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.
-We've travelled Europe
-in this series...
-I'm down under in Australia.
-We've arrived in Melbourne...
-..to learn more about
-the remarkable life...
-..of Australia's most famous
-composer, Percy Grainger.
-Though Australia is home
-to many talented composers...
-..there is none more famous in
-classical terms than Percy Grainger.
-Melbourne, the capital of Victoria,
-was his birthplace.
-It is Australia's
-second largest city.
-Melbourne was founded in 1835...
-..and became a city in 1847.
-Four years later, it became
-the state's capital city...
-..and saw a population increase
-propelled by the gold industry.
-Many of its grand buildings
-are products of generated wealth.
-The Yarra River
-is integral to city life...
-..as is the Thames in London
-and the Seine in Paris.
-Southbank has become
-a centre for arts and leisure...
-..with shops and restaurants
-capitalizing on the prime location.
-The Victorian Arts Centre
-is also situated in Southbank...
-..housing Hamer Hall, Melbourne's
-concert hall and Theatres Building.
-It is home to Melbourne's Symphony
-Orchestra, theatre company...
-and Opera Australia.
-I've also sung here myself.
-They are spending more than 80m
-on renovations to Hamer Hall...
-..from top to bottom.
-It's played an important role in
-Australia's classical music history.
-Speaking from personal experience,
-it's a special place to perform.
-Melbourne is proud to be
-a cultural focal point.
-They take great pride in the fact
-this is Percy Grainger's birthplace.
-He would have been
-well accustomed to Brighton Beach...
-..situated conveniently close
-to the city and his home.
-The beach is renowned
-for its colourful beach huts...
-..which have stood here
-for 150 years.
-They come with a high price tag...
-..and cost as much
-as the city dwellings nearby.
-George Percy Grainger was born
-in this Brighton residence...
-..on 8 July, 1882.
-Though the interior
-has altered considerably...
-..the exterior facade
-..since the days when
-the pianist and composer lived here.
-He was one of classical music's
-more colourful characters.
-To begin with, he was Australian...
-..which would have been a talking
-point in England and America...
-..where he spent most of his time.
-He has been described
-as an anarchist and revolutionary.
-His talent was unquestionable.
-He was passionate
-and believed anything was possible.
-Failure was never an option.
-At the end of the 19th century...
-..the family moved around a lot,
-sometimes staying in hotels.
-This was one of them -
-Hotel Esplanade in St Kilda...
-..overlooking Port Phillip Bay.
-modern music is all the rage.
-With its extensive pier...
-..St Kilda resembles a Welsh
-seaside resort from years ago.
-The historical Luna Park
-completes the picture.
-Opened in 1912, this was
-a centre for live entertainment.
-The Palais Theatre
-opened 15 years later.
-It was one of the largest cinemas
-in the southern hemisphere.
-In 1962, operas and ballets
-were being staged here.
-Music and plays
-took over from there.
-Margot Fonteyn and
-The Royal Ballet performed here...
-..along with Dame Joan Sutherland.
-The Graingers settled in this house
-in Hawthorn, east Melbourne...
-..where his mother, Rose,
-was a piano teacher.
-His father, John,
-was a gifted architect and artist.
-He was also
-a renowned civil engineer.
-He designed the Princess Bridge.
-He was a heavy drinker
-and a womaniser.
-The young Percy
-witnessed many arguments.
-His parents separated
-when he was eight years old.
-Rose focused entirely on her son...
-..creating a close relationship
-until her death in 1922.
-Ten years prior to her death...
-his closeness to his mother...
-her maiden name, Aldridge.
-She had taught him to play the piano
-from the age of five.
-Since his parents' separation...
-..she was solely responsible
-for his education.
-He would take cultural trips
-..and the colours and sounds
-made an impact on him.
-As a single mother,
-she had very little money...
-..so they moved to a cheaper place
-in South Yarra.
-While the other children played
-on the river bank...
-..Percy would practise the piano
-for hours at a time.
-His diligence paid off
-and he became a gifted pianist.
-He was accomplished enough to hold
-his first public performance...
-..the day after his 12th birthday.
-He was praised for his technique...
-..with critics lauding
-his "almost perfect" performance.
-He went on to hold further concerts.
-The Royal Exhibition Building,
-built in 1880...
