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The National Orchestra of Wales
(Cerddorfa Genedlaethol Cymru)
Conducted by Reginald Redman

This important early work of Elgar's no doubt owes a good deal of its effective use of the strings to his own intimate knowledge of the violin, and his youthful experience as conductor of a local band of modest size and attainment. It has achieved a very wide popularity, and there can be but few orchestras, amateur or professional, which have not at least attempted it. There are two main tunes in the first movement, which begins with a dainty, tripping figure on the violas; it is heard in the last movement again. The second of the chief melodies also reappears there. The second movement, short, is always regarded as the gem of the Serenade. Its main tune is a long, flowing melody which the first violin plays; there is a short contrasting section and the melody is repeated in fuller and richer form. The last movement opens with a fine flowing tune, and, as mentioned above, the opening and the second tune of the first movement are heard again.


The National Orchestra of Wales
Reginald Redman

by Marjorie Vaughan Thomas
It is half-past six on a warm, sunny August morning and the little old-world village of Glan-y-Mor is awakened from its dreams by the voice of Billy Bach, the village crier, urging everyone who is joining the choir picnic to Pennant Priory to get out of bed.
Scene I
In which various people of some importance open their eyes to the sunshine
Scene II
Outside Hermon Chapel the choir assemble, and after many delays start off
Scene III
The choir arrives at Pennant Priory
Scene IV
Afternoon. In which some people of importance, whom we have already met, meet each other
Scene V
The day is over and the picnic party get ready to return home
Scene VI
On the way home
Rev. Richard Davies
Mrs. Davies, his wife
Ruth Evans, their maidservant at the Manse
John Williams, the Precentor
Gwen Williams, his daughter
Jenny Jones, their maidservant
Miss Camillia Price-Jones
Billy Bach, a village character
Mrs. Ellen Lewis, a widow
David Gwyn, a young writer who is lodging for the summer at her house


Marjorie Vaughan Thomas

National Orchestra of Wales
(Cerddorfa Genedlaethol Cymru)
Leader, Louis Levitus
Conducted by Reginald Redman

In 1831 Mendelssohn returned from a lengthy and very interesting trip through Switzerland and Italy. That was one of the ways in which his good fortune in being well endowed with this world's goods, was wisely used, and while still a young man he saw a good deal of Europe. His enthusiastic mind made the very most of all the beauty and interest which he learned to know, and the Italian visit was fruitful in composition. The so-called Italian Symphony was begun and carried well on the way towards completion while he was still in Italy, and this Pianoforte Concerto, completed soon after his return, also has something of the inspiration of the sunny South.
The orchestral passage, with which it was usual to begin a concerto, is here a mere prelude of seven bars, after which the pianist alone gives out the first principal tune. It is discussed at some length between the soloist and the orchestra before the second theme steals in rather quietly. There is the usual working-out and restatement of the two subjects, and then a fine passage for the brasses carries us into the key of the slow movement which follows without a pause.
There is only one chief theme in it, a quiet meditative melody, played first by the 'cello.
The movement is made up of variations and embellishments of the tune, in which soloist and orchestra both have interesting shares. The same passage for the brass instruments which led from the first to the second movements, carries us, again without a break, to the third.
It has a short introduction in very quick time, and then the pianist dashes into the first chief tune, bubbling over with vivacity and youthful high spirits. After it has been set forth, there is a figure woven out of a series of arpeggios which has a good deal to do with the later course of the movement, and there is a third theme-a little phrase for flutes. The movement works up to a climax which is even more vivacious than its opening.


National Orchestra of Wales
Orchestra leader:
Louis Levitus
Reginald Redman

5WA Cardiff

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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