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UMS Concert Program, May 4, 5, 6, And 7, 1944: The Fifty-first Annual May Festival -- Glenn D. Mcgeoch

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Season: 1943-1944
Concert: FIRST
Hill Auditorium, Ann Arbor, Michigan

Official Program of the Fifty-First Annual
May 4, 5, 6, and 7, 1944 Hill Auditorium, Ann Arbor, Michigan
Published by The University Musical Society, Ann Arbor
Charles A. Sink, M.Ed., LL.D.........President
Alexander G. Ruthven, Ph.D., Sc.D., LL.D. . . Vice-President
Shirley W. Smith, A.M...........Secretary
Oscar A. Eberbach, A.B...........Treasurer
Roscoe O. Bonisteel, LL.B.. . . Assistant Secretary-Treasurer Johnson, M.Mus.............Conductor
Harley A. Haynes, M.D.
James Inglis
Horace G. Prettyman, A.B.
E. Blythe Stason, A.B., B.S., J.D.
Henry F. Vaughan, M.S., Dr.P.H.
Merlin Wiley, LL.B.
Hardin Van Deursen, M.Mus., Conductor David Mattern, B.Mus., M.Ed.
In Service.
Eugene Ormandy, Orchestral Conductor Saul Caston, Associate Orchestral Conductor Harl McDonald, Guest Conductor Hardin Van Deursen, Choral Conductor Marguerite Hood, Youth Chorus Conductor
Bidu Sayao Rose Bampton
Thelma von Eisenhauer
Contralto . Kerstin Thorborg
Tenor Charles Kullman
Baritone John Brownlee
Bass Salvatore Baccaloni
Violinist Nathan Milstein
Violoncellist Gregor Piatigorsky
Pianists Pierre Luboshutz Genia Nemenoff
The Philadelphia Orchestra The University Choral Union The Festival Youth Chorus
Notices and Acknowledgments
The University Musical Society desires to express appreciation to Hardin Van Deursen and the members of the Choral Union for their effective services j to Miss Marguerite Hood, and her able associates for their valuable services in preparation of the Festival Youth Chorus; to the several members of the staff for their efficient assistance and to the teachers in the various schools from which the young people have been drawn, for their co-operation.
The writer of the analyses hereby expresses his deep obligation to Martha Agnew Wentworth for her aid in collecting materials, and to the late Lawrence Gilman whose scholarly analyses, given in the program books of the New York Philharmonic-Symphony and Philadelphia Orchestras, are authoritative contributions to contemporary criticism. In some instances Mr. Gilman's analyses have been quoted in this libretto.
The Steinway is the official concert piano of the University Musical Society and of the Philadelphia Orchestra.
Concert Endowment Fund
The University Musical Society is a nonprofit corporation devoted solely to educational purposes. During its entire existence its concert activities have been maintained through the sale of tickets of admission. The prices have been kept as low as possible to cover the expenses of production and administration. Obviously, the problem is becoming increasingly difficult. The Society has confidence that there are among its patrons and friends those who would like to contribute to a Concert Endowment Fund, for the purpose of ensuring continuance, particularly during lean years, of the high quality of the concerts. All contributions will be invested, and the income utilized in maintaining the ideals and purposes of the Society by securing the best possible artists for its programs.
Thursday Evening, May 4, at 8:30
Soloist: Salvatore Baccaloni, Bass
The Philadelphia Orchestra Eugene Ormandy, Conductor
Symphony No. 7 in A major, Op. 92........Beethoven
Poco sostenuto; vivace Allegretto
Presto; presto meno assai Finale: allegro con brio
Aria, "Le Ragazze che son di vent' anni" from "Le Astuzie
Aria, "Son imbrogliato io gia" from "La Serva Padrona" . . Pergolesi Osmin's Aria from Act I, "II Seraglio"........Mozart
Salvatore Baccaloni
Aria, "Non piu andrai" from "The Marriage of Figaro" . . . Mozart Geronimo's Aria, "Udite, tutti, udite!" from "II Matrimonio
Aria, "La Calumnia" from "The Barber of Seville"......Rossini
Mr. Baccaloni
Prelude to the Afternoon of a Faun..........Debussy
Waltz: "Tales from the Vienna Woods"....... J. Strauss
Friday Evening, May 5, at 8:30
Kerstin Thorborg, Contralto Charles Kullman, Tenor
The Philadelphia Orchestra Eugene Ormandy, Conductor
Symphony No. 35 in D major, "Haffner" (K. 385) .... Mozart Allegro con spirito Andante
Menuetto Presto
"Das Lied von der Erde," a Symphony for Tenor, Contralto, and Orchestra ............
Das Trinklied von Jammer der Erde
Der Einsame im Herbst
Von der Jugend
Von der Schonheit
Der Trunkene im Friihling
Der Abschied
Kerstin Thorborg and Charles Kullman
Saturday Afternoon, May 6, at 2:30
Genia Nemenoff, Pianist Pierre Luboshutz, Pianist
Festival Youth Chorus
The Philadelphia Orchestra
Saul Caston, Marguerite Hood, and Harl McDonald, Conductors
Suite from the "Water Music"........Handel-Harty
Allegro Horn Pipe
Air Andante
Bourree Allegro deciso
Songs of the Americas
Edited by Marguerite Hood and orchestrated by
Eric DeLamarter Laughing Lisa (French-Canadian folk song) Night Herding Song (American cowboy song) Buy My Tortillas (Folk song from Chile) Lord, I Want to be a Christian (Negro spiritual) Arrurru--Cradle Song (Folk song from Colombia) My Pretty Cabocla (Folk song from Brazil) The Indian Flute (Peruvian Indian song) Uy! Tara La La (Folk song from Mexico) Sounvood Mountain (Appalachian Mountain folk song) Westward (Chippewa Indian song) Ay, Ay, Ay (Creole folk song) The Erie Canal (American river ballad)
Festival Youth Chorus
Overture, "Roman Carnival," Op. 9.........Berlioz
Concerto for Two Pianos and Orchestra.......McDonald
Molto moderate
Andante espressivo Juarezca
Pierre Luboshutz and Genia Nemenoff
Conducted by the composer The pianos used, are Steimuays.
Saturday Evening, May 6, at 8:30
Soloist: Bidu Sayao, Soprano
The Philadelphia Orchestra Saul Caston, Conductor
Overture to "Die Meistersinger".......... Wagner
Aria "Revenez, revenez, amour" from "Thesee"......LullY
Serpina's Aria, "Stizzoso, mio stizzoso," from "La Serva
Padrona" ...............Pergolesi
Aria, "Deh vieni" from "The Marriage of Figaro".....Mozart
Aria, "Una Voce poco fa" from "The Barber of Seville" .... Rossini
Bidu Sayao
Interlude and Dance from "La Vida Breve" Fall4
Bachianas Brasileiras No. 5 for Soprano and Violoncellos . . Villa-Lobos
"Come serenamente" from "Lo Schiavo".........Gomez
Mme Sayao
Symphony No. 6 in B minor, "Pathetique," Op. 74 ... Tchaikovsky
Adagio; allegro non troppo Allegro con grazia
Allegro molto vivace
Finale--adagio lamentoso
Sunday Afternoon, May 7, at 2130 Soloists:
Nathan Milstein, Violinist Gregor PiatigorskYj Violoncellist
The Philadelphia Orchestra Eugene Ormandy, Conductor
ALL-BRAHMS PROGRAM "Academic Festival" Overture, Op. 80 Concerto in A minor, Op. 102, for Violin, Violoncello, and Orchestra
Vivace non troppo
Symphony No. 1 in C minor, Op. 68
Un poco sostenuto; allegro Andante sostenuto
Un poco allegretto e grazioso
Adagio; allegro non troppo ma con brio
Sunday Evening, May 7, at 8:30
Rose Bampton, Soprano
Thelma von Eisenhauer, Soprano
Kerstin Thorborg, Contralto
Charles Kullman, Tenor
John Brownlee, Baritone
University Choral Union
The Philadelphia Orchestra
Hardin Van Deursen, Conductor
Palmer Christian, Organist
"Elijah," A Dramatic Oratorio.........Mendelssohn
For Soli, Chorus, and Orchestra
Part I
Introduction. As God the Lord.
Chorus. Help, Lord!
Duet. Zion spreadeth her lumd.
With Chorus. Lord, bow Thine ear.
Recitative and Air. with all your hearts.
Chorus. Yet doth the Lord see it not.
Recitative. Elijah] get thee hence!
Recitative. Now Cherith's brook.
Recitative, Air, and Duet. Help me, man of God!
Chorus. Blessed are the men.
Recitative and Chorus. As God the Lord.
CHORUS. Baal, we cry to thee!
Recitative. Call Him louder!
Chorus. Hear our cry!
Recitative and Chorus. Hear and answer!
AlR. Lord, God of Abraham!
CHORUS. Cast thy burden upon the Lord.
Recitative and Chorus. The fire descends!
Air. not His word like a fire
AiR. Woe unto them who forsake Him!
Recitative, Air, and Chorus. Look down ufon us from heaven, 0 Lord!
Chorus. Tlumks be to God!
Part II
Air. Hear ye, Israel!
Chorus. Be not afraid.
Recitative. Man of God.
Air. is enough.
Recitative and Trio. Lift thine eyes.
Chorus. He, watching over Israel.
Recitative and Air. O rest in the Lord.
Recitative and Chorus. Behold! God tie Lord passed by.
Recitative and Air. For the mountains shall depart.
Chorus. Then did Elijah.
Air. Then shall the righteous shine.
Chorus. And then shall your light.
?Assisted by the University Women's Glee Club, Wilson Sawyer, Director.
Thursday Evening, May 4
Symphony No. 7 in A major, Op. 92......Beethoven
Ludwig van Beethoven was born at Bonn, December 16, 1770; he died at Vienna, March. 26, 1827.
It is difficult to decide whether the man creates the age or the age the man, but in the case of Beethoven each is true to some extent. As far as music is concerned, he created the age of Romanticism to such a degree that the new movement which began in the nineteenth century could be called "Beethovenism" as well. On the other hand, the case of Beethoven furnishes the most decided proof to be found in music history that the age produces the man. Certainly in his life and in his works, he is the embodiment of his period. Born at the end of the eighteenth century, he witnessed, during the formative period of his life, the drastic changes that were occurring throughout central Europe; changes which affected not only the political but the intellectual and artistic life of the world as well. The French Revolution announced the breaking up of an old civilization and the dawn of a new social regime. Twice during the most productive period of Beethoven's Gareer, Vienna was occupied by the armies of Napoleon. The spirit--call it what you will--that caused the Revolution and brought the armies of Napoleon into existence is at the very root of Beethoven's music. The ideas which dethroned kings, swept away landmarks of an older society, changed the whole attitude of the individual toward religion, the state, and tradition, and ultimately gave birth to the inventive genius of the nineteenth century, which brought such things as railroads, reform bills, trade unions, and electricity. The same spirit animated the poetic thought of Goethe, Schiller, Wordsworth, and Byron; and it infused itself into the music of Beethoven, from the creation of the Appassionata Sonata to the Choral Ninth Symphony.
During this period of chaos and turmoil, Beethoven stood like a colossus, bridging with his mighty grasp the two centuries in which he lived. In his one person he embodied the ideas of both the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries, became the sage and prophet of his period, and the center of the classic and romantic spirit.
These two elements were mutually helpful in making him the outstanding representative of each. His romantic tendencies helped him to infuse Promethean
fire into the old, worn-out forms, and to endow them with new passion. His respect for classic forms made him the greatest of the early Romanticists, for it aided him in tempering the fantastic excesses and extremes of his radical contemporaries. Thus, this harmonious embodiment of opposing forces, controlled by an architectonic intelligence that molded and fused them together into one passionate, creative impulse, resulted in the production of epoch-making masterpieces, built upon firm foundations, but emancipated from all confining elements of tradition, and set free to discover new regions of unimagined beauty.
In the presence of a work like a Beethoven symphony, one realizes the inadequacy of words to explain or describe all that it conveys to the soul. No composer has ever equaled Beethoven in his power of suggesting that which can never be expressed absolutely, and nowhere in his compositions do we find a work in which all the noble attributes of an art so exalted as his are more happily combined. No formal analysis, dealing with the mere details of musical construction, can touch the real source of its power; nor can any interpretation of philosopher or poet state with any degree of certainty just what it was that moved the soul of the composer, though they may give us the impression the music makes on them. They may clothe in fitting words that which we all feel more or less forcibly. The philosopher, by observation of the effect of environment and conditions on man in general, may point out the probable relation of the outward circumstances of a composer's life at a certain period to his works; the poet, because he is peculiarly susceptible to the same influences as the. composer, may give us a more sympathetic interpretation, but neither can fathom the processes by which a great genius like Beethoven gives us such a composition as the symphony we are now considering.
It was written in the summer of 1812, a year of momentous importance in Germany. While the whole map of Europe was being remade, when Beethoven's beloved Vienna was a part of the Napoleonic Empire, when the world was seething with hatreds and fears, this glorious music, with its unbounded joy and tremendous vitality, came into existence, giving promise of a new and better world.
While Beethoven tenaciously held to the creation of this symphony in the midst of utter chaos, Napoleon's campaign of the summer of 1812 was causing the final disintegration of his unwieldy empire. Between the inception of the work and the first performance of it in the large hall of the University of Vienna on December 18, 1813, the decisive battle of Leipzig was fought and Napoleon went down to defeat. In his retreat, however, he gained an unimportant victory at the Battle of Hanau when the Austrian army was routed. It was at a memorial service for the soldiers who died in this battle that the
music of the Seventh Symphony was first given to a weary and heartsick world-music that has outlived the renown of the craftiest statesmen and the glory of the bravest soldiers, and has survived more than one remaking of the map of Europe.
The Seventh Symphony fairly pulsates with free and untrammeled melody, and has an atmosphere of its own, quite unlike that of any of the others. For Richard Wagner "all tumult, all yearning and storming of the heart became here the blissful insolence of joy, which snatches us away with bacchanalian might and bears us through the roomy space of nature, through all the streams and seas of life, shouting in glad self-consciousness as we tread throughout the universe the daring measures of this--the 'Apotheosis of the Dance.' "
At the premiere, Beethoven, now quite deaf, conducted in person; and the performance suffered somewhat from the fact that he could scarcely hear the music his genius had created. "The program," says Grove, in an admirable account of this most unique and interesting occasion, "consisted of three numbers: the Symphony in A, described as 'entirely new'; two marches performed by Malzel's mechanical trumpeter with full orchestral accompaniment; and a second grand instrumental composition by 'Herr van Beethoven' -the so-called 'Battle of Vittoria (Op. 91).'"
No greater artistic incongruity can be conceived than the combination of a mechanical trumpeter, a composition like the "Battle of Vittoria," and this sublime symphony in A. The concert was arranged by Malzel, and given in aid of a fund for wounded soldiers; and on benefit concert programs, as on those of "sacred" concerts, one is never surprised at finding strange companions.
Grove continues:
The orchestra presented an unusual appearance, many of the desks being tenanted by the most famous musicians and composers of the day. Haydn had gone to his rest; but Romberg, Spohr, Mayseder, and Dragonetti were present and played among the rank and file of the strings. Meyerbeer (of whom Beethoven complained that he always came in after the beat) and Hummel had the drums, and Moscheles, then a youth of nineteen, the cymbals. Even Beethoven's old teacher, Kapellmeister Salieri, was there, "giving time to the chorus and salvos." The performance, says Spohr, was "quite
Malzel's mechanical genius had displayed itself before this through the invention of the "Panharmonion," an instrument of the orchestrion type, and an automatic chess-player. Three years later he constructed the first metronome, for the invention of which he has received the credit that should be given to Winkel of Amsterdam. It will be remembered that the exquisite Allegretto scherzando in Beethoven's Eighth Symphony is based on a theme from which the composer developed a canon, in compliment to Malzel.
masterly," the new works were both received with enthusiasm, the slow movement of the symphony was encored, and the success of the concert extraordinary.
I. (Poco sostenuto; vivace) The first movement is preceded by an introduction (foco sostenuto, A major) which opens with a chord of A major by full orchestra which serves to draw attention to the themes alternating in clarinet and oboe. Ascending scale passages in the strings }ead to an episode in woodwinds. The main movement (vivace) states its principal theme in flutes accompanied by other woodwinds, horns, and strings. The second subject is announced by violins and flute; much of its rhythmic character being drawn from the preceding material. The development concerns itself almost entirely with the main theme. There is the customary recapitulation, and the movement closes with a coda in which fragments of the main theme, with its characteristic rhythm, are heard.
II. (Allegretto) The theme of this movement was originally intended for Beethoven's String Quartet in C, Op. 59, No. 3. After two measures in which the A-minor chord is held by woodwinds and horns, the strings enter with the main theme. (Note the persistent employment of their rhythmic movement throughout.) There is a trio with the theme in clarinets in A major. The original subject and key return, but with different instrumentation, followed by a fugato on a figure of the main theme. The material of the trio is heard again; and a coda, making references to the main theme, brings the movement to a close on the chord with which it had opened. The form of this movement is an interesting combination of two distinctly different forms; a song and trio and a theme and variations.
III. (Presto; assai meno fresto; -presto) This movement is in reality a scherzo, though it is not so titled in the score. It begins with the subject for full orchestra. The trio opens with a clarinet figure over a long pedal point, A, in the violins. This melody is based, say some authorities, on a pilgrim song often heard in lower Austria. The material of the first part returns and there is another presentation of the subject of the trio and a final reference to the principal theme. A coda concludes the whole.
IV. (Allegro con brio) The subject of this movement is taken from an Irish song, "Nora Creina," which Beethoven had edited for an Edinburgh publisher. The second theme appears in the first violins. The principal subjects having made their'appearance, the exposition is repeated and is followed by the development in which the principal subject figures. The ideas of the exposition are heard as before, and the work concludes with a remarkable coda based on the main theme, bandied about by the strings and culminating in a forceful climax.
Aria, "Le Ragazze che son di vent' anni" from
"Le Astuzie Femminili"..........Cimarosa
Domenico Cimarosa was born at Aversa, Naples, December 17, 1749; died at Venice, January 11, 1801.
The Italian "opera seria" which prevailed the first half of the eighteenth century is so remote from any kind of opera on the contemporary stage, that it is difficult for us to account for the tremendous popularity it enjoyed in its day. The stilted forms, the mock heroic texts, the unreality of the dramatic situations, the vulgar display of vocal pyrotechnics for their own sake, would all be utterly intolerable to us today. The plots, although complicated, were dull, and the regularity with which the stock scenes appeared only accentuated the monotony of the action. The complicity of the plots, which were perfect labyrinths of intrigue, was due to the exaggerated chivalry of the noble hero, the stoicism of a long-suffering heroine torn between love, duty, and desire, and the unmitigated treachery of the usurping villain. All this demanded a formality of language, in which the whole gamut of the emotions had in some way to be expressed.
Musically, a continuous train of dull dramatic recitation, feebly supported by chords struck on the harpsichord, was relieved frequently by expressive solo arias cast into set forms and distributed equally among the chief singers in each scene. This so-called "aria da capo" repeated an opening section, after a short digression, no matter what result the musical repetition might have upon the veracity of the dramatic situation. Although this stereotyped aria form remained adamantly the same, its expression varied. Emotions were classified and then expressed through specific aria types: tender and pathetic feelings, for instance, sought the simple, accompanied "aria cantabile"; dignified, but not passionate, emotions found their medium in the "aria di portamento"; the "aria di mezzo carettera" expressed a variety of associated moods, and the ever popular and indispensable "aria d'agilata" exploited the technical powers of the singer, wherein, as Pope wrote in the Dunciad, one trill would "harmonize joy, grief, and rage." Occasionally there was a duet, but any larger form of ensemble was conspicuously absent.
This condition of opera is unintelligible except in the light of the system of patronage that reigned so tyrannically in the early part of the century. Only a very rigid social formality could have bred such a strict convention of operatic structure. The relationship between historical forces and musical forms is illustrated about the middle of the century when new social ideas began to translate themselves into freedom of action, and the older society, based upon rights and privileges, began to give way to a new social order, in which, at a time sick with affectation, false sentiments, and cultural restraints, all that was simple and
natural, or critical and satirical, sought refuge in the "opera buffa" or comic opera.
Between the acts of the "opera seria" there appeared now and then little diversions called Intermezzi--a madrigal perhaps or a solo song. These were, at first, meant only to divert, but they steadily continued to advance in importance and interest until they became carefully elaborated and continuous little dramas. It was not long before the Intermezzi began not only to undermine the dignity of the "opera seria," but with their vivacity, natural action, and witty parlance, to offer a formidable rivalry to it. The Opera Buffa was the natural outgrowth of the Intermezzi, and in it the spirit of parody and satirical humor was embodied. All the arias on tonight's program are selected from famous works of the "Buffa" genre.
The performance of Opera Buffa demands artists of unusual and specialized talents. Its swift and riant music, so full of innuendo and humor, requires not only a singer but a supreme vocalist who can cope technically with the often tricky and difficult scores; not only a master of broad comedy, but an actor who can project the subtlest implications of the text, for the charm of this art is quickly dispelled when it is degraded by cheap burlesque or grotesque exaggeration.
In Mr. Baccaloni are superbly blended those talents which make him the outstanding basso buffo of our time. He has brought to our generation in America the touch of authority in an old, delightful musical and dramatic tradition.
One of the most famous of Italian composers during the latter part of the eighteenth century was Domenico Cimarosa. He wrote serious operas, oratorios, cantatas, and masses, which were all very popular in his day, but his real talent lay in opera buffa. Here his scores show a superb vocal style, a gift for lively ensemble, and a delicate and sparkling orchestration. Like many Italian composers active after the advent of Mozart, Cimarosa revealed, in some instances, the debt he owed to the Austrian master who rivalled him and all his fellow countrymen in writing the greatest opera buffa of the period. In Cimarosa, however, all that was genuine and natural in the Italian opera reached its culmination. He composed over sixty-six operas which were performed in London, Paris, Dresden, and Vienna, and were tremendously popular throughout Europe. In 1787, he was invited to go to St. Petersburg as chamber composer to Catherine II. At the invitation of Leopold II some years later, he returned to Vienna,
This unique art is practically unknown to modern audiences except through the operas of Mozart, Rossini's "The Barber of Seville" and Donizetti's "L'Elisir d'amore" and "Don Pasquale."
where he succeeded Salieri as court Kapellmeister. His last years were troubled. At the outbreak of the Revolution, the French Republican Army marched into Naples (1797) and Cimarosa, expressing his enthusiasm, was imprisoned and condemned to die by the guillotine. His life was spared finally, but he was exiled from Italy. He died in Venice on his flight to Russia.
The little opera from which tonight's aria is taken was produced in 1794 in Milan. Its text was by Giovanni Palomba, not Metastasio as named by Rie-, mann, and Clement and Larousse. Diaghilev produced "Le Astuzie Fem-minili," in the form of a ballet, at Paris and London in 1920. In 1929, Ottorino Respighi, then Italy's foremost composer, revived it as an opera in a production at the Teatro Communali Victor Emmanuel at Florence. On this occasion Mr. Baccaloni re-created the role of Gian Paulo. "Young maidens of twenty years are not so easy to handle" is the advice Gian Paulo gives his old friend Dr. Romualdo, when the latter tells of his intention to marry a woman half his age.
Aria, "Son imbrogliato io gia" from "La Serva Padrona" . Pergolesi
Giovanni Pergolesi was born near Ancona, January 3, 17IO; died at Pozzuoli, March 17, 1736.
Pergolesi's claim to everlasting fame rests upon a charming little Intermezzo, "La Serva Padrona." Historically, this delightful work marks the period at which the Intermezzo merged permanently into the Opera BufFa, its heir.
Its history is curious and complicated. First produced in Naples in 1733, it did not win immediate success. It met no better fate at its first performance in Paris, October 4, 1746. On August 1, 1752, however, a company of Italian comedians, the "Buffons Italian" produced it again as an Intermezzo between the acts of Lully's "Acis et Galathee," and it not only scored a triumph, but instigated a civil war in the world of music. The "Guerre des Buffons" (War of the Buffoons) was begun, with the supporters of Lully defending the classical dignity of the French opera against the unwelcomed intrusion of the frivolous but intriguing style of the Italian buffoons. National pride resented its presence but good taste forbade its rejection, and Rousseau, among others, defended it.f
This innocent little piece of Italian froth did more than begin a heated controversy--it exercised a wholesome and lasting effect not only upon French
Alfred Lowenberg, Annals of Opera (Cambridge: W. Heffer and Sons, Limited,
I943). 879 PPf Mme Sayao will sing an aria from a Lully opera, and one from "La Serva Padrona," on Saturday night's program. See notes on Lully and Pergolesi, pages 58 and 59.
dramatic music, but upon dramatic music everywhere, by arousing national consciousness, and inspiring composers of other countries to similar effort.
