UMS Concert Program, December 10: Fifty-eighth Annual Choral Union Concert Series - 1936
(This is the program provided by the Boston Symphony Orchestra for this concert. You can also view the UMS program).
Complete Series: 2388
Hill Auditorium Ann Arbor
Thursday Evening, December 10
Fifty-Eighth Annual Choral Union Coiicert Series, of the UnivERSiTY of Michigan Auspices, University Musical Society
The names, faces and brief histories of all the players -'TheBoston Symphony Orchestra
By GEROME BRUSH
A book of 109 charcoal portraits with biographical sketches by
Edward Weeks of the Atlantic Monthly, in his foreword, observes:
"Mr. Gerome Brush has performed a public service. He has singled out the black and white keys of one of the greatest instruÂments in the world. With the strokes of his crayon and the symÂpathy of his pen he has brought to light the individuality of the one hundred and nine members of the Boston Symphony. Each musician sat for him in the little room that houses the Casadesus Collection; each played for him a solo in order to banish the last vestige of self-consciousness, and from each he has drawn comments, bits of personal history, and the gleam of aspirations which are characteristic.
"This book should enlarge our power of musical appreciation."
Printed by D. B. Updike, the Merrymount Press -232 pages, royal octavo size (7 1316 x 10 inches).
Copies on sale at your bookseller's or write to Symphony Hall, Boston. Price, $1.50. (A limited edition, specially bound and signed by Mr. Brush, is available at $5.)
Hill Auditorium Ittteraitg af Hirfjtgatt Ann Arbor
FIFTY-SIXTH SEASON, 1936-1937
Boston Symphony Orchestra
SERGE KOUSSEVITZKY, Conductor RICHARD BURGIN, Assistant Conductor
THURSDAY EVENING, December 10
with historical and descriptive notes By John N. Burk
COPYRIGHT, 1936, BY BOSTON SYMPHONY ORCHESTRA, Inc.
The OFFICERS and TRUSTEES of the BOSTON SYMPHONY ORCHESTRA, Inc.
Bentley W. Warren........President
Henry B. Sawyer........ Vice-President
Ernest B. Dane.........Treasurer
Allston Burr Henry B. Cabot Ernest B. Dane Alvan T. Fuller N. Penrose Hallowell M. A. De Wolfe Howe
Roger I. Lee Richard C. Paine Henry B. Sawyer Pierpont L. Stackpole Edward A. Taft Bentley W. Warren
G. E. Judd, Manager
C. W. Spalding, Assistant Manager
Boston Symphony Orchestra
[Fifty-sixth Season, 1936-1937] SERGE KOUSSEVITZKY, Conductor
THEODOROWICZ, ). HANSF.N, E. LEIBOVia, J.
KNUDSON, C. MAYER, P.
ELCUS, G. GUNDERSEN, R.
LAUGA, N. KASSMAN, N.
SAUVLET, H. CHERKASSKY, P.
KESNIKOFF, V. EISLER, D.
MARIOTTI, V. PINFIELD, C.
ZUNC, M. DIAMOND S.
FEDOROVSKY, P. LEVEEN, P.
BEALE, M. DEL SORDO, R.
TAPLEY, R. KRIPS, A.
GORODETZKY, U FIEDLER, B.
BRYANT, M. MURRAY, J.
STONESTRF.ET, L. ERKELENS, H.
MESSINA, S. SEINIGF.R, S.
LEFRANC, J. ARTIERES, L.
FOUREL, G. CAUHAPE, J.
VAN WYNBERGEN, C.
GROVER, H. WERNER, H.
AVIERINO, N. CERHARDT, S.
JACOB, R. HUMPHREY, C.
BEDETTl, J. ZIGHERA, A.
EANGENDOEN, ]. BARTH, C.
CHARDON, Y. DROEGHMANS, H.
STOCKBRIDGE, C. WARNKE, J.
FABRIZIO, E. MARJOLLET, ZIMBLER, J.
KUNZE, M. VONDRAK, A.
LEMAIRE, ]. MOLEUX, G.
LUDWIG, O. FRANKEL, I.
r.IRARD, H. DUFRESNE, C.
Flutes laurent, g.
amerena, p. Piccolo
Horns freiberg, g. macdonald, w.
gebhardt, w. Tuba
SNOW, A. 
Oboes gillet, f. devergie, j. stanislaus, h.
English Horn spever, l.
valkenier, w. valkenier, b. lannoye, m. lorbeer, h.
