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UMS Concert Program, May 13, 14, 15, 16 1931: The Thirty-eighth Annual May Festival -- Earl V. Moore

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Season: 1930-1931
Complete Series: 1931
Hill Auditorium Ann Arbor, Michigan

thirty -Sighth csnnual
ty of Michigan
Photo by Rentschler, Ann Arbor
Earl V. MooRii
Photo by Fernand de Gueldre, Chicago
Fri-;divRick Stock
Photo by Fcrnand de Gucldre, Chicago
Eric DeLamarter
Thirty-Eighth Annual
University of Michigan
May 13, 14, 15, 16 1931
EARL V. MOORE, A.M., Mus.D., Musical Director
Board of Directors
CHARLES A. SINK, A.B., M.Ed., LL.D. -.....President
ALEXANDER G. RUTHVEN, Ph.D., LL.D......Vice-PrEsident
DURAND W. SPRINGER, B.S., A.M.........Secretary
LEVI D. WINES, C.E. ------......Treasurer
OSCAR A. EBERBACH, A.B......Assistant Secretary-Treasurer
THE UNIVERSITY MUSICAL SOCIETY is organized under an Act of the State of Michigan providing for the incorporation of "Associations not for pecuniary profit." Its purpose is "to cultivate the public taste for music." All fees are placed at the lowest possible point compatible with sound business principles, the financial side serving but as a means to an educational and artistic end, a fact duly recognized by the Treasury Department of the United States by exempting from war-tax admissions to concerts given under its auspices.
Page Two
Concerts and Soloist
Lily Pons, Soprano
The Chicago Symphony Orchestra
Frederick Stock, Conductor
Hilda Burke, Soprano James Hamilton, Tenor
Eleanor Reynolds, Contralto Nelson Eddy, Baritone
Frederick Jagel, Tenor Fred Patton, Bass
The University Choral Union
Children's Chorus
The Chicago Symphony Orchestra
Earl V. Moore, Conductor
Hilda Burke, Soprano Eleanor Reynolds, Contralto
Palmer Christian, Organist
Children's Festival Chorus
Orchestral Accompaniment
Eric DeLamarter and Juva HigbEE, Conductors
Ignace Jan PadErEwski, Pianist
The Chicago Symphony Orchestra
Frederick Stock, Conductor
Ruth Breton, Violinist
The Chicago Symphony Orchestra
Frederick Stock, Conductor
"BORIS GODUNOF," Musoraskv
CyrEna Van Gordon, Contralto Walter Widdop, Tenor James Hamilton, Tenor Mabel Ross Rhead, Pianist
Chase Baromeo, Baritone Neison Eddy, Baritone Fred Patton, Bass Palmer Christian, Organist
The Chicago Symphony Orchestra
The University Choral Union
Earl V. Moore, Conductor
Page Three
CHORAL UNION S E R I E S--1 9 3 0-1 9 3 1
Notices and Acknowledgments
All concerts will begin on time (Eastern Standard Time.)
Trumpet calls from the stage will be sounded three minutes before the resumption of the program after the Intermission.
Our patrons are invited to inspect the Stearns Collection of Musical Instruments in the Foyer of the First Balcony and the adjoining room.
To study the evolution, it is only necessary to view the cases in their numerical order and remember that in the wall cases the evolution runs from right to left and from top to bottom, while the standard cases should always be approached on the left-hand side. Descriptive Lists are attached to each case.
The Musical Director of the Festival desires to express his great obligation to Miss Juva N. Higbee, Supervisor of Music in the Ann Arbor Public Schools, for her valuable service as Conductor of the Children's Concert; to Miss Roxy Cowin for the training of the "Chorus of Birds" in St. Francis of Assisi; and to the teachers in the various schools from which the children have been drawn, for their co-operation.
The writer of the analyses hereby expresses his deep obligation to Dr. A. A. Stanley and Mr. Felix Borowski, whose scholarly analyses, given in the Program Books of the preceding May Festivals and of the Chicago Symphony Orchestra, respectively, are authoritative contributions to contemporary criticism and have been drawn upon for some of the analyses in this book.
The programs of the important concerts given during the present season under the auspices of the University Musical Society (with the exception of the May Festival Series) are given in the final pages of this publication.
