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UMS Concert Program, March 7, 1921: Choral Union Series -- Detroit Symphony Orchestra

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Season: 1920-1921
Concert: SIXTH
Complete Series: CCLVII
Hill Auditorium, Ann Arbor, Michigan

F. W. KELSEY, President A. A. STANLEY, Director
PROGRAM Overture to "Russian and Ludmilla" .
Symphony No. i, C minor, Op. 68 ... Un poco sostenuto--Allegro; Andante sostenuto; Un poco allegretto e grazioso; Adagio--piu andante Allegro non troppo, ma con brio.
Intermission Brunhilde's "Walkyr Cry" from "Walkfire" .
Glinka Brahms
Recitative and Cavatina, "O mio Fernando' from "La Favorita" Donizetti
Overture Solonelle, "The Year 1812," Op. 49
The next concert in the FACULTY CONCERT SERIES (complimentary) will be given Sunday afternoon, March 13, at 3 :oo o'clock.
The next concert in the CHORAL UNION SERIES will be the FIRST MAY FESTIVAL CONCERT, Wednesday, May 18, at 8:00 o'clock.
The next concert in the MATINEE MUSICALE SERIES will be given by the DETROIT SYMPHONY ORCHESTRA STRING QUARTET and OLGA SAMAROFF, Pianiste, March 22, in Pattengill Auditorium. (High School), at 8:00 o'clock.
Traffic Regulation.--By order of the Police Department, on the nights of Concerts, vehicles of all kinds will be prohibited on North University Avenue between Thayer and Ingalls Streets; Taxi-cabs must park on the west side of Thayer street, facing south between North University Avenue and Washington Street; Private autos may be parked on Ingalls and Washington Streets. Persons on foot are requested to refrain from leaving from the Taxi-cab entrance at the Thayer Street side of the Auditorium.
Lost Articles should be enquired for at the office of Shirley W. Smith, Secretary of the University, in University Hall, where articles found should be left.
See pages 7 and 8 for partial programs of the May Festival.
Overture to "Russian and Ludmilla" . . ' . . Glinka Michall Ivanovitch Glinka was bom June, 1804, at Novapaski, Russia; died February 15, 1857, at Berlin.
Tchaikowsky declared that Glinka was Russia's greatest musical genius, adding, "But he never fully developed his powers, on account of his great wealth, which fostered his natural indolence." The opera, "Russian and Ludmilla (1842), the overture to which introduces the program of the evening, was written as a result of the enthusiasm with which "The Life for the Tsar" (1836) was received. The plot is based on one of those weird and complicated stories, or legends, characteristic of pagan Russia. It may be condensed as follows: The heroine, Ludmilla, the daughter of Prince Svietozar, of Kiew, like all opera heroines, was exceedingly beautiful. Therefore, she had many suitors for her hand, of which three, who were not deterred by her father's fabulous wealth, figure in the plot. Of these, Russian was the favored one, consequently he was the one against whom the wicked magician Chernomor (also an aspirant) directed his diabolical arts. By the assistance of Finn, a benevolent wizard, who gave him a magic sword, which he found to be an "ever present help in time of trouble," he finally triumphed, and ultimately figured as one of the "high contracting parties" in the final scene, the marriage of Russian and Ludmilla. The overture concerns itself mainly with the material used in the denouement referred to. Debussyites will notice a descending whole-toned scale--the motive of Chernomor. A melody sung by Russian also figures in the scheme. The principal theme is in D major-Presto, 2-2 time--the second in F major, and the work employs the usual sonata form throughout.
Symphony No. i, C minor, Op. 68 ...... Brahms
Un poco sostenuto--Allegro; Andante sostenuto;
Un poco allegretto e grazioso; Adagio--piu andante--
Allegro non troppo, ma con brio.
Johannes Brahms was born May 7, 18.33, at Hamburg; died April 3, 1897, at Vienna.
The reputation of Brahms is consistently making headway and he has gloriously redeemed all that Robert Schumann so enthusiastically prophesied. His position has become unassailable, and circles that at first were lukewarm, or coldly respectful, have become ardent in their appreciation of the elevated concepts and purity of expression that characterize every product of his genius. While the reputation and influence of many contemporaries of the Vienna master have declined somewhat in recent years, his hold on the world of music has been growing more secure. A significant scheme of concerts can not be imagined in which he is not represented, and, strangely enough, the qualities which many thought were lacking in his style are those through which he now makes his strongest appeal. He was considered cold, lacking in melody, deficient in imagination, etc., etc., but no one dreams of making such strictures on his art now-a-days. This may be stating it over-strongly, but, whereas such criticisms were stated in chorus at one time, the voices are now those of a few isolated solo performers.
