MUSIC AND DRAMA.
iOTJTE LEHM ANN'S TRIUMPH.'
?'Madame Lotto Lehmann goes from triumph I
to triumph. Little else is talked about nowa- days in musical circles but the songs she has sung at her latest recital. People who attend
all seven concerts-and many are doing this will . have enjoyed a wide survey of the great German song-Htcraturc, perfectly inter- preted. Thursday's mai ince added to the treasures of Schumann, Schubert, Wolf and Brahms three beautiful songs by Beethoven. To-night, Madame Lehmann will sin'g Schu- mann's song-cycle, "Frauenliobe and Leben" ("Woman's Life and Love"). Another in- teresting performance will be an aria from Goctz's "The Taming of the Shrew," an opera which dates from 1874. Tuesday night's pro- gramme will include Ariadne's monologue from "Ariadne auf Naxos," by Richard Strauss. Madame Lehmann had a gicnt success In Vienna when she sang this role on the opera- tic stage. Besides the Strauss, Tuesday will bring forward two songs by Mozart; three by Mendelssohn (Including the popular "On Wings of Song") ; two by Franz (one of them "Im Herbst," which Elisabeth Rethbcrg sang so beautifully last year) ; and one by Pfitzner.
On Thursday night. Madame Lehmann will appear with orchestra, under the baton of Dr. Edgar Bainton. Apart from the Wagncrlnn numbers (Slegllnde's "Du bist der Lenz" and Elisabeth's Greeting to the Hall of Song), there will be a group by Richard Strauss. This 'composer, who Is a great personal friend of Madame Lehmann, and has written some of his music specially for her, has provided the singer with his own orchestral arrangement of the piano parts. Next Saturday night, the 'Sydney season will culminate In a recital en- tirely of German Heder at the Conservatorium. A feature of this programme will be the whole ,of Schumann's celebrated series of songs, en- titled "Dichtcrllebe" ("The Poet's Love"). This cycle should be a magnificent experience. On Friday night, the singer will give a ten-minute broadcast Interview on her role of the Mar-
schallin in ^Strauss's "Der Rosenkavalier," I ¡which Is one of her yery greatest achievements,
Immediately afterwards,- Mr.' Robert Mccall will present the splendid recorded version of the opera, in which Madame Lehmann Is heard. '
MUSIC AND POETRY.
Detailed examination of next week's pro- grammes reveals a fortunate absence of less worthy songs, such as let the end of the first and second recitals down with a thump. Balogh's "Do Not Chide Me," on Thursday week, was a disturbing example of anti-climax, On Tuesday Anton Rubinstein's "Romance." with its synthetic sentiment, and the little things by Sadcro, clmara, and SJoebcrg were similarly unimpressive. No reasonable person can object to a concert ending on a note of genial simplicity. But if Madame Lehmann is really Interested In singing a group of songs in English, surely music by composers like Delius, Vaughan Williams, and Roger Qulltcr would make lovely light fine after Schumann and Brahms.
Another matter which springs to notice Is the failure of the Broadcasting Commission to print in its programmes the names of the authors of the song-texts, It would soarcely seem fair to Heinrich Heine, for example, that the "Dichterliebe" should be credited to Schu- mann alone, os though the verse itself had no value. The poems of Goethe and Heine were celebrated long before Schumann and Schubert came along and set them to music. In the case of "Frauenliebe and Leben," several musicians had Illustrated Adalbert von Chamlsso's words before Schumann's version.
This question of texts gains greater import- ance because of Madame Lehmann's superb emphasis on the verbal beauty of the songs, The clearness of her diction is a marvel. Even in the English language, which often finds foreigners at a loss, she far outclasses the average British singer. But diction is only the mechanics of song. An interpretation like that of Schumann's "Die Kartenlegerin," with Its swift onrush of colloquial speech, shows to what an astonishing degree of certainty and perfection Madame Lehmann has brought the colouring and shading of the words In music.
