Press enter after choosing selection

UMS Concert Program, December 11: Boston Symphony Orchestra -- Serge Koussevitzky

UMS Concert Program, December 11: Boston Symphony Orchestra -- Serge Koussevitzky image UMS Concert Program, December 11: Boston Symphony Orchestra -- Serge Koussevitzky image UMS Concert Program, December 11: Boston Symphony Orchestra -- Serge Koussevitzky image UMS Concert Program, December 11: Boston Symphony Orchestra -- Serge Koussevitzky image UMS Concert Program, December 11: Boston Symphony Orchestra -- Serge Koussevitzky image UMS Concert Program, December 11: Boston Symphony Orchestra -- Serge Koussevitzky image UMS Concert Program, December 11: Boston Symphony Orchestra -- Serge Koussevitzky image UMS Concert Program, December 11: Boston Symphony Orchestra -- Serge Koussevitzky image UMS Concert Program, December 11: Boston Symphony Orchestra -- Serge Koussevitzky image UMS Concert Program, December 11: Boston Symphony Orchestra -- Serge Koussevitzky image UMS Concert Program, December 11: Boston Symphony Orchestra -- Serge Koussevitzky image UMS Concert Program, December 11: Boston Symphony Orchestra -- Serge Koussevitzky image UMS Concert Program, December 11: Boston Symphony Orchestra -- Serge Koussevitzky image UMS Concert Program, December 11: Boston Symphony Orchestra -- Serge Koussevitzky image UMS Concert Program, December 11: Boston Symphony Orchestra -- Serge Koussevitzky image UMS Concert Program, December 11: Boston Symphony Orchestra -- Serge Koussevitzky image UMS Concert Program, December 11: Boston Symphony Orchestra -- Serge Koussevitzky image UMS Concert Program, December 11: Boston Symphony Orchestra -- Serge Koussevitzky image UMS Concert Program, December 11: Boston Symphony Orchestra -- Serge Koussevitzky image UMS Concert Program, December 11: Boston Symphony Orchestra -- Serge Koussevitzky image
Day
11
Month
December
Year
1944
Download PDF

(This is the program provided by the Boston Symphony Orchestra for this concert. You can also view the UMS program).

Rights Held By
University Musical Society
OCR Text

Season: 1944-1945
Hill Auditorium Ann Arbor

FOUNDED (N 1881 DY HENRY L. HJGGINSON
SIXTY-FOURTH SEASON
Monday Evening, December 11
SIXTY-SIXTH ANNUAL CHORAL UNION CONCERT SERIES, OF THE
UNIVERSITY OF MICHIGAN AUSPICES, UNIVERSITY MUSICAL SOCIETY
VICTOR RED SEAL RECORDS
by the
Boston Symphony Orchestra
SERGE KOUSSEVITZKY, Conductor
Also Sprach Zarathustra ........................................Strauss
Battle of Kershenetz ....................................Rimsky-Korsakov
Bolero .............................................................Ravel
Capriccio (Jesfls Maria Sanroma, Soloist) ....................Stravinsky
Classical Symphony .............................................Prokofleff
Concerto (or Orchestra in D major ........................K. P. B. Bach
Concerto Grosso in D minor........................................Vivaldi
Concerto in D major (Jascha Heifetz, Soloist) ....................Brahms
Concerto No. 2 (Jascha Heifetz, Soloist) ........................Prokoflefl
Concerto No. 12 -Larghetto ......................................Handel
Damnation of Faust: Minuet -Waltz -Rakoczy March ............Berlioz
Daphnis et Chloe -Suite No. 2 ....................................Ravel
Dubinushka ........................................Rimsky-Korsakoff
"Enchanted Lake" ................................................Liadov
FriihliuKsstimmen -Waltzes (Voices of Spring)....................Strauss
Gymnope'die No. 1 ....................................Erik Satie-Debussy
"Khovanstchina" Prelude ....................................Moussorgsky
"La Mer" ("The Sea") ..........................................Debussy
