Leader, PHILIP WHITEWAY
Conducted by PETER MONTGOMERY
' The Good Humoured Ladies' owes its name to the Russian Ballet. of Diaghilev, who produced it in 1919 with a plot by Goldoni. The music is taken from the harpsichord pieces of Domenico Scarlatti. Well suited for such a ballet, it is graceful, light-hearted music, and it has been admirably arranged for this purpose by Tommasini, a modern Italian composer whose work is less known than :t deserves to be.
The theme of Brahms's Variations was taken from an unpublished Divertimento for wind instruments by Haydn. Professor Tovey points out in his analysis of the work that although the theme Is inscribed ' St. Anthony's Choral ' which tells us nothing, nevertheless it ' has led that otherwise attractively enthusiastic and well-informed biographer, Kalbeck, to read into Brahms's variations a musical description of the temptation of St. Anthony. Brahms did not live to see this outrage on one of his most serenely beautiful monuments to the joy of sanity. But if intimacy with a diamond so true and so rough as Brahms could not scarify the nonsense out of his accredited biographer, we can at least give an independent listening to tne music. It is quite as imaginative as any masterpiece that ever dealt with St. Anthony's trials ; but whatever the temptation it deals with, they never endangered the soul or the reason of saint or sinner'.
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