Harps zighera, b. caughey, e.
Piano sanroma, j.
Clarinets polatschek, v. valerio, m.
Eb Clarinet Bass Clarinet mimart, p
MAGER, G. LAFOSSE, M. VOISIN, R. L. VOISIN, R. MANN, J.
Timpani szulc, R. polster, m.
Celesta fiedler, a.
ALLARD, R. PANENKA, E. LAUS, A.
Trombones raichman, j. hansotte, l. lilleback, w.
Percussion sternburc, s.
Librarian rogers, l. j.
Hill Attbttornmt Inttaratg nf Utrljtgan Ann Arbnr
Boston Symphony Orchestra
FIFTY-SIXTH SEASON, 1936-1937 SERGE KOUSSEVITZKY, Conductor
THURSDAY EVENING, December 10
Berlioz..................Overture, "The Roman Carnival," Op. 9
Wagner..................................Prelude to "Lohengrin"
Mendelssohn...........Scherzo in G minor from the Octet, Op. 20
(arranged for orchestra by the composer)
Sowerby........Concerto for Piano and Orchestra No. 2 in E major
Beethoven..................Symphony No. 5 in C minor, Op. 67
I. Allegro con brio II. Andante con moto
III. I Allegro: Trio
IV. 1 Allegro
SOLOIST JOSEPH BRINKMAN
OVERTURE, "LE CARNAVAL ROMAIN," Op. 9 By Hector Berlioz
Born at La Cdte Saint-Andre, December 11, 1803; died at Paris, March g, 1869
Travelling about Europe and conducting orchestras in city after city, Berlioz found certain orchestral numbers, such as the exÂcerpts from "The Damnation of Faust" or "Romeo and Juliet" exÂtremely serviceable. Of this sort was his overture "The Roman CarniÂval." He could usually count upon making something of a sensation, as when it was performed at Vienna and, to use his own words, "it exploded like a mass of fireworks, and was encored with a noise of feet and hands never heard except in Vienna." Elsewhere the piece had different fortunes, such as at St. Petersburg, where, amidst loud acclaÂmations for other of his works, it passed scarcely noticed. "A Viennese would hardly credit this," wrote Berlioz in his memoirs, "but scores have their destiny, like books and dramas, roses and thistles."
If destiny smiled almost invariably upon "The Roman Carnival," such was not the case with the opera, "Benvenuto Cellini," from which it was derived (The "Roman Carnival" Overture was origiÂnally the introduction to the second act of the opera). The concert overture was fjrst performed at the Salle Herz, Paris, February 3, 1844, when the composer conducted, and his work was enthusiastically encored. Berlioz did not always meet with such unanimous favor in his own city. The results were very different when "Benvenuto Cellini" was first produced at the Opera six years earlier (September 10, 1838). To Berlioz a pronounced success at the Opera was a very vital matter. Much in need of the assurance of an official position with a fixed inÂcome, he never received more than scant or grudging favor from the Conservatoire, while at the Opera, where a reasonable recognition would have solved his financial harassment once and for all, he inÂvariably met with veiled hostility or evasion. Whereupon Berlioz reÂmained a feuilletonist, a routine which he fulfilled with violent disÂlike. Forced to promote his music by concerts of his own arranging, he would engage battalions of players and, as often as not, find himself bankrupt when the affair was over. These were reasons why such a venture as "Benvenuto Cellini" was of extreme importance to him.
Berlioz, so he tells us in his memoirs, became enamoured of certain episodes in the life of Benvenuto Cellini as likely material for an opera, and prevailed upon Leon de Wailly and Auguste Barbier to make a libretto for him. The composer talked Duponchel, the Di
rector of the Opera, into accepting it for production. The conductor was Habeneck -unfortunately for Berlioz, for there had long been a coolness between the two men. Habeneck conducted the rehearsals, according to Berlioz, with open indifference. "He never could catch the lively turn of the saltarello danced and sung on the Piazza Colonna in the middle of the second act. The dancers, not being able to adapt themselves to his dragging time, complained to me, and I kept on repeating, 'Faster, faster! Put more life into it!' Habeneck struck the desk in irritation, and broke one violin bow after another. Having witnessed four or five of such outbursts, I ended at last by saying, with a coolness that exasperated him: 'Good heavens! if you were to break fifty bows, that would not prevent your time from being too slow by half. It is a saltarello that you are conducting!' At that Habeneck stopped, and, turning to the orchestra, said: 'Since I am not fortunate enough to please M. Berlioz, we will leave off for to-day. You can go.' And there the rehearsal ended."
