Pennod 10 Aled Jones: Fy Nhaith Glasurol


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Pennod 10

Mae Aled Jones yn ymweld â Melbourne, man geni'r cyfansoddwr Percy Grainger. Aled Jones explores the eccentric world of composer Percy Grainger and his place of birth, Melbourne...


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-Hello and welcome.

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-We've travelled Europe

-in this series...

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-..but now

-I'm down under in Australia.

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-We've arrived in Melbourne...

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-..to learn more about

-the remarkable life...

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-..of Australia's most famous

-composer, Percy Grainger.

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-Though Australia is home

-to many talented composers...

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-..there is none more famous in

-classical terms than Percy Grainger.

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-Melbourne, the capital of Victoria,

-was his birthplace.

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-It is Australia's

-second largest city.

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-Melbourne was founded in 1835...

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-..and became a city in 1847.

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-Four years later, it became

-the state's capital city...

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-..and saw a population increase

-propelled by the gold industry.

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-Many of its grand buildings

-are products of generated wealth.

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-The Yarra River

-is integral to city life...

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-..as is the Thames in London

-and the Seine in Paris.

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-Southbank has become

-a centre for arts and leisure...

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-..with shops and restaurants

-capitalizing on the prime location.

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-The Victorian Arts Centre

-is also situated in Southbank...

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-..housing Hamer Hall, Melbourne's

-concert hall and Theatres Building.

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-It is home to Melbourne's Symphony

-Orchestra, theatre company...

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-..Australian ballet

-and Opera Australia.

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-I've also sung here myself.

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-They are spending more than 80m

-on renovations to Hamer Hall...

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-..from top to bottom.

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-It's played an important role in

-Australia's classical music history.

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-Speaking from personal experience,

-it's a special place to perform.

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-Melbourne is proud to be

-a cultural focal point.

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-They take great pride in the fact

-this is Percy Grainger's birthplace.

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-He would have been

-well accustomed to Brighton Beach...

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-..situated conveniently close

-to the city and his home.

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-The beach is renowned

-for its colourful beach huts...

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-..which have stood here

-for 150 years.

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-They come with a high price tag...

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-..and cost as much

-as the city dwellings nearby.

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-George Percy Grainger was born

-in this Brighton residence...

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-..on 8 July, 1882.

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-Though the interior

-has altered considerably...

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-..the exterior facade

-has remained...

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-..since the days when

-the pianist and composer lived here.

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-He was one of classical music's

-more colourful characters.

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-To begin with, he was Australian...

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-..which would have been a talking

-point in England and America...

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-..where he spent most of his time.

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-He has been described

-as an anarchist and revolutionary.

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-His talent was unquestionable.

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-He was passionate

-and believed anything was possible.

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-Failure was never an option.

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-At the end of the 19th century...

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-..the family moved around a lot,

-sometimes staying in hotels.

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-This was one of them -

-Hotel Esplanade in St Kilda...

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-..overlooking Port Phillip Bay.

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-These days,

-modern music is all the rage.

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-With its extensive pier...

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-..St Kilda resembles a Welsh

-seaside resort from years ago.

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-The historical Luna Park

-completes the picture.

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-Opened in 1912, this was

-a centre for live entertainment.

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-The Palais Theatre

-opened 15 years later.

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-It was one of the largest cinemas

-in the southern hemisphere.

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-In 1962, operas and ballets

-were being staged here.

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-Music and plays

-took over from there.

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-Margot Fonteyn and

-The Royal Ballet performed here...

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-..along with Dame Joan Sutherland.

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-ITALIAN OPERA

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-The Graingers settled in this house

-in Hawthorn, east Melbourne...

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-..where his mother, Rose,

-was a piano teacher.

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-His father, John,

-was a gifted architect and artist.

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-He was also

-a renowned civil engineer.

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-He designed the Princess Bridge.

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-He was a heavy drinker

-and a womaniser.

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-The young Percy

-witnessed many arguments.

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-His parents separated

-when he was eight years old.

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-Rose focused entirely on her son...

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-..creating a close relationship

-until her death in 1922.

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-Ten years prior to her death...

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-..he acknowledged

-his closeness to his mother...

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-..by adopting

-her maiden name, Aldridge.

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-She had taught him to play the piano

-from the age of five.

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-Since his parents' separation...

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-..she was solely responsible

-for his education.

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-He would take cultural trips

-to Chinatown...

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-..and the colours and sounds

-made an impact on him.

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-As a single mother,

-she had very little money...

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-..so they moved to a cheaper place

-in South Yarra.

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-While the other children played

-on the river bank...

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-..Percy would practise the piano

-for hours at a time.

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-His diligence paid off

-and he became a gifted pianist.

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-He was accomplished enough to hold

-his first public performance...

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-..the day after his 12th birthday.

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-He was praised for his technique...

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-..with critics lauding

-his "almost perfect" performance.