Its success has been lasting and brilliant, since those colorful days when a piece of music could cause as much excitement as only a political campaign can today. In 1754, it was translated into French, and enjoyed one hundred and fifty performances in Paris, and after appearing in the usual operatic centers of Dresden, Hamburg, Leipzig, Vienna, Prague, Copenhagen, and London (1750), it arrived in America, where in 1790, at Baltimore, Maryland, it won the distinction of being the first opera sung in French in this country. It has since been sung in Spanish, Hungarian, Portuguese, Croatian, Dutch, and Hebrew.
Lively in its music, amusing in its characterizations, and full of jest and humor in its action, "La Serva Padrona" has maintained a place in the operatic repertory longer than any other opera in existence.
The plot is naively simple and uninvolved:
A maid servant, Serpina, in order to trick her master, Uberto, into marriage, notifies him of her intention to leave his employ; whereupon the master, foreseeing all kinds of inconveniences and pressed by the intrigues of his comely young servant, finally resolves to marry her. This rash solution to the servant problem has dire consequences as soon as the maid finds herself the mistress of his house. Uberto finds himself in a state of uncertainty, as he sings:
What confusion--I'm all perplexed! Something has happened to my heart, but whether it is love, or pity, I don't know. Something says: "Uberto, think of yourself." I hesitate 'twixt wanting and not wanting. More and more I grow perplexed. Oh, unhappy wretch, what will become of me
Osmin's Aria from "II Seraglio".........Mozart
Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart was born at Salzburg, January 27, 1756; died at Vienna, December 5, 1791.
In 1776, Joseph II of Austria created in Vienna a court and national theater, which reached an unprecedented height of excellence, and became a center of serious literary interests. Joseph looked upon the theater as an important means of national cultivation, and from the time when it joined in the struggle which ended in the triumph of German literature and art over buf "La Serva Padrona" was revived at the Metropolitan Opera House in New York City, January 14, 1943, with Mr. Baccaloni and Mme Sayao singingthe leading roles.
foonery and extemporized pieces, the best authors of the day wrote for it with the avowed object of improving taste and aiding the spread of culture.
Literary criticism, too, soon joined the Crusade, and, freed by the introduction of the liberty of the press, turned its attention to the drama and aimed to enlighten the general reader on the quality of the entertainment afforded him by the author and the actor. In this way, a public was educated without reference to rank or order, and the poet or musician could make his appeal as an independent artist, instead of ministering, as previously, exclusively to the entertainment of his patron. In the spirit in which he had founded the national theater, Joseph II abolished the spectacular ballet and the Italian opera and had instituted a "National Vaudeville" as he called the German opera.
Mozart had just suffered such indignity and insult at the hands of his inconsiderate patron, the Archbishop of Salzburg, that he had been forced to withdraw from his services. Without a permanent position and with the curious desire to write opera, he looked to Vienna with hope and enthusiasm. A fitting career stood open for him here, and he wanted nothing more than to prove his power in this branch of his art. The Emperor himself was evidently anxious to give Mozart an opportunity of trying his powers as a German operatic composer. The composition of "II Seraglio" was made then by Mozart in deference to a desire on the part of Emperor Joseph to found a national German opera. The particular situation which gave rise to this work was the proposed visit of the Grand Duke Paul of Russia, who was expected to visit Vienna in September, 17 81. Mozart was commissioned to have his opera ready for the festivities that were to take place on that occasion. It was already the last day of July when the composer received his text from the librettist Stephanie, inspector of the Vienna Opera. Mozart wrote to his father on August 18:
Yesterday young Stephanie gave me a book for composition. It is very good, the subject is Turkish, and it is called "Belmont and Constance," or "Die Entfiihrung aus dem Serail" . . . The time is short, certainly, for it is to be performed in the middle of September, but the attendant circumstances will be all the more favorable. And indeed, everything combines to raise my spirits, so that I hasten to my writing table with the greatest eagerness, and it is with difficulty that I tear myself away.
The first act was finished August 22, but, at the beginning of the following month, word was received that the Grand Duke would not visit Vienna until November. When he did arrive Mozart's opera was put aside to make room for productions of Gluck's "Alceste" and "Iphigenia." Discouraged, Mozart made no attempt to finish his opera, and when the Duke appeared on the scene, it was still unfinished, and remained so until the spring of the following year.
The Viennese court was dominated by Italian influences, and, in spite of his chauvinistic intentions, Joseph preferred Italian music to that of any other
nation, and the principal positions in his court were held by musicians who came to Vienna from the south. Yet Joseph II perceived, even if he did not fully understand, the astonishing genius of Mozart. And the Italian musicians perceived that genius too, and every impediment was put by them in the path of its exploitation. It required the express command of the Emperor to overcome the cabals of Salieri and his followers, and to bring "II Seraglio" to its just performance, July 16, 1782.
The results were beyond all expectations. "The house was crammed full, there was no end of applause and cheering and performances followed one another in quick succession," wrote Mozart in one of his letters. A second performance was given three days later. "Can you believe it," wrote the composer to his father, "that the opposition was even stronger than on the first evening. The whole first act was drowned, but they could not prevent the bravos after every song." In this letter Mozart records the fact that "the theatre was almost more crowded than on the first. The day before not a seat was to be had." The general verdict was overwhelmingly in favor of Mozart and was a justification of the Emperor's hope of founding a German opera. Yet the imperial amateur was not quite sure that his hopes had been realized. "Too fine for our ears, and an immense number of notes, my dear Mozart," he said to the composer. Mozart's reply was worthy of an artist--"Just as many notes, Your Majesty, as are necessary." From Vienna the fame of the new work traveled with great speed. It was given at Prague with enormous success in 1783, in Leipzig the same year, in Mannheim, Cassel, and on numberless other stages.
"II Seraglio" caught the public fancy, because German sentiment, emotion, and disposition found expression for the first time at the hands of an artist. Mozart had in truth established German opera.
"I think I may venture to lay down," said von Weber, "that in the 'Ent-fiihrung' Mozart's artist experience came to maturity, and that his experience of the world alone was to lead him to further efforts. The world might look for several operas from him like 'Figaro' and 'Don Juan,' but with the best will possible he could only write one 'Entfiihrung.' I seem to perceive in it what the happy years of youth are to every man; their bloom never returns, and the extirpation of their defects carries with it some charms which can never be recovered."
Niemetschek, writing of the performance in Prague, later said, "I cannot describe the applause and sensation which it excited at Vienna from my own observation, but I was a witness of the enthusiasm with which it was received at Prague by connoisseurs and non-connoisseurs. It made what one had hitherto heard and known appear not to be music at all! Everyone was transported--amazed at the novel harmonies, and at the original passages for the woodwinds."
The story of the opera is concerned with the loves of Constance and Belmont. The former, together with her maid Blondchen (Blonda), and Pedrillo, the servant of Belmont, are captured by corsairs and sold as slaves to the Turkish pasha, Selim, who takes Constance for himself and gives Blonda to his overseer, Osmin. Pedrillo, who is ordered to work in the garden, contrives to send news of their misfortunes to his master. Meanwhile, the pasha seeks vainly to gain the affections of his captive, whose fidelity to Belmont is not to be shaken. Disguised as an artist, Belmont enters the pasha's villa, and he, together with his companions, endeavors to escape from the seraglio. All four are recaptured and brought before the pasha. Constance boldly explains that Belmont is her lover, and that she will die with him rather than leave him. Selim, overcome by emotion, retires to consider what is to be done, and the prisoners prepare for death. The pasha touched, however, by such constancy, gives them their freedom, and, providing them with the means of return to their own country, asks only their friendship as reward.
Osmin is distressed at the presence of Belmont and Pedrillo in the pasha's garden, and fearful that they play some trick upon him, he sings:
I cannot endure all these gadding donkeys who pursue the maids like monkeys; they spend their time loafing and lurking about. They can't deride me with all their tricking, coaxing, cheating and hoaxing. I know them too well. He who would defraud me, must be at it very early; I am not as dull as they think--By the beard of the prophet, I'll work day and night to deal them a blow, try as they may to be on their guard.
Aria, "Non piu andrai," from "The Marriage of Figaro" . Mozart
Over 150 years ago, Mozart composed a thoroughly exquisite and charming opera "The Marriage of Figaro," and since its first performance on May 1, 1786, its music has constantly enlivened and refreshed men's spirits with its sparkling, insouciant humor and its spicy plot.
This aria is sung by that sly rascal, Figaro, to poor love-sick Cherubino, who is about to depart for distant lands, sent hence by the Count Almaviva. Cherubino, hiding behind a sofa, had heard the Count, in one of his promiscuous moments, making advances to his wife's maid, Susanna. For his peace of mind, the Count appoints Cherubino as an ensign in his regiment which is about to leave for foreign lands.
Figaro is here, in a mock-heroic manner, telling the unfortunate Cherubino the differences that exist between the gay, frivolous, luxurious life he has lived among fascinating and lovely women, and the dangerous, hard, and lonely life that is before him.
"No more will you flutter around, you amorous butterfly, disturbing the rest of lovely ladies--you Narcissus, you Adonis of Love! No longer will you wear those fine feathers, that gay and jaunty cap and those curls, that dashing air, that pink girlish complexion. In the ranks you'll be, great mustaches, tight knapsacks, a gun on your shoulder, a sword at your side, your head erect, your .expression fearless, a great turban, a heavy helmet, plenty of glory, little pocket money, and, instead of the Fandango, you'll be marching over the mountains in the mud, through valley in snow and heat, to the music of bugles, of bombardments and of cannon. To victory, Cherubino, to military glory you go!"
Michael Kelley, one of Mozart's first singers, has left us the most graphic descriptions of the master we possess, and his narration of Mozart's reaction at the first rehearsal of this aria is interesting.
I never shall forget Mozart's little animated countenance, when lighted up with the glowing rays of genius; it is as impossible to describe it as it would be to paint sunbeams. I remember at the first rehearsal of the full band, Mozart was on the stage with his crimson pelisse and gold-laced cocked hat, giving the time of the music to the orchestra. Figaro's song, "Non piu andrai," Benucci gave with the greatest animation and power of voice. I was standing close to Mozart, who, sotto voce, was repeating "Bravo! bravo, Benucci!" and when Benucci came to the fine passage, "Cherubino, alia vittoria, alia gloria militar!" which he gave out with stentorian lungs, the effect was electricity itself, for the whole of the performers on the stage, and those in the orchestra, as if actuated by one feeling of delight, vociferated: "Bravo! bravo, maestro! viva, viva, grande Mozart!" Those in the orchestra, I thought, would never have ceased applauding, by beating, the bows of their violins against the music desks. The little man acknowledged by repeated obeisances his thanks for the distinguished mark of enthusiastic applause bestowed upon him.
Aria, "Udite, tutti, udite," from
"II Matrimonio Segreto".........Cimarosa
The text of "II Matrimonio Segreto" was by Giovanni Bertati, and was founded on "The Clandestine Marriage" written by George Colman and David Garrick in 1766. Apart from the operas of Mozart, "II Matrimonio Segreto" is the only Italian opera buffa between Pergolesi and Rossini which still holds its place in the operatic repertory today. It was the first work written by Cimarosa for Vienna, after his return from Russia, and is his most celebrated work-the only one in fact, by which he is known today. It met with astounding success, and immediately after the premiere performance, it was repeated at the request of Leopold II.
A recent revival under the direction of the late Albert Stoessel, was given at the Juilliard School of Music, New York City, on April 25, 1933. It was performed again on December 8, 1943.
Paolino, a poor lawyer, is secretly married to Carolina, the younger daughter of the very rich but dull Count Geronimo. He introduces a rich friend, Count Robinson, to Carolina's sister, Elisetta, hoping to make a match. The Count, however, falls in love with Carolina instead, but finds, before it is too late, that it is Elisetta he really loves, and all ends well.
In the following aria, Geronimo is hysterical with joy at the prospects of his daughter marrying a count. He sings:
Attention, pray, attention! Prick up your ears and listen! Here's noble condescension To cause your eyes to glisten. Here tidings thrice entrancing To set your heart a-dancing To set your feet a-prancing.
(To Elisetta)
You shall espouse a nobleman, Shine as a social star. Yes, truly! "My Lady Elisetta" In prospect now you are. It's yours for worse or better, So kiss your dear papa!
Let money flow like water
To honor such a daughter!
And summon friends and neighbors
To swell the loud hurrah!
Invite them one, invite them all!
What say you to it, sister
What say you, Elisetta
(To Carolina) Why standing in a pet, eh What reason should you pout Well, well, miss, inform me, What reason should you pout For never think one moment To find your rights neglected. A groom shall be selected As high in rank as he. Yet still you scorn in silence The match so advantageous Outrageous, miss, outrageous! Such want of sympathy. 'Tis envy that possesses you, Full clearly I can see.
Then summon friends and neighbors,
Yes, go summon friends and neighbors
To swell the loud hurrah.
The daughter! the husband! the wedding! "His Lordship"!
"Your Ladyship," the Countess, Countess Elisetta!
At good as made you are!
He's yours for worse or better,
So kiss your dear papa!
Basilio's Aria, "La Calumnia" from
"The Barber of Seville"..........Rossini
Gioachino Antonio Rossini was born at Pesaro, February 29, 1792; died at Passy, November 13, 1868.
Much of Rossini's work was incredibly hasty in execution and shallow in artistic purpose. Thus its great popularity with a thoughtless public tended to
turn operatic art back into the mere sensationalism of the traditional seventeenth and early eighteenth century Neapolitan style at its worst, and directly away from the dignified reform ideas of Gluck and the dramatic veracity of Mozart.
Rossini's art and career present many contradictory elements. He had tremendous native verve and vivacity, coupled with obvious gifts of melody and movement in his expression. He greatly extended the range of operatic technique, both on the side of lyric ornamentation and in enriching the orchestral texture of his accompaniments. His critics, in fact, often charged him with "imitating the Germans, and smothering his concerted pieces and choruses by the overwhelming weight of his orchestra."
Although Rossini did display a sparkling genius, a raciness of humor, a daring in discarding conventions, and an invention in construction that reminds one of Mozart at times, his appreciation for the higher values of the music drama was slight, if indeed he was capable of understanding them at all. The charm of lyricism for its own sake, the unblushing attempt to captivate audiences by unexpected effects, the typical Italian love for delectability of melody, for brilliant embellishment, for momentum and dash--these were his dominating artistic impulses.
Among the operas written by this "Swan of Pesaro" none is more delightful, or more deserving of the admiration of the modern world than "The Barber of Seville," based upon the first of a trilogy of Figaro comedies by Beaumarchais. It frankly makes no attempt at dramatic unity and practically no exercise of the intellect is required to appreciate it to the full; but for sheer melodic beauty, rollicking humor, and unadulterated entertainment value, the opera boards offer no more delectable fare.
Basilio, master of music and intrigue, is acting as matrimonial agent between the mean and suspicious Dr. Bartolo and his high-spirited ward, Rosina, whose dowry is not the least of her attractions. Basilio informs Dr. Bartolo, in the scene immediately preceding this aria, that Rosina's hand is also sought by one Count Almaviva (Lindoro). Basilio suggests that between them they start a calumny--a disgraceful rumor that will cause Rosina to reject his rival. In this aria, "La Calumnia," Basilio describes, in his bombastic manner, the devastating effects of gossip.
Basilio: Gossip is like a gentle breeze, that at first scarcely stirs the flowers. Its voice is more subtle than a sigh, but then passing from tongue to tongue, it gains in strength and sweeps along its way, till like the sounds of a tempest, raging through the forest and howling in caverns, it fills the soul with dreadful fear. Thus gossip, a mere breath at first, brings ruin, desolation, and death in its train, and the victim of it sinks beneath the lash of slander and public scorn.
FIRST CONCERT Prelude to the Afternoon of a Faun ....... Debussy
Claude Debussy was born at Saint Germain on August 22, 1862; died at Paris, March 26, 1918.
France had no music of a real national character for over a century before the advent of Debussy. While the nationalization of music in France was not the work of Debussy alone, certainly no one approached the expression of so truly a French musical spirit with greater success than he. All that was characteristic of the true precursors of modern French music in the medieval minstrels, in the Renaissance masters, Goudimen, Costeley, Jannequin, and Le Jeune; in the clavicinists, Chambonnieres and Rameau, returns with a supple and intellectual spirit in the expressive and delicately sensuous music of Debussy. There is, of course, between them and Debussy, the difference inherent in the evolution of the centuries, but all reveal that which is commonly termed the French genius, an exquisite refinement, the purest craftsmanship, impeccable taste, and above all a finesse and lucidity in execution.
Debussy's style is eminently individual and poetic. He became the leader in the movement toward impressionistic expression, not for its pictorial or representative effects, but as the embodiment of delicate and subtle inner experiences.
Upon returning to Paris from Rome, where he had held the "Prix de Rome" fellowship, Debussy came into close personal contact with the "Impressionists" in French art, and it was through him that Impressionism entered music by way of painting.
The term "Impressionism" passed from a general term to a specialized use about 1863, when a sunset by Monet was shown in Paris, at the Salon des Refuses, entiled "Impression." The name was then adopted for a whole group of painters, of which Monet, Manet, and Degas were the leaders.
Impressionism came to reject all traditions and devote itself to the sensuous side of art to the exclusion of the intellectual. It subordinated the subject for the most part to the interest of the execution, and it interpreted isolated momentary sensations, not thoughts or concrete things. Impressionism, in the words of Walter Pater, is "a vivid personal impression of a fugitive effect." Technically, it is the concentration on one quality, to the comparative neglect of all the rest; it deliberately constructs but a fragment, in order to convey more suggestively an idea of the whole; it emphatically and deliberately destroys outline in the interest of creating "atmosphere," thus giving a sense of vagueness and incompleteness. Painters, poets, and musicians were drawn alike to the same sources of inspiration, emanating from an interior life of reflectionOFFICIAL PROGRAM
things sensitive, suggestive, intuitional, unsubstantial, and remote--to mists, fogs, sound of distant bells, clouds, and gardens in the rain. Debussy used his art as a plastic medium for recording such fleeting impressions and fugitive glimpses. His style and technique, like that of Monet and Renoir, and early Pissarro, rendered a music that was intimate though evasive, a music with a twilight beauty and glamour, revealing a world of sense, flavor, and color. Debussy, working to the same end as the French Impressionists in art, through the ephemeral medium of sound, created an evasive world of vague feelings and subtle emotions, a world of momentary impressions--of enchanted islands, the romance of old brocades, the glimmer of moonlight, morning mists, shadowy pools, sunlight on waves, or the faint odor of dying flowers.
Realizing the unlimited power of suggestion possessed by music, and understanding its capability of giving a fleeting existence to immaterial abstract ideas, Debussy chose these delicate intangible subjects and flights of fancy which gain an added and prolonged eloquence in music. Thus he found inspiration for his art in the sensuous poetry of Paul Verlaine ("Les fetes galantes" and "Ariettes oubliees"), and the mysterious verse of Baudelaire, in the haunting beauty of Maeterlinck ("Pelleas and Melisande"), in the richly woven tapestry and mystic passion of Gabriel Rossetti ("The Blessed Damozel"), and in the exotic symbolism of Stephane Mallarme ("The Afternoon of a Faun"). For the accomplishment of a highly subjective conception of music, Debussy did not hesitate to diverge from established notions of tonal construction, utilizing new scale series, tending toward plastic and even vague rhythmic patterns, and was in all of his work more interested in color and contrast than in contour or design.
Adverse to binding music down to exact reproduction of set programs, he has chosen rather to amplify and expand evanescent, shadowy thoughts, to distill their essence, and then to capture and protract them in sound. Form, as understood by the classical masters, did not ordinarily enter into Debussy's artistic calculations. "No fixed rule should guide the creative artist; rules are established by works of art, not for works of art. One should seek discipline in freedom, not in the precepts of a philosophy in its decline--that is good only for those who are weak. I write music only in order to serve music as best I can and without any other intention. ... It is for love of music that I strive to rid it of a certain sterile tradition that enshrouds it. It is a free spontaneous art, an open art, an art to be measured with the elements--the winds, the sky, the sea. It must not be made confined and scholastic." And so in the silvery, weblike tracery of his tonal material, in unresolved dissonances, the use of the whole tone and chromatic scales, in his recourse to old medieval modes, in
Statement made in an interview for the Paris paper, Excelsior, 1911.
the sensitive awareness of delicate color combinations, and in the intangible fabric of his aerial architecture, Debussy disclosed a new and superrefined beauty in music.
Stephane Mallarme's first truly significant work, which formulated his revolutionary ideas concerning style, was rejected; the Parnasse Contemforain in 1875 found his poem "L'Apres-Midi d'un Faune," cryptic, perplexing, and unintelligible. Mallarme had struck an individual style in literature, and had attempted to formulate a poetic art which would embody with perfect harmony a medley of dissimilar emotions and ideas. Each of his verses conveyed at one and the same time a plastic image, an expression of a thought, the enunciation of a sentiment, and a philosophical symbol. All this was subordinated to the strictest rules of prosody so as to form a perfect whole, thus depicting the complete transfiguration of a state of mind. The poems appealed quite as much to the reader's intuition and sensibility as to his intelligence, and feeling was expressed as much by the mere sounds of the words as by the imagery or exactness of the description. The isolated word, rather than the sentence, conjured up thought.
"I make music," wrote Mallarme in a letter to Mr. Gosse, "and do not call by this name that which is drawn from the euphonic putting together of words--this first requirement is taken for granted; but that which is beyond, on the other side, and produced magically by certain dispositions of speech and language, is then only a means of material communication with the reader, as are the keys of a pianoforte to a hearer."
Edmund Gosse wrote the following explanation and paraphrase of the original poem:
It appears in the florilege which he has just published, and I have now read it again, as I have often read it before. To say that I understand it bit by bit, phrase by phrase, would be excessive. But, if I am asked whether this famous miracle of un-intelligibility gives me pleasure, I answer, cordially, Yes. I even fancy that I obtain from it as definite and as solid an impression as M. Mallarme desires to produce. This is what I read in it: A faun--a simple, sensuous, passionate being--wakens in the forest at daybreak and tries to recall his experience of the previous afternoon. Was he the fortunate recipient of an actual visit from nymphs, white and golden goddesses, divinely tender and indulgent Or is the memory he seems to retain nothing but the shadow of a vision, no more substantial than the "arid rain" of notes from his own flute He cannot tell. Yet surely there was, surely there is, an animal whiteness among the brown reeds of the lake that shines out yonder, Were they, are they, swans No! But Naiads plunging Perhaps! Vaguer and vaguer grows the impression of this delicious experience. He would resign his woodland godship to retain it. A garden of lilies, golden-headed, white-stalked, behind the trellis of red roses Ah! the effort is too great for his poor brain. Perhaps if he selects one lily from the garth of lilies, one benign and beneficent yielder of her cup to thirsty lips, the memory, the ever-receding memory,
may be forced back. So when he has glutted upon a bunch of grapes, he is wont to toss the empty skins in the air and blow them out in a visionary greediness. But now, the delicious hour grows vaguer; experience or dream, he will never know which it was. The sun is warm, the grasses yielding; and he curls himself up again, after worshipping the efficacious star of wine, that he may pursue the dubious ecstasy into the more hopeful boskages of sleep.
This, then, is what I read in the so excessively obscure and unintelligible "L'Apres-Midi d'un Faune"; and, accompanied as it is with a perfect suavity of language and melody of rhythm, I know not what more a poem of eight pages could be expected to give. It supplies a simple and direct impression of physical beauty, of harmony, of color; it is exceedingly mellifluous, when once the ear understands that the poet, instead of being the slave of the Alexandrine, weaves his variations round it, like a musical composer.
To Edmund Gosse, Mallarme's poem, "L'Apres-Midi d'un Faune," was then not exactly a "famous miracle of unintelligibility." To Debussy, certainly, it was not. Gosse's lucid and unperplexing paraphrase of the original poem may have rid it of that indisposing epithet "cryptic," but it was Debussy's exquisite orchestra sounds that seem to have given Mallarme's "Faun" its greater elusive beauty, its perennial freshness, and its immortal life.