Members of the orchestra, "in hopes of flattering Habeneck," played snatches from popular songs while rehearsals were in progress, and "the male dancers amused themselves by pinching the women, making them shriek and shrieking themselves, to the great disturbance of the chorus." When the performance at last took place, "the overÂture received exaggerated applause, and the rest was hissed with adÂmirable energy and unanimity." The opera was shelved after three performances.
Berlioz wrote: "It is fourteen years since I was thus dragged to execution at the Opera; and rereading my poor score with strict imÂpartiality, I cannot help recognising in it a variety of ideas, an imÂpetuous verve, and a brilliancy of musical colouring which I shall probably never again achieve, and which deserved a better fate." The opera had occasional performances in other cities.
When Berlioz conducted his "Roman Carnival" Overture, Habeneck attended the performance, so the composer tells us, in the hope of witÂnessing a catastrophe, for he had heard that the rehearsals had had to be held without wind players. When the orchestra came to the famous saltarello which Habeneck had dragged, everything went well. "I started the allegro in the whirlwind tempo of the Trasteverine dancers. The audience shouted 'Bis!' We played the Overture over again, and it went even better the second time. I went to the foyer and found Habeneck. He was rather disappointed. As I passed him, I flung at him these words: 'Now you see what it really is!' He carefully reÂfrained from answering me."
The Overture begins with the theme of the saltarello brilliantly announced. Over a pizzicato accompaniment, the English horn then
sings a love song of Benvenuto, from the first act. The theme is deÂveloped in counterpoint. The main body of the overture begins with a theme for the strings, taken from a chorus in the second act. The saltarello returns to bring the conclusion.
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PRELUDE TO "LOHENGRIN"
By Richard Wagner Born at Leipzig, May 22, 1813; died at Venice, February 13,
In March of 1848, Wagner put the last touches upon his "LohenÂgrin' and in May of that year his political activities resulted in his exile from Germany. He therefore had no hand in the early productions of the work, nor did he hear it until May 15, 1861, in Vienna, following his pardon and return. "Lohengrin" had its first performance at the instigation of his ministering friend, Liszt, August 28, 1850, with such forces, scarcely adequate, as the court at Weimar permitted. It found favor, and in the next few years went the rounds of the principal opera houses of Germany and Austria.
The Prelude is based upon a single motive of the Holy Grail. The explanation of the composer follows:
"Love seemed to have vanished from a world of hatred and quarÂrelling; as a lawgiver she was no longer to be found among the comÂmunities 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 acÂcount 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 super-sensuous 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 alÂlowed to bring it forward as an object for the mental receptive power of his hearers."
SCHERZO IN G MINOR, FROM THE OCTET, Op. 20 (Arranged for Orchestra by the composer)
By Felix Mendelssohn-Bartholdy Born at Hamburg, February 3, 1809; died at Leipzig, November 4, 1847
In April 1829, the youthful Mendelssohn bade a tender good-by to his father and Rebecka at Hamburg, and sailed for England. It was the first stretch of a period of extended travelling, in which he was not only to give concerts, but to see the world, and "form his character and manners." The twenty-year-old Berliner, after recovering from an exhausting voyage and seeing the sights of London under the tutelage of Moscheles, made his first public appearance before the London PhilÂharmonic Society at the Argyll rooms on May 25. Old John Cramer "led him to the piano as if he were a young lady" reports Moscheles. Felix also conducted his "First" Symphony in C minor (which he had composed in 1824), substituting, however, the Scherzo from his string Octet for the minuet and trio. He had made an orchestral score of the Scherzo for the occasion. He was received with great enthusiasm (much to the gratification of the aspiring musician, whose music had had a mixed reception recently in Berlin) and the Scherzo "was obstinately encored against his wish" (again according to Moscheles). Mendelssohn afterwards presented the score of the Symphony to the Society. The orchestrated Scherzo was acquired by Novello and Co., and first pubÂlished by them in 1911.
The Scherzo, "sempre pianissimo e leggiero" is a score of characterÂistically delicate point and grace. It is arranged for two flutes, two oboes, two clarinets in B-flat, two bassoons, horns, trombones, timpani and strings.
