Conductor, A. Johnson
Donald Sparrow (pianoforte)
This choir will be conducted in its first broadcast by A. Johnson , who has been its conductor since it was formed in April, 1932. Two years later the choir won a prize at the Bournville Musical Festival.
Donald Sparrow , who plays pianoforte solos in the interludes, is a native of Birmingham and received his early musical training at the Birmingham Royal Institution for the Blind. At seventeen he obtained the Royal College of Organists diploma, and at eighteen was made a Fellow, gaining the Turpin prize for organ playing. His first broadcast took place in the old Witton studio in 1923. The E flat Rhapsody is the last solo pianoforte piece Brahms wrote. The magnificent energy and breadth of the march-like opening and the delightful airy grace of the middle section have made it a great favourite. Its variety of resource is stimulating, and the minor-key ending comes as a curious and powerful stroke of exhilarating effect.
Debussy's ' The Submerged Cathedral ' is one of his most popular and best known piano pieces. A Breton legend tells how the cathedral of the submerged city of Ys rises out of the waves sometimes on a clear morning when the sea is calm and transparent. The bells are heard to chime, the priests to intone, until after a while the cathedral sinks again to its enchanted age-long sleep.
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