UMS Concert Program, October 25, 1932: Fifty-fourth Annual Choral Union Concert Series, Of The University Of Michigan Auspices,
(This is the program provided by the Boston Symphony Orchestra for this concert. You can also view the UMS program).
Hill Auditorium Ann Arbor
HILL AUDITORIUM . . . ANN ARBOR
Tuesday Evening, October 25, 1932, at 8.15
Fifty-fourth Annual Choral Union Concert Series, of the University of Michigan Auspices, University Musical Society
FIFTY-SECOND SEASON 1932-1933
Dr. SERGE KOUSSEVITZKY
FIFTY-SECOND SEASON, 1932-1933
Dr. SERGE KOUSSEVITZKY, Conductor
TUESDAY EVENING, OCTOBER 25
WITH HISTORICAL AND DESCRIPTIVE NOTES BY PHILIP HALE
COPYRIGHT, 1932, BY BOSTON SYMPHONY ORCHESTRA, INC.
THE OFFICERS AND TRUSTEES OF THE BOSTON SYMPHONY ORCHESTRA, Inc.
BENTLEY W. WARREN . HENRY B. SAWYER . . ERNEST B. DANE .
HENRY B. CABOT, JR. ERNEST B. DANE N. PENROSE HALLOWELL M. A. DE WOLFE HOWE FREDERICK E. LOWELL
ARTHUR LYMAN WILLIAM PHILLIPS EDWARD M. PICKMAN HENRY B. SAWYER BENTLEY W. WARREN
W. H. BRENNAN, Manager
G. E. JUDD, Assistant Manager
iosftomi Symphony Orchesfn
Fifty-Second Season, 1932-1933
Dr. SERGE KOUSSEVITZKY, Conductor
Hansen, E. Leibovici, J.
Thillois, F. Mayer, P. Bryant, M. Murray, J.
Lefranc, J. Artieres, L.
Mariotti, V. Pinfield, C. Zung, M. Diamond, S. Beale, M. Del Sordo, R.
Fourel, G. Cauhape, J.
Fedorovsky, P. Leveen, P.
Knudson, C. Zide, L. Stonestreet, L. Erkelens, H.
Gorodetzky, L. Fiedler, B. Messina, S. Seiniger, S.
Van Wynbergen, C.
Grover, H. Werner, H.
Avierino, N. Gerhardt, S.
Deane, C. Jacob, R.
Bedetti, J. Zighera, A.
Kunze, M. Vondrak, A.
Flutes. Laurent, G. Bladet, G. Amerena, P.
Battles, A. Horns. Boettcher, G. Macdonald, W. Valkenier, W. Lorbeer, H.
Tubas. Sidow, P. Adam, E.
Organ. Snow, A.
Langendoen, J. I Barth, C. ]
Oboes. Gillet, F. Devergie, J. Stanislaus, H.
Enclish Horn. Speyer, L. Horns.
Valkenier, W. Schindler, G. Lannoye, M. Blot, G.
Harps. Zighera, B. Caughey, E.
Piano. Sanroma, J.
Chardon, Y. Droeghmans, H.
Basses. Ludwig, O. Frankel, I.
Stockbridge, C. Warnke, J.
Girard, H. Dufresne, G.
Marjollet, L. Fabrizio, E.
Moleux, G. Kelley, A.
Clarinets. Polatschek, V. Mimart, P. Arcieri, E. Allegra, E.
Bass Clarinet. Bettoney, F.
Trumpets. Mager, G. Lafosse, M. Grundey, T. Perret, G. Voisin, R. Mann, J.
Timpani. Ritter, A. Polster, M.
Celesta. Fiedler, A.
Bassoons. Laus, A. Allard, R. Panenka, E.
Contra-Bassoon. Piller, B.
Trombones. Raichman, J. Hansotte, L. Kenfield, L. Adam, E.
Percussion. Sternburg, S. White, L.
Librarian. Rogers, L. J.
