Press enter after choosing selection

UMS Concert Program, May 3, 4, 5, And 6, 1945: The Fifty-second Annual May Festival -- Glenn D. Mcgeoch

Download PDF
Rights Held By
University Musical Society
OCR Text

Concert: SIXTH
Hill Auditorium, Ann Arbor, Michigan

Official Program of the Fifty-Second Annual
May 3, 4, 5, and 6, 1945 Hill Auditorium, Ann Arbor, Michigan
Published by The University Musical Society, Ann Arbor
Charles A. Sink, A.B., M.Ed., LL.D......President
Alexander G. Ruthven, Ph.D., LL.D., Sc.D. . Vice-President
Shirley W. Smith, A.M...........Secretary
Oscar A. Eberbach, A.B..........Treasurer
Roscoe O. Bonisteel, LL.B. . . Assistant Secretary-Treasurer Thor Johnson, M.Mus...........Conductor
Harley A. Haynes, M.D.
James Inglis f 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.
Administrative Staff
Charles A. Sink, President Hardin Van Deursen, Conductor Mary K. Farkas, Secretary to the President Gertrude M. Wurster, Bookkeeper
In Service.
fDied on March 26, 1945.
Eugene Ormandy, Orchestral Conductor Saul Caston, Associate Orchestral Conductor Hardin Van Deursen, Choral Conductor Marguerite Hood, Youth Chorus Conductor
Bidu Sayao
Eleanor Steber
Hertha Glaz
Rosalind Nadell
Tenor Frederick Jagel
Nicola Moscona
Narrator Paul Leyssac
Violinist Zino Francescatti
Rudolf Serkin
Oscar Levant
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.
In accordance with previous announcements all concerts will begin on Eastern War Time--evenings at 8:30 and afternoons at 2:30.
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.
The United States Department of Internal Revenue has ruled that gifts or bequests made to the University Musical Society are deductible for income and estate tax purposes.
Thursday Evening, May 3, at 8:30
Soloist: Ezio Pinza, Bass
The Philadelphia Orchestra Eugene Ormandy, Conductor
Overture to "Der Freischiitz"............Weber
Symphony No. 88, in G major............Haydn
Adagio; allegro Largo
Menuetto: allegretto
Finale: allegro con spirito
Aria, "Qui sdegno non s'accende" from
"The Magic Flute".............Mozart
Aria, "Madamina" from "Don Giovanni"........Mozart
Ezio Pinza
Monologue, Farewell, and Death Scene from
"Boris Godunov"............Moussorgsky
Mr. Pinza
Suite from "Der Rosenkavalier"...........Strauss
Friday Evening, May 4, at 8130
Soloist: Oscar Levant, Pianist
The University Choral Union
The Philadelphia Orchestra
Eugene Ormandy and Hardin Van Deursen, Conductors
ALL-AMERICAN PROGRAM Chant of 1942................Creston
"A Free Song," Secular Cantata No. 2 for Chorus and Orchestra
(adapted from the poems of Walt Whitman).....Schuman
I. Too Long, America Look Down, Fair Moon
II. Songof the Banner
The University Choral Union Hardin Van Deursen, Conductor
Concerto in F major for Pianoforte and Orchestra.....Gershwin
Allegro agitato
Oscar Levant
Rhapsody in Blue...............Gershwin
Mr. Levant
The Piano used is a Steinzuay
Saturday Afternoon, May 5, at 2:30
Zino Francescatti, Violinist Paul Leyssac, Narrator
The Festival Youth Chorus
The Philadelphia Orchestra
Saul Caston and Marguerite Hood, Conductors
"Kamarinskaya," Fantasy for Orchestra on
Two Russian Folk Songs............Glinka
Cantata, "Fun of the Fair"............Rowlet
Orchestrated by Dorothy James
The Fair The Sweet Stall
The Fortune Teller The Side Show
The Roundabout The Swings
The Witch's Tent Home-wending
The Festival Youth Chorus Marguerite Hood, Conductor
"Peter and the Wolf," an Orchestral Fairy Tale
for Children, Op. 67............Prokofieff
Paul Leyssac, Narrator
Concerto for Violin No. 1 in D major,
Op. 6 (Arranged by Zino Francescatti).......Paganini
Allegro maestoso
Adagio espressivo
Rondo: allegro spiritoso
Zino Francescatti
Saturday Evening, May 5, at 8130
Bmu Sayao, Soprano Rosalind Nadell, Contralto
Women's Chorus from The University Choral Union Saul Caston and Hardin Van Deursen, Conductors
Symphony No. 1 in C major, Op. 21........Beethoven
Adagio molto; allegro con brio Andante cantabile con moto
Menuetto: allegro molto e vivace
Finale: adagio; allegro molto e vivace
"La Damoiselle elue" ("The Blessed Damozel")--Adapted to the
original poem of Dante Gabriel Rossetti.......Debussy
Bmu Sayao, Rosalind Nadell, and Women's Chorus Hardin Van Deursen, Conductor
Aria, "Batti, batti, bel Masetto" from "Don Giovanni" .... Mozart
Aria, "Ah, non credea mirarti" from "La Sonnambula" .... Bellini
Mme Sayao
Symphony No. 2 in D major, Op. 73..........Brahms
Allegro non troppo
Adagio non troppo
Allegretto grazioso
Allegro con spirito
Sunday Afternoon, May 6, at 2:30
Soloist: Rudolf Serkin, Pianist
The Philadelphia Orchestra Eugene Ormandy, Conductor
Chorale Prelude: "O Mensch, bewein' dein' Siinde gross"
("Oh, Man, thy grievous sin lament").....Bach-Ormandy
Symphony No. 5 in D major, Op. 107
Andante; allegro con fuoco Allegro vivace
Andante; andante con moto; allegro vivace; allegro maestoso
Concerto No. 2 in B-flat major, Op. 83, for
Piano and Orchestra.............Brahms
Allegro non troppo
Allegro appassionato Andante
Allegretto grazioso
Rudolf Serkin
The Piano used is a Steimuay
Sunday Evening, May 6, at 8:30
Soloists: ,
Eleanor Steber, Sop-ano
Hertha Glaz, Contralto
Frederick Jagel, Tenor
Nicola Moscona, Bass
The University Choral Union
The Philadelphia Orchestra
Eugene Ormandy and Hardin Van Deursen, Conductors
"Te Deum laudamus".............Bruckner
Hardin Van Deursen, Conductor
Symphony No. 9 in D minor, Op. 125........Beethoven
Allegro ma non troppo, un poco maestoso Molto vivace; presto
Adagio molto cantabile; andante moderato Allegro assai--Choral finale based on Schiller's "Ode to Joy" Eugene Ormandy, Conductor
Thursday Evening, May 3 Overture to "Der Freischiitz......... . Weber
Carl Maria von Weber was born at Eutin, 1786; died at London, 1826.
Seventeen years after Weber's burial in London, his body was removed, and interred in his native German soil. On that occasion, Richard Wagner, giving the valedictory address over Weber's German grave, voiced the deepest feelings of his countrymen.
Never was there a more German composer than thou; to whatever distant fathomless realms of fancy thy genius bore thee, it remained bound by a thousand tender links to the heart of thy German people; with them it wept or smiled like a believing child, listening to the legends and tales of its country. It was thy childlike simplicity which guided thy manly spirit like a guardian angel, keeping it pure and chaste; and that purity was thy chief quality. Behold, the Briton does thee justice. The Frenchman admires thee, but only the German can love thee! Thou art his own, a bright day in his life, a drop of blood, a part of his heart.
Thus was the first of the great romanticists in music venerated by the man who was to fulfill his artistic revelation!
Weber's music pulsed strongly in sympathy with the romantic revolt in literature. He was one with that movement in literature which produced Victor Hugo, Scott, Byron, Goethe, Schiller, and Rousseau. With his music, he awoke the dormant soul of Germany to the true German spirit full of heroism and mystery, and love for nature.
Der Freischiitz reflected, as did Beethoven's Sixth or Pastoral Symphony and Berlioz' Fantastique Symphony and Haydn's Creation, a universal demand for the return to everything identified with nature. It was a re-echoing of the one dominant note of the age and time. "Lyric art can never be good where there is no intention to imitate nature," said Diderot. In France, Diderot, d'Alembert, Gluck, and others championed free thought in social, political, artistic, and moral questions which protested against eighteenth century conceptions. In Weber's Germany, this protest was twofold. On the one hand it was negative against established authority, on the other, positive in favor of nature. Goethe, Kant, Herder, the criticism of Lessing, the return of an enthusiasm for Shakespeare, the mania for Ossian literature and northern mythology,
the revival of ballad literature, all expressed one universal cry for a return to the natural.
Music was rather late in responding to the violent note of revolt against tradition for the sake of emotion, chiefly because music in the eighteenth century, was in a transition state of technical development and was attempting to gain articulation and freedom through the cultivation of forms and designs that were unique to it. The opposition between classic and romantic principles in the second half of the eighteenth century, for this reason, was not as clearly defined in music as in literature. But with Weber and his Der Freischiitz, this definition of romanticism in German opera was clearly stated. Here at last was a music that presented, with astonishing realism for the time, the local atmosphere of the German forest and the eeriness of the fantastic powers of nature.
Weber was one of the first composers to establish a definite connection between the overture and the opera, by selecting its themes from the body of the work. The overture then became a kind of brief summary of the drama, rather than a mere and unrelated instrumental introduction to it. In truth three-fourths of this overture was drawn by Weber from material in different parts of the work. To be exact, of the total 342 measures, 219 of them belong to the opera. And yet this is no heterogeneous mass, no patchwork of unrelated themes. The overture is a perfectly unified and strongly knit composition revealing not only a perfect balance of formal elements and a just proportion of parts, but a dramatically moving and a graphically descriptive tabloid of the whole opera.
In a mood of mystery, the overture begins (adagio, C major, 4-4 time) in unharmonized octaves and unison. A quiet melody in the horns, with a tranquil accompaniment in the strings, is interrupted by a sinister tremolo in the violins-the "leading motive" associated with the demon Zamiel and the Wolf's Glen.
The main movement of the overture (molto vivace, C minor, 2-2 time) opens with a syncopated and agitated theme, which is derived from the end of Maxe's aria "Durch die Walder, durch die Auen" ("Through the forests, through the meadows"). After a crescendo in the strings, an energetic passage in the full orchestra (fortissimo) is brought forth. The climax is from the scene in the Wolf's Glen. The second subject, divided into two parts, is made up of a passionate phrase in the clarinet related to Maxe's outburst "Ha! Fearful yawns the dark abyss" in Act II; and the joyous conclusion of Agathe's aria "Leise, Leise." A conventional development section follows and there is an abbreviated recapitulation. Practically the whole of the coda is derived from the orchestral finale of the opera.
FIRST CONCERT Symphony No. 88, in G major.........Haydn
Joseph Haydn was born March 31, 1732, at Rohrau; died May 31, 1809, at Vienna.
Five years before the birth of Haydn in 1732, Alexander Pope had written the first version of the Dunciad. When Haydn died in 1809, Walter Scott had just finished Marmion, while William Wordsworth was thirty-nine years of age and had eleven years before published his Romantic Manifesto in the Lyrical Ballads. Haydn saw the birth and death of Mozart and lived until Beethoven was thirty-nine years of age.
In the seventy-seven years of his life, Haydn had witnessed and helped shape the great classic tradition in musical composition, and had lived to see his formal and serene classic world sink under the surging tide of Romanticism. He, himself, however, played no part nor reflected in his art that period of deep unrest at the end of the eighteenth century that resulted in the literary and philosophical insurrection of which Goethe in Germany and Rousseau in France were representative. Rousseau and the "Sturm und Drang" period in Germany had announced that an old civilization had broken up and that a new one was about to appear. Swift progression was seething all over Europe; Beethoven had caught this spirit in his Eroica Symphony (1805) and the Appassionata Sonata (1806). But Haydn, living with his memories and gathering the few last laurels that were thrown at his feet, heard only the faintest echoes of these great works which tore at the very roots of musical expression and rent the whole fabric of musical forms.
The bombshells of Napoleon's army could be heard by Haydn as he lay dying near Vienna. He mitigated his servants' fear by confidently saying "There can come no evil where Haydn is," and, calling upon all of his strength, he seated himself at his clavichord and played his Austrian hymn, "God Save the Emperor," through three times. A few days later he was dead, and with him disappeared the even tenor and calm serenity of existence, so beautifully symbolized by his own life and so confidently expressed in his music.
Haydn represents the classical tradition in music history; he systematized musical forms and secularized expression. Not only did he realize the unique powers of music as an art in itself and evolve new forms, but he was the first composer to achieve the glorification of the natural music which exists in the hearts of the people, by elevating its essentially healthy and vigorous qualities into the realm of high art. It is beyond controversy that, of the great masters of the German genius epoch, Haydn was the first to make himself intelligible to the masses. He spoke a musical language that appealed with the same directness to the skilled artist as to the merest layman. He disseminated his art among all; he was its true secularizer; he brought it to earth.
In his music every thought takes on a grace of form. With a wholeness of impression, there is a lucidity in detail, a neatness and elegance, and a perfect ease and clearness in the exposition of his ideas. All who enjoy clear writing, who rejoice to see expression achieved within the limits of graceful certainty, can feel comfortable with Haydn. He is always consistent, if not greatly original. His materials are used with strict economy; his perception is shrewd and businesslike. He saw things simply, but he saw them well, and he recorded his impressions frankly, honestly, and without clouding them with too much imagination.
Fancy Beethoven going to see Dr. Herschel's great telescope, looking through it at the stars, and then writing in his diary, as Haydn did, "It is forty feet long and five feet in diameter!" Beethoven would have recorded the glories of the heavens.
In Haydn's music we find an accountantlike accuracy, a symmetry, a fine sense of structure, and, above all, gaiety and humor. He is never introspective and his music is never subjective. He does not, in the Ossianic phrase, indulge in the "luxury of grief." He catches, rather, the harmony, the joy of nature, and we enjoy him as we do an easy conversation, or a morning walk, or the objective beauty that lies in any object's shape or color. His beauty is direct and obvious. There are those who believe there is more in the beauty of nature than can be perceived immediately, that nature is more than merely refreshing. For them Beethoven has written. Haydn's one theme is the charm, the worth, and the beauty of reality at the moment. His music does not attempt to express the passionate, striving soul, but rather the calm soul that finds joy and satisfaction in what it knows it already possesses.
The G-major Symphony on tonight's program was written about 1786, seven years before the composition of the twelve mature "Salomon" symphonies. Although it is a short and naive work among Haydn's great symphonies, it is by no means an early or immature one. Haydn had been in the services of his patron, Prince Esterhazy, for twenty-five years, and was fifty-four years of age at the time of its composition. Nowhere does he reveal more ingenious invention, more economy of means, and greater effect than he does in this delightful little work.
