Maurice Maeterlinck
The Death of Tintagiles

Maurice Maeterlinck - The Death of Tintagiles

Translated into English by Basil Ashmore from Maeterlinck's play, first published in 1894, "La Mort De Tintagiles".

Broadcast: BBC Radio 3, Wednesday 20th August 1975 @ 10:10 p.m.

Tintagiles is the future monarch of the nameless land in the strange years of legends. He and his sisters are living in a gloomy and airless castle far down in a valley; and in a tower that shows at night redlitten windows lurks the enthroned Queen. The serene ancients portrayed Death as beautiful of face; but this Queen in the nameless land is not beautiful in any way; she is fat as a sated spider. She squats alone in the tower. They that serve her do not go out by day. The Queen is very old; she is jealous, she cannot brook the thought of another on the throne. They that by chance have seen her will not speak of her -- and some whisper that they who are thus silent did not dare to look upon her. 'Tis she who commanded that Tintagiles, her orphaned grandson, should be brought over the sea to the sombre castle where Ygraine and Bellangere have passed years, as blind fish in the dull pool of a craven'.

The sea howls, the trees groan, but Tintagiles sleeps after his fear and tears. The sisters bar the chamber door, for Bellangere has heard strange muttering in rambling, obscure corridors, chuckling over the child whom the Queen would fan see. Ygraine is all of a tremble; nevertheless she believes half-heartedly and for the nonce that he may yet be spared; then she remembers how the Horror in the tower has been as a tombstone pressing down her soul. Aglovale cannot be of aid, he is so old, so weary of it all. Her bare and slender arms are all that is between the boy and the hideous Queen of Darkness and Terror.

With Dorothy Tutin [Ygraine], Daniel Rose [her brother, the child, Tintagiles], Helen Worth [Bellangere, her youngest sister], John Ruddock [Aglovale, a kind old Master], and Anthony Newlands, Malcolm Hayes, Geoffrey Collins [The three servants of the Queen].

The music was written by Ralph Vaughan Williams for a private performance in June 1913. This is its first broadcast. It was played by the BBC Welsh Orchestra conducted by Rae Jenkins.

Produced by Raymond Raikes.


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