Whatever one may say of Brahms., no one can assert that he was not original. He must stand as representative of the outlook of those who refused to be swept off their feet by the art of Richard Wagner. The art of the two men expressed itself in lines so distinct that there was no reason why they should not run parallel instead of crossing. Brahms followed his own path, a much more significant one than he indicated when, in speaking of certain ill-natured comments on his work by the Bayrenth master, he said. "Wagner has the broad highway--why will he not leave me my modest little lane"
Von Biilow, whose critical judgment was unerring, in naming his musical Trinity__
"Bach, Beethoven and Brahms"--was nearer the truth than Tchaikowsky, who looked with, restricted approval on the first, with awe on the second, and with contempt on the third. The implications of von Biilow's grouping are many, but possibly not immediately obvious. The only one that can be noted at this time is this: Bach in hi "Well-Tempered Clavichord" displayed both poetry and a dawning romanticism; Beethoven gave fulness to a form better adapted to their expression and added qualities distinctly his own; Brahms, a romanticist in feeling but a classicist in form, combined them all in a style in which romantic freedom, somewhat influenced by the dramatic intensity of his environment, was held in leash by his sense of symmetrical expression.
The symphony on our program will never be as popular as the perennial D major offering in this form, but although it was his first, it contains no hint of the apprentice, grasps one at the outset, and the grip is tightened when we come to the fdoricus last movement. Symphonic literature contains not a few works in which the inspiration runs well fnr .season, but becomes attenuated before the end, so that they frequently stop without ending --dying of inanition. No such criticism can hold when applied to Brahms' work. As a matter of fact, reference is generally made to a superabundance of thematic material and
too prodigal a use of orchestral color, the first leading to lack of clearness in outline, ant1 the latter to a clouding of detail through "muddy" orchestration. Fuller-Maitland, in his admirable book on Brahms, referring to this particular symphony, takes up the cudgels in his defense by saying (page 157) "the case is almost parallel to certain poems of Browning --the thoughts are so weighty, the reasoning so close, that the ordinary means of expression are inadequate. To try to re-score such a movement (as the first) with the sacrifice of none of its meaning, is as hopeless a task as to rewrite 'Sordello' in sentences tha'l a child should understand."
At its first production certain German critics gleefully pointed out the rhythmic resemblance of the principal theme of the last movement to the Finale of Beethoven's Ninth Symphony. In this they were more in error than Eduard Hanslick (1825-1904), who, overlooking this fancied appropriation (because it did not exist), spoke of the entire "new symphony" as exhibiting "a mastery possessed by no other living composer."
It is scored for the usual symphony orchestra. As is not infrequently the case, the Introduction--C minor, un poco sostenutn, 6-8 time--is prophetic of the principal theme of the Allegro which is given below--C minor, Allegro, 6-8 time.
The second theme makes its appearance in due time, after the material of the opening subject has been exploited with the thoroughness always displayed by Brahms. He secures unity of expression by suggestions of that theme in the accompanying figures of the new idea.
ODoes. ? ?
Those to whom Brahms' beautiful songs appeal will discover in the second movement --E major, Andante sostenuto, 3-4 time--the melodic qualities so distinctly in evidence in the smaller form.
Andante Sostenuto.
Nor is a knowledge of his lyrics indispensable to enjoy this web of exquisite melody from beginning to end. The quotation given is an indication of the plane on which the entire movement is held. Naturally this theme is supplemented and placed over against still other ideas which will present themselves with great lucidity as they enter. Note the clarinet and oboe themes and the beautiful effect of the violin solo.
To write a symphony without a Scherzo must have demanded some courage, provided Brahms ever took the matter into' consideration, which he probably did not The principal subject--A flat major, Poco allegretto c grasioso, 2-4 time--herewith given.
Poco allegretto e Grazioso.
is prophetic of a pleasure which will be augmented by the entrance of the second part with its contrasting theme in B major, 6-8 time.