The strangeness which this music incredibly possessed when Debussy wrote it in 1892, and when it was first performed at a concert of the Societe Nationale in Paris, has evaporated in the winds of time; but the elusive turn of its melodies, the ravishing and limpid beauty of its haunting harmonies, the color and brilliance of its fantastic weaving of iridescent chords with delicately tinted sonorous aggregations, now charm us with the full awareness of the new and unique kind of musical beauty Debussy alone has brought to us.
Louise Liebich interprets the Faun, in this poem, as a symbol of the artist; the dream nymphs, inspiration. The creative impulse, the artist's response to ideal inspired thought, is represented as blighted and blurred by analysis in the garish waking light of midday reality; and the artist's realization of beauty is understood to be correspondent with his own interior vision of truth. But these are personal predilections, and the poem is wide and elastic enough to be modified, amplified, and controverted as one desires. And, after all, it is Debussy's marvelous music which concerns us here, and the ultimate value of the work as a musical masterpiece lies in its amazing myriad of orchestral colors, in its picturesque chromaticism, in its fluent, unbounded melody, and expressively free, unhampered rhythms, all working together to create a mirage-like work of strange and exotic beauty.
? Louise Liebich, Claude Achille Debussy (London, 1917).
FIRST CONCERT Waltz: "Tales from the Vienna Woods"......Strauss
Johann Strauss, the younger, was born at Vienna, October 25, 1825; died there, June 3, 1899.
About 1805, Dr. Charles Burney spoke of the waltz as "a riotous German dance of modern invention. . . . The verb waltzen, whence this word is derived, implies to roll, wallow, welter, tumble down, or roll in the dirt and mire. What analogy there may be between these acceptations and the dance, we pretend not to say; but having seen it performed by a select party of foreigners, we could not help reflecting how uneasy an English mother would be to see her daughter so familiarly treated and still more to witness the obliging manner in which the freedom is returned by the females."
The waltz flourished, however, in spite of nice old Dr. Burney, and during the middle of the nineteenth century, under the refining influences of the Strausses, father and son, it reached its graceful and melodious perfection.
If a Strauss waltz on a Festival program causes glances to amble off slightly titled noses, let it be laid to puritanical resentment of unadulterated pleasure, or just unmitigated snobbery. "He who cannot write a good dance is a no good composer," declared Mozart, and the great Johann Sebastian was not beneath treating the most humble of them in his lovely suites. The greatest composers have suffered no loss of dignity for having turned to the social dances of their period for inspiration. Haydn and Mozart employed the most popular dance of their age, the minuet, and glorified it in the third movements of their symphonies; in the waltzes and mazurkas of Chopin, and in the waltz movements of Tchaikovsky are to be found some of their most ingratiating music and the world would be poorer indeed, without Brahms's Liebesliederwaltzen, or Richard Strauss' Rosenkavalier waltzes.
But it was, after all, the Strausses, father and son, who most fully realized the beauty inherent in the waltz. They not only introduced a high standard of nineteenth-century performance into the ballroom of their era, but they successfully transferred it to the concert hall as well.
Johann Strauss, the younger, was the son of a musician who had won universal recognition as a composer of waltzes. The elder Strauss was, in his youth, associated with Joseph Lanner, the founder of Viennese dance music, but began his own dance orchestra in 1825, the year in which the son, who was to exceed him in fame, was born.
When the young Strauss had reached maturity, his father had not only won the hearts of the dance-loving Viennese, but had been acclaimed throughout Europe. His preoccupation with music left him little time for family life, and
unbeknown to him, his young son, fired with musical aspirations, had begun to develop his natural talents for the violin. "My teacher told me," he wrote, "that in order to acquire an elegant position and deportment as well as beautiful bowing, I should always practice before a mirror. I followed his instructions faithfully. One day I was standing before the mirror when the door opened and my father entered. 'What!' he cried, 'you play the violin' He had had no idea of such a thing, and learned only by this chance that I yearned to take up music as my profession. There was a violent and unpleasant scene. My father would hear nothing of such a plan. But later, when I had won success, his pleasure in it became one of my most cherished recollections."
Johann Strauss began his public career at a concert, October 15, 1844, at Donmayer's Casino. The tremendous success on that occasion, began a series of uninterrupted triumphs which finally brought him and his famous orchestra to America in 1872, where he performed at the International Peace Jubilee in Boston. To an audience of 50,000 people, Strauss played his waltzes, conducting an orchestra of 2,000 players, and a chorus of 20,000 voices. In addition to this spectacular array were added military bands from America and leading European countries, the Nashville Jubilee Singers, 150 other professional singers, bell ringers from the city's churches, and IOO Boston firemen who pounded on as many anvils! George P. Upton, former critic of the Chicago Tribune, heard Strauss conduct this concert, and has left a record of his experience. He wrote:
Strauss was fascinating as a leader. At the time I saw him he was about forty years old. He was of medium stature, with a rather low and narrow forehead, from which he brushed his hair straight back. He had the swarthy Austrian complexion, bright, restless black eyes, and wore his side-whiskers English fashion. With his left leg a little advanced and his violin resting on his knee, he gave the time for a bar or two with his bow very gracefully, also marking time with his right foot. He would then play with the orchestra, his whole body swaying to the rhythm of the waltz--only for the minute, however, for as a new phrase developed itself, his bow would be in the air, the violin again resting on his knee. He would turn to each part when he gave the signal to come in, sometimes developing whole bars, note by note, then abruptly pausing for a beat or two, anon, electrically springing into the music--feet, arms, legs, even the features of his face, moving to the tempo. He impressed his individuality upon every player, and they moved as one in the intoxicating delirium of the waltz. The effect upon the audience was almost as marvelous. All over the great building thousands of heads--black, blonde, and gray--were swaying in time. Children were fairly dancing. The heads of the singers were bobbing in time. The players yielded to the fascination and marked time with their bodies. And high above them all stood the presiding genius--the embodiment of the waltz rhythm.
Johann Strauss' output was prodigious. He composed almost five hundred
?George P. Upton, Musical Memoirs (Chicago, 1809).
dances and sixteen operettas. Although he chose to write in a limited idiom, within it he surpassed all others in effectiveness and expressiveness. His genius as a composer should not be minimized because he avoided working in the larger forms. He still remains one of the musical masters of his age. Richard Wagner referred to him as "the most musical brain of the century" and declared that "one of Strauss' waltzes surpassed, as far as charm, finish and musical worth, hundreds of artificial compositions of his contemporaries, as the tower of St. Stephen's surpasses the kiosks on the boulevards of Paris. Long live our classicists from Mozart to Strauss!"
The serious Brahms, too, was not unmindful of the charm of the "waltz king" when he defied his doctors' orders by leaving his sickbed to enjoy once more the playing of a Strauss waltz, or when he inscribed, under the title of his copy of "The Beautiful Blue Danube"--"Unfortunately not by Johannes Brahms."
Friday Evening, May 5
Symphony in D major, No. 35 ("Haffner") Kochel 385 . Mozart
Mozart was perhaps the most natural musician who ever lived; his art the most spontaneous that ever came into existence; his style the most limpid, serene, and transparent in all music. Here is empyrean music which treads on air--witty without loss of dignity, free without abandon, controlled without constriction, joyful and light-hearted, yet not frivolous; here is the music of eternal youth. No composer ever showed more affluence or more precision, more unerring instinct for balance and clarity than he. His genial vitality, absolute musicianship, and sympathetic sentiment set him apart from all other composers.
In the early months of 1782, while working on the instrumental parts of "Die Entfiihrung aus dem Serail" and composing the Serenade in C major, Mozart was also attempting to gain the consent of his adamant father to his marriage with Constance Weber. As usual he was in dire need of money and was beset by worry over the sudden general confusion of his life. While in this troubled state of mind, he received a letter from his father telling him that "a well-to-do and excellent and patriotic man," Sigmund Haffner, who "deserved well of Salzburg by reason of his large bequests," desired some "more festal strains."
"I have certainly enough to do," he answered his father (July 20, 1782) "for by Sunday a week my opera must be arranged for wind instruments or else some one will get the start of me, and reap the profits! And now I have to write a new work! I hardly see how it will be possible. . . . You shall certainly receive something every post-day, and I will work as rapidly as I can, and as well as I can, compatibly with such speed."
The next week he wrote again, "You will make a'wry face when you receive only the first allegro; but it could not be helped, for I was called on in such great haste. . . . On Wednesday, the 31st, I will send you the two minuets, the andante, and the last movements. If I can, I will send a march also." The march followed a week later.
As originally planned, the music was to take the form of a suite, including two minuets, an andante, a march, and a finale. Unable to complete the work as designed, he later revised it to the conventional symphonic form, by omitting
? Mozart had previously written in 1776 the Haffner Serenade in D major (Kochel 250) and a March for the wedding of Haffner's daughter, Elizabeth.
the march and one minuet. He further enriched the orchestration by adding flutes and clarinets.
Six months after the score was completed Mozart had so forgotten the contents that when his father, at his son's request, sent the manuscript back to him in February, 1783, he wrote casually, "The new 'Haffner' Symphony has quite astonished me, for I did not remember a note of it. It must be very effective."
The first movement is all brilliance and gaiety, with a vigorous and buoyant principal theme announced in the full orchestra, and later ingeniously developed. The recapitulation section is contrapuntally treated, with trills and rushing scale passages, with emphatic chords sustaining the energetic mood to the end of the movement.
The first theme of the second movement is announced in the violin. It is a warm, vibrant melody. Mounting into the upper regions, the theme takes on an airy grace and loveliness. After a repetition, a solemn but not gloomy interlude provides a deviation, after which the opening section returns with enough modification of the thematic line and form to gain interest.
The third movement is in the traditional minuet style, with a stately and dignified melody that possesses a soft, lustrous brilliance. There is a recapitulation of this section after an intimate and tender trio section.
The fourth movement is a glittering and exquisitely designed web of sound, elaborate and delicate in its ornamentation. The section is built upon two themes--the first, beginning softly in the strings, is repeated with slight alteration. The second subject, at first restrained, grows in vigor as it proceeds. In a letter to his father, Mozart designated that this movement must be played as fast as possible, but without loss of clarity or detail.
"Das Lied von der Erde" (The Song of the Earth), a symphony
for Tenor, Contralto, and Orchestra......Mahler
Gustav Mahler was born at Kalischt, Bohemia, July 7, i860; died at Vienna, Austria, May 8, 1911.
"Sensibility which no words can express--charm and torment of our vain years--vast consciousness of a nature everywhere greater than we are, and everywhere impenetrable." --Senaucour
Both as a composer and as an interpreter of the works of others, Gustav Mahler was one of the most distinguished musicians of his time.
From the first, Mahler, the composer, caused violent disagreement among musicians and critics, and even today there is nothing like unanimity as to his rightful place among the great masters of the world's music. The novelty of his art a decade or so ago, has paled in the light of today's perspective, and his music, magnificent as it is, appears to be situated at the end of a blind avenue, rather than on the main thoroughfare of musical thought.
As a composer, Mahler, like others of his era, was driven by a form of megalomania to create grandiose works of formidable proportions, his architectural abilities sometimes eclipsing his creative sense of proportion. Yet his works remain monumental expressions and passionate strivings after the highest ideals of art, revealing masterly workmanship and an abundance of profound thought. They must forever be ranked with the highest achievements of German music.
There has never been any disagreement, however, as to Mahler's preeminence as a great conductor, or as an interpreter of the significant music of the past. In this capacity he displayed an almost fanatical passion for perfection. A relentless artistic ideal compelled him to re-create with uncompromising devotion, the music of tho6e he worshipped. So demoniacal was the force that drove him to the revelation of beauty wherever he found it, that before he had reached the age of fifty-one, he had worn out his heart and had sacrificed his life in the attainment of his ideal.
Near the end of Mahler's life tremendous changes were taking place in the world. It was inevitable that the changing currents in European thought at the end of the nineteenth century would affect music. The romantic spirit that had given the art its tremendous vitality was fading before the advance of the realistic, the logical, and the scientific. Between the end of the romantic nineteenth and the beginning of the scientific twentieth century, music was experiencing a period of the greatest intellectual fermentation and creative fertility. Mahler found himself surrounded by numerous composers who seemed to have discovered untrammeled ways into the future of their art. On every hand, in every field of re-creation, he heard about him a host of the most technically skilled performers, and he beheld such huge and eager audiences as the world of music had never before known. Yet before his untimely death in 1911, the first year of what was to be a tragic decade, this active spring of inspiration began to grow sluggish. Creation went on, but composition started to show signs of becoming more a matter of method and arrangement than a means of personal expression; more a matter of aural sensation than spiritual inspiration. By this time Debussy's originality had run its course, and, although he continued to compose, the old certainty was gone, the creative imagination depleted. Richard Strauss' creative stream leveled off and became stagnant after producing "Rosenkavalier" in 1911; while Schonberg, upon completing the massive
"Guerre Lieder," his last work in the post-Wagnerian romantic style, mistook a tributary for the main current and ran dry in the arid plains of atonality.
German music had grown weary of perpetuating the principles of romanticism, and her composers had, by 1911, begun to forsake the past and to follow their new leaders, Reger and Schonberg (after "Guerre Lieder"); The composers of the post-Wagnerian period in Germany were not writing the last chapter of romanticism; they were writing its epilogue.
It was for Mahler alone, among German composers of his period, to reach full maturity while the romantic point of view still survived as a potent source of musical fecundity; his mind like that of Wagner and Brahms was nurtured by the rich blood of German romanticism. But with keen instinct and sensitive awareness, he felt that he was experiencing the end rather than the climax of a great era. His peculiar position--as the last romanticist who lived on into the twentieth century, forming, as it were, a bridge between a dying tradition and the birth of a new scientific ideology--is what gave to his art its peculiar distinction and character. His voice echoed from a vanishing world--a world that was becoming increasingly remote--still beheld in the mists of distance, but irrecoverably lost. Yet, with the soul of a mystic, Mahler continued to seek after deeper realities than appeared in the immediate and material world; with the mind of a philosopher he probed the depths of human experience and tried to relate the values he found there to those that were already superseding them.
The overwrought pathos, the impassioned eloquence, and fitful intensity found in his art has often been accredited to his Jewish origin, but the desperate nostalgia, the restless longing that surges through his pages, is not to be explained merely in terms of race, for Mendelssohn and Schonberg created no such feeling. It was the gloomy premonition of the approaching death of the romantic world view that haunted Mahler. In the wake of an advancing machine age and its insistence upon scientific reality, he was troubled by the fading away of illusion and the loss of the picturesque, disturbed by the slow emasculation of the magic, the supernatural, and the mythical symbols that sd vitalized the music of the world he knew. It is the consciousness of this receding world, this slipping away of old values, that gives Mahler's works, particularly "Das Lied von der Erde," their deeply nostalgic color and their troubled, poignant feeling. Yet Mahler had little in common with the earlier and fully formed romanticists; he shared their sensitivity and burning passion, but he lacked their fervor and strength, their "soaring flight in grief." There is in him none of the heroic and epic pathos of Wagner; there is only an unconquerable melancholy and infinite regret, a heartfelt protestation against the fleetingness and pain of life. As Santayana wrote of those philosophers who, like Mahler,
believed that existence was an illusion, he was "without one ray of humor, and all persuaded that the universe, too, must be without one."
In the autumn of 1907 Mahler left the Vienna Imperial Opera after having directed it with the greatest distinction for ten years, and came to America to become director of the New York Philharmonic Orchestra and the Metropolitan Opera. But before he left, his doctors informed him that he had but a short time to live. From overwork and undue strain, he had developed an incurable heart condition. The recent loss of his young daughter only accentuated his misery, and it was in this state of grief and bewilderment that he received from a friend a copy of Hans Bethage's "Die Chinesische Flote," a collection of ancient Chinese poems translated into German. The poems by Li-Tai-Po, Tchang-Tsi, Mong-Kao-Yen and Wang-Wei, singing of the transitoriness of life, the futility of momentary happiness, and the indifference of a beautiful world to man's cravings, struck a sympathetic chord in Mahler's desolate soul. They were to him an impressive expression of his innermost thoughts; they sounded the aching regret of one who must soon leave the world, tortured and disillusioned that so much beauty had to be left unexplored and unenjoyed. "Das Lied von der Erde" is indeed a product of the melancholy resignation of Mahler's last years. It reflects his philosophical attitude toward life, his avowed escapism in the recollection of things past, his pessimism and his world-weariness. Philip Hale might well have been referring to Mahler instead of Franz Schubert, when he wrote: "He smelled the mould, and knew that the earth was hungrily awaiting him." Mahler was an artist of infinite sensibility, he had been bruised by life, oppressed by an unintelligible world, and he cried out his bewilderment in the tradition of an era that had "dipt its wings in tears." No composer in the whole history of music ever achieved such a poignant expression of the loneliness and desolation of the human spirit. "Das Lied von der Erde" is not only Mahler's masterpiece and the most highly refined essence of his art, it is one of the supreme creations in German music, by perhaps the last noble mind in Germany. "A delicate yet earthbound perfume of melancholy rises from its pages," wrote Paul Stephan.f "It is as though one had entered the kingdom of hopelessness, whose benumbing atmosphere one cannot escape."
It is an adamant spirit indeed, that does not feel the spell of this work, and does not stagger emotionally under the terrific impact of its final movement, which, in the words of Ernest Newman, is "the Swan Song of our civilization."
These poets came from the most glorious era of Chinese art, her Augustan age-the T'ang dynasty (618--905 A.D.)--a period of great intellectual achievement, which produced in poetry a flood of songs of bewildering beauty and perfection of form that even today serve as models for Chinese writers.
fPaul Stephan, Gustav Mahler, A Study of His Personality and Work (New York: Schirmer's, 1913).
The work was completed at Mahler's summer residence near Tolbach in the Dolomite Mountains of southern Tyrol (now in Italy and called Dob-biacco), in the spring of 1908. It was conducted for the first time by Bruno Walter at Munich, November 11, 1911, but Mahler never heard this, his undisputed masterpiece. Only six months before, he had found surcease from his grief. He had already sung his last incomparable word in the farewell of "Das Lied von der Erde."
Mahler referred to the work as a symphony, yet he did not include it among his works in that form. This is a significant indication that Mahler's use of the term symphony in this connection carried with it a particular meaning. In the light of the attempts made in his previous symphonies to seek for a broader conception of expression, constantly departing from accepted traditions of symphonic writing, "Das Lied von der Erde" must be considered as a complete fulfillment of his unique conception of this form. Coming as it did, only three years before his death, it represents the realization of an ideal he had been seeking throughout his creative life. We must not fail to remember that song and poetry formed the basis of most of his previous orchestral works--five out of nine of his symphonies employed voices, chorales, or solos.
Essentially Mahler was a writer of song as personal and introspective as the lieder of Schumann and Brahms, but he seemed compelled to express himself in a larger framework than the song allowed. The symphonic form provided the structure which allowed him to achieve the epic expression, and to give grandeur and dramatic intensity to his vocal style. Although treated in a masterly fashion, the instrumental music of "Das Lied" forms itself into something much less than a symphony, but a great deal more than a mere accompaniment to the vocal parts. Only the vaguest resemblance to the symphonic form exists; a vigorous first movement, a slow second, a veritable scherzo in the third, and a faint similarity to the classical minuet, cast into a song and trio form, in the fourth. The orchestra is truly symphonic in size and complexity, though it is never used merely to create sensational dynamics or overpowering climaxes. It is, however, employed throughout in the interest of the most picturesque effects, every bar revealing Mahler's intimate knowledge of his medium, and keen awareness of its most subtle, expressive powers. His themes, admittedly at a low level of inspiration at times, as they seek a more complete articulation through the orchestra, dispel the commonplace, assume a refinement and clarity, become sensitively expressive, and often sing with an elegance that is not entirely their own.
The orchestra consists of the following instruments: 2 piccolos, 3 flutes, 3 oboes, English horn, 3 clarinets, E-flat clarinet, bass clarinet, 3 trombones, double bassoon, 4 horns, 3 trumpets, 3 trombones, tuba, 2 harps, mandolin, celeste, percussion, and strings.
Bruno Walter's book on Mahler states that when Mahler first spoke to him of "Das Lied von der Erde," he referred to it as a "symphony in songs," which carries a more significant meaning than "symphony," and directs the attention to those qualities which make this work such a unique masterpiece in the world's music.
1. Das Trinklied vom Jammer der Erde
(The Drinking Song of the Misery of the Earth) . Li-Tai-Po
This epicurean poem sings of a world of beauty and woe. The sky is eternal, the earth will long endure, but man's life is short and uncertain. A full goblet of wine is worth more than all the riches of the earth, for it can help us to forget that "dark is life, dark is death" (Dunkel ist das Leben, ist der Tod). The melody that accompanies these words as they appear three times in the poem, is the unifying musical theme of this section.
The only resemblance to the symphonic form here is the vigorous and energetic tempo of the conventional first movement.
Already beckons the wine in the golden goblet, but drink not yet; first will I sing you a song. The song of sorrow shall sound laughingly into your soul. When sorrow comes, the gardens of the soul lie wasted--the joy, the song, fade and die. Dark is life, dark is death.
Lord of this house, your cellar holds the fill of golden wine. Here, this lute I call mine! To strike the lute and to drain the glasses, these are the things that go together. A full goblet of wine at proper time is worth more than all the riches of this earth. Dark is life, dark is death.
The sky is eternally blue and the Earth will long stand fast and blossom in Spring. But thou, O man, how long dost thou live Not a hundred years canst thou enjoy all the rotten baubles of this earth!
See yonder! In the moonlight in the tombs a wild ghostly figure is squatting. It is an Ape! Hear how his howls pierce the sweet scent of Life.
Now take the wine. Now it is time, Comrades! Dark is life, dark is death.
2. Der Einsame im Herbst
(The Lonely One in Autumn)......Tchang-Tsi
Nature is in the pall of autumnal mists; cold winds bend the stems of the flowers, and scatter the blossoms of the lotus over the surface of the lake. Life ebbs away, the heart is filled with gloom, for it has never known love. The dragging and exhausted figure in the muted violins suggests a quiet melancholy, and the oboe, singing plaintively above it, accentuates the sadness and hopelessness inherent in the words.
Bruno Walter, Gustav Mahler (New York: Graystone Press, Inc., 1941).
This movement, in its deliberate tempo, bears a faint resemblance in spirit to the slow second movement of the classical symphony.
Autumn mists roll blue across the lakes; the grasses stand covered with rime.
It is as if an artist has strewn dust of Jade over the fine blossoms.
The sweet scent of the flowers is flown.
A cold wind bows down their stems.
Soon will the withered golden leaves of the lotus flower float in the water.
My heart is weary. My little lamp has sputtered
It calls me to rest.
I come to thee, beloved places of rest.
Yes! give me rest, I have need of solace.
1 weep much in my loneliness; the autumn in my heart lasts too long.
Sun of Love, willst thou never shine on me gently to dry up my bitter tears
3. Vonder Jugend (Of Youth)........Li-Tai-Po
A song of recollected youth and its images--the memory of a bridge of jade across a pond, a gay pavilion filled with merry people, dressed in their colorful silks and satins, chattering with their friends. All this is reflected upside down in the watery mirror. It is a sudden flash of childish memory; all things seem topsy-turvy, unstable, and unsubstantial.
This single departure from a cynical and pessimistic mood only serves to bring the former misery into relief.
The Chinese pentatonic (five note) scale is used here with the utmost delicacy and refinement, and the orchestration is exquisitely dainty. There is in this movement a suggestion of the scherzo spirit, and the song and trio form in the conventional symphony.
In the middle of a tiny pond stands a pavilion of green and white porcelain. Like the back of a tiger the bridge of Jade arches over to the Pavilion.
In the little house friends are sitting, beautifully dressed, drinking, chatting; some are writing verses. Their silken sleeves glide backwards, their silk caps perched merrily at the back of their necks.
On the still face of the small pond everything is shown fancifully mirrored. Everything stands on its head in the pavilion of green and white porcelain. Like the half-moon stands the bridge, upside down the arch. Friends, beautifully dressed, chatter. . . .
4. Von der Schonheit (Of Beauty).......Li-Tai-Po
Young maidens are wandering through a lovely landscape, picking lotus blossoms. A company of young horsemen trample the flowers in the field. The handsome one halts his horse to throw a glance at one of the maidens. Her heart has been touched by longing and desire--love that will forever remain unrequited.
The resemblance to the symphony is remote here, but may be found in the minuet style of two sections, separated by a trio. The use of the Chinese penta-tonic scale is again noted. The carefree music of the minuet-like section dies away in regretful tranquility.