Last Spring ........................................................Grieg
"Lieutenant Kije" Suite .......................................Prokoflefl
Love for Three Oranges -Scherzo and March ..................Prnkofleff
Maiden with the Roses............................................Sibelius
Ma Mere L'Oyp (Mother Goose) ....................................Havel
Mefisto Waltz .......................................................Liszt
Mlssa Solemnis ................................................Beethoven
PellSas et MSUsande ................................................Faure
"Peter and the Wolf" ..........................................Prokofleff
Pictures at an Exhibition...............................Moussorgsky-Ravel
Pohjola's Daughter ..............................................Sibelius
"Romeo and Juliet," Overture-Fantasia .......................Tchaikovsky
Rosamunde -Ballet Music ......................................Schubert
SalOn Mexico, El ..........................................Aaron Copland
Sarabande ................................................Debussy-Ravel
Song of Volga Boatmen ................................Arr. by Stravinsky
"Swanwhite" ("The Maiden with Roses") ........................Sibelius
Symphony No. 1 in B-flat major ("Spring") ....................Schumann
Symphony No. 2 In D major ...................................Beethoven
Symphony Vo. 2 in D major .....................................Sibelius
Symphony tfo. 3 ..................................................Harris
Symphony No. 4 in A major ("Italian") .....................Mendelssohn
Symphony No. 4 in E minor ......................................Brahms
Symphony No. 4 in F minor .................................Tchaikovsky
Symphony No. 5 In E-flat major ..................................Sibelius
Symphony No. 6 in B minor ("PathGtique") ..................Tchaikovsky
Symphony No. 8 in F major ....................................Beethoven
Symphony No. 8 in B minor ("Unfinished") ....................Schubert
Symphony No. 29 in A major .....................................Mozart
Symphony No. 34 in 0 major ......................................Mozart
Symphony No. 94 in G major ("Surprise") (Second Movement) .....Haydn
Symphony No. 102 in B-flat major .................................Haydn
Taplola (Symphonic Poem) .......................................Stbelins
Voices of Spring .................................................Strauss
Waltz (from String Serenade) ..............................Tchaikovsky
Wiener Blut -Waltzes (Vienna Blood) ..........................Strauss
Hill Auoitorium Ituurratty of fHtrijujan Ann Arbor
SIXTY-FOURTH SEASON, 1944-1945
Boston Symphony Orchestra
SERGE KOUSSEVITZKY, Conductor Richard Burgin, Associate Conductor
Concert Bulletin
MONDAY EVENING, December 11
with historical and descriptive notes by John N. Burk
The TRUSTEES of the BOSTON SYMPHONY ORCHESTRA, Inc.
Jerome D. Greene . President Henry B. Sawyer . Vice-President Henry B. Cabot . Treasurer
Philip R. Allen John Nicholas Brown Reginald C. Foster Alvan T. Fuller N. Penrose Hallowell
M. A. De Wolfe Howe Jacob J. Kaplan Roger I. Lee Richard C. Paine Bentley W. Warren
G. E. Judd, Manager
C. W. Spalding, Assistant Manager
Boston Symphony Orchestra
[Sixty-fourth Season, 1944-1945] SERGE KOUSSEVITZKY, Conductor
Personnel
BURCIN, R.
Concert-master
THEODOROWICZ, J. HANSEN, E. EISLER, D. KNUDSON, C. MAYER, P. BRYANT, M. MURRAY, J.
LEFRANC, J. CAUHAPE, J.
ELCUS, G. TAPLEY, R.
DICKSON, H. PINFIELD, C.
ZUNC, M. DIAMOND, S. STONESTREET, L. ERKELENS, H.
FOUREL, G. ARTIERES, L.
Violins lauga, n. kassman, n.
KRIPS, A. CHERKASSKY, P.
RESNIKOFF, V. LEIBOVICI, J.
FEDOROVSKY, P.
BEALE, M.
MANUSEVITCH, V. HILLYER, R. MESSINA, S. NAGY, L.
