133 Wilfrid Rooke Ley
sometimes need the sting of poverty, the struggle with a world slow to pick up its idiom, the long disheartening wait for recognition; are certain masterpieces the fruit of the very conditions which radio appears to have abolished? An interesting subject for debate, you will agree. I wonder what you would say.
WILFRID ROOKE LEY.
Dickensians all the world over will want to tune in to a programme on January 2 called 1 Mr. Pickwick a Hundred Years Old." They need not be told that 1936 is the centenary of the Pickwick Papers. Immense trouble is being taken with the programme, which is the work of V. C. Clinton-Baddeley. He has carried out a thorough research in the Dickens Fellowship library among the original manuscripts, letters and documents, and in the actual production he will appear as one of the narrators. It opens with Mr. Pickwick himself coming to life and all the assembled characters of the "Papers" toasting him on his hundredth birthday.
The first part of the programme will show us the amazing ramifications and success of the book, the number of languages and dialects into which it was translated, and its spectacular triumph from its publisher's point of view.
The second part will enact a series of scenes from the story. Murray McLarcn, of the Talks Department. will be the producer. The music will be by the Gershom Parkington Quintet—assisted by
a harp. (A harp is so essential to the right flavour of the Dingley Dell Christmas scenes, where the dancing "was accompanied by the two best fiddlers and the only harp in Muggleton.") Altogether this should make one of the best entertainments in the Christmas season.
Pavlova and Tchekov
The Pavlova programme on Friday next and the broadcast of Tchekov's Uncle Vanya on Wednesday and Thursday are two features of the week that should not be missed.
Barbara Burnham is in charge of the Tchekov, which means that all will he done with it that is possible. Plays written for the stage amount at the best to a very good reading when they are broadcast. and there are some who think that Tchekov "reads" less well than other dramatists and demands the visual atmosphere more. Actually the reverse is the case.
The drama director, Val Gielgud, himself takes the part of Doctor Astrov, Robert Farquharson plays Uncle Vanya, Esind Percy the Professor, and Hermione Hannen Sonya. A cast like this means an hour of good listening.
Toscanini Concerts in May Musical listeners will he delighted to learn that Toscanini has been engaged to conduct six B.B.C. symphony concerts in May next. They need not take too literally the rumour that no broadcast concerts in future are to exceed an hour. This would obviously be impossible.
That there will be a shortening, not only of concerts but of plays, is possible after the new year: but a hard and fast rule about music would never work.
The best of the rumours going about is that we are to have better Sunday programmes.
THE FATHER OF LISZT His Fight for Success Adam Liszt was bailiff on an estate of the Princes Esterluizy at Doborjart. People considered him a cold and severe person, and were sorry for his poor little son, who was made to practise six hours every day on the piano.
Adam Liszt had once dreamt of becom
ing a musician himself. His portrait at the Budapest National museum shows him at the piano. But he had to work for a living and had no time to practise. As a farm bailiff he was a small official only at the beck and call of his masters.
But he was fully aware of the great talent of the boy Francis; and, as he considered his own life a failure. he wished to glory in the life of his son. He therefore was severe to the delicate little boy, who in his early childhood suffered from epileptic fits and malaria, and once was so ill that his coffin was ordered.
Adam Liszt corresponded with experts and critics whose influence he wished to use for the good of his son. As a result of his efforts the infant prodigy was allowed to give a concert at the Esterhazy palace at Pozsony.
Winning Son's Success The audience was spellbound and promised every kind of assistance; but these promises were soon forgotten, and nothing remained to the child Liszt but the unbroken energy of his father.
The family went to live at Vienna in order that Francis should have good teachers. They lived in dire misery until the little boy began to receive one invitation after another to play to the most exclusive audiences.
Adam Liszt became the business manager of his son, and fought for him with the same energy as at the start of the