Skip to main content
Hide Articles List

22 articles on this Page

.—————————-I . FATHER AND…

ASHORE NEAR BARRY. I

CLYDACH CARPENTER

[•JDIGNANT SEAMEN

LICENSES OBJECTED -TO.

Advertising

SWANSEA LADIES AID.

SIR BRYNMOR JONES I

FUNERAL POSTPONED .

"NO ANSWER."

CREW -OF THREE DROWNED.___I

Advertising

[No title]

Advertising

Advertising

Advertising

Advertising

-WELSH -CHAMPIONSHIP.

I "SOMETHING WHITE." I

Advertising

LATE MR. R. C. JENKINS.I

A SWANSEA ORCHESTRA ?

News
Cite
Share

A SWANSEA ORCHESTRA ? DR. VAUGHAN THOMAS' INFORMING LETTER. LOCAL CONDUCTORS' DIFFICULTIES. PREPARED TO ORGANISE PARSIFAL PERFORMANCE. Dr. Vaughan Thomas writ.es :-Your edi- torial comments recently, after the perform- ance of "The Apostles" by the Swansea Musical Society, have dealt with a matter of interest to all local conductors, who have to engage the services of large orchestras for their concerts. I trust your articles will serve to keep the question alive. I am sure nothing would give conductors greater plea- sure than to engage local players in larger numbers. I have always sought the best talent in Swansea and the neighbourhood for the -works I have conducted, but certain conditions prevail which preclude the engag- ing of our best orchestral players. Owing to fixed engagements at the local theatres and other places, they cannot accept engage- ments for concerts. This necessitates con- me-nts for concexts. ductors seeking orchestral players from a distance. Even over the Apostles" concert a considerable amount might have been saved had uhose local players I had asked to take part been able to relinquish their du- ties for that one night. What are we to do in the circumstances? Even on the Saturday previous to the con- cert I telephoned and' wired over South Wales for a third trumpet, and at the last moment secured one from Birmingham. A local man had been definitely engaged in the first instance. I had equal difficulty over the "drum" section of the orchestra. Our conductors have to meet the situation as it stands, and to encounter A GREAT DEAL OF TROUBLE AND ANXIETY, .1 1 ? I up to the last minute, men tney nave to appear -it the final rehearsal and the con- cert, fresh as the proverbial daisy. I am not, however, writing this in any complain- ing spirit, but to explain the absence of local players from the orchestras I have conducted recently. i Of course, works of the standard of "The Apostles" are, in my own estimation, best left alone, unless a competent orchestra is engaged. The composer has a right to cle. mand the highest executive efficiency. An artist may have his pictures exhibited for months and even years, and the student may scrutinise the workmanship and judge of its inspiration at leisure. But the composer has a brief two hours, sometimes twenty minutes, to disclose his message. He haa, of all artists, overwhelming reasons for perfec- tion in the matter of presentation. He ia often made or marred by his interpreters. An unsympathetic, wooden, matter-of-fact chorus, orohestra, singer, or conductor may deal him the deadliest blow, and his reputa- tion suffers seriously in consequence. It was necessary, TO DO JUSTICE TO A COMPOSER of Elgar's eminence, that the orchestra should be composed of first-rate material. Out of an orchestra of sixty players (none too many for the complex score of "The Apostles") Timeteen local players were asked to take part. Several of these failed to ap- pear on account of the conditions already mentioned, and illness. A third of the or- chestra, therefore, might have been secured in Swansea alone. The cry has been of late for modern works. The Swansea. Musical Society presented one im "The Apostles. The result was a deficit of L55 on the concert alone, apart from other losses. This is not really due to the expense of the orchestra. Taking into con- sideration the number of players the score requires, the orchestra was, secured, to my mind, at a very reasonable price. The hall had been planned to cover the full expenses, but the committee soon had to meet with serious rebuffs. 7s. 6d. and 10s. 6d. seats were deemed far too high by many patrons of Swansea concerts. Why should they be too high for such a work as "The Apcstleo"? I understand that "Parsifal" is to be pro- duced in Bristol, ip concert form, shortly, and that the produc ion will cost £500. I should cheerfully undertake a similar per- formance of "Parsifal" in its entirety, next season in Swansea, if I thought there were sufficient financial support forthcoming. The cost need not be L500 nor anything like that amount. Still, when we are told that 5s. is the limit, in money terms, of appreciation of the hiehest and noblest music. 1- WHAT INCENTIVE IS THERE for effort: lrue, bwansea is not Bayreuth, but Wagner is Wagner, wherever'there are hearts and minds to feel and comprehend, and where there is also faith in the possi- bility of an adequate production. The lat- ter, "faith," is the one thing needful. Swan- sea could "move" mountains if it had faith.