Only five years before this symphony was written, Haydn met the young Mozart for the first time; he was then twenty-five years his senior. For ten years there remained an unbroken friendship between the two, during which time their mutual respect and affection grew. It is more than a coincidence that the finest works of both were written after the beginning of their acquaintance in 1781. But it was the younger musician who exerted the stronger influence. Mozart's superior treatment of instruments, especially of the woodwind group,
his more subtle harmonies, and especially his brilliant solutions of the problems of form, made a marked impression on the older master, whose works in time began to reveal a richer harmonization, a fuller orchestration, and a more mature treatment of correlative design.
The late Donald Francis Tovey, distinguished English musical scholar, no doubt influenced by Haydn's infectious humor, wrote the following diverting analysis:
Very clever persons, who take in music by the eye, have pointed out the extraordinary resemblance between the opening theme and that of the Finale of Beethoven's Eighth Symphony. The resemblance is equivalent to the scriptural warrant of the minister who, wishing to inveigh against a prevalent frivolity in head-gear, preached upon the text, "Top-knot, come down!"--which he had found in Matt. XXIV, 17 ("Let him which is on the housetop not come down").
The Top-knot school of exegesis still flourishes in music. This theme of Haydn's is as pregnant as that in Beethoven's Eighth Symphony, but it means something totally different both in harmony and in rhythm; nor did Beethoven's theme, in all the transformations it went through in his sketch-books, resemble it more in the earliest stages than in its final form. But the strangest thing about Beethoven's originality was that he was quite capable of amusing himself by noting discoveries in the best Top-knot manner. There is a coincidence of no less than nine notes between the theme of the Finale of Mozart's G minor Symphony and that of the Scherzo of Beethoven's C minor Symphony, and he noted it in his sketch-book! The point of noting it is precisely the utter contrast and absence of any significance common to the two ideas.
Of the glorious theme of the slow movement I was told by John Farmer that he once heard Brahms play it with walloping enthusiasm, exclaiming, "I want my Ninth Symphony to be like this!"
Here is a clear case of a movement that is to be measured by its theme. From that theme Haydn tries in vain to stray. He modulates to the dominant. That is treated as an incident in the course of the melody, which promptly repeats itself in full. The modulation is tried again with a new continuation. But the new continuation wistfully returns in four bars through the minor mode. Let us, then, have a variation. But not too varied; only a little decoration in counterpoint to our melody. But perhaps the full orchestra, with trumpets and drums, which were not used in the first movement, can effect a diversion. What it does effect is that a sequel shows enough energy to lead fully into the key of the dominant, instead of merely on to its threshold, so that the whole great tune now follows in that key.
The old sequel then returns to the tonic, and to the tune. Another tutti introduces the minor mode, and leads to a key, F major, related only to the tonic minor. This is definitely a remote modulation, and in F major the tune enters but has to exert itself
Donald F. Tovey, Essays in Musical Analysis (London: Oxford Univ. Press, 1935), I, 141.
with new rhetoric before it can return to its own key. There we hear it yet again, with a short coda in which Brahms's Ninth Symphony retires into a heaven where Brahms, accompanied by his faithful red hedgehog, can discuss it with Haydn, Beethoven and Schubert over a dinner cooked by Maitre du Clavecin Couperin, and washed down by the best Bach. Der Rote Igel was Brahms's favorite Vienna restaurant, and when the manager told him, "Sir, this is the Brahms of wines," he replied, "Take it away and bring me some Bach"; scilicet: brook, or water.
The Minuet is cheerful, with a quiet joke on the drums. The Trio is one of Haydn's finest pieces of rustic dance music, with hurdy-gurdy drones which shift in disregard of the rule forbidding consecutive fifths. The disregard is justified by the fact that the essential objection to consecutive fifths is that they produce the effect of shifting hurdy-gurdy drones.
Haydn never produced a more exquisitely bred kitten than the main theme of the finale. .. . The movement is in rondo form, which is by no means so common as might be expected in Haydn's symphonies and larger quartets. Haydn has a way of beginning an important finale like a big rondo and then, after one episode, running away into some sort of fugue that gives an impression of spacious development which suffices without further formal sections. The completeness of rondo form in the present finale thus rather reduces its scale in comparison with many finales that are actually shorter. This is a melodic quality, not a formal or dramatic defect.
Aria "Qui sdegno non s'accende," from "The Magic Flute" Mozart
Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart was born at Salzburg, January 27, 1756; died at Vienna, December 5, 1791.
On the seventh of March, 1791, Emanuel Schikaneder (1751-1812), a brother Freemason, brought to Mozart his libretto of a fairy opera in which were incorporated many of the mysteries of Freemasonry. As Schikaneder was in financial distress, Mozart, always too generous for his own good, gladly undertook its composition. The work was performed on September 30, 1791, in Vienna. The house program of that date shows the name of Emanuel Schikaneder in capitals at the top, while the name of Mozart as the composer of the music and conductor occurs in fine print at the bottom. It was a successful performance, but the presumptuous librettist stated at the time that "it would have been more successful had Mozart not spoiled it." The first twenty-four performances brought Schikaneder over eight thousand guldens, and Mozart, nothing. Subsequent years, however, have brought Schikaneder a few lines in musical dictionaries and Mozart--immortality!
In the whole field of opera there is not a more incomprehensible libretto than that of "The Magic Flute"; yet the score is Mozart's masterpiece. Produced in Vienna in 1791, only two months before his death, "The Magic
Flute" is the quintessence of Mozart's genius. Over a ludicrous and fantastic plot and a combination of preposterous characters, Mozart poured his marvelous music and transformed this monstrosity into a living, breathing masterpiece.
The story describes the wonder of Tamino's pipes, which had the power to control men, animals, birds, reptiles, and the elements. As the flute is continuously playing throughout the work, the result need only be imagined! But the magic of Mozart's music obliterates the ridiculous incidents, and creates from puppets characters of distinct being and personality. Truly the magic of Tamino's flute passed into the hands of Mozart. In the words of Richard Wagner: "What Godlike magic breathes throughout this work. What many-sidedness, what marvelous variety! The quintessence of every noblest bloom of art seems here to blend in one unequaled flower."
The scene of the opera is laid in Memphis, at the Temple of Isis, about the time of Rameses I. Tamino, a Japanese prince, loves Pamina, the daughter of the Queen of Night. She has been abducted by Sarasto, the High Priest of Isis. The Queen has promised Pamina to the prince if he is able to rescue her. Endowed with a flute of magic powers, he accomplishes his end and becomes the friend of Sarasto whose wisdom he admires. The second act takes place before the Temple of Wisdom where Sarasto has promised to unite the lovers should they prove worthy. The aria, "Qui sdegno non s'accende," justly considered one of the finest of basso arias in operatic literature, is sung by Sarasto here.
Within this hallow'd dwelling, revenge and sorrow cease. Here the weary heart hath peace, and all doubts are dispelled. If thou has strayed, a brother hand shall guide thee, for to him, thy woes are dear. He whose soul abides in earthly strife, doth not deserve the gift of life.
"Madamina" from "Don Giovanni".......Mozart
In the Wiener Zeitung (No. 91), 1878, after the first performance of Mozart's "Don Giovanni" in Prague there appeared the following criticism:
On Monday, October 29th, Kapellmeister Mozart's long expected opera "Don Giovanni" was performed by the Italian opera company of Prague. Musicians and connoisseurs are agreed in declaring that such a performance has never before been witnessed in Prague. Here Mozart himself conducted and his appearance in the orchestra was a signal for cheers which were renewed at his exit. The opera is exceedingly difficult of execution and the excellence of the representation, in spite of the short time allowed for studying the work, was the subject of general remark. The whole powers of both action and orchestra were put forward to do honor to Mozart. Considerable expense was incurred for additional chorus and scenery. The enormous audience was a sufficient guarantee of the public favor.
The work was then given in Vienna, May 7, 1788, by command of Emperor Joseph II. It was a failure, however, in spite of the fact that it was given fifteen performances that year. A contemporary writer, Schink, indignant at the cold reception given the work in Vienna, wrote, "How can this music, so full of force, majesty, and grandeur be expected to please the lovers of ordinary opera The grand and noble qualities of the music in 'Don Giovanni' will appeal only to the small minority of the elect. It is not such as to tickle the ear of the crowd and leave the heart unsatisfied. Mozart is no ordinary composer."
Goethe, after a performance in Weimar in 1797, writes to Schiller, "Your hopes for opera are richly fulfilled in 'Don Giovanni' but the work stands absolutely alone and Mozart's death prevents any prospect of its example being followed."
In this scene, Leporello, Don Giovanni's lackey, is maliciously reading a list of his master's feminine conquests to Donna Elvira, whom the Don has recently abandoned. He purports to give comfort, but he mercilessly probes at Donna Elvira's unhealed wound--her love for Don Giovanni in spite of his deceitful-ness. His final thrust comes at the end of the aria, where he repetitiously insists that no woman is able to resist his master, ending with the cynical and cruel admonition: "You ought to know that."
Every country and township has contributed to my master's pleasure. Dear lady, this catalogue numbers them all. I have myself compiled it, and if it please you, peruse it with me (he turns the pages of the catalogue). In Italy, six hundred and forty; in Germany, ten score and twenty; as for France, oh, say a hundred; but ah! in Spain--in Spain--a thousand and three. Some you see, are country maids, ladies in waiting, others are from the city--countesses, duchesses, baronesses--every kind of "esses"--women of all conditions. If they are haughty, they do not frighten him; if they are tiny, no less, he likes them. He is kind to the dark ones, beseeching to the blue-eyed; in the winter he prefers them portly, in the summer, slender. Women can't resist my master, you ought to know that.
Monologue, Farewell, and Death Scene from
"Boris Godunov"..........Moussorgsky
Modeste Petrovich Moussorgsky was born at Karevo, March 28, 1839; died at Saint Petersburg, March 28, 1881.
In "Boris Godunov," Moussorgsky achieved the highest level in his creative career. The works prior to the years 1868--74 were a preparation for his masterpiece, and the efforts of the later years were those of a spent genius. For a more or less untrained composer to create the most national and most Russian of operas, and to reach a power of sustained expression which places the work
among the great operas of all periods and "schools," is tribute to the intensity of the inner flame which glowed, sometimes at white heat, during the years of creating this unique music drama. Written in the period when Verdi in Italy was winning acclaim for the sheer beauty of vocal melody, and Wagner, with the leit-motiv, was all-powerful in western Europe, "Boris Godunov" bows to neither of these operatic ideals, but marches steadily, gloomily forward, creating a new expression. It is in the primal power of the music and in sharply defined characterization that "Boris" is outstanding. Moussorgsky uses the leit-motiv charily, and he dislikes intricate polyphony. The music here moves in massive blocks, following the plan of semidetached tableaux. Nothing could be less Wagnerian. Boldness, audacity, sincerity to dramatic and racial equalities (and unequalities) lift "Boris Godunov" above the level of routine opera writing, and overshadow its undeniable weaknesses.
These weaknesses have to do with dramatic structure. A clearly defined, integrated plot in the usual sense is, as in Borodin's "Prince Igor," absent here. Yet in spite of this weakness of plot construction, "Boris Godunov" possesses an almost Aeschylean grandeur in the handling of dramatic forces. Moussorgsky's drama presents in several episodes the climaxing movements in the life of Boris, and some of the events which brought on his mortal fear, the gradual weakening of his spirit and power, and the consequent disintegration of his nature. In his version of the story, however, which he based upon Pushkin's poetic play, Moussorgsky centered his interest upon elevating to a dramatic level, higher than that of any individual character, the surging, groaning, and agitating populace. Born among the country folk, ever sympathetic to their position with respect to imperialism, he pictures at first their blind obedience, their humble obeisance, and then their muttering discontent, awesome power, and terrifying strength, which, finally unleashed, wreaks destruction to a whole social order. With inexorable forces acting upon him and beyond his control, Boris becomes a passive and gauntly tragic victim of circumstances. Perhaps all this was a prophecy of the events of 1918; in which case there is an explanation for the removal of the opera from the repertoire in Russia under the Czar, and the great popularity of the work in the last decade.
The historical facts behind the story of "Boris Godunov" are as follows:
Tsar Ivan the Terrible had two sons: Feodor, who ascended the throne, and his brother, Dimitri, in exile at Uglitch. Dimitri was found foully murdered near the end of the reign of Feodor, and when Boris ascended the throne at his death, it was rumored that he (Boris) had been responsible for the death of Dimitri. The reign of Boris was short and troubled. Led by a pretender, who posed as the murdered Dimitri, who had been brought back to life by a miracle, the people revolted against Boris at the time of his death.
This is the skeleton of the plot, drawn from history and elaborated into dramatic proportions by the poet-dramatist, Pushkin, and readapted by the composer when he utilized these incidents for his opera.
In the "Monologue" Boris reflects that though he is now an all-powerful ruler, neither the crown and its glory nor the plaudits of his people are able to bring him any happiness; and though he has hoped to find comfort in the well-being of his children, he now stands accused of murdering his daughter's betrothed and poisoning his sister.
I stand supreme in power. Five years and more my reign has been untroubled. Yet happiness eludes my sad, my tormented soul! In vain I hear astrologers foretell long years of life and power, peace and glory. Nor life, nor power, nor transient lure of glory, nor praise from the crowds rejoice my aching heart. I hoped amid my children to find comfort, and soon to see a splendid marriage-feast prepared for my Tsarevna, my well-beloved. But cruel death has struck the one she loved. How heavy is the hand of God in his wrath, how merciless a doom awaits the sinner! In gloom I tread, for darkness surrounds me, no single ray of light brings solace. My heart is torn with anguish, is hopeless and weary. A secret terror haunts me. ... I wait, I tremble. With all my heart I implore saints and angels, and God, I beseech to grant me mercy. And I, I wish with all my power, Tsar of Russia, I, feared and envied, in tears I vainly beg for mercy. Now dangers loom: Boyars rebelling, intrigues and plots all over Lithuania, pestilence, disloyalty, starvation. Like beasts of prey hungry peasants are prowling. The land is bare. Russia weeps tears of blood. And groaning under the weight of the burden on all, for a great sin inflicted, all throw the blame on me. They denounce me, they hate my very name, openly curse me. And even sleep has fled. Each night I see visions. A blood-bespattered child appears to me, sobbing in anguish, writhing, lamenting, praying for mercy, and mercy was denied him! Blood from his wounds is pouring; loudly he cries, with death he struggles . . . . O merciful Lord, my God!