The Octet itself was written by the 16-year-old Mendelssohn in 1825. The sympathetic and understanding Fanny gives her impressions of her brother's early Scherzo:
"Only to me did he tell what he had in mind. The whole piece should be played staccato and pianissimo: The peculiar tremulous shuddering, the light flashing mordents, all is new, strange, and yet so interesting, so intimate, that one feels near the world of ghosts, lightly borne aloft; yes, one might take in hand a broomstick, to follow better the aerial crowd. At the end, the first violin flutters upward, light as a feather -and all vanishes away."
The Octet was performed by the string sections of this Orchestra November 7, 1885, and again on November 26, 1920. The Scherzo in its orchestral form was introduced by Adrian Boult as guest conductor, January 11, 1935.
Coming Musical Events
Choral Union Concerts
Josef Hofmann, Pianist......Monday, December 14
Detroit Symphony Orchestra .... Friday, January IS
Bernardino Molinari, Guest Conductor Gregor Piatigorsky, Violoncellist . . . Monday, January 25
Artur Schnabel, Pianist.....Tuesday, February 23
Nelson Eddy, Baritone ... Thursday, March 25
(Please note that Mr. Eddy will appear Thursday, March 25, instead of on the
date announced on tickets and elsewhere.)
Forty-fourth Annual May Festival
Â¦ Six Concerts: May 12, 13, 14, 15, 1937
The Philadelphia Orchestra Eugene Ormandy, Conductor Jose Iturbi, Guest Conductor
The University Choral Union Young People's Festival Chorus Earl V. Moore, Conductor Juva N. Higbee, Conductor
Organ Recital Series
Complimentary at 4:15 Wednesday, February 17......Arthur Poister
Professor Poister, Guest Organist, is Professor of Organ at the University of Redlands.
Faculty Concert Series
Complimentary at 4:15
Sunday, January 24 ... University Symphony Orchestra Sunday, January 31 (Bach Recital) . Palmer Christian, Organist
Sunday, February 21.......Faculty Concert
Sunday, March 7 .... University Symphony Orchestra
Sunday, March 21........Faculty Concert
Sunday, April 4 .... University Symphony Orchestra
Notices: 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-of-town guests confirm the dates in advance.
The concerts in the Faculty and Organ Recital Series are given without admission charge, except that for obvious reasons, small children will not be admitted.
UNIVERSITY MUSICAL SOCIETY
CHARLES A. SINK, PRESIDENT EARL V. MOORE, MUSICAL DIRECTOR
Fifth Concert 1936-1937 Complete Series 2388
Choral Union Concert Series
BOSTON SYMPHONY ORCHESTRA
Serge Koussevitzky, Conductor Soloist: Joseph Brinkman, Pianist
Thursday, December 10, 1936, at 8:15 Hill Auditorium, Ann Arbor, Michigan
Overture, "The Roman Carnival"..........Berlioz
Prelude to "Lohengrin".............Wagner
Scherzo in G minor from the Octet Op. 20.....Mendelssohn
(Arranged for orchestra by the composer)
Concerto No. 2 in E major for Pianoforte and Orchestra . . . Sowerby
Symphony No. 5 in C minor, Op. 67........Beethoven
Allegro con brio Andante con moto Allegro: Trio Allegro
The Boston Symphony Orchestra has been heard in the Choral Union Series on previous occasions as follows: May 16, 1890; May 5, 1891; May 10, 1892; May 19, 1893; January 31, 1913; January 26, 1917; October 27, 1931; October 25, 1932; October 24, 1933; December 11, 1934; and December 11, 1935.
The Steinway Piano and the Skinner Organ are the official concert instruments of the University Musical Society
ARS LONGA VITA BREVIS
CONCERTO NO. 2 FOR PIANOFORTE, in E major
By Leo Sowerby Born May 1, 1895, at Grand Rapids, Mich.
This Concerto, performed from the manuscript, is the second which Leo Sowerby has composed. The sketch was made in the spring of 1932, and the scoring accomplished during the following summer. The work is in one movement, with a semblance of three part form. There is an extended exposition, a slow movement with new thematic maÂterial, and a recapitulation freshly treated, in which the two principal themes are reversed in order. The concerto opens with the first theme which, both in its initial statement and recurrence, is in two parts -the first given to the piano, the second to the orchestra. The second theme, in the dominant B major, occurs at the 85th bar. An extended exposition replaces the customary development. The slow movement, which is likewise built upon two themes, is ushered in by a cadenza-like interlude. When the first theme of the opening section returns, it is elaborated with brilliant piano figuration. The beginning of the coda is indeterminate.
