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UMS Concert Program, December 11: Boston Symphony Orchestra - 1935

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Day
11
Month
December
Year
1935
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(This is the program provided by the Boston Symphony Orchestra for this concert. You can also view the UMS program).

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OCR Text

Season: 1935-1936
Hill Auditorium Ann Arbor

INC.
FIFTY-FIFTH SEASON
Wednesday Evening, December 11
Fifty-Seventh Annual Choral Union Concert Series, of the University of Michigan Auspices, University Musical Society
SYMPHONY HALL The Home of the Boston Symphony Orchestra
Hill Auditorium l&mvtrmtg of Jftirljigan Amt Arbor
FIFTY-FIFTH SEASON, 1935-1936
Boston Symphony Orchestra
INCORPORATED
Dr. SERGE KOUSSEVITZKY, Conductor
RICHARD BURGIN, Assistant Conductor
Concert Bulletin
WEDNESDAY EVENING, December 11
with historical and descriptive notes By John N. Burk
COPYRIGHT, lggg, BY BOSTON SYMPHONY ORCHESTRA, Inc.
The OFFICERS and TRUSTEES of the BOSTON SYMPHONY ORCHESTRA, Inc.
Benti.ey W. Warren........ President
Henry B. Sawyer........Vice-President
Ernest B. Dane.........Treasurer
Allston Burr Henry B. Cabot Ernest B. Dane N. Penrose Hallowell M. A. De Wolfe Howe
Roger I. Lee William Phillips Henry B. Sawyer Pierpont L. Stackpole Edward A. Taft
Bentley W. Warren
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To Our Patrons in Ann Arbor:
A Association known as the Friends of the Boston Symphony Orchestra was formed last year, and at the end of the year had a membership of more than 2,000. The members of this Association are those who in expression of their interest in music and their admiration for the performances of our Orchestra contribute in small or larger amounts toward its current operating expenses. It is well known that an Orchestra of this size and quality can not cover its expense with receipts from its performances, even though it plays a very exacting schedule.
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I hope and confidently expect that this year's membership in the Friends of the Orchestra will be greatly increased over last year's and I invite all who are interested in maintaining this pre-eminent Orchestra to enroll as members.
Edward A. Taft. Chairman of Friends of the Boston Symphony Orchestra.
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Hill Auditorium luibfraity of fKirljinatt Aun Arbor
Boston Symphony Orchestra
FIFTY-FIFTH SEASON, 1935-1936 Dr. SERGE KOUSSEVITZKY, Conductor
WEDNESDAY EVENING, December 11
Programme
Handel..............Concerto for Two Wind Choirs, with String
Orchestra (edited by G. F. Kogel)
I. Pomposo
II. Allegro
III. A tempo ordinario
IV. Largo V. Allegro
Sibelius ........"Pohjola's Daughter," Symphonic Fantasia, Op. 49
Ravel..........................."La Valse," Choreographic Poem
INTERMISSION
Strauss .................."Ein Heldenleben," Tone Poem, Op. 40
CONCERTO IN F MAJOR FOR STRINGS AND TWO WIND
ORCHESTRAS
By George Frideric Handel Born at Halle, February 23, 1685; died at London, April i4, 1759
ihrysander, zealously assembling the manuscripts of Handel, and Vv bringing many unknown scores to light, found two concertos with double wind choirs -one in B major (without horns) and one in F major in eight complete movements and some fragmentary sketches. The concerto first publicly appeared in Chrysander's edition of the composer's works, published by the German Handel Society, in 1886. The edition here used is that of Gustav F. Kogel, 1902. Kogel has taken the movements which appear in Chrysander in this order: the first, the second, the sixth, the fourth, the eighth. His emendations have consisted of explicit phrasing and bowing indications; likewise a filling in of voices, and an occasional embellishment in the notation.
Handel has used for his concerto grosso a string orchestra. Against this contrasting background he has set two concertini of wind instruments, evenly divided and each containing two horns in F, two oboes and a bassoon (Kogel has doubled the bassoon part).