)Ostoira Symplhoiay Orchestra
Fifty-Second Season, 1932-1933 Dr. SERGE KOUSSEVITZKY. Conductor
TUESDAY EVENING, OCTOBER 25
"Classical" Symphony, Op. 25
Tone Poem, "Don Juan," Op. 20 (after Lenau)
Tchaikovsky .... Symphony No. 5 in E minor, Op. 64
I. Andante; allegro con anima.
II. Andante cantabile, con alcuna licenza.
III. Valse (Allegro moderato).
IV. Finale: Andante maestoso; Allegro vivace.
There will be an intermission of ten minutes before the symphony
"Classical" Symphony, Op. 25 .. Serge Sergievich Prokofieff (Born at Sontsovka, Russia, April 24, 1891; now living)
This symphony, begun in 1916, was completed in 1917. The first performance was at Leningrad by the orchestra now known as the State Orchestra. The first performance in the United States was at a concert of the Russian Symphony Orchestra in New York, in December, 1918.
The symphony, scored for two flutes, two oboes, two clarinets, two bassoons, two horns, two trumpets, kettledrums, and strings, is dedicated to Boris Assafieff, who, as "Igor Gleboff," has written much about music. "The composer's idea in writing this work was to catch the spirit of Mozart and to put down that which, if he were living now, Mozart might put into his scores" (Felix Borowski).
I. Allegro, D major, 4-4 time. The chief theme is given to first violins. A transitional passage has material for the flutes. DevelopÂment follows. The second theme is for first violins. The developÂment begins with use of the first subject. The transitional measures are taken up, later the second theme. The recapitulation opens in C major (strings). Then follows the transitional passage (D major) for the flute. The second theme is again for strings. There is a short coda.
II. Larghetto, A major, 2-2 time. First violins announce the chief theme. There are episodes.
III. Gavotta, Non troppo allegro, D major, 4-4 time. The subject is given at once to strings and wood-wind. The trio is in G major (flutes and clarinets above an organ point for violoncellos and double basses). This subject is repeated by the strings.
IV. Finale, Molto vivace, D major, 2-2 time. The first theme is for the strings; the second, A major, for wood-wind.
Nocturnes: No. I., "Clouds"; No. II., "Festivals"; No. III., "Sirens"...........Claude Debussy
(Born at St. Germain (Seine and Oise), August 22, 1S62; died at Paris,
March 26, 101S)
The Nocturnes by Debussy are three in number. The first two, "Nuages" and "Fetes," were produced at a Lamoureux concert, C. Chevillard conductor, Paris, December 9, 1900, and they were played by the same orchestra January 6, 1901. The third, "Sirenes," was first produced--in company with the other two--at a Lamoureux concert, October 27, 1901. The third is for orchestra with chorus of female voices. At this last concert the friends of Debussy were so
exuberant in manifestations of delight that there was sharp hissing as a corrective. The Nocturnes were composed in 189S, and pubÂlished in 1899.
The first performance of the three Nocturnes in the United States was at a Chickering "Production" Concert in Boston, February 10,
1904, when Mr. Lang conducted. The Nocturnes were played twice at this concert. Nocturnes Nos. 1 and 2 were played by the Boston Symphony Orchestra, led by Vincent d'Indy as guest, at Philadelphia, December 4, 1905, Washington, D.C., December 5,
1905, New York, December 9, 1905. The three were played at a concert of the Boston Symphony Orchestra in Boston, December 12, 1908. Mr. Fiedler conducted, and the Choral Club of the New England Conservatory of Music sang the vocal parts in the third Nocturne. The three were performed again in Boston by the Boston Symphony Orchestra on April 27, 1912, when the Musical Art Club sang the vocal parts. The first Nocturne was played on April 5, 1918, in memory of the composer. The three were performed at a Symphony concert, March 8, 1919, with a female chorus trained by Stephen Townsend, when the revised version was used for the first time in this country. Nos. 1 and 2 were performed on October 7, 1921, November 7, 1924, May 1, 1925; in 1926, 1928 and 1932.
Debussy furnished a programme for the suite; at least, this proÂgramme is attributed to him. Some who are not wholly in sympathy with what they loosely call "the modern movement" may think that the programme itself needs elucidation. Debussy's peculiar forms of expression in prose are not easily Englished, and it is well-nigh impossible to reproduce certain shades of meaning.
"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 special 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 bursts 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': the sea and its innumerable rhythm; then amid the
Charles Koechlin, in his life of Debussy (Paris, 1927), says that he had a parÂtiality "for 'Nuages,' for distant clouds that are apparently conducted by an invisible shepherd."
billows silvered by the moon the mysterious song of the Sirens is heard; it laughs and passes."
