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UMS Concert Program, November 23, 1925: Choral Union Series -- Detroit Symphony Orchestra

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Concert: Third
Complete Series: CCCCXXXV
Hill Auditorium, Ann Arbor, Michigan

Forty-seventh Season Third Concert
No. CCCCXXXV Complete Series
Detroit Symphony Orchestra
VICTOR KOLAR, Conducting
Auhitnrium, Attw Arbor,
Overture to the Opera "Euryanthe"..........................Weber .
Concerto No. 5. Op. 73, in E flat (Emperor)................Beethoven i
Mr. Gabrilowitsch
intermission '
"Kikimora," A Legend......................................Liadov i
Two Movements from "Nocturnes"........................Debussy
(a) Nuages !
(b) Fetes :
"Italian Caprice," Op. 45...............................Tchaikovsky t
Mr. Gabrilowitsch uses the Mason and Hamlin Piano j
D. Edward Porter, Manager M. A. Brigman, Asst. Manager i
The Mason and Hamlin is the Official Piano of the j
Detroit Symphony Society j
Overture to the Opera, "Euryanthe"....................Carl Maria von Weber
(Born at Eutin, Oldenburg, December 18, 1786; died at London, June 5, 1826.)
Though Weber wrote several operas while a young man, it was not until the production of "Freischutz," in 1821, that he achieved great success. So immediate was the appeal of this work to the German imagination that he was at once asked for another opera, to be produced in Vienna in the following year. But Weber had difficulty finding a theme, and it was not until October 25, 1823, that "Euryanthe" was produced. The opera, without the overture, was finished in August; the composition of the overture took seven weeks; within a week after the completion of the score, the opera was produced, the orchestra reading the score of the overture at sight.
"Euryanthe" was somewhat of a disappointment to the Viennese, who had expected another "Freischutz" but in Germany it had a pronounced success. Only one more triumph awaited Weber--the great reception of "Oberon"--before his too-early death in his fortieth year.
The libretto of "Euryanthe" was written by Helmina von Chezy, who found the story in a French tale of the thirteenth century, used by Boccaccio in the Decameron, and adapted by Shakespeare in "Cymbeline." The central feature of the plot is the boasting of a husband of his wife's constancy, the wager of a villain that he will prove the wife false, his discovery (without winning his bet) of a distinguishing secret mark on the lady's flesh, and the husbands jealousy and revenge.
In "Euryanthe," the story is slightly varied. Count Adolar boasts of the virtue of his betrothed, Euryanthe. Count Lysiart says he will prove her unfaithful. Adolar and Euryanthe have a secret which involves a ring owned by Adolar's dead sister. Euryanthe reveals this secret to Eglantine, who tells it to Lysiart and procures the ring for him. Lysiart's production of the ring to Adolar convinces him that Euryanthe is untrue. But everything comes out well, Adolar kills Lysiart, and Euryanthe rushes into his arms.
Weber was dissatisfied with the libretto, and introduced many modifications; but not even his genius could keep the opera alive for twentieth-century audiences. About all that survives of it is the brilliant overture.
It begins Allegro marcato, con molto fuoco, in E flat. After eight energetic measures the wind instruments in harmony give out the first theme, derived from Adolar's phrase in the first act, "Ich bau 'auf Gott und meine Euryanth'." After a brilliant development there is a crashing B flat chord by the full orchestra, with drum-beat accentuation. A transitional phrase in the cellos leads to the gentle second theme, given first to the violins over sustained harmony in the other strings. In the opera, this theme accompanies the words, "O Seligkeit, dich fass' ich kaum," from Adolar's air in the second act, "Wehen mir Lufte Ruh." There is a return to the introduction, a climax is built up, and after a long organ-point the orchestra falls silent.
The short largo which follows suggests Eglantine's vision of the ghost of Adolar's sister, possessor of the fatal ring. Eight violins, muted, play weird harmonies, the violas being heard
in subdued tremolo. Cellos and basses then invert the first theme of the wind instruments. Following, the introduction returns, first in C minor, then in E flat. The second theme reenters, fortissimo, and leads to a grand coda.
The overture is scored for two flutes, two oboes, two clarinets, two bassoons, four horns, two trumpets, three trombones, kettledrums and strings.
Concerto No. 5, E-flat, for Pianoforte and Orchestra, Op. 73..............
...............................................Ludwig Van Beethoven
(Born at Bonn, December 16 () 1770; died at Vienna, March 26, 1827.)
The concerto was, no doubt, as Mr. Apthorp said, called the "Emporer" "from its grand dimensions and intrinsic splender." The orchestral part is scored for two flutes, two oboes, two clarinets, two bassoons, two horns, two trumpets, kettledrums, and strings.
The first movement, Allegro, in E-flat, 4-4, opens with a strong chord for full orchestra, which is followed by a cadenza for the solo instrument.
The first theme is given out by the strings, and afterwards taken up by the clarinets. The second theme soon follows, first in E-flat minor softly and staccato by the strings, then legato and in E-flat major by the horns. It was usual at that time for the pianist to extemporize his cadenza, but Beethoven inserted his own with the remark, "Non si fa una cadenza ma s' attacca subito il seguente" (that is to say, "Do not insert a cadenza, but attach the following immediately") and he then went so far as to accompany with the orchestra the latter portion of his cadenza.