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-He went on to hold further concerts.

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-The Royal Exhibition Building,

-built in 1880...

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-..had a 20,000 seating capacity.

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-It has been restored

-to its former glory.

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-This is the only 19th-century

-pavilion of its kind in the world...

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-..that still functions.

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-Even with poor acoustics,

-Grainger was outstanding.

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-In 1895, Percy and his mother...

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-..sailed to Germany

-in search of a formal education.

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-For the next six years he studied

-at the Hoch Conservatory of Music.

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-It was here in Frankfurt

-that he met Karl Klimsch...

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-..who had turned to music

-later in life.

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-His kind nature

-and energetic disposition...

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-..influenced

-the young composer's musical ideas.

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-Percy claimed that Klimsch

-allowed him freedom of thought.

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-By the end of 1901...

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-..Percy and his mother

-arrived in London...

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-..where they stayed for 13 years.

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-# The poor soul sat sighing

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-# By a sycamore tree #

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-It was during this time that he took

-an interest in English folk music.

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-He used an Edison Bell

-cylinder phonograph...

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-..to record the folk singers.

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-He was one of the first

-in England to do this.

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-He and his contemporaries...

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-..enjoyed reproducing

-this kind of music.

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-# Willow, willow, willow, willow

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-# Oh, willow, willow,

-willow, willow

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-# Shall be

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-# My garland #

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-His love of folk music continued...

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-..inspiring many

-of his famous compositions...

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-..among which are Handel In

-The Stand and Lincolnshire Posy.

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-Listening to his music...

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-..you would assume

-he was an English composer.

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-He was also brazen enough

-to rearrange the work of others.

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-Often they sounded better!

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-Willow Willow is one

-of his famous rearrangements...

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-..performed by Vivien Hamilton

-and Glenn Riddle...

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-..who's playing

-Percy Grainger's own piano.

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-# He sighed in his singing

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-# And made a great moan

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-# Sing willow, willow, willow

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-# I am dead to all pleasure

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-# My true love, she is gone

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-# Oh, willow, willow, willow, willow

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-# Oh, willow, willow,

-willow, willow #

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-In 1905 he came across the song,

-Brigg Fair...

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-..in a small village

-in Lincolnshire.

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-Delius was given the task

-of adapting it for an orchestra.

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-The English composer and he

-were birds of a feather.

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-They hated the work

-of Mozart, Haydn and Beethoven.

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-The became close friends because

-they both shared the same vision.

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-# Willow must be my garland #

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-Subtitles

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-We're in Melbourne, Australia,

-birthplace of Percy Grainger.

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-Though he detested the work

-of some of the great masters...

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-..Grainger had his favourites too.

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-Edvard Grieg had been

-one of his heroes since childhood.

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-When the Norwegian composer toured

-London on his last visit in 1906...

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-..he said he wanted

-to meet the young Australian.

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-When they met, Grainger

-gave a flawless performance...

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-..of Grieg's challenging

-Norwegian folk music.

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-Grieg later wrote

-that Percy Grainger was a genius.

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-The following year, Grainger

-visited Grieg and wife, Nina...

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-..at Troldhaugen, their home

-on the outskirts of Bergen.

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-The couple were astounded...

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-..by his regular swimming sessions

-in the freezing lake.

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-Every day at four he would

-run to the railway station...

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-..to collect the mail.

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-"What a performer. What a man,"

-wrote Grieg in his journal.

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-Following Edvard Grieg's death, Nina

-presented his watch to Percy...

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-..to remember him by.

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-They had planned to tour Europe

-together, along with Delius...

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-..but Grieg died in the meantime.

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-Percy Grainger was the last visitor

-to stay at Troldhaugen.

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-# Must be my garland #

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-Following the outbreak of WWI,

-Percy emigrated to America.

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-He and his mother, Rose,

-settled in New York.

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-He had a recording contract

-with Columbia since 1908.

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-He continued recording and embarked

-on his first American tour in 1915.

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-Within a year, he and

-Australian singer, Nellie Melba...

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-..performed concerts for the troops.

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-Their parents had been

-lifelong friends in Australia.

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-It's possible they met as children,

-though there is no certainty.

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-In 1917, America

-entered the war with Germany.

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-Percy joined the military band,

-playing the saxophone and oboe.

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-A year later

-he became an American citizen.

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-His mother's health was in decline.

-She was physically and mentally ill.

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-The syphilis she had contracted

-from her husband worsened.

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-There were also

-vicious rumours circulating...

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-..that she had forged an incestuous

-relationship with her son.

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-The rumours affected her sanity.

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-Five years later,

-while Percy was on tour...

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-..Rose went to see his manager,

-Antonia Sawyer...

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-..on the 18th floor

-of the Aeolian Building.

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-She was all alone in the room...

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-..and either she fell

-or she leapt from the window.

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-We'll never know

-if it was an accident or not.