ZAZOFSKY, G. DUBBS, H. GORODETZKY, L. DEL SORDO, R. SAUVLET, H.
Violas
van wynbergen, c.
BERNARD, A.
KORNSAND, E. HUMPHREY, G.
CROVER, H. WERNER, H.
LEHNER, E. CERHARDT, S.
BEDETTI, J. ZIGHERA, A.
MOLEUX, G. DUFRESNE, G.
LANCENDOEN, J. NIELAND, M.
JUHT, L. FRANKEL, I.
Violoncellos droeghmans, h.
ZEISE, K.
Basses
greenberc, h. portnoi, h.
ZIMBLER, J.
CIRARD, H. PROSE, P.
FABRIZIO, E. MARJOIXET, L.
BARWICKI, J.
Flutes laurent, g. pappoutsakis, j.
KAPLAN, P.
Piccolo
MADSEN, G.
Horns
valkenier, w. macdonald, w.
MEEK, H.
cebhardt, w. mcconathy, o.
Tuba
ADAM, E.
Oboes
GILLET, F.
devergie, j. lokatsky, j.
English Horn
SPEYER, L.
9 Trumpets
MAGER, G. LAFOSSE, M. VOISIN, R.
Piano
FOSS, L.
Clarinets polatschek, v. valerio, m. cardillo, p.
Bass Clarinet
MAZZEO, R.
Trombones raichman, j. hansotte, l.
COFFEY, J. OROSZ, J.
Harps zighera, b. caughey, e.
Bassoons aixard, r. panenka, e.
LAUS, A.
Contra-Bassoon
PILLER, B.
Timpani szulc, r. polster, m.
Percussion sternburg, s.
SMITH, C. ARCIERI, E.
Librarian rogers, l. j.
Auditorium inUttmtu, of UJtrljtnan Atm Arbor j
Boston Symphony Orchestra
SIXTY-FOURTH SEASON, 1944-1945 SERGE KOUSSEVITZKY, Conductor
MONDAY EVENING, December 11, at 8:30 o'clock
Programme
Beethoven........Symphony No. 3 in E-flat major, "Eroica," Op. 55 j
I. Allegro con brio
II. Marcia funebre: Adagio assai
III. Scherzo: Allegro vivace; Trio
IV. Finale: Allegro molto
INTERMISSION
Schuman................................Prayer in Time of War ¦
Rimsk.y-Korsak.ov..........Suite from the Opera, "The Fairy Tale]
of Tsar Saltan" (After Pushkin)1 I. Allegretto alia marcia II. Introduction to Act II
III. The Flight of the Bumble-Bee
IV. The Three Wonders (Introduction to last scene)
BALDWIN PIANO
SYMPHONY NO. 3 IN E-FLAT, "ERO1CA," Op. 55
By Ludwig van Beethoven Born at Bonn, December i6(), 1770; died at Vienna, March 26, 1827
Composed in the years 1802--1804, tne Third Symphony was first performed at a private concert in the house of Prince von Lobkowitz in Vienna, December, 1804, the composer conducting. The first public performance was at the Theater an der Wien, April 7, 1805. The parts were published in 1806, and dedicated to Prince von Lobkowitz. The score was published in 1820.
The symphony is scored for two flutes, two oboes, two clarinets, two bassoons, three horns, two trumpets, timpani and strings.
The immense step from the Second Symphony to the Third is primarily an act of the imagination. The composer did not base his new power on any new scheme; he kept the form of the salon symphony which, as it stood, could have been quite incongruous to his every thought, and began furiously to expand and transform. The exposition is a mighty projection of 155 bars, music of concentrated force, wide in dynamic and emotional range, conceived apparently in one great sketch, where the pencil could hardly keep pace with the outpouring thoughts. There are no periodic tunes here, but fragments of massive chords, and sinuous rhythms, subtly articulated but inextricable, meaningless as such except in their context. Every bar bears the heroic stamp. There is no melody in the conventional sense, but in its own sense the music is melody unbroken, in long ebb and flow, vital in every part. Even before the development is reached the composer has taken us through mountains and valleys, shown us the range, the universality of his subject. The development is still more incredible, as it extends the classical idea of a brief thematic interplay into a section of 250 bars. It discloses vaster scenery, in which the foregoing elements are newly revealed, in their turn generating others. The recapitulation (beginning with the famous passage where the horns mysteriously sound the returning tonic E-flat against a lingering dominant chord) restates the themes in the increased strength and beauty of fully developed acquaintance.
