THE B.B.C. MIDLAND
Leader, ALFRED CAVE
THE FESTIVAL CHORAL
Music Director, HAROLD GRAY
Conducted by LESLIE HEWARD
The Festival Choral Society have been heard before ' on the air ', but this is the first time that they have appeared at the Birmingham Studio. The Society was founded in 1845 and has given annual concerts since 1860. It has contributed much to the history of Birmingham music. Its Musical Director, Harold Gray , is Deputy Conductor of the City of Birmingham Orchestra, of which Leslie Heward is Musical Director. He broadcasts frequently in the Children's Hour in a series entitled ' Adventures into Concertland '
The stirring Prelude to the third Act of Lohengrin is among the very best known of all the extracts from Wagner's works. It begins with an impetuous rushing theme given out with the whole strength of the orchestra.
There follows an emphatic tune, beginning with the same furious upward rush, which the trombones play, and then there is a quieter section, foreshadowing the bridal duet in the last act of the opera. But the rushing theme returns once more, with all its brilliant suggestion of pomp and shining armour.
Borodin's opera, Prince Igor, has been performed more than once in London, and notably three years ago at the Lyceum Theatre with Sir Thomas Beecham conducting. But these brilliant, fiery, and almost barbaric dances had already been introduced to us separately by Diaghilev and other Russian Ballets. None who saw the original production are likely to forget the riot of colour and sound that then took the town by storm.
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