NEW MUSICAL PLAYS.
The J. C. Williamson management announces that "Swing Along" will open In Melbourne on July 7. This production will be followed by another English musical show called "Over She Goes." "Swing Along" has a text by Guy Bolton, Fred Thompson, and Douglas Fuiber, and a score by Martin Broones. It was staged in London at the Gaiety Theatre only two months ago, with Leslie Henson heading the cast. "Over She Goes" opened last September, and is still running. The book is bv Stanley Lupino; the music by Billy Mayerl.
In Australia, both these plays will have George Gee as principal comedian. Already, Mr. Gee has a firm place in the affection of local audiences. He first arrived here In 1021. to play a part in "The Lilac Domino," under the Hugh D. Mcintosh management. After "The Lilac Domino" came "Firefly," "The Dutch Girl," "Sally," and some English revues at the Tivoli. Then Mr. Gee returned to Eng- land. Back in Sydney in 1925, he played the Eddie Cantor part in "Kid Boots;" was prin- cipal comedian in revivals of "Sally" and "A Night Out;" appeared in "Primrose;" and went to New Zealand in "Leave It to Jane." Percy Le Fre, who is also due from London for the new productions, took part in that New Zealand tour ol 1D25. The third new player. Valerie Hay, has appeared in London in such popular pieces as "Love Lies," "Wild Violets," and "Viktoria and Her Hussar."
SONATA BY DARIUS MILHAUD.
Next Wednesday's chamber music concert at 2 Conservatorium will brlnr forward the violin sonata of Darius Milhaud. This French composer has been regarded during ths post-war period as one of the leading ex- perimenters in technique. He has specially distinguished himself In the sphere of parody. "Le Train Bleu," which the Diaghileff ballet produced in 1924, was a clever mockery of musical comedy conventions. But the violin sonata dates from IBU, and is quite a roman- tic work, revealing the Influence of Cesar Franck, A piano quartet by the contem- porary English composer, Herbert Howells, and the Dvorak String Quartet in E Flat, opus 51, will complete Wednesday's pro- gramme.
Amongst other forms of celebrating the coronation, there will be quite an outcrop of pageants and special performances during the next week or two. At Manly on Monday, Miss Olive Matthews is producing a pageant acted by 170 residents of the suburbs between there and Narrabeen. One scene, depleting the gola rush from Sydney, Is sheer comedy. "I think that is something of a triumph," says Miss Matthews, ' "Most pageants seem to be so unmltlgatcdly solemn." Next Thursday there will be a coronation matinee at the Theatre Royal, MÍ3S Gladys Moncrieff will sing, and Mr. Ramsay Pennlculck will conduct the ballet from "Hassan," .set to his own music. On Monday week, May 10, Mrs, Gorc Ncwell will present a pageant at the Univer- sity Great Hall, under the auspices of the Anzac Fellowship of Women. The subject is "Shakespeare's Women," and there will be 51
A meeting will be held at the Australia Hotel next Friday to make plans for this year's Music Week. Slgnora Ferrarl-Pass more, who was such an energetic organiser In 1936, said yesterday that the Musle Week movement now had over 300 financial mem- bers. Already she had had three letters from country districts which wanted to hold music weeks at the same time as Sydney.
MR. WILFRID THOMAS.
Mr. Wilfrid Thomas, the Sydney baritone, writes from London to say that he has Just completed a nine months' season at the Hip- podrome. He has sung with the B.B.C. Or- chestra, and the Eastbourne Symphony Or- chestra. Not long ago "The Gramo- phone," which is edited by Compton Mackenzie and Christopher Stone, selected a disc by Mr. Thomas as one of the nine out- standing vocal recordings during 1936. The other eight included recordings by such re- nowned singers as Richard Tauber. Kirsten Flagstad, and Lawrence Tlbbett. During March, Mr. Tilomas was recording programmes for Australian "B" class stations, under the auspices of Mr. Oswald Andcison and Mr.