But still the story is not told. In an unprecedented coda of 140 bars, the much exploited theme and its satellites reappear in fresh guise, as if the artist's faculty of imaginative growth could never expend itself. This first of the long codas is one of the most astonishing parts of the Symphony. A coda until then had been little more than a brilliant close, an underlined cadence. With Beethoven it was a resolution in a deeper sense. The repetition of the subject matter in the reprise could not be for him the final word. The movement had been a narrative of restless action -forcefulness gathering, striding to its peak and
He first projected the movements conventionally, as the sketchbooks show. The opening chords of the first movement, stark and arresting, were originally sketched as a merely stiff dominant-tonic cadence. The third movement first went upon paper as a minuet. Variations were then popular, and so were funeral marches, although they were not used in symphonies.
AIR-SEN
TO AMERICANS HERE AT HOME
AND RE-BROADCAST TO THE ARMED FORCES OVERSEAS ...
THE WORLD'S FINEST MUSIC
BY THE WORLD'S FINEST CONCERT ORCHESTRA
THE BOSTON
SERGE KOUSSEVITZKY, Conductor
Every Saturday Night (Over 189 Blue Network Stations -7:30 P.M., C.W.T. In Ann Arbor, over Detroit, WXYZ, 1270)
SPONSORED FOR THE 2nd SEASON BY
ALLIS CHALMERS
Producers of the World's Largest Line of Major Industrial Equipment--Over 1600 Products for American Industry
Allis-Chalmers Manufacturing Company, Milwaukee, Wisconsin
breaking, followed by a gentler lyricism which in turn grew in tension until the cycle was repeated. The movement required at last an established point of repose. The coda sings the theme softly, in confident reverie under a new and delicate violin figure. As the coda takes its quiet course, the theme and its retinue of episodes are transfigured into tone poetry whence conflict is banished. The main theme, ringing and joyous, heard as never before, brings the end.
The second movement, like the first, is one of conflicting impulses, but here assuaging melody contends, not with overriding energy, but with the broken accents of heavy sorrow. The legato second strain in the major eases the muffled minor and the clipped notes of the opening "march" theme, to which the oboe has lent a special somber shading. The middle section, in C major, begins with a calmer, elegiac melody, over animating staccato triplets from the strings. The triplets become more insistent, ceasing only momentarily for broad fateful chords, and at last permeating the scene with their determined rhythm, as if the composer were setting his indomitable strength against tragedy itself. The opening section returns as the subdued theme of grief gives its dark answer to the display of defiance. But it does not long continue. A new melody is heard in a fugato of the strings, an episode of quiet, steady assertion, characteristic of the resolution Beethoven found in counterpoint. The whole orchestra joins to drive the point home. But a tragic decrescendo and a reminiscence of the funeral first theme is again the answer. Now Beethoven thunders his protest in mighty chords over a stormy accompaniment. There is a long subsidence -a magnificent yielding this time -and a return of the first theme again, now set forth in full voice. As in the first movement, there is still lacking the final answer, and that answer comes in another pianissimo coda, measures where peacefulness is found and sorrow accepted, as the theme, broken into incoherent fragments, comes to its last concord.
The conquering life resurgence comes, not shatteringly, but in a breath-taking pianissimo, in the swiftest, most wondrous Scherzo Beethoven had composed. No contrast more complete could be imagined. The Scherzo is another exhibition of strength, but this time it is strength finely controlled, unyielding and undisputed. In the Trio, the horns, maintaining the heroic key of E-flat, deliver the principal phrases alone, in three-part harmony. The Scherzo returns with changes, such as the repetition of the famous descending passage of rhythmic displacement in unexpected duple time instead of syncopation. If this passage is "humorous," humor must be defined as the adroit and fanciful play of power.