The death of Boris is one of the most poignant in the operatic literature of any race. Whether viewed as drama or as music, it is matchless. The tender human traits exhibited in his final address to his son, his warnings to beware of the disloyal Boyars, his adjuration to uphold the Holy Faith, his plea for the protection of "your sister Xenia, so pure and gentle," and his prayer to God for the gift of grace to the innocent children--these and other sentiments reveal the nature of Boris as a father which can scarcely be reconciled with his crafty methods of achieving power. Bells toll as he embraces Feodor. A choir of monks sounds in the distance, coming nearer and nearer, and Boris intuitively recognizes the approach of his doom. As they enter to the words, "for him is no salvation," Boris dramatically rises, and with a last show of power in "Await my orders, your Tsar commands," the climax of the opera is reached. In the next measure, the same words are repeated almost in a whisper--but the ring of supreme power is replaced by a dull murmur from a crushed soul. The Tsar of the Russias is
now the humble penitent before the Throne of Grace. The Boyars are motionless, awed by the passing of Boris. Out of the depths of the orchestra ascends a melodic phrase, symbolic of the upward flight of his soul and of its release from human frailties. The curtain slowly falls.
Suite from "Der Rosenkavalier".........Strauss
Richard Strauss was born June II, 1864, in Munich; he is now living in Vienna.
"If it's Richard, we'll take Wagner; if it's Strauss, we'll take Johann," wrote a Berlin critic after hearing the first performance of "Der Rosenkavalier" in 1911. But that is not the critical opinion of today.
Certainly no other of Strauss's scores has endeared him to so large a public, for no other abounds in such geniality, tenderness, and charm. Nor are there many of his pages that reveal such a wealth of mellifluous and engaging melody or such opulant, and at the same time, transparent orchestration.
To a public shocked and antagonized by the consuming lust and appalling realism of "Salome" or by the repellent decadence and crushing dissonance of "Electra," the warm humanity and gentility of this comedy of manners with its engaging intrigue and its appealing blend of wit and pathos, buffoonery, and nostalgic charm came as a great relief and restored to the late Victorians their faith in decency and good taste.
"Der Rosenkavalier" is a comedy of eighteenth century Vienna, written by von Hofmansthal. It tells the story of a charming woman's reconciliation to her advancing years, and her noble renunciation of a love that has turned from her to a younger woman. The story, relieved by scenes of humor that verge on the bawdy, is so permeated with the spirit of human understanding, humility, and wisdom, that it never fails to leave the spectator with a renewed faith in the goodness in living.
The present Suite was compiled for Fiirstner, Strauss's publisher. It begins with the orchestral introduction to the opera, and includes the outstanding ensemble music as well as that associated with the entrance of the Rosebearer. It ends with the waltzes that occur throughout the opera, particularly at the end of Act II, and are mostly associated with the capers of the fat and lecherous, but impoverished Baron von Lerchenan as he dances around the room, delighted with the outcome of his immediate amorous plans.
Friday Evening, May 4 Chant of 1942............ Paul Creston
Paul Creston was born in New York City, October 10, 1906; --.
Paul Creston is of Italian parentage and showed interest in music at a very early age, receiving his first piano lessons when eight years old. Pietro Yon was his teacher in organ playing. In harmony, counterpoint, and composition, he is entirely self-taught. He has made researches in acoustics, musicotherapy, Gregorian chant, evolution of harmony, psychology of music, and various other aspects of the musical art. He was twice awarded a Guggenheim Fellowship, in 1938 and 1939. On April 13, 1943, Creston received a $1,000 award, given by the American Academy of Arts and Letters and the National Institute of Arts and Letters. Since 1934 he has been organist of St. Malachy's Church in New York; and at present also teaches piano and composition.
Although Paul Creston began composing with the acquisition of his first piano, he did not seriously consider a composer's career until 1932. Since that time he has written over thirty works, mostly in the larger forms. Among his works are: Suite for violin and piano; Suite for viola and piano; Suite for cello and piano; Suite and a Sonata for saxophone and piano; Sonata for piano; String quartet; Missa ProDefunctis; Legend for band; Concertino for marimba and orchestra; Concerto for saxophone and orchestra; Fantasy for piano and orchestra; songs, piano pieces, and choral works, and the following orchestral works: Threnody, Two Choric Dances, Prelude and Dance, Pastorale and Tarantella, A Rumor, Symphony No. 1, and Dance Variations for soprano and orchestra.
In the "Chant of 1942" Creston has been accused of being excessive in his expression and overly complex in the treatment of his medium. But perhaps the indignation and dejection of an artist at the tragic events of that fateful year, colored by an abiding faith in an ultimate triumph over the forces of destruction and a persistent hope for the survival of human values, justifies his entry into the realm of disorder and confusion. At any rate, as a composer, Creston is inventive and imaginative in his exposition of despondency, bewilderment, and final conviction. Ingenious orchestral effects, both rhythmic and instrumental, perhaps compensate for the percussive bombast which ends this short but impressive work.
Mr. Creston has provided the following notes:
The year 1942 was one of the greatest antitheses: black despondency and inspiring hope. Despondency from the acts of barbarism in the degradation of Poland and Greece and the murder of Lidice. Hope in the nobler aspects of humanity with the sacrifice at Toulon and the defense of Stalingrad.
"Chant of 1942" is the record of one person's moods in the contemplation of these events; moods shared, no doubt, by many. It is, however, neither a picture nor a story but a series of moods.
From a purely musical analysis, the work is divided into two main sections with a short episode bridging the two. The first section, after a rather lugubrious introduction, is built on a wailing, recurrent figure. This figure becomes the basis also for the connective episode. The second section is based on a "cumulative" ground bass: that is, several ground basses successively superimposed. In the final measure of the composition, the ground basses are strung out into one continuous, triumphant theme.
This work was especially written for the tenth anniversary of the Or-chestrette of New York and was first presented by that organization under Frederique Petrides (in the smaller scoring) on May 3, 1943. In the full orchestration it has been performed by the Buffalo Philharmonic under Franco Autori, the National Symphony Orchestra under Hans Kindler, and hte NBC Orchestra under Leopold Stokowsky.
"A Free Song," Secular Cantata No. 2 for Chorus and
Orchestra (adapted from poems of Walt Whitman) Schuman
William Howard Schuman was born in New York, August 4, 191O; --.
William Schuman showed no particular interest in serious music as a youth. He organized a jazz band, composed popular songs, and made jazz arrangements before he entered Columbia University where he received a Master of Arts degree in music. In 1935 he went to Europe to study conducting at the Mozarteum in Salzburg. Upon his return to the United States he became a member of the faculty of Sarah Lawrence College, Bronxville, New York. In 1939, and again in 1940, he held Guggenheim fellowships. The first Pulitzer Prize ever offered in music was conferred upon him for his cantata, "A Free Song" in 1942. Recently he was appointed to succeed the late Carl Engel as director of publications for G. Schirmer, Inc., New York City. A young, active American composer in the position of editorial head of one of America's foremost publishing houses augurs well for the future of American music.
The fact that Schuman, in addition to these notable achievements, was commissioned by Billy Rose to write music for his Broadway show "The Seven
Lively Arts" ("Side Show"), and the prospective production of "Henry VIII" (music now in preparation) only proves his amazing versatility and the catholicity of his tastes.
As a serious composer he has been extremely prolific. Among his outstanding works are: Four Canonic Choruses (1932); five symphonies (1935 to 1943); "Pioneers" for eight-part chorus (1937); Choral Etude (1937); "Prologue" for chorus (1939); American Festival Overture (1939); "Prelude" for women's chorus (1939) ; two cantatas: "This is our Time," (1940) and "A Free Song" (1942); "Requiescat" for women's chorus (1942); "Holiday Song" for mixed chorus (1942) ; Concerto for Piano and Small Orchestra (1942); "Prayer in Wartime" (1943); and numerous small pieces.
In his works he shows a strong leaning toward choral music, which he writes with telling effect. His style here, as elsewhere, is bold and uncompromising. Leonard Bernstein notes his "buoyancy and energetic drive," his "vigor of propulsion" and "lust for life." Paul Rosenfeld writes of his "force, originally fixed and deadly, which is subject to a new incarnation and finally moves, joyously unified and with a gesture of embrace, out towards life" ; and Alfred Frankenstein refers to his "enthusiasm" and the "lithe and aerated draftsmanship of his polyphony and the luminous quality of his orchestration which always glows but never glitters," "the sharp-edged boldness with which he sets forth his ideas," and "the verve and virtuosity and drive that goes the whole hog."
"A Free Song" was completed October 16, 1942, and had its first performance March 26, 1943 at Boston. The text was selected from several poems in Walt Whitman's collection, "Drum Taps." The vigorous expansive verse of Whitman finds a congenial association with Schuman's fierce and concentrated style, where grace and charm are crowded out by the impact of granitelike blocks of dissonant harmony and sharp-edged counterpoint.
The text as adapted by Mr. Schuman is as follows:
Part I
Long, too long, America,
Traveling roads all even and peaceful, you learn'd from joys
and prosperity only; But now, ah now, to learn from crises of anguish.
Look down, fair moon, and bathe this scene;
Pour softly down night's nimbus floods, on faces ghastly,
swollen purple;
On the dead, on their backs, with their arms toss'd wide, Pour down your unstinted nimbus, sacred moon.
Part II
O, a new song, a free song, Flapping, flapping, flapping, flapping, by sounds, by
voices clearer, By the wind's voice, By the banner's voice, and child's voice, and sea's
voice, and father's voice, Low on the ground and high in the air, Where the banner at daybreak is flapping.
We hear and see not strips of cloth alone;
We hear again the tramp of armies,
We hear the drums beat, and the trumpets blowing,
We hear the jubilant shouts of millions of men,
We hear liberty.
Concerto in F major for Pianoforte and Orchestra . . )
tl j ¦ ti i Gershwin
Rhapsody in Blue . ..........
George Gershwin was born in Brooklyn, September 28, 1898; died in Hollywood, July 11, 1937.
We must acknowledge popular forces such as jazz, as typical American music products, which, despite their divided allegiance between commerce and art, are of much greater cultural value than the average American suspects.
--Douglas Moore
Toward the end of the nineteenth century, a popular pianist, T. M. Turpin, wrote a piano piece called "Harlem Rag" and in 1897 Kerry Mills produced "The Georgia Camp Meeting," one of the first well-known ragtime pieces. Following in their footsteps, W. Scott Joplin composed the famous "Maple Leaf Rag" in 1899. No one knows when the syncopated melodies of the Negro were taken into the white man's dance halls, but with these notable "hits" ragtime, as a distinctly American expression, made its raucous debut.
The sources of this popular idiom are to be found in the early minstrel-show tunes around 1840--the so-called "coon songs" --Cakewalk, buck and wing, and jig.
Ragtime was essentially a pianistic idiom, improvisatory in creation and performance, and more instrumental than vocal in style. One of the earliest bands playing in this free manner was that of the Negro, Buddy "King" Bolden around 1895 at New Orleans, the home of ragtime and jazz. Bolden's five or seven musicians, unable toread a note of music, improvised collectively with sur One of the most popular was "Old Zip Coon" or as we know it today, "Turkey in the Straw" (1834).
prising dissonant and accidental, but amazing contrapuntal effects. Between 1900 and 1905, John Philip Sousa and his band toured Europe four times, and in 1910-11, traveled around the world. On these occasions he played ragtime for the Emperor William of Germany, the Czar of Russia, and King Edward VII of England (who, by the way, asked for more of it! ). Sousa considered ragtime to be a legitimate and characteristic American expression, and Europe listened with open and intrigued ears.
In an article in the Seven Arts Magazine (1917), Hiram Moderwell wrote, "I like to think that ragtime is the perfect expression of the American city, with its bustle and motion, its multitude of unrelated details, and its underlying rhythmic progress toward a vague somewhere. ... it is the one true music."
But to the conventional Daniel Gregory Mason, ragtime was "the musical expression of an attitude toward life, only too familiar to us all, an attitude shallow, restless, avid of excitement, incapable of sustained attention, a meaningless stimulant, a commotion without purpose, an epilepsy simulating controlled muscular action." And so, the controversy over the value of America's popular music raged on through the years, with the violent voice of Mr. Mason fading into a faint echo.
It was around 1910-11 that ragtime reached its peak in America with Irving Berlin's "Alexander's Ragtime Band" (written 1911, published 1912), but it lingered on in Zez Confrey's "Kitten on the Keys" (1921). These pieces had none of the rhythmic complexity of true "rag," for they really belonged to that period which saw the transition to jazz (1902-12). Between the writing and publication of "Alexander's Ragtime Band," the Negro, W. C. Handy, produced the first of those indigo plaints in his "Memphis Blues" (1912), originally a political campaign song, and in his more famous "St. Louis Blues" (1914). Handy took as his source the Negro work songs and spirituals, and into these melodies he interpolated a flat third and seventh into a song in the major key, called them "blue" notes, filled in the pauses between the verses with instrumental or vocal embellishment, and made much use of the portamento and easy flowing rhythm, thereby achieving a smoother, less staccato and percussive effect than in ragtime. "I took the humor of the coon song," wrote Handy, "the syncopation of ragtime, and the spirit of the Negro folk tune and called it 'blues.' " In the waning of ragtime around 1911, and in the birth of the blues, the earliest ingredients of jazz, a word of uncertain origin,j were found.
As early as 1896, Johannes Brahms wrote to his American friend, Arthur Abell, that he had heard an example of American ragtime, played by an American tourist, and that, intrigued by its fascinating rhythmic effects, he was thinking of introducing them into a composition. Claude Debussy in 1908 wrote his "Golliwogg Cake-Walk" long after it had danced itself out of popularity in America.
fThe word "jazz" first appeared in print in 1916.
In its early stages, jazz inherited various devices of syncopation and regular ragtime phrase groupings, while from the blues it developed a more vocal type of melody. From 1912 this early form of jazz spread from the cheap saloons ("barrel houses") to various newly formed bands, the most famous, known as the "Original Dixie-Land Band." Its members had no knowledge of music but plenty of primitive instinct for it, and no little ingenuity. From 1914 on into the early twenties the temperature of jazz continued to rise until it reached the "hot" stage; while America, unashamed, danced herself into a frenzy, and shouted in strident voice as a relief from war and prohibition. American doughboys carried this unorthodox expression of non-Puritan ancestry overseas, and once more Europe opened her astonished ears. Igor Stravinsky fulfilled Brahms' hope of using America's unique idiom by creating a "Piano Ragtime"; and in 1918, the very day of the Armistice, in fact, he produced his "Ragtime for Eleven Instruments." Other serious European composers were intrigued by its vigor and boldness, and began to make use of its formulas and technical devices.