Page Four
CHORAL UNION S E R I E S--1 9 3 0-1 9 3 1
First May Festival Concert
SOLOIST Lily Pons, Soprano
The Chicago Symphony Orchestra Frederick Stock, Conductor
OVERTURE, "Husitzka," Opus 67 .........................................Dvorak
ARIA, "Oui, tu vois en moi une rivale" from "The Magic Flute"..............Mozart
Lily Pons
SYMPHONY, B Flat Major, Opus 20....................................Chausson
Lent--Allegro vivo Tres lent Anime
ARIA, "Caro Nome" from "Rigoletto".......................................Verdi
Mmb. Pons
SCHERZO, "A Sketch of the Steppes of Central Asia"......................Borodin
ARIA, "Bell Song," from "Lakme"..........................................Delibes
Mm£. Pons
Page Five
Second May Festival Concert
Hilda Burke, Soprano Eleanor Reynolds, Contralto Frederick Jagel, Tenor
James Hamilton, Tenor Nelson Eddy, Baritone Fred Patton, Bass
Palmer Christian, Organist The Chicago Symphony Orchestra
Children's Chorus University Choral Union Earl V. Moore, Conductor
"SAINT FRANCIS OF ASSISI"............................................Pierne
An Oratorio in a Prologue and Two Parts
Cast of Characters
Saint Francis................Fred Jagel
The Leper 1.....Fred Patton
The Voice of Christ J
Friar Leon................Nelson Eddy
Friar Angelo .........James Hamilton
Tenor Solo I
Friar Masseo..........George Matthews
Sister Clare................Hilda Burke
The Lady Poverty... .Eleanor Reynolds
Lucia...............Marjorie McClung
Birds.................Children's Chorus
Friends of j
St. Francis, . .University Choral Union
People, etc. J
1. The Youth of St. Francis Francis, His Friends, Youths and Girls.
2. Francis and The Lady Poverty FIRST PART:
1. The Leper
Francis, Friar Leon, The Leper and The Populace.
2. Sister Clare Francis, Sister Clare.
3. Thb Birds
Francis, Friar Leon, The Birds
Intermission SECOND PART:
1. The Stigmata Instrumental Prelude
Francis, then Friar Leon, Friar Angelo, and Friar Masseo; the Voice of Christ.
2. The Canticle op the Sun Francis, Sister Clare, The People.
3. The Death op St. Francis Francis, Friar Leon, Friar Angelo, Sister Clare, The Lady Poverty, Friends of Francis and The People.
In order that the continuity of the several divisions be presented, it is requested that there be no applause except at the end of the Prologue and Parts one and two. Page Six
Third May Festival Concert
Hilda Burke, Soprano
Eleanor Reynolds, Contralto
Palmer Christian, Organist
Children's Festival Chorus
Orchestral Accompaniment
Eric DeLamarter and Juva N. Higbee, Conductors
PROGRAM OVERTURE, "The Secret of Susanne"...............................Wolf-Ferrari
ARIA, "Ritorna vincitor," from "Aida".......................................Verdi
Hilda Burke ORGAN SOLOS:
Fugue in C Minor......................................................Bach
Ave Maria ..........................................................Reger
Passacaglia .......................................................Sowerby
Palmer Christian
ARIAS, "L'ascia chio pianga," from "Rinaldo"...............................Handel
"Arioso" ...........................................................Handel
Eleanor Reynolds SONGS:
Thou'rt Like Unto a Flower......................................Rubinstein
The Maiden's Wish..................................................Chopin
Lullaby ............................................................Brahms
Children's Festival Chorus
SCENES from "Hansel and Gretel"....................................Humperditick
"Susy, pray what is the news", Act I Sandman Scene, Act II "Brother, come and dance with me," Act I
Miss Burke and Miss Reynolds
CANTATA, "Old Johnny Appleseed".................................'.........Gaul
Children's Festival Chorus
Vage Seven
CHORAL UNION S E R I E S--1 9 3 0-1 9 3 1
Fourth May Festival Concert
SOLOIST Ignace Jan Paderewski, Pianist
The Chicago Symphony Orchestra Frederick Stock, Conductor
POLONAISE ................................................................Liszt
SYMPHONY NO. 2, D Major, Opus 36..................................Beethoven
Adagio molto--Allegro con brio
Allegro molto
CONCERTO FOR PIANO AND ORCHESTRA, A Minor, Opus 17.....Paderewski
Romanza: Andante
Allegro molto vivace
Ignace Paderewski
Nocturne, D Flat Major Mazurka, F Sharp Minor, Opus 59 Etude, A Minor, Opus 25 Scherzo, B Flat Minor J
Mb. Paderewski
Page Eight
CHORAL UNION S E R I E S--1 9 3 0-1 9 3 1
Fifth May Festival Concert
SOLOIST Ruth Breton, Violinist
The Chicago Symphony Orchestra Frederick Stock, Conductor
OVERTURE, "In Springtime," Opus 49...................................Goldmark
SYMPHONY No. 9, D Minor (Unfinished)................................Bruckner
Sehr langsam, feierlich
CONCERTO FOR VIOLIN, A Minor, Opus 82..........................Glasounow
Ruth Breton
Page Nine