And now in the Finale, the tumults of exultant strength are released. A dazzling flourish, and the bass of the theme is set forward simply by the plucked strings. It is repeated, its bareness somewhat adorned before the theme proper appears over it, by way of the wood winds.
The varied theme had already appeared under Beethoven's name as the finale of "Prometheus," as a contra-dance, and as a set of piano variations. Was this fourth use of it the persistent exploitation of a particularly workable tune, or the orchestral realization for which the earlier uses were as sketches The truth may lie between.
[6]
Monteil's great perfume and its subdued I satellites . . . wistful re
k 'ft
V minder of yesterday's gayety WEZ. . . glorious promise of a r-happier tomorrow. x0SB
The Boston Symphony Orchestra
under the direction of
will play in your home
You may enjoy a concert by the Boston Symphony Orchestra whenever you wish. Under the inspired direction of Serge Koussevitzky, many of its finest performances have been recorded on Victor Red Seal Records.
Choose from the great masterpieces of Beethoven, Brahms, Haydn, Mendelssohn . . . Stravinsky, Prokofieff, Ravel, Moussorgsky, and many others. All are magnificent, exciting performances, flawlessly reproduced. Ask your Victor dealer today for records by Koussevitzky and the Boston Symphony Orchestra.
BUY MORE WAR BONDSI
THE WORLD'S GREATEST ARTISTS ARE ON
ORATION OF AMERICA, CAMDEN,
The variations disclose a jugato, and later a new theme, a sort of "second subject" in conventional martial rhythm but an inspiriting stroke of genius in itself. The fugato returns in more elaboration, in which ihe bass is inverted. The music takes a graver, more lyric pace for the last variation, a long poco andante. The theme at this tempo has a very different expressive beauty. There grows from it a new alternate theme (first given to the oboe and violin): The principal theme now strides majestically across the scene over triplets of increasing excitement which recall the slow movement. There is a gradual dying away in which the splendor of the theme, itself unheard, still lingers. A presto brings a gleaming close.
[copyrighted]
PRAYER IN TIME OF WAR
By William Howard Schuman
Born in New York City, August 4, 1910
Schuman completed his "Prayer in Time of War" at the end of the year 1942. It had its first performance by the Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra in Pittsburgh under the direction of Fritz Reiner, on February 26, 1943, and was presented by the same conductor at the concerts of the New York Philharmonic--Symphony Society on the March 25 and 2G following, and has since been performed by several of our orchestras.
It is in one movement. The following instruments are called for: two flutes and piccolo, two oboes and English horn, two clarinets and bass clarinet, two bassoons, four horns, three trumpets, three trombones and tuba, timpani, base drum, snare drum, tam-tam and strings.
composing this music on the eve of the year 1943, William Schuman first called it "Prayer -1943," and it was under this title that it was first performed. In spite of that fateful moment and turning-point in the fortunes of war which surely affected the music, the composer warns his listeners against seeking any graphic intention in it. "This work," he wrote on the occasion of its first performance, "is not programme music in the usual sense of that overworked term. There is no story, nor is any realistic event being depicted. The title is merely some indication of the kind of feeling that went into the composition."
The composer attended public school in New York and graduated from Columbia University. He attended the Juilliard School of Music and also was the pupil of Max Persin in harmony, of Charles Haubiel in counterpoint, and studied composition in a more general sense with Roy Harris. He attended the Mozarteum Academy in Salzburg, Austria. He is a member of the arts faculty of Sarah Lawrence College in Bronx-ville, New York, and since 1937 has been the conductor of its chorus. He held a Guggenheim Fellowship in 1939-40 and 1940-41.
[10]
Parents .. .Think This Over
Here is one of the best buys in protection ever offered.
