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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