By Charles G.
All other events in the concert world. hat e been overshadowed recently by the performance of the first symphony of William Walton. The first three movements of this work were heard a year ago; the completed work. conducted by Sir Hamilton Harty, was performed for the First time on November 6 at the Queen's Hall. The symphony consists of four movements, and the last movement turns out to be a prelude and double fugue, so far as it can be classified at all among the familiar forms of music.
it is impossible to say, after a single hearing, whether this work marks an epoch or not, but at least one became aware of something vied, sincere and eloquent; a personal idi)m, in which the composer moved freely and with complete mastery; a use of dissonance really germane to the underlying thought. and set end orchestral climaxes which eere prolonged and became almost oppressise.
The latter, I suppose, may be toned
down at subsequent perfot mances. An element of relief is provided by the third movement, Adagio t.on Melancolia. which is a kind of elegy. " almost static in its contemplative mood, but rich in lyrical e.mot ion."
Edwin Evans considees that the slow movement may possibly he prophetic of the future development of this composer.
In the last movement we meet again the declamatory type of music heard in the first two movements, and it must remain at present a moot point whether the composer has really succeeded in summingup, or rounding-off, the tremendous issues and problems of the symphony.
Certainly the peroration is impressive, great music, it would seem, and a voice speaking clearly its individual thoughts.
Many will not find it easy e to accustom themselves to the style of Walton, even if they arc familiar with his earlier successes, Portsmouth Point and Belshazzar's Feast.
In the hands of this composer music is reaching out towards fresh conquests; whether his hands are strong enough to consolidate the territory, and what exactly is the empire of thought, so to speak, which it is desired to establish, time alone can show.
There are still, perhaps, signs of youth in the underlying conceptions and their mode of expression—self-assertion in a sardonic and, at times, almost in a cruel humour. It may be that even Walton, in days to come, will regard this work as immature; it may be that his musical development is far from finished, and that he has a philosophy to gise us more suave, more deep, and more endearing than his present oratory.
These can be only guesses. Meanwhile, we must pay a whole-hearted tribute to a sincere and original genius.
Earlier in this same concert the B B C. Symphony Orchestra gave a rendering of Don Juan, the famous symphony poem of Strauss, and Hofmann wasted his splendid talents upon a very dull concerto of Chopin (No. 1 in E minor).
The Gramophone Company have now formed a society for the recording of Beethoven's sonatas for violin and piano. I have been asking so long for these particular works that it is only fair to mention the present scheme. Kreisler and Rupp arc the two artists who are to make a complete recording of these sonatas.
The subscription to each volume is two guineas and each album will contain seven double-sided 12-inch discs. It is a notable fact that the G major sonata, opus 96, the greatest of its kind ever written, has not yet been recorded. It is certainly high time that such a record should be available, while the sonatas of Beethoven's first period are sonic of the most perfect examples of his earlier style. Light music they may be, but never trivial
music. They were written con antore; Beethoven himself delighted iii playing the violin parts.
Then there is the magnificent sonata in C minor. a typical Beethoven work in that famous key of his, and, of course, the Kreutzer, with which, no doubt, Kreisler will deal in his masterly fashion.
To all lovers of the best in music we would heartily recommend this enterprise of the Gramophone Company.
Elly Ney Trio
The Decea Records, with their associated firms, have a long catalogue of recordings for November. Kathleen Long and the Boyd Neel Orchestra have made another record from the list of Mozart's pianoforte concertos, namely, the concerto in E flat (K 449), which was written in Vienna in 1784.
It is a work of care-free beauty, and by no means familiar to the concert world. Nancy Evans, contralto, the brilliant young Liverpool singer, contributes two songs by Delius, The Indian Love Song and !villain tie 57071. Miss Evans i5 only twenty years of age, and it is highly probable that her contralto voice will soon be famous throughout Great Britain. Such voices are rare; the tone is Vcry pure and musical: her training, too, seems remarkably developed for an artist still on the threshold of her career.
The Elly Ney Trio contributes a recording of Schumann's piano quartet in E flat major, opus 47. Elly Ney plays the pianoforte part and Walter Trampler