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UMS Concert Program, January 22, 1924: Detroit Symphony Orchestra -- Ossip Gabrilowitsch

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Season: 1923-1924
Concert: FOURTH
Complete Series: CCCCIV
Hill Auditorium, Ann Arbor, Michigan

Earl V. MookE, Musical Director Charles A. Sink, Business Manager
BOARD OF DIRECTORS Francis W. Kelsey, ----President
Harry B. Hutchins Vice-President
Durand W. Springer ----Secretary
Levi D. Wines -----Treasurer
G. Frank Allmendinger Horace G. Prettyman
Junius E. Beal Shirley W. Smith
Marion LeRoy Burton Albert A. Stanley
James Inglis James H. Wade
Detroit Symphony Orchestra
Prelude, Chorale and Fugue........Bach-Abert
Fourth Symphony, in D minor, Op. 120......Schumann
(Played without pause) Fifth Concerto, in F major, for Pianoforte and Orchestra,
Op. 103.............Saint-Sains
Allegro moderato Andante Molto Allegro
Mr. Shattuck intermission
"Omphale's Spinning Wheel", Symphonic Poem, Op. 31 . Saint-Sains Scherzo from the music to "A Midsummer Night's Dream" . Mendelssohn Overture to the Opera "La Gazza Ladra" .... Rossini
Arthur Shattuck uses the Steinway Piano. The Mason and Hamlin is the official piano of the Detroit Symphony Orchestra.
The next concert in the CHORAL UNION SERIES will be given by Feodor Chaliapin, Friday evening, January 25.
The next conert in the EXTRA CONCERT SERIES will be given by Mr. and Mrs. Josef Lhevinne, Pianists, Monday evening, February 18.
The next concert in the Faculty Twilight Series will be given Sunday afternoon, January 27, at 4:15. The general public, with the exception of children under twelve years of age is invited.
Twilight Organ Recitals will be given each Wednesday afternoon by Palmer Christian, University Organist. The general public, with the exception of children under twelve years of age is invited.
Prelude, Chorale and Fugue.....: . . . Bach-Abert
Johann Sebastian Bach was born March 21, 1685, at Eisenach; died July 28, 1750, at Leipzig.
Johann Joseph Abert was born September 21, 1832, at Kochowitz, Bohemia; died April 1, 1915, at Stuttgart.
It was a happy thought that inspired Abert to give to the immortal G minor organ fugue of the great Leipzig Cantor a setting for the modern orchestra. Why he should have preceded it by the prelude to a fugue in the same key from the "Well-tempered Clavichord" (No. 4), instead of the infinitely greater one which Bach designed for the introduction to the more important fugue we shall hear this evening, is an unsolved mystery with which we are not now concerned. The original chorale which Abert introduced between the two is very effective and forms such a splendid and appropriate introduction to the fugue that nowadays the prelude js .generally omitted.
A contemporary of Bach, referring to his organ-playing, said; "The great feature of his playing is his constant changes in registration." The justification for such a treatment as Abert embodied in the selection on our program--and by the practice of the greatest modern organists--lies in the nature of this type of composition, and may be stated as follows: , The fugue is the highest manifestation of polyphonic (many-voiced) writing; polyphony rests on counterpoint; the essence of counterpoint is melody; melody implies phrasing; phrasing is unthinkable without light and shade; light and shade arc attributes of color; therefore, registration on the organ and the employment of the multi-colored resources1 of the instruments of the orchestra are necessary to set forth the interrelationships of thjeme and counter-theme constituting the warp and woof of fugal compositions. (A.A.S.)
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In the Prelude, which Abert transposed to D minor, two. flutes, two oboes, two clarinets, two bassoons, two horns, two trumpets, timpani and strings are employed. The Chorale which connects the Prelude and Fugue is scored for two trumpets, four horns and three trombones. The full orchestra is used for the Fugue, the horns and trombones carrying the theme of th,e Chorale in unison during the presentation of the Fugue by the other instruments. ! ' ' :
Symphony No. 4, D minor, Opus 120 ,. . : . '. . . Schiimai.iji Introduction-Allegro; Romanza; Scherzo; Finale. ... ? ;
Robert Alexander Schumann was born at Zwickau, June 8, 1810; died at Endcnich, near Bonn, July 29, 1856.