The Nocturnes are scored as follows:
I. Two flutes, two oboes, English horn, two clarinets, three basÂsoons, four horns, kettledrums, harp, strings. The movement begins Modere", 6-4.
II. Three flutes, two oboes, English horn, two clarinets, three basÂsoons, four horns, three trumpets, three trombones, bass tuba, two harps, a set of three kettledrums, cymbals, and snare-drum (in the distance), strings. Anim6 et tres rhythm}, 4-4.
III. Three flutes, oboe, English horn, two clarinets, three basÂsoons, four horns, three trumpets, two harps, eight soprano voices, eight mezzo-soprano voices, strings. Moderement anime', 12-8.
Debussy before his death made many changes in the instrumentaÂtion of these Nocturnes.
The score is dedicated to Georges Hartmann, the late music pubÂlisher and librettist. Jean Marnold contributed an elaborate study of these Nocturnes to Le Courrier Musical (Paris), March 1, 15, May 1, December 15, 1902; January 10, February 15, 1903. He analyzed them minutely, with the aid of many illustrations in musical notation, and dissected the tonal and harmonic syntax of the composer. He arrived at two conclusions:-1. "The natural predisposition of the human organism to perÂceive sonorous combinations according to the simplest relations would as a consequence have only the introduction into our music of the interval corresponding to the harmonics 7 and 11.
2. "After all the masterpieces which constitute the history of our music as it is written by the greatest masters, the Nocturnes and the whole work of Claude Debussy are as a flat denial to every dogmatic theory. But in the ten centuries of the evolution of our musical art there is, perhaps, not one instance of such an important step as this in advance."
Alfred Bruneau with regard to the "Nocturnes": "Here, with the aid of a magic orchestra, he has lent to clouds traversing the somber 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; he has changed the white foam of the restless sea into tuneful sirens."
Questioning the precise nature of the form that shapes these NocÂturnes, the reader may well ponder the saying of Plotinus in his Essay on the Beautiful: "But the simple beauty of color arises, when light, which is something incorporeal, and reason and form, enterÂing the obscure involutions of matter, irradiates and forms its dark and formless nature. It is on this account that fire surpasses other bodies in beauty, because, compared with the other elements, it obtains the order of form: for it is more eminent than the rest, and is the most subtle of all, bordering as it were on an incorporeal nature."
"Don Juan' a Tone-poem (after Nicolaus Lenau), Or. 20
(Born at Munich, June 11, 1864; now living at Vienna) "Don Juan," composed at Munich 1887-88, is known as the first of Stranss's symphonic or tone-poems, but "Macbeth," Op. 23, was composed at Munich 1886-87 (revised in 1890 at Weimar), and published later (1891). "Don Juan" was published in 1890. The first performance of "Don Juan" was at the second subscription concert of the Grand Ducal Court Orchestra of Weimar in the fall of 1889. The Hignale, No. 67 (November, 1889), stated that the tone-poem was performed under the direction of the composer, "and was received with great applause." (Strauss was court conductor at AVeimar 1SS9-94.) The first performance in Boston was at a SymÂphony concert, led by Mr. Nikisch, October 31, 1S91. The piece has also been played at these concerts: November 5, 1898: November 1, 1902; February 11, April 29, 1905; October 27, 1906; October 9,
Nicolaus Lenau, whose true name was Nicolaus Niembsch von Strehlenau, was born at Cstatad, Hungary, August 13, 1802. He studied law and medicine at Vienna, but practiced neither. In 1832 he Tisited the United States. In October, 1844, he went mad, and his love for Sophie van Lb'wenthal had much to do with the wretched mental condition of his later years. He died at Oberdobling, near Vienna, August 22, 1850. He himself called "Don Juan" his strongest work. The first volume of the life oÂ£ Lenau by Professor Heinrich Bischoff of Liege has been published. Lenau's unhappy sojourn In the Unijgd States is to be described in the second volume.
TALKS ABOUT BEETHOVEN'S SYMPHONIES 2.50
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SYMPHONY SINCE BEETHOVEN . . . 1.00
By Felix Weingartner
ART-SONG IN AMERICA.....3.00
By William Treat Upton
EARLY ENGLISH CLASSICS .... 1.00
Edited and Revised by George Pratt Maxim
PROJECT LESSONS IN ORCHESTRATION . 1.50
By Arthur E. Heacox
ESSENTIALS IN CONDUCTING . . . 1.75
By Karl W. Gehrkens
OLIVER DITSON COMPANY, Inc.
