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UMS Concert Program, October 27, 1931: Choral Union Concert Series -- Boston Symphony Orchestra

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(This is the program provided by UMS for this concert. You can also view the Boston Symphony Orchestra program.)

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University Musical Society
OCR Text

Season: 1931-1932
Concert: Second
Complete Series: 1965
Hill Auditorium, Ann Arbor, Michigan

Second Concert
Complete Series 1965
Fifty-third Annual
Choral Union Concert Series
Dr. Serge Koussevitzky, Conductor Tuesday Evening, October 27, 1931, at 8:15
Concerto Geosso for Siring Orchestra in B Minor, No. 12............Handel
Largo; Allegro; Larghetto e piano; Largo; Allegro
Prelude to "Lohengrin" ............................................Wagner
"Daphnis ET Chloe," Ballet: Suite No. 2 ..............................Ravel
Lever du Jour; Pantomime; Lanse Generate
Symphony No. 7 in A Major, Opus 92............................Beethoven
Poco sostenuto; Vivace
Presto; Assai meno presto; Tempo primo
Allegro con brio
The Steinway Piano and the Skinner Organ are the official concert instruments of the University Musical Society
Concerto Grosso or String Orchestra in B Minor, No. 12 ..........Handel
Largo; Allegro; Larghetto e piano; Largo; Allegro
George Frederick Handel was born at Halle on February 23, 1685; died at London, April 14, 1759.
The London Daily Post of October 29,
This day are published proposals for printing by subscription, with His
ajesty's royal license and protection,
popularity with London audiences,
Luucpnuu 1 tacit., wmni utptnutu in a
explanation of this extreme inequality."
Truly they die uul tin ui cqutii Vdiuc
way on mere momentary inspiration,
Prelude to "Lohengrin" ............................................Wagner
Richard Wagner was born at Leipsic, May 22, 1813; died at Venice, February 13, 1883.
Wagner has left his own explanation of this work which in English translation is as follows: "Love seemed to have vanished from a world of hatred and quarrelling; as a lawgiver she was no longer to be found among the communities of men. Emancipating itself from barren care for gain and possession, the sole arbiter of all worldly intercourse, the human heart's unquenchable love-longing again at length craved to appease a want, which, the more warmly and intensely it made itself felt under the pressure of reality, was the less easy to satisfy, on account of this very reality. It was beyond the confines of the actual world that man's ecstatic imaginative power fixed the source as well as the outflow of this incomprehensible impulse of love, and from the desire of a comforting sensuous conception of this supersensuous idea invested it with a wonderful form, which, under the name of the "Holy Grail," though conceived as actually existing, yet unapproachably far off, was believed in, longed for, and sought for. The Holy Grail was the costly vessel out of which, at the Last Supper, our Saviour drank with His disciples, and in which His blood was received when, out of love for His brethren, He suffered upon a cross, and which till this day has been preserved with lively zeal as the source of undying love; albeit, at one time this cup of salvation was taken away from unworthy mankind, but at length was brought back again from the heights of heaven by a band of angels, and delivered into the keeping of fervently loving, solitary men, who, wondrously strengthened and blessed by its presence, and purified in heart, were consecrated as the earthly champions of eternal love.
"This miraculous delivery of the Holy Grail, escorted by an angelic host, and the handing of it over into the custody of highly favored men, was selected by the author of 'Lohengrin,' a knight of the Grail, for the introduction of his drama, as the subject to be musically portrayed; just as here, for the sake of explanation, he may be allowed to bring it forward as an object for the mental receptive power of his hearers.1'
"Daphnis ET Chloe," Ballet: Suite No. 2 .............................Ravel
Lever du Jour; Pantomime; Lance Generale
Joseph Maurice Ravel was born at C'bourne, Basses-Pyrenees, March 7, 1875; now living at Montfort-l'Amaury and Paris.
The ballet "Daphnis et Chloe" was composed by Ravel at the suggestion of Diaghiley for use of the Russian Ballet in its performances in Paris in 1911. During the preliminary rehearsals, there were violent scenes between Fokine and Diaghilev, ¦which led to the rupture which became "official" after that season of the Ballet Russe. The work was not performed until 1912 and Mr. Monteux, former conductor of the Boston Symphony Orchestra, conducted on that occasion. Two concert suites have been drawn from the score as composed for the stage. The first suite contains "Nocturne," "Interlude," "Danse Guerriere." The first performance of the second suite was in Boston in 1917 by the Boston Symphony Orchestra.
The following argument is printed in the score of the suite to illustrate the significance of the sections in succession: "No sound but the murmur of rivulets fed
by the dew that trickles from the rocks. Daphnis lies stretched before the grotto of the nymphs. Little by little the day dawns. The songs of birds are heard. Afar off a shepherd leads his flock. Another shepherd crosses the back of the stage. Herdsmen enter, seeking Daphnis and Chloe. They find Daphnis and awaken him. In anguish he looks about for Chloe. She at last appears encircled by shepherdesses. The two rush into each other's arms. Daphnis observes Chloe's crown. His dream was a prophetic vision: the intervention of Pan is manifest. The old shepherd Lammon explains that Pan saved Chloe, in remembrance of the nymph Syrinx, whom the god loved.