-..had a 20,000 seating capacity.
-It has been restored
-to its former glory.
-This is the only 19th-century
-pavilion of its kind in the world...
-..that still functions.
-Even with poor acoustics,
-Grainger was outstanding.
-In 1895, Percy and his mother...
-..sailed to Germany
-in search of a formal education.
-For the next six years he studied
-at the Hoch Conservatory of Music.
-It was here in Frankfurt
-that he met Karl Klimsch...
-..who had turned to music
-later in life.
-His kind nature
-and energetic disposition...
-the young composer's musical ideas.
-Percy claimed that Klimsch
-allowed him freedom of thought.
-By the end of 1901...
-..Percy and his mother
-arrived in London...
-..where they stayed for 13 years.
-# The poor soul sat sighing
-# By a sycamore tree #
-It was during this time that he took
-an interest in English folk music.
-He used an Edison Bell
-..to record the folk singers.
-He was one of the first
-in England to do this.
-He and his contemporaries...
-this kind of music.
-# Willow, willow, willow, willow
-# Oh, willow, willow,
-# Shall be
-# My garland #
-His love of folk music continued...
-of his famous compositions...
-..among which are Handel In
-The Stand and Lincolnshire Posy.
-Listening to his music...
-..you would assume
-he was an English composer.
-He was also brazen enough
-to rearrange the work of others.
-Often they sounded better!
-Willow Willow is one
-of his famous rearrangements...
-..performed by Vivien Hamilton
-and Glenn Riddle...
-Percy Grainger's own piano.
-# He sighed in his singing
-# And made a great moan
-# Sing willow, willow, willow
-# I am dead to all pleasure
-# My true love, she is gone
-# Oh, willow, willow, willow, willow
-# Oh, willow, willow,
-willow, willow #
-In 1905 he came across the song,
-..in a small village
-Delius was given the task
-of adapting it for an orchestra.
-The English composer and he
-were birds of a feather.
-They hated the work
-of Mozart, Haydn and Beethoven.
-The became close friends because
-they both shared the same vision.
-# Willow must be my garland #
-We're in Melbourne, Australia,
-birthplace of Percy Grainger.
-Though he detested the work
-of some of the great masters...
-..Grainger had his favourites too.
-Edvard Grieg had been
-one of his heroes since childhood.
-When the Norwegian composer toured
-London on his last visit in 1906...
-..he said he wanted
-to meet the young Australian.
-When they met, Grainger
-gave a flawless performance...
-..of Grieg's challenging
-Norwegian folk music.
-Grieg later wrote
-that Percy Grainger was a genius.
-The following year, Grainger
-visited Grieg and wife, Nina...
-..at Troldhaugen, their home
-on the outskirts of Bergen.
-The couple were astounded...
-..by his regular swimming sessions
-in the freezing lake.
-Every day at four he would
-run to the railway station...
-..to collect the mail.
-"What a performer. What a man,"
-wrote Grieg in his journal.
-Following Edvard Grieg's death, Nina
-presented his watch to Percy...
-..to remember him by.
-They had planned to tour Europe
-together, along with Delius...
-..but Grieg died in the meantime.
-Percy Grainger was the last visitor
-to stay at Troldhaugen.
-# Must be my garland #
-Following the outbreak of WWI,
-Percy emigrated to America.
-He and his mother, Rose,
-settled in New York.
-He had a recording contract
-with Columbia since 1908.
-He continued recording and embarked
-on his first American tour in 1915.
-Within a year, he and
-Australian singer, Nellie Melba...
-..performed concerts for the troops.
-Their parents had been
-lifelong friends in Australia.
-It's possible they met as children,
-though there is no certainty.
-In 1917, America
-entered the war with Germany.
-Percy joined the military band,
-playing the saxophone and oboe.
-A year later
-he became an American citizen.
-His mother's health was in decline.
-She was physically and mentally ill.
-The syphilis she had contracted
-from her husband worsened.
-There were also
-vicious rumours circulating...
-..that she had forged an incestuous
-relationship with her son.
-The rumours affected her sanity.
-Five years later,
-while Percy was on tour...
-..Rose went to see his manager,
-..on the 18th floor
-of the Aeolian Building.
-She was all alone in the room...
-..and either she fell
-or she leapt from the window.