359 Boylston Street Boston, Mass.
1909; October 17, 1914; February 2, 1917; October 7, 1921; March 7, 1924; February 6, 1025; February 26, 1926; November IS, 1927; April 25, 1930.
"Don Juan" was played here by the Chicago Orchestra, Theodore Thomas conductor, March 22, 1898.
The work is scored for three flutes (one interchangeable with picÂcolo), two oboes, English horn, two clarinets, two bassoons, double-bassoon, four horns, three trumpets, three trombones, tuba, a set of three kettledrums, triangle, cymbals, Glockenspiel, harp, strings. The score is dedicated "To my dear friend, Ludwig Thuille," a comÂposer and teacher, born at Bozen in 1861, who was a fellow-student at Munich. Thuille died in 1907.
Strauss's hero is Lenau's, in search of the ideal woman. Not findÂing one reaching his standard, disgusted with life, he practically commits suicide by dropping his sword when fighting a duel with a man whose father he had killed. Before this Don Juan dies, he provides in his will for the women he had seduced and forsaken.
Lenau wrote his poem in 1844. It is said that his third revision was made in August and September of that year at Vienna and Stuttgart. After September he wrote no more, fo he went mad and he was mad until he died in 1850. The poem, "Eitel nichts;" dedicated in the asylum at Winnenthal, was intended originally for "Don Juan." "Don Juan" is of a somewhat fragmentary nature. The quotations made by Strauss paint well the hero's character.
L. A. Frankl, a biographer of the morbid poet, says that Lenau once spoke as follows concerning his purpose in this dramatic poem : "Goethe's great poem has not hurt me in the matter of 'Faust' and Byron's 'Don Juan' will here do me no harm. Each poet, as every human being, is an individual 'ego.' My Don Juan is no hot-blooded man eternally pursuing women. It is the longing in him to find a woman who is to him incarnate womanhood, and to enjoy in the one, all the women on earth, whom he cannot as individuals possess. Because he does not find her, although he reels from one to another, at last Disgust seizes hold of him, and this Disgust is the Devil that fetches him."
The score of the Fantasia bears on a fly-leaf these extracts from the poem. We have taken the liberty of defining the characters here addressed by the hero. The speeches to Don Diego are in the first scene of the poem; the speech to Marcello, in the last. These lines have been Englished by John P. Jacksonf:-?See the remarkable study, "Le Don Juanisme," by Armand Hayem (Paris, 1888), which should be read in connection with Barbey d'Aurevllly's "Du Dandysme et de Georges Brummell." George Bernard Sliaw's Don Juan in "Man and Superman" has much to say about his character and aims.
f John P. Jackson, journalist, diod at Paris on December 1. 1897, fifty yenrs old. For many years lie was on the staff of the Neic York Herald. He espoused the cause of Wagner at a time when the music of that composer was not in fashion. He trans, lated some of Wagner's librettos into English.
Don Juan (to Diego, 7ms brother).
0 magic realm, illimited, eternal.
Of glorified woman,--loveliness supernal!
Fain would 1, in the storm of stressful bliss,
Expire upon the last one's lingering kiss!
Through every realm, O friend, would wing my flight,
Wherever Beauty blooms, kneel down to each,
And, if for one brief moment, win delight!
Don Juan (to Diego).
1 flee from surfeit and from rapture's cloy, Keep fresh for Beauty service and employ, Grieving the One, that All I may enjoy.
The fragrance from one lip to-day is breath of spring:
The dungeon's gloom perchance to-morrow's luck may bring
When with the new love won I sweetly wander,
No bliss is ours upfurbish'd and regilded;
A different love has This to That one yonder,-Nod up from ruins be my temples builded. Tea, Love life is, and ever must be new, Cannot be changed or turned in new direction; It cannot but there expire--here resurrection: And, if 'tis real, it nothing knows of rue!
Each beauty in the world is sole, unique: So must the Love be that would Beauty seek! So long as Youth lives on with pulse afire, Out to the chase! To victories new aspire!
Don Juan (to Marcello, Ms friend). It was a wond'rous lovely storm that drove me: Now it is o'er; and calm all round, above me; Sheer dead is every wish; all hopes o'ershrouded,--'Twas p'r'aps a flash from heaven that so descended, Whose deadly stroke left me with powers ended, Aud all the world, so bright before, o'erclouded; And yet p'r'aps not! Exhausted is the fuel; And on the hearth the cold is fiercely cruel.