Mr. Sowerby comes of British parents: his father was English, his mother Canadian. At fourteen he went from his native Grand Rapids to Chicago to improve his musical education, and there studied piano with Percy Grainger and Calvin Lampert, and composition with Arthur Olaf Andersen. The organ, however, became his chosen and his professional instrument. In 1921 he was awarded on the merit of his work, and not by competition, the first fellowship of music at the American Academy in Rome.
The following description of Sowerby the composer was made by Alfred H. Meyer for the Boston Transcript, March 11, 1932: "There is probably no factor in modern musical method that Sowerby has not at one time or other explored. Jazz had its inning with two works for Paul Whiteman's orchestra, entitled 'Synconata' and 'Monotony.' . . . His use of modern devices will become evident on the harmonic side ... in his 'Second Symphony' and 'Prairie.' ... It has been said that Sowerby, whose backgrounds have brought him into relatively little contact with the currents of European music, has been able to stick more closely to that which is indigenously American. If one were to mention a single outstanding quality in him, it would probably be his exuberance of spirit, an exuberance so great that it carries a defiÂnite originality inevitably in its train. That this originality sometimes amounts to nothing more or less than waywardness only helps to prove the point. He once said to a friend, in discussing the dictum of certain
The Concerto had its first performance at a concert by this Orchestra in Symphony Hall, Boston, Monday Evening, November 30. Joseph Brhikman was the soloist.
critics that a certain work of his was formless: 'Form, I guess, is doing what they expect you to do.' "
The list of works by Mr. Sowerby is considerable. Of these, the tone poem "Prairie" was performed by this orchestra March 11, 1932. (It was also performed at a Monday evening concert, March 14.) He has also written: Quintet for flute, oboe, clarinet, bassoon and horn (1916); "Set of Four" (1917); the overture, "Comes Autumn Time" (New York Symphony Society, 1918); "Three British Folk-Tune Settings" (Minneapolis Symphony Orchestra, 1919); serenade for string quartet (Berkshire Quartet, March, 1918); trio for flute, viola and piano (Berkshire Festival, September, 1919); concerto for piano and orchesÂtra (lgig); suite for violin and piano (Berkshire Festival, 1921); rhapÂsody for chamber orchestra (1923); sonata for violoncello and piano (Berkshire Festival, September, 1924); "King Estmere," ballad for two pianos and orchestra (Rome, 1923); string quartet (Rome, 1924); piano concerto, first played by Mr. Sowerby, in igso; symphony No. 1 (Chicago, 1922); suite for orchestra, "From the Northland"; "Money Musk," for orchestra (1924); cantata, "The Vision of Sir Launfal" (1926); "Synconata" and "Monotony," written for Paul Whiteman's Orchestra; "Medieval Poem," for organ and orchestra (1926); symÂphony No. 2, B minor (1927-28); symphonic poem, "Prairie" (1929); symphony for organ (1929); Passacaglia, Interlude and Fugue (1931); Sinfonietta for chamber orchestra (1933).
Toseph Brinkman was born in Dubuque, Iowa, December 11, 1901. J He attended the American Conservatory of Music at Chicago, and on graduation completed his studies with Lee Pattison and Artur Schnabel. He became a member of the faculty of the American ConÂservatory in 1929, but shortly obtained a post in the University of Michigan, in Ann Arbor, where he is still in charge of the piano deÂpartment. He has appeared as soloist with the Chicago Symphony Orchestra on several occasions, has toured in sonata recitals with the violinists Renee Chemet and Jacques Gordon, and in recitals of his own, appearing with marked success last season in New York and Chicago.
"GENTLEMEN OF THE ORCHESTRA"
By Lucien Price (In the Boston Globe, Saturday, October io, 1936)
The following appeared in conjunction with the release of the book "The Boston Symphony Orchestra," 109 Portraits and Biographical Sketches, by Gerome Brush.
If a resident company of log eminent actors played the classics of drama from every literature of the ages, giving scores of performances in Boston yearly, the public would be on edge to know their personal histories. This is exactly, in the literature of music (one of the great literatures of the world), what the players of the Boston Symphony Orchestra are, yet it is not until this Autumn, when the orchestra begins its 56th season, that such a volume of charcoal drawings with paragraph biographies of its members makes its appearance -perhaps because, until Mr. Gerome Brush gave us this brilliant performance as artist in both forms, no one knew how entertaining such a volume could be.