For any accident anywhere, exclusive of automobile, caused by any member of your family .. . husband, wife, children, relatives living with you, or family pets ... complete liability, up to $10,000, can be covered for only $10.00 a year.
Think it over. How can you afford to be without such complete low-cost protection Ask your local Employers' Group Agent... The Man with the Plan.. . about this new Family Liability coverage today.
For the name and address of your nearest Man with the Plan, simply write to us.
THE EMPLOYERS' GROUP
Michigan Department. . . Lafayette Bldg., Detroit, Michigan
E. C. Greer, Resident Manager
The Employers' Group Man is The Man with the Plan
William Schuman's Second Symphony was performed at the Boston Symphony concerts on February 17, 1939. His American Festival Overture, composed in the summer of 1939 for special concerts of American music by this orchestra, was first performed at one of these concerts in Symphony Hall on October 6, 1939. Since then his music has been played by a number of our orchestras. His Third Symphony, dedicated to Serge Koussevitzky, had its first performance at these concerts October 17, 1941. It has been performed elsewhere and was awarded the first prize for an American composition in the season 1942-43 by the Music Critics' Circle of New York City. William Schuman's Fourth Symphony, composed in the summer of 1941, has been performed in Cleveland, Philadelphia and New York. His Symphony for Strings, the fifth in order but not specifically so numbered, was written for the Koussevitzky Music Foundation and was first performed at these concerts November 12, 1943.
William Schuman once wrote to the editor of the Philadelphia Orchestra programmes: "Please note that the first two symphonies are withdrawn until further notice. They will be released again if I ever find time to revise them. I am counting on running out of ideas at some point in the next fifty-odd years, and then I'll have a chance to take another look at these first major works." Since he wrote these words, the number of works which Mr. Schuman has composed indicates a long postponement of his revisions. They include, in addition to the Overture and three succeeding symphonies above mentioned, the following orchestral pieces: a Concerto for Piano and Chamber Orchestra (first performed January 13, 1942, at a Town Hall Forum, New York, Rosalyn Tureck, pianist); an orchestral Prelude and Fugue (1937); a "Newsreel" for symphonic band (1941); "Prayer in Time of War" (1942), and the William Billings Overture (first performed by the Philharmonic-Symphony Society of New York, Artur Rodzinski, conductor, February 17-18, 1944).
The list of works shows also a leaning toward choral music. The cantata "This is Our Time" is based on a text of Genevieve Taggard. There are "Four Canonic Choruses" (1932), a "Choral Etude" (1937), "Prelude for Voices" (on a text from Thomas Wolfe's "Look Homeward, Angel") (1939), "Holiday Song" (1942), "Requiescat" (1942), and the Cantata "Pioneers," a setting from Walt Whitman. The Cantata "A Free Song," also after a text of Walt Whitman, was performed at the Boston Symphony concerts, March 26-27, X943This won the first Pulitzer Prize awarded for a musical composition. Chamber music includes three string quartets and a few smaller pieces.
Mr. Schuman has recently been turning his attention to the theatre. He has written a musical number entitled "Side Show for Orchestra" for Billy Rose's forthcoming review "The Seven Lively Arts" (the
[12I
This is one way to make clotnes last a long time.
A more practical metnod. is to buy tnings made or BemLerg rayon.
BEMBERG i ll.c rcsistereJ trade-mark of tle AMERICAN BEMBERG CORPORATION
score of the show is by Cole Porter, and another special number has been composed by Stravinsky). He has composed the score for the pending production of Shakespeare's "Henry VIII." At present he is working with Anthony Tudor on a ballet for the spring season of the Ballet Theatre.
