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Wales

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No. 32 Sept. 1958

O'r frest : Otherwise extempore or improvised.

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OV Frest-
Otherwise 'Extempore' or 'Improvised'
SELWYN JONES
MUSIC IN WALES is to a great extent a matter of improvisation. Its per-
formace and presentation cannot therefore fail to be often spontaneous
-somewhat in the fashion of the Sunday-evening gathering in Hyde
Park, near the Marble Arch. Professional singers and writers of music
cannot sustain life by devoting most of their time and energy to activi-
ties relating to Wales. It is equally true to say that English composers
can hardly survive if they try to maintain life on the income derived
from composition.
It is only fair to admit that State education has been so designed as to
provide both the intending Welsh and English composer who lack the
silver spoon with the same opportunities to become English professional
musicians. And it would be unkind not to admit that the B B C follows
the pattern most assiduously. No unprejudiced observer could possibly
conclude that Welsh radio does not give its time up overwhelmingly to
programmes which have a predominating English tinge.
It is also only fair-chware teg i bawb-to admit that the all-purpose
orchestra of the B B C's Welsh region is the only professional organisa-
tion of its kind existing in Wales. True it is all-embracing in the range of
its programme-activity, and all departments associated with it have to
work like helots.
For the lighter programmes, broadcasting and Denmark Street cannot
spare either the instrumentalists or the skilled music-arrangers it has
permanently borrowed from Wales from the metropolitan Parnassus
and its great devotion to the cultivation of all that is finest in the great
reunion of England and the USA.
Mr Alun Williams and his Aberystwyth quartet: violin/sax, piano,
all-purpose percussionist, and many thanks, string-bass, have to work
wonders at frequent intervals. Not for us the Rabinowitzes! Here, in
particular we must be grateful that extemporisation, though essential,
has so often the appearance of spontaneity.
At the National Eisteddfod the Gorsedd has tried hard to lend an air of
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