We often hear people say: "These colours go well together", which is a proper way of describing "harmony". Contrast is a more difficult matter and is always referred to by its proper name.
(A Welsh Interlude)
by Mr. Iorwerth Peate, (Department of Archaeology, National Museum of Wales)
Relayed to London and Daventry
National Orchestra of Wales
(Cerddorfa Genedlaethol Cymru)
Leader, Albert Voorsanger
Conducted by Warwick Braithwaite
There are five sections to this joyous waltz of Strauss, one of the best of his hundreds of dance tunes. There are words to it which might be very nearly sacrilegious were it not for the naive, almost childlike, simplicity which inspires them. The first section sets forth how the three gifts of the title were ordained by a wise Providence for mankind's blessing. The next is a Rhapsody in praise of wine and good cheer, when wisely used, and the third glorifies true love and wedded bliss. The fourth embodies a sentiment which might well be taken to heart, the benefits to body, soul, and spirit, of carefree singing, especially when happy voices join in harmony; and the last is a summing-up of what has gone before - a homage to Martin Luther who is credited with the invention of the phrase, 'Wine, Woman and Song.'
Weber explained that 'Invitation to the Waltz,' originally composed for pianoforte, has a little story attached to it. At a ball, 'a gentleman approaches a lady and asks for the pleasure of a dance. At first she hesitates; he presses; she consents. Now they converse more easily.
He begins; she replies.
Now for the dance! They take their places and wait for it to begin. Then follows the dance. At its close, the gentleman expresses his thanks, and the lady bows.'
One of the chief interests of the piece for musicians is that first Berlioz and afterwards Weingartner, two great masters of the orchestra, chose it as suitable for illustrating the different tone qualities of instruments and combinations of instruments. Berlioz's version, simple and direct, does indeed invest the piece with real - brilliance and a sense of colour.
Cecile Chaminade, one of the first French women to win an important place in the world of composition, is also a brilliant pianist. Many of her songs and smaller pieces for pianoforte have a strong hold on the affections of music lovers, but of her larger works almost the only one which has earned a lasting popularity is the Ballet Callirhoe, produced in 1888. The Dance of the Scarves and the Little Jest, the two movements from it which are to be played here, are happy examples of the grace and charm of her music.
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