CHORAL UNION S E R I E S--1 9 3 0-1 9 3 1
Sixth May Festival Concert
Chase Baromeo, Bass Walter Widdop. Tenor
CyrEna Van Gordon, Contralto Nelson Eddy, Baritone
Fred Patton, Bass James Hamilton, Tenor
Mabel Ross Rhead, Pianist University Choral. Union
Palmer Christian, Organist The Chicago Symphony Orchestra
Eari, V. MooeE, Conductor
"BORIS GODUNOF" (Original Version)................................Musorgsky
An opera in a Prologue and Four Acts Period, 1598-1605; Locale, Russia and Poland
The Cast
Boris Godunof, The Tsar............................................Chase Baromeo
Feodor, His son...................................................Gwendolyn Pike
Xenia, His daughter................................................Ruth McCormick
Prince Vassili Ivanovich Shuisky, His adviser and accomplice..........Walter Widdop
Andrei Shchelkalof, Secretary of the Council.............................Nelson Eddy
Pimen, A monk and chronicler...........................................Fred Patton
The Pretender, A novice in Pimen's care..............................Walter Widdop
Marina Mnishek, Daughter of the Lord of Sandomir..............Cyrena Van Gordon
Rangoni, A Jesuit priest................................................Fred Patton
Varlaam, A vagabond........ . .......................................Nelson Eddy
Missail, A vagabond........ ........................................James Hamilton
The Simpleton ........................................'.............James Hamilton
Nikitich, A police officer................................................Fred Patton
Mitiukha, A peasant ...................................................Nelson Eddy
The Boyar in Attendance..............................................Nelson Eddy
Boyar Khrushchof ....................................................Nelson Eddy
Lavitsky jcsu;ts.................................................pre(j patton
Chermkofsky 3
Boyars, Guards, Officers, Polish Noblemen and Ladies, Sandomir Girls,
The Muscovite People, etc.................................University Choral Union
Scene I. Courtyard of the Novodevichy Monastery, near Moscow Scene II. A Square in the Moscow Kremlin (the Coronation)
Scene I. A Cell in the Chudof Monastery Scene II. An Inn by the Lithuanian Border
The Tsar's Palace in the Kremlin at Moscow (Boris and his children)
Scene I. Marina Mnishek's Dressing Room, Sandomir Castle Scene II. The Gardens of Sandomir Castle (Fountain Scene)
Scene I. A Clearing in the Forest near Kromy Scene II. Reception Hall in the Moscow Kremlin (Death of Boris)
Page Ten
The Steinway piano and the Skinner organ are the official concert instruments of the University Musical Society.
By the University Musical Society 1931
Wednesday Evening, May 13
DRAMATIC OVERTURE, "Husitska," Opus 67 Dvorak
Antonin Dvorak was born September 8, 1841, at Muhlhausen; died May I, 1904, at Prague.
No undue significance need be attached to the fact that the initial and concluding compositions on this year's Festival programs were inspired by two historical struggles between imperialism and its foes. The fact that two composers found source material for great musical works in these conflicts many years before the climactic denouement in the present decade of the drama of thrones and proletariat, lends support to the commonly accepted belief that a composer is a seer, a prophet -usually limited to the divination and expression of truth and beauty; Beethoven and Wagner, as well as Dvorak and Musorgsky, have left permanent records in expressions other than words, of the depth and sincerity of their reactions to subjects of a political character, but affecting the very life and ideals of the race.
Dvorak, in this overture, portrays the conflict of the Hussites with the imperialists in the fifteenth century. This struggle resulted from the persistent growth in the influence of the teachings of John Huss (1373-1415), who had so roused the spirit of the people that their little army under Johann Ziska (i36o-i424) completely defeated the stronger forces led by Sigismund, Emperor of Germany (1368-1437). The heroic deeds of Ziska, who served the English, enlisted with Polish forces in wars against Teutonic Knights, and later joined the Austrians in their war with the Turks, are depicted in this overture. As a convert to the doctrines of the protestant preacher, Huss, Ziska became leader of the Hussites, first against papal officials and then against Sigismund. The loss of his eyesight on the fields of battle did not weaken his leadership; victory followed victory. He died from the plague, but legend has it that he "ordered his skin to be flayed off and used as the cover for a drum, whereby even death could not prevent the terror of his influence from bringing defeat to the foes of the Hussite faith."