In time certain refining elements began to affect "hot jazz" and to transform it into something quite different. The piano relinquished its position of prominence to other instruments, and the reeds--clarinets and saxophones, and brasses--trumpets, cornets, and trombones, and occasional strings expanded the size of the band, until free individual improvisation became difficult. In the place of impromptu creation at the time of performance, conscious prearranged instrumental effects were worked out meticulously in rehearsal, and the "arranger" emerged on an equal footing with the composer. With the increased size of the band came a more pretentious style. With Paul Whiteman's "symphonic" jazz, the metamorphosis was complete. Whiteman had called a halt to "hot jazz," but he offered his own shock to the musical world when he began to "jazz" Rimsky-Korsakoff's "Song of India" and other "classics." Indignation rose, and the musical purists and academicians raised, first eyebrows, then hands, and finally wrathful voices, to join those that had long since issued from the pulpit, the ladies' societies for the preservation of American culture, and all the various self-appointed members of the national purity league. But jazz, the wanton, born in a "barrel house" and reared in a night club, continued her musical ascent. After several successful introductions into Broadway musical comedies and revues, where she cultivated her voice and improved her manners, she was led, in 1923, by one finger into the inner sanctum of Aeolian Hall. Her courageous guide was a serious concert singer, Eva Gautier, who
? Among the more important are: Hindemith, "Suite fur Klavier" (1922)5 Milhaud, "La Creation du monde" (1923); Honegger, "Concertino for Piano and Small Orchestra" (1924-25); Krenek, Opera--"Jonny spielt auf" (1925-26); Ravel, Violin sonata (second movement is a "Blues") (1927); Lambert, C, "Rio Grande" (1928); Tansman, "Sona-tine Transatlantique" (1930).
presented her to an ultra audience through a group of popular songs by Jerome Kern, Irving Berlin, and George Gershwin. Although her appearance caused quite a commotion in the upper circles, and she was somewhat snubbed, at least she was not evicted from the hall.
It was on the afternoon of February 12, 1924, however, that she made her legitimate and professional debut. On that propitious date, so closely associated with the idea of emancipation, Paul Whiteman snatched her from Tin Pan Alley and presented her formally at Aeolian Hall to a group of the social and musical elect. She conducted herself with dignity and charm. Whiteman had, in the words of Osgood, "made an honest woman of her." Whiteman called the affair "an experiment in modern music," and it made American musical history. It showed what jazz as a technique or a manner of treatment could do to the conventional melodies of Logan, MacDowell, and Friml, by infusing into them a rich inventiveness of rhythm and a saliency and vividness of orchestral color. Furthermore, it revealed what a symphonic treatment could do to enhance the popular tunes of Irving Berlin--"Alexander's Ragtime Band," "A Pretty Girl is Like a Melody," and "Orange Blossoms in California." But most important of all, it introduced George Gershwin as a serious composer with the fiece de resistance of the afternoon, "A Rhapsody in Blue."
Until the creation of the Rhapsody, Gershwin had neither studied nor practiced composition in the symphonic manner. He had only his natural inventiveness and native wit to call upon when Whiteman requested him to write a special composition for his "experimental" concert. The request was made so casually that Gershwin didn't take it seriously until he saw the newspaper announcement that a new work by Mr. Gershwin would appear on the program. He set to work frantically and at the end of ten days the "Rhapsody in Blue" in a version for two pianos was completed. David Ewen in his Story of George Gershwin quotes the composer on the composition of the Rhapsody:
I resolved, if possible, to kill that misconception (of the function of jazz) with one sturdy blow. Inspired by this aim, I set to work composing. I had no set plan, no structure to which my music could conform. ... It was on the train, with, its steely rhythms, its rattly-bang that is so often stimulating to a composer, that I suddenly heard--even saw on paper--the complete construction of the Rhapsody from beginning to end. No new themes came to me, but I worked on the thematic material already in my mind, and tried to conceive the composition as a whole. I heard it as a sort of musical kaleidoscope of America--our vast melting-pot, our incomparable national pep, our blues, our metropolitan madness. By the time I reached Boston, I had the definite plot of the piece, as distinguished from its actual substance.
The middle theme came upon me suddenly, as my music often does. It was at the home of a friend, just after I got back to Gotham. ... As I was playing, without a
thought of the Rhapsody, all at once I heard myself playing a theme that must have been haunting me inside, seeking outlet. No sooner had it oozed out of my fingers than I realized I had found it. Within a week of my return from Boston I had completed the structure, in the rough, of the "Rhapsody in Blue,"
Ferde Grofe then orchestrated it, and three weeks from its inception White-man had it in rehearsal. One week later it was presented in Aeolian Hall to an audience of eminent critics and distinguished musicians, among them W. J. Henderson, Olin Downes, Virgil Thomson, Pitts Sanborn, Walter Damrosch, Jascha Heifetz, Fritz Kreisler, John McCormack, and Sergei Rachmaninoff. The Rhapsody was acclaimed by an audience that was surprised and charmed by the novelty of cheerful Broadway tunes, nostalgic blues, and impertinent jazz syncopation, all woven together into one symphonic whole. There is no need to recount the speed with which the Rhapsody became universally popular, nor to defend or justify its place today in the symphonic repertory of the whole world. To engage in any analysis of its form or thematic material would be as impertinent as it would be superfluous. An American audience does not have to be told how to "appreciate" a music that is of, by, and for them.
One year after the Rhapsody, the Symphony Society of New York, at the suggestion of Walter Damrosch, commissioned Gershwin to write a piano concerto. It was performed in Carnegie Hall on December 3, 1926, with Gershwin at the piano, and under the direction of Damrosch, who introduced the work with the following remarks:
Various composers have been walking around jazz like a cat around a plate of hot soup, waiting for it to cool off, so that they could enjoy it without burning their tongues, hitherto accustomed only to the more tepid liquid distilled by books of the classical school. Lady Jazz, adorned with her intriguing rhythms, has danced her way around the world, even as far as the Eskimos of the North and the Polynesians of the South Sea Isles. But for all her travels and her sweeping popularity, she has encountered no knight who could lift her to a level that would enable her to be received as a respectable member in musical circles.
George Gershwin seems to have accomplished this miracle. He has done it boldly by dressing this extremely independent and up-to-date young lady in the classic garb of a concerto. Yet he has not detracted one whit from her fascinating personality. He is the Prince who has taken Cinderella by the hand and openly proclaimed her a princess to the astonished world, no doubt to the fury of her envious sisters.
The English-Russian conductor, Albert Coates, in 1930, when asked to make a list of the fifty best musical compositions of all time, chose Gershwin's Piano Concerto as the only work by an American composer (this was 1930, remember) to take a place with the other forty-nine world masterpieces. This selection, based as all such selections must be upon personal bias, was determined
by universality of appeal, survival in time, and significance as an expression of the age that produced it. Whether or not all agree with Mr. Coates, the Piano Concerto furthered Gershwin's cause and established him more firmly as a serious and legitimate American composer.
In the Rhapsody and the Concerto, the crass vulgarity of jazz has disappeared, leaving only its gaiety and wit. Into this music the nervous buoyancy and erratic vitality of jazz has breathed its spirit and life. Jazz capable of symphonic treatment is no longer jazz, and it is through George Gershwin that the sublimation of a popular idiom into a truly American art-music was made.
Taine once wrote: "A new style is born when an artist's acquired technical habits are put to work in new surroundings--when interests residing in life, not in art, arouse him to personal utterance capable of imparting its flavor of direct experience." Gershwin was such an innovator in style; as an artist he worked without conscious effort and with absolute honesty. Living all of his life close to the source of American popular music, he kept his fingers on the pulse of the nation; he felt the underlying rhythm of his people, and this he infused into a new and fresh idiom which he expressed without ostentation. There was no self-conscious aim to create an indigenous American music, for this would be totally foreign to the basic theory that art springs from subconscious sources which form an integral part of the emotional and spiritual life of a people. Gershwin was natural and unconscious of putting to work the "acquired technical habits" of popular jazz in a "new surrounding"; he was honest because he did not attempt to say anything he had not known or experienced. At Gershwin's death Koussevitsky wrote :
To speak of George Gershwin, the composer, is to approach the real, the essential part of his being. Like a rare flower which blossoms forth once in a long while, Gersh-' win represents a singularly original and rare phenomenon. Like a flower his life was short-lived, but the blossom of his soul has, is, and will be an inspiration to many a renowned composer of our day and of days to come. The voice of his music spread far beyond his country; it is heard overseas. To understand the nature of his gift and his mission, is to realize that Gershwin composed as a bird sings, because it is natural, it is inborn, it is part of his being. His was an elementary source which sprang from the soil. His richly endowed nature absorbed and crystallized the essence of American lore and poured it out into melody and rhythm with all the spontaneity, originality, and dynamic strength which were his own.
Since Gershwin gave dignity to an idiom that had been held in contempt and revealed the fact that our popular music had all the fecundity of folk music, several of our composers have recognized it as an accepted phenomenon in
Merle Armitage, George Gershwin (London, New York, Toronto: Longmans, Green & Co., 1938), p. 114.
American musical life. Aaron Copland predicted that American music would show its full influence eventually. "Since jazz is not exotic here but indigenous," he wrote, "since it is the music an American has heard as a child, it will be traceable more and more frequently in his symphonies and concertos." American music may not be jazz, but one thing is certain--jazz is American music. It reveals in certain prominent features its American origin, and this is recognized by the whole world.
Somewhere between the superlatives and extravagant claims of the jazz enthusiasts on the defensive, and the condescension and solemn pompousness of the highbrow music critics on the attack, the real significance and value of jazz in the formation of an indigenous American music may be found. Certainly the musical historians of today and of the future will find the task of evaluating it inescapable. Some time ago John Alden Carpenter wrote these words, "From the standpoint of art, it will be interesting to find out if the charm and vigor of jazz can be successfully diluted with the sophistication of the trained creative impulse. In any event, I do not see how it can be ignored by any American composer who feels his native soil under his feet."
At the first performance of the Concerto by the New York Symphony Orchestra, Walter Damrosch wrote the following analysis:
The first movement allegro, begins with an introduction based on a rhythmic motive given out by the kettledrums, supported by the other percussion instruments, and on a "Charleston" motive introduced by clarinets, bassoons, horns, and violas. The principal theme is then announced by the bassoon. After some development of this material a second theme, broad in style and in moderate tempo, is announced by the piano. A variant of this theme is then played by the piano, accompanied by the English horn and violas. The development section, which follows, concerns itself almost exclusively with the principal theme and the two motives of the introduction. The recapitulation begins with the second theme, played by the full orchestra. A coda, based on the rhythmic motives of the introduction, brings the movement to a close.
The second movement, andante, has a poetic, nocturnal atmosphere. After a short introduction by the muted horn, the first theme is given out by the trumpet, muted and covered with a felt cap. A secondary theme is brought forward by the piano, accompanied by strummed chords in the strings. After a brief development the first theme returns, and the first part of the movement ends in a short piano cadenza. The second part begins with a new theme, first played by strings and woodwind, then by the piano, and finally by the full orchestra, which works it up to a climax ending in an abrupt pause. The first theme then recurs, the flute taking a melody, accompanied by the piano.
A few of the works based on the jazz idiom are: John Alden Carpenter's "Concertino for Piano and Orchestra" (1915), Ballet, "Crazy Kat" (1922), and "Skyscraper" (1926); Louis Greenberg's "The Daniel Jazz" (1925); and Aaron Copland's "Concerto for Piano and Orchestra" (1926).
At the end, the movement is left as if it were in suspense, the melody in the piano terminating on the fifth of the scale.
The -finale, allegro agitato, is an orgy of rhythms. At the outset, the nervous, vigorous principal theme is given out by the orchestra, the piano following immediately with a repetition of this subject. A transition then leads to a strongly rhythmic variant of the second theme of the first movement, following which the principal theme of the finale returns, after the manner of a rondo. A new theme now appears in muted trumpet and strings, and several interesting episodes follow, including reappearances in fresh rhythmic guises of various themes from the first and second movements, and a jugato based on the second theme of the finale. After each of these episodes the main theme returns, rondo-wise, and the work ends with a short coda.
Saturday Afternoon, May 5
"Kamarinskaya," Fantasy for Orchestra on Two
Russian Folk Songs...........Glinka
Michael Ivanovich Glinka was born at Novo-spasskoi in 1803; died at Berlin in 1857.
In the reign of Catherine the Great, Russia showed a vigorous musical enthusiasm, but an enthusiasm which emanated from foreign sources, particularly French and Italian. No conscious effort had been made toward the formation of a national artistic style until the beginning of the nineteenth century. Glinka was the founder of that style. In his opera, "The Life for the Tzar" (1834), Glinka had found a subject of national import, and in his music he established a definite Russian school.
As a composer of symphonic music, Glinka holds a place in the annals of Russian musical history no less honorable than that accorded him by common consent in virtue of his operatic achievements. The "Kamarinskaya" has done for orchestral music in Russia what "The Life for the Tzar" achieved for opera. "With 'Kamarinskaya,' " writes Rimsky-Korsakov in his memoirs, "Glinka bequeathed to posterity the symphonic treatment of the Russian folk-tune"; and Tchaikovsky, speaking of Glinka in a letter to Madame von Meek in 1880, wrote "How astonishingly original is his 'Kamarinskaya' from which all Russian composers who followed him (incidentally myself) continue to this day to borrow contrapuntal and harmonic combinations directly they have to develop a Russian dance time"; and again in his diary, Tchaikovsky continues in the same vein:".... without intending to compose anything beyond a simple humorous trifle, he has left us a little masterpiece, every bar of which is the outcome of enormous creative power. Half a century has passed since then, and many Russian symphonic works have been composed--the germ of all this lies in "Kamarinskaya" as the oak-tree lies in the acorn. For long years to come Russian composers will drink at this source. . . ."
The inception of this work came about in the following manner. Chancing one day, at a village wedding, to hear a nuptial song and a traditional dance (kamarinskaya) simultaneously, Glinka conceived the idea of incorporating them in an orchestral fantasia under the name "Wedding Song and Dance." It is, however, best known by its folk title.
OFFICIAL PROGRAM Cantata, "Fun of the Fair"..........Rowley
Alec Rowley was born in London, March 13, 1892;--.
In England Alec Rowley has won a distinguished reputation as composer, pianist, and teacher. In 1920 he became a member of the teaching staff at the Trinity College of Music; and in 1927, he won a Carnegie award in composition.
He has written some excellent chamber, piano, orchestral, and choral works, but music for children is his metier. Here he has won the widest recognition and respect from educators for his many simple but charming compositions, which, at the same time, maintain unusually high musical standards.
1. The Fair
Come, come, this is a holiday, Come, come, leave your work and hie away. Off to the fair with its folly and laughter, What tho' a sadness of heart should come after. Leave for a time the dull world of tomorrow, Live in today and forget all your sorrow.
Lassies and lovers, if you're for romancing, Come, this is a holiday! Leave your work and hie away. Come to the fair.
2. The Fortune Teller
I can tell your fortune, ladies, Will you come and visit me And for sixpence you'll discover What old Gypsy Bess can see. Don't be frightened, pretty maidens, I am old and very wise, Come, and I'll unfold before you, Many a wonderful surprise.