It has been said that the "emotional phases of the story" appealed to Strauss:
1. The fiery ardor with which Don Juan pursues his ideal;
2. The charm of woman; and
3. The selfish idealist's disappointment and partial atonement by death.
There are two ways of considering this tone-poem: to say that it is a fantasia, free in form and development; the quotations from the poem are enough to show the mood and the purposes of the composer; or to discuss the character of Lenau's hero, and then follow foreign commentators who give significance to every melodic phrase and find deep, esoteric meaning in every modulation. No doubt Strauss himself would be content with the verses of Lenau and his own music, for he is a man not without humor, and on more than one occasion has shyly smiled at his prying or pontifical interpreters.
Strauss has particularized his hero among the many that bear the name of Don Juan, from the old drama of Gabriel Tellez, the cloisÂtered monk who wrote, under the name of "Tirso de Molina," "El Burlador de Sevilla y el Convidato de Piedra" (first printed in
1034). Strauss's hero is specifically the Don Juan of Lenau, not the rakehelly hero of legend and so many plays, who at the last is unÂdone by the Statue invited by Juan to supper.
Strauss himself has not given a clue to any page of his score. Yet, in spite of this fact, William Mauke does not hesitate to entitle certain sections: "The First Victim, 'Zerlinchen' "; "The Countess"; "Anna." Why "Zerlinchen" There is no Zerlina in the poem. There is no reference to the coquettish peasant girl. Lenau's hero is a man who seeks the sensual ideal. He is constantly disappointed. He is repeatedly disgusted with himself, men and women, and the world; and when at last he fights a duel with Don Pedro, the avenging son of the Grand Commander, he throws away his sword and lets his adversary kill him.
"Mein Todfeind ist in meine Faust gegeben ;
Doeh dies auch langweilt, wie das ganze Leben."
("My deadly foe is in my power; but this, too, bores me, as does life itself.")
The first theme, E major, allegro molto con brio, 2-2, is a theme of passionate, glowing longing; and a second theme follows immeÂdiately, which some take to be significant of the object of this longÂing. The third theme, typical of the hero's gallant and brilliant appearance, proud and knight-like, is added; and his third theme is entitled by Mauke "the Individual Don Juan theme, No. 1." These three themes are contrapuntally bound together, until there is a signal given (horns and then wood-wind). The first of the fair apparitions appears,--the "Zerlichen" of Mauke. The conquest is easy, and the theme of Longing is jubilant; but it is followed by the chromatic theme of "Disgust" (clarinets and bassoons), and this is heard in union with the second of the three themes in miniaÂture (harp). The next period--"Disgust" and again "Longing"--is built on the significant themes, until at the conclusion (fortissimo) the theme "Longing" is heard from the deep-stringed instruments (rapidamente).
And now it is the Countess that appears--"the Countess------------Â¦,
widow; she lives at a villa, an hour from Seville" (Glockenspiel, harp, violin solo). Here follows an intimate, passionate love scene. The melody of clarinet and horn is repeated, re-enforced by violin and violoncellos. There is canonical imitation in the second violins, and afterwards, viola, violin, and oboes. Passion ends with the crash of a powerful chord in E minor. There is a faint echo of the Countess theme; the violoncellos play (senza espressione) the theme of "Longing." Soon enters a "molto vivace," and the cavalier theme is heard slightly changed. Don Juan finds another victim. Here comes the episode of longest duration. Mauke promptly identifies the woman. She is "Anna."
This musical episode is supposed to interpret the hero's monoÂlogue. Dr. Reimann thinks it would be better to entitle it "Princess Isabella and Don Juan," a scene that in Lenau's poem answers to the Donna Anna scene in the Da Ponte-Mozart opera. Here the hero deplores his past life. Would that he were worthy to woo her!
It is only fair to Dr. Reimann to say that he did not take Wilhelm Mauke too seriously.
Anna knows his evil fame, but struggles vainly against his fascinaÂtion. The episode begins in G minor (violas and violoncellos). "The silence of night, anxious expectancy, sighs of longing"; then with the entrance of G major (oboe solo) "love's bliss and happiness without end." The love song of the oboe is twice repeated, and it is accompanied in the violoncellos by the theme in the preceding pasÂsage in minor. The clarinet sings the song, but Don Juan is already restless. The theme of "Disgust" is heard, and he rushes from Anna. The "Individual Don Juan theme, No. 2," is heard from the four horns,--"Away! away to ever new victories."
