UMS Concert Program, January 14, 1936: Fifty-seventh Annual Choral Union Concert Series -- St. Louis Symphony Orchestra
Complete Series: 2313
Hill Auditorium, Ann Arbor, Michigan
UNIVERSITY MUSICAL SOCIETY
CHARLES A. SINK, PRESIDENT EARL V. MOORE, MUSICAL DIRECTOR
Sixth Concert 1935-1936 Complete Series 2313
Choral Union Concert Series
ST. LOUIS SYMPHONY ORCHESTRA
Vladimir Golschmann, Conductor
Tuesday, January 14, 1936, at 8:15 Hill Auditorium, Ann Arbor, Michigan
PROGRAM Overture to "Oberon".........von Weber
Symphony No. 7 in A major, Op. 92......Beethoven
Poco sostenuto: Vivace Allegretto Scherzo: Presto Allegro con brio
Tone Poem, "Tod und Verklarung" (Death and
Transfiguration), Op. 24 . . . . . . Strauss
Symphonic Fragments from the Ballet "Daphnis
and Chloe" (Second Suite No. 2)......Ravel
o) Lever de Jour (Daybreak)
c) Danse Generate
The Steinway Piano and the Skinner Organ are the official concert instruments of the University Musical Society
ARS LONGA VITA BREVIS
By Harry R. Burke
Overture to the Opera "Oberon"...........Weber
(Born at Eutin, Oldenberg, December 18, 1786; died at London, June 5, 1826)
The spirit of fairy is evoked by Weber at the very introduction to the overture (Adagio sostetiuto ed il tutto pianissimo possibile, D Major, 4-4) when the magic horn of Oberon is answered by muted strings. The flutes and clarinets have a figure belonging to the first scene of the opera, the Introduction and Chorus of Elves in Oberon's palace. There is a pianissimo march, and a brief passage of exquisite dreaming among the strings, which ends in the violas. Then with a full crashing orchestral chord the Overture enters upon its main body (Allegro con fuoco, D Major 4-4) with an opening figure founded on the accompaniment figure of the quartet Over the Dark Blue Waters from Act II. Now the horn of Oberon is heard and a tripping little fairy figure answers. Clarinet, and then first violins, sing the second theme, which comes from Sir Huon's air in Act I. Then (presto con fuoco), a theme from the aria, Ocean! Thou mighty monster, is given to violins and with it the first part of the overture is ended. Follows the Free Fantasia with the first theme being worked out in short periods, and a new theme introduced in fugato against a contrapuntal counter theme running through the strings. This is developed simply and the Ocean! Thou mighty monster theme returns to bring the overture to a spirited close.
Symphony No. 7 in A Major, Opus 92........Beethoven
(Born at Bonn, December 16 (), 1770; died March 26, 1827, at Vienna)
Perhaps none of the Immortal Nine is so personal--not in the sense of ideals, as the Eroica; not in the sense of story as the Pastoral; not in the sense of experience, as the Fifth. But in the sense of Character. Here are the poetry and tenderness, the gentle speculative humors, the sky-scaling spirit of the master. But here is, too, the earthboundness of that spirit; the rough and boisterous fun, the camaraderie of his "unbuttoned" moments. It is Beethoven's genius in pouring flood, in Dionysiac abandon; reconciling in beauty an earthbound man and the aspirations of that man's soul. And the man was Ludwig van Beethoven.
I. Introduction. Poco sostenuto (A Major, 4-4); Vivace (A Major, 6-8). The main body of the movement presents the principal theme in the flute against wood-wind, horns, and strings. The second subject, entering in violins and flutes, has a similar rhythmic character.
II. Allegretto. (A Minor, 2-4). The chief theme was originally conceived for the String Quartet in C, Op. 59, No. 5. A persistent rhythm is characteristic throughout the movement. The Trio is introduced by clarinet (in A Major) and, after the opening subject returns in the original key, there is a fugato based upon the principal theme.
III. Presto. (F Major, 3-4). This is a Scherzo, though the composer did not call it so. The Trio (Presto ineno assai), in D Major 3-4, is introduced by the clarinet against a sustained A in the violins. Abbe Stadler believed the Trio to be based upon an old Pilgrim's hymn common in lower Austria.
IV. Allegro con brio. (A Major, 2-4). Thompson, the Edinburgh publisher, had arranged with Beethoven for the harmonization of a collection of Irish songs. The beautiful melody of one of these, Nora Creina, is the subject of this Finale which, through a lengthy Coda, builds to a magnificent climax.
"Tod und Verklarung" ("Death and Transfiguration")
Tone Poem for Full Orchestra, Op. 24.......Strauss
(Born at Munich, June 11, 1864; now living in Vienna)
On the published score appears a poem written at the request of Strauss by his friend, Alexander Ritter. The following version by an anonymous British translator will serve as a program for the "tone poem":
"A sick man lies on his mattress in poor and squalid garret, lit by the flickering glare of a candle burnt almost to its stump. Exhausted by a desperate fight with death he has sunk into sleep; no sound breaks the silence of approaching dissolution, save the low monotonous ticking of a clock on the wall. A plaintive smile from time to time lights up the man's wan features as life's last-limit dreams are telling him of childhood's golden days.