Page Thirteen
The work begins with the Hussite hymn--C major, lento ma non troppo, 3-4 time-which serves as an introduction to the main movement in C minor, Allegro con brio, 2-2 time; the hymn is also heard as a part of the second theme--E flat major--where it appears in genial contrast to the grandioso section which precedes and follows it. The development and recapitulation sections are present in elaborate use of the two themes, and the Coda recalls again the hymn with which the work opened, and which has served, throughout, as a strong, unifying force.
ARIA, "Oui, tu vois en moi une rivale" from "The Magic Flute" Mozart
Mmjj, Pons
Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart was born January 17, 1756, at Salzburg; died December 5, 1791, at Vienna.
How much the world lost in the early death of the "Raphael of music" may be realized by his last great opera, "The Magic Flute." In March of 1791, just nine months before his death, Mozart received from Schikaneder, a brother Freemason, an actor, and an impresario, a libretto of a fairy opera in which were incorporated many of the mysteries of Freemasonry. The richly imaginative musical score was ready for performance at the end of September, and the first twenty-four performances brought Schikaneder over 8,000 gulden, and Mozart'--nothing. Today the judgment is reversed; Schikaneder has a line or two in musical dictionaries and Mozart's opera is immortal. It lives despite a gangling, disjunct succession of scenes, and a plot that scarcely deserves the term; it lives because of the vitality and freshness of the inspiration, the exquisite beauty and simplicity of expression. It points the way down the road leading to true German opera-to Weber and to Wagner.
The aria is sung in Act II, Scene III, by the Queen of Night as a threat to her daughter to kill the priest, Sarastro, in order that her lover, Tamino, the player of the magic flute, may be saved. The aria was written for Mozart's sister-in-law, Mme. Hofer, and because of its technical requirements, and dramatic possibilities, it is reserved for the elect. A translation of the text is as follows:
"Queen of the Night"--I'll have revenge, no longer can I bear it;
Hell has no torture I have not endured; Dar'st thou refuse, by all the gods I swear it, Thou as my daughter art for e'er abjured.
Page Fourteen
No time for tender yearning, Such foolish thoughts be spurning! The fires within me burning
Consume each vital part. To hatred and td vengeance they are turning
What was once a mother's heart. Yes, 'tis thou shalt strike the fatal blow,
Now, tyrant, tremble!
Gods, record my vow 1
By this thy hand Sarastro's might shall crumble 1
(B. J. Dent.)
SYMPHONY IN B FLAT --------Chausson
T'--Allegro vivo; Tres lent; Anime
Ernest Chausson was born June 21, 1855, at Paris; died, June 10, 1899, at Limay.
Although his first tuition in composition was in the class in the Conservatory of Paris, taught by Jules Massenet, whose influence was strongest in the direction of creation for the lyric stage, and although Chausson wrote an opera, "Le Roi Arthus," which, like d'Indy's "Fervaal," shows the Wagnerian influence to some extent, it was under the guidance of Cesar Franck and in the fields of chamber and symphonic music that the composer of the Symphony on tonight's program asserted his individuality and creative gifts. Chausson and Franck had personalities and temperaments uniquely suited to the relationship of apprentice and master; both were modest, unassuming, unassertive and, though Chausson was not compelled to make a livelihood from music, he, nevertheless, pursued his studies with an abhorrence of the usual attitude of the dilettante, and with a seriousness and lofty idealism inspired, no doubt, by his master.
During his lifetime, Chausson's works were infrequently performed. He avoided personal publicity; he was almost unknown to the musical public; his works have gained him recognition--since his tragic and untimely death, due to an accident on his own estate--by their inherent beauty, nobility of thought, sensitiveness of mood, and by their soundness of construction. He developed a mastery of expression, a remarkable control of material, and employed this craftsmanship under inspirations of moving sincerity. His works "exhale a dreamy sensitiveness; his music is constantly saying the word cher; his passion is not fiery; it is always affectionate."
Page Fifteen
This symphony was first brought to public notice in Paris in 1897 by the German conductor Artur Nikisch. Ysaye, Colonne, d'Indy, and others performed it in the musical centers of Europe and America, until at the present time Chausson is a name established in symphonic literature, not for quantity of his production--only this symphony, sketches for a second, a tone poem "Viviane" (presented at an earlier concert in this year's series) and a few other smaller works exist--but for the incomparable nobility and "abiding beauty" of his concepts.
The following analysis of the work is by Felix Borowski:
I. The work opens with an Introduction (Lent, B-flat major, 4-4 time), its subject (of which important use is made in the finale) appearing in the lower strings, clarinet and first horn. The main movement (Allegro vivo, B-flat major, 3-4 time) presents its principal theme in the first horn and bassoon.