[copyrighted]
MUSICAL PICTURES: SUITE FOR ORCHESTRA, from "The Fairy Tale of Tsar Saltan," Op. 57
By Nicholas Andreievitch Rimsky-Korsakov
Born at Tikhvin, in the government of Novgorod, March 18, 1844; died at St. Petersburg, June 21, 1908
"The Fairy Tale of Tsar Saltan, his Son the Renowned and Mighty Paladin, the Prince Guidon Saltanovich, and the Beautiful Tsarevna Lebed" (Swan), an opera in four acts, was begun in 1899 and completed January 31, 1900. The opera was produced at a private performance in Moscow in 1900. A suite of "musical pictures" was performed at St. Petersburg at a concert of the Imperial Russian Musical Society shortly afterwards. The first movement and finale of the suite were performed by the Boston Symphony Orchestra, April 20, 1923. The "Flight of the Bumble Bee," a scherzo from the second act which was not published with the suite, was performed at these concerts October 24, 1924. The full suite with the "Flight of the Bumble Bee" included was performed December 22, 1932, and again on February 19, 1936, in commemoration of the centenary of Pushkin's death (February 10, 1836).
The suite is scored for two flutes and piccolo, two oboes and English horn, three clarinets and bass clarinet, two bassoons and double bassoon, four horns, three trumpets, three trombones and bass tuba, timpani, side drum, bass drum, cymbals, triangle, small bells, xylophone, celesta, harp and strings. Each movement quotes lines from Pushkin's poem, and is opened with a trumpet fanfare.
Pushkin turned with increasing interest in the course of his brief career to simple folk fairy tales as poetic subjects. "In them," according to the new biography of the poet by Ernest J. Simmons, "he is entirely the creator. The story ["Tsar Saltan"] is borrowed, as Shakespeare might borrow the plot of a play, but the finished product becomes an original work of beauty. Pushkin had learned to move easily and surely in this world of complete fantasy. The artlessness of the folk is never subordinated to the sophisticated rules of art. Meaning, or understanding, or logic, is not allowed to obtrude upon the natural laws of folk tale narration. The story moves on, as it were, by its own volition. And Pushkin's recognition of this inherent artlessness and his complete acceptance of it serve to make these folk tales his most perfect creations."
Rimsky-Korsakov was fascinated by Pushkin's verses in the folk tale style. The fantastic prologue to Pushkin's Russian and Lud[14]
milla" became the subject of his early "Fairy Tales," and in the latter part of his career Vladimir Bielsky expanded both the "Tsar Saltan" and "The Golden Cock" to the proportions of a libretto for Rimsky-Korsakov's purposes in composing an opera on each of the two fairy tales.
Rimsky-Korsakov composed "Tsar Saltan" with enthusiasm. He tells us: "In the spring [1899], V. I. Bielsky began to write his splendid libretto, making use of Pushkin as much as was possible, and artistically, as well as skillfully, imitating his style. He would hand me the scenes, one by one, as they were finished and I set to work on the opera. . . . The libretto came to me piecemeal continuously from Bielsky." The composer goes on to explain that in his vocal writing he carefully adapted to musical form the characteristic reiterated dialogue of the two wicked sisters, and the queen Barbarika, the symmetry investing the piece with an intentionally fairy tale character. Instrumentally speaking, he made a fairly elaborate use of the system of leit-motives in this opera. He also explains how "out of the rather longish orchestral preludes to Acts I, II, and IV, I resolved to put together a suite under the title 'Little Pictures tp the Fairy Tale of Tsar Saltan.' "
The story tells of the handsome and fabulous Tsar Saltan who, going about his kingdom incognito, overhears three sisters discussing what each would do for the Usar were she to be his bride. The first would bake him fine bread, the second would weave him fine linen, the third and youngest would bear him a beautiful heir to the throne. The Tsar at once chose the youngest, but made the mistake of allowing the envious and disappointed sisters to dwell in his palace. The Tsaritsa bore him a beautiful son during his absence at the wars, but the two sisters, together with the plotting Barbarika, sent the king a false message to the effect that the heir was indeed no human child, but a monstrous creature in whom nature had no match. The Tsar refused to believe this message, and sent word that he was returning to see for himself, but again the plotters changed his message to a sentence that the mother and child should be inclosed in a barrel and cast upon the sea. For days the two were at the mercy of the waves, until the cask was stranded upon a strange shore, the island of Buyan. The boy grew daily in beauty and strength, and came to be called Prince Gvidon. He saved the life of a swan, which, in gratitude, by its magic powers, endowed the island with three wonders. The first was a squirrel which whistled folk songs while nibbling nuts with golden shells, and extracting kernels of pure emerald. The second was a tempestuous sea which flooded the shore, bearing on its tide thirty-three warriors fully armed. The third was a princess as brilliant as the sun, whose tresses were illumined with moonbeams, and upon whose forehead burned a star. The Prince Gvidon, longing for his father, the Tsar, and wishing to entice him to the island, was transformed by the swan's power into a bumble-bee, and made his way to
[15]
the Tsar's domain. When his mother's rivals, the baker, the weaver, and the Queen tried to distract the Tsar's attention by tales of these wonders elsewhere, the transformed prince flew into the face of the teller and spoiled their story. When the Queen attempted to describe the wondrous princess, Gvidon, as a bumble-bee, flew angrily at her.