Heralded by a magnificent and somewhat extended Introduction--C minor, Adagio, 4-4 time--the notable features of which are a descending figure in the bars, a prophecy of the principal theme of the Allegro (13th measure), and lovely treatments of a naive melody-C major, Piu andante--by horns and flute, with a short interpolated section for bassoons and trombones:--the principal subject of the real Finale is given out by the first violins-C major, Allegro non troppo, ma con brio, 4-4 time. Allegro non troppo, ma con brio.
Allusion has already been made to the fancied resemblance between this theme and that of the Finale of Beethoven's Ninth Symphony. It will be seen that it is not unlike in spirit, but, as Miss Florence May writes, "Brahms' movement develops on its own lines, which do not resemble those of Beethoven." The second subject
is a genial inspiration. Note the figure in the basses, met with in the Introduction, and which now takes on the character of a basso ostinato. As the movement proceeds, with the themes developed as Brahms knew how to bring out every shade of meaning, the onward progress of the whole movement is irresistible in its power.
A notable performance of this movement occurred at the exercises in memory of Joseph Joachim (1831-1907) at Berlin, shortly after his passing. The violinand violadesks were filled by pupils of the great teacher, most of them virtuosi of European and international fame, with Leopold Auer (1845) as concert-master. As Joachim was an ardent admirer of Brahms, with whom as a man and artist he had much in common, the choice was a happy one, and no one who heard this inspired interpretation will forget it.
Brunhiide's "Walkyr Cry' from "Walkiire" .... Wagner Recitative and Cavatina, "O mio Fernando' from "La Favorita" Donizetti
Brunhilde's "Walkyr Cry;'' from 'Walktire" .... Wagner
Wilhelm Richard Wagner was born May 22, 1813, at Leipzig; died February 1;. 1883, at Venice.
The final number in the concert of January 24 represented the gathering of the Walkyrs at the Walkyr's Rock. The excerpt on this program represents events immediately following the meeting of these daughters of Wotan and Erda. Brunhilde enters, dragging the weary and heart-broken Sieglinde, whose lover, Siegmund, has just fallen at the hands of the outraged Hunding. Finding no refuge for Sieglinde, for, fearing the anger of Wotan, the Walkyries refuse her their shelter, Brunhilde directs her to the only available place of safety, the forest containing the cavern within which Fafner watches the Nibelung Hoard, which he won through murder. The text of the cry is an illustration of Wagner's practice of coining words--mostly onamatopoeic--which are very delineative. An outstanding example of this practice is found in the "Rheingold," where Alberich is struggling up the slippery rocks in his efforts to secure the gold In the text of the "Ring" Wagner used the form of alliterative verse employed by Morris in "The Story of the Volsung." English translators rarely succeed in retaining the alliteration, and H. and F. Corder, who are responsible for the version herewith given, occasionally may be included in the ranks of the unsuccessful, although they are more alive to the verse-structure than the majority of their colleagues.
Brunhilde: Ho-yo-to-ho! Ho-yo-to-ho! Hei-aha! But listen, father! care fcr thyself; For a storm o'er thee will break: The frighten'd goats are fainting with fear, Wheels rattling and rolling whirl her here to the fight. At such a time away I would be, Tho' my delight is in scenes of war! Take heed that defeat be not thine, For now I must leave thee to fate!
Recitative and Cavatina, "O mio Fernando' from 'a Favorita" Donizetti Gaetano Donizetti was born March 29, 1797 (), at Bergamo; died there April 8, 1848. Including the four posthumously performed operas, one of which was not heard till 1882 (Rome), the number of such works accredited to Donizetti is sixty-seven, but of them only five are now recognized as of enduring quality, and it is not well to stress the word "enduring." Among this group "La Favorita" must be included, although it is by no means one of his strongest works. In them all the composer amply satisfied the demands of the "world, the flesh, and the devil," the last personified by the "encore fiends' in favor of whom Death not infrequently relaxed his hold on his victim that he, or she, might anticipate the Resurrection sufficiently to satisfy the public. It goes without saying that "La Favorita," like all of his operas, abounds with beautiful melodies cast in the conventional Italian form, and abundantly endowed with the applause-producing elements that have endeared them to prima-donnas. Donizetti was broader in his outlook than most of his contemporaries, for among his published works we find twelve string-quartets (highly spoken of), masses, etc. He frequently escaped the condemnation meted out to most of the opera-composers of his nationality that "they made of the orchestra a huge guitar," for he used the "brass" with so great freedom that it is related that a contemporary, looking at one of his scores in which he used 1st, 2d and 3d trombones, cried; "Great God! one hundred and twenty-three trombones!" Well, he did not do this in "La Favorita," which was first given at Paris-Opera, December 2, 1840. Now-a-days it is not given with embarrassing frequency. The text, in an English translation, runs as follows:
Leonora--Recitative: It is the truth, then! O heav'n! art thou, Fernando, the spouse of
Leonora Ah! Scarce dare I say it; my doubting senses falter with unexpected rapture. Ye powers!
to wed him! O how I shrink with horror! Bring him for dowry alone the stain
of shame!