Till the end the mood grows wilder and wilder. There is no longer time for regret, and soon there will be no time for longing. It is the Carnival time. Don Juan drinks deep of wine and love. His two themes and the themes of "Disgust" and the "Carnival" are in wild chromatic progressions. The Glockenspiel parodies his second "InÂdividual theme," which was only a moment ago so energetically proclaimed by the horns. Surrounded by women, overcome by wine, he rages in passion, and at last falls unconscious. Organ-point. Gradually he comes to his senses. The themes of the apparitions, rhythmically disguised as in fantastic dress, pass like sleep-chasings through his brain, and then there is the motive of "Disgust." Some find in the next episode the thought of the cemetery with Don Juan's reflections and his invitations to the Statue. Here the jaded man finds solace in bitter reflection. At the feast surrounded by gay comÂpany, there is a faint awakening of longing, but he exclaims,-"The fire of my blood has now burned out!"
Then comes the duel with the death-scene. The theme of "Disgust" now dominates. There is a tremendous orchestral crash; there is long and eloquent silence. A pianissimo chord in A minor is cut into by a piercing trumpet F, and then there is a last sigh, a mournÂing dissonance and resolution (trombones) to E minor.
"Exhausted is the fuel, And on the hearth the cold is fiercely cruel."
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Symphony No. 5, in E minor, Op. 64 . Peter Ilich Tchaikovsky
(Born at Votiusk, in the government of Viatka, Russia, May 7,t 1S40; died at Leningrad, November 6, 1893)
Tchaikovsky, about the end of April, 1888, took possession of a country house at Frolovskoe, which had been prepared for him, while he was at Paris and London, by his servant Alexis. FrolovÂskoe is a picturesque place on a wooded hill on the way from Moscow to Klin. The house was simple. "Here he [Tchaikovsky] could be alone,"--we quote from Mrs. Newniarch's translation into English of Modeste Tchaikovsky's life of Peter,--"free from sumÂmer excursionists, to enjoy the little garden (with its charming pool and tiny islet) fringed by the forest, behind which the view opened out upon a distant stretch of country--upon that homely, unassuming landscape of Central Russia which Tchaikovsky preÂferred to all the sublimities of Switzerland, the Caucasus, and Italy. Had not the forest been gradually exterminated, he would never have quitted Frolovskoe, for, although he only lived there for three years, he became greatly attached to the place. A month before his death, traveling from Klin to Moscow, he said, lookÂing out at the churchyard of Frolovskoe: 'I should like to be buried there.'"
On May 27, 1888, he wrote to Modeste that the country was so beautiful he felt compelled to extend his morning walk from a half-hour to two hours. "To speak frankly, I feel as yet no imÂpulse for creative work. What does this mean Have I written myself out No ideas, no inclination Still I am hoping to collect, little by little, material for a symphony."
On June 22 he wrote to Mme. von Meek: "Now I shall work my hardest. I am exceedingly anxious to prove to myself, as to others, that I am not played out as a composer. . . . Have I told you that I intend to write a symphony The beginning was difficult; but now inspiration seems to me to have come. However, we shall see."
In July, Tchaikovsky received a letter from an American manager who offered him twenty-five thousand dollars for a conÂcert tour of three months. The sum seemed incredible to the comÂposer: "Should this tour really take place, I could realize my long-cherished wish of becoming a landowner." On August 6 he wrote to Mme. von Meek: "When I am old and past composing, I shall spend the whole of my time in growing flowers. I have been working with good results. I have orchestrated half the symphony. My age--although I am not very old [he was then forty-eight]-See Entr'acte "Tchaikovsky's Votinsk House" by Victor Belaieff.
fThiB date is given by Modeste Tchaikovsky, Peter's brother. For some unaccountÂable reason Mrs. Newmarch, in her translation of Modeste's life of his brother, gives the birth date as April 28 (May 10).
begins to tell on me. I become very tired, and I can no longer play the pianoforte or read at night as I used to do." On August 26 he wrote to her: "I am not feeling well, . . . but I am so glad that I have finished the symphony that I forget my physical troubles. ... In November I shall conduct a whole series of my works in St. Petersburg, at the Philharmonic, and the new symÂphony will be one of them."