The first movement (F major, 4-4) is based on the oratorio "Esther," and derives its indication "pomposo" from the recitative "Jehovah, crowned with glory bright" (Handel above anyone could be at once "pompous" and ingratiating).
The allegro in 3-4 borrows from Handel's early "Birthday Ode for Queen Anne" (composed in 1713).
The movement "A tempo ordinario" is notable for the oboe soli delivering from the two choirs alternately rippling figures in sixteenth notes.
The Largo gives the relief of D minor. It uses a chorus, "Ye sons of Israel mourn," again from "Esther." The violin solo has a prominent voice.
The final movement here played (there are nine in all) is an allegro, 12-8. It opens with joyous horn fanfares. Again the oboes contribute their "divine chatter" in triplets, "leggiero."
W. S. Rockstro in his "Life of Handel" (1883) has this to say about the original score: "The manuscript, filling eighty-four pages of paper, exactly similar in size, texture, and water-mark to that used
This concerto was first performed by this orchestra, December 26, 1891. It was also performed in 1907, 1913, 1915, 1922, 1935. Kogel's edition was used in the performances of 1922 and 1935.
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for the Magnificat, resembles that work so closely in the character of its handwriting that there can be no doubt that it was produced at very nearly the same period; that is to say, between the years 1737 and 1740. . . . The first movement is a stately pomposo. The second introduces the descending passage of semiquavers which forms so prominent a feature in the Hailstone Chorus. The subject of the third begins like that of 'Lift up your heads' [from 'The Messiah'; not performed in the present edition]. The ninth breaks off at the end of the second bar, and the remaining pages are missing; but the loss is less deplorable than might have been supposed, for the seventh, eighth, and ninth movements are reproduced in a complete though modified form in an organ concerto published by Arnold in 1797."
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[5]
"POHJOLA'S DAUGHTER," Symphonic Fantasia, Op. 49
By Jean Sibelius
Born at Tavastehus, Finland, December 8, 1865
"TJohjola's Daughter" was one of Sibelius' later settings of epiA sodes from the "Kalevala," the mythological folk epic of Finland, which was for long the bible and main resource of Sibelius, seeking poetical subjects for his descriptive music. The "Kalevala" furnished him abundantly with its exploits of gods and men, closely interwoven in the telling with images of nature, and destinies controlled by sorcery. The two characters concerned in this symphonic fantasia are the daughter of "Pohjola" (pronounced as if "Poyola"), which was the name for the North Country, identified with' Lapland, and Vainamoinen, one of the four heroes of the "Kalevala."
"Pohjola's Daughter" is drawn from the eighth Runo, or canto, of the "Kalevala," which is called "Vainamoinen's Wound." Vainamoinen is a son of the Wind and the Virgin of the Air. He appears a vigorous old man: "Vainamoinen old and steadfast" is the constant refrain of the poem. Vainamoinen is a famous bard; he is also of great strength and skill, can accomplish Herculean labors. But in the fair daughter of Pohja, whom he encounters on his sleigh journey homeward from the northland, he meets more than his equal. So runs the "Kalevala"f:
Lovely was the maid of Pohja, Famed on land, on water peerless, On the arch of air high-seated, Brightly shining on the rainbow, Clad in robes of dazzling lustre, Clad in raiment white and shining; There she wove a golden fabric, Interwoven all with silver, And her shuttle was all golden, And her comb was all o£ silver.