Genial and witty, it is at the same time a sociological document. Thirty years ago the orchestra was an exotic hybrid; German, French and Italian grown under glass in Boston. Today the Europeans are still here and so may they always be, for it is a necessity of the art that it take the finest artists wherever they may be had, irrespective of race, nationality, politics, religion or class. During the World War and after, we had a melancholy experience of the opposite. Rent by public dissensions, the Boston orchestra was all but wrecked and sank in four years from its long-held position as the finest in the world down to pallid mediocrity. Under Dr. Koussevitzky it has again risen to where it disputes the primacy with the best on earth.
And now Yankees are in the orchestra by the right of artistic merit. Mr. Brush's sketches tell succinct life-histories of artists from Boston, Lynn (it may be farther from Lynn to Symphony Hall than it is from Warsaw), Rockland, Bridgewater, Melrose, Revere, New Bedford, Vinal Haven, and even from farthest Ohio! who sit as peers with inÂstrumentalists from Paris and Berlin.
The Boston Symphony Orchestra has for more than half a century been, like the Boston Latin School and Harvard University, one of the institutions which give unique distinction to the city, but radio broadcast has recently opened its treasures to poor and rich equally and spread them over the continent, though its maintenance still rests largely on the generosity and loyal affection of people moderÂately well-to-do; and where else, unless it be to relieve crude physical
suffering, can money be given where it can give greater happiness to more people
In personnel the orchestra is a preliminary sketch of an ideal interÂnational society. It is a democracy entirely composed of aristocrats. These charcoal sketches present 109 heads of men, reflective, scholarly, sensitive, fine-grained, every face mirroring the life of intellect and spirit lived by a master musician. World War veterans sit at elbows with voluntary exiles from politically upheaved natal lands and yet, weirdly assorted though their origins sound, there is usually in the story some fated assignation with a beloved musical instrument which reads as though such careers went by destiny.
And to an age of blatantly self-advertising egoism what an example they are of self-effacing modesty! Every man a virtuoso, yet all that you know of them from the programme book is a name and a musical instrument in small print and often you cannot even be sure which one he is. If a solo passage falls to him in the symphonic score, he plays it with a mastery won by nearly a lifetime's diligence, then, at the next bar, glides back again into the anonymous ranks of the orÂchestra, a melodious but nameless voice in the sea of sound.
How long before our modern life, private as well as public, will attain such dignity, such decorum, such high breeding, and such harmony as yours, "Gentlemen of the Orchestra"
FOR THE BALANCE OF DECEMBER FIFTY-SIXTH SEASON, 1936-1937
SERGE KOUSSEVITZKY, Conductor
Dec. ii at 8.30 Dec. 12 at 8.30 Dec. 13 at 3.00 Dec. 17 at 8.00 Dec. 18 at 2.30 Dec. 19 at 8.15 Dec. 22 at 3.00 Dec. 24 at 2.30 Dec. 26 at 8.15
Museum of Art Syria Mosque Syria Mosque Sanders Theatre Symphony Hall Symphony Hall Symphony Hall Symphony Hall Symphony Hall
SYMPHONY NO. 5, IN C MINOR, Op. 67
By Ludwig van Beethoven Bom at Bonn, December 16 (), 1770; died at Vienna, March 26, 1827
There is no date on the manuscript of Beethoven's C minor SymÂphony, but the first performance is on record as having taken place December 22, 1808, when the Pastoral Symphony was also heard for the first time. The sketchbooks indicate that he worked long and intermitÂtently over this symphony. The Fifth and Sixth must have been finished about the same time. It is certain that Beethoven laid his C minor aside to compose the idyllic Fourth, in 1806, the year of his engagement to. Theresa von Brunswick. Thayer attributes the earliest sketches for the Fifth Symphony to 1800 and 1801, which would put its inception even before the " Eroica," of 1802. But the first sketches show no inkling of the significant matter to come. He apparently took it up occasionally while at work upon " Fidelio" and the Fourth Piano Concerto (1804-6). But the Fifth Symphony may be said to have made its real progress from 1805 until the end of 1807, when it was finished near Heiligenstadt. It was dedicated to Prince von Lobkowitz and the Count Rasumovsky. It was published in April, 1809.