-We'll never know
-if it was an accident or not.
-Percy salvaged some of the contents
-of her handbag the day she died.
-They were personal items.
-A plait of hair and a ripped-up note
-she had written the day before.
-Percy pieced together the note
-and later published a book...
-..in memory of Rose
-for family and friends.
-Percy eventually came to terms
-with the shock and married.
-He continued performing
-and won more praise as a composer.
-His wife, Ella Strom,
-was a Swedish poet and artist...
-..whom he'd met on a voyage
-across the Pacific Ocean.
-The wedding was held at
-the Hollywood Bowl, Los Angeles...
-..in front of
-an audience of 25,000...
-..who listened to the first
-performance of To A Nordic Princess.
-was his wedding gift to Ella.
-Since he had spent so much
-of his life outside of Australia...
-..it took a while for him to be
-taken seriously in his own country.
-That is no longer the case.
-It was Percy's own idea
-to establish the Grainger Museum.
-that by opening the museum...
-..he could use his expertise...
-..to help others
-understand the creative process.
-He adhered to the notion...
-..that no art exists
-in a social or cultural vacuum.
-He set about collecting
-and exhibiting everyday items...
-..to accompany his music.
-He asked friends
-from around the world...
-the letters he had written.
-They were copied
-and stored for safekeeping.
-The University of Melbourne...
-..provided the land for the museum
-while he funded the construction.
-He contributed to the design,
-alongside architect, John Gawler.
-Today it contains more than 50,000
-contributions from correspondents.
-Letters from Grieg, Delius
-and Ralph Vaughan Williams.
-Others are from before his time...
-..such as the letter from
-Tchaikovsky, another of his heroes.
-a self-proclaimed genius.
-The museum manages
-to encapsulate his life and work...
-..from his own perspective rather
-than how others interpreted him.
-In order to fund the museum...
-..he embarked on a two-year tour
-of Australasia in the mid-1930s.
-He gave 56 concerts and
-three times that amount for radio.
-He also helped
-with the museum's construction.
-Sometimes he would arrive on site
-at 6.00am to lay bricks.
-The Grainger Museum was officially
-opened in December 1938...
-..though it wasn't open
-to the public during his lifetime.
-He returned to America
-a year later...
-..and managed the museum remotely.
-Following Grainger's death
-..the University of Melbourne
-took over ownership.
-There is nothing like it
-It is an excellent collection
-..giving an insight into the life of
-a complex yet talented individual.
-Grainger was greatly interested
-in technological advances.
-In the 1950s, he worked alongside
-scientist, Bernard Cross...
-..on Free Music experiments.
-He wanted to liberate music
-from the performer's oppression.
-These are his designs
-for the Kangaroo-Pouch Machine...
-..the forerunner of the synthesizer
-to tackle hard-to-play variations.
-One of the earliest examples
-can be found in the museum...
-..which works on
-the same principle as the pianola.
-Like his father, he was
-a gifted artist and painter.
-He was also slightly alternative
-and a bit of an eccentric.
-He made his own clothes
-from colourful terry towelling.
-They were intended for wear in
-summer and winter and were washable.
-He might have been
-on to something there!
-held his final concert in 1960.
-He died a year later
-in the United States on 20 February.
-was repatriated to Australia...
-..and buried in the Aldridge
-family grave in Adelaide.
-a myriad original works behind.
-Over the years,
-he has been acknowledged...
-..as one of the prolific composers
-of the 20th century.
-was an exceptional man.
-I doubt people these days would
-find him as eccentric as all that.
-Australia has every right
-to be proud of him.
-It's been great exploring Melbourne
-and learning about Percy Grainger.
-I've enjoyed my time in Australia,
-I've wanted to head out
-onto the water since I arrived.
-Apparently, the best time
-for a harbour cruise is at night.
-Even for residents, a harbour cruise
-is considered a bit of a treat.
-It's easy to see why.
-The best views are to be found
-under Harbour Bridge.
-A night-time cruise with all
-the illuminations is thrilling.
-my time in Australia is over.
-Until next time, goodbye.
-Grieg and Sibelius are the focus
-of our next episode in Scandinavia.
-We then head to England...
-..to explore the life of another of
-Grainger's musical friends, Delius.
-S4C Subtitles by Adnod Cyf.
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.