Verses, printed in the score in German, have been translated as follows:
"Vainamoinen, leaving the gloomy Kingdom of Pohjola and the home of sombre songs, goes homeward on his sledge. Hark! What noise is that He looks upward. There on the rainbow Pohjola's daugh Published in 1906, it was probably first performed in Finland. The first performance in this country was on June 4, 1914, at a concert of the Litchfield County Choral Union at Norfolk, Conn., the composer, then a visitor to America, conducting this and other of his tone poems. The piece was first played by the Boston Symphony Orchestra, January 12, 1917. There was a second performance, March 1, 1918.
t The strong suggestion of "Hiawatha" in this translation by "W. F. Kirby ("Everyman's Library") recalls the fact that Longfellow modeled his poem on the metre and style of the Finnish "Kalevala," which had been assembled and published in 1835 (in its own language) by Elias Lonnrot. There arose a heated controversy in America and England as to whether Longfellow had borrowed too heavily from his Finnish source. Ferdinand Freiligrath settled the case to the apparent satisfaction of the literary world. He decided (in the "Athennsum," London, December 29, 1855), that "Hiawatha" was written in "a modified Finnish metre, modified by the exquisite feeling of the American poet, according to the genius of the English language and to the wants of modern taste." He found "no imitation of plot or incidents by Longfellow."
[6]
ter sits and spins, brilliant, high up in the blue air. Made drunk by her beauty, he begs her to come down and sit in the sledge beside him. She teasingly refuses. He begs her again. At last she says, 'Make me a boat out of my spindle, what I have long desired -and show me your magic skill -then I'll gladly follow you.' The old and steadfast Vainamoinen toils in vain; his magic spell has forsaken him. Ugly-humored, sorely wounded, the maiden lost to him, he springs on his sledge and goes on, with head upraised. Yet never can the hero despair; he will overcome all sorrow; the remembrance of sweet accents eases pain and brings fond hope."
The "Kalevala" itself gives more details of the meeting. The maid first answers his proposal with coquetry, from her safe vantage: while wandering over a yellow meadow at sunset she had heard a fieldfare trilling,
"Singing of the whims of maidens. And the whims of new-wed damsels."
She asked the bird:
"Whether ihou hast heard 'tis better For a girl in father's dwelling, Or in household of a husband"
Thereupon the bird made answer, And the fieldfare answered chirping: "Brilliant is the clay in summer, But a maiden's lot is brighter. And the frost makes cold the iron, Yet the new bride's lot is colder. In her father's house a maiden Lives like strawberry in the garden, But a bride in house of husband, Lives like house-dog tightly fettered. To a slave comes rarely pleasure; To a wedded damsel never."
Vainamoinen, old and steadfast, Answered in the words which follow: "Song of birds is idle chatter, And the throstles', merely chirping; As a child a daughter's treated, But a maid must needs be married. Come into my sledge, O maiden, In the sledge beside me seat thee. I am not a man unworthy, Lazier not than other heroes."
But the maid gave crafty answer, And in words like these responded: "As a man I will esteem you, And as hero will regard you, If you can split up a horsehair With a blunt and pointless knife-blade, And an egg in knots you tie me, Yet no knot is seen upon it."
Vainamoinen accomplished these feats, and at the girl's further commands "peeled a stone" and hewed a pile of ice without scattering a single splinter, or loosening a smallest fragment. Still putting him off, she thereupon required of him the labor he could not achieve: to fashion a boat from her spindle. On the third day of his efforts the axe-blade glinted on the rocks, rebounded, and sank deep into the flesh of his knee. Unable to stanch the flowing wound, Vainamoinen harnessed his horse and drove sorrowfully away. Kirby decides that "there are so many instances of maidens being carried off, or enticed into sledges in the 'Kalevala,' that it seems almost to have been a recognized form of marriage by capture." Later in the epic, Ilmarinen, a younger brother of Vainamoinen, handsome, and a smith of great skill, wins the hand of the exacting maiden. But she displeases the hero Kullervo, and the god Ukko shoots her with his crossbow.