The second movement, Adagio un poco moto, in B major, 2-2, is in the form of "quasivariations," developed chiefly from the theme given at the beginning by muted strings. This movement goes, with a suggestion hinted by the pianoforte of the coming first theme of the Rondo, into the Rondo, the Finale, Allegro, in E-flat, 6-8. Both the themes are announced by the pianoforte and developed elaborately. The end of the coda is distinguished by a descending long series of pianoforte chords which steadily diminish in force, while the kettledrums keep marking the rhythm of the opening theme.
"Kikimora," A Legend........................Anatol Constantinovitch Liadov
(Liadov, born in 1855, was a pupil of Rimsky-Korsakov. He died in 1914.)
This work is a scherzo preceded by a sustained introduction. Kikimora was a strange creature with a body as thin as a straw and a head no larger than a thimble. She lived with the magician, Kater Bjam, in the mountains. All day Kater Bjam told Kikimora tales of distant lands, and at night rocked her to sleep in a crystal cradle. Kikimora had strange powers; when she was angry, the wind howled, there was thunder and lightning, and clouds of vapor issued from the mountain. In her softer hours she was busy with her spinning-wheel. She was forever hatching mischevious plots against the peasants in the valleys below.
The work begins with an introduction, Adagio, which contains a motive that reappears throughout the work. The scherzo is lively and fantastic, and at its close suggests that Kikimora vanishes into thin air.
Nocturnes Nos. 1,2: Nuages; Fetes.........................Claude Debussy
(Born at St. Germain (Seine and Oise), on August 22, 1862; died at Paris on March 26, 1918.)
These are not nocturnes in the ordinary meaning of the term, but impressions, and have been characterized as dreams, delicate and elusive fancies. Their companions on canvas are the nocturnes of Whistler. The two dreams here pictured are "Clouds, and their floating across the sky," and "Festivals," movement, rhythm, dancing in the atmosphere. "Here,"
writes Bruneau, the composer, "he has lent to clouds traversing the sombre sky the various forms created by his imagination; he has set to running and dancing the chimerical beings perceived by him in the silvery dust scintillating in the moonbeams."
The following "program" for the Suite is attributed to Debussy, although the translation leaves much to be desired and even more to the imagination.
"The title Nocturnes is intended to have here a more general and, above all, a more decorative meaning. We, then, are not concerned with the form of the nocturne, but with everything that this word includes in the way of diversified impression and spectral lights.
"Clouds: the unchangeable appearance of the sky, with the slow and solemn march of clouds dissolving in a gray agony tinted with white.
"Festivals: movement, rhythm, dancing in the atmosphere, with burst of brusque light. There is also the episode of a procession (a dazzling and wholly idealistic vision) passing through the festival and blended with it; but the main idea and substance obstinately remain-always the festival and its blended music--luminous dust participating in the universal rhythm of all things.
"Sirens" (not given on this program) : "the sea and its innumerable rhythms; then amid the billows silvered by the moon the mysterious song of Sirens is heard; it laughs and passes."
The two first Nocturnes are scored as follows:
I. Two flutes, two oboes, English horn, two clarinets, three bassoons, four horns, kettledrums, harp, strings. The movement begins Moderie, 6-4.
II. Three flutes, two oboes, English horn, two clarinets, three bassoons, four horns, three trumpets, three trombones, bass tuba, two harps, a set of three kettledrums, cymbals, and snaredrum (in the distance), strings. Anime & tres rhythme, 4-4.
The composer at different times made many changes in the instrumentation of the Nocturnes.
Capriccio Italien, Op. 45...........................Peter Ilyitch Tchaikovsky
The Caprice is a fantasia on Italian folk-songs, many of which Tchaikovsky heard in Naples and Rome, while some he found in books. It was written in Rome in the winter of 1879-80. Tchaikovsky lived with his brother Modest at a hotel not far from the barracks of the Royal Cuirassiers, where he could hear the trumpet-signals, and he made use of them for the opening of this composition. The strings have the first theme. Andante un poco rubato. The flutes and oboes take it up, and finally the English horn and bassoon. Then the trumpets announce a new theme suggesting a Neapolitan folk-song. After the fantasia the piece closes with a brilliant and extended tarantella.
November 25, 4:15 P. M. PALMER CHRISTIAN University Organist, will give a recital in Hill Auditorium (Complimentary).
December 7, 8:00 P. M. CECILIA HANSEN, Violinist, will give a recital in the EXTRA CONCERT SERIES. A limited number of tickets are still available at $1-00, $1.50 and $2.00.
December 11, 8:00 P. M. LOUIS GRAVEURE, Baritone, will give a recital in the CHORAL UNION SERIES. A limited number of tickets are still available at $1.00, $1.50 and $2.00.

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