Young maidens gather flowers, gather lotus flowers on the river bank. They sit between bushes and leaves collecting blossoms in their laps and calling teasingly to each other. The golden sun plays round their figures and mirrors them in the shining water. The sun reflects their slender limbs, their sweet eyes, and the breeze caressingly lifts the fabric of their sleeves, carries the magic of their fragrance through the air. O see, what handsome youths are sporting there on the bank on brave horses! Far away, shining like rays of the sun, hearty youngsters are already cantering along between the branches of the green willows! The steed of one whinnies joyfully and shies and plunges over flowers and grass with flying hoofs. They heedlessly trample down the withered flowers. Hey! see how their manes wave in frenzy, how their nostrils hotly steam!
The golden sun plays round their figures and mirrors them in the shining water. And the loveliest of the maidens follows him with long looks of desire. Her proud mien is only pretence. In the sparkle of her wide eyes and the darkness of their passionate glow, the excitement of her heart surges beseechingly.
5. Der Trunkene im Friihling
(The Drunken One in Springtime).....Li-Tai-Po
The miseries of life, the thoughts of death, all can be lost and oblivionated in drink--the expedient of despair. For the ancient Chinese poets, drinking to forgetfulness was not an evil, it was merely a welcome relief from the tensions of life.
An impudent little theme is cast into the classical rondo form, reappearing with each stanza of the poem, but constantly modified as it continues.
If life is but a dream, why then the work and worry I drink till I can drink no more the livelong day.
And when I can drink no more, when neck and soul are full, I stagger to my door and sleep marvelously.
What do I hear on waking Hark! a bird sings in the tree. I ask him if Spring is here; it is like a dream to me.
The bird twitters; yes, Spring is here, it came overnight. In deepest wonder I listen; the bird sings and laughs!
I fill the cup afresh and drain it to the end and sing until the moon shines in the black sky!
And when I can sing no more I fall asleep again. What is the Spring to me Let me be drunk!
6. Der Abschied
(The Farewell) .... Mong-Kao-Yen and Wang-Wei
Two poems are combined here by Mahler. The sun sinks, evening descends upon the world, the moon floats into the sky. Desire is put to sleep, all joy is forgotten. Poignant regret and hopeless resignation settles over all. Short, pathetic little fragments of mournful melody shift about in kaleidoscopic arrangements while an expressionless recitative in the voice recounts the coming of night and the descent of sleep. A purely instrumental climax reflects the longing in solitude of the human soul, for love and the beauty of the world. Then with a grief unsurpassed in the realm of music, almost unbearable in its intensity, the words "my friend, fortune was not kind to me in this world" (mein Freund, mir war auf dieser Welt das Gliick nicht hold) are wrung from the depths of an anguished soul. The last farewell to earth stays on a dead monotonous level and, as the orchestra dies away on a chord of an added sixth, the voice repeats its last "forever" (ewig) as though the soul were leaving the body, and the vision of the beautiful earth was fading into the blackness of Death--forever lost.
The sun sinks behind the mountains. Evening with its cooling shadows descends into the valleys. O see! like a silver-bark the moon floats up into the blue lake of heaven. I feel the breath of a soft wind behind the dark firs. The brook sings sweet melody through the darkness. The flowers pale in the twilight. The world breathes deep of rest and sleep. All desire will now dream, and weary mortals wend homeward to learn anew in slumber forgotten joy and youth! The birds perch still on their branches. The world sleeps! A cool breeze breathes in the shadow on my fir trees. I stand here and await my friend: I wait for him for the last farewell. I long, O friend, to be by thy side to savour the beauty of this evening. Where art thou Thou leavest me long alone! I wander to and fro with my lute on paths billowed with soft grasses. O Beauty! O Eternal Love--Life--drunken World!
He gets from his horse and hands him the cup of farewell. He asks him whither he fares and, too, why it must be so. He spoke, his voice was veiled: Thou, my friend, fortune was not kind to me in this world! Whither I go I go, I wander in the mountains. I seek rest for my lonely heart. I wander homeward! My home. Never shall I roam afar. My heart is still and awaits its hour! The dear Earth wakes everywhere in Spring and flourishes anew. Everywhere and eternally, remoteness brightens in the blue! Ever .... Ever ....
Saturday Afternoon, May 6 Suite from "The Water Music".....Handel-Ormandy
The legend of the "Water Music," so carefully preserved by music historians in the past for the delight and edification of music lovers of the future, was first told by Handel's biographer, John Mainwaring.
It went something like this: In 1712 Handel was the Kapellmeister to the Elector of Hanover. Obtaining a leave of absence from his patron to pay a second visit to England "on condition that he agreed to return within a reasonable time," he quite overstayed his visit and "whether he was afraid of repassing the sea, or whether he had contracted an affection for the diet of the land he was in, so it was that the promise he had given at his going away had somewhat slipped out of his memory."
Not only did he overstay his leave, but he further injured the feelings of his patron by accepting favors from Queen Anne, who lost no love or affection on the Hanoverian who was in line for her throne.f He heaped insult upon injury by writing an ode in celebration of the Queen's birthday and a festival "Te Deum," and a "Jubilate" to commemorate the Peace of Utrecht.J
Queen Anne settled upon Handel a yearly pension of 100 pounds, but she apparently failed to fully appreciate his unusual position in England, for without warning and with an extreme lack of tact--she died. Handel's neglected patron ascended the throne of England in 1714, as His Britannic Majesty, George I; and Handel, slightly chagrined at the turn of affairs, retired in his embarrassment from St. James palace to the seclusion of Burlington House. Here he awaited the pleasure or displeasure of the new ruler of the British Empire, who remained sublimely indifferent to his wayward musician's person, although he could not resist his music and frequented the opera house to hear "Rinaldo" and "Amadigi."
A "noble friend" of Handel's, continues Mainwaring, one Baron Kilmann-segge, had a wife who was perhaps no more discreet than she should have been. (She did enjoy a particular friendship with the King.) Her husband was his
Mainwaring, Memoirs of the Life of the late George Frederic Handel was published anonymously in 1760, the year after Handel's death.
f Anne's dislike of the Hanover family was believed by Spanheim to date from a visit of the then electoral Prince, George Lewis, in 1680, which was not followed, as had been expected, by a proposal of marriage.
X They were performed at St. Paul's in 1713.
Master of the Horse, and in this position he was able to put into effect a suggestion made by Lord Burlington to bring about a reconciliation between Handel and his estranged patron.
Now it seems that King George took particular delight in traveling on the luxuriously equipped royal barge, which made its way on the "Silver Thames" from Whitehall, when the court was there, to Richmond or to Hampton Court. Often on a summer day, accompanying the King's barge, was another, bearing musicians who played soothing music, "elegantly performed by the best masters and instruments" to alleviate the troubles that were crowding in upon the King.
Burlington's suggestion to Kilmannsegge came to realization in this way, writes Mainwaring: "The King was persuaded to form a party on the water. Handel was appraised of the design and advised to prepare some music for that occasion. It was performed and conducted by himself, unknown to His Majesty, whose pleasure on hearing it was equal to his surprise. He was impatient to know whose it was--the Baron then produced the delinquent and asked leave to present him to His Majesty as one who was too conscious of his faults to attempt an excuse for them. The intercession was accepted without any difficulty. Handel was restored to favor."
A pretty little tale, but historical fact has once more dethroned musical fiction, and Clio's frowns upon Euterpe have turned to smiles. The "Water Music" was really not composed for the Thames party in 1715, but for one two years later, July 17, 1717, to be exact; and when this took place, King George and Handel were already better than the best of friends.
In the state archives at Berlin the following report by Frederick Bonnet, envoy from the Duchy of Brandenburg to the English court in 1717, was recently discovered:
Some weeks ago, the King expressed a wish to Baron von Kilmanseck to have a concert on the river by subscription, like the masquerades this winter which the King attended assiduously on each occasion. The Baron addressed himself therefore to Heidegger, a Suisse by nationality, but the most intelligent agent the nobility could have for their pleasures. Heidegger answered that much as he was eager to oblige His Majesty, he must reserve the subscription for the big enterprises, to wit, the masquerades, each of which was worth from 300 to 400 guineas to him.
Baron Kilmanseck, seeing that H. M. was vexed about these difficulties, resolved to give the concert on the river at his own expense, and so this concert took place the day before yesterday. The King entered his barge about eight o'clock with the
The Royal Water party of July 17, 1717, and Handel's connection with it were described in a similar manner in the London Daily Courant of July 19, 1717.
Duchess of Bolton, the Countess of Godolphin, Mad. de Kilmanseck, Mad. Were and the Earl of Orkney, gentleman of the King's bedchamber, who was on guard. By the side of the royal barge was that of the musicians to the number of fifty, who played all kinds of instruments. The concert was composed expressly for the occasion by the famous Handel, native of Halle, the first composer of the King's music. It was so strongly approved by H. M. that he commanded it to be repeated, once before and once after supper, although it took an hour for each performance.
The evening party was all that could be desired for the occasion. There were numberless barges, and especially boats filled with people eager to take part in it. In order to make it more complete, Mad. de Kilmanseck had made arrangements for a splendid supper at the pleasure house of the late Lord Ranelagh at Chelsea on the river, to where the King repaired an hour after midnight. He left there at three, and at half-past four in the morning H. M. was back at St. James'. The concert has cost Baron Kilmanseck 150 pounds for the musicians alone, but neither the Prince nor the Princess took part in the festivities.
Whatever the occasion for which the "Water Music" was written, it was still conceived by Handel as music to be played out-of-doors, and its orchestration for flutes, piccolos, oboes, bassoons, horns, trumpets, and strings drew attention to new values in instrumental balance which became fundamental in the later schools of instrumental writing that were then only being formed.
Rockstro points out that the style of the instrumentation "unquestionably owes its origin to the peculiar circumstances under which it was intended that the music should be performed. The parts for the wind instruments--more especially those for the horns--are so arranged as to produce the loveliest effect when heard across the water. When effects like these were new, they must have delighted their hearers beyond all measure. The sarabands, gavottes, and bourrees of the eighteenth century are among the choicest of its musical treasures and it would be difficult to find more perfect examples of the style than these."
SONGS OF THE AMERICAS (Edited by Marguerite V. Hood and Orchestrated by Eric DeLamarter)
1. Laughing Lisa.......French-Canadian folk song
Upon the flow'ry meadow
Pretty Lisa goes, A twinkle in her laughter,
Twinkles in her toes.
Amid the waving grasses, Blooming all apart,
She picks a snow-white daisy, With a yellow heart. "Sweet daisy, if he loves me, Answer me and tell!"
She pulls the daisy petals; Yes, he loves her well!
2. Night Herding Song.......American cowboy song
Montana version: a lullaby for the cattle
Go slow, little dogies, stop milling around, For I'm tired of your roving all over
the ground, There's grass where you're standin', so
feed kind o' slow; And you don't have forever to be on
the go.
Move slow, little dogies, move slow. Hio, hio, hio ....
Lay down, little dogies, and when you've
laid down, You can stretch yourselves out, for
there's plenty of ground. Stay put, little dogies, for I'm awful tired, And if you get away, I am sure to be
Lay down, little dogies, lay down. Hio, hio, hio ....
Buy My Tortillas........Folk song from Chile '
(£ Tortillero is a street vendor who sings this song as he j
calls his wares, the crisp, little pancakes, tortillas, which are
kept hot over glowing coals and sold on the streets.) ;
In the darkness I see nothing, By my feeble lantern light;
I am passing by your window, With a merry song tonight.
Louder I'll sing, dear,
Making my call clear; Who'll come and buy crispy little pancakes,
Tortillas buenos.
With my basket full of pancakes I have nearly passed from sight,
Vainly waiting for a message For your vendor boy tonight.
if. Lord, I Want to be a Christian
Lord, I want to be a Christian In-a my heart, in-a my heart.
Lord, I want to be a Christian In-a my heart.
......Negro spiritual
Lord, I want to be more loving In-a my heart, in-a my heart.
Lord, I want to be more loving, In-a my heart.
5. Arrurru--Cradle song...... Colombian folk song
Arranged by Jose Ignacio Perdomo ; sung in Spanish under
supervision of Mary Santos of Bogota, Colombia.
English translation by Juan O. Diaz-Lewis
Duermete nino Duermete en paz
Las manpositas No se ven volar.
Las aves cesaron Su dulce cantar
Y con sus hijuelos Durmiendo estaran.
Sleep, my baby,
Sleep in peace. The little butterflies
Are flying no more.
The birdies have ceased Their sweet singing;
And with their little ones Are slumbering already.
6. My Pretty Cabocla . . .
When you are dancing the samba, my
A humming bird seems a-flying, Seeking a place for nesting, you rove,
7. The Indian Flute . . . .
Lonely calls the Indian flute,
Like the wood-dove's coo. Lonely on the mountain,
Down the valleys, deep and blue. "I am waiting," calls the Indian flute.
Hear the plaintive music, High upon the Andes mountains,
Floating down the Andes valleys.
. . . Folk song from Brazil
Ne'er a moment for resting; Ah, pretty Cabocla, for you I am sighing, Ah, pretty Cabocla, for you I am sighing!
Folk song of the Quechua Indians in the Peruvian highlands Now the daughter at her door
Hears the shepherd's "hoo," Where the sunshine burns all day
On the sages, crisp and blue. "Come, ye daughter," calls the Indian
"I have waited long for you, High upon the Andes mountains, Deep within the Andes valleys."
Uy! Tara La La . . . Folk song from Mexico, sung in Spanish English translation by Augustus D. Zanzig
Uy! Tara la la, Uy! Tara la la, Ea, ea, ea, ea, ea . . . .
De miedo a ese coyote, no baja mi chivo
al agua. Ayer tarde que bajaba, pobre chivo ya
le andaba.
Tira me una lima, tira me un limon, Tira me las llaves chiquita de tu corazon.
Si quieres vamos al mar; A ver al navio venir, Que bonitos ojos tienes, Que los quisiera pedir.
9. Sourwood Mountain . .. . ,
Chicken crowin' on Sourwood mountain,
Hey de ing dang, diddle ally day. So many pretty girls I can't count 'em,
Hey de ing dang, diddle ally day. My true love she lives in Letcher,
Hey de ing dang, diddle ally day. She won't come and I won't fetch her,
Hey de ing dang, diddle ally day.
My true love's a blue-eyed daisy . . . If I don't get her I'll go crazy, . . .
For fear of a ling'ring coyote, my young
kid won't go to the water. For yesterday when he went there, the
coyote was in that quarter. Throw to me a lemon, throw to me a lime, Throw to me the keys to your heart,
my dearest little maid. Will you to the ocean go,
A beautiful ship to see, Your eyes are very lovely,
Won't you lend them now to me
Appalachian mountain folk song Big dog'll bark and little one'll bite
you, . . . Big girl'll court and little one'll slight
you, . . .
My true love lives up the river,. . .
A few more jumps and I'll be with
her,... My true love lives in the hollow, . . .
She won't come and I won't follow . ..
10. Westward..........Chippewa Indian air
From the Derrick Norman Lehmer collection
Ever westward, ever westward,
Far beyond the rolling prairies, Sinks the sun behind the mountains
To his crimson lodge of evening. Who knows his pathway
His lodge of evening All the old men have not seen it.
All the wise men know nothing of it.
11. Ay, Ay, Ay.....
Below hanging moss I push my canoe,
Where marshes are blossoming blue. Oh, come, flower maiden, ay, ay, ay, ay,
My garden is waiting for you. I buy your jessamine buds white,
Camellias glowing with red light; What hope you would give, dear, what joy it would be,
If each had a message for me!
12. The Erie Canal ....
I've got a mule, her name is Sal,
Fifteen years on the Erie Canal. She's a good old worker and a good old pal,
Fifteen years on the Erie Canal. We've hauled some barges in our day,
Filled with lumber, coal and hay, And ev'ry inch of the way we know,
From Albany to Buffalo.
Chorus Low bridge, ev'rybody down!
Low bridge, for we're going through a town.
Ever westward, ever westward,
To the silent land of darkness, Drift the souls of the departed
To the kingdom of the West Wind. Who knows their pathway
Their lodge of evening All the old men have not seen it.
All the wise men know nothing of it.
. Creole folk song, a serenade
I leave as a gift this murmuring shell,
Oh, please hold it close to your ear! It speaks for my heart, ay, ay, ay, ay, ay,
If you are but willing to hear. You sell your blossoms all day,
But throw our happiness away, While down in my garden beside our bayou,
Bright roses are growing for you.
. . . . American river ballad
And you'll always know your neighbor, '
You'll always know your pal, If you ever navigated on the Erie Canal.
We'd better get along, old Gal,
Fifteen years on the Erie Canal. You can bet your life I'd never part with Sal.
Fifteen years on the Erie Canal. Git up there, mule, here comes a lock;
We'll make Rome 'bout six o'clock. Just one more trip and then back we'll go,
Right back home to Buffalo.
Overture, "Le Carnaval Romain" (Roman Carnival),
Op. 9...............Berlioz
Hector Berlioz was born December 11, 1803, at Cote St. Andra; died March 8, 1869, at Paris.
The artistic career of Hector Berlioz was coincident with the early work of Mendelssohn, Schumann, Chopin, Liszt, and Wagner. His historical importance
lies not so much in his philosophy of musical art, which is no longer defensible, nor in his absolute contribution to musical literature, for comparatively few of his works appear on concert programs today, but in the stimulus which he gave to new musical ways and means. He made an exhaustive study of the technical capacities of all the orchestral instruments, extending greatly the range of their use, and he carried on vigorously the movement begun by Beethoven to release musical forms from the bondage of custom. Although in his day no composer showed more daring originality or more volcanic reaction against stilted tradition, much of the fearless eloquence and daring innovation of his music has evaporated with the passing of time. But the marks of his genius are still apparent to us today, as we look back at the direction music took because of his advent. Although music has long since passed the goals of expression, which Berlioz with his fantastic imagination envisioned, the world will never be permitted to completely ignore either him or his compositions, so great was the force with which he imposed his personality upon his art, and so inexhaustible was the inventiveness with which he endowed everything he wrote.
The "Roman Carnival" was originally intended by Berlioz as an Introduction to the second act of his ill-fated opera, "Benvenuto Cellini." The amusing history of this work is told by Berlioz himself in his memoirs:
I had been greatly struck with certain episodes in the life of Benvenuto Cellini,
and was so unlucky as to think they offered an interesting and dramatic subject for an opera. So 1 begged Leon de Wailly and Auguste Barbier--the terrible poet of the lombes--to make me a libretto on the subject.
To believe even our common friends, their libretto did not contain the elements essential to what is called a well-made play. I liked it, however, and I still do not see that it is inferior to many that are performed every day. Duponchel was then Director of the Opera. He looked upon me as a kind of lunatic, whose music could be nothing but a tissue of extravagances. Still, in order to please the Journal des Debats he consented to hear a reading of the libretto of Benvenuto, and appeared to like it. He afterwards went about everywhere, saying that he was getting up this opera not for the sake of the music, which he knew must be absurd, but because of the book, which he thought charming.
He accordingly put it into rehearsal; and never shall I forget the tortures I endured for the three months devoted to it. The indifference and obvious distaste with which most of the actors attended the rehearsals, as if convinced beforehand that it would be a failure, Habeneck's ill-temper, the under-hand rumours circulated in the theater, the stupid remarks of all these illiterate people about a libretto differing so much in style from the dull rhyming prose of Scribe's school--all this revealed to me
Memoirs of Hector Berlioz. Translation by Rachel (Scott Russel) Holmes and Eleanor Holmes; annotated, and the translation revised, by Ernest Newman (New York: Alfred A. Knopf, 1932).
a universal hostility against which I was powerless, and of which I had to pretend not to be aware.
Then we came to the orchestra rehearsals, the musicians, seeing Habeneck's sulky air, treated me with the most distant reserve. They did their duty, however, but Habeneck did not do his. 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 today. You can go."
And there the rehearsal ended.
Some years afterwards, when I had written the "Carnaval Romain" Overture, in which the theme of the allegro is this same saltarello, Habeneck happened to be in the green-room of the Herz concert-hall the evening that this overture was to be played for the first time. He had heard that we had rehearsed it in the morning without the wind instruments, part of the band having been called off to the National Guard. "Good!" said he to himself. "There will certainly be a catastrophe at his concert this evening. I must be there." On my arrival, indeed, I was surrounded in the orchestra by all the wind players, who were in terror at the idea of having to play an overture of which they did not know a note.
"Don't be afraid," I said. "The parts are correct; you all know your jobs; watch my baton as often as you can, count your bars correctly, and it will be all right."
Not a single mistake occurred. I launched the allegro in the whirlwind time of the Transteverine dancers. The public cried "Bis!" We played the overture over again; it was even better done the second time. And as I passed back through the green-room, where Habeneck stood looking a little disappointed, I just flung these few words at him: "That is how it ought to go!" to which he took care to make no reply.
Never did I feel more keenly the delight of being able to direct the performance of my music myself; and the thought of what Habeneck had made me endure only enhanced my pleasure. Unhappy composers! learn how to conduct, and how to conduct yourselves well (with or without a pun), for do not forget that the most dangerous of your interpreters is the conductor himself.
To return to Benvenuto.
The overture was not heard at the first performances of "Benvenuto Cellini" for Berlioz did not compose that music until 1843--nve years after the production of the opera.
In spite of the prudent reserve maintained by the orchestra in accordance with their conductor's secret hostility towards me, the musicians at the close of the last rehearsals applauded several of the pieces, and some even declared my work to be one of the most original they had ever heard. This came to the ears of Duponchel; and one evening I heard him say: "Did anyone ever know such a sudden change of opinion They now think Berlioz' music delightful, and these fools of musicians are lauding it up to the skies." Several of them, however, were far from such partisanship. One evening, in the finale of the second act, two were detected playing the air, J'ai du bon tabac, instead of their own part, in hopes of flattering Habeneck. These blackguardly tricks were matched on the stage. In this same finale, where the scene is darkened and represents a masked crowd at night in the Piazza Colonna, the male dancers amused themselves by pinching the women, making them shriek, and shrieking themselves, to the great disturbance of the chorus. And when I sent for the manager to put an end to the scandal, Duponchel was not to be found--he never condescending to attend a rehearsal!
The opera at last arrived at performance. The overture received exaggerated applause, and the rest was hissed with admirable energy and unanimity.
An Introduction (Allegro assai con fuoco, A major, 6-8 time) suggests the Saltarello danced in Act II of the Opera, and in a second slow section (Andante sostenuto, C major, 3-4 time), the English horn sings a melody from Act I. A transition to the Allegro accelerates the tempo and a chromatic passage for the woodwinds leads directly into the allegro vivace (A major, 6-8 time). The theme here is taken from the second act, and is the Saltarello suggested in the introduction. This is the section which caused Berlioz' disagreement with Habeneck. There is a considerable development of this theme, ending with an episode formed from the English horn melody of the Introduction, now sung in the bassoon over the constantly reiterating Saltarello figure in the violins. A return of the Saltarello proper brings this colorful overture to an end.
Gabriel Faure was born at Pamiers, Ariege, May 13, 1845; died at Paris, November 4, 1924.
Faure is a dramatic exception to the adage that a prophet is unsung in his own country. In his case, France recognized her son handsomely, not only in making him a member of the Academie des Beaux Arts (1909), a Commander
The Saltarello (derived from the Latin saltare, "to jump") is an ancient dance of Roman origin. It was danced by a man frequently playing a guitar, and the woman a tambourine. The step consisted of a hop and a skip, and as the dance progressed, it became quicker and more violent. The finales of Mendelssohn's Italian Symphony, and Vieuxtemp's Fantasia Appassionate for violin and orchestra, are saltarellos.
in "Legion d'Honneur" (1910), but in paying him a national homage at the Sorbonne (1922) such as no other Frenchman, except Louis Pasteur, has ever received.
The honors were well deserved, for Faure not only drew the attention of his native countrymen, but of the whole world to the fact that France was once more a leader, and not a docile follower, in music. His persuasive and ingratiating style insinuated itself slowly but surely into the French national consciousness, and since his day, the art of Faure has continued to appeal to all those who admire refinement of expression and elegance of style. As £mile Vuillernioz, eminent Parisian critic, wrote: "To love and understand Faure, constitutes a privilege from which it is difficult not to derive a sort of innocent pride. It is the mark of a subtle ear, the flattering indication of a refined sensibility."