"Daphnis and Chloe mime the story of Pan and Syrinx. Chloe impersonates the young nymph wandering over the meadow. Daphnis as Pan appears and declares his love for her. The nymph repulses him; the god becomes more insistent. She disappears among the reeds. In desperation he plucks some stalks, fashions a flute, and on it plays a melancholy tune. Chloe comes out and imitates by her dance the accents of the flute.
"The dance grows more and more animated. In mad whirlings, Chloe falls into the arms of Daphnis. Before the altar of the nymphs he swears on two sheep his fidelity. Young girls enter; they are dressed as Bacchantes and shake their tambourines. Daphnis and Chloe embrace tenderly. A group of young men come on the stage.
"Joyous tumult. A general dance. Daphnis and Chloe. Dorcon."
The scenario of the ballet was derived by Michael Fokine from the charming romance of Longus. There are stage pictures of Chloe carried away by robbers, rescued by Pan at the prayer of Daphnis, and of the lovers miming together the story of Pan and Syrinx. There are scenes in the grove of Pan and in the pirate camp, besides those mentioned above. The scenery and costumes were designed by Leon Bakst.
Symphony No. 7 in A Major, Opus 92............................Beethoven
Poco sostenuto; Vivace; Allegretto; Presto; Allegro con brio
Ludwig von Beethoven was born in Bonn, December 16, 1770; died in Vienna, May 26, 1827.
In the presence of a work like a Beethoven symphony, one realizes the inadequacy of words to explain or describe all that it conveys to the soul. No composer has ever equaled Beethoven in his power of suggesting that which can never be expressed absolutely, and nowhere in his compositions do we find a work in which all the noblest attributes of an art so exalted as his more happily combine. No formal analysis, dealing with the mere details of musical construction, can touch the real source of its power, nor can any interpretation of philosopher or poet state with any degree of certainty just what it was that moved the soul of the composer, though they may give us the impression the music makes on them. They may clothe in fitting words that which we all feel more or less forcibly. The philosopher, by observation of the effect of environment and conditions on man in general, may point out the probable relation of the outward circumstances of a composer's life at a certain period to his works; the poet, because he is peculiarly susceptible to the same influences as the composer, may give us a more sympathetic interpretation, but neither can ever fathom the processes by which a great genius like Beethoven gives us such a composition as we have in the symphony we are now considering.
The Seventh fairly pulsates with free and untrammelled melody, and has an atmosphere of its own quite unlike that of the others. It was written in 1812, and was first performed on December 8, 1813, at a concert in the large hall of the University of Vienna, a fact not without significance in connection with the environment of the present occasion. Beethoven conducted in person, and the performance suffered somewhat from that fact since he could scarcely hear the music his genius had created.
"The program," says Grove, in an admirable account of this most unique and interesting occasion, "consisted of three numbers: the symphony in A, described as 'entirely new,' two marches performed by Malzel's mechanical trumpeter with full orchestral accompaniment, and a second grand instrumental composition by 'Herr von Beethoven--the so-called 'Battle of Vittoria1 (Opus 91)."
No greater artistic incongruity can be conceived than the combination of a mechanical trumpeter, a composition like the "Battle of Vittoria," and this sublime symphony in A. The concert was arranged by Malzel, and given in aid of a fund for wounded soldiers, and on benefit concert programs, as on those of "sacred" concerts, one is never surprised at finding strange companionships.
Grove continues: "The orchestra presented an unusual appearance, many of the desks being tenanted by the most famous musicians and composers of the day. Haydn had gone to his rest; but Romberg, Spohr, Mayseder, and Dragnonetti were present, and played among the rank and file of the strings. Meyerbeer (of whom Beethoven complained that he always came in after the beat) and Hummel had the drums, and Moscheles, then a youth of nineteen, the cymbals. Even Beethoven's old teacher, Kapellmeister Salieri, was there, 'giving time to the chorus and salvos.' The performance, says Spohr, was 'quite masterly,' the new works were both received with enthusiasm, the slow movement of the symphony was encored, and the success of the concert extraordinary."
Coming Musical Events
CHORAL UNION SERIES Hill Auditorium, 8:15 P.M., Eastern Time
November 17 Ossip Gabrilowitsch, Pianist
December 3 The Revelers
James Melton, First Tenor Phil Dewey, Baritone Lewis James, Second Tenor Wilfred Glenn, Bass Frank Black, Director and Pianist
December 15 Detroit Symphony Orchestra Ossip Gabrilowitsch, Conductor
January 13 Don Cossack Russian Chorus Serge Jaroff, Conductor
January 25 Detroit Symphony Orchestra
Dr. Rudolf Siegel, Guest Conductor
February 4 Yehudi Menuhin, Violinist February 19 Percy Grainger, Pianist March 7 Rosa Ponselle, Soprano
Hill Auditorium, 4:15 P.M., Eastern Time
(No Admission Charge)
November 1 Maud Okkelberg, Pianist
November 8 School of Music Trio
Hanns Pick, Violoncellist, Wassily Besekirsky, Violinist, and Joseph Brinkman, Pianist
November 15 University Symphony Orchestra David E. Mattern, Conductor
November 22 Wassily Besekirsky, Violinist, and Mabel Ross Rhead, Pianist
December 6 Laura Littlefield, Soprano
December 13 "Messiah" by Handel
University Choral Union and University Symphony Orchestra; Soloists; Earl V. Moore, Conductor.
Wednesdays, Twilight Organ Recitals
Unless otherwise announced, the programs are played by Professor Palmer Christian. The program next week will be by E. William Doty, Instructor in Organ.

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