Monday and Tuesday: "Wait for Me " (new play by Philip Wade).
Wednesday: Symphony Concert from Queen's Hall, Thursday: Walton's "Belshazzar's Feast." Saturday: Rugby Football : England v. Ireland.
He knew, for instance, that he must establish an intimate personal contact, not with his audience as a whole but with each individual among his audience, in the first sentence. This was because his audience was an invisible .audience. He was not lecturing in a public hall. He " registered," as they say, at once; and the prime factor in writing for radio as in performing for radio is to " register " right away.
Many a play, many a sermon, many a talk has expired in that first crucial minute because there was not that magnetic immediate click between the voice and the individual.
Mr. Chesterton set off with infinite leisure; the rhythm was that of ordinary conversation; it never varied; each word had its chosen time-value; the very ideas appeared to be impromptu, the adjectives to have occurred to hint on the spur of the moment; and with the same unhurried speed the last sentence ranee to an end.
We looked at the clock and saw that he had stopped talking exactly on the last second of the allotted twenty minutes. How was such miraculous timing achieved?
The answer is that he took pains— infinite pains. Was it worth while? Well, Mr. Chesterton thought so; and whatever the other radio-talkers may feel about it, we, the listeners, heartily agree with Mr.
Chesterton. Announcers have described to me how they would find him studying his script, rehearsing it, going over it again and again, right up to the last moment.
The craftsman, you sec. who was as impatient of slovenly technique as an actor would be impatient of slovenly diction. And certainly no actor ever approached his first performance of Hamlet with greater loyalty to his art than Mr. Chesterton approached the least of his radio-talks.
rhythmic effects of the interweaving of his tunes; it was an a priori essential of the magnitude of his task that he should do so. And if the modern composers are content passively to aquiesce in the natural tendency of the parts not to be " submerged in harmony" it will be difficult for them to escape in good faith the sting in Mr. Foulds' comment on Ein Heldenleben that " anyone can write prodigious counterpoints if he doesn't care how they will sound."
Lastly, before we come next week to consider the Art of Fugue in further detail, and perhaps to try and decide on what instrument or instruments the imagined sound relationships of the work should be given reality, it is important to note that Bach was sufficiently concerned with the abstract and universal quality of his task to supervise the engraving of his work in open score (i.e., with each part on a separate line) *sad without instrumental indication_
radio drama is popular, and indeed more popular than the most optimistic believed it to be. It is to be hoped that the jury will help him with just the guidance he is looking for.
But the establishment of a prize might do more for radio dratna than anything. Progress halts largely on economic grounds. Prize-giving would be surrounded by many difficulties; they might he found to be unsurmountahle; at least it should he carefully considered; and it would he welcome news that the offer of prizes was the Drama Director's next courageous venture.
By Q. E. D.
A question that is frequently put to me is this: if you have a good all-round hand, is it best to begin with a call of One No Trump or One of a suit?
The answer to this must depend largely upon the pattern of your hand. For instance, if it contains a singleton Ace or any singleton, call a suit. If it is a balanced hand, e.g., 4 3 2 4 or 3 3 3 4 with the strength well distributed, I favour One No Trump; but on this: — Spades: Q J x; Hearts: Ace x; Diamonds: K J x x; Clubs: Ace K x x; a holding where the minor suits are stronger than the major, I call One Club. Partner can show his suit easily over that, if he has anything to contribute. A bid of Three No trumps may be built up with safety in this way.
Some people will never go One No Trump if they have a suit of two only. Manning Foster gives an excellent note on this in his book, Contract without Conventions (p. 75). He instances these hands: N. S.
dtb 44 Ace Q x x
gp Jxxxxx qp K Q x . 10 x x . Q x ela Jxxx ele Ace 9 x x S. dealt and called one Spade: N was in great difficulties at once. Dare he show his Hearts?
But note, if S calls One No Trump, N can say Two Hearts without much fear. The hand will probably be played in three Hearts. And all is well.
Or again, if you are frightened of your doubleton in the above hand (the Diamond suit) call One Club; then again N can say Two Clubs, a weak sign-off, or One Heart; or he can pass if he is nervous. For indeed his hand is very poor. But a bid of One Heart cannot do much harm.
What it really comes to is this: the best players make it easy for their partner to bid; they keep this in mind in making their own bids. Partner can respond even on a weak card and knows he will not be rushed; he knows also that his sign-off bid will be understood and on that subject I have more to say next week.