The Pavane was a stately and solemn dance popular in the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries. Its origin has been variously traced to the formal and austere courts of Spain, during the inquisition, and to Italy. Etymological speculation leads us back to the city of Padua (Pavana, as reduced from Padovana) but the name no doubt is derived from Latin favo, "peacock," and the majestic dignity of the dance certainly suggests the haughty movements of this proud bird. The Dictlonnaire de Trevoux describes the pavane as "a grave kind of dance borrowed from the Spaniards, wherein the performers make a kind of wheel or tail before each other, like that of a peacock, whence its name."
The greatest authority of the early dances, Arbeau, tells us in his "Orcheso-graphie" j that "It (the pavane) is used by kings, princes, and great lords, to display themselves, on some solemn festival, with their fine mantles and robes of ceremony, and then the queens and princesses and the great ladies accompany them with long trains on their dresses let down and trailing behind them. These pavanes are also used in masquerades and ballets when there is a procession of triumphal chariots of gods and goddesses, emperors or kings, resplendent with majesty."
From other references to the dance, we must add, to the qualities of majesty and dignity, that of religious solemnity, for again in the "Orcheso-graphie" Arbeau writes, "our musicians play it when a damsel of good family is
Emile Vuillernioz, "Gabriel Faure," La Revue Musicale, October, 1922.
Arbeau's (born Jehan Tabourot) "Orchesographie et traite en forme de dialogue par lequel toutes personnes peuvent facilement apprendre et pratiquer l'honnete exercise des dances" (1589) is the earliest treatise on dancing extant. It contains the notation of the different dance tunes, and woodcuts representing the different steps to be executed in the dances.
taken to Holy Church to be married, or when musicians head a religious procession of chaplains, masters, and brethren of some noble guild."
Like all early dances, the pavane was originally sung, as well as danced, and at weddings, sacred feasts, and funerals, the voices of the chorus were often accompanied by oboes and sacbuts (trombones). Faure made provision in the score for such a chorus (ad libitum) which will be omitted in this performance. Its absence does not disturb the unity or completeness of the work, for it is not essential to the musical plan.
Concerto for Two Pianos and Orchestra . . . Harl McDonald
Harl McDonald was born near Boulder, Colorado, in 1899.
Harl McDonald spent his youth on his father's cattle ranch, moving later to Southern California. He received his first musical training from his mother, and at the age of four began to study piano. A year or two later he was given his first lessons in dictation and harmony. By the age of seven he had learned to play a number of instruments and had made his first attempt at composition.
Since then his career has been varied in the extreme. After further study in Germany, he became known as an organist, choirmaster, piano recitalist, accompanist for several vocalists and violinists, and teacher of composition in several schools. From 1930 to 33, he did outstanding research work under a Rockefeller grant, collaborating with two electrical engineers and a physicist in the field of the measurement of instrumental and voice tone, new scale divisions and resultant harmonies, and in the recording and transmission of tone.
At present Mr. McDonald is a lecturer on composition and conductor of the choral organizations of the University of Pennsylvania, and the manager of the Philadelphia Orchestra.
Mr. McDonald has supplied the following program notes:
"My Concerto for Two Pianos and Orchestra was composed in the summer of 1936, while I was in Maine. In form it makes several departures from the conventional design especially in the last movement, which is a Juarezca.
"The first movement opens molto moderato in a broad melodic line over an ostinato pattern in 'cellos, basses, and bassoons. At the end of twenty bars this theme is taken by the solo instruments and leads to the subito allegro. After some dialogue between orchestra and pianos, the principal thematic material falls to the orchestra, and the soloists' parts become largely ornamental. Suddenly, at bar 98, the pianos announce, jortissimo, a rhythmic pattern which, in turn, beOFFICIAL PROGRAM
comes a pizzicato accompaniment for the first (introductory) theme. Development continues, with the use of both principal and secondary themes, and is carried into a long cadenza. There is a brief recapitulation, vivo, and the movement closes with a sweeping, double glissando in the two solo instruments.
"The second movement is a set of free variations on an original theme, andante esfressivo, in three-two time. The theme is first heard in the first violins; continues as an oboe solo over a string background, and is then taken up by the pianos. The first variation, which is an allegretto scherzando in two-four rhythm, finds the soloists embellishing the subject matter, which is given to woodwinds and pizzicato strings. The second variation, adagio maestoso, in three-four time, is introduced by the two soloists, who later weave counterlines around the orchestra. In the third variation, moderato e gaio, again in three-four time, the orchestra is used, sometimes in choirs and sometimes as a whole, in a highly rhythmic style which the soloists counter with a little scherzo. The fourth and last variation is a chorale in five-four time for wind instruments, countered and embellished first by one soloist, then the other.
"The last movement of the concerto is Hispano-American style, and in it I have utilized some devices common to many Mexican concert bands. These have to do with the practical elimination of dialogue between soloists and orchestra; the occasional use of the solo instruments as a part of the orchestral fabric; but in general, constant emphasis on continuous and uninterrupted sonorities and rhythms. The Juarezca, a dance of Northern Mexico, has been popular for about fifty years, and along the borders has taken on something of the character of American jazz. It is in two-two time, and allegro. The movement opens with twelve measures of percussion; the subordinate theme is then introduced in the orchestra with piano decoration, and after a few bars the second piano presents the principal theme. Development of the material is accompanied by constant increase in orchestral volume, until a brief diminuendo leads to a Malaguena in the two pianos. The rhythms of the percussion instruments are heard again in Juarezca. The movement closes."
Saturday Evening, May 6 Overture to "Die Meistersinger"........Wagner
To the opera-going public, particularly in Germany, Wagner's single comedy "Die Meistersinger" is the most beloved of all his works. The gaiety and charming tunefulness of the score, and the intermingling of humor, satire, and romance in the text, are reasons enough for its universal popularity.
As a reconstruction of the social life in the quaint medieval city of Nuremberg, its truthfulness and vividness are beyond all praise. In its harmless satire, aimed in kindly humor at the manners, vices, and follies of the "tradesmen-musicians" and their attempt to keep the spirit of minstrelsy alive by dint of pedantic formulas, the plot is worthy to stand beside the best comedies of the world. Certainly it has no equal in operatic literature.
Among the great instrumental works whose fundamental principle is that of polyphony (plural melody), the Prelude to "Die Meistersinger" stands alone. Polyphonic music, formerly the expression of corporate religious worship, now becomes the medium for the expression of the many-sidedness of individual character and the complexity of modern life. What a triumph for the man who was derided for his lack of scholarship, because he had no desire to bury himself alive in dust, but who constructed, with a surety of control of all the resources of the most abstruse counterpoint, a monument of polyphonic writing such as has not seen the light since the days of Palestrina and Bach (and with no sacrifice of naturalness, simplicity, and truthfulness, mind you).
Like Beethoven in the "Lenore" overtures written for his opera Fidelio, Wagner constructed the symphonic introduction to his comedy so as to indicate the elements of the dramatic story, their progress in the development of the play, and finally the outcome.
The overture begins with the theme of the Meistersingers in heavy pompous chords which carry with them all the nobility and dignity indicative of the character of the members of the guild, with their steadfast convictions of adherence to traditional rules. The theme is an embodiment of all that was sturdy, upright, and kindly in the medieval burgher.
The second theme, only fourteen measures in length, heard in alternating flute, oboe, and clarinet, expresses the tender love of Eva and Walther. With a flourish in the violins flaunted by brass, another characteristic meistersinger theme appears in the wind, indicating the pompous corporate consciousness of the guild, symbolized in their banner whereon is emblazoned King David playing his harp.
In an interlude the violins sing the famous "prize song" in which the whole work finds its highest expression in the last act. This section is abruptly ended with a restatement of the meistersinger theme, now in the form of a short scherzo in humorous staccati notes. A stirring climax is reached with the simultaneous sounding of the three main themes: the "prize song" in the first violins, first horns, and celli; the banner theme in woodwinds, lower horns, and second violins; the meistersinger theme in basses of all choirs. There is little music so intricate, yet so human. In the words of Lawrence Gilman, it is "a wondrous score, with its Shakespearean abundance, its Shakespearean blend of humor and loveliness, the warmth and depth of its humanity, the sweet mellowness of its spirit, its incredible recapturing of the hue and fragrance of a vanished day, its perfect veracity and its transcendent art."
Aria, tcRevenez, revenez, amour" from "Thesee" .... Lully
Jean Baptiste Lully was born at, or near, Florence, November 29, 1639; died at Paris, March 22, 1687.
The operas of Jean Baptiste Lully are too overburdened with court artificialities to be accepted today. The excerpts that occasionally reach us in the ' concert hall, recall the solemn dignity and the vast majesty of the court of Louis XIV, where Lully reigned, with supreme authority, as the sole composer of ; opera; they sound once again, in their severe and measured musical declamation, the rhetorical splendor and magnificence of the pseudo-classical tragedies of Corneille and Racine. Lacking in lyrical effusion and intimacy, this French opera of the seventeenth century, in spite of its severity and artificiality, is I genuinely artistic. In it the will to style of the period reached its summit; here i everything was ordered and clear, sonorous and pure, and pleasantly contrived. ': The most successful music of this period was bound to be that which most fully mathematized itself, and absorbed the Cartesian spirit of symmetry. Lully was the master stylist of his age, and although he was a second-rate musician, he was a first-class theatrical composer who knew the commercial value of complying with the taste of his time. His operas were models in France for almost a ¦ century; in fact, until the advent of Gluck. ;
The aria on tonight's program is from "Thesee." This opera was first performed at Paris in 1675, and remained in the repertory from then until : 1779--a record not surpassed by any other of his works. The text is by the ; poet and librettist Quinault, who took for his hero the mythical-historical charac¦ ter of early Greek history, Theseus, son of Aegeus, King of Athens. !
The aria is characteristic of the theatrical music of the time. It was meant ; to ornament an entertainment of grand proportions and solemn severity, and ¦ its style is typical rather than personal. There is no attempt here to give the
illusion of real passion or emotion. Its text is merely that if love is a weakness, it is the weakness of great hearts.
Serpina's Aria, "Stizzoso, mio stizzoso" from
"La Serva Padrona" ..........Pergolesi
Giovanni Pergolesi was born near Ancona, January 3 I7Io; died at Pozzuoli, March 17, 1736.
This sprightly little aria carries with it all of the spirit and wit, all the gaiety and charm, of the "buffa" art. Mme Sayao, who with Mr. Baccaloni has so successfully brought this type of opera to its deserved popularity today, sings this style with consummate artistry.
The wily maid, Serpina, having become mistress by ensnaring her master into matrimony, now rules him with an iron hand. After a scene of violent opposition to his hopeless situation, Serpina cautions her wild spouse: Unruly sir, unruly--and fain to play the bully! You will gain nothing by violence, so end this riot. Be quiet, do you hear, be quiet--now keep your silence--hush, hush! You will obey Serpina, mind you--you dare not offend her now.
Aria, "Deh vieni non tardar" from
"The Marriage of Figaro" f........Mozart
Of all of the delightful moments in Mozart's "Figaro," none is more ingratiating and charming than that in which Figaro's little bride, Susanna, whom he wrongly suspects of infidelity, sings to an imaginary lover. The scene is from Act IV, and takes place in the moonlit garden of the chateau of Figaro's master, the Count Almaviva. Susanna, disguised as her mistress, the Countess (Rosina, in Rossini's "Barber"), sings the following soliloquy to harass her jealous husband who she knows is hidden within sound of her voice:
Here at length is the moment I have so impatiently awaited. When I can call thee mine, my lover. Ah, why delay so long Speed, ah speed thee hither.
Aria, "Una Voce poco fa" from
"The Barber of Seville".......... Rossini
The role of Rosina was originally written for contralto, in a day when the art of singing was such that vocal pyrotechnics was not the sole possession of
See notes on "La Serva Padrona," page 19. f See notes on "Marriage of Figaro," page 23.
so-called "coloratura" sopranos. Since Rossini's time, however, it has been identified with the soprano rather than the contralto voice.
Rosina's part was first sung by Madame Giorgi-Righetti, a famous and greatly loved singer in Rome. When she made her appearance in the balcony, she was, in the character of Rome's favorite singer, applauded, but having no aria assigned to her, the audience thought they were robbed of the expected "Cavatina" and uttered murmurs of disapprobation. The brilliant and melodious duet for Almaviva and Figaro was sung in the midst of hisses and derisive shouts. When, however, Rosina appeared and sang the first notes of "Una voce poco fa," the audience became silent--a chance had been given by the composer to the singer!
Dr. Bartalo, guardian of the fascinating Rosina, wishes to marry her. The Count Almaviva on a visit to Seville has seen her, and loves her also. She, ignorant of his name, knows him only as Lindoro. The Count has prevailed upon Figaro, the town-barber, to aid him, and it is upon Figaro's advice that he enters Dr. Bartalo's home disguised as a drunken soldier. Rosina enters the library and sings the famous aria "Una voce poco fa" in which she tells of her love for Lindoro. A little voice I heard just now; My guardian sure will ne'er consent;
Oh, it has thrill'd my very heart! But I must sharpen all my wit;
I feel that I am wounded sore; Content at last, he will relent,
And Lindor 'twas who hurled the dart. And we, O joy! be wedded yet. Yes, Lindor, dearest, shall be mine! Yes, Lindor I have sworn to love!
I've sworn it, and we'll never part. And, loving, we'll our cares forget.
Interlude and Dance from "La Vida Breve" . . . . de Falla
Manuel de Falla was born at Cadiz, November 23, 1877.
Manuel de Falla is perhaps the most distinguished of contemporary Spanish composers. He studied composition with Pedrell (teacher of Granados) and piano with Tregell, the creator of the modern Spanish School. After winning the prize offered by the Madrid Academy of Fine Arts for his two-act opera, "La Vida Breve," he went to Paris, as so many of the younger men of Italy, Russia, and Spain had done before him. He settled in Paris and there made the friendship of Debussy, Dukas, and Ravel. With the outbreak of the war, however, he returned to Madrid, refusing the suggestion that he should adopt French nationality as a means to success.
The Rosina of Rossini's "Barber of Seville," who sings this aria, is the Countess Almaviva in Mozart's "Figaro," referred to in the last aria. Some time after the marriage of Count Almaviva and Rosina (in the "Barber") the Count has transferred his affection from his wife to her maid, Susanna.
The art of de Falla is extremely unique and individual, and can be distinguished from that of his countrymen, Granados and Albeniz, by its concision, rapid logic, and prevailing sense of form. It is full of the warmth and imagination of the typical Spaniard, but it combines with this an almost rigid formal perfection and lucidity of structural detail that is often lacking in the more or less improvisatory style of his countrymen. His art is cultivated and skillfully graphic, and his orchestral works reveal that he, like Ravel, thinks of music in terms of a finish of instrumental texture, and he is fastidious and painstaking to the extreme in his attempt to achieve it.
De Falla should not be judged entirely from this little ballet, which places him under the severe discipline of folk music. He can, when he wishes, attain an aesthetic ideal of exquisite artistry as in his Nights in the Gardens of Spain, of which M. Jean Aubry affirmed that it "endowed Spanish music with its first great symphonic work, at once new and yet national." Deriving his inspiration from Spanish history and scenes, and strongly influenced by the dance and the music of guitars, de Falla could, when he desired, reach out beyond these local stimuli into the less restricted sphere of a more universal musical appeal. He is therefore the most European of all Spanish musicians, and the most Spanish of all Europeans.
Bachianas Brasileiras No. 5.........Villa-Lobos
Hector Villa-Lobos was born at Rio de Janeiro, March 5, 1884.
Brazil can trace her notable musical heritage back to the sixteeenth century. The evolution and blending of diverse trends that emanated from Portuguese, African, and Italian sources formed a music whose style during the nineteenth century was further conditioned by European idioms. In Rio, under the reign of Dom Pedro II, German composers, particularly Liszt and Wagner, were in the process of exerting a dominating influence when a political transformation gave a new and promising direction to Brazilian music. In 1888 slavery was abolished, and the next year Brazil was proclaimed a republic. The foreign arts thereby lost the support of wealthy and noble patrons, and almost immediately there burst forth a wild and unfettered expression among the freed slaves and the masses of the people, which reached such an intensity that the creation of a conscious and serious art-music seemed, for the time, to be impossible. The songs and dances of the peasants joined with the more sophisticated
Wagner seriously considered giving the first performance of "Tristan and Isolde" in Rio. He had sent to Dom Pedro piano scores of "The Flying Dutchman," "Tann-hauser," and "Lohengrin." The Emperor, a Wagnerian enthusiast, was present at the first performance of "Das Rheingold" in Bayreuth in 1876, and met Wagner personally.
remnants of the older music into a blend of blazing colors and riotous rhythms.
Villa-Lobos was born in 1884, and matured in an era of change and chaos. His remarkable musical talent had to reach its own maturity with little or no formal guidance; his teachers in theory admitted that they had actually taught him nothing. Confident of his talent, he bowed before no tradition, and sought his own level of excellence by trial and error, driven there by a sort of inner compulsion that resulted in the creation of over fourteen hundred works in every conceivable form.
Like Bach, Villa-Lobos' contact with the world of music during his formative period was negligible. Without firsthand knowledge of what was actually happening in European music, his idiom of expression remained unaffected by any outside influences. He was thirty-seven years of age before he heard the impressionism of Debussy, and he had reached his forty-first year before he left Brazil for the first time to go to Paris. Of that experience he has written: "I didn't come to learn, I've come to show you what I have done .... better bad of mine than good of others .... I have always been, and remain, completely independent. When Paris was the crossroads of the world's music, I was there and listened attentively, but never allowed myself to be influenced by any of the novelties I heard. I claim to be all by myself and I conceive my music in complete independence and isolation. ... I use much Brazilian folk-lore in my compositions, because the rhythms have an extraordinary fascination."
This confident and independent spirit still conditions everything he writes, and it is nowhere more apparent than in his incomparable "Bachianas Bra-sileiras." In the preface to this work Villa-Lobos expresses his profound respect and consuming admiration for Johann Sebastian Bach, whom he considers to be monarch of the European tonal art--the most universal of all geniuses; whose music, he feels, touches and reflects life in all its phases, and is of such profundity that it must always remain, to a degree, incomprehensible. To him, Bach is the source of all things inspirational.
In this spirit of worship and awe, however, he did not pay Bach the empty respect of imitating him. His own form of homage is found in the five incredible "Bachianas" suites where he attempts to express the universality of Bach's great art in a Brazilian idiom. It is in the overflowing lyricism, the serenity, the sweep, and ardent intensity of his expression that he approaches Bach. Without relinquishing for a moment his amazing individuality, or abjuring in the slightest way his country's unique musical language, he effects a stylized synthesis of both them and the spirit of Bach, in some of the most inspired music to come, as yet, from his prodigious mind.
The fifth of the "Bachianas" which Mme Sayao sings begins with a beautifully molded melodic line intoned on a vowel sound, accompanied pizziFOURTH CONCERT
cato on the lower strings. This finally gives way to a freely articulated melody set to an extravagantly beautiful text, and, in its flowing lyricism, it grows more rapturous and intense as it progresses, expressing all the racial warmth and passion one has associated with the music of Brazil. Near the end, an introspective and nostalgic atmosphere is created as the melody becomes again wordless in the humming of the voice. Harmonious and firm in its formal structure, but forsaking the mathematics of fixed forms, always personal, yet infused with Brazilian life and color, "Bachianas Brasileiras" remain some of the most significant music to come from a great and musical country.
A translation of the text follows:
It is 'evening; a rosy cloud transparent, and beautiful as as a dream, floats in the sky. Slowly rises the moon, adorning the evening as a lovely maiden proud of her beauty. The birds still their sad song; the ocean reflects the moonlight, and the sadness which weighs upon our hearts makes us weep and laugh, we know not why.
"Come serenamente" from "Lo Schiavo"......Gomez
Antonio Carlos Gomez was born at Compinas, July II, 1839; died at Para, September 16, 1896.
Carlos Gomez was Brazilian by birth only; his parents were Portuguese. He was, nevertheless, a product of Brazilian culture before the revolution of 1889, and his early training in Milan, Italy, where the Emperor had sent him to study, brought him, unlike Villa-Lobos, into direct contact with contemporary European musical currents. He was the first composer to employ native subject matter, and to make use of the folk music of his country, and the first opera composer of the Americas to win European recognition and acclaim. His opera "Lo Schiavo" was set to an Italian text by Raravicini, and was produced at the Teatro Lirico Dom Pedro II in Rio, September 27, 1889.
A translation of the text follows:
Oh, how splendidly the sun blazes over those ships! It seems as though every prow reflected gold and jewels. Yes, that is the abode of a god; there is the man who possesses my heart. Perhaps his thoughts are now directed towards me. As the sea smoothly caresses the fisherman who tells his story of bitterness and grief, as the flower smells sweet and shivers under the touch of the moon, whispering her love in a mystic voice, so do I love you, more deeply than woman ever loved before.
"Lo Schiavo" was last revived at Rio de Janeiro in April, 1938.
Symphony No. 6 in B minor, Op. 74
Peter Ilich Tchaikovsky was born May 7, 1840, at Kamsko-Votinsk; died November 6, 1893, at St. Petersburg.
"Our yearning sets for home, And yet we know not whither . . . .'
"No, that is nothing like me, I am far unhappier than that" cried Byron when he beheld in Rome the bust made of him by the sculptor, Thorvaldsen. Goethe described Byron in the fine phrase, "His being consists in rich despair," and, in fact, fame, love, wealth, and beauty left him sick with satiety--a despiser of the world. The real vulnerable spot of this hero lay not in his heel, but deep in his soul. Like Faust, he pined in enjoyment, and, like Hamlet in "to be," he constantly sensed "not to be." The soul-life of the age bore the stamp of this man for whom "sorrow was knowledge"; he was in truth, the eponymous hero of an epoch. "Wisdom is power," was the ringing triumph-cry of Bacon three hundred years before, and between Bacon and Byron lay the path of knowledge in modern Europe.
Just as a famous picture distributes itself among mankind in thousands of reproductions, expensive and cheap, fine and coarse, exact and careless, so Europe was populated with innumerable copies of Byron who, with more or less success, tried to reproduce the essence of this extraordinary creature. The age was literally infected with Byronism. Already Chateaubriand in France, who gave such fluent and beautiful expression to the emotional ideas originated by Rousseau, had created the type of the "esprit romanesque" in his Rene. At odds with himself and the world, sensitive and disillusioned, full of yearning for love and faith but without the strength for either, he saw in every fruit for which he reached--the worm. "All," says Rene, "preaches to one of dissolution--everything wearies me, painfully I drag my boredom about with me and so my whole life is a yawn."
In the art of Chateaubriand and Byron, literature tended to become decadent, a "splendid greeny-gold growth, glittering and seductive, but filled with intoxicating saps that corrode." Byron's soul was incarnate in his Manured, who reflected an increasing egoism in the expression of melancholy. Goethe's Werther too, had this romantic desire to feel and suffer uniquely from an un-happiness caused by hidden, indefinable longing. This mixture of egoism and sensibility is found as basic stuff in the heroes of the literature of the time. Their philosophy was that of another "spokesman" of their age, Leopardi, who reflected that "sorrow and ennui is our being, and dung the earth--nothing more; whereFOURTH CONCERT
ever one looks, no meaning, no fruit." Slavonic literature too, stated the "superfluous" theme. Pushkin, the "Russian Byron," in his "Eugene Onegin" and Lermantov in "The Hero of our Time" created dramatic young men, who wrapped themselves in Byron's dark mantle, and stalked from one anguish to another. This universal and self-cultivated melancholy had the whole world in its grip. "It was," said Immerman, "as though humanity, tossed about in its little bark on an overwhelming ocean, is suffering from a moral sea-sickness of which the outcome is hardly to be seen."
The sources for this world sickness can be found in a measure in the effects the Industrial Revolution had upon the lives of men. As a result of this tremendous reorganizing force with its consequent power and wealth, a new attitude toward life was created. The growth of a rationalistic materialism destroyed suddenly the comforting old beliefs in the Bible. It gave rise to a period of doubt and disillusionment; it seemed as though the old culture were to disappear completely. Strong spirits like Carlyle, John Stewart Mill, and Ruskin fought valiantly for the "revenge instinct," and composers like Verdi and Brahms tried to strengthen the flaccid spirit of their time by sounding a note of courage and hopefulness.