Beethoven's Fifth Symphony, like other scores once considered sub versive but long since sanctified by custom, both bewildered and amused its first audiences, not to speak of the orchestras and leaders who were destined to be the first purveyors of its ringing message. It is also to be recorded about the Fifth Symphony, however, that its forceful challenge almost immediately dispelled the first befuddled impressions.
When the Philharmonic Society of London first tried over the C minor Symphony, the players laughed openly, and the " conductor," in reality the concert master, laid it aside as " rubbish." This leader, who was none other than J. P. Salomon, lived to make a brave retracÂtion. Two or three years later, after another trial of the first moveÂment, so relates Thayer, " Salomon laid his violin upon the pianoforte, walked to the front and, turning to the orchestra said (through his nose): ' Gentlemen, some years ago I called this symphony rubbish; I wish to retract every word I then said, as I now consider it one of the greatest compositions I have ever heard!
The very first performance, which Beethoven conducted at the " Theater an der Wien " on December 22, 1808, seems to have made no recorded impression. The Leipzig which had received the " Eroica " with much understanding in 1809, did at least as much for the Fifth, A careful and appreciative analysis appeared in the Allgemeine must-kalische Zeitung (July 11, 1810). M. Habeneck, who had successfully labored for the cause of Beethoven in Paris from the beginning of the
century, brought out the Fifth Symphony at a Conservatoire concert on April 13, 1828, a year after the composer's death. It is eloquent of Habeneck's field work in the Beethoven cause that the symphony was played at each of the four remaining concerts of the season.
Let us turn back from the Habeneck performances, which such enlightened musicians as Wagner considered without equal in Europe, to the curious "Akademie " in Vienna, twenty years earlier (December 22, 1808), when Beethoven labored, with rather pitiable results, to present his C minor symphony to the world. The programme, accordÂing to modern custom, was in itself rather forbidding in bulk. ConÂsisting entirely of " new and unheard " music of Beethoven, it began with the Pastoral Symphony (there numbered " 5 "), the Aria, "Ah, perfido " (Josephine Kilitzky), a Latin hymn for chorus, the Fourth Piano Concerto (played by the composer), the C minor (there numÂbered " 6 "), the sanctus from the Mass in C major, Fantasia for piano solo (improvisation), and the Fantasia for Pianoforte, with orchestra and choral finale. Misfortunes beset Beethoven. There was high feeling between him and the orchestra, on account of an outbreak of temper at a concert in November. He quarrelled with the soloist, and the young and inexperienced singer who took her place grew terrified and gave a miserable exhibition at the concert. Beethoven had thought of putting his C minor Symphony at the end, on account of its effective close, but decided that it would have better attention earlier in the evening. He hurriedly completed his choral fantasia for a concluding number. There was no time for proper rehearsal; some of the parts were still wet at the performance. The consequence: a catastrophe. There was a misunderstanding about a repeat, resulting in a confusion which forced Beethoven to stop the orchestra and begin again, this time without calamity.
Among the several not too contradictory reports of the concert, the following letter of Reichardt is particularly interesting: " I accepted with hearty thanks the kind offer of Prince Lobkowitz to let me sit in his box. There we endured the bitterest cold from half past six to half past ten, and had the experience that it is easy to get too much of a good thing and still more of a loud. Nevertheless, I could no more leave the box before the end than could the exceedingly good-natured and delicate Prince, for the box was in the first balcony near the stage, so that the orchestra and Beethoven conducting it in the middle below us, were near at hand; thus many a failure in the performance vexed our patience in the highest degree. . . . Singers and orchestra were composed of heterogeneous elements, and it had been found impossible
Habeneck, according to Berlioz, took inexcusable liberties with Beethoven's symphonies. In the Scherzo of the Fifth, for example, he cut out the introductory measures for the double-basses, a "Barbarism" which persisted for at least twenty years in Paris. "He doesn't think they sound well. A lesson for Beethoven!"
to get a single full rehearsal for all the pieces to be performed, all being filled with the greatest difficulties."
Schindler, who did not have first hand information of this concert, flatly refused to believe Ries's report of it; he simply could not credit the species of orchestra he knew to exist in Vienna at that time as even attempting several new pieces at once. " It may be rationally assumed, a priori, that to bring out for the first time, and close on the heels of each other, three works of such extent, -M. Ries even adds to them the ' Fantasia for the Pianoforte,' with orchestra and vocal music, -at a period when the orchestra had not attained that degree of perfection which it has in our days, borders on the impossible."