Soldier, sailor, lord or merchant, Rich or poor man, dark or fair, Would ye know who seeks to wed thee, And of whom ye must beware Then to fortune-telling Bessie, Come, and cast away your fears; And the curtain shall be lifted, From the dim and distant years.
3. The Roundabout
This is the jolliest fun of the fair!
The roundabout starts on its mad merry whirl!
First up, then down, on our horses of brown,
We merrily gallop and fly through the air.
Look at the dolls standing stiffly around,
In bright painted jackets of silver and gold.
And as they beat time, there's a clankety chime,
With cymbals and bells of a deafening sound.
But soon it is over and we must descend,
For many are waiting to pay for a spin,
And there we have seen with the throng on the green,
The cheer-glowing faces of many a friend.
4. The Witch's Tent
See! It stands from the noisy fair, The witch's tent, alone and quiet, And children gaze, with wond'ring eyes, Yet half afraid to enter there.
Veiled and gowned in strange devices, In black and gold of mystic lore; The witch from time to time appears, And softly beckons, and entices. But few there are who go inside, To seek wherein her magic lies, Perhaps they fear to know the thoughts, That lie behind those dreaming eyes
5. The Sweet Stall
The sweet stall with goodies is daintily spread,
With rows of jam tartlets, and brown gingerbread.
And if you don't hurry, the tempting array of chocolate cream
Will have melted away.
For the day is so hot that the lemonade ices are sold in a minute,
Regardless of prices.
There brown Gypsy Nan, with her hat all awry, Is teasing the people, and winking her eye. For Nan is a beauty, and what's more, she knows it! And I should imagine that somebody shows it! For now with a dimple upon her cheek lurking, She says with a smile--Get on with your working!
6. The Side Show
Ladies and gentlemen, hurry along! Hurry along to the grand carnival. There you will find just ev'ry kind Of pageant and color, to dazzle the mind. Here there are dancers in spangles array. Men in rich velvet, and rollicking clowns; And I guarantee that you will see, A fine entertainment in every degree!
Ladies and gentlemen hurry along,
Hurry along to the grand carnival.
Now don't delay, a shiDing to pay!
So come, or you'll miss the best show of the day!
7. The Swings
Swing high, then low, and away we fly,
The sweet air calls, as it rushes by.
We lazily watch the crowd below.
Hurrying, scurrying, to and fro.
Higher and higher, first up, then down,
Over the hill, is the dusty town.
And far away by the silver birch,
There's just a glimpse of the old grey church.
Slower and slower, it sways until
We touch the ground and the swing is still!
8. Home-wending
Now we wend our.homeward way,
Over is our happy day.
Over the laughter, the folly and fun!
Here we have stayed, till the set of the sun.
Now as we go we can hear the rum turn turn,
And rattle and noise of the showman's drum.
While loud and clear, the people shout,
With the rollicking grind of the roundabout.
By the witches tent we pass
Silent on the shaded grass.
While there in the distance the gaudy dress
And old bent figure of Fortune Bess!
Busy at work since the day began,
Mopping her brow is Gypsy Nan.
With sleeves rolled high, she is saying aloud,
"I wish I could just get away from the crowd!"
Ah! brown Gypsy Nan, it's best where you are,
The freedom to travel, and wander afar.
But we must away, To our work and our play! And bid you farewell. Farewell, till the next holiday.
"Peter and the Wolf," an Orchestral Fairy Tale
for Children, Op. 67.........Prokofieff
Sergei Sergievich Prokofieff was born in Sontsovka, Russia, April 24, 1891.
Sergei Prokofieff, a senior member of a very significant group of young Soviet Republic composers, of whom Dimitri Shostakovitch is perhaps the most sensational member, has, after a few early startling excursions into the grotesque, and only an occasional sojourn into the cacophonous realm of musical modernism, produced music that is not merely interesting and clever, but brilliantly effective.
At a period when European audiences either were being doped into a state of insensibility by the vacuity of the Post-Impressionists, or incensed to riots by the shocking barbarism of Stravinski, or baffled into boredom by the mathematical cerebrations of Schonberg, whose music seemed, as far as emotional expression was concerned, to be hermetically sealed, the spectacle of a composer who was still able to create music that had a natural ease and fluidity, a freshness and spontaneity that was essentially "classical," was as surprising as it was eventful.
In this idiom he attained, around 1918, an enviable reputation as a composer, with the orchestral work, "Scythian Suite," the Ballet "Chout," and the ever-popular "Classical Symphony." These works, with their driving energy, clear designs, bright colors, and ironic overtones, won him a position of first importance among Russian composers.
During 1918-32 he traveled in Japan, the United States, and lived for some time in Paris. In America he composed the opera, "Love for Three Oranges" (1921) for the Chicago Opera Company.
Since returning to Russia in 1933, Prokofieff has taken an active part in shaping Soviet musical culture. The first works to identify him with Soviet music were, "Symphonic Song for Orchestra," Op. 57 (1933); "Partisan Zhelezmak"; "Antiutak"; the music he composed for children, "Peter and the Wolf" (1936); "Romeo and Juliet" (1935); the incidental music to the Russian film, "Alexander Nevsky" (1939); in the same year, a cantata which he dedicated to Stalin, "Zdravitsa"; the Sixth Piano Sonata in 1940; and his opera based upon Tolstoy's "War and Peace" (1940). Prokofieff has never lost entirely the clear terse style he revealed in his earlier work, and although in his re[41]
cent composition there is a new emotional value, an almost romantic richness of melody, and the fulfillment of a latent lyricism to be noted, the style is still definite and clearly defined. This continues to give to his music the same sureness and spontaneity that has always been its chief distinction. Today, in every respect Prokofieff is at the very height of his creative powers.
It is regrettable that American audiences must always hear him in his earlier, more satirical, and amusing vein. He is now more than a clever composer who delights in the grotesque; his recent music is, according to Leonid Sabaneyev and many other critics, the most original and valuable which the Russian art of this century has produced.
The score of "Peter and the Wolf" was completed in Moscow on April 24, 1936, and was first performed at a Children's Concert of the Moscow Philharmonic on May 2. The first performance in America was by the Boston Symphony Orchestra in Symphony Hall, March 25, 1938, Prokofieff conducting, Richard Hale, narrator.
The text is as follows:
The characters in the story of "Peter and the Wolf" are represented by different instruments in the orchestra: the bird by a flute, the duck by an oboe, the cat by a clarinet in a low register, the grandfather by a bassoon, the wolf by three horns, Peter by the string quartet, the hunters shooting by the kettledrums and the bass drum. So now that you have heard the different instruments, you will be able to recognize each one of the characters in the music.
One fine morning Peter pushed open the garden gate and went out into the great green meadow.
In a big tree sat a little bird who was a friend of Peter's. The bird chirped gaily and said: "Peter, everything is peaceful here."
Just behind Peter came a duck waddling along. She was mighty glad that Peter hadn't closed the gate, for she'd made up her mind to have a nice swim in the pond of the great green meadow.
When the bird saw the duck he flew down from the tree; sat himself in the grass beside her, and shrugged his shoulders.
"What kind of a bird are you, if you can't fly" he asked. "What kind of a bird are you, if you can't swim" quacked the duck; and she plunged into the water.
They argued and argued--the duck swimming in the pond, the bird fluttering along the bank.
Suddenly something caught Peter's eye. It was a cat creeping through the grass. Translation by Paul Leyssac.
The cat said to herself: "That bird is busy arguing. What a fine lunch he would make!" So without a sound, she crept forward on her velvet paws.
"Look out!" cried Peter; and the bird whizzed up into the tree, while the duck quacked fiercely at the cat from the middle of the pond.
The cat went round and round the tree, thinking: "Is it worth while climbing up so high By the time I get there the bird will have flown away."
All of a sudden, grandfather appeared at the garden gate. He was very much displeased because Peter had gone into the meadow. "The meadow is a dangerous place," he said. "Supposing a wolf were to come out of the forest, then what would you do"
Peter paid no attention to his grandfather's words. Boys like Peter are not afraid of wolves.
All the same grandfather took Peter by the hand, led him inside the gate, and turned the key.
And lucky it was that he did, because no sooner was Peter inside the gate than out of the forest came a big gray wolf.
In less than no time the cat was up in the tree.
The duck scrambled out of the pond, quacking frantically, but no matter how fast she tried to run, the wolf ran faster. He drew nearer and nearer, caught up with her, seized her, and gobbled her up.
Now this was the situation: The cat sat on one branch of the tree, the bird on another, but not too close to the cat.
And the wolf prowled round and round the tree, looking up at them both with greedy eyes.
While all this was happening, Peter was standing behind the locked gate, watching what was going on without the slightest trace of fear.
Suddenly he ran into the house, got a long rope and climbed on to the garden wall.
One of the branches of the tree around which the wolf was pacing stretched out over the wall.
Peter caught hold of the branch and swung himself into the tree.
Peter whispered to the bird: "Fly down and circle round the wolf's nose, tease him, but be careful that he doesn't get you."
The bird almost brushed the wolf's fangs with his wings while the wolf snarled and snapped at him.
How that little bird did worry the wolf, and how the wolf did want to catch him! But the bird was far too clever to let himself be caught.
In the meantime, Peter had made a noose with the rope and was letting it down with the greatest care.
He flicked it over the wolf's tail and pulled with all his might.
The wolf was caught. He thrashed about furiously, trying to free himself.
But Peter had tied the other end of the rope to the tree, so all the wolf's tugging only drew the noose tighter round his tail.
Just then a group of hunters came out of the forest. They were trailing the wolf and shooting as they came.
But Peter shouted to them from the tree: "What's all the shooting for We've caught the wolf, the bird and I! Just help us to take him to the zoo!"
And here they came in triumphant procession.
Peter at the head.
Then the hunters leading the wolf.
And last of all grandfather and the cat, grandfather shaking his head and grumbling: "This is all very well, but supposing Peter had not caught the wolf, what then"
Above them all flew the little bird, chirping merrily: "Aren't we SOMEBODY, Peter and 1, look what we've caught!" And if you listened carefully, you could faintly hear the duck inside the wolf's tummy. In his haste the wolf had swallowed her alive, and she was still saying: "Quack, quack, quack."
Concerto for Violin and Orchestra No. i in D major,
Op. 6 (arranged by Zino Francescatti).....Paganini
Nicolo Paganini was born at Genoa, October 27, 1782; died at Nice, May 27, 1840.
Of all the beasts which nature made, With just no other view Than to surprise our mortal eyes, And show what she could do; Of monsters in the air or deep, Four-footed, furred, or finny, There none to be compared at all To Signor Paganini.
--London Examiner [44]
Felix Borowski, writing on Paganini in the Chicago Symphony program notes, quoted the following from Hector Berlioz:
A man of much wit, Choron, said in speaking of Weber: "He's a meteor!" With equal justice one could say of Paganini,--he's a comet! For never did a flaming star burst more abruptly on the firmament of art or excite in the course of its immense ellipse more astonishment mixed with a sort of terror before vanishing forever. The comets of the physical world, if poets and popular ideas are to be believed, only appear in time prophetic of the terrible storms which overwhelm the human ocean.
Certainly it is not our epoch or the apparition of Paganini which will give the lie to the tradition. This exceptional genius, unique in his kind, grew up in Italy at the beginning of the greatest events mentioned in history. He began to emerge at the court of one of Napoleon's sisters at the most solemn hour of the empire. He triumphantly toured Germany at the moment when the giant was lying in his tomb; he came forward in France to the sound of the crumbling of a dynasty, and it was together with cholera that he entered Paris.
Neither disease, nor the threat of sudden death could kill the curiosity of the Parisians before the arrival of Paganini, and after hearing him, nothing could temper their enthusiasm or control the hyperbolic extravagances of the press.
It was a brilliant company that welcomed the great artist at his Paris debut. George Sand and De Musset listened to the magic of Paganini's violin. Others present were De Vigny, Countess d'Agoult and the young Liszt, Kreutzer, Vieuxtemps, Meyerbeer, Cherubini, Victor Hugo, and Gautier. On that occasion, Paganini played his first concerto, which is heard on this afternoon's program. De Beriot, the famous violinist who also attended the concert, held the score of the work in his hand, and upon looking it over remarked, "This man is a charlatan; he cannot execute what is printed here, because it is not executable." When we realize that what De Beriot saw on the pages of the score was only a point of departure for Paganini's phenomenal improvisations, it is little wonder that De Beriot's misgivings at what he saw passed very suddenly into bewildered astonishment at what he heard.
Karl Guhr,f himself a distinguished violinist and conductor, wrote:
I was fortunate enough .... several years ago to hear the greatest masters of the French school: Baillot, Lafont, De Beriot, Baucher, etc., and shall never forget the profound impression which their wonderful art made upon me, still their playing did not differ much from that of the great masters whom I had heard--with Paganini it is different. Everything about him is new, unique--he obtains sounds and effects
Beethoven played his concertos from a set of mnemonic devices, rather than from a written score, before he finally put the solo part on paper. Paganini would never divulge his secrets; and, unlike Beethoven, refused to write down or have published his improvisations.
f Karl Guhr, L'Art de jouer du violin (Paris, 1831).
with his instrument which no one ever dreamed of, and which mere words cannot describe. Rode, Kreutzer, Baillot, Spohr, these stars among violinists, seemed to have exhausted the possibilities of this instrument, following along the paths shown by Corelli, Tartini, and Viotti they lift the violin to the rank which gives it power to sway the human soul. On hearing Paganini, however, it must be admitted that he surpasses every standard heretofore established. Whoever hears him for the first time is astounded, carried away by all he hears that is new and surprising, astonished by the demoniacal power with which he wields the bow; enchanted by the facility of a technique which is adequate to every requirement, at the same time lifting the spirit to unknown heights, and giving to the violin the breath of the human voice divine, which stirs the soul to its very depths.
In the Journal des Debats, March 9, 1831, we read:
Tartini in his dream heard a demon play a diabolic sonata (Devil's Trill). This demon was surely Paganini. But no, the imp of Tartini with his double trills, his bizarre modulations, his rapid arpeggi, was nothing but an elementary scholar compared with the virtuoso we now possess in our midst--a timid little devil, even innocent. The trumpet of fame is only a miserable whistle with which to celebrate the high deeds of this marvelous violinist.
In like manner, wrote the Escudier brothers:
At the first sound of his instrument the silence became so profound that the most sensitive ear could not hear the slightest noise, the slightest breath. Seeing his prodigious facility, the spectators were struck with astonishment and a kind of giddiness. But their stupefaction was turned to enthusiasm when the great artist dazzled all present with the wealth of his melodic inspiration. It was the revelation of a new world; it was art in its more varied and striking manifestation. Ironic and scoffing like the Don Juan of Byron, capricious and fantastic like a hallucination of Hoffmann, melancholy and dreamy like a meditation of La Martine, fiery and impetuous like an imprecation of Dante, soft and tender like a melody of Schubert, the violin of Paganini laughs, sighs, threatens, blasphemes, and prays, in turn.