Less fortified minds, however, fell before the onslaught of industrialism and its materialism, sank into mental and spiritual apathy, and decayed. With decay came disease and the contagion struck deep into men's souls. From an over-fertilized emotional soil grew a decadent school of art. Chopin's supersensitive soul cried out its longing in his languorous nocturnes, Berlioz in his "Fantastique Symphony" pictured the narcotic dreams of a young artist who, because of an unrequited love, had attempted suicide by opium. Wagner, expressing one side of the Industrial Revolution in the imperious force and merciless drive of his music, nevertheless allowed his desire-sick soul to long for death as the only release from the world. The Renunciation motive is the basis of his great dramas. Senta renounces life for the salvation of the Dutchman, Elizabeth dies for Tannhauser, Briinhilde throws herself upon the funeral pyre of Siegfried to redeem the race, and Tristan and Isolde live only for the night and long for death to unite them forever. Heine characterized this feeling in Germany. "People," he said, "practiced renunciation and modesty, bowed before the invisible, snatched at shadow kisses and blue-flowered scents." This unnatural and unhealthy mental attitude led to a great deal of self-contemplation and introspection which tended to substitute futile or morbid imaginings for solid realities of life. The overintrospective and supersensitive artist cuts himself off from a larger arc of experience and is prone to exaggerate the importance of the more intimate sentiments, and when, as in the nineteenth century, such a tendency is underspread, a whole school may become febrile and erotic.
See notes on Brahms, page 69.
Tchaikovsky, like Byron, was a child of his age. It is truly said of Byron that he had but one subject--himself, and that saying is equally true of Tchaikovsky. If his personality is less puissant and terrible than that of Byron, his artistic instincts are reflected none the less forcibly in his self-cultivated and exhibitionistic art. His persistent penchant for melancholy expression, his feverish sensibility, his revulsions of artistic feeling, and his sensitive emotions which sink him into morbid pessimism, deadening depression, and neurotic fears on the one hand, or raise him to wild hysteria on the other--picture him in the framework of his age.
' "And if bereft of speech, Man bears his pain, A god gave me the gift To tell my sorrow," wrote Tasso. Of this gift, Tchaikovsky had his share.
A Russian to the core, Tchaikovsky was nevertheless criticized severely by those self-styled "Nationalists," "The Five," for being too strongly influenced by German and French methods and styles to be a true exponent of Russian music. Tchaikovsky, on the other hand, found much to admire in their art, and was very enthusiastic in his praise of Rimsky-Korsakov in particular. Nevertheless, he resented the assumption of superiority and the canons of judgment laid down by this coterie. He turned rather to Beethoven and to the scholarly technique exhibited in the construction of his symphonies; at the same time he was not immune to the charm of Italian music. Although he depreciated its superficial treatment of the orchestra, he did sense in the music of Italy the eternal value of pure melody, which he brought to fullest beauty through his superb and unequaled knowledge of instrumental effects. From Beethoven, Tchaikovsky no doubt gained his superior sense of architectural design and unity of style, but so intent was he on the fascination and charm of the single episode, and so aware of the spell of the immediate melodic beauty and the particularly suggestive power of the orchestral coloring, that he never gained the superb structural heights or the completely epic conception of the symphony found in Beethoven.
Tchaikovsky himself spoke of his symphonic works as "showing the seams" and revealing "no organic union between the separate episodes." But such is the beauty and power of his themes, so fine is their general architectural construction, and above all so masterful and effective is the use he makes of the orchestral palette that we do not consider it a discrepancy to find so thoroughly a lyric conception encased in so epic a form. In fact, Tchaikovsky's faults enhance his virtues, and this is the enigma of genius.
In a letter to his nephew, Vladimir Davidov, whom he loved with devotion, and to whom he dedicated the "Pathetic" Symphony, Tchaikovsky wrote in February, 1893:
I must tell you how happy I am about my work. As you know, I destroyed a symphony which I had partly composed and orchestrated in the autumn. I did wisely, for it contained little that was really fine--an empty pattern of sounds without any inspiration. Just as I was starting on my journey (a visit to Paris in December, 1892) the idea came to me for a new symphony, this time with a program; but a program of a kind that remains an enigma to all, let them guess it who can. The work will be entitled "A Program Symphony" (No. 6). The program is penetrated by subjective sentiment. During my journey, while composing it in my mind, I frequently shed tears. Now I am home again, I have settled down to sketch out the work, and it goes with such ardor that in less than four days I have completed the first movement, while the remainder of the symphony is clearly outlined in my head. There will be much that is novel as regards form in this work. For instance, the Finale will not be a great allegro, but an adagio of considerable dimensions. You can imagine what joy I feel in the conviction that my day is not yet over, and that I may still accomplish much. Perhaps I may be mistaken, but it does not seem likely. Do not speak of this to anyone but Modeste.
The Symphony was first heard at a concert of the Imperial Russian Musical Society, October 28, 1893. The next day Tchaikovsky decided to send the score to his publisher. The title, "A Program Symphony" which he had suggested in his letter to Davidov, no longer pleased him, however, and it was at the suggestion of his brother, Modeste, that he retitled it "Pathetic." "I remember as though it were yesterday" wrote Modeste of Tchaikovsky's reaction to his suggestion, "how my brother exclaimed 'Bravo, Modeste, splendid! Pathetic!' Then and there he added to the score the title by which the Symphony always has been known."
Fearing that his story might be questioned, Modeste added this footnote: "There is no witness of this incident other than myself, but it is clear from the program of the concert of October 28 that this title had not been given to the work. Moreover, anyone can see at a glance at the title page that this name was written later than the rest."
First movement: An eighteen-measure Introduction (allegro, E minor, 4-4 time) foreshadows in the bassoon, the motive of the principal subject, and creates a melancholy aura which hangs over the whole work. It is an original feature that the movement opens, not in the key of the symphony, but in the shadowy peripheral region of the subdominant. This motive forms itself into the principal subject of the allegro, now in B minor, the key of the symphony. There is a considerable development of this and subsidiary material. A crescendo leads to a telling climax, which dwindles away in the celli, against somber chords sounded by the tuba and trombones. The second theme, in violins and celli, is extremely cantabile and expressive. Another section of this theme follows in the flute, imitated by the bassoon, after which the first section of the theme
returns with richer orchestration. The clarinet is heard at the end, softly reminiscent of the principal subject. With dramatic suddenness the development section is announced, with fortissimo passages in the strings. This section is given over entirely to treatment of the first theme. The recapitulation is regular and brings back the first subject worked up in a slow crescendo starting in the extremely remote key of B-flat minor, and rising step by step until, in the tonic (B minor), the complete melody is given fortissimo in a dialogue between strings and wind. The second theme is now in B major. A severely simple coda, consisting of a solemn cadence for trumpets and trombones over a pizzicato descending scale, brings the movement to a somber and melancholy close.
Second movement (allegro con grazia, D major, 5-4 time) : The second movement is a very simple kind of scherzo, cast into the conventional da capo form. The theme, announced immediately in the celli, forms the principal song which is contrasted by a trio section in which a new and wistful theme in the first violins and celli is heard over an obstinate pedal point in the drums, bassoons, and basses. After several attempts in the woodwinds to bring back the subject of the principal song, it is finally restated in the violins and celli. A coda, based on a reiterated note, as in the trio, ends the movement.
Third movement (allegro molto vivace, G major, 12-8 [4-4]): This movement is a gigantic march. The strings and woodwinds alternate an airy figure which receives considerable treatment and development. With this, a march-like figure in various woodwind instruments is heard. Finally it appears as an independent theme in the clarinet, with the triplet figure supporting it in the lower strings. After development of this material, the first section returns, continually suggesting the march theme. Growing in intensity, the march is vigorously sounded in the full orchestra over furious scale passages, thrown against each other by the strings and woodwinds. This is employed with persistence to the end of the movement.
Fourth movement (adagio lamentoso, B minor, 3-4 time) : This unique form is created by two themes. The desperate first subject is immediately announced in the strings; the consolatory second, in the violins and violas, is heard over a syncopated figure in the horns. This theme is worked up to a tremendous climax, which leads, after several dramatic pauses, but without development, to the recapitulation in which the first theme reaches an even greater climax. It then dies down until a distant and ominous stroke of a gong brings back the second theme, now in B minor. The symphony descends to the depths in which it began and leaves us in a mood of utter despair.
Sunday Afternoon, May 7
Johannes Brahms was born May 7, 1833, at Hamburg; died April 3, 1897, at Vienna.
Brahms, Wagner, and Tchaikovsky were products of the same artistic soil, nurtured by the same forces that conditioned the standards and norms of art in their period. They lived in a poverty-stricken and soul-sick period, when anarchy seemed to have destroyed culture, an age which was distinctly unfavorable to genuinely great art--unfavorable because of its pretentiousness and exclusiveness, its crass materialism, its hidebound worship of the conventional. The showy exterior of the period did not hide the inner barrenness of its culture.
It is no accident that the real Brahms seems to us to be the serious Brahms of the great tragic songs and of the quiet resignation expressed in the slow movements of his symphonies. Here is to be found an expression of the true spirit of the period in which he lived. But by the exertion of a clear intelligence, he tempered an excessively emotional nature, and thereby dispersed the vapors of mere sentimentalism. Unlike Tchaikovsky and other "heroes of the age," Brahms, even as Beethoven, was essentially of a healthy mind, and, with a spirit strong and virile, he met the challenge of his age, and was triumphant in his art. In a period turbulent with morbid emotionalism, he stood abreast with such spirits as Carlyle and Browning, to oppose the forced impoverishment of life and the un-healthful tendencies of his period. Although he suffered disillusionment no less than Tchaikovsky, his was another kind of tragedy, the tragedy of a musician born out of his time. In fact, he suffered more than Tchaikovsky from the changes in taste and perception that inevitably come with the passing of time. But his particular disillusionment did not affect the power and sureness of his artistic impulse. With grief he saw the ideals of Beethoven dissolved in a welter of cheap emotionalism; he saw the classic dignity of his art degraded by an infiltration of tawdry programmatic effects and innocuous imitation, and witnessed finally its complete subjugation to poetry and the dramatic play. But all of this he opposed with his own grand style, profoundly moving, noble, and dignified. With a sweep and thrust he forced music out upon her mighty pinions to soar once more.
See note on Tchaikovsky, page 64.
Academic Festival Overture, Op. 80.......Brahms
If ever a piece of music stood as an eternal refutation of all that is meant by "Academic," it is this "Festival Overture." The work was written in 1880, as an acknowledgment by Brahms of the doctor's degree which had been conferred upon him by the University of Breslau, as the "Princeps musicae severioris" in Germany. But shockingly enough, the rollicking "Academic Festival Overture" is anything but severely in keeping with the pedantic solemnities of academic convention. It is typical of Brahms that he should delight in thanking the pompous dignitaries of the university with such a quip, for certainly here is one of the gayest and most sparkling overtures in the orchestral repertory.
In the spirit of "He hath cast down the mighty from their seats, and exalted them that are of low degree," Brahms selected as the thematic materials for his overture a handful of student drinking songs, which he championed against all the established conventions of serious composition. We may be fairly certain that if the doctor's diploma had descended from its academic perch, and set forth the master's blithe and genial humanity as a composer, instead of designating him with the high sounding "Princeps musicae severioris" he might have brought forth the austere "Tragic Overture" instead.
Brahms always took impish joy in indulging his instinct for championing underdogs of art such as music boxes, banjos, brass bands, and working men's singing societies. And here he elevated the lowly student song into the realm of legitimate art. There was never a "nobler man of the people" in the whole history of music.
The overture begins {Allegro, C minor, 2-2 time) without an introduction. The principal theme is announced in the violins. Section II is a tranquil melody in the violas, which returns to the opening material. After an episode (E minor) there follows the student song "Wir hatten gebaut ein stattliches Haus" (We had built a stately house) heard in three trumpets (C major). At the close of this section, the full orchestra presents another section partly suggested by the first theme of the overture. The key changes to E major and the second violins with celli fizzicato announce the second student song, "Der Landesvater" ("The Father of his Country"), an old eighteenth-century tune.
A tune associated with the words
Wir hatten gebaut
Ein stattliches Haus
Darin auf Gott vertrauet
Durch Wetter Sturm und Graus
("We built a stately house, wherein we gave our trust to God, through bad weather, storm and dread.") The melody is by Friedrich Silcher--author of the better-known tune which he set to Heine's "Die Lorelei."
The development section does not begin with the working out of the exposition material, but rather, and strangely enough, with the introduction of another student melody (in two bassoons) "Was kommt dort von der Hoh," a freshman song. An elaborate development of the material of the exposition then follows. The recapitulation is irregular in that it merely suggests the return of the principal theme; but then it presents the rest of the material in more or less regular restatement. The conclusion is reached in a stirring section which presents a fourth song "Gaudeamus igitur" in the wood-wind choir, with tumultuous scale passages against it in the higher strings, and with this emphatic and boisterous theme--the most popular of all student songs--the overture gives its final thrust at the Academicians.
Double Concerto in A minor, Op. 102,
for Violin, Violoncello, and Orchestra.....Brahms
In a letter to Clara Schumann, Brahms wrote concerning his concerto for violin and cello: "Indeed it is not at all the same thing to write for instruments whose nature and timbre one has in one's head, as it were, only from time to time, and hears only with one's intelligence, as it is to write for an instrument which one knows through and through, as I do the piano, in which case I know thoroughly what I am writing, and why I write in this way or that."
It is obvious that Brahms did not feel quite at ease with this work, as to either form or feeling, and there is no doubt that this awkward embarrassment reflected itself in his music. Hanslick detected it when he said that this concerto was the product of a great constructive mind, rather than an irresistible inspiration of creative imagination and invention. Even those who admired Brahms unconditionally, as Hanslick certainly did, were often aware of calculation and of workmanship due merely to an astonishing artistic understanding, which Brahms evidently applied in the conviction that he was employing his genius. The great violinist and personal friend of Brahms, Joachim, once actually warned him not to let himself be "disturbingly or forcibly urged by his will power" and the beloved Elizabeth von Herzogenberg reluctantly ventured at one time to express the same opinion. "Here I can no longer follow, no echo is awakened in me. And because I am so anxious to be enthusiastic, not to say warmly prejudiced in favor of Brahms, I ask myself, ever so softly, but still I ask myself, whether he does not give us many things in the birth of which his heart's blood had no share, but only his sagacity, his refinement, his craft, and his
This is a vivacious and slightly grotesque version of the "Fuchslied," "Fox Song"--" "Fuchs" being equivalent to "Freshman." Max Kalbeck, Brahms's admirer and biographer, was shocked at the idea of this irreverence to the learned doctors of the University, but Brahms was unperturbed.
mastery. One misses the need that lets the best in an artist appear like something conditioned by nature, something created out of eternity for all eternity."
It must be admitted that the Double Concerto on today's program has been received with no more than cool admiration and that it is one of Brahms's most unapproachable and joyless compositions. This curiously somber and contemplative work, with its rigid themes, its almost repellent introspectiveness, its mechanical and almost obstinate movement, its equation-like development, seems "congealed into a kind of strange frosty greatness."
Perhaps the deliberate choice of an old classical form (the concerto grosso) and the endeavor to make the most out of as little material as possible led Brahms to mistake the means for the end. In spite of its pleasing effect upon a wide public, the Double Concerto must be reckoned as one of the works elaborated by strictly polyphonic methods rather than as a record of an intense experience.
This, the last of Brahms's concertos, was an experiment in the revival of the old Italian form of the orchestral concerto or "concerto grosso" of the seventeenth century, in which the orchestral "tutti" of the concerto grosso contrasted with a "concertino" for several soloists. Obviously Brahms has adopted the modern version of this form, as developed in Beethoven's C-major Triple Concerto (Op. 56) for piano, violin, violoncello, and orchestra. The results are, interestingly enough, very much the same: both are forms without spirit, where inspiration seems replaced by mathematical construction. In the second movement, however, there is a rich mysterious quality that makes its appeal for the moment, but soon leaves us again on the barren plains. This concerto is seldom heard in public largely because it demands two players of consummate technique and sure mastery, and above all with an almost unbelievable conception of ensemble. What the heart does not say, is left to the head, and the beauty of statement, in this particular case, has a validity above the expression of the "things of the spirit." These purely abstract elements can in themselves be a source of a kind of beauty, but a beauty that depends almost entirely upon the absolute technical perfection of the execution. The Double Concerto, unlike most of the great works of Brahms, succeeds or fails with an audience on the basis of the quality and distinction of the performance.
Symphony No. 1 in C minor, Op. 68.......Brahms
In the Neue Freie Presse of Vienna, fifty years ago, Hanslick, Brahms's chief champion, referred to the C-minor Symphony as "music more or less clear, more or less sympathetic, but difficult of comprehension .... it affects the hearer as though he had read a scientific treatise full of Faust-like conflicts of the soul."
Tchaikovsky sensed in Brahms's music the same difficulty of comprehension. "I have looked through a new symphony by Brahms (C minor). He
has no charms for me. I find him cold and obscure, full of pretension, but without any real depth." He wrote to Mme Von Meek in 1877, and again in 1880--"but in his case, his mastery overwhelms his inspiration. . . . Nothing comes but boredom. His music is not warmed by an genuine emotion. . . . These depths contain nothing, they are void. ... I cannot abide them. Whatever he does, I remain unmoved and cold."
Even Mr. H. C. Colles, of all critics of Brahms the most enthusiastic and loyal, speaks of the "difficulty of grasping his music," the statement referring, astonishingly enough, to the transparently beautiful slow movement of the C-major Symphony.
With extraordinary insistence this criticism of Brahms has persisted. The old Brahmsians themselves encouraged it. They reveled in the master's esoteric inaccessible qualities and, like the champions of Meredith in the eighties and the Mahler cults today, they gloried in his "aloofness," and resented any implication of internationalism or general appeal in his art.
In the light of the attempts of modern composers to stretch beyond their predecessors in search of new effects, sometimes having more interest in the intellectual manipulation of their materials, than in the subjective, emotional expression achieved by them, it is amazing still to come into contact with this old, yet prevailing idea that the music of Brahms is "cold," "heavy," "pedantic," "opaque," "unemotional," and "intellectual."
It is true that Brahms has none of the overstimulating and exciting quality of his more emotional contemporaries, Tchaikovsky and Wagner, but this fact does not reduce Brahms's music to mere cerebration. One has only to hear the glorious Introduction to this symphony to realize the tremendous emotional impact of the music. If there is anything cerebral or intellectual in Brahms, it lies in the manner in which he controls and sublimates the excessiveness and over-welling of his emotions, and that is the mark of every true artist. One reason that criticism has placed upon Brahms's head the condemnation and terrible burden of cold intellectuality lies in the fact that there are none of the sensational or popular devices used to catch immediate response. There are no tricks to discover in Brahms; there is no assailing the judgment in the attempt to excite sudden enthusiasm. We are, however, more and more impressed with the infinite wealth of profound beauty that is to be found in his pages. Critics may have been bewildered at times by his rich, musical fabric, often lost and confused in the labyrinth of his ideas, but again, in the light of contemporary attempts at musical expressiveness at all cost, Brahms appears today with an almost lucid transparency, and as a master of great emotional power. He has survived the years and the changing norms of criticism, and remains today a master whose art has its roots in humanity. He speaks to the heart, soul, and mind with the variety of feeling that is found in human nature itself, now
vigorous and buoyant, now tender to the point of poignancy, courageous and often tragically tortured, but always noble and impressively inspiring.
Fuller Maitland in his admirable book on Brahms, referring to this symphony, defends him saying, "the case is almost parallel to certain poems of Browning, the thoughts are so weighty, the reasoning so close, that the ordinary means of expression are inadequate. To try to re-score the first movement with the sacrifice of none of its meaning, is as hopeless a task as to rewrite 'Sordello' in sentences that a child should understand."
The association of Brahms and Browning is a happy one. There is something fundamentally similar in their artistic outlook and method of expression, for Brahms, like Browning, often disclaimed the nice selection and employment of a style in itself beautiful. As an artist, nonetheless, he chose to create, in every case, a style fitly proportioned to the design, finding in that dramatic relation of style and motive a more vital beauty and a broader sweep of expression.
In this broader conception Brahms often verged upon the sublime. He lived in his creative life upon the "cold white peaks." No master ever displayed a more inexorable self-discipline or held his art in higher respect. For Brahms was a master of masters, always painstaking in the devotion he gave to his work and undaunted in his search for perfection. "The excellence he sought dwelt among rocks hardly accessible, and he had to almost wear his heart out to reach her." What Matthew Arnold wrote of Milton's verse might well have been written of Brahms's music. "The fullness of thought, imagination and knowledge, makes it what it is." In Milton's magnificent phrase, the Brahms of music is the man "of devout prayer to that Eternal Spirit that can enrich with all utterance and knowledge, and sends out his seraphim with the hallowed fire of his altar, to touch and purify the lips of whom he pleases," and the mighty power of his music lies "in the refining and elevation wrought in us by the high and rare excellence of the grand style." If the "grand style" referred to can only be spiritually ascertained, then certainly here is an imposing manifestation of its existence.
The creation of the C-minor Symphony displayed Brahms's discipline and noble intention--the most impressive marks of his character. With all the ardour of his soul, he sought the levels of Bach and Beethoven. His first symphony caused him great trouble and profound thought. It took him years to complete it. The sketches for the work, with which Brahms came forward in his forty-third year (1876), date from decades back. In the fifties Albert Dietrich saw a draft of the first movement. Brahms kept it beyond the time when he committed one symphony after another to the flames, proving the triumphant perseverance that let it survive to a state of perfection. The symphony is written
?Fuller Maitland, Brahms (London: Methuen and Co., 1911).
with tremendous seriousness and conciseness. It speaks in tones of a troubled ; soul, but rises from a spirit of struggle and torture in the first movement to : the sublimity of the fourth movement with its onrushing jubilation and exultant j buoyancy. Mr. Lawrence Gilman, in the program notes for the Philadelphia Symphony, wrote the following analysis: ;
From the first note of this symphony we are aware of a great voice uttering superb poetic speech. The momentous opening (the beginning of an introduction of thirtyj seven measures, Un foco sostenuto, 6-8) is among the unforgettable exordiums of j music--a majestic upward sweep of the strings against a phrase in contrary motion for j the wind, with the basses and timpani reiterating a somberly persistent C. The follow! ing Allegro is among the most powerful of Brahms's symphonic movements. i
In the deeply probing slow movements we get the Brahms who is perhaps most to ¦ be treasured; the musical thinker of long vistas and grave meditations, the lyric poet of inexhaustible tenderness, the large-souled dreamer and humanist--the Brahms for whom ) the unavoidable epithet is "noble." How richly individual in feeling and expression is j the whole of this Andante sostenuto I No one but Brahms could have extracted the pre: cise quality of emotion which issues from the simple and heartfelt theme for the strings, : horns, and bassoon in the opening pages; and the lovely complement for the oboe is ! inimitable--a melodic invention of such enamoring beauty that it has lured an unchali lengeably sober commentator into conferring upon it the attribute of "sublimity." ¦ Though perhaps "sublimity"--a shy bird, even on Olympus--is to be found not here, but elsewhere in this symphony.

The third movement (the foco allegretto e grazioso which takes the place of the i
customary Scherzo) is beguiling in its own special loveliness; but the chief glory of the
symphony is the Finale. Here--if need be--is an appropriate resting place for that diffident eagle among :
epithets, sublimity. Here there are space and air and light to tempt its wings. The !
wonderful C-major song of the horn is the slow introduction of this movement. (Piu }
andante, 4-4), heard through a vaporous tremolo of the muted strings above softly held j
trombone chords, persuaded William Foster Apthorp that the episode was suggested to ¦
Brahms by "the tones of the Alpine horn, as it awakens the echoes from mountain after 1
mountain on some of the high passes in the Bernese Oberland." This passage is interj
rupted by a foreshadowing of the majestic choralelike phrase for the trombones and ;
bassoons which later, when it returns at the climax of the movement, takes the breath j
with its startling grandeur. And then comes the chief theme of the Allegro--that ]
spacious and heartening melody which sweeps us onward to the culminating moment i
in the Finale: the apocalyptic vision of the chorale in the coda, which may recall to ]
some the exalted prophecy of Jean Paul: "There will come a time when it shall be light; !
and when man shall awaken from his lofty dreams and find his dreams still there, and ]
that nothing has gone save his sleep." j
Max Kalbeck sees in the whole symphony, but more particularly in the first move, ment, an image of the tragedy of Robert and Clara Schumann in which Brahms was involved.
Sunday Evening, May 7
Felix Mendelssohn-Bartholdy was born February 3, 1809, at Hamburg; died November 4, 1897, at Leipzig.