In Robert Alexander Schumann we see one of the foremost composers of the last century, and one of the neo-romantic school. A composer of commanding genius, he was at the same time a critic of a type practically unknown since his day. He was sympathetic in his judgment of his contemporaries, many of whom, like Mendelssohn, Hiller, and Hauptmann, failed to recognize his genius, not realizing that such pronounced literary power and critical acumen could be combined with even greater musical genius. Franz Liszt and Moscheles appreciated him from the first. Schumann, like Liszt, possessed great discernment and was one of the first to welcome Chopin of whom he said: "What is a whole year of a musical paper to a concerto by Chopin" He also heralded the advent of Brahms in glowing terms. To understand Schumann's compositions fully one should study his critical methods, for his articles over the names of Florestan, Eusebius, Raro, etc., looking at subjects from many points of view, display an insight into the hidden processes of creative art that illuminates his own methods. Early in his artistic career there were premonitions of the malady that brought his life to an end in a madhouse, but in the period just after his happy marriage with Clara Wieck, who after wards became the greatest interpreter of his pianoforte works, his compositions sparkle with life and vigor. To this period belongs the symphony on our program.
In the construction of this symphony Schumann followed the example set by Beethoven in the C minor No. 5, but carried the idea of running directly from one movement to the next still farther, by thinking of the work as absolutely continuous in performance as well as in conception. As a matter of fact, when first published, after the enumeration of the divisions, the title bore the words "in one movement". ...:,
The Introduction--D minor, 3-4 time, Andantes-leading'to the first movement proper, begins with an A sounded in several octaves of pitch against which a motive, which is later recognized in the Roniansa, is heard in sixths in the second violin, violas, and bassoons. The thematic material of the Allegro is foreshadowed softly in the latter part of the Introduction, and increasing in intensity of expression appears as' the vigorous first theme as the allegro tempo is reached. A second subject, more gentle in appeal, is heard and these two themes in various forms and relationships give content arid coherency to the first movement.
Schumann the dreamer is revealed in the second movement--A minor, 3-4 time, Andante-?and the beauty of the melody played by the oboe and violoncello must be apparent, even to the non-musical. Variety is introduced by utilization of the first few measures of material assigned to the string family, and. by a violin solo in D major. The return of the plaintive original theme.shows it to be the real burden of the movement.
The Scherzo--D minor, 3-4 time, Vivace--is a most virile representation of the form established in its modern proportions and tempo'by Beethoven. A vigorous theme, announced at the outset, runs its appointed course, after which the "bewitching theme of the Trio" is set forth. This in turn: yields to the theme of: the. Scherzo: proper, only to reappear, as though Schumann, like Schubert, could not bear to leave a, supremely beautiful melody with a single presentation only. .... ? . .,;..-
Again, in the introduction to the last movement, the material of the original opening section is exploited. Heralded by a strong motive for, the .trombones, followed by an accelerando, the prinicpal subject--D major, 4-4 time, Allegro--ntprs... ?
The unity, manifested in the employment of ;the introductory material at various points, is still further secured by the statement of the principal figure of the first movement, which occurs simultaneously with; the sounding of the principal subject. With the exception of the Recapitulation the movement proceeds in the most approved orthodox manner according to the formal principles of the sonata-form, ending in an extended Coda and a very animated closing division. '??-?.',?.-, ,.,....
It is easy to see-from this very incomplete analysis, the reasons for Schumann's desire that it should be performed as a whole and also those" suggesting the title "Symphonic Fantasia". Possibly he felt the force of the comforting: adage, "The truth should not be spoken at all times", and refrained from giving it so apt a title. We,may also rejoice that he refrained from introducing the guitar in. the Romanze, although he left a place in the score which he never filled in. , ?:?.?;,:
Fifth Concerto, in F major, for Pianofqrt a,nd .Orchestra,
Op. 103......; ... . . . Saint-Saens
Allegro moderate; Andante; Molto allegro.