"But death will not long grant his victim sleep and dreams. Dreadly it plucks at him, and once again begins the strife; desire of life against might of death! A gruesome combat! Neither yet gains the victory; the dying man sinks back upon his couch and silence reigns once more.
"Weary from struggling, reft of sleep, in the delirium of fever he sees his life unrolled before him, stage by stage. First, the dawn of childhood, radiant with pure innocence. Next, youth, who tests and practices his forces for manhood's fight. And then the man in battle for life's greatest prize; to realize a high ideal, and make it all the higher by his act--this the proud aim that shapes his course. Cold and scornful, the world heaps obstacle after obstacle in his path; deems he the goal at hand, a voice of thunder bids him 'Halt!'--'Let each hindrance be thy ladder,' thinks he. 'Higher, ever higher, mount!' And so he climbs, and so he urges, breathless with hallowed fire. All that his heart had ever longed for he seeks still in death's last sweat--seeks, but never finds it! Though now he sees it more and more plainly; though it looms before him, yet can ne'er embrace it wholly, ne'er put the last touch to his endeavor. Then sounds the iron stroke of Death's chill hammer; breaks the earthly shell in twain; enshrouds the eye with pall of night.
"But now from on high come sounds of triumph; what here on earth he sought in vain, from heaven greets him: Deliverance, Transfiguration!"
Orchestral Fragments from "Daphnis and Chloe," a Ballet in One Act.
Second Series:--"Daybreak"--"Pantomime"--"General Dance" . Ravel
(Born at Ciboure, Basses-Pyrenees, March 7, 187S)
To Sergei Diaghileff and his Ballet Russe we owe this music. He had arranged with Ravel for the music in 1910, and it was expected to be produced the following year, but not until June 5, 1912, was the first performance given at the Chalet. Nijinsky mimed Daphnis, Mme. Karsavina was the Chloe. Pierre Monteux conducted. Fokine made the scenario for the ballet from a romance by the Fourth Century Greek sophist, Longus. The scenery and costumes were by Bakst. Fokine's choreography was inspired, it was confided, by a study of the decoration of old Greek vases, such as those of the remarkable collection in our own City Art Museum.
The story of the ballet may be summarized thus: Daphnis and Chloe, participating in a religious dance before the altar of the nymphs, become aware of their love for each other through the jealousy aroused as the young men crowd about Chloe or the maidens embrace Daphnis. Dorco, a bumpkin, and Daphnis dance in contest for the reward of Chloe's kiss, which the crowd has proposed. Dorco's dancing is, of course, grotesque. Daphnis and Chloe embrace and the awakened shepherdess runs away, while Daphnis dreaming of his love cannot be aroused by the invitation of the other maidens.
Now pirates, raiding the coast, invade the scene. Daphnis runs, to find and succor Chloe, who returns to the sanctuary in his absence and is seized by the pirates. Daphnis returning finds her sandal, and cursing the gods falls inanimate. Night falls, and the statues of the nymphs, one by one, descend from their pedestals, consoling Daphnis and invoking Great Pan who emerges from a rock.
In the pirate's camp Briaxis, their chief, woos Chloe. She performs a dance of pleading, strange lights gleam in the night, and Pan, appearing on a cloud, rescues and enfolds the maiden.
Again the scene of the sanctuary. Companions find Daphnis and return
Chloe to him, so that he knows his dream has been a prophecy and that Pan has intervened. Then Lammon, an old countryman, explains that Pan did this in memory of his love of Syrinx, and all join in a dance to commemorate that ancient story of love and to celebrate the nuptials of Daphnis and Chloe.
That part of the ballet from which the music of this second suite is excerpted concerns itself with the reunion of Daphnis and Chloe, their commemoration of Pan and Syrinx and their nuptials. An argument prefacing the score has been done into English by that indefatigable scholar, Mr. Philip Hale, thus:
". . . No sound but the murmur of rivulets fed by the dew that trickles from the rock. 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 others' 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 plays upon it 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 Kolisch String Quartet in the Choral Union Series, Monday, January 20.
The Detroit Symphony Orchestra, Bernardino Molinari, guest conductor, in Choral Union Series, Friday, January 24.
Palmer Christian in organ recitals, Sunday, January 19; and Wednesday, January 29, at 4:15. (Complimentary.)
Forty-third Annual May Festival
Four days--May 13, 14, 15, 16, 1936--Six Concerts.
The Philadelphia Orchestra,
Leopold Stokowski, Conductor
The University Choral Union, Earl V. Moore, Conductor
The Young People's Festival Chorus, Tuva Higbee, Conductor
"Requiem" (in memory of Alessandro Manzoni) . . Verdi
"The Children at Bethlehem"...... Pierne
Negotiations are pending with an imposing list of celebrated soloists, both vocal and instrumental.
Notice: The right is reserved to make such changes in the dates and artists announced as necessity may require. While wide and prompt publicity is given to dates thus changed, to avoid inconvenience it is suggested that, so far as possible, out-oftown guests confirm the dates in advance.