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-Percy salvaged some of the contents

-of her handbag the day she died.

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-They were personal items.

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-A plait of hair and a ripped-up note

-she had written the day before.

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-Percy pieced together the note

-and later published a book...

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-..in memory of Rose

-for family and friends.

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-Percy eventually came to terms

-with the shock and married.

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-He continued performing

-and won more praise as a composer.

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-His wife, Ella Strom,

-was a Swedish poet and artist...

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-..whom he'd met on a voyage

-across the Pacific Ocean.

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-The wedding was held at

-the Hollywood Bowl, Los Angeles...

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-..in front of

-an audience of 25,000...

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-..who listened to the first

-performance of To A Nordic Princess.

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-The score

-was his wedding gift to Ella.

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-Since he had spent so much

-of his life outside of Australia...

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-..it took a while for him to be

-taken seriously in his own country.

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-That is no longer the case.

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-It was Percy's own idea

-to establish the Grainger Museum.

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-He hoped

-that by opening the museum...

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-..he could use his expertise...

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-..to help others

-understand the creative process.

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-He adhered to the notion...

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-..that no art exists

-in a social or cultural vacuum.

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-He set about collecting

-and exhibiting everyday items...

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-..to accompany his music.

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-He asked friends

-from around the world...

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-..to return

-the letters he had written.

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-They were copied

-and stored for safekeeping.

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-The University of Melbourne...

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-..provided the land for the museum

-while he funded the construction.

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-He contributed to the design,

-alongside architect, John Gawler.

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-Today it contains more than 50,000

-contributions from correspondents.

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-Letters from Grieg, Delius

-and Ralph Vaughan Williams.

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-Others are from before his time...

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-..such as the letter from

-Tchaikovsky, another of his heroes.

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-Grainger was

-a self-proclaimed genius.

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-The museum manages

-to encapsulate his life and work...

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-..from his own perspective rather

-than how others interpreted him.

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-In order to fund the museum...

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-..he embarked on a two-year tour

-of Australasia in the mid-1930s.

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-He gave 56 concerts and

-three times that amount for radio.

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-He also helped

-with the museum's construction.

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-Sometimes he would arrive on site

-at 6.00am to lay bricks.

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-The Grainger Museum was officially

-opened in December 1938...

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-..though it wasn't open

-to the public during his lifetime.

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-He returned to America

-a year later...

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-..and managed the museum remotely.

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-Following Grainger's death

-in 1961...

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-..the University of Melbourne

-took over ownership.

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-There is nothing like it

-in Australia.

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-It is an excellent collection

-of artefacts...

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-..giving an insight into the life of

-a complex yet talented individual.

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-Grainger was greatly interested

-in technological advances.

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-In the 1950s, he worked alongside

-scientist, Bernard Cross...

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-..on Free Music experiments.

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-He wanted to liberate music

-from the performer's oppression.

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-These are his designs

-for the Kangaroo-Pouch Machine...

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-..the forerunner of the synthesizer

-to tackle hard-to-play variations.

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-One of the earliest examples

-can be found in the museum...

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-..which works on

-the same principle as the pianola.

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-Like his father, he was

-a gifted artist and painter.

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-He was also slightly alternative

-and a bit of an eccentric.

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-He made his own clothes

-from colourful terry towelling.

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-They were intended for wear in

-summer and winter and were washable.

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-He might have been

-on to something there!

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-Percy Grainger

-held his final concert in 1960.

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-He died a year later

-in the United States on 20 February.

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-His body

-was repatriated to Australia...

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-..and buried in the Aldridge

-family grave in Adelaide.

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-He left

-a myriad original works behind.

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-Over the years,

-he has been acknowledged...

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-..as one of the prolific composers

-of the 20th century.

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-Percy Grainger

-was an exceptional man.

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-I doubt people these days would

-find him as eccentric as all that.

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-Australia has every right

-to be proud of him.

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-It's been great exploring Melbourne

-and learning about Percy Grainger.

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-I've enjoyed my time in Australia,

-especially Sydney.

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-I've wanted to head out

-onto the water since I arrived.

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-Apparently, the best time

-for a harbour cruise is at night.

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-Even for residents, a harbour cruise

-is considered a bit of a treat.

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-It's easy to see why.

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-The best views are to be found

-under Harbour Bridge.

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-A night-time cruise with all

-the illuminations is thrilling.

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-Unfortunately,

-my time in Australia is over.

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-Until next time, goodbye.

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-Grieg and Sibelius are the focus

-of our next episode in Scandinavia.

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-We then head to England...

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-..to explore the life of another of

-Grainger's musical friends, Delius.

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-S4C Subtitles by Adnod Cyf.

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-.

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Mae Aled Jones yn ymweld â Melbourne, man geni'r cyfansoddwr Percy Grainger. Aled Jones explores the eccentric world of composer Percy Grainger and his place of birth, Melbourne, Australia.