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UMS Concert Program, December 13, 1920: Choral Union Series -- Jan Kubelik

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Season: 1920-1921
Concert: THIRD
Complete Series: CCCLII
Hill Auditorium, Ann Arbor, Michigan

F. W. KELSEY, President A. A. STANLEY, Director
-Henri Vieuxtemps
Concerto for Violin, No, 4, D minor, Op. 31 . Moderato ; Adagio religioso ; Finale marziale.
Henri Vieuxtemps, who was born February 20, 1820, at Verviers, Belgium, and who died June 6, 1881, at Mustapha, a suburb of Algiers, was a prominent figure in the musical life of the middle decades of the last century. Both as a virtuoso and composer he enjoyed a practically uncontested primacy. ;;
The concerto on our program was first performed by the composer at a concert given by him in Paris, in 1851. Hector Berlioz wrote a brilliant review of the work in the Journal des Debats proclaiming Vieuxtemps "a remarkable composer, no less than an incomparable virtuoso." It may be said that the years have vindicated, Berlioz's judgment and the depth of his critical acumen. '
The brilliant first movement--D minor, Moderato, 4-4 time--runs the usual course of the form in which it is cast and, at its conclusion, leads : directly into the lovely well-poised1 second movement--E flat major, Adagio
religioso, 12-8 time. The suggestions of the marks of expression are realized in the dominating theme, of a hymn-like character, and the reverent treatment accorded it is a revelation of the composer's character. Following this comes the Finale Marziale--D major, 2-2 time,--in which the dominant note is well expressed by the expression-mark marziale. While this indicates the general character of the movement, contrasting themes more song-like in character and full of expressiveness also occur, while, as demanded by the nature of the form, brilliant passage-work abounds, but treated with reserve and discretion.
II Romance . . . . . ... . Ludivig van Beethoven
(December 16, 1770; March 26, 1827)
Praeludium . .....Johann Sebastian Bach
(March 21, 1685 J July 28, 1750) Introduction and Rondo Capriccioso for Violin, Op. 28 ...
....... Charles Camille Saint-Sa'cns
(October 9, 1835; ---------)
There are two Romances by Beethoven, both with orchestral accompaniment--the Op. 40, in G Major, and the Op. 50, in F major. Thayer, in his monumental "Life of Beethoven"--published in Germany (1866-1878), d l id i Elih lii 8 h f
p y (7),
and recently issued1 in an English translation--gives 1802 as the year of their composition He bases this statement on a letter from Karl van Beethoven (Beethoven's nephew, a veritable scamp) to Andre, a publisher of Offenbach, dated November 23, 1802, in which he offers "Two Adagios for 135 florins." Both Romances are so beautiful that one would hesitate to accord a distinct primacy to either, but, generally speaking, the palm is awarded to the one to which one is listening.
The Praeludium of Bach is taken from one of his solo sonatas for violin which were written during his sojourn in Cothen (17T7-1723). Mr. Kubelik has not signified which one he will play, but, if we mistake not, the one in D major is more frequently put forth. Of these extraordinary works Hubert Parry, in his "Life of Bach" (pp. 168-9) says: "Most of his wonderful works for solo violin unaccompanied date from this period (Cothen). There are no compositions of the kind by any composer whatever which have such scope and interest, none which lend themselves in such a degree
to the highest gifts of interpretation, and none in which such an amount of noble expression and such richness of thought have been rendered possible for the single instrument." I
Since Pablo de Sarasate (1844-1908) produced the third number of this group at a concert given in Paris on April 4, 1867, it has won in everincreasing measure the favor of both violinists and the public. It has rhythmic verve, compelling melody, and brilliant passage-work which never descends to mere applause-compelling virtuosity. Jts retention in the repertoire for more than half a century is an indication that it possesses the noble attributes without which no composition can survive.
Ballade, No. 2, Op. 38 .... Frederick Francois Chopin
(February 22, 1810; October 17, 1849)
Played less frequently than the G minor, Op. 23, or the A flat major, Op. 47, this Ballade is full of all that we associate with Chopin's muse. It was composed in 1840 and dedicated to Robert Schumann. Its structure is very simple--a naive melody--Andantino, 6-8 time--followed by a stormy section --Presto con fuoco--then a repetition of the first theme somewhat expanded --again the Presto con fuoco which develops into a strenuous Agitato section, followed by the eight peaceful measures forming the conclusion.
The French painter Eugene Delacroix (1799-1863), an intimate friend of Chopin, in his Journal (3 Vols. Paris; Plon, Nourrit et Cie., 1893) reveals the composer as "the exact opposite of the superficial ideas which have made of him a lymphatic, effeminate figure, the sentimental picture of a keep-sake, an Alfred de Musset of Music, more distinguished but less spiritual." In his unfinished portrait of the master Delacroix shows us the composer of the "Heroic Polonaise." On one of those intimate occasions when the two were exchanging opinions on their respective arts--Delacroix was speaking in detail of the reactions of color, when Chopin interrupted him--"You confuse me, it all savors of alchemy !" There were many of Chopin's contemporaries who were confused by the reactions of his daring harmonic and melodic schemes, his apparently involved rhythms and who could not appreciate his delicate nuances of expression. To them the fairylike arabesques which charmed Delacroix and whose charm is still potent, "savored of alchemy" or something worse. To us they savor of the magic of transcendent genius.
Souvenir de Moscow ...... Henri Wieniazvski
(July 10, 1835; March 31, 1880) La Campanella . . . . ? . . . Nicolo Paganini
(October 27, 1782; May 27, 1840)
Of the type represented by this group the literature of the-violin contains many examples. Written by virtuosi for virtuosi they are generally excellent vehicles for the exhibition of virtuosity, and too frequently are unmarred by the presence of an excess of real musical inspiration or artistic conviction. Still, even in this genre there are works animated by sincere artistic motives, and in which virtuosity is a means rather than an ultimate end. In the compositions of the Polish virtuoso there is generally more to command respect than in those of the Italian, for the latter--who was the greatest technician the violin-world has known.--a real, though erratic, genius--left behind him only a few compositions so weak and ephemeral in character as to make the paucity of his contributions a source of joy rather than of grief. The title "La Campanella" calls Liszt to mind, but Liszt at his worst was infinitely superior to Paganini at his best. The piano used is a Chickering
CHILDREN'S CONCERT--Thursday, December 16, 2:30 P. M. MASS SINGING by children of the public schools under the direction of GEORGE OSCAR BOWEN and MISS LULU M. ALLEN. The main floor of the auditorium will be reserved for school children and the general public will be admitted to the balconies.
The next concert in the FACULTY CONCERT SERIES (complimentary) will be given Sunday afternoon (January 9) at 3 :oo o'clock.
The next concert in the CHORAL UNION SERIES will be given by THE DETROIT SYMPHONY ORCHESTRA, OSSIP GABRILOWITSCH, CONDUCTOR, Monday evening, January 24.
The next concert in the EXTRA CONCERT SERIES will be given by THE FLONZALEY STRING QUARTET, Monday evening, January 10.
The GIRLS' GLEE CLUB of the University School of Music, Maude C. Kleyn, Director, will give a concert (complimentary) in the First Congregational Church, Thursday, December j6, at 8:00 o'clock.

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