It is well in these chaotic days to turn to a perfectly balanced nature such as Mendelssohn, in whose life and art all was order and refinement. There are few instances in the history of art, of a man so abundantly gifted with the good qualities of mind and spirit. He had the love as well as the respect of his contemporaries, for aside from his outstanding musical and intellectual gifts, he possessed a genial--even gay--yet pious nature. Moses Mendelssohn, the famous philosopher, was his grandfather and, in an atmosphere of culture and learning, every educational advantage was his. In fact, one might almost say that he was too highly educated for a musician. Throughout his life he was spared the economic insecurity felt so keenly by many composers; he never knew poverty or privation, never experienced any great soul-stirring disappointments, suffered neglect, nor any of the other ill fortunes that seemed to beset Beethoven, Mozart, Schubert, or Verdi. His essentially happy spirit and healthy mind were never clouded by melancholy; no morbidity ever colored his thinking. His genius was of the highest order, but it was never tried and tempered in fire, nor strengthened by forces of opposition. It produced, therefore, an art that was, like his life, delightful, well-ordered, and serene.
Mendelssohn's music, like that of its period in Germany, for all its finesse and high perfection, has something decidedly "dated" about it. Full of priggish formulas, it was the delight of Queen Victoria and her England--thoroughly conventional, polite, spick-and-span, "stylish" music--as rear guard as Frederick IV, who admired and promoted it. Influenced by the oratorios of Handel and Haydn, the Waldlieder of Weber, and the piano music of Schubert, his art was eclectic in details, but in general it bore no relation whatever to the contemporary music in France, nor to the overpowering romanticism of his own country. His habitual forms were those of the classical school, yet his idiom was often fresh and ingenious. In the minds of some, grief might have lent a deeper undertone to his art, or daring innovation have given it a vitality and virility. But innovation was foreign to Mendelssohn's habit of mind and he rarely attempted it. He must be thought of as a preserver of continuity with the past, rather than as a breaker of new paths. However, his instinctively clear and normal mind produced a music that should refresh us today with its inner logic, its order, and its tranquillity.
Few today would place Mendelssohn's "Elijah" in the same class with Handel's "Messiah," or Bach's "Mass in B minor," yet it remains a classic of its kind. Its fine Style and consummate good taste have endeared it to a great public.
Mendelssohn's particular genius was lyrical and not epic, so that some of the more dramatic moments in the text may seem to be unrealized or underwritten. Today we might wish for a more dramatic treatment in the music of Elijah taunting the prophets of Baal, invoking the storm, receiving the vision on Horeb, and being swept up to heaven in a whirlwind. But in the more quiet moments in which Elijah heals the son of the widow, pathetically declares his failure in "It is enough," and receives comfort from an angel in "O rest in the Lord," Mendelssohn is at his lyrical best, and writes music that is moving in its simple beauty. Dr. Walkter states that "his religious music gives the impression that he lived in untroubled unconsciousness of anything outside mid-nineteenth century Protestantism." Yet his particular form of religious sentiment, which had such a tremendous appeal to Victoria's England, is sincerely and deeply, if not too intensely, felt.
The work opens with sombre chords by the trombones, which introduce a recitative in which Elijah proclaims There shall be neither dew nor rain these years, but according to my word. Then begins the overture with a most suggestive phrase given out by the 'celli, 'pianissimo, which is developed with the admirable clearness so characteristic of the composer. His significant grasp of the technique of polyphonic writing and his mastery of the orchestra, coupled with the reserve always evident in the work of a master, are displayed long before the magnificent crescendo leading into the opening chorus, Help Lord, in which his power as a choral writer is no less in evidence. This chorus leads through choral recitatives to a duet, for soprano and contralto, with chorus, Lord, bow Thine ear. This is founded on an old traditional Hebrew melody. It will be noticed that the music has proceeded without any interruption up to this point. The unity thus secured is most admirable and establishes a mood that heightens the effect of the following recitative and aria, with all your hearts, and gives added force to the succeeding "Chorus of the People," which, beginning with cries of despair, He mocketh at us, ends with a solemn choral, For He, the Lord our God, is a jealous God. The closing measures, His mercies on thousands fall, are so permeated with the spirit of the recitative and double chorus, For He shall give His angels charge over thee, which follow, that the effect of unity is not lost but rather strengthened.
All this, as well as the inspiring scene in which Elijah brings comfort to the sorrowing widow by the restoration of her son to life, and the chorus, Blessed are the men who fear Him--full of musical beauty and dramatic fervor as they are--is but preliminary to the wonderful episodes beginning with the recitative and chorus, As God the Lord of Sabaoth liveth, and ending with the chorus, Thanks be to God. This
This excellent analysis by Dr. A. A. Stanley was published in the Official Program Book, 1920-21.
whole section is so instinct with life, so full of dramatic intensity, that were it necessary to substantiate Mendelssohn's claim to greatness, no other proof were needed. A composer of less power, or lacking in discrimination, would have so exhausted his resources earlier in this episode that an anti-climax would have been inevitable. Not so Mendelssohn. By happy contrasts the interest is maintained, and the hearer is led on gradually but surely by the force of the ever-expanding dramatic suggestion.
After the Priests of Baal have failed; when, in response to the appeals of the worshipers, Hear and answer, Baal, no answer comes; when Elijah, after that sublime prayer, Lord God of Abraham, and the chorus, Cast thy burden ufon the Lord, calls aloud on the Almighty, Thou who makest Thine angels sfirits, Thou, whose ministers are flaming fires, Let them now descend! what could be more intense than the chorus, The fire descends from heav'n; the flames consume his off'ring Note the effect of the choral which, beginning fianissimo, gradually gains in fervor until, at the words, And we will have no other gods before the Lord, nothing could be more convincing. Where in the whole literature of the oratorio is there a more beautiful effect than that produced by the dominant seventh (on A) at the word gods We have no space to comment on the solos leading up to the prayer of the people, when, kneeling, they ask the Lord to Of en the heavens and send us relief, for now comes the real climax. The Youth, who has been sent to look towards the sea, after gazing long in vain, finally cries, Behold, a little cloud ariseth from the waters; it is like a man's hand! The heav'ns are black with clouds and with wind. The storm rusheth louder and louder! Then comes the final chorus, Thanks be to God, a paean of thanksgiving than which no greater has ever been written, with the possible exception of the Hallelujah Chorus.
In Part II the composer moves on to the second great climax, the "Whirlwind Chorus"! This part begins with a noble soprano solo, Hear ye, Israel, the concluding sentence of which, Be not afraid, forms the basis of the strong and dignified chorus into which the solo merges. When the people, forgetting all they owe to the prophet, turn again to the worship of Baal, and, stirred up by the Queen, seek his life, comes that pathetic aria, It is enough, from a purely musical point of view the most beautiful in the whole oratorio. Then, as he sleeps under the juniper tree, the "Angels' Trio," Lift thine eyes, and the chorus, He watching over Israel slumbers not nor sleefs, speaks assurances of comfort; as waking, he cries, O that I might die, the angel sings, O rest in'the Lord. The prevailing sentiment is not disturbed by the succeeding chorus, Behold, God the Lord -passed by, for, after the exhibitions of power--the wind--the earthquake--the fire--comes a "still, small voice," and "in that still, small voice onward came the Lord." Now comes the real climax of the work, the "Whirlwind Chorus," to the text: Then did Elijah the -prophet break forth like a fire; his words appeared like burning torches. Mighty kings were by him overthrown (note the imposing theme first stated by the basses!) he stood on the mount of Sinai, and heard the judgments of the future, and in Horeb its vengeance"--"And when the Lord would take him. away to heaven, Lo! there came a fiery chariot, with fiery horses; and he went by a whirlwind to Heaven." Here the work ends, were we to consider it from the point of view of dramatic fitness alone.
All that follows is reflective. The tenor solo, Then shall the righteous shine; the quartet, O come, every one that thirsteth, and the concluding chorus, And then shall your light break forth, combine in the establishment of a mood so at variance with the feelings underlying the expressions given voice in the beginning of the First Part that thereby a contrast is secured, such as must exist in a great unified work.
Elijah--As God the Lord of Israel liveth, before whom I stand, there shall not be dew nor rain these years, but according to my word. Kings xviiti.
The People--Help, Lord! Wilt Thou quite destroy us
The harvest now is over, the summer days are gone, and yet no power cometh to help us! Will then the Lord be no more God in Zion Jeremiah viii:2i.
Recitative Chorus
The deep affords no water; and the rivers are exhausted! The suckling's tongue now cleaveth for thirst to his mouth; the infant children ask for bread, and there is no one breaketh it to feed them! Lament, iv.4.
Duet and Chorus
The People--Lord! bow thine ear to our prayer!
Duet--Zion spreadeth her hands for aid; and there is neither help nor comfort. Lament. i:iy.
Obadiah--Ye people, rend your hearts, and not your garments, for your transgressions the Prophet Elijah hath sealed the heavens through the word of God. I therefore say to ye, Forsake your idols, return to God; for He is slow to anger, and merciful, and kind and gracious, and repenteth Him of the evil. Joel ii:i2, 13.
If with all your hearts ye truly seek me, ye shall ever surely find me. Thus saith our God.
Oh! that I knew where I might find
Him, that I might even come before His presence. Deut. iv:2g; Job xxiii:.
The People--Yet doth the Lord see it not; He mocketh at us; His curse hath fallen down upon us; His wrath will pursue us, till He destroy us!
For He, the Lord our God, He is a jealous God; and He visiteth all the fathers' sins on the children to the third and fourth generation of them that hate Him. His mercies on thousands fall-fall on all them that love Him and keep His commandments. Deut. xxviii:22 Exodus xx:$, 6.
An Angel--Elijah! get thee hence; depart, and turn thee eastward; thither hide thee by Cherith's brook. There shalt thou drink its waters; and the Lord thy God hath commanded the ravens to feed thee there; so do according unto His word. Kings xuii:.
Double Chorus
Angels--For He shall give His angels charge over thee; that they shall protect thee in all the ways thou goest; that their hands shall uphold and guide thee. Psalm xci:ii, 12.
An Angel--Now Cherith's brook is dried up, Elijah, arise and depart, and get thee to Zarephath; thither abide, for the Lord hath commanded a widow woman there to sustain thee. And the barrel of meal shall not waste, neither shall the cruse of oil fail, until the day that the Lord sendeth rain upon the earth. Kings xvii-.j, p, 14.
Recitative and Air The Widow--What have I to do with thee, O man of God art thou come to me, to call my sin unto remembrance to slay my son art thou come hither Help me, man of God! my son is sick! and his sickness is so sore that
there is no breath left in him! I go mourning all the day long; I lie down and weep at night. See mine affliction. Be thou the orphan's helper!
Elijah--Give me thy son. Turn unto her, O Lord my God; in mercy help this widow's son! For Thou art gracious, and full of compassion, and plenteous in mercy and truth. Lord, my God, O let the spirit of this child return, that he again may live!
The Widow--Wilt thou show wonders to the dead Shall the dead arise and praise thee
Elijah--Lord, my God, O let the spirit of this child return, that he again may live!
The Widow--The Lord hath heard thy prayer; the soul of my son reviveth!
Elijah--Now behold, thy son liveth!
The Widow--Now by this I know that thou art a man of God, and that His word in thy mouth is the truth. What shall I render to the Lord for all His benefits to me
Both--Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thine heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy might.
O blessed are they who fear Him! Kings xvii:ij, 18, 21-24; Job x:i$; Psalm xxxviii:6, vi:y, x:i4, lxxxvi:i$, 16,, cxxvii:i.
Blessed are the men who fear Him: they ever walk in the ways of peace. Through darkness riseth light to the upright. He is gracious, compassionate; He is righteous. Psalm cxxviii:i, cxiiti,
Elijah--As God the Lord of Sabaoth liveth, before whom I stand, three years this day fulfilled, I will show myself unto Ahab; and the Lord will then send rain again upon the earth.
Ahab--Art thou Elijah art thou he that troubleth Israel
Chorus--Thou art Elijah, he that troubleth Israel!
Elijah--I never troubled Israel's peace; it is thou, Ahab, and all thy father's house. Ye have forsaken God's commands; and thou hast followed Baalim!
Now send and gather to me the whole of Israel unto Mount Carmel: there summon the prophets of Baal, and also the prophets of the groves, who are feasted at Jezebel's table. Then we shall see whose God is the Lord.
Chorus--And then we shall see whose God is God the Lord.
Elijah--Rise then, ye priests of Baal: select and slay a bullock, and put no fire under it; uplift your voices, and call the god ye worship; and I then will call on the Lord Jehovah; and the God who shall by fire answer, let him be God.
Chorus--Yea; and the God who by fire shall answer, let him be God.
Elijah--Call first upon your god; your numbers are many: I, even I, only remain, one prophet of the Lord! Invoke your forest-gods and mountain-deities. Kings xviinj, xviii:i, 15, 18, ig, 23-25.
Priests of Baal--Baal, we cry to! hear and answer us! Heed the sacrifice we offer! hear us! O hear us, Baal!
Hear, mighty god! Baal, O answer us! Let thy flames fall and extirpate the foe! O hear us, Baal!
Elijah--Call him louder, for he is a god! He talketh; or he is pursuing; or he is on a journey; or, peradventure, he sleepeth; so awaken him: call him louder.
Priests of Baal--Hear our cry, O Baal! now arise! wherefore slumber
Elijah--Call him louder! he heareth not. With knives and lancets cut yourOFFICIAL PROGRAM
selves after your manner; leap upon the altar ye have made: call him, and prophesy! Not a voice will answer you; none will listen, none heed you.
Priests of Baal--Hear and answer, Baal! Mark! how the scorner derideth us! Hear and answer! Kings xviii: i, I5 H 18, 19, 23-29.
Recitative and Air
Elijah--Draw near, all ye people: come to me!
Lord God of Abraham, Isaac, and Israel! this day let it be known that Thou art God; and I am Thy servant! O show to all this people that I have done these things according to Thy word! O hear me, Lord, and answer me; and show this people that Thou art Lord God; and let their hearts again be turned! Kings xviii 20, 36, 37.
Angels--Cast thy burden upon the Lord, and He shall sustain thee. He never will suffer the righteous to fall; He is at thy right hand.
Thy mercy, Lord, is great; and far above the heavens. Let none be made ashamed that wait upon Thee. Psalm lv.22, xvi:8, cviii:5, xxv.3.
Elijah--O Thou who makest thine angels spirits, Thou whose ministers are flaming fires, let them now descend! Psalm civ:4.
The People--The fire descends from heaven; the flames consume his offering!
Before him upon your faces fall! The Lord is God; and we will have no other gods before the Lord! Kings
Elijah--Take all the prophets of Baal; and let not one of them escape
you: bring them down to Kishon's brook, and there let them be slain.
The People--Take all the prophets of Baal; and let not one of them escape us: bring all, and slay them! Kings
Elijah--Is not His word like a fire: and like a hammer that breaketh the rock into pieces
For God is angry with the wicked every day: and if the wicked turn not, the Lord will whet His sword; and He hath bent His bow, and made it ready. Jer. xxiii:2g; Psalm vii:n, 12.
Woe unto them who forsake Him! destruction shall fall upon them, for they have transgressed against Him. Though they are by Him redeemed, yet they have spoken falsely against Him. Hosea vii:i3.
Recitative and Chorus
Obadiah--O man of God, help Thy people! Among the idols of the Gentiles, are there any that can command the rain, or cause the heavens to give their showers The Lord our God alone can do these things.
Elijah--O Lord, thou hast overthrown thine enemies and destroyed them. Look down upon us from heaven, O Lord; regard the distress of Thy people: open the heavens and send us relief: help, help Thy servant now, O God!
The People--Open the heavens and send us relief: help, help Thy servant now. O God!
Elijah--Go up now, child, and look toward the sea. Hath thy prayer been heard by the Lord
The Youth--There is nothing. The heavens are as brass above me.
Elijah--When the heavens are closed up because they have sinned against
Thee, yet if they pray and confess Thy name, and turn from their sin when Thou dost afflict them: then hear from heaven, and forgive the sin! Help! send Thy servant help, O God!
The People--Then hear from heaven and forgive the sin! Help! send Thy servant help, O God!
Elijah--Go up again, and still look toward the sea.
The Youth--There is nothing. The earth is as iron under me!
Elijah--Hearest thou no sound of rain Seest thou nothing arise from the deep
The Youth--No; there is nothing.
Elijah--Have respect to the prayer of Thy servant, O Lord, my God! Unto Thee will I cry, Lord, my rock; be not silent to men; and Thy great mercies remember, Lord!
The Youth--Behold, a little cloud ariseth now from the waters; it is like a man's hand! The heavens are black with clouds and with wind; the storm rusheth louder and louder!
The People--Thanks be to God for all His mercies!
Elijah--Thanks be to God, for He is gracious, and His mercy endureth for evermore!
Thanks be to God! He laveth the thirsty land! The waters gather; they rush along; they are lifting their voices!
The stormy billows are high; their fury is mighty. But the Lord is above them, and Almighty. Psalm xciii:, 4; Jer. xiv.22; II Chron. vi:ip, 26, 27; Deut. xxviii:23; Psalm xxviii:i, cvi:i; I Kings xviii:43, 45.
Hear ye, Israel; hear what the Lord speaketh: "Oh, hadst thou heeded my commandments!"
Who hath believed our report; to whom is the arm of the Lord revealed
Thus saith the Lord, the Redeemer of Israel, and His Holy One, to Him oppressed by tyrants: thus saith the Lord: "I am He that comforteth; be not afraid, for I am thy God, I will strengthen thee. Say, who art thou, that thou art afraid of a man that shall die; and forgettest the Lord thy Maker, who hath stretched for thee the heavens, and laid the earth's foundations Be not afraid, for I, thy God, will strengthen thee." Isaiah xlviii:i, 18, liii:i, xliv:y, xli:io, H:i2, 75.
Be not afraid, saith God the Lord. Be not afraid; thy help is near. God, the Lord thy God, saith unto thee, "Be not afraid!" Isaiah xli: 10.
Obadiah--Man of God, now let my words be precious in thy sight. Thus saith Jezebel: "Elijah is worthy to die." So the mighty gather against thee, and they have prepared a net for thy steps; that they may seize thee, that they may slay thee. Arise, then, and hasten for thy life; to the wilderness journey. The Lord thy God doth go with thee: He will not fail thee. He will not forsake thee. Now begone, and bless me also.
Elijah--Though stricken, they have not grieved! Tarry here, my servant: the Lord be with thee. I journey hence to the wilderness. Kings i:i$; Jer. v.3, xxvi-.ii; Psalm lix'.i I Kings xix: 4; Deut. xxxi:6; Exodus xii:2; I Samuel xviiy.
Elijah--It is enough, O Lord; now take away my life, for I am not better than my fathers! I desire to live no longer; now let me die, for my days are but vanity!
I have been very jealous for the Lord God of Hosts! for the children of Israel have broken Thy covenant, thrown down Thine altars, and slain Thy prophets with the sword: and I, even I, only am
left; and they seek my life to take it away. Job vii:i6; I Kings
Obadiah--See now he sleepeth beneath a juniper tree in the wilderness: and there the angels of the Lord encamp round about all them that fear Him. Kings xixts; Psalm xxxiv.-j.
Angels--Lift thine eyes to the mountains, whence cometh help. Thy help cometh from the Lord, the Maker of heaven and earth. He hath said, thy foot shall not be moved; thy Keeper will never slumber. Psalm cxxi:i, 3.
Angels--He, watching over Israel, slumbers not nor sleeps. Shouldst thou, walking in grief, languish, He will quicken thee. Psalm cxxi:, cxxxxviii-.-j.
An Angel--Arise, Elijah, for thou hast a long journey before thee. Forty days and forty nights shalt thou go; to Horeb, the mount of God.
Elijah--O Lord, I have labored in vain; yea, I have spent my strength for naught!
O that Thou wouldst rend the heavens, that Thou wouldst come down; that the mountains would flow down at Thy presence, to make Thy name known to Thine adversaries, through the wonders of Thy works!
O Lord, why hast Thou made them to err from Thy ways, and hardened their hearts that they do not fear Thee O that I now might die! Kings xix:8; Isaiah xliv.4, Ixiv.i, 2, lxiii:y.
An Angel--O rest in the Lord; wait patiently for Him, and He shall give thee thy heart's desires. Commit thy way unto Him, and trust in Him, and fret not thyself because of evil-doers. Psalm xxxvii:i, 7.
Elijah--Night falleth round me, O Lord! Be Thou not far from me! Hide not Thy face, O Lord, from me; my soul is thirsting for Thee, as a thirsty land.
An Angel--Arise now! get thee without, stand on the mount before the Lord; for there His glory will appear and shine on thee! Thy face must be veiled, for He draweth nigh. Psalm cxliti:6, 7i I Kings xix:n.
Behold! God the Lord passed by! And a mighty wind rent the mountains around, brake in pieces the rocks, brake them before the Lord: but yet the Lord was not in the tempest.
Behold! God the Lord passed by! And the sea was upheaved, and the earth was shaken: but yet the Lord was not in the earthquake.
And after the earthquake there came a fire; but yet the Lord was not in the fire.
And after the fire there came a still, small voice; and in that still, small voice onward came the Lord. Kings xix:n, 12.
Recitative Elijah--I go on my way in the strength
of the Lord. For thou art my Lord; and I will suffer
for thy sake.
My heart is therefore glad, my glory rejoiceth and my flesh shall also rest in hope! Kings xix:is, 18; Psalm Ixxi:i6; xvi:2, o.
Elijah--For the mountains shall depart, and the hills be removed; but Thy kindness shall not depart from me, neither shall the covenant of Thy peace be removed. Isaiah
Then did Elijah the prophet break forth like a fire; his words appeared like burning torches. Mighty kings by
him were overthrown. He stood on the mount of Sinai, and heard the judgments of the future; and in Horeb, its vengeance.
And when the Lord would take him away to heaven, lo! there came a fiery chariot, with fiery horses; and he went by a whirlwind to heaven. Ecclesiastes xlviii:i, 6, 7; II Kings ii:i, 11.
Then shall the righteous shine forth as the sun in their Heavenly Father's realm. Joy on their head shall be for everlasting, and all sorrow and mourning shall flee away for ever. Matthew xiii:43; Isaiah li:ti.
O! come every one that thirsteth, O come to the waters: come unto Him. O hear, and your soul shall live for ever! Isaiah lv:i, 3.
And then shall your light break forth as the light of morning breaketh; and your health shall speedily spring forth then; and the glory of the Lord ever shall reward you.
Lord, our Creator, how excellent Thy name is in all the nations. Thou fillest heaven with Thy glory. Amen! Isaiah lviii:8; Psalm viii:i.
Founded in 1879 Sixty-fifth Season, 1943-1944
Hardin Van Deursen, Conductor
Ruby Kuhlman, Accompanist
Harriet Porter, Librarian
Anema, Theresa Batchelor, Marion Bear, Jacqueline Bonesteel, Beverly B. Bradstreet, Lola Mae Brown, Margery J. Carter, Dagmar Cole, Josephine Corbin, Horatia J. Dunham, Ruth Edmonds, Margaret M. Elliott, Martha Ann Fedje, Mary Hoinville, Jean S. Humphrey, Emily G. Jaaksi, Florence S. Jones, Madelene D. Katz, Sybil C.
Adams, Henrietta Adams, Jean F. Amendt, Dorothy S. Anutta, June Beerup, Ruth Booth, Roberta H. Brater, Betsy B. Brickman, Helen L. Carlson, Katherine Chilman, Suzanne Davidter, Hazel E. Derderian, Rose S. Drewes, Rika
Kesler, Susan Lofgren, Ruth MacLaren, Helen L. MacNeal, Ruth Mapes, Mary L. Marcellus, Shirley McDonald, Ruth McGinnis, Elizabeth J. Malan, Fannie B. Nutting, Helen M. O'Connor, Edna O'Dell, Katherine Parker, Lois M. Patton, Beatrice Prince, Margaret I. Puglisi, Elizabeth A. Ringland, Bobette Riopelle, Helen G. Robbins, June
Edwards, Ellen W. Enss, Vera A. Fleck, Harriet E. Fosdick, Marilyn S. Gallup, Janet L. Gilman, Doris Jean Gregory, Mary H. Hankinson, Lucile Hooker, Ruth Ivanoff, Elizabeth Jacobus, Gloria. Juengel, Lois Masson, Helen E.
Sass, Freda Schonwald, Ruth Scott, Jean F. Shepler, Martha E. Shideman, Nancy Jean Soper, Bette Smith, Dorothy Jean Steffes, Dorothy L. Stimson, Miriam M. Stockwell, Priscilla T. Storgaard, Barbara Stuck, Janice Summers, Edith R. Van Voorst, Dorothy Watt, Marilyn Wheelock, Jeanne B. Wood, Charlotte Wright, Mary Elizabeth Zapf, Virginia L.
