UMS Concert Program, November 12: Sixty-sixth Annual Choral Union Concert Series -- The Cleveland Orchestra
Complete Series: 2890
Hill Auditorium, Ann Arbor, Michigan
UNIVERSITY MUSICAL SOCIETY
CHARLES A. SINK, PRESIDENT THOR JOHNSON, CONDUCTOR
HARDIN VAN DEURSEN, ACTING CONDUCTOR
Second Concert 1944-194S Complete Series 2890
Choral Union Concert Series
THE CLEVELAND ORCHESTRA
GEORGE SZELL, Guest Conductor
Sunday Evening, November 12, at 7:00 Hill Auditorium, Ann Arbor, Michigan
PROGRAM Overture to "A Midsummer Night's Dream" . . . Mendelssohn
Symphony No. 6 in F major, Op. 68, "Pastoral" . . Beethoven Awakening of serene impressions on arriving in the country: Allergo ma non troppo
Scene by the brookside: Andante molto moto
Jolly gathering of country folk: Allegro, in tempo d'allegro; Thunderstorm, Tempest: Allegro
Shepherd's Song: Gladsome and thankful feelings after the storm: Allegretto
Symphonic Metamorphosis on Themes of C. M.
"Turandot" (Scherzo) Andantino March
"Till Eulenspiegel's Merry Pranks, After the Old-fashioned
Roguish Manner--in Rondo Form," Op. 28 ... Strauss
Note: The Cleveland Orchestra has been heard in the Choral Union Series on previous occasions as follows: March 28, 1935; November 9, 1937; November 7, 1938; November 9, 1941November 8, 1942; and November 7, 1943.
The Steinway piano, furnished through the courtesy of Grinnell Brothers, is the official concert instrument of the University Musical Society
ARS LONGA VITA BREVIS
Overture to "A Midsummer Night's
Born February 3, 1809, in Hamburg; died November 3, 1847, in Leipzig.
The Overture was written in 1826, and publicly performed for the first time in February, 1827, in Stettin, under Karl Lowe. The incidental music was composed in 1843 and first produced in the Royal Theatre of the New Palace, Potsdam, October 14, 1843; Mendelssohn conducted.
The Overture is in E major, allegro di molto, 2-2. Four mysterious woodwind chords usher in the "fairy music" in the minor, played by divided violins with pizzicato notes in the violas. The subsidiary theme is given out fortissimo by the full orchestra, and leads to a statement of the lyric second theme by the woodwinds in B major. Strings are added to the woodwind instruments and gradually the full orchestra takes part. The Bergomask dance from the fifth act of the play is now introduced, and there is an imitation of the bray of an ass, an illusion to Bottom. It is said that the swiftly descending scale passage for cellos was suggested to the composer by the buzzing of an enormous fly. The development is based on the "fairy music" of the opening, and the recapitulation offers a regular review of the themes. At the end of the short coda the four seductive chords of the first page reappear.
Symphony No. 6 in F major, Op. 68-"Pastoral".......Ludwig van Beethoven
Born December 16 (), 1770, in Bonn; died March 26, 1827, in Vienna.
The "Pastoral" Symphony was completed in 1808. It was first performed at a concert in the Theater-an-der-Wien, Vienna, on December 22, 1808, when the Fifth Symphony, the Fourth Piano Concerto, and the Choral Fantasia were also heard for the first time.
Beethoven was passionately fond of nature. Walking in the woods and fields near Vienna, he was able to refresh himself in a way that was not otherwise possible. It was probably in the vicinity of his favorite Heiligenstadt--then real countryside-that he received the impressions that furnished the incentive for the "Pastoral" Symphony. As the music unfolds--serene, unhurried, carefree, and at peace in lingering dreams that are too precious to let pass--it is easy to visualize the composer arriving at a rural inn, sensing the relaxed calm of the village, humming a tune as he strides along the dusty roads, pausing to rest by a brook, watching peasant dances with an ear for the happy-go-lucky music of the local band, seeking refuge from a passing thundershower, and feeling with the shepherds an honest, heartfelt reverence for nature.
The sketchbooks show that he worked on the "Pastoral" Symphony at the same time as the Fifth, and they were both first performed at the same concert. It was just such rustic relaxation that he must have sought after struggling to tighten the C-minor Symphony into the terse, dramatic score that we now know.
Symphonic Metamorphosis on Themes of C. M.
Von Weber........Paul Hindemith
Born November 16, 189S, in Hanau, Germany.
Hindemith completed this score in August, 1943. The first performance was at a concert of the New York Philharmonic-Symphony Orchestra, Artur Rodzinski, Conductor, on January 20, 1944.
Hindemith has based his "Symphonic Metamorphosis" on themes from the minor works of Weber. He found the thematic material of the first, third, and fourth movements in Weber's music for piano duet; that of the second movement, in the incidental music that Weber wrote for Schiller's play, "Turandot." Hindemith did not hesitate to make alterations in the Weber themes, believing that they did not represent the composer at his best.
The work takes the form of a suite in four movements:
I. Allegro, A minor, 2-4. Violins announce a sprightly theme. A new melody, very similar in character, is stated by the woodwinds and immediately repeated by the strings. Both these themes are extensively developed.
II. Moderato, F major, 4-4, then lively, 2-2. A flute announces a Chinese theme against a resounding bell and harmonics in the strings. There are variations and developments of extraordinary ingenuity. In one variation the theme is heard from the four kettledrums against an orchestra consisting only of bells, triangle, tom-tom, wood block, and cymbals. The ending, too, is mainly for percussion.
