from the Free Trade Hall,
The Halle Orchestra
Leader, Alfred Barker
Conducted by Constant Lambert and Arthur Bliss
Egon Petri (pianoforte) (Soloist, EGON PETRI )
(Conducted by the composer)
Bliss's ballet Checkmate was first produced in Paris in June, 1937, under Constant Lambert, and the first performance in England was given at the Theatre Royal, New-castle upon Tyne, on September 7, 1937, when the Vic-Wells Company, conducted by Constant Lambert , was on tour. The story is based on the idea of a game of chess between Love and Death.
Discussing the music in an article in the Radio TIMES, Constant Lambert said: ' Certainly there is nothing severe or neo-classical about Checkinate, which is full-blooded theatre from start to finish. To me it is the most successful of Bliss's scores because it combines in one work so many elements of his character which have previously been presented to us only separately. The gaiety, vigour, and abandon of the early Bliss are there, but this time they have the added maturity and lyricism gained through the more sober period when he devoted him-. self to symphonic and chamber music writing.'