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(Section D)
THE overture to Ruy Bias , Victor Hugo 's drama of that name, was written by Mendelssohn, when he was thirty, and at the height of his powers. He loathed the play and said so, but he composed the overture simply because the proceeds of the concert at which it was to be played were to be devoted to The Widow's Fund of the orchestra. Mendelssohn himself refused to call it anything else but the Overtureto the Dramatic Fund. In view of the fact that it is admittedly one of the most effectively brilliant of his orchestral works, it seems hardly credible, but none the less true, that the whole thing was conceived and executed within a period between a Tuesday evening and a Friday morning, the Wednesday and Thursday of which seem to have been taken up with various occupations of another nature. The whole thing, then, must have been composed literally in a few hours.
WITHIN the last twenty years three leading
English musicians have reviewed the character of Sir John Falstaff , and each has seen it differently. The figure that Gustav Hoist has drawn in his one-act opera, The Boar's Head, is the Falstaff of the tavern, that of Vaughan Williams' Sir John in Love is the Falstaff of Windsor, but not of The Merry Wives of Windsor, while Elgar's Falstaff is the knight, gentleman, and soldier come to ' a green old age, mellow, frank, gay, easy, corpulent, loose, unprincipled and luxurious,' conversing with Prince Henry and recalling his experiences. Once more he is back in ' The Boar's Head ' and there, falling asleep. dreams of his boyhood as plain John Falstaff , a page to Thomas Mowbray , Duke of Norfolk. This episode is the first of the two Interludes to be played tonight. The whole work is of considerable length, and in order to appreciate it at its full musical worth it is almost essential to acquire a complete understanding of its programme. This programme, which covers various episodes in Falstaff's career, was furnished by th6 composer when the symphonic poem was first. performed at the Leeds Festival in 1913. Of the second Interlude, therefore, it is not here possible nor even necessary to give a reason for its place in the scheme, nor a synopsis on the incidents leading up to it. Falstaff is in Shallow's Orchard. Some martial pipe and tabor music is appropriately heard. Both interludes are scored for small orchestra,, though the complete work calls for a very large one.
AFTER a highly successful visit to England in March, 1884, and another later in the year, Dvorak was assured of the esteem and affection of the English people. When he came again in 1890 he was naturally invited to conduct at a concert of the Philharmonic Society. For this occasion he had brought the score and parts of a now symphony which was exceedingly well received. This was the fourth symphony (Op. 88, in G), and as it was subsequently published in London by Novello, it rapidly made its way into every concert hall of importance in this country. It has been said with some truth that the encouragement Dvorak was given in England very favourably influenced his subsequent development. He came here again and again and no musician of his time was more welcome.


Arthur Catterall
Adrian Boult
Ruy Bias
Victor Hugo
Sir John Falstaff
Gustav Hoist
John Falstaff
Thomas Mowbray

National Programme Daventry

About National Programme

National Programme is a radio channel that started transmitting on the 9th March 1930 and ended on the 9th September 1939. It was replaced by BBC Home Service.

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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