After a crescendo and a quickening of the time, this theme is presented by the full orchestra, the two harps, with sweeping arpeggios, helping to fill the harmony. There is a transitional passage leading to the second theme, at the close of which occurs an ascending and descending staccato phrase in the woodwind, of which employment is made later on:
The second theme is announced by the 'cellos and clarinet:
The development begins (Phis tent) with a working out of the principal theme in the oboe (in F sharp major). There follows then an extensive development of the up-and-down staccato phrase of the transitional passage, No. 2, this being succeeded by further elaboration of the principal subject. The time changes to 2-4, the first theme being still worked out in the first horn. Soon the brass intone the subject which had opened the Introduction, the transitional figure being constantly in evidence. A chromatic scale in thirds for the two clarinets leads into the Recapitulation. With changes of instrumentation this presents the same subjects as before. A coda (Presto) brings back the principal theme now, however, in 4-4 time.
Page Sixteen
Photo by Hartsookonaciv Jan Paii;rkwski
Photo by Walant, Paris
Lily Pons
Photo by Matzene, Chicago
CyrEna Van Gordon
Photo by Moll en
Hilda Burks
II. (Trh lent, D minor, 4-4 time.) The solemn subject of this movement begins in the strings, the lower harmony being reinforced by the clarinet, bassoon and two horns:
Over a triplet figure in the violas and violoncellos a new idea is put forward by the English horn and clarinet, the ascending sixteenth-note figure of the latter instrument being much in evidence in the following portions of the movement. A modified restatement of the opening subject now appears in the horns. The time quickens, and over an arpeggio figure in the strings an expressive melody in B flat is brought forward by the 'cellos and English horn:
This is taken up by the violins and worked over to a great climax, at which the main subject of the movement returns, ff, in the full orchestra.
III. (Anime, B flat minor, 4-4 time.) An introduction, twenty-eight bars long, opens with a whirling figure in the strings, over which the trumpet and woodwinds foreshadow the theme of the finale.
The main movement (Tres anime) has the principal theme announced by the basses:
It is continued by the violins over a pulsating figure in the wind. The second subject is announced by the full orchestra:
a second section of it appearing in the oboe,
Page Seventeen
a long double trill being played below it by two flutes. The development begins with a working out of the first theme. This begins immediately, followed by a re-development (in light, jumping notes of the first violins and violas) of the principal subject of the opening movement. Later there is heard the figure which began the introduction to the finale. The clarinet then works out the second theme, it being continued by the strings. A crescendo leads into the Recapitulation, the first subject of which is presented by the full orchestra. The second theme, given to the horns, appears in G major, the second section of it being given to the violas and clarinets over a tremolo in the basses. There is a crescendo and suddenly the material of the introduction to the symphony makes its appearance (Grave) in the brass. This is taken up by the first violins, suggestions of the principal theme of the finale appearing in the woodwinds. With a final reminiscence of the first introduction the symphony comes to its conclusion.
RECITATIVE and ARIA, "Caro Nome" from "Rigoletto" Verdi
Mme. Pons
Giuseppe Verdi was born October 9, 1813, at Roncole; died, January 17, 1904, at Milan.
"Rigoletto" may be classified as the starting point of Verdi's second stage of development. In this work he seemed to have turned definitely away from the type of "carnival operas" of which "Ernani" is the best, to a more serious and substantial style exemplified in "Rigoletto," "II Trovatore" and "La Traviata," works which gave Verdi a permanent place in the roster of composers of Italian opera. From the date of the first performance of "Rigoletto" (1851) until his death, his career was one of cumulative triumph, both in popular favor and in recognition of artistic merit.
The story of "Rigoletto," even in these days when brutal realism and the "cult of the ugly" dominate some aesthetic horizons, and are familiar to all as subject matter in literature and drama, is one so disgusting in its rehearsal of murder, seduction, revenge, passion, as motives for human action, as to be out of place as a frame work for the beautiful music which makes up this opera. Like Mozart, Verdi rises superior to the trivialities of plot and text; music was a lyric expression in formal patterns, beautiful in and of itself.
Page Eighteen
The text of "Caro Nome" in translation is as follows:
Gilda--"I know his name!
Walter Malde, I love thee,
Ev'ry fond thought for thee I cherish.
Carved upon my inmost heart Is thy name for ever more Ne'er again from thence to part. Name of love that I adore Thou to me art ever near. Ev'ry thought to thee will fly, Live for thee alone is clear, Thine shall be my parting sigh."
