The search for harmony in life is sometimes difficult. Also at BOO, because the score of The Era of Harmony, a radio play by Vic Legley, could not be found for years and was listed as missing. A pity, because the theme of the radio play is surprisingly relevant today: how to communicate with your fellow man.
On 25 January 1949 the radio play was broadcast by the N.I.R. It was based on Roger Richard's novel The Era of Harmony. This text was adapted by Georgette De Rijcke and Vic Legley provided the music. Frans Roggen directed the play.
The press at the time announced the work as follows: "A new disease has broken out, one that will soon afflict the whole of humanity. Just about every person will soon fall victim to a speechlessness against which medical science is powerless. In all countries, the spoken language must finally be replaced by a musical language that is infinitely more varied and full of expression; or so it is thought. But after three centuries of musical language, a young man in love suddenly finds speech again...".
The story also seems to be a metaphor for the search for the score, because replace the "young man in love" with the BOO project, the "speech" with the score, and the story is completely true: the lost score was in fact found in BOO in September 2021. And the musical language? It is infinitely varied and expressive, as befits Legley.
Moreover, Vic Legley shows his most playful side with a firm dose of Rossinian cleverness. Could it be a coincidence that in his radio play he quotes the aria Largo al factotum from Il barbiere di Siviglia, followed by a sparkling, instrumental arrangement for salon orchestra? The sixth part, written for Ondes Martenot, is also fascinating. It illustrates Legley's search for new colours and expression.
It is not only the score that has come to light. It also turns out that the VRT Archive still has a recording on 78 rpm records. So "The Century of Harmony" has been recovered in all its glory and can last for centuries again.