III. Andantino, B-flat minor, 6-8. The placid theme, announced by the clarinet and repeated immediately by the bassoon, is much elaborated.
IV. March, B-flat major, 2-2. A fanfare-like motive is given out by the trumpets and trombones and at once the march begins. The simple themes are all derived from the preludial motive, but the orchestration grows more and more complex.
"Till Eulenspiegel's Merry Pranks, After the Old-fashioned
Roguish Manner--in Rondo Form," Op. 28 . Richaed Strauss Born June 11, 1864, in Munich.
Strauss completed this most popular of his tone poems in May, 1895, at Munich. It was published in September with this title: "Till Eulenspiegel's Lustige Streiche, nach alter Schelmenweise--in Rondoform." Strauss had found his subject in an old Volksbuch attributed to Dr. Thomas Murner (1473-1530). The first performance was at a Gurzenich concert in Cologne on November 5, 1895.
Strauss has been consistent in his reluctance to provide literary programs for his tone poems, preferring to let his descriptive music tell its story unaided. Occasionally, however, a conductor has been fortunate enough to call forth a letter explaining the purpose of a particular work. Franz Wullner, preparing this score for performance in Cologne, received such a letter from Strauss:
"It is impossible for me to furnish a program to 'Eulenspiegel'; were I to put into words the thoughts which its several incidents suggested to me, they would seldom suffice, and might even rise to offence. Let me leave it, therefore, to my hearers to crack the hardnut which the Rogue has prepared for them. By way of helping them to a better understanding, it seems sufficient to point out the two 'Eulenspiegel' motives, which, in the most manifold disguises, moods, and situations, pervade the whole up to the catastrophe, when, after he has been condemned to death, Till is strung up to the gibbet. For the rest, let them guess at the musical joke which a Rogue has offered them." Strauss noted three themes: the opening of the introduction; the horn motive of Till; and the portentous descending interval of the Rogue's condemnation. ,
The exuberant analyst of Straussian tone poems, Wilhelm Mauke, later persuaded the composer to pencil the following notes on his score:
"Once upon a time there was a Volksnarr; Named Till Eulenspiegel; That was an awful hobgoblin; Off for the New Pranks: Just wait, you hypocrites! Hop! On horseback into the midst of the market-women; With seven-league boots he lights out; Hidden in a Mouse-hole; Disguised as a Pastor, he drips with unction and morals; Yet out of his big toe peeps the Rogue; But before he gets through he nevertheless has qualms because of his having mocked religion; Till as cavalier pays court to pretty girls; She has really made an impression on him; He courts her; A kind refusal is still a refusal; Till departs furious; He swears vengeance on all mankind; Philistine motive; After he has propounded to the Philistines a few amazing theses he leaves them in astonishment to their fate; Great grimaces from afar; Till's street tune; The court of Justice; He still whistles to himself indifferently; Up the ladder! There he swings; he gasps for air, a last convulsion; the mortal part of Till is no more."
Schiller's play was actually a German version of a play (or Fiaba) by Carlo Gozzi, the eighteenthcentury Italian dramatist. The play was, of course, on a Chinese subject. Weber used an actual Chinese theme that he found in Rousseau's Dictionnaire dc Musigne for his overture to "Turandot," and it is this theme that Hindemith has employed in a slightly altered form for the second movement of his suite.
Choral Union Concerts
(Concerts begin at 8:30 unless otherwise stated.) Fritz Kreisler, Violinist.....Friday, November 17
Simon Barere, Pianist......Monday, November 27
(Mr. Barere will take the place of Josef Lhevinne)
Carroll Glenn, Violinist.....Tuesday, December 5
Boston Symphony Orchestra .... Monday, December 11 Serge Koussevitzky, Conductor
Vladimir Horowitz, Pianist.....Monday, January 15
Dorothy Maynor, Soprano . . . . . Saturday, February 3
Westminster Choir .... (3:00 p.m.) Sunday, February 11 John Finley Williamson, Conductor
Chicago Symphony Orchestra .... Monday, March 19 Desire Defauw, Conductor
A limited number of tickets for the season or for individual concerts are still available.
Annual "Messiah" Concert
The annual performance of Handel's "Messiah" will be given Sunday afternoon, December 17, at 3:00 p.m., in Hill Auditorium.
Ellen Osborn, Soprano Hardesty Johnson, Tenor
Mary Van Kirk, Contralto Gene Greenwell, Bass
University Choral Union
University Symphony Orchestra
Frieda Op't Holt Vogan, Organist
Hardin Van Deursen, Conductor
Reserved seat tickets, including tax; main floor, 65 cents; first balcony, 50 cents; and second balcony, 40 cents.
Chamber Music Festival
The FIFTH ANNUAL CHAMBER MUSIC FESTIVAL, consisting of three concerts, will be given Friday evening and Saturday afternoon and evening, January 21 and 22, in Rackham Lecture Hall.
The Budapest String Quartet
Josef Roismann, Violin Boris Kroyt, Viola
Edgar Ortenberg, Violin Mischa Schneider, Violoncello
Series tickets, including tax: $3.00, $2.40 and $1.20; single concerts, $1.20 and $ .60.
All tickets now on sale at the offices of the University Musical Society, Burton Memorial Tower.
Mail orders for any of these concerts should include self-addressed stamped envelope, and be mailed to University Musical Society, Charles A. Sink, President, Burton Memorial Tower, Ann Arbor, Michigan.