"Pohjola's Daughter" belongs to the period of the Second Symphony, which it shortly followed. It is late in the succession of music descriptive of the "Kalevala." There was the choral symphony "Kullervo" and "En Saga" of 1892, the four orchestral "Legends" of Lemminkainen, including the "Swan of Tuonela" (1893-95), "Ukko, the Firemaker" (1902). To follow were "Night-ride and Sunrise" (1907), and the tone poems "The Bard" and "Luonnotar" (both of 1913). Music for the most part unplayed and unknown outside of Finland, it is by no means necessarily unimportant for that reason. "Pohjola's Daughter" has an instrumentation unusually rich for Sibelius, whose tendency from that time was toward increasing economy. Besides the wood winds in twos (and usual brass and strings), there is a piccolo, English horn, bass clarinet, double-bassoon, two cornets, bass tuba, timpani and harp. The score is dedicated to the Finnish conductor, Robert Kajanus.
The score consists largely of backgrounds of shimmering, reiterated string figures over which there rise solo voices in melodic phrases always touched with a special coloring. "The chief interest of the work," writes Cecil Gray, "is coloristic. From the dark, sombre harmonies of the opening to the brilliant, glittering texture of the 'rainbow' music, the whole gamut of the tonal spectrum is traversed from end to end. This work, in fact, probably represents the farthest point to which Sibelius attains in respect to sumptuousness of color and elaboration of texture."
The fantasia opens largo, pianissimo, with a fragment of a theme for the 'celli which develops characteristically into a constant, arpeggio-like figuration for the combined strings. It may be taken as the motion of the hero's sleigh, or the maid's spinning wheel -or something else, as the hearer wills. The middle section, tranquillo molto, is probably what Gray refers to as "the appearance of the maiden on the rainbow and her mockery of the hero." The string figure returns {allegro). The fantasia ends largamente, spreading to a pianissimo conclusion.
£8]
"LA VALSE," A Choreographic Poem By Maurice Ravel
Born at Ciboure, Basses-Pyrenees, March 7, 1875; living at Montfort-l'Amaviry,
near Paris
It was in 1920 that. Ravel completed his "poeme choreographique," based upon measures which one of the Strausses might have written, but overladen with implications quite apart from the light abandon and sweet sentiment which old Vienna offered him. The composer, according to information from Alfredo Casella, had some thought of a dance production, but no direct commission or intent. The piece was played from the manuscript at a Lamoureux concert in Paris, December 12, 1920. It was published in 1921.
Ravel gives the tempo indication: "Movement of a Viennese waltz," and affixes the following paragraph to his score: "At first the scene is dimmed by a kind of swirling mist, through which one discerns, vaguely and intermittently, the waltzing couples. Little by little the vapors disperse, the illumination grows brighter, revealing an im The first performance by the Boston Symphony Orchestra was January 13, 1922, Pierre Monteux, conductor. The most recent performance was February 16, 1934.
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mense ballroom filled with dancers; the blaze of the chandeliers comes to full splendor. An Imperial Court about 1855."
The dedication is to Misia Sert, the painter who designed the scenes for Richard Strauss' Ballet, "The Legend of Joseph," as produced by Diaghilev's Ballet. Russe. The score of "La Valse" calls for three flutes (one interchangeable with piccolo), two oboes, English horn, two clarinets, bass clarinet, two bassoons, double-bassoon, four horns, three trumpets, three trombones, bass tuba, timpani, side drum, bass drum, tambourine, cymbals, castanets, tam-tam, triangle, crotales, two harps, and strings.
Raymond Schwab, listening to the first performance in Paris, discerned in the music an ominous undercurrent. "To the graces and languors of Carpeaux is opposed an implied anguish, with some Prod'homme exclaiming 'We dance on a volcano.' " H. T. Parker described the gradual definition of the waltz rhythm from "shadowy, formless spectres of dead waltzes, drifting through gray mists. . . .