Everywhere the press contained such panegyrics. The Musiker Zeitung, May 7, 1828, said:
What we have heard is past all belief, and words cannot describe it. His is a sublime majesty, together with faultless purity of tone, his octave passages and also those of tenths fly like arrows from the bow, series of demi-semi-quavers, of which one -pizzicato is immediately followed by another coll'arco, and all this with absolute precision and nicety, so that the slightest shading is not lost to the listener; strings mounted and unmounted without interruptions in the most difficult and brilliant numbers. Ordinarily, all this would seem on the verge of charlatanism, but the execution is so inimitably beautiful that words fail, and we listen in mute delight.
Such reviews of Paganini's playing were legion in France, England, and Germany. There is little doubt that he was the greatest improvisor and virtuoso
the world has ever heard. Today the true sources of his virtuosity can merely be suggested, for he jealously guarded his secrets from the world.
In general, Paganini's greatest merit lay in extending the range of his instrument, and in demonstrating new paths for the development of instrumental virtuosity. At a time in music history when everything seemed static and fallen into the inertia of custom, when a paralysis of tradition appeared to be crippling an active and living art, the overwhelming virtuosity and inextinguishable passion of Paganini swept like a tornado throughout Europe.
Karl Guhr, after making a careful study of his technique, from personal observation, concluded that Paganini's playing was distinguished from every other violinist's on six major points: (a) A unique manner of tuning his instrument; (b) a specific system of bowing; (c) an unusual skill in introducing left-hand pizzicato with bowed tones; (d) a profusion of natural and artificial harmonics; (e) a phenomenal skill in playing on the G-string alone; () by his seemingly impossible feats, often in contrapuntal form.
One of the most baffling of Paganini's tricks was to tune his violin in a different key from that of the orchestra, which enabled him to execute normally impossible passages with little effort, and to create unheard-of color effects. In this concerto for instance, while the orchestra played in E-flat major (its original key), Paganini, by raising the strings of his violin a half tone, played it as if in D major. The effect was that the woodwinds in the orchestra sounded very colorful, and the strings less so, while his violin sang with a color intensity beyond the orchestra strings. Paganini merely treated the violin as a transposing instrument, but in this practice he was only reviving the old practice of scorda-tura or abnormal tuning so frequently used in the lute music of the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries.
In the domain of bowing he revealed an enormous variety of new strokes. It was in this that he added most to the violinists' materia technica. When he appeared, the technique of the bow lagged far behind that of the left hand. By the time of his death, practically all of his bowing, which he had used with such electrifying effect, had been adopted and used. His bowing was quite different from what we see today, however. He held his right arm close to his side, and bent his left shoulder very far forward. He "threw" the bow, which he handled like a "whipping switch" on the strings and ran through a scale with incredible speed. In long passages of marked rhythm, he would often reverse the ordinary process and play up-beats with the down bow, and down-beats with the up bow. With his bowings he would execute a dazzling cataract of left-hand pizzicato (plucked strings). Harmonics, single and double, natural and artificial, shimmered through his strings, and no one had ever attained his technical facility in
Ibid., p. 45.
the performance of double stops (playing on two strings at the same time). Here he accomplished seemingly impossible effects. Double-stopping passages had been written long before his time, in fact they were one of the first discoveries of the violin virtuoso, but he surpassed all his predecessors in the memory of his contemporaries. To facilitate the playing of double stops, he used a bridge less convex than those today, which made it possible to play two or three strings together, in even the highest registers. Because of the peculiar shape of his left hand, he could, by placing his thumb in the middle of the violin's neck, extend his reach over three positions without the necessity of shifting.
Perhaps his most astonishing feat was to play on the G-string alone. With the aid of the harmonic tones he could command three and one-half octaves on a single string. This achievement was not unprecedented, however. Leopold Mozart, in one of his letters, described a violinist, Esser by name, who played with remarkable facility on the fourth string only, and as early as 1796 there appeared a sonata for a single string by Friedrich Rust. But again, no violinist had ever approached Paganini's dexterity in this accomplishment.
When we realize the tremendous strides the piano and orchestra have made in the last century, and then consider that violin technique has not advanced a step beyond the young Paganini, we have some measure of his contribution. The phenomenon of his playing has remained among the most spectacular events in the history of music. The modern attitude taken toward his achievement has been summarized by Joseph Joachim, who wrote:
Paganini's influence on the technique of the violin is of a twofold nature: on the one hand, it signifies a great advance, for it is Paganini's imperishable distinction that he infinitely augmented the resources of the instrument, both by perfecting the technique of the left hand and by novel bowings. The impression made by Paganini on his contemporaries would not have been so extraordinary, had he not also possessed an individuality of true genius and extraordinary musical gifts, to which many of his compositions, especially the Twenty-four Caprices, bear witness. These are, in truth, of most highly original mastership in technique and composition.
On the other hand, Paganini, through no fault of his own, exercised a disastrous influence; for many ambitious young violinists, fascinated and beguiled by his unheard of trinmphs, fancied they could win equal fame merely by imitating his amazing techniqae. Even before they had laid a sound and stable basis for the most indispensable requirements of a euphonious style, they attempted purely technical tours de force with unnatural contortions of arms and fingers, and neglected purity and beauty of tone and intonation, thus violating the universally applicable rules of the "grand style." They lost sight of material and essential matters, and the disastrous consequences are today
In an introduction to A. Bachmann's work, "Les Grands violinistes du passe," En-cyclofedit du violin (New York and London: D. Appleton & Co., 1925).
still apparent in a vast number of violinists. What with Paganini was only the means to an end, was for them an end in itself, and so became a monstrosity, a caricature. For this, Paganini cannot be held responsible, for he would play the simplest romance in a style that demonstrated his artistic greatness. Felix Mendelssohn-Bartholdy, whom I, in my youth, questioned concerning Paganini, told me that Paganini had profoundly moved him by his execution of simple melodies.
Indeed Paganini's greatest successes were achieved as much by his dramatic and emotional power and versatility as by his amazing exhibition of technical prowess. "To play with compelling power, one must feel deeply," he wrote; and the most reliable criticism of the time stresses the terrific emotional impact of his performance. His contemporaries seem to agree that he used his phenomenal effects merely as a means to an end. The majority of responsible musicians of his time agree with an English reviewer who found in his execution "no trickery, but real music." "The triumph of mechanical skill, astonishing as it is in itself," he wrote, "is the smallest part of the wonder. The real magic is not the novelty of the feat, but the surprising beauty of the effect." "In the adagio," stated a contemporary reviewer of the D-major concerto, "the artist seemed as if transfigured by magic; no trace remained of the preceding tours de force. A soulful singer, he drew forth celestial tones that came from the heart, and penetrated the heart." Sorrow seems to be the characteristic of his style. If we are to believe varied comments, flaming passion, and an acute sense of suffering lived in his music as he played it. To restate the end of Karl Guhr's criticism of the Paris performance, "He lifted the spirit to unknown heights, giving the violin the breath of the human voice divine, which stirs the very depths." Robert Schumann found his playing "ecstatic" and Chopin held him in the highest esteem after hearing him play in Warsaw. The young Liszt became half hysterical as he wrote to a friend, "What a man! What a fiddle! What an artist! Heavens, what suffering, what misery, what torture dwell in those four strings." "I have wept only three times in my life," said Rossini, ". . . the third time when I heard Paganini play."
Today the tendency is to severely criticize Paganini as a composer, accusing him of trickery and bad taste, and to feel that except for a few technical effects and an indication as to what lengths instrumental virtuosity might be developed, the world has not profited by his advent.
It is true that it was only after he had enchanted Europe with his playing that the value of his compositions won any attention. Fetis at the time considered his work to be "redolent with merit, novelty of ideas, elegance of form and variety of instrumentation--especially in his concerts." Prod'homme f
? Francois J. F6tis, Nicolo Paganini (Paris, 1851).
f Jacques G. Prod'homme, "Paganini," Musiciens Celebres (Paris: H. Laurans, 1907).
writes: "Today .... the wonderment of our fathers at these compositions would seem uncalled for. Besides, musical taste has become more serious and we see nothing but show pieces in compositions which, in their time, excited much admiration and enthusiasm. Nevertheless, it must be acknowledged that Paganini was not only a great virtuoso, but a composer whose style, if not superior to that of his Italian contemporaries, was certainly not inferior, especially in regard to orchestration." It might be worth while to listen to Berlioz on this subject: "One would have to write a volume," he writes, "to indicate all the finds Paganini has made in his works in respect to novel effects, ingenious procedures, noble and imposing forms, orchestral combinations not even suspected by him. . . . His melody is the great Italian melody, but alive with an ardor generally more passionate than that which one finds in the most beautiful pages of the dramatic composers of his country. His harmony is always clear, simple and of extraordinary sonority."
The greatest composers of the day, besides recognizing that Paganini was endowed with a mechanical perfection that enabled him to say through his instrument all that was denied utterance through the usual channels of expression, paid their tribute to his creative talent as well. One of Chopin's earliest compositions was titled "Souvenir de Paganini"; Berlioz composed "Harold in Italy" for him as a violist; Schumann dedicated a movement to him in his "Carnaval" and also transcribed several of his violin caprices for the piano.f Liszt produced a series of studies based upon Paganini works; $ and two sets of variations (Op. 35 in A minor) were composed by Brahms on a theme from Paganini's 24th Caprice in A minor,§ showing his respect for a composer who could write a good theme.
Paganini's most important concert pieces are beyond doubt his concerti. There were eight of these, beside the four for which he wrote orchestral parts. Only two remain, which were published by Schonenberger at Paris in 1851. One is in B minor, Op. 7, and the other, the one on this afternoon's program, is in D major, Op. 6.
This concerto reminds one of the old form. There is little originality in its treatment, particularly of the tutti, which is bold and flowing, and very effective, notwithstanding. It is in its details and especially in the brilliant passages-in the whirlwind succession of octaves, double stops, double-stopped harmonics,
Section 15, Intermezzo, "Paganini."
f Seeks Concert-etuden comfonirt nach Cafricen von Paganini fur das Pianoforte. (Op. 3, 1832 and Op. io, 1833).
Six grandes etudes de Paganini (1838). No. 3 is the popular "La Campanella" from Concerto No. 7 in B minor. No. 6 is a set of variations on Caprice 24 in A minor.
§ Rachmaninoff used the same Caprice as a basis for variations in his "Rhapsody for Piano and Orchestra," Op. 43.
and other typical Paganini devices--that this spectacular concerto becomes a work of the greatest fascination. Against this breathtaking display of pyrotechnics an analysis of its form and themes is to no avail.
Of particular interest on this occasion is the fact that Mr. Francescatti is the only living violinist to continue the Paganini tradition.
"My father," he writes, "although born in Italy, was a naturalized Frenchman, and a pupil of Sivori, the only direct pupil of Paganini, and for whom the latter composed considerable music. I feel, therefore, that the tradition of the violin has been handed down directly to me. It was this fact that caused me to play the Paganini Concerto at my New York debut (November 18, 1939) in the original edition, which was given my father by Sivori."
Saturday Evening, May 5
Symphony No. i, C major, Op. 21.......Beethoven
Ludwig van Beethoven was born at Bonn, December 16, 1770; died at Vienna, March 26, 1827.
Beethoven was thirty years of age before he produced his first symphony--a vivid contrast to Mozart, who, at the age of thirty-two, had composed his forty-first symphony. But Beethoven always approached a new form cautiously and methodically, and attempted it only after elaborate preparation. He felt his way with caution, and it took several attempts before he gained real freedom. This procedure held true of his first works in the other media, whether in piano sonatas, trios, or quartets, in which he leaned heavily at first upon the rococo qualities of his teachers, Haydn and Mozart.
Music critics have dwelt too long and too persistently upon the reminiscences of Haydn and Mozart in Beethoven's early works. There is no question that they are there, but Beethoven, beginning composition seriously at the age of thirty, had found his individual voice.
Even in his initial symphony the real Beethoven speaks, if not in a sustained tone at least in utterances that are prophetic of a career that was to free music from the fashionable but worn-out patterns of the "Zopf" world. The opening measure of his symphony with its boldly dissonant chord in the key of F, although the movement is in C and its leading in the course of three measures to a new key of G, is prophetic. The third movement, although referred to as a minuetto, is in reality and in spirit a scherzo, whose speed broke down the formal and antiquated mold of the minuet and established a form in his subsequent third movements. This constituted one of his most epoch-making innovations. In the First Symphony he already sensed the presence of a new world, which he entered with courage and conviction in the "Eroica" (Third Symphony in E-flat major). The C-major Symphony, appearing in the first year of the new century, left the past and faced a new era of emancipated ideas and emotions.
Reminiscent as his first symphonic utterance seems to us today, we must recall that its boldness offended a Leipzig critic who in 1801 characterized it as "confused explosions of a presumptuous effrontery of a young man."
Today we have perspective and judge Beethoven by his greatest and most mature works; and in the light of these, the C-major Symphony bespeaks the coming-of-age of the symphonic form.
In the first movement {Adagio molto; allegro con brio), as in the Second, Fourth, and Seventh Symphonies, Beethoven uses an Introduction. It is but twelve measures in length and leads without pause to the opening theme of the Allegro which is heard in the strings. A transitional passage in the violins and woodwinds presents a new idea (shades of Mozart's "Don Giovanni" overture). The second theme of the exposition is heard as a dialogue between oboe and flute. The opening theme is heard again just before a short coda. The development section, as in Haydn, is devoted to a working out of the principal theme. The recapitulation recalls the main theme, but modifies it after presenting it first in its original form in the full orchestra. The coda is extended by a further development of the opening theme.
The second movement (Andante cantabile con moto), like the first, is cast into the sonata form with the first subject announced in the second violins, very softly, imitated shortly after in the celli and violas, and again in the basses and violins. The second theme is in the strings, at first, and then carried forth by woodwind and second violins with a counterpoint in the first violins. The coda presents a new theme in triplets in the first violins and a vigorous rhythm in the kettledrum. There is then a repetition of the first part of the movement (not always played in performance). The development section works out the potentialities of the second theme, accompanied by the marked drum rhythm. The recapitulation begins as before with the main theme in the second violins, accompanied by a counterpoint movement against it in the celli. The second subject is again in the strings. The coda develops the main theme.
In the third movement (Menuetto, allegro), the main subject, eight measures in length, is announced in the first violins and repeated exactly. The second section is strongly anticipatory of the scherzo of the Seventh Symphony. The trio, on the same key level of C major, is built around a dialogue between strings and woodwinds. As in the minuet, it has two sections, each repeated. The return of the principal song fulfills the classic demand for repetition of this section.
