By Charles G.
During the last week of the Promenades Philip Sainton's Serenade Fantastique for viola and orchestra was performed for the first time on October 2. Philip Sainton is now second principal viola in the B.B.C. Symphony Orchestra. and since his introduction as a composer in 1923 other works of his have been played in Promenade concerts as well as in America, and most have been broadcast.
This serenade is an excellent piece of writing which can be regarded as pure music or as containing for its background a story of a dreamer in a garden, who sees Iwo sculptured figures come to life and join in a dance.
October 2 was also the last Brahms concert of the Promenade season, and the whole house was packed, a contrast to the preceding night when the English programme was rather badly attended.
A Grace Moore Record
One would have thought that more people at least would have been drawn to hear again the Pastoral Symphony of Vaughan Williams. It is curious how few English compositions have established themselves as popular favourites; with the exception of Elgar's work a good deal of labour and talent in the musical field seems to receive but little recognition.
This may be the fault of the work itself or of the English public. and there are. Bre,aoxf. course, exceptions, the symphonies o
for instance. We shall await with much interest William Walton's 1st Symphony on November 6.
The H.M.V. have produced this month a new style of record called " On Wings of Song." Everyone is familiar with the usual medley of songs from popular films. but on this new record the story of Grace Moore's new tihn On Wings of Song is told by Frances Clare in the form of a telephone conversation with a friend. while the music is sting by Joan Cross and Henry Wendon. This is a record which will appeal to music-lovers and liim " fans " Aloe (H.M.V. C2775.)
New Italian Tenor
The term "second Caruso** bus been frequently used in connection with every new tenor who shows promise. The latest addition to the ranks of great Italian tenors lays no claim to this title. Alsssandro Ziliani, not yet 30, has had an amazing career.
At the age of 20 he decided to take up a singing career. so he ran away front home and served behind the counter of a Milan buffet in order to be able to study at night.
In 1929 he made his debut in Milan in Madame Butterfly. since then he has sung in all the principal continental cities. On this record he is heard in the scene from La Boheme, which is featured in Grace Moore's new film. (H.M.V. DB2521.) No one could surely wish for a liner record of Beethoven's Appassionata Sonata than the one just issued by the H.M.V. Edwin Fischer gives a masterly rendering of the whole work. which is recorded on three plates (D82516; 2517 and 2518).
Tschaikowsky's 5th Symphony
Stokovsky's rendering of Tschaikowsky's 5th Symphony has many characteristic touches, much brilliance, and. at times, overwhelming force. One or two of the pianissimos are, however, almost imiudible; the horn melody in the second movement seems to be drowned once or twice by the strings—this may be an intentional effect but it is unusual--and here and there the balance of the instruments is not quite as good as usual in Philadelphia recordings.
The fact seems to me to be that the wood-wind instruments of this orchestra arc such marvellous soloists that. like a too brilliant voice in a choir. they upset the balance.
IFor instance, I have never heard the flute obbligato so prominent before in the second movement. These, however, arc small criticisms, and the work as a whole is a worthy and brilliant rendering of a superb symphony.
Those who heard Dr. Adrian Boult's announcement on the air on October 5 wi'l have already learned the main features of some of the great orchestral concerts of the season we are now entering.
An endeavour will be made in the " Herald" to cover these concerts as far as possible, together with the various recitals that are held nightly for many weeks to come at the smaller London concert halls.
B B.C. Symphony Concerts
Perhaps the series of most general interest, apart from the Philharmonic concerts conducted by Sir Thomas Beecham. is the B.B.C. Symphony concerts. whose programmes date from Wednesday, October 23, to March 25, 1936.
They are held always on Wednesdays. and offer a wonderful selection of great and well-known works as well as some new and original features. For instance, on October 23 the first concert performance in England will take place of Allan Berg's three pieces from the Lyric Suite 'arranged for string orchestra, and on November 6, as before mentioned, William Walton's first symphony.
On January 29 there will be another first performance, namely. of Constant Lambert's Masque for Orchestra. Chorus and Baritone Solo. It is called " Summer's net Will and TeetarnenL"