Something in the direct, impelling drive of the motto-like theme which opens the C minor Symphony has both placed it uppermost in popular approval, and challenged the curiosity of the literal-minded for a century past. Many are the readings which various musicians have found. The fertile Berlioz finds in the first movement Beethoven's " most private griefs, his fiercest wrath, his most lonely and desolate meditations, his midnight visions, his bursts of enthusiasm." This movement reminds him of the " terrible rage of Othello."
Sir George Grove, visioning the Countess Theresa von Brunswick as the " immortal beloved," and the inspiration of this, as well as the Fourth Symphony, finds a description of a stormy scene between the excitable master and his child pupil and fiancee of fifteen, as the very picture of the opening movement. The composer had stamped out of the house hatless, into a blizzard, while the alarmed Theresa hurried out after him with his hat and cloak. Sir George found the first and second theme to express " the two characters exactly -the fierce imÂperious composer, who knew how to ' put his foot down,' if the phrase may be allowed, and the womanly, yielding, devoted girl." Against this set the equally assured dictum of d'Indy, who had no doubt in the world that Giulietta Guicciardi was the immortal beloved, partly on the grounds that one to whom Beethoven could find it in his heart to dedicate so " insipid " a piece as the F-sharp minor sonata (namely, Theresa), could not have been the object of any deep passion.
In other words, a programme for the Fifth Symphony is anybody's privilege. Much stock has been placed in the stories that Beethoven once remarked of his first theme: " Thus fate knocks at the door " (Schindler), and that the notes were suggested to him by the call of the yellow-hammer (Ries). Even though these two men may for once have remembered accurately and spoken truly (which in itself is asÂsuming a good deal), the two incidents prove no more than that, in the first case, the completed symphony possibly suggested to its maker, in a passing conversational fancy, the idea of Fate knocking at the door;
in the second case, his musical thought may have seized upon a chance interval and, according to a way he had, developed it into something entirely different. An accidental phrase or rhythm was constantly takÂing musical shape in his imagination -a domain where all things beÂcame pure music, where visual images somehow did not belong.
The sketchbooks tell a more explicit story of the creating brain. The earliest sketches for the opening theme are as vapid and feeble as the final conception is bold and striking. The early sketches for the slow movement, in the first drafts an entirely insignificant minuet, are as far removed from the tender and flowing melody which finally emerged. Perhaps nowhere is the evolution of the conceptual Beethoven more astonishing. From mild and pointless beginnings, there develops through years and concurrently with sketches for other works, a music impetuous, pregnant, and with every aspect of spontaneity.
LONGY SCHOOL OF MUSFC
Boston Symphony Orchestra members of the Longy School Faculty Nobert Lauga, Violin Henri Girard. Double-Bass Paul Mimart, Clarinet
Louis Artidres, Viola Bernard Zighera, Harp Willcm Valkenier, French Horn
Yves Chardon, Cello Gaston Bladet, Flute Georges Mager, Trumpet
Abdon Laus, Bassoon and Saxophone Eugene Adam Trombone and Tuba
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HARRIS S. SHAW
PIANO, ORGAN, MUSICIANSHIP
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SERGE KOUSSEVITZKY, Conductor
Also Sprach Zarathustra .........................................Strauss
Apollon Musagete -Ballet ....................................Stravinsky
Classical Symphony ............................................ProkofiefC
Daphnis et Chloe -Suite No. 2 .....................................Ravel
Frtthlingsstimmen -Waltzes (Voices of Spring)..................Strauss
GymnopSdie No. 1 ....................................Erik Satie-Debussy
Love for Three Oranges --Scherzo and March ..................Prokofieff
Ma M&re L'Oye (Mother Goose) ....................................Ravel
Petrouchka Suite ..............................................Stravinsky
Pictures at an Exhibition...............................Moussorgsky-Ravel
Symphony No. 2 in D major......................................Sibelius
Symphony No. 4 in A major ("Italian") ......................Mendelssohn
Symphony No. 6 in B minor ("Pathetique") ..................Tchaikovsky
Symphony No. 6 in F major ("Pastoral") ......................Beethoven
Symphony No. 6 in G major ("Surprise") ..........................Haydn
Symphony No. 8 in B minor ("Unfinished") ......................Schubert
Rosamunde -Ballet Music .......................................Schubert
La Valse ..........................................................Ravel
Wiener Blut -Waltzes (Vienna Blood) ..........................Strauss
"The Enchanted Lake" ............................................Liadov
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