No! even altho' he may curse me, I fly ere love implores him To pity aught the outcast who adores him.
Cavatina : O my Fernando!
Earth's enchantments of pleasure,
Lavished without thee, entrance my heart no more--
Holy and pure affection dims like heaven's azure
When smiling serenest, dark clouds roll before.
The truth be spoken, truth that will scathe and shame me:
The doom, though fearful, I deserve it all! Ah!
Justly his indignation alone will blame me,
Cause, God of Vengeance, on me thy bolt to fall,
Ye tormentors, why spare mine anguish
How it crieth to heav'n aloud!
See the bridal flowers languish
On the shrine where love is vowed.
Death alone my woe can vanquish,
ho, a suppliant at thy knee,
Reft of all of earthly guerdon,
Thus debarred on high her pardon,
Hopes salvation yet in thee!
Overture Souneu,e, "The Year 1812," Op. 49 . . . Tchaikowsky
Peter Hitch Tchaikowsky was born May 7, 1840, at Wotkinsk; died1 November 6, 1893, at Petrograd.
There seems to be a deadening of inspiration whenever a composer--it matters not of how great importance--is obliged to write to order a composition for some special occasion. As convincing proof of this, it will be remembered that Wagner's Centennial March was a signal failure, for, instead of writing a work permeated by the "spirit of '76," he brought to pass a stilted and commonplace piece of musical bombast which had no more relation to the one hundredth anniversary of the Declaration of Independence than it had to the discovery of Mt. Ararat. On the other hand, Beethoven, blissfully unmindful of aught but the divine joy of creation, in the Finale of his Fifth Symphony gave fervid utterance to all that Wagner tried to say but for which he found no voice. Therefore, we need not be surprised that Tchaikowsky, in a letter dated October 20, 1880. referring to this overture, declared: "I wrote it without much enthusiasm"; in another (June 29, 1881) : "It i of no great value," and, after it had been received with great enthusiasm in Germany in 1888, wrote in his diary: "I considered and still consider my overture '1812 to be quite mediocre."
It must, however, be added that it has not been received by concert-audiences at the composer's valuation, although it has not been heard of late with the frequency of a decade ago. There is a very valid reason for this in the possibility of such an exaggeration of the spectacular details of the composition as minimize the solemnity of its religious appeal, as well as its patriotic fervor. When one realizes that, in addition to the full concert orchestra of today with every member of the "percussion" group present, the composer summons cannon to his aid--thus giving real meaning to the common designation "battery" for the drums, etc.--it will be seen that a conductor lacking poise can very easily give a distorted interpretation approaching vulgarity. The following analysis will display the material employed by the composer as well as its treatment:
In the Introduction--E flat major, Largo, 3-4 time--a Russian hymn, "God, Preserve Thy People," is first announced. This dignified religious appeal is followed by a plaintive theme for oboe, full of the pathos so frequently found in Russian folk-music. This leads to an Andante, in which the insistent drum-beat and repeated calls of the horns and woodwinds foreshadow the entrance of the main-movement--E flat minor, Allegro giusto, 4-4 time--in which mingle suggestions of the Battle of Borodino, portions of the Marseillaise, and a typical folk-song. After the usual working out of the thematic interrelationships inherent in the material, the Marseillaise, which has been episodically treated all through the "development" division, is now sounded over a long sutained tone (organ-point). The Coda first brings again to evidence the content of the Introduction, the tempo of which soon changes to Allegro vivace, and the brass, with the ardor characteristic of that division of the orchestra when let loose, gives out the Russian National Hymn, an evident but perfectly justified anachronism, as it was composed by Alexis Lwow, or von Lwoff (1799-1871), in 1833.
