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Relayed from the Assembly Room, City Hall
National Orchestra of Wales
(Cerddorfa Genedlaethol Cymru)
Conducted by Warwick Braithwaite

Von Suppe, of Belgian descent, was born in Italy in 1820. He occupied posts as conductor in several centres, and guided the musical destinies of one of the Vienna theatres from 1865 till his death in 1895. He is credited with the composition of over one hundred and fifty operettas and similar light-hearted works for the stage; two, at least, of these have been given in London, Fatinitza and Boccaccio, and others are still occasionally given in Continental theatres.
The Overture to Light Cavalry, with its trumpet call, answered by the horn, and with its swift trotting melodies in which the jingle of bits and harness may be easily imagined, is so happily described by its own title as to need no further commentary to enable listeners to enjoy it.

This, one of the best known and most universally popular of all the Verdi arias, is sung in the first Act of La Traviata by the heroine, Violetta.
Guests have been in her salon, making merry, and Alfred, in whose arms she dies at the end of the opera, after all the obstacles to their wedding have been overcome too late, has sung a merry drinking song. Meditating on the love which he has declared for her, she repeats the melody of his song and then, suddenly changing, as though doubtful whether so true an affection can come to one like her, she dashes into the brilliant 'ever free shall I still hasten madly on from pleasure to pleasure.'

Saint-Saens' Tone Poem is based on the classical tale of how Phaeton persuaded his father, the Sun, to let him drive the Fiery Chariot across the sky. Listeners will remember that in the old tale the horses got out of hand, and the chariot was on the point of crashing into the earth to wreck it, when Jupiter hurled a thunderbolt which destroyed the youth and his ear.
There is a short and impressive introduction, and then we hear the galloping steeds; a little later, a pompous tune on the brasses no doubt stands for the young Phaeton himself.
Four horns afterwards play a fine broad melody, which is thought to be the dirge of the Sun over the boy's death. The music works up to a great pitch of excitement, and against, a strenuous version of the Phaeton theme, we can quite clearly hear the failing of the thunderbolt, and, at last, the lament.


National Orchestra of Wales
Warwick Braithwaite

5WA Cardiff

Appears in

About this data

This data is drawn from the Radio Times magazine between 1923 and 2009. It shows what was scheduled to be broadcast, meaning it was subject to change and may not be accurate. More