The winter of 1888-89 opened sadly for Tchaikovsky. A favorite niece was dying, and his dear friend Hubert was suffering terribly from a form of intermittent fever; but his friends in Moscow were delighted with the new symphony, concerning which he himself had grave doubts.
The Fifth Symphony was performed for the first time at LeninÂgrad, November 17, 1888. The composer conducted. The concert lasted over three hours, and the programme consisted chiefly of works by Tchaikovsky: the Italian Caprice, the Second Pianoforte Concerto (played by Wassily Sapellnikov, who then made his de"but), the now familiar air from "Jeanne d'Arc" and three songs (sung by Mme. Kamensky), an overture by Laroche orchestrated by Tchaikovsky, were among them. The audience was pleased, but the reviews in the newspapers were not very favorable. On November 24 of the same year, Tchaikovsky conducted the symÂphony again at a concert of the Musical Society.
In December, 1888, he wrote to Mme. von Meek: "After two performances of my new symphony in St. Petersburg and one in Prague, I have come to the conclusion that it is a failure. There is something repellent, something superfluous, patchy, and inÂsincere, which the public instinctively recognizes. It was obvious to me that the ovations I received were prompted more by my earlier work, and that the symphony itself did not really please the audience. The consciousness of this brings me a sharp twinge of self-dissatisfaction. Am I really played out, as they say Can I merely repeat and ring the changes on my earlier idiom Last night I looked through our symphony (No. 4). What a difference! How immeasurably superior it is! It is very, very sad!" (Mrs. Newmarch's translation.) He was cheered by news of the success of the symphony in Moscow.
On March 15, 1889, the symphony was played at Hamburg. Tchaikovsky arrived in the city on March 11. "Brahms was at his hotel, occupying the room next to his own. Peter felt greatly flattered on learning that the famous German composer was stayÂing a day longer on purpose to hear the rehearsal of his Fifth Symphony. Tchaikovsky was well received by the orchestra. Brahms remained in the room until the end of the rehearsal.
Afterwards, at luncheon, he gave his opinion of the work 'very frankly and simply.' It had pleased him on the whole, with the exception of the Finale. Not unnaturally, the composer of this movement felt 'deeply hurt' for the moment, but, happily, the inÂjury was not incurable. Tchaikovsky took this opportunity to invite Brahms to conduct one of the symphony concerts in Moscow, but the latter declined. Nevertheless, Tchaikovsky's personal likÂing for Brahms was increased, although his opinion of his comÂpositions was not changed."
At the public rehearsal in Hamburg, the symphony pleased the musicians; there was real enthusiasm.
Tchaikovsky wrote after the concert to Davidov: "The Fifth Symphony was magnificently played and I like it far better now, after having held a bad opinion of it for some time. Unfortunately, the Russian press continues to ignore me. With the exception of my nearest and dearest, no one will ever hear of my successes."
Modeste Tchaikovsky is of the opinion that the Fifth Symphony was a long time in making its way, chiefly on account of his brother's inefficiency as a conductor.
The first performance of the Fifth Symphony in the United States was at a Theodore Thomas Concert in Chickering Hall, New York, March 5, 1889. At this concert MacDowell's Pianoforte Concerto No. 2, in D minor, was played by the composer and for the first time.
The first performance in Boston was at a concert of the Boston Symphony Orchestra, October 22, 1892. Arthur Nikisch conducted. The programme also comprised Reinecke's overture "King Manfred" (first time in Boston) and Saint-Saens piano concerto, No. 4, C minor (Carl Stasny, pianist). The symphony has also been played in Boston at these concerts on January 1, 1898; December 10, 1898; December 22, 1900; October 18, 1902; April 4, 1908 (when Mr. Wendling conducted it on account of the indisposition of Dr. Muck) ; April 10, 1909; December 3, 1910; March 20, 1925; April 15, 1927; February 22, 1929; April 26, 1929 (on the "Request" programme).
The symphony is scored for three flutes (one interchangeable with piccolo), two oboes, two clarinets, two bassoons, four horns, two trumpets, three trombones, tuba, three kettledrums, and strings.