According to one authority--Kashkin--"1812"--for frequently the title is thus abbreviated--was composed for, and intended to function at the consecration of the Cathedral of Our Saviour, Moscow, 1881. As the overture was to have been played in the square before the Cathedral, the introduction of cannon was a justifiable "sop to Cerberus.'" Modeste Tchaikowsky and' Kashkin are at variance as to the occasion of which it was to have been a part, and as the "doctors disagree." the only course to pursue is to accept Rosa Newmarch's statement regarding its first hearing--August 20, 1882, at the Art and Industrial Exhibition at Moscow. According to Modeste Tchaikowsky, the overture was composed for this Exhibition.
Developments in our midst may excuse an indulgence in a mild form of optimism.
It is a hopeful sign that the general public is becoming more and more appreciative of good music. It is within the range of possibility that ere long symphonies and other works in serious forms will supplant, if not entirely, at least to an appreciable extent, musical comedy, "jazz," and the degraded exaggeration of the lowest elements of music now masquerading in the guise of dance-music To define musical-comedy as "a pseudo-dramatic form occupying an interstellar space equally remote from music and comedy"; "jazz" as "noise in motion" (Huneker's definition), and modern dance-music as "the apotheosis o? vulgarity," is to apply euphemistic terms. Were it not for the behests of conscience and the mandates of society, one would prefer to use unexpurgated excerpts from literaturo of the Nick Carter type when speaking of these decadent products.
The history of music records numberless "incursions of the Goths" similar to those mentioned above. On the other hand, it emphasizes the comforting reflection that these disturbing factors--like political and sociological earthquakes--soon lose their destructive power, and their devastations are quickly repaired. Then, it is by no means rare lhat in the debris something of real value is found. These passing phases resemble the action of the sea, when at flood-tide the waves retreat only to gather force that they may throw themselves higher up the beach. Consequently, remembering that it is flood-tide somewhere when it is at the ebb with us--which it is not now--a healthy spirit of optimism on our part is justified, especially when there is every reason to cherish the conviction that, in so far as music enters into life's equation, "All's right with the world."
Those who are interested in, and would like to consult books of reference on music, will find a list of such works at the Attendant's Desk, Genera! Reading Room, University Librarv.
MAY 18, 19, 20, 21, 1921
(Chicago Opera Company)
FREDERICK STOCK, CONDUCTOR Overture, "Husitzka," Op. 67 . . . . . . . . . . Dvorak
Aria: tito schipa
Symphony No. 2, C minor, Op. 17 ........ Tciiaikowsky
Andante sostenuto--Allegro vivace; Andantino marziale; Scherzo; Finale.
Aria: tito schipa
Symphonic Poem, "Juventus" ......... de Sabala
Aria: tito schipa
"Chorus Triomphaus"--March-Fantasia for Orchestra, Chorus and Organ, Op. 14
(By special request) .......... A. A. Stanley
"Elijah," an Oratorio........Mcndelssohn-Bartholdy
FLORENCE HINKLE ..........................................Soprano
GRACE JOHNSON-KONOLD (THE YOUTH)................Soprano
MERLE ALCOCK .............................................Contralto
LAMBERT MURPHY............................................Tenor
THEODORE HARRISON .....................................Baritone
----------------------------, ACCOMPANIST
(The program will be announced later)
Word has just been received that Tetrazzini will sail for Europe early in May. The artist who will appear on Friday evening's program will be announced later.
Choral and Fugue, G minor ....... Bach-Abert
Symponic Poem, "Arris," Op. 16 (By special request) . . . . A. A. Stanley
"Mephisto" Waltz............Liszt
Suite, "Woodland," A minor, Op 42 ........ MacDowell
I. "In a Haunted Forest"; II. "Summer Idyll"; III. "The Shepherdess's Song";
IV. "Forest Spirits." Prelude to "The MastErsingers".........Wagner
Overture to "The Magic Flute".........Mozart
Symphony No. 10, C major .......... Schubert
Andante--Allegro ma non troppo; Andante con moto; Scherzo; Finale.
Concerto for Piano and Orchestra fannie bloomfield-zeisler
"Aida," an Opera in Four Acts..........Verdi
ROSA PONSELLE.................................................Aida
CYRENA VAN GORDON.......................................Amneris
GRACE JOHNSON-KONOLD ...........................High Priestess
CHARLES MARSHALL .......................................Radames
ARTHUR MIDDLETON.................................... AJanasro
GUSTAF HOLMQUIST.......................................The King
ROBERT McCANDLISS .....................................Messenger

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