"Then ensues a succession, as it were, of waltzes. The waltz sensuous and languorous, the waltz playful and piquant, the waltz sentimental, the waltz showy, the waltz strenuous -the waltz in as many variants and as many garbs as Ravel's imagination and resource may compass. Like sleep-chasings, waltz succeeds waltz; yet Ravel is wide-awake in the terseness with which he sums and characterizes each, in the vivid and artful instrumental dress every one receives. . . . Of a sudden, the chain of waltzes seems to break. Fragments of them crackle and jar, each against each, in the tonal air. The harmonies roughen; there are few euphonies; through a surface-brilliance, harsh progressions jut; that which has been sensuous may, for the instant, sound ugly. As some say, here is the music that imaginative minds write in this world of the aftermath of war. . . . On the surface, the sensuous glow and glint and neurotic rapture -'Dance that ye may not know and feel.' Below the surface, and grating rude and grim upon it, are stress and turbulence, despairs and angers equally ugly, and, maybe, nigh to bursting. A troubled 'apotheosis,' then, in these culminating measures of the waltz in this world of ours."
Philip Hale supplies this note: "The crotalum (from Greek, Krntalon) was a rattle, whether of split reed, pottery, or metal, a sort of Castanet. It has also been defined as consisting of two little brass plates or rods, which were shaken in the hand. The word 'crotal' in Irish antiquities was applied to a small globular or pear-shaped bell or rattle. Wotton in his Dictionary of Foreign Musical Terms defines 'crotales' as a species of clapper, usually made of wood. They have been used by Massenet and other composers. For a long and learned description of the 'Krotalon' see F. A. Lampe 'De Cymbalis Veterum' (Utrecht, 1703) As employed by Ravel in 'The Waltz,' the crotales are to be taken as small cymbals a little thicker than those known as antique."
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"EIN HELDENLEBEN" ("A HERO'S LIFE") Tone Poem, Op. 40
By Richard Strauss
Born at Munich, June 11, 1864
IT was in 1898, a year after "Don Quixote," that Strauss wrote "Ein Heldenleben." This was the last of his tone poems, save the "Symphonia Domestica" of 1903, and the "Alpensinfonie" of 1915. The subject, the span of a life and its struggles and triumphs, its aspirations (thus recalling "Tod und Verkldrung"), was certainly ideal for a "Tondichtung" in the best Straussian manner, even though the early critics did not agree as to his wisdom in the handling of it.
Strauss himself let it be known that he intended "Ein Heldenleben" as a companion piece to "Don Quixote." "Having in this latter work sketched the tragi-comic figure of the Spanish Knight whose vain search after heroism leads to insanity, he presents in 'A Hero's Life' not a single poetical or historical figure, but rather a more general and free ideal of great and manly heroism--not the heroism to which one can apply an everyday standard of valour, with its material and exterior rewards, but that heroism which describes the inward battle of life, and which aspires through effort and renouncement towards the elevation of the soul."
From the beginning of August until the end of December, 1898, in Charlottenburg, Strauss began and completed his task. The dedication was to "Willem Mengelberg and the Concertgebow Orchestra in Amsterdam." The first performance was at Frankfort-on-the-Main, March 3, 1899, when Strauss conducted from the manuscript. The music was published in the same month. The orchestration is lavish: three flutes and piccolo, three or lour oboes, an English horn, one clarinet in E-flat, two clarinets in B-flat, one bass clarinet, three bassoons, one double-bassoon, eight horns, five trumpets, three trombones, a tenor tuba, a bass tuba, kettledrums, bass drum, snare drum, side drum, cymbals, two harps, and strings (much divided).
The score divides into six parts:
I. The Hero.
II. The Hero's Adversaries.
III. The Hero's Helpmate.
IV. The Hero's Battlefield.
V. The Hero's Works of Peace.
VI. The Hero's Release from the World, and the Fulfilment of his Life.
As "Don Quixote." is an extension of the variation form, and "Till" maintains the skeleton of a rondo, "Ein Heldenleben" has been described by analysts as a vast symphonic movement. The first two parts
[ nl
may be called the first subject elaborately laid out with many subsidiary themes: the "Hero's Helpmate" provides the contrasting second subject; the "Battlefield" is the working out of these themes, culminating in a sort of recapitulation; the last two sections are as a coda of extreme length.