There is a curious explanation in Specht's "Johannes Brahms" of Brahms inability to like Tchaikovsky, who in his turn did not disguise his aversion to Brahms. Specht speaks of Tchaikovsky's "all too mundane demeanor, the perfumed Cossack's savagery and gilt-edged melancholy of the composer of the 'Pathetic' symphony, who was so elegant and yet so inwardly torn by the tragedy of his unhappy disposition, which at last drove him into voluntary death." Was it this that repelled Brahms, or was he "unconsciously aware" of the abnormality in Tchaikovsky's character 7
The score is dedicated to Theodor Ave-Lalleinent, of Hamburg. Tchaikovsky met this head of the committee of the Philharmonic Society at Hamburg in 1888, and described him in the "Diary of my Tour": "This venerable old man of over eighty showed me almost fatherly attentions. In spite of his age, in spite of the fact that his dwelling was distant, he attended two rehearsals, the conÂcert, and the party afterward at Mr. Bernuth's. His interest in me went so far that he wished to have my photograph taken by the best photographer in the city, and he himself arranged the hour of sitting and the size and style of the picture. I visited this kindly old gentleman, who is passionately fond of music, and free from the prejudices so common among the old against all that is modern, and we had a long and interesting talk. He told me frankly that many things in my works which he had heard were not at all to his liking; that he could not endure the mighty din of my orchestraÂtion; that he disliked especially the frequent use of pulsatile inÂstruments. But in spite of everything, he thought that I had in me the making of a true German composer of the first rank. With tears in his eyes he besought me to leave Russia and settle in GerÂmany, where the traditions and the conditions of an old and highly developed culture would free me from my faults, which he charged to the fact that I was born and brought up in a civilization that was far behind that of Germany. He was evidently strongly prejuÂdiced against Russia, and I tried my best to lessen his antipathy against my fatherland, which he did not openly express, but it was to be detected in some of his talk. In spite of differences in opinion we parted warm friends."
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The andante, B minor, 4-4 theme of the symphony, which occurs in the four movements, typical of fate, "the eternal note of sadness," of what you will, is given at the very beginning to the clarinets, and the development serves as an approach to the allegro. The principal theme of the first movement, Allegro con anima, 6-8, is announced by clarinet and bassoon. It is developed elaborately and at great length. This theme is said to have been derived from a Polish folk song. The second theme in B minor is given to the strings. The free fantasia is comparatively short and exceedingly dramatic. The recapitulation begins with the restatement of the principal theme by the bassoon. There is a long coda, which finally sinks to a piaÂnissimo and passes to the original key.
The second movement has been characterized as a romance, firmly knit together in form, and admitting great freedom of interpretaÂtion, as the qualification, "con alcuna licenza," of the andante cantabile indicates. After a short introduction in the deeper strings, the horn sings the principal melody. The oboe gives out a new theme, which is answered by the horn, and this theme is taken up by violins and violas. The principal theme is heard from the violoncellos, after which the clarinet sings still another melody, which is developed to a climax, in which the full orchestra thunders out the chief theme of the symphony, the theme of bodement. The second part of the movement follows in a general way along the lines already established. There is another climax, and again is heard the impressive theme of the symphony.
The third movement is a waltz Allegro moderato, A major, 3-4. The structure is simple, and the development of the first theme, dolce con grazia, given to violins against horns, bassoons, and string instruments, is natural. Toward the very end clarinets and basÂsoons sound, as afar off, the theme of the symphony: the gayety is over.
There is a long introduction, Andante Maestoso, E major, 4-4, to the finale, a development of the sombre and dominating theme. This andante is followed by an allegro vivace, E minor, with a first theme given to the strings, and a more tuneful theme assigned first to the wood-wind and afterward to the violins. The developÂment of the second theme contains allusions to the chief theme of the symphony. Storm and fury; the movement coines to a halt; the coda begins in E major, the allegro vivace increases to a presto. The second theme of the finale is heard, and the final climax contains a reminiscence of the first theme of the first movement.
"The wan, faded, autumnal E minor; a key for serious matters, for 'old, unhappy, far-off things,' for long-past storms of passion. So it is not at random that, in his Fifth Symphony, in E minor, Tchaikovsky has chosen precisely this same key for the pallid phantoms of the lovers Paolo Malatesta and Francesca da Rimini, agonizing in the inferno of Dante."'--Walter Niemann, in his analysis of Brahms's symphony No. 4, E minor.
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