"Round he twirls, and drones, and flounces, Straight upon her nose he pounces, And that nose the hero stings; Up a mighty blister springs. Then once more alarm is sounded: 'Help -in Heaven's name -confound itl -Catch him, catch him!' now they yell, 'Squash him, squash him, squash him well! Now we have him -stay, be still there!' But the humble clears the sill there; To his heritage he flees, Calmly flitting overseas."
The Tsar at length sailed to the island of Buyan, and greeted his fair son and the princess, his bride, who was no other than the swan in transformed shape. The poem ends after the Russian custom of fairy tellers -"I drank beer, drank mead; and yet Hardly were my whiskers wet."
The important place which the writings of Pushkin have occupied in the consciousness of the Russian people for a century past is well indicated by the number of operas which Russian composers have based upon his works. Glinka's opera, "Russian and Ludmilla," written just after the poet's death, was tLe first of them. This opera, together with "Dargomijsky's setting of "The Stone Guest," became models for the nationalist school at St. Petersburg. Rimsky-Korsakov contrived operas out of three of Pushkin's poems: "Mozart and Salieri," the "Tsar Saltan," and "The Golden Cock." Moussorgsky turned to Pushkin for his "Boris Godounov" and Cesar Cui made a setting of "The Captain's Daughter." In Moscow, Tchaikovsky found subjects for four operas in the texts of Pushkin: "Eugene Oniegin," "Pique Dame" (from the short story in prose), "Mazeppa" (based on Pushkin's "Poltava"), and "Voyevode." Rachmaninoff made an opera from "The Covetous Knight," and another, "Aleko," from the poem "The Gypsies," Stravinsky's opera-bouffe "Mavra" is derived from Pushkin's novel in verse, "Kolumna's Little House."
When the hundredth anniversary of Pushkin's death was observed at the Boston Symphony concerts, Dr. Koussevitzky presented the following: Rimsky-Korsakov's Suite from "The Fairy Tale of Tsar Sal-tan," and the Introduction and Wedding March from "Le Coq d'Or"; the letter scene from Tchaikovsky's "Eugene Oniegin" (Soloist, Olga Averino).
Translation by Oliver Elton ("Verse from Pushkin and Others").
[copyrighted]
[16]
The WOOL TRADE
is appreciative of the magnificent
contributiontohich the Boston Symphony
Orchestra makes to the Qommunity
EMERY & GONANT CO., Inc.
BOSTON, MASS.
NOYES-GEBHARD COMPANY
TAUNTON, MASS.
toneTHE BOSTON SYMPHONY ORCHESTRA AND DR. KOUSSEVITZKY USE THE BALDWIN PIANO EXCLUSIVELY
Ifafltarin
TODAYS GREAT PIANO
Baldwin also builds Acrosonic, Hamilton and Howard Pianos
THE BALDWIN PIANO COMPANY
176 BOYLSTON STREET
BOSTON, MASSACHUSETTS
Eastern Headquarters:-20 EAST 54th STREET, NEW YORK CITY

Download PDF