Camille Saint-Saens was born October ,9, 1835, at Paris; died December 16, 1921, at Algiers.
Saint-Saens composed five concertos for pianoforte and orchestra; they were published in 1868, 1868, 1875, 1877, and 1896 respectively. The fifth concerto was produced for the first time at a concert given at the Salle Pleyel, Paris, June 2, 1896, to celebrate the composer's fiftieth anniversary of his first appearance in public. Saint-Saens was the interpreter of the piano part on this occasion.
The orchestral portion of the concerto is scored for the following instruments: two flutes, piccolo, two oboes, two clarinets, two bassoons, four horns, two trumpets, three trombones, kettle drums gong and strings. The work is dedicated to Louis Diemcr.
Symphonic Poem, No. i, "Omphaie's Spinning-Wheel," Op. 31 Saint-Scwns-
This first of Saint-Saens' symphonic poems was originally a rondo for piano and then orchestrated. On the fly-leaf of the orchestral score is printed: "The subject of this symphonic-poem is feminine seductiveness, the triumphant struggle of weakness against strength. The spinning wheel is only a pretext; it is chosen merely from the view-point of rhythm and the general aspect of the piece. " The music is an example of tone-painting. The spinning-wheel soon becomes evident with a very elegant chief themci After harmonic changes a broad phrase in C minor rises heavily from the violoncellos and double basses. It is. repeated several times in melodic progression, each time with stronger and richer instrumentation. It is the voice of Hercules, trying to rend his bonds asunder. As the complaint increases, the oboe, the coquettishly ironical voice of Omphale, answers in mockery, and the hero realizes the futility of the struggle. Finally the theme of the spinning-wheel dies out in high notes of flute and violin harmonics.
Dream," Op. 61..........Mendelssohn
Felix Mendelssohn-Bartholdy was born February 33, 1809, at Hamburg; died November 4, 1847, at Leipzig.
Shakespeare's conceptions, whether single poems or entire plays, individual characters or dramatic incidents, have ever held an attraction for the composers of music. The imaginanations of a Verdi, Tchaikovsky, Thomas, Schubert and Mendelssohn, to name only a few, have been kindled by the lines of the great English dramatist, and there have resulted compositions both short and long, subjective and objective, dramatic and lyric.
Mendelssohn created one of his greatest masterpieces as a youth of seventeen when he completed in Berlin, August 6, 1826, the Overture to "A Midsummer Night's Dream". An airy fairy lightness, and youthful grace characterize this exquisite creation. Seventeen years later, he composed music for the complete play, at the request of King Frederick William IV of Prussia. The complete incidental music has thirteen numbers, many of which utilize the themes found in the overture.
The Scherzo--G minor, 3-8 time, Allegro vivace--is No. II, and is an entr'acte between Acts I and II; it consists of light and elf-like music, and represents the scene in Quince's house, where the play to be given by the workmen at the wedding is being discussed. The character of the music as a whole is unmistakably dainty and suggestive of fairies, with no single touch of the grotesque. There are two themes, not sharply contrasted, and the Scherzo consists of an elaborate development of them. It is scored for two flutes, two oboes, two clarinets, two bassoons, two horns, two trumpets, kettledrums, and strings.
Overture to the Opera "L,a Gazza Ladra" .... Rossini
Gioacchino Antonio Rossini was born at Pesaro, February 29, 1792; died at Passy, near Paris, November 13, 1868.
"La Gazza Ladra" was one of twenty operas composed by Rossini in the eight years, 1815 to 1823, and was first performed May 31, 1817, at La Scala in Milan. The gradually increasing success of "The Barber of Seville" (Rome, 1816) was bringing the work of the prolific but slothful composer to the attention of the Italian opera-going public. It is related that when Donizetti was informed that Rossini had written "Barbiere" in thirteen days, he replied: "Very possible, he is so lazy." The inane libretto of "La Gazza Ladra" together with the fact that much of the music was either "borrowed" or was the flimsiest of operatic padding was the cause of the early disappearance of the work from public view. That Rossini had undeniable talent on occasion, is testified by the gay and fanciful overture with which this program is concluded.

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