I. The Hero. -The Hero's principal theme is stated at once by the horns and strings -broad and sweeping with wide skips -full of energy and assurance. If this particular Tone Poem is a character study rather than a narration, it cannot be expected that the composer draw his hero complete in the first outline. As the complex of the score is built up with numerous derivative phrases and secondary themes, the character gains appreciably in stature and dignity (the picture becomes still more full-rounded as the hero is presented in relation to life, ennobled by love, hardened by attack, exalted by achievement, ultimately mellowed and reconciled to his environment by the finer qualities which his soul's growth has attained). The section ends with a thunderous assertion of power, after which the ensuing complaints of his antagonists, mean and carping, sound petty indeed.
II. The Hero's Adversaries. -This picture was drawn too sharply in the judgment of the early hearers of "Ein Heldenleben." Strauss went so far in depicting their whining stupidities that the composer's unshakable enthusiasts felt called upon to draw a new definition for "beauty," a new boundary for permissible liberties in descriptive suggestion. The themes of the hero's critics are awkward and sidling; in the wood wind "scharf," "spitzig," "schnarrend," in the bass grubby and sodden. The hero's answering comment is disillusioned, saddened, but at last he is goaded to an emphatic and strong retort.
III. The Hero's Helpmate. -As with his hero, Strauss unfolds his heroine gradually, in the course of his development. Her voice
(which is that of the violin solo in increasingly ornate cadenzas) is at first capricious and wilful -refuses to blend and become one with the music the orchestra is playing. But gradually the pair reach a harmonious understanding. Their two voices become one as the score grows richer in texture and develops a love song in which the orchestra builds up a lyric opulence and tonal splendor such as none but Strauss could achieve. At a point where the music rests upon a soft chord long held, the theme of the adversaries is heard, as if in the distance.
IV. The Hero's Battlefield.--A trumpet fanfare (off stage at first) breaks the glamorous spell with a challenge to battle, which is soon raging with every ounce of Strauss' technique cf color, his prodi[12]
gious contrapuntal resource called into play. The hero is assailed with drums and brass in assembled array; but his theme retorts with proud assurance of strength, further fortified in a repetition of the love music which has gone before. Again the orchestra rises to a full and impressive climax -a song of triumph.
V. The Hero's Works of Peace.-But triumph of this sort is without lasting satisfaction. The music from this point grows less exultant, becomes more reflective and "inward," seeking deeper currents. The hero's "works of peace" are recalled in themes from Strauss's earlier works: phrases are heard from "Don Juan," "Zarathustra," "Tod und Verkldrung," "Don Quixote," "Macbeth," "Guntram" "Till Eulenspiegel," and "Trauni durch die Dammerung." The beloved consort is also remembered. The cunning skill of the composer in weaving a string of unrelated subjects into a continuous and plausible musical narrative is a passing Straussian wonder.
VI. The Hero's Release from the World, and the Fulfilment of his Life. --There is a final conflict with the forces of hate, but this time it is soon resolved. The protagonist has at last found peace with himself. There are flitting recollections of his past life, but placid resignation now possesses him. The music at last sublimates on themes of the hero, through which the violin solo is intertwined.
ENTR'ACTE
COUPLE THE TUBAS
NOTES UPON SIBELIUS
By Frank Baker
E chimera of journalistic quixotry cuts infinite capers upon -L most artists of repute. Hardy was the G. O. M. of English literature; Gauguin cut off far more than his ear; Lawrence was the leprechaun sitting on the heavy shoulder of Mrs. Grundy; Elgar was fond, both of racing and Bernard Shaw (a curious, perhaps significant combination); Masefield is the ragged sailor-poet; Pavlova was the dying swan.