SCHERZO, "A Sketch of the Steppes of Central Asia" Borodin
Alexander Porphyewitch Borodin was born November 12, 1834, at Leningrad; died February 28, 1885, at Leningrad.
For Borodin, musical composition was an intensely vital avocation. Like nany of the Russian composers of the last generation, he was not a proiessional musician. Though he disclosed artistic gifts in performance and imposition at an early age, he chose medicine as a career in preference :o art. In chemistry he won distinction, and in later years made intermtional fame for himself by his treatises and experiments in this field, viz., 'Researches upon the Fluoride of Benzol" and "The Solidification of Aldelydes." Simultaneously with his study of science, surgery, and medicine, Borodin found time to exercise his talents in composition, sometimes to the Dutspoken disgust of his instructors at the Academy. His acquaintance with Musorgsky, begun in 1856, and with Balakireff, from 1862 on, impelled lim to the serious study of musical composition in order to develop a technic Df expression in art comparable with his technical skill in science. An Dutput of two symphonies, the scherzo on tonight's program, the opera 'Prince Igor," two string quartets, numerous songs and piano compositions, ndicate a fertile imagination and genuine creative faculties coupled with mastery of the media of tonal expression. The Symphony in B minor and the Polovetsian Dances from "Prince Igor" have previously been heard in these concerts; "A Sketch of the Steppes of Central Asia" is being performed here for the first time.
Page Nineteen
The Sketch was composed in 1880 and was intended for a representation of living tableaus to be given in honor of the twenty-fifth anniversary of the reign of Emperor Alexander III of Russia. The work gained immediate popularity, and went the rounds of the concert halls of Europe.
Concerning this work, Montague Nathan wrote in A History of Russian Music:
"This, like the second symphony, derives a great deal from the exhaustive research undertaken during the preparation of the libretto of Prince Igor. This symphonic poem describes in some very vivid music the passage of a caravan across the desert under escort of Russian soldiers. By means of two themes, one Russian and one Oriental, which subsequently mingle in the harmonic structure, the composer contrives a musical reproduction of the figures in the foreground of his picture. The immensity and monotony of the prairie are suggested by a long and persistent note given to the violins." On the flyleaf of the score is printed, in Russian, German, and French, the following explanatory program of the music: "Out of the silence of the sandy Steppes of Central Asia come the sounds of a peaceful Russian Song. There are heard, too, the melancholy strains of Oriental melodies and the stamping of approaching horses and camels. A caravan, escorted by Russian soldiers, crosses the measureless desert, pursuing its way, free from care, under the protection of Russian arms. The caravan moves forever forward. The songs of the Russians and those of the Asiatics mingle in common harmony, their refrain gradually dying away in the distance."
ARIA, "Bell Song" (Ou va la jeune Hindoue), from "Lakme" Delibes
Mme. Pons
Clement Delibes was born February 21, 1836, at St. Germain-du-Val; died January 16, 1891, at Paris.
The apprentice years of Delibes' training were spent in work under the leading masters of the Conservatoire, which he entered in 1848. His journeyman stage dates from 1853, when he became connected with the Theatre Lyrique, and officiated as organist at the Church of St. Jean et St. Francois. In 1855 he produced, a brilliant operetta, and during the interim between that date and 1866 he evolved into the master. His greatest opera, "Lakme," was produced in Paris in 1883, but before that he had written some clever and popular ballets which still maintain the boards.
Page Twenty
The libretto of "Lakme," written by Edward Condinet and Philippe Gille, was taken from a story, "Le Mariage de Loti," which appeared in the Nouvelle Revue in the '8o's. This may be, but an opera, "Das Sonnenfest der Brahminen," given by Marinelli in 1790, traverses the same ground with a similarity of detail that indicates it as the source of the above-mentioned story.
Lakme :-Ah!
Why strays the Indian maiden,
Forsaken child so lone,
Arrayed in silv'ry moonlight,
Where mimosas have grown
Speeding on, o'er the mosses,
Pariah child no more,
For her life now bears no crosses,
No ill for her's in store!
Speeding on, o'er the mosses,
Pariah child no more,
Where the laurel leaf glances,
Full of sweet maiden fancies,
Gliding on with delight,
Laughing out to the night!
With forest shadows gather'd round him,
What trav'ler now has lost his way
With eyes that keenly watch,
What spell hath bound him
What fiercely seeks the coming prey
A roar in the forest is sounding!
In frenzy the beasts are up-bounding,
The maiden bravely flies to shield the trav'ler well!
The wand in her hand lightly swinging,
The silver bells out-ringing-Weave her spell.
Ah! Ah! Ah! {imitating bells)
Now upon him she gazes,
And in amazement looks upon
A face more fair than Rajah's grand!