In the fourth movement (Finale: adagio, allegro molto e vivace) an introduction in an ascending figure for violins leads to the main part, the principal theme of which is announced in the strings. The transitional passage, as in the first movement, is based upon a new theme in the wind instruments with trailing
scales in the strings. The second theme of the exposition is heard in the violins in octaves. There is a coda beginning with a dialogue between the woodwinds and the strings. The opening theme is suggested near the beginning of the development group, which is concerned largely with the first measures of the principal theme. The recapitulation is regular, and there is an extended coda bringing the movement to an end.
"La Damoiselle elue" ("The Blessed Damozel") . Claude Debussy
(Adapted to the original poem of Dante Gabriel Rossetti)
Claude Achille Debussy was born at Saint Germain, August 22, 1862; died at Paris, March 26, 1918.
The atoms of Democritus And Newton's particles of light Are sands upon the Red Sea shore, Where Israel's tents do shine so bright.
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--Goudimel, Costeley, Jannequin, and Lejeune, and in the clavicinists--Chambonnieres and Rameau--returns with a subtle 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.
Early in his career, Debussy came into close personal contact with the "Impressionists" in French art. The term, "Impressionism," had passed from a general term to a specialized use in 1874 when a sunset entitled "Impression" by Claude Monet was displayed at the Salon des Refuses, in Paris. The name was then adopted by a whole group of painters of which Monet, Sisley, Pissarro, Renoir, and Degas were the outstanding leaders.
Impressionism came to reject all traditions and to devote itself to the sensuous side of art to the exclusion of the intellectual. Painting, thereafter, subordinated the subject matter for the most part to the interest of execution and
aimed at mere suggestion, at the interpretation of isolated, momentary sensations rather than the conveyance of thoughts, the imparting of ideas, or the relating of anecdotes. "Impressionism," in the words of Walter Pater, "was a vivid personal impression of a fugitive effect." Technically it was the concentration on one quality to the comparative neglect of all the rest; it deliberately constructed only a fragment in order to convey more suggestively an idea of the whole. It emphatically and deliberately destroyed outline in the interest of "atmosphere" thus creating a sense of vagueness and incompleteness.
Painters, poets, and musicians alike were drawn to the same sources of inspiration emanating from an interior life of reflection to things sensitive, suggestive, intuitional, unsubstantial, and remote.
As a consequence of the Impressionistic movement in painting, there arose in the eighties a school of French writers--the Symbolists, whose leaders were Stephan Mallarme and Paul Verlaine. One of the events of prime importance in the early history of the Symbolist movement was the discovery of Edgar Allen Poe by the late romantic and the first great decadent of the new age, Baudelaire. In 1852 he published a volume of translations of Poe's tales, and from then on Poe exerted a powerful influence on the whole school, particularly Mallarme, as he had upon the pre-Raphaelites in England earlier in the century. The unearthly music of "The Raven," the monotone of "Ulalume," the ostinato of "The Bells," and the broken fragmentary melody of "Annabel Lee" helped to effect a literary revolution in France.
"I know," wrote Poe, "that indefiniteness is an element of the true music (of poetry), I mean, the true musical expression--a suggestive indefiniteness of vague, therefore spiritual, effect." To approximate the indefiniteness of music was to become one of the principal aims of the French Symbolists.
"I make music," wrote Mallarme in a letter to Monsieur 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 produces 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."
Poe was indeed the prophet of Symbolism, not only in his predilection for sound above sense but in his confusion between the perceptions of the different senses. Poe "hears" the approach of darkness. "Suddenly lights were brought into the room," he writes, "and issuing from the flame of each lamp there flowed unbrokenly into my ears a strain of melodious monotone." The
Mallarme, in fact, first attracted attention by a translation of Poe's "Raven" in 1896.
characteristic peculiarity of the French school of Symbolists was the literary use of "Synaethesis" or mixing of the senses; the "hearing" of color, the "seeing" of tones, the "tasting" of odors. For this tendency they were scoffed at and ridiculed, but, in fact, the Symbolists were only consistently working out what had long been recognized in both art and science. For decades it had been observed in experimental psychology that we never take in a single sense impression but always several together, blended or in opposition to each other.
In the nineties everything succumbed to Impressionism, even in those domains which by their most intimate nature and purposes seemed most recalcitrant to it. It took possession of Rodin in sculpture, of Mallarme and Verlaine in literature, and of Debussy in music.
Debussy became the leader in a movement toward impressionistic expression not for its pictorial or representative effects but as the embodiment of delicate and subtle inner experiences. He used music as a plastic medium for recording fleeting impressions and fugitive glimpses. His style and technique, like that of Monet, 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. Working to the same end as the French Impressionists in art and the Symbolists in literature, Debussy arouses through the ephemeral medium of sound, the same vague feelings and subtle emotions. Realizing the unlimited power of suggestion in music and understanding its capability of giving a fleeting existence to immaterial abstract ideas, Debussy sought those delicate, intangible subjects and flights of fancy which might gain an added and prolonged eloquence in music. Thus he aimed, not at the representation but at the creation of moods--impressions of enchanted islands, the romance of old brocades, the glimmer of moonlight, morning mists, shadowy pools, sunlight on waves, the faint odor of dying flowers, the scent of gardens in the rain.
These he found in the esoteric verse of Baudelaire, in the sensuous poetry of Verlaine ("Les Fetes Galantes" and "Ariettes Oubliees"), in the haunting beauty of Maeterlinck ("Pelleas et Melisande"), in the exotic symbolism of Mallarme ("Afternoon of a Faun"), and in the richly woven tapestry and mystic passion of Dante Gabriel Rossetti ("The Blessed Damozel"). 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 in all his work was more interested in color and contrast than in contour and design.
Adverse to binding music down to exact reproduction of set programs, Debussy chose rather to amplify and expand evanescent, shadowy thoughts, to distill their essence and then to capture and protract them into sound. Form, as
understood by the classical masters, did not ordinarily enter into his 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 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 the sensitive awareness of delicate color combinations, and in the intangible fabric of his aerial architecture, Debussy discloses a new and superrefined beauty in music.
In England, a little before 1850, a coterie of artists with similar interests and aspirations created for themselves an artistic credo, and became known as the "Pre-Raphaelite Brotherhood." Weary of the imperious classic traditions in art, the members of this group saw in the Italian painters before Raphael the truthfulness they sought in art.
"Pre-Raphaelitism," wrote Ruskin,f "has but one principle, that of absolute, uncompromising truth in all it does, obtained by working everything down to the most minute details from nature and from nature only. Every Pre-Raphaelite landscape background is painted to the last touch in open air from the thing itself. Every Pre-Raphaelite figure, however studied in expression, is a true portrait of some living person. Every minute accessory is painted in the same manner." In their attempt at naturalism, the Pre-Raphaelites soon ran into archaic mannerisms and conventional formalities that increased the decorative value of their art but made it finally inconsistent with their original aims.
To this group,$ among others, belonged Dante Gabriel Rossetti, who because of his eminence as both painter and poet, soon became the center of the movement after 1850 and, by virtue of his evangelism, continued to dominate the period to the close of the century. The one erotic among the Brotherhood, Rossetti was motivated in the formation of his diffuse aestheticism by the same forces that were creating the Symbolists in France. His ideal, like theirs, was that of painter-poet-musician. Every poem should strive to become a symphony in color, every picture a manifesto in poetry, and throughout both arts there
? Statement made in an interview for die Paris paper, Excelsior, 1911. f John Ruskin, "Lecture on Architecture."
The best known of its members were William Holman Hunt, John Everett Millais, and Madox Brown.
should sound a faint and tenuous music. Almost all the Pre-Raphaelite creations were marked by a high musicality. Poetry and painting, brought into affinity with music, created the vague, the dreamy, and the mystical.
Rossetti found the key to his style in Symbolism and in the "Blessed Damo-zel" he first revealed it. The poem has all the characteristics associated with the poetry, painting, and music of the latter two-thirds of the century. Here all passion is sublimated into spiritual exultation; all emotion is pervaded by an atmosphere of calm and bathed in a pale spirituality. There is not the slightest betrayal of intensity in this liquid poetry. Its flight from reality makes us jeel what is otherwise inexpressible. The orchid-like fragility of the Blessed Damozel whose "eyes that prayed were deeper than the depth of waters stilled at even" and whose "hair lay along her back .... yellow like ripe corn," whose "voice was like the voice the stars had when they sang together" is created not out of the stuff of life but is woven into being like a figure in a medieval tapestry.
"The Blessed Damozel" was first published in The Germ, a shortlived journal founded by the Pre-Raphaelites to propagate their ideas and opinions. Upon this English Symbolist, the morbidity of Edgar Allen Poe also had its effect and influence. "Poe's 'Raven'," declared Rossetti, "has done the utmost it was possible to do with the grief of the lover on earth and I am determined to reverse the conditions and give utterance to the yearnings of the loved one in heaven."
The poem first came to Debussy's attention when he was studying in Rome as a winner of the Prix de Rome. Deeply moved by its sensuous beauty, he decided to set it to music and send it to the Academy at Paris to show his progress in composition. Even to this curious art period, his music was strange and unintelligible and the authorities of the Academy were reluctant to give their unqualified approval.
The haunting and melancholy beauty of this music is as elusive as the shimmer of moonlight, and its luminous and shifting colors transport us into a world unreal where we feel things unknown and long for nonexistent things. Any attempt at an analysis of this transitory beauty is futile.
The blessed damozel leaned out From the gold bar of Heaven;
Her eyes were deeper than the depth Of waters stilled at even;
She had three lilies in her hand,
And the stars in her hair were seven.
La damoiseUe elue s'appuyait Sur la barriere d'or du Ciel;
Ses yeux etaient plus profonds
Que l'abime des eaux calmes au soir.
Elle avait trois lys a la main Et sept etoiles dans les cheveux.
Debussy used a French translation by Gabriel Sarrazin, omitting certain verses.
Her robe, ungirt from clasp to hem, No wrought flowers did adorn,
But a white rose of Mary's gift, For service meetly worn;
Her hair that lay along her back Was yellow like ripe corn.
Around her, lovers, newly met 'Mid deathless love's acclaims,
Spoke evermore among themselves Their heart-remembered names;
And the souls mounting up to God Went by her like thin flames.
And still she bowed herself and stooped
Out of the circling charm; Until her bosom must have made
The bar she leaned on warm, And the lilies lay as if asleep
Along her bended arm.
The sun was gone now; the curled moon
Was like a little feather Fluttering far down the gulf; and now
She spoke through'the still weather. Her voice was like the voice the stars
Had when they sang together.
"I wish that he were come to me,
For he will come," she said. "Have I not pray'd in Heaven--on earth,
Lord, Lord, has he not pray'd Are not two prayers a perfect strength
And shall I feel afraid
"When round his head the aureole clings,
And he is clothed in white, I'll take his hand and go with him
To the deep wells of light; As unto a stream we will step down,
And bathe there in God's sight.
Sa robe flottante n'etait point
Ornee de fleurs brodees, Mais d'une rose blanche, present de
Pour le divin service justement portee; Ses cheveux, qui tombaient le long des
ses epaules, fitaient jaunes comme le ble mur.
Autour d'elle, des amants,
Nouvellement reunis, Repetaient pour toujours, entre eux,
Leurs nouveaux noms d'extase; Et les Smes qui montaient a Dieu,
Passaient pres d'elle comme de fines flammes.
Alors, elle s'inclina de nouveau,
Et se pencha en dehors du charme encerclant,
Jusqu'a ce que son sein eut echauffe La barriere sur laquelle ell s'appuyait,
Et que les lys gisent comme endormis Le long de son bras etendu.
Le soleil avait disparu, la lune annolee Etait comme une petite plume
Flottant au loin dans l'espace;
Et voila qu'elle parla a travers 1'air calme.
Sa voix etait pareille a celle des etioles Lorsqu'elles chantent en choeur.
"Je voudrais qu'l fut deja prcs de moi,
Car il viendra. N'ai-je pas prie dans le Ciel Sur terre,
Seigneur, Seigneur, n'a-t-il pas prie Deux prieres ne sont-elles pas une force parfaite
Et pourquoi m'effrairais-je
"Lorsqu-autour de sa tete s'attachera
Et qu'il aura revetu sa robe blanche, Je le prendrai par la main et j'irai
avec lui
Aux sources de lumiere; Nous y entrerons comme dans un courant, Et nous y baignerons a la face de Dieu.
"We two will lie i' the shadow of
That living mystic tree Within whose secret growth the Dove
Is sometimes felt to be, While every leaf that His plumes touch
Saith His Name audibly.
"We two," she said, "will seek the groves
Where the lady Mary is, With her five handmaidens, whose names
Are five sweet symphonies, Cecily, Gertrude, Magdalen,
Margaret and Rosalys.
"He shall fear, haply, and be dumb: Then will I lay my cheek
To his, and tell about our love, Not once abashed or weak:
And the dear Mother will approve My pride, and let me speak.
"Herself shall bring us, hand in hand, To Him round whom all souls
Kneel, the clear-ranged unnumbered
heads Bowed with their aureoles:
And angels meeting us shall sing To their citherns and citoles.
"There will I ask of Christ the Lord Thus much for him and me:-Only to live as once on earth With Love--only to be,
As then awhile, for ever now Together, I and he."
"Nous nous reposerons tous deux a
De ce vivant et mystique arbre; Dans le feuillage secret duquel on sent
La presence de la colombe, Pendant que chaque feuille, touchee par
se plumes, Dit son nom distinctement.
"Tous deux nous chercherons les bosquets
Ou trone Dame Maria Avec ses cinq servantes, dont les noms
Sont cinq douces symphonies: Cecile, Blanchelys, Madeleine,
Marguerite et Roselys.
"II craindra peut-etre et restera muet; Alors, je poserai ma joue contre la
sienne, Et lui parlerai de notre amour,
Sans confusion ni faiblesse, Et la Chere Mere approuvera mon
orgueil, Et me laissera parler.
"Elle meme nous amenera la main dans
la main A celui autour duquel toutes les
ames s'agenouillent, Les innombrables tetes clair rangees
Inclinees, avec leurs aureoles. Et les anges venus a notre rencontre
S'accompagnant de leurs guitares et de leurs citoles.
"Alors, je demanderai au Christ, Notre
Cette grande faveur, pour lui et moi, Seulement de vivre comme autrefois sur
Dans l'Amour; Et d'etre pour toujours, comme alors
pour un temps, Ensemble, moi et lui."
She gazed and listened and then said, Less sad of speech than mild,-"All this is when he comes." She ceased. The light thrilled towards her, fill'd
With angels in strong level flight. Her eyes prayed and she smil'd.
(I saw her smile.) But soon their path Was vague in distant spheres:
And then she cast her arms along The golden barriers,
And laid her face between her hands, And wept. (I heard her tears.)
Elle, regarda, preta l'oreille et dit, D'une voix moins triste que douce:
"Tout ceci sera quand il viendra."