Similarly, Sibelius is still the barbarian, the demi-God on an avalanche, the bare tree swaying upon the barest mountain of the north,
Strauss' audiences and critics have too long been bothered by this conclusive evidence that the composer was describing himself all along, erecting in this score a monument to his own conceit. All introspective fiction is autobiographical, and Strauss could not have immersed himself so completely into his epic without portraying his own character. His real offense was in openly admitting and vaunting the fact. Shocking audacities have a way of losing their edge and interest as the next generation, and the next, come along. All that is finally asked is the worth of the music -as music.
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the mouthpiece of an ancient race, the oracle of primitivism, the apostle of the axe, the mournful child of yet more mournful nature. Above all, he is the peasant -one must never be allowed to forget that. The legend grows. He cannot talk; he growls like a wolf. He spits; he drinks fire; he lives in a log-hut and has never been seen in a town. Does he write with a pen Oh, Heavens no! The terrible fellow composes with an ice-axe, hewing notes out of an iceberg; floats into the north pole upon a raft of open fifths.
Mr. Cecil Gray, in his admirable study of Sibelius, entirely disintegrates all these fanciful pictures, but in the minds of most people, even musicians who should know better, Sibelius is still the rude, morose invader from the Arctic wastes -one who is more akin to Shackleton than to Beethoven.
Who loosed this rulous fiend upon the clear field of music As long ago as 1922 we have Mr. Rosenfeld, apparently a critic of some importance, writing in his book "Musical Portraits": -"The orchestral combinations of Sibelius seem to have passed over black torrents and desolate moorlands, through pallid sunlight and grim primeval forests . . . the instrumentation is all wet grays and blacks . . . the works are full of the gnawing of bassoons and the bleakness of the English horn, full of shattering trombones and screaming violins, of the sinister rolling of drums, etc., etc."
Of the man he paints this stark picture:
"There are times when he comes into the concert room like some man of a former age . . . some spare knotted barbarian from the world of the sagas . . . like one who might have been comrade to pelted warriors who fought with clubs and hammers, who might have beaten out a rude music by black smoking hearthsides. . . ."
And for the popular nationalist conception of Sibelius, we have this remarkable statement:
"It was with the sanction of a people that Sibelius came to his task."
Such a statement as his last cannot be defended upon any principle whatsoever. It is indeed the most dangerous and damning label one could possibly attach to any artist. To state that a man of Sibelius' rare genius spoke with the sanction of his people is little better than saying that when God had created the world, man heartily approved of it. Alone in so far as an artist inherits the racial instincts and memories of his native country, can it be said that his environment bears any relation to his art. To deliver Sibelius in a neat little paper parcel labelled "Finland," is synonymous with delivering wheat as Hovis bread.
The clanger of such criticism as Mr. Rosenfeld's lies in the fact that many sensitive musicians, ignorant of Sibelius and approaching
[1.1]
him for the first time through ihe essay I have quoted, would shun the composer's works with an impatient mutter of "Pomp and Circumstance . . . Kipling. . . ."
And the barbaric role, so picturesquely developed even in creditable journals, is as manifestly untrue. Punch, in a review of Lambert's book "Music Ho," recently referred to "the austere Sibelius." "And strange to say," the passage runs -"the only foreign master of whom the composer of the exhilarating Rio Grande writes with genuine admiration, is the austere Sibelius." (My italics.) Nobody, of course, reads Punch for music criticism, but since musicians sometimes read Punch, one is inclined to suggest that Mr. Punch's staff of Learned Clerks should get Mr. Percy Scholes to come and talk to them.
There are the programmatic pieces, better known to English audiences, as "Tone Poems" generally are. (In passing, when will a musical term replace that dreadful hybrid) En Saga is a glacial adventure: The Swan dark as Charon himself: Pohjola's Daughter clattering with heroic hooves, skittering with coy feminine defiance. In these works it is easy to see the popular Sibelius legend, which has anyhow, once and for all, been consecrated for the "plain man" in Valse Triste and Finlandia. But what magnificent potboilers! It is amusing and instructive to recollect that as a choirboy, my accomplices and myself took delight in begging the organist periodically to play Finlandia. It was generally an end-of-term event. "And," we would chorus, our young eyes glued on four manuals of Mr. Willis at his best, "mind you couple the tubas, Sir, at the end."