And he would blush to owe his life to this fair maid
With the Pariah child so near at hand!
But he, enchanted by his vision,
Praises her to Heav'n,
Page TwentyOne
And softly says: "May peace be nigh!" Vishnu behold, Brahma's son! And since that day, upon the air The traveller may hear The silver bells out-ringing, Strong and clear, Where once she wove her spell. Ah! Ah! Ah!
Page Twenty-Two
Thursday Evening, May 14
"Saint Francis of Assisi" --------Pierne
An Oratorio in a Prologue and Two Parts for Solo, Mixed Chorus, Children's Chorus and Orchestra.
Gabriel Pierne was born at Metz, August 16, 1863.
The composer of St. Francis of Assisi obtained his musical education at the Paris Conservatoire, where as pupil of Marmontel, Cesar Franck and Massenet he won first prizes in performance and in theory. In 1882 he achieved the highest distinction offered by that institution by winning the Grand Prix de Rome, which enabled him to spend several years in Rome or in travel, the while he was engaged in composition. In 1890 he succeeded Cesar Franck as organist of St. Clothilde, Paris. The work which gained for him world-wide recognition was The Children's Crusade produced in 1904. The Children at Bethlehem a biblical allegory, soon followed and in 1912 St. Francis of Assisi was completed and given a first performance in Paris. In these works the happy use of the children's voices in addition to an adult choir, is one of the chief beauties of the composer's style. At present, Pierne is the distinguished conductor of the Colonne Orchestra in Paris.
Pierne is modern, but not "noisy" or blatant; he uses delicate tints of harmony and orchestra to evoke the atmosphere of medieval mysticism; he employs dissonance with marvelous effect in the scene with the Leper; he uses voices without words, as part of the orchestral pallette; rhythm is an elastic, fluent stream of sound in his hands, intimately associated with the subtilities of the moods he is picturing; these and many other qualities and characteristics mark him as a composer of refined, mystic romanticism; he is master of the materials of expression; and seeks sources for his inspiration that evoke musical motives and moods of pure beauty. Witness the choice of incidents which make up the texts of his several works and the lyric, poetic treatment he gives each. We see these scenes anew, glorified and transfigured by the genius of Pierne.
t Performed in these concerts at the Twenty-Second Festival, May 22, 1915. Performed in these concerts at the Thirty-Fifth Festival, May 17, 1928.
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The text of the work given this evening is founded on incidents in the life of St. Francis of Assisi, that gay young son of a rich merchant, who became a profound mystic, a martyr, an ascetic, a Troubadour in the truest sense of the word: a lover of men. The central fact to keep in mind in viewing the apparent contradictions in his life, is that St. Francis loved life, beauty, things, animals and people; it was a noble love, a sublime, eternal affection that few mortals can understand; there was romance for him in "gathering flowers in the sun and enduring a freezing vigil in the snow; in praising all earthly and bodily beauty and refusing to eat; in glorifying gold and purple and then going in rags; in his pathetic hunger for a happy life and his thirst for a heroic death." The legends that cluster around this great reformer of the 13th century are full of these contradictions, but they are acceptable if we realize that Francis was carrying forward a glorious spiritual adventure; giving his wealth to the poor, gathering about him a group of men similarly fired with the gospel of prayer and good works; organizing with Sister Clare a sisterhood with kindred aims, and later a brotherhood pledged to carry on his principles in their daily lives--these are but a few of the chapters in the remarkable adventure on which he embarked. The scenes of the present choral work breathe some of these heroic, ecstatic moods, and are the work of Gabriel Nigond. The English translation is by Claude Aveling.
The prologue deals with the youth of St. Francis, and his embrace of the Lady Poverty. In the former section are met a group of Francis' friends in festive mood; one of them sings of Nencia in praise of whom all then join; their thoughts turn to the nearby villages and the wines of Perugia, Spoleto and Cortona. Francis begs them to depart, but they are loath to leave their Prince of Youth; they suggest that his mood is inspired by love, to which Francis assents and adds, to pique their curiosity that "he expects his bride that very night." His friends then depart. Musically, this opening scene is intensely dramatic and, incidentally, of exceptional difficulty for the chorus. No themes of significance later in the work are presented; rather, has Pierne expressed that joyous, boundless, free and unrestrained enthusiasm of youth in one of the festive moods.