McMillin, Johanne Merrill, Sylvia J. Minneman, Mildred Moats, Kathryn Moeller, Geraline M. Morgan, Jean Moore, Lois Nave, Ruth Nielsen, E. Alma Nordquist, Ruth Palmer, R. Marguerite Pierce, Rachel M. Powell, Delva D.
Sefton, Jane Simpson, Faith Spore, Patty
Ahrens, Jessie-May Anderson, Virginia Bogle, Jeanne K. Boice, Irene V. Campbell, Phyllis Cook, Ann B. Crawford, L. Phyllis Crossley, Anne E. Doane, Lois Ann Drury, Shirley Fowler, Beulah Eager, Grace Falcone, Mary L. Foote, Genevieve E. Foreman, Kathryn lone
Ball, Genevieve S. Beyer, Marion A. Boerker, Huldah Bogart, Gertrude J. Bostwick, Frances Breitmeyer, Margot Batchelor, Hazel R. Campbell, Carol Fikse, Ellen Follin, Betsy Harris, E. Lucille Hibbard, Esther L. Holtman, Estella Humez, Roberta B. James, I. Lucille Jones, Betty P.
Allen, Don R.
Storgaard, Lorna Swan, Elsie Teetor, Catherine
Goodman, Elsa C. Genuit, Lucille Griffith, Erma Reany Groberg, Nancy J. Hainsworth, Annie M. Hankinson, Beulah Harris, Helen L. Hascall, Nancy Hazel, A. Carlene Hooper, Ellen F. Jordan, Ruth B. Kaufman, Renee Ketcham, Mary S. Kuhlman, Ruby J. Laine, Hilia Ling, Joanne
Lee, Doris M. Lowery, Mary Maltz, Eleanor Matson, Jeanne McCracken, Nancy F. McCleery, Dorothy Mohrmann, Freda Mohrmann, Laura Netting, Marcia Peterson, Florence L. Peterson, Janet Phillips, Frances J. Robbin, Shirley Ramme, Frances Reed, Doris E. Robertson, Patricia
FIRST TENORS Barber, Joseph
Wehner, Ruth E. Whitnall, Faith E. Wood, Mary E.
McOmber, Elizabeth Olsen, Evelyn M. Parrish, Mary E. Peugeot, Arlene D. Plumstead, Nancy Porter, Harriet L. Risk, Harriet J. Secrist, Margaret C. Shook, Thelma Shugart, Betty Stahmer, Walda Unger, Audrey Vetter, Antonia Wiedman, Anna Wiedmann, Louise.
Rohns, Elizabeth Ruettinger, Hazel Ruppert, Betty C. Samuel, Eleanore Searles, Eleanor Semple, Margaret J. Smith, Barbara C. Snyder, Elizabeth Truas, Katherine Underhill, Editha Updegraff, Betty Williams, Ruth J. Wilson, Betty L. Woodworth, Alta Zumstein, Marguerite R.
Burgan, Robert L.
Cooch, Harry E. Fairbanks, Avard F. Jr. Goldberg, Harold L. Humez, Paul R. Ingham, Clare
Catchpole, R. E. Coffey, Rupert V. Courtenaye, Richard H. Dunham, Darrell R. Diaz-Lewis, Juan O. Goldklang, H. Altan Howe, George D.
Barrett, Lytell Blue, John T., Jr. Bogle, Robert W. Booth, Willard Bradley, Horace W. Crocker, John Dakin, Gerald F. Davidter, R. C. DeBoer, John Edwards, J. R. Fries, Charles
Anderson, Arthur F. Anderson, Carl A. Allen, Stanley W. Beu, Eric R. Beu, Karl Boice, Harmon
James, William S. McCudden, Justin Modlin, Philip Mount, Frank W. Steiner, Ray F.
Jenter, Ronald Lee, Marion L. Liechty, George F. Neuderfer, John M. Oldenkamp, J. William Penoyar, William G. Perdomo, Jose Ignacio Secrist, John H.
Goodman, Harold W. Gould, Stuart M., Jr. Hainsworth, William Hart, William D. Hildebrandt, Mark Hildebrandt, Theodore Hoffmeyer, Ralph W. Holland, David W. Hunt, Robert T. Kiel, Donald F. Matthews, John E.
Campbell, Douglas Dierks, Robert E. Edmonds, Stuart L. Fairbanks, Justin Johnson, Robert W. Mallory, Worth
Torrey, Owen L. Valade, William Wagner, Herbert P. Waltz, Robert G.
Sell, Richard N. Sokatch, Richard J. Straight, Sidney F. Truhan, Andrew Taylor, Jay C. Vroman, Clyde Ward, C. Edward
Maybee, Gene D. McGinnis, James H. Mellinger, John Miller, Edward M. Musch, Edward J. Quinlan, Cornelius C. Reed, Carl Staebler, Walter P. Striedieck, Werner F. Massingham, Sherman
Malpas, Philip Peterson, John A. Schaible, T. E. Shafer, Richard D. Sleeper, Frank M. Swisher, John E.
Wilson Sawyer, Director
Holmes, Josephine Howe, Eleanor
Britton, Lennis Daley, Carolyn Douglas, Joyce
Bockstahler, Lois Christian, Rhea Framburg, Carol
Acton, Mary Ruth Donen, Joyce Gray, Dorothy Hall, Bernice
Richardson, Jane Ruch, Marilyn
Honn, Patricia Laird, Jean McClure, Gloria Palmer, Lois
Gauthier, Libby George, Mary Matthews, Joyce
Iselman, Charlotte Murray, Sherry Rubenstein, Frances Stewart, Eleanor
Shepherd, Jacqueline
Psciuk, Gerri Trumpeter, Doris Tyler, Patricia
Melbourne, Gloria Taylor, Elizabeth
Turner, Marie Weadocfc, Virginia White, Barbara Jean Yeomans, Barbara
Eugene Ormandy, Conductor Saul Caston, Associate Conductor Harl McDonald, Manager
Hilsberg, Alexander Concertmaster
Madison, David Asst. Concertmaster
Zenker, Alexander
Aleinikoff, Harry
Henry, Dayton M.
Simkin, Jasha
Kayaloff, Yasha
Schmidt, Henry
Lipkin, Arthur B.
Beimel, George
Coleman, David
Gesensway, Louis
Schulman, Julius
Putlitz, Lois
Zungolo, Antony
Costanzo, Frank Vogelgesang, Frederick Farnham, Allan
Ruden, Sol
Molloy, John W.
Sharlip, Benjamin
Gorodetzky, A.
Baumel, Herbert
Bove, D.
Simkin, Meyer
Kaufman, Schima
Dabrowski, S.
Zalstein, Max
Roth, Manuel
Mueller, Matthew J.
Miller, Charles S.
Brodo, Joseph
Kresse, Emil
Reynolds, Veda Shure, Paul C.
In Service.
Lifschey, Samuel Roens, Samuel Mogill, Leonard Asen, Simon Braverman, Gabriel Ferguson, Paul Greenberg, Wm. S. Bauer, J. K. Kahn, Gordon Loeben, Gustave A. Gray, Alexander Singer, Sam
VIOLONCELLOS Mayes, Samuel H. Belenko, Samuel Gusikoff, B. Schmidt, William A. Sargeant, Emmet R. Siegel, Adrian Hilger, Elsa Gorodetzer, Harry Lewin, Morris Sterin, J. Gray, John de Pasquale, Francis
BASSES Torello, Anton Hase, A. Lazzaro, Vincent Torello, Carl Strassenberger, Max Benfield, Warren A. Siani, S.
Wiemann, Heinrich Eney, F. Gilbert ToreUo, William
Phillips, Edna Tyre, Marjorie
Kincaid, W. M.
Terry, Kenton F.
Bennett, Harold
Fischer, John A. Tipton, Albert Emery, Kenneth B.
Tabuteau, Marcel Di Fulvio, Louis Siegel, Adrian
ENGLISH HORN Minsker, John
CLARINETS MacLean, Ralph Serpentini, Jules J. Cerminara, N. Lester, Leon Gruner, William Guerra, Michael Portnoy, Bernard
SAXOPHONE Guerra, Michael
BASSOONS Schoenbach, Sol Fisnar, John Del Negro, F. Gruner, William
Chambers, James
Tomei, A. A.
Fearn, Ward O.
Mayer, Clarence
Lannutti, Charles
Homer, Anton Jones, Mason Pierson, Herbert
Caston, Saul Hering, Sigmund Rehrig, Harold W. Headman, Melvin
BASS TRUMPET Gusikoff, Charles
Gusikoff, Charles
Harper, Robert S.
Lotz, Paul P.
Gerhard, C. E.
Stoll, Fred C. Pulis, Gordon M. Price, Irwin L.
Donatelli, Philip A. Wiemann, Heinrich
TYMPANI Schwar, Oscar Kresse, Emil
BATTERY Podemski, Benjamin Valerio, James ,
Tyre, Marjorie Putlitz, Lois Loeben, Gustave A.
Elmore, Robert
Gusikoff, Charles
LIBRARIAN Betz, Marshall
ASST. LIBRARIAN Braverman, Gabriel
Organized in 1879. Incorporated in 1881.
Henry Simmons Frieze, 1879--1881 and 1883--1889 Alexander Winchell, 1881-1883 and 1889-1891 Francis W. Kelsey, 1891-1927 Charles A. Sink (Executive Secretary, 1904-1927) 1927MUSICAL DIRECTORS
Calvin B. Cady, 1879-1888 Albert A. Stanley, 1894-1921 Earl V. Moore, 1922-1939
Thor Johnson, 1940-1942 Hardin Van Deursen, 1943- In Service.
Founded by Albert A. Stanley in 1894
Albert A. Stanley, 1894-1921 Earl V. Moore, 1922-1939
Thor Johnson, 1940-1942 Hardin Van Deursen, 1943ORGANIZATIONS
The Boston Festival Orchestra. Emil Mollenhauer, Conductor, 1894-1904 The Chicago Symphony Orchestra. Frederick Stock, Conductor, 1905--1935;
Eric DeLamarter, Associate Conductor, 1918--1935
The Philadelphia Orchestra. Leopold Stokowski, Conductor, Saul Caston and Charles O'Connell, Associate Conductors, 1936; Eugene Ormandy, Conductor, 1937, 1938; Eugene Ormandy, Conductor, Saul Caston, Associate Conductor, 1939The University Choral Union, Albert A. Stanley, Conductor, 1894-1921; Earl V. Moore, Conductor, 1922--1939; Thor Johnson, Conductor, 1940-1942; Hardin Van Deursen, 1943The Young People's Festival Chorus (now the Festival Youth Chorus), trained by Florence B. Potter, and conducted by Albert A. Stanley, 1913-1918. Conductors: Russell Carter, 1920; George Oscar Bowen, 1921-1924; Joseph E. Maddy, 1925-1927; Juva N. Higbee, 1928-1936; Roxy Cowin, 1937; Juva N. Higbee, 1938; Roxy Cowin, 1939; Juva N. Higbee, 1940-1942; Marguerite Hood, 1943-The Stanley Chorus (now the Women's Glee Club), trained by Marguerite
Martindale, 1934; trained by Wilson Sawyer, 1944 The University Glee Club, trained by David Mattern, 1937 The Lyra Male Chorus, trained by Reuben H. Kempf, 1937
Gustav Hoist (London, England), 1923, 1932 Howard Hanson (Rochester), 1926, 1927, 1933, 1935 Felix Borowski (Chicago), 1927 Percy Grainger (New York), 1928 Jose Iturbi (Philadelphia), 1937 Georges Enesco (Paris), 1939 .Harl McDonald (Philadelphia), 1939, 1940, 1944
CHORAL WORKS Manzoni Requiem, Verdi Damnation of Faust, Berlioz
Lohengrin, Act I, Finale from Die Meistersinger, Wagner Arminius, Bruch; Stabat Mater, Rossini Manzoni Requiem, Verdi
German Requiem, Brahms; Samson and Delilah, Saint-Saens Lily Nymph, Chadwick; Hora Novissima, Parker Elijah, Mendelssohn; Golden Legend, Sullivan Orpheus, Gluck; Faust, Gounod; Tannhauser, Wagner
1903 Caractacus, Elgar; Ai'da, Verdi
1904 Fair Ellen, Bruch; Dream of Gerontius, Elgar; Carmen, Bizet
1905 St. Paul, Mendelssohn; Arminius, Bruch
Stabat Mater, Dvorak; A Psalm of Victory, Stanley; ATda, Verdi
Messiah, Handel; Sampson and Delilah, Saint-Saens
Creation, Haydn; Faust, Gounod
Seasons, Haydn; Damnation of Faust, Berlioz
Fair Ellen, Bruch; Odysseus, Bruch; New Life, Wolf-Ferrari
Judas Maccabeus, Handel; Eugene Onegin, Tchaikovsky
Dream of Gerontius, Elgar; Samson and Delilah, Saint-Saens; Chorus Triomphalis,
1913 Laus Deo, Stanley; Manzoni Requiem, Verdi; Lohengrin, Act I and Finale from Die Meistersinger, Wagner; The Walrus and the Carpenter (Children), Fletcher 1914. Caractacus, Elgar; Messiah, Handel; Into the World (Children), Benoit
1915 New Life, Wolf-Ferrari; Children's Crusade, Pierne
1916 Paradise Lost, Bossi; Samson and Delilah, Saint-Saens; Children at Bethlehem
(Children), Pierne
1917 Dream of Gerontius, Elgar; Aida, Verdi; The Walrus and the Carpenter (Children), Fletcher
1918 The Beatitudes, Franck; Carmen, Bizet; Into the World (Children), Benoit
1919 Ode to Music, Hadley; Faust, Gounod; Fair Land of Freedom, Stanley
1920 Manzoni Requiem, Verdi; Damnation of Faust, Berlioz
1921 Elijah, Mendelssohn; ATda, Verdi; Voyage of Arion (Children), Moore
1922 New Life, Wolf-Ferrari; A Psalmodic Rhapsody, Stock; Tannhauser (Paris version), Wagner; A Song of Spring (Children), Busch
1923 B-minor Mass (Excerpts), Bach; f Hymn of Jesus, Hoist; Dirge for Two Veterans,
Hoist; Samson and Delilah, Saint-Saens
1924 B-minor Mass (Excerpts), Bach; fLa Primavera (Spring), Respighi; fSea Drift,
Delius; Excerpts from ATda and La Forza del Destino, Verdi
1925 The Bells, Rachmaninoff; B-minor Mass (Excerpts), Bach; La Gioconda, Ponchielli; Alice in Wonderland (Children), Kelley
1926 Elijah, Mendelssohn; Lohengrin, Wagner; The Lament of Beowulf, Hanson; The
Walrus and the Carpenter (Children), Fletcher
1927 Missa Solemnis, Beethoven; fChoral Symphony, 2d and 3d movements, Hoist;
Carmen, Bizet; Heroic Elegy, Hanson; Voyage of Arion (Children), Moore
1928 St. Francis of Assisi, Pierne; Marching Song of Democracy, Grainger; ATda, Verdi;
Quest of the Queer Prince (Children), Hyde
1929 German Requiem, Brahms; New Life, Wolf-Ferrari; Samson and Delilah, SaintSaens; Hunting of the Snark (Children), Boyd
1930 Magnificat, Bach; King David, Honegger; Manzoni Requiem, Verdi; A Symphony of Song (Children), Strong
World premiere at the May Festival Concerts. ¦f American premiere at the May Festival Concerts.
1931 St. Francis of Assisi, Pierne; Boris Godounov (original version), Moussorgsky; Old
Johnny Appleseed (Children), Gaul
1932 Creation, Haydn; Symphony of Psalms, Stravinski; fChoral Fantasia, Hoist;
tLegend of Kitesh, Rimsky-Korsakoff; The Spider and the Fly (Children), Protheroe
1933 Belshazzar's Feast, Walton; Merry Mount, Hanson; Spring Rapture (Children),
1934 The Seasons, Haydn; fEin Friedenslied, Heger; By the Rivers of Babylon, Loeffler;
The Ugly Duckling, English
1935 Songs from "Drum Taps," Hanson; King David, Honegger; Boris Godounov
(original version), Moussorgsky; Jumblies (Children), James
1936 Manzoni Requiem, Verdi; Caractacus, Elgar; Children at Bethlehem (Children),
1937 Alda, Verdi; fThe Seasons, Fogg; Spring Rapture (Children), Gaul; Excerpts
from Parsifal, Wagner
1938 The Bells, Rachmaninoff; Cantata, Paul Bunyan (Children), James; Carmen,
1939 Otello, Verdi; Choral Symphony, McDonald; Psalmus Hungaricus, Kodaly; Onward, Ye Peoples, Sibelius; Alto Rhapsody, Brahms
1940 Samson and Delilah, Saint-Saens; Cantata, The Inimitable Lovers, Charles
Vardell, Jr.
1941 Alleluia, Randall Thompson; Requiem, Brahms; Eugene Onegin, Tchaikovsky;
Saint Mary Magdalene, d'Indy; Songs, M. E. Gillett
1942 King David, Honegger; Ninth Symphony, Beethoven; The Walrus and the Carpenter (Children), Fletcher
1943 Laus Deo, Stanley; A Psalmodic Rhapsody, Stock; Manzoni Requiem, Verdi; A Folk
Song Fantasy, orchestrated by Marion E. McArtor
1944 Elijah, Mendelssohn; Songs of the Two Americas, orchestrated by Eric DeLamarter
fAmerican premiere at the May Festival Concerts. World premiere at the May Festival Concerts.
THE UNIVERSITY MUSICAL SOCIETY, in addition to the annual May Festival, maintains other concert series. The programs provided in these concerts during the season of 1943--44 were as follows:
Sunday Evening, November 7, 1943
The Cleveland Orchestra
Erich Leinsdorf, Conductor
Chorale, "O Haupt, voll Blut und Wunden".........Bach
Symphony in C major, No. 7............ Schubert
Siegfried's Rhine Journey from "Gotterdammerung".......Wagner
"Porgy and Bess"--A Symphonic Picture........Gershwin
Monday Evening, November 17, 1943
Marian Anderson, Contralto
Franz Rupp at the Piano
Se Florindo e fedele.............Scarlatti
La Vie.................Haydn
My mother bids me bind my hair...........Haydn
Sind es Schmerzen, sind es Freuden
Botschaft I...........Brahms
Dein blaues Auge 1
Der Schmied '
"Pleurez mes yeux" from "Le Cid"..........Massenet
Silent Noon................Williams
The Roadside Fire..............Williams
Amuri, Amuri...............Sadero
Evening Song...............Griffes
Ride on, King Jesus...........Arr. by Burleigh
Lord, I can't stay away...........Arr. by Hayes
Sometimes I feel like a motherless child........Arr. by Brown
Honor, Honor.............Arr. by Johnson
Tuesday Evening, November 23, 1943 Yehudi Menuhin, Violinist Adolph Baller at the Piano
Sonata in D major, Op. 12, No. 1..........BEETHOVEN
Sonata No. 3 in C major (for violin alone).........Bach
Premiere Sonata...............Bartok
"Yemaya"..............Angel A. Reyes
A Lenda Do Caboclo.............Villa-Lobos
Cantiga de Ninan.............. Guarnieri
"Molly on the Shore"...........Grainger-Kreisler
Friday Evening, December 3, 1943 Claudio Arrau, Pianist
Rondo in A minor..............Mozart
Fifteen Variations and Fugue, Op. 35.........Beethoven
Ballade in F minor...............Chopin
Scherzo in E major..............Chopin
Jeux d'eau & la Villa d'Este.............Liszt
Mephisto Waltz...............Liszt
Estampes ................Debussy
El Puerto and Fete-Dieu a Seville from "Iberia".......Albeniz
El Pelele, from "Goyescas"............ Granados
Wednesday Evening, December 8, 1943 Boston Symphony Orchestra Richard Burgin, Conducting
Symphony for Strings...........William Schuman
Symphony No. 1, Op. 10...........Shostakovich
Two Nocturnes...............Debussy
Prelude to "Khovanstchina"........... MOUSSORGSKY
Capriccio Espagnol, Op. 34.........RlMSKY-KoRSAKOFF
Tuesday Evening, December 14, 1943
Don Cossack Chorus Serge Jaroff, Conductor
Blessed is the Man.......from Kievo-Pechersky Monastery
Legend...............P. Tchaikovsky
Blessed Art Thou, O Lord..........P. Tchaikovsky
In Thy Kingdom............P. Tchesnokoff
Russian Fair..............C. Shvedoff
From the Opera "Prince Igor"..........A. Borodin
Parting...............Arr. by C. SHVEDOFF
Through the Street............A. Varlanoff
From Border to Border..........New Russian Song
The Morning Greets Us . ..........D. Shostakovich
Song of an Apple...........Arr. by C. Shvedoff
Marching Song..............C. Shvedoff
The Monotonous Bell...........Arr. by S. Jarofp
Campaign Song............ Arr. by C. Shvedoff
Tuesday Evening, January 18, 1944 Artur Rubinstein, Pianist
Sonata in F minor, Op. 57...........Beethoven
Capriccio in C major, Op. 76............Brahms
Rhapsody in B minor, Op. 79...........Brahms
Symphonic Etudes, Op. 13............Schumann
Barcarolle, Op. 60..............Chopin
Ballade in A-flat...............Chopin
Ritual Fire Dance..............deFalla
Sunday Afternoon, January 30, 1944 Marjorie Lawrence, Soprano Gordon Manley at the Piano
Recitative and Aria of Nitocris from "Belshazzar".......Handel
Rhapsodie, Op. 79, No. 2............Brahms
Gavotte in F-sharp minor...........PROKOFIEFF
Gordon Manley Der Erlkonig ]
Der Lindenbaum I.............Schubert
Ungeduld j
Malurous qu'o uno Fenno...........Canteloube
La Flute enchantee..............Ravel
El Vito...............Joaquin Nin
This Day is Mine............ Harriet Ware
Two Preludes..............SHOSTAKOVICH
Etude in D-sharp minor.............Scriabin
Mr. Manley Briinhilde's Final Scene from "Gotterdammerung"......Wagner
Thursday Evening, February i o, i 944
Mischa Elman, Violinist Leopold Mittman at the Piano
Sonata in A major..............Handel
Sonata in D minor..............Brahms
Concerto in A minor.............GLAZOUNOFF
Old Irish Songand Dance............Spalding
Hebrew Melodie..............Achron
Caprice No. 24 (Variations)..........Paganini-Auer
Monday Evening, March 6, 1944
Ezio Pinza, Bass Gibner King, A ccomfanist
Cara sposo, from "Rinaldo"............Handel
Si tra i ceppi from "Berenice"...........Handel
Dormi, amore, from "La Flora".......... Da Gagliano
II maritino (folksong)..........Arr. by Sinigaglia
Novara la bella (folksong) . .......Arr. by Sinigaglia
Trois jours de vendange.............Hahn
L'Heureux vagabond............. Bruneau
Plaisir d'amour...............Martini
Au pays.................Holmes
The Lament of Ian the Proud...........Griffes
To One Unknown.............Carpenter
Do You Remember .............Levitzki
Cato's Advice................HUHN
I due tarli................Zandonai
La serenata.................Tosti
Non ho parole................Sibella
II lacerato spirito, from "Simon Boccanegra"........Verdi
"MESSIA H" Georg Friedrich Handel
Agnes Davis, Soprano William Miller, Tenor
Lillian Knowles, Contralto Wellington Ezekiel, Bass
University Choral Union Special "Messiah" Orchestra
Palmer Christian, Organist Hardin Van Deursen, Conductor
Lecture Hall, Rackham Building
January 21 and 22, 1944
Roth String Quartet
Feri Roth, Violin Julius Shaier, Viola
Michael Kuttner, Violin Oliver Edel, Violoncello
FIRST CONCERT, 8:30 p.m.
Quartet in E-flat major, Op. 50, No. 3..........Haydn
Quartet in F................Ravel
Quartet in D minor (Death and the Maiden) ....... Schubert
Seven Choral Preludes..............Bach
Quartet in F major, Op. 135...........Beethoven
Three Pieces for String Quartet...........CASELLA
THIRD CONCERT, 8:30 p.m.
Quartet in F major, Op. 41, No. 2..........Schumann
Quartet No. 2.............Harold Morris
Choral and Fugue..............Brahms
Italian Serenade...............Wolf

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