarkable features of the scoring, incidentally, are the writing of frequent chords for the drums-requiring two players-and the treatment of the double basses.'
Symphony No. 5, in E flat i. Tempo molto moderato-Allegro moderato ; 2. Andante mosso, quasi allegretto ; 3. Allegro molto
Sibelius's Fifth Symphony was commissioned by the Finnish government to celebrate the composer's fiftieth birthday. It is probably the easiest of the composer's later symphonies to understand at a first hearing. The first movement is in effect two separate movements played without a break, although in the second section where new material is introduced the horn theme heard at the outset of the movement dominates everything else. The second movement is a set of variations on the opening theme heard first on the violas and 'cellos pizzicato and then completed on the flutes. The third movement provides a fine climax to the work ; it begins with one of those long, winding passages so characteristic of the composer.
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