The meditative mood of Francis is suggested in the orchestral interlude. Just as he sings, Like to a wind-swept floiver, is heard in the viola the theme most intimately associated throughout the work with this mood of self-abnegation and desire to serve God only. It may be called the St. Francis motive. A second motive of importance is sung by the full string orchestra, just after the words: Oh fair sun whose red lights glow on the home I cherish. This is a major theme; bright, tenuous, and full of faith and aspiration. At the conclusion of his prayer for strength to serve God, he is visited by Lady Poverty whom he vows to accept as a bride. Note particularly the intensification by the music of the text of Lady Poverty's introductory phrase: I seek thee in pain, in torment that oppresses!
St. Francis of Assisi, G. K. Chesterton. Page Twenty-four
I. The Leper
A melody of pastoral character sung by the oboe, and later repeated by a group of shepherds (sopranos), and a song by Friar Leon, gives a picture of a lovely spring day, the freshness of the air and the beauties of the countryside. A sharp contrast is produced by the entrance of the Leper. The theme given by the contra bassoon is the musical basis of this scene, and is full of dread and fear; the people cry out at sight of him, that he should die! Unclean and defiled! Death to him! Here Pierne uses dissonance with tremendous effect; two keys are clashing, one against another. Francis bids him stay, and to come to his side. The musical characterization of these two opposite personalities is marvelously brought out by orchestral and harmonic means; the purity, serenity of the music allotted to Francis is in sharp contrast to the cringing, writhing theme of the Leper. The love of Francis works a miracle, the Leper is made clean, and the scene closes with an echo of the melody sung by the shepherds.
II. Sister Clare and Francis
Here is presented a scene of sincerity, reflection and sublime beauty. It is a dialogue between Francis and Sister Clare. Note the opening theme for flute solo which recurs frequently in major and minor--in sunshire or in shadow; also the ethereal harmonies associated with Sister Clare's words: "Good father, thou art my guide"; and again, the harmony and color (clarinets in thirds) as she sings: Serene and calm, night lay before me.
III. The Birds
This scene contains St. Francis' sermon to the Birds. "It is a summer day. Into the fields come flying the birds, wrens, larks, thrushes--a veritable army of feathered songsters--and they gather about the gentle saint to hear his simple tribute to the Love of God. Light is our wing, gay our song sing they, and at the behest of Francis these children of God fly to all parts of the world with their message of love."
In this scene, the orchestration is of exceptional beauty; warblings of the birds sound through the glistening air. Xylophone, flutes and strings are used with unusual effect.
PART II I. The Stigmata
The stigmata is a mystic episode of deep religious feeling and ardent faith. Two themes--one agitated and the other reposeful, are brought forward in the orchestral prelude, which is a series of contrasting climaxes and moods of reflection, in which the chorus, in wordless phrases, participate with the orchestra. Francis, absorbed in prayer, is disturbed by the moaning and sighing of the wind (voices). Suddenly the vision of the crucified Christ is revealed to him. He trembles--he suffers the agony of the crucifixion as the wounds of the Savior are impressed on his body. To his brethren gathered about in awe and mystery, Francis relates his vision. This is the most exalted scene of the work, the most intense, musically; the composer puts forth his conception of the
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sublimity of the supreme event in the life of Christ. It should be heard more than once to realize the full import.
II. Canticle op the Sun
The Bells of St. Damian at Assisi, the memories of Sister Clare, he calls upon to comfort him in his blindness. She described to him his "lost Assisi" that he shall "see no more till the great healing." In exaltation, he praises, in an impassioned outburst, what he can no longer see; The Sun, Fire, Stars and Sister Moon, Brother Wind and Air, and Mother Earth, reaching his climax on the words: Thank ye the Lord, all with humble heart praising the Lord. These vocal strophes are entirely unaccompanied but are punctuated with tremendous reiterations of chords by the full orchestra--a brilliant, gleaming, white-heat effect.
III. Death of St. Francis
The mood of the closing scene is cast by the haunting, unworldly melody with chromatic chord progressions which accompanies the words Along the path where cypresses and elders hang over. Semi-chorus, full chorus, double chorus, in turn with words and in softly hummed chords develop this motive with interludes by Francis, until in a moment of tremendous intensity, all unite in the cry: To thee zve come, Francis. From this point the mantle of death falls, and as Francis recalls the scenes of his life his friends say a litany beside his death couch, while Lady Poverty, his bride, lulls him to sleep.
Awe struck, they murmur Francis is dead, and the birds once more gather around their departed friend, gently calling his name, while the kneeling friends softly and with deep emotion sing Alleluia: a poetic and affecting ending to a mystical and spiritual work.
Cast of Characters
Saint Francis..........Prederick Jagel
The Leper )
The Voice of Christ ]¦¦ -Fred Patton
Friar Leon...............Nelson Eddy
Friar Angelo )
Tenor Sow }.......James HaÂ

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