excerpt from 'Letter from Leslie Woodgate to Adrian Boult, September 16th 1936' pp. 193-4 (380 words)

excerpt from 'Letter from Leslie Woodgate to Adrian Boult, September 16th 1936' pp. 193-4 (380 words)

part of

Letter from Leslie Woodgate to Adrian Boult, September 16th 1936

original language

urn:iso:std:iso:639:ed-3:eng

in pages

193-4

type

text excerpt

encoded value

THREE CHOIRS FESTIVAL (HEREFORD), SEPTEMBER, 1936

16.9.36

The first work I heard was Elgar's 'Apostles'. The performance under Dr. Percy Hull was, on the whole, very good. The Choir is the best I have heard at the last three festivals, and sang with life and vigour.

Two Preludes (on 'Eventide', Monk, and 'Dominus Regit Me', Dykes) by Vaughan Williams concluded the morning oratorio. These pieces are written in the usual Vaughan Williams manner, and do not throw any new light on his great mind. They were beautifully written, and I think will sound better in a concert hall, as many of the subtleties were lost in the acoustics of the Cathedral.

The evening performance began with a splendid Motet by Charles Wood 'Glory and honour and laud'. This was finely conceived, and spaciously written music, full of dignity, and well written for voices. The new peice by Dyson [Prelude, Fantasy and Chaconne] proved to be a very unsatisfactory work to my hearing. It began with a Preude, which sounded as though it were going to be of vast importance, but this soon petered out to a feeble dialogue between 'Cello Solo and short sections for Wood-Wind. There was no particularly striking theme anywhere in it. The second movement (Fantasy) lived up to its name, and owes a great deal to the Enigma 'Dorabella' variation, besides a little Brahms here and there. It had a certain charm, but how much of Dyson's I know not. The final section (Chaconne) was quite odd. In the programme note, Dyson says 'The Chaconne derives from Buxtehude and Purcell'. The derivation was not too obvious, unless he means that both were fond of ground-bass. The actual working of the theme owed nothing to anyone important. It just went on weaving patterns that were pleasant to listen to, but not to enthuse about.

It may sound as though I am being rather cynical about this new work, but it seems to me that Dr. Dyson is being set up as one of the great new English composers, and I do not understand why. He certainly has technique and ability, but that, to me, is all.

Mendelssohn's 'Hymn of Praise' was sung after the Dyson work, and the clarity of thought, technique and sound was quite refreshing.

LESLIE WOODGATE

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excerpt from 'Letter from Leslie Woodgate to Adrian Boult, September 16th 1936' pp. 193-4 (380 words)

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