Couple the tubas. And it is the very thing which in the long run Sibelius did not do, which perhaps distinguishes him from most of his contemporaries, who couple anything they can lay their hands upon. For -always allowing that I have not, to my shame, yet heard the 4th symphony -when you have gone through the symphonies and other pieces, there remains to you Tapiola, which in spite, I say deliberately, in spite of the programme with which it is burdened, carries you to the end of the perilous journey upon which Sibelius has led you. It is an experience, this music called Tapiola, one should guardedly say no more than that. Yet how resist intense admiration for the mind that could, from so slight a germ, evolve so mighty an argument Or ever doubt that in the shape of that final long chord, reached after what seems a universe of dreadful striving --Sibelius commences an existence where Beethoven also commenced it in the final quartets -The Chesterian, January, 1935.
[15]
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[Fifty-filth Season, 1935-1936] Dr. SERGE KOUSSEVITZKY, Conductor
Personnel
Violins
BURGIN, R.
Concert-master
THEODOROWICZ, J. HANSEN, E. LEIBOVICI, J.
KNUDSON, C. MAYER, P.
ELCUS, G. GUNDERSEN, R.
MARIOTTI, V. PINFIELD, C.
ZUNG, M. DIAMOND, S.
LAUCA, N. KASSMAN, N.
SAUVLET, H. CHERKASSKY, P.
RKSNIKOFF, V. EISLER, D.
FEDOROVSKY, P. LEVEEN, P.
BEALE, M. DEL SORDO, R.
TAPLEY, R. KRIPS, A.
CORODETZKY, L. FIEDLER, B.
BRYANT, M. MURRAY, J.
STONESTREET, L. ERKELENS, H.
MESSINA, S. SEINIGER, S.
Violas
lefranc, j. arti£res, l.
BEDETTI, J. ZIGHERA, A.
I
FOUREL, G. ¦ CAUHAPE, J. j
BERNARD, A.
VAN WYNBERGEN, C.
GROVER, H. WERNER, H.
AVIERINO, N. GERHARDT, S.
DEANE, C. JACOB, R.
HUMPHREY, G.
Violoncellos
LANCENDOEN, J. BARTH, C.
CHARDON, Y. DROECHMANS, H.
STOCKBRIDGE, C. WARNKE, J.
FABRIZIO, E. MARJOLLET, L. ZIMIILER, J.
Basses
KUNZE, M. I
vondrak, a. i
Flutes laurent, c.
BLADET, C.
amerena, p. Piccolo
MADSEN, C.
Horns
bof.ttcher, c. macdonald, w.
VALKENIER, W.
gebhardt, w. Tuba
ADAM, E.
Organ
SNOW, A.
LEMAIRE, J. MOLEUX, C.
LUDWIG, O. FRANK.EL, I.
(MRARD, H. DUFRESNE, G.
JUHT, L.
Oboes gillet, f. devergie, j. stanislaus, h.
English Horn
SI'EYER, L.
Horns
valkenier, w. lannoye, m. SINGER, J.
lorbeer, h.
Harps zighera, b. caughey, e.
Piano sanroma', j.
Clarinets
l'OLATSCHI-.K, V. VALERIC), M. MAZZEO, R.
Eb Clarinet Bass Clarinet mimart, p. Trumpets
MAGER, G. LAFOSSE, M. VOISIN, R. L. VOISIN, R. MANN, J.
Timpani szulc, r. polster, m.
Cfxesta fiedler, a.
Bassoons laus, a.
AI.LARD, R. panenka, e.
Contra-Bassoon piller, b.
Trombones raichman, j. hansotte, l. lilleback, w.
ADAM, E.
Percussion sternburg, s.
WHITE, L.
arcieri, e.
Librarian rogers, l. j.
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