Elle se tut: La lumiere tressaillit de son cote
Remplie d'un fort vol d'anges horizontal. Ses yeux prierent, elle sourit;
Mais bientot leur sentier devint vague
Dans les spheres distantes. Alors, elle jeta ses bras le long
Des barrieres d'or. Et posant son visage entre ses mains,
"Batti, batti, bel Masetto" from "Don Giovanni" . . . Mozart
In the opera Don Giovanni the scene immediately preceding the finale of the first act presents Zerlina, the peasant girl, and Masetto, to whom she is betrothed. In this scene she is endeavoring to make her peace with Masetto, who remains indifferent because of her apparent flirtation with Don Giovanni. She pleads that the flattery of the stranger was but a passing fancy and that on the eve of their wedding day Masetto should forgive her.
The text in a translation follows:
Canst thou see me unforgiven, Here in sorrow stand and languish Oh Masetto, end my anguish, Come, and let's be friends again.
{Masetto comes nearer) Oh believe, I sore repent it, But I did not understand, Come, no longer then resent it Give me kindly thy dear hand.
{Masetto goes away again, but not so
crossly; he even steals a jew glances back at Zerlina.) Canst thou see me unforgiven, Here in sorrow stand and languish etc., Peace and joy once more shall bless us, Not a frown shall e'er distress us, While united and delighted, All our days shall sweetly glide.
Sae notes on Don Giovanni, page 19. [62]
Aria, "Ah, non credea mirarti" from
"La Sonnambula"............Bellini
Vincenzo Bellini was born at Catania in Sicily, November I, 1801; died at Paris, September 24, 1835.
The fame of Vincenzo Bellini was carried throughout Europe in 1831, when he was but twenty-nine years of age, with the performance of his opera, "I Capuletti ed i Montocchi" (Romeo and Juliet). At a time when the florid music of Rossini was all the fashion, the elegiac charm of Bellini's art, with its simple and idyllic melody, made a profound impression.
Like his fellow countrymen, Rossini and Donizetti, Bellini considered the human voice the chief medium through which emotion and sentiment could be expressed best in opera. His orchestration, therefore, remained, for the most part, weak and colorless; the woodwind section became practically superfluous. Only the strings were necessary to give the proper support to the all-important vocal melody. But for the complete realization of all the subtle nuance that lies within the power of the human voice, for an infinitely expressive vocal style, Bellini has had few peers in the realm of opera.
Although "Norma" is Bellini's most familiar work today, "La Sonnambula" is still considered to be his masterpiece. In the 1830's it was looked upon as a novelty by a sensational young composer; by 1852 it was included in every operatic repertory in Europe and translated into German, French, Polish, Czechoslovakian, Finnish, Danish, Swedish, and Croatian. In the "golden age" of singing, it became a favorite vehicle for such famous singers as Malibran, Patti, Lind, Campanini, and Grisi. The succeeding era of Wagnerianism, with its desire for the grandiose and overly-complex, found the thin orchestration, the delicate melodies, and the vocal frills of Bellini inexpressive and even stupid, and the opera disappeared from the boards for a time. Around 1905, revivals with Caruso, Sembrich, Planc,on, and Tetrazzini, revealed again the charm of this score, which lay in its very simplicity. But for some reason it has never won the lasting esteem that has been granted the composer's more heroic work, "Norma."
The aria, "Ah, non credea mirarti," opens with a beautiful cantabile in A minor. Its pathos is fully in keeping with the plight of the heroine, Amina, who, discarded by her lover and forsaken by her friends, weeps over the loss of her brief happiness. Regarding the flowers which her lover has given her, she cries:
Ah, must you fade, sweet flowers, forsaken by sun and rain You are as transient as love that lives and withers in one short day. May my tears restore you, although they are powerless to revive the devotion of a lost love.
OFFICIAL PROGRAM Symphony No. 2 in D major, Op. 73.......Brahms
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. 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" 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 this symphony is an imposing manifestation of its existence.
The criticism of Brahms's second Symphony, written by Edward Hanslick, critic for the Vienna "Neue Freie Presse" noted in "its uniform coloring and its sunny clearness--an advance upon the first, and one that is not to be underestimated." Of the success of the symphony in Vienna, there was no possible doubt. Many of the other important members of the critical brotherhood in Vienna, who had found the first Symphony "abstruse" and "difficult of comprehension" waxed enthusiastic in their admiration of the second, and hailed it as a grateful relief. The abstruseness and austerity of the forbidding C-minor Symphony, however, have worn off, and today the observation may be made that time has set these two symphonies in rather a different light for the present generation. The C minor seems to have borrowed something of the rich tenderness, something of the warmly human quality, that has been regarded as the special property of the D major, and to have conferred upon the latter in return something of its own sobriety and depth of feeling. The C minor appears far less austere and much more compassionate than it evidently did in 1876 and the D major seems less unqualifiedly a thing of "pure happiness and gently tender grace."
This contemporary critical opinion of the D-major Symphony is stated more completely by Walter Niemann: f
The Second Symphony, Op. 73, in D major, which followed the First three years later, may be called Brahms's Pastoral Symphony. Just as the First Symphony, with its sombre pathos, struggled upwards in thirds from movement to movement out of darkness into the sun, to a godlike serenity and freedom, so the Second, with its loftily anacreontic mood, descends in a peaceful cycle of descending thirds in its three movements, the first being in D, the second in B, the third in G major. Even today Brahms's Second Symphony is still undeservedly a little overshadowed by the First and Third. Like Beethoven's Pastoral Symphony, on its appearance it was dismissed, far too curtly and prematurely, as marking a "little rest" on the part of the composer--perhaps due to fatigue after the deeply impassioned heroics of the First Symphony--and as being throughout a harmless, pleasing, agreeable, cheerfully "sunlit" idyll. Nothing could be further from the truth! The period between the sixties and eighties of the last century, which, in spite of all Germany's victorious wars, was so peculiarly languid, inert, and full of bourgeois sensibility in art, as well as in politics and human relations, had, none the less, as its artistic ideal a heart-rending pathos and monumental grandeur. Nowadays, regarding things from a freer and less prejudiced point of view, we are fortunately able to detect far more clearly the often oppressive spiritual limitations, moodiness, and atmosphere of resignation in such pleasant, apparently cheerful and anacreontic works as Brahms's Second Symphony. Like its sister-symphony in the major--namely, the Third --the Second, though nominally in the major, has the veiled, indeterminate Brahmsian "Moll-Dur" character, hovering between the two modes.
Lawrence Gilman, Program Notes for Philadelphia Symphony Orchestra, f Walter Niemann, Brahms (New York: Tudor Publishing Co., 1937).
Indeed, this undercurrent of tragedy in the second Brahms symphony, quiet and slight though it may be, is perceptible to a fine ear in every movement. It is audible in the first movement, with its almost excessive wealth of themes and the unusually broad plan of its exposition section, which amalgamates so many diverse elements into a united whole--in the two A major themes of the concluding section, one with its aggressive upward leaps in a dotted rhythm, the other unified by strongly imitative devices and full of passionate insistence; but it can also be perceived in the fragments of the theme worked into an ominous stretto on the wind in the development section. The second movement, the adagio non troppo, also reveals the tragic under-current of this symphony in its suffering, melancholy, and deeply serious spirit. How dejected and tremulous in mood is the noble principal theme on the 'cellos, to what a pitch of deep, passionate agitation does the development section work up, how musing and sorrowful is the close! It is only the F sharp major second subject, floating softly by in Schumannesque syncopations, that brings a touch of brightness into the melancholy scene of this adagio by the brief glance which it casts back into the lost paradise of childhood and youth. The serious undercurrent also makes itself felt within quite small limits in what is perhaps the most typical and individual movement, the Brahmsian "intermezzo pastorale" of its allegretto grazioso. Less, perhaps, in a trio which forms the middle section (presto in 24 time) -with the slight Hungarian tinge in both its rhythm and its theme, formed by diminution from the principal subject of the first section--than in the enchanting, half-elegiac, half-mischievous principal section of the G minor allegretto. The way in which the naively pastoral oboe sings forth the perfectly simple, simply harmonized theme in accents of sweet, suave melancholy once again recalls the young composer of the D major Serenade. But it is perhaps in the finale that the quiet tragic undercurrent of this ostensibly cheerful symphony is most plainly apparent: in the frequent energetic attempts to shake off the all too peaceful and idyllic reverie, in the fantastic, romantic, and ghostly elements which can be seen glimmering beneath the ashes in a supernatural, uncanny way throughout the whole development section. For all its apparent vivacity of movement and the apparently unclouded brightness of the D major key, the finale hides within it many sombre features, and even spectral and supernatural visions.
Thus Brahms's Second Symphony, as a great idyll with a slightly tragic tinge, which we may compare with that great, ruthlessly tragic poet Hebel's fine epic Mutter und Kind, was at the same time, as a "tragic idyll," a piece of the most genuine and typical local Holstein and Low German art. Its quiet, unconscious tragedy hidden beneath the blossoms of a soft idyll of man and nature, with a subdued evening tinge and a prevailing pastoral spirit, carries direct conviction to a discriminating and unprejudiced listener-far more so, in any case, than the conscious and almost forced and deliberate tragedy of the First Symphony or the Tragic Overture. Here again, perhaps, there has been no conductor of our day, who has simply ignored the traditional legend as to the innocent, idyllic character of the second Brahms symphony and interpreted it as what it really is: a great, wonderful, tragic idyll, as rich in sombre and subdued colour as it is in brightness. If one knew nothing but the finale, one might rather call it an "anacreontic" symphony. For the subdued shimmer of festal joyousness in its principal subject (allegro con spirito) reminds us of Cherubim's Anacreon Overture, and the broad, jovial singing
quality of its second theme, in A major, breathes pure joie de vivre. What is more, the transition passages and development sparkle with a Haydnesque spirit. Yet, in spite of its predominant character, now pungent and sparkling, now dreamy and romantic, even this movement, though apparently so full of unclouded cheerfulness, is rich in mysterious Wagnerian visions, suggestive of the Wanderer, in a mystic, woodland, faery, nature atmosphere recalling the Rheingold in many sombre and even ghostly passages.
The score of the Symphony in D calls for an orchestra of two flutes, two oboes, two clarinets, two bassoons, four horns, two trumpets, three trombones and a tuba, kettle drums, and strings.
The first movement {Allegro non trof-po, D major, 3-4 time) brings forward the principal subject at once without any introduction. The transitional passage leading to the second subject commences with a new and undulating melody in the first violins, the second subject entering, some forty measures later, with a broad and singing theme, played by the violoncellos. After the repetition of this in the woodwinds a second section of the subject is introduced--a vigorous marcato passage in A major--followed by a further presentation of the former theme, given out by the violoncellos, this time accompanied by a triplet figure in the flute. This closes the exposition, which is then repeated. The development works out with considerable elaborateness the principal theme and the undulating passage which led in the exposition from the first to the second subject. The latter theme is not worked out at all. The recapitulation brings forward the same material as that which has been heard in the exposition, but its presentation is modified as to the instrumentation, and the subjects are stated with contrapuntal embellishments in the accompanying parts. At the conclusion of the second subject a coda is introduced, its material being largely concerned with the opening theme of the movement, and ending tranquilly with a sustained chord, fiano, in the wind instruments.
The second movement {Adagio non troffo, B major, 4-4 time) commences with an expressive melody in the violoncellos, the first six measures being later repeated by the first and second violins in unison. An imitative passage, heard successively in the first horn, the oboes and the flutes, leads eventually to the second theme (L'istesso temfo, ma grazioso, 12-8 time). This, in its turn, is succeeded by another idea, heard in the strings, and developed in the woodwind with a counterpoint in the violas and violoncellos. After an elaborate development of this material a recapitulation of the former subjects is introduced, these being, however, considerably modified in length and in the manner of their presentation, the movement ending quietly with a final suggestion of its opening theme.
The third movement {Allegretto grazioso [quasi andantino in G major, 3-4 time) is written in the form of an intermezzo with two episodes or trios. Its principal theme is heard in the oboe, the two clarinets, and bassoons, with a pizzicato accompaniment in the violoncellos. This is succeeeded by the first episode in 2-4 time {Presto ma non assai), which is really a variant of the opening subject which, first presented in the strings, is re-echoed by the woodwind. After a modified restatement of the opening theme the second episode in 3-8 time {Presto ma non assai) is introduced. Following this the first theme is heard for the last time, beginning in F-sharp major, and modulating later to the original tonality in G major, in which key the movement closes.
The finale {Allegro con sfirito, in D major, 2-2 time) is written in the sonata form. Its principal subject opens in the strings. A long transitional passage leading to the second theme is based on this material. The second subject-in A major--is first allotted to the strings, afterward being taken up by the woodwind with an accompanying figure in the strings, drawn from the first measure of the principal subject.
Another division of this theme--in the full orchestra, ben marcato--is heard later, eventually leading into the development. This part of the movement is occupied solely with a working out of the opening and closing measures of the principal theme. The recapitulation presents the two principal subjects in much the same fashion as that in which they have been placed before the hearer in the exposition, and it comes to a close with an elaborate and lengthy coda, the material of which is partly taken from the first measure of the second subject, and partly from the opening measure of the first.
Sunday Afternoon, May 6
Chorale Prelude: "O Mensch, bewein' dein' Siinde gross"
("Oh, Man, thy grievous sin lament")......Bach
(Transcribed for orchestra by Eugene Ormandy)
Johann Sebastian Bach was born at Eisenach, March 21, 1685; died at Leipzig, July 28, 1750.
In Johann Sebastian Bach the musical development of two centuries reached its climax. Coming from a family of distinguished musicians famous in Germany for one hundred and fifty years, he entered into the full heritage of his predecessors and used, with incomparable effect, all of the musical learning of his day.
Born in the very heart of medieval Germany, in the remote little town of Eisenach under the tree-clad summits of the Thiiringer Wald, Bach lived in an atmosphere that was charged with poetry, romance, and music. Towering precipitously over the little village stood the stately Wartburg, which once sheltered Luther and, in one of the chambers of which, the German Bible came into being. Here also in 1207, the famous Tourney of Song was held, and German minstrelsy flowered.
In these surroundings Bach's early youth was spent, and his musical foundation was formed under the careful guidance of his father. The subsequent events of his life were less propitious. Orphaned at the age of ten, he pursued his studies by himself, turning to the works of Buxtehude, Pachelbel, and other predecessors and contemporaries as models.
Singing in a church choir to gain free tuition at school, traveling by foot to neighboring towns to hear visiting organists who brought him occasional touches with the outside world, securing menial positions as organist in Arnstadt and Miihlhausen, filled the monotonous years of this great master's youth.
Although he gained some fame as the foremost organist of his day, he was ignored and neglected as a composer. Of all his church music, parts of only one cantata were printed during his life, not because it was esteemed, but because it was written for an annual burgomeister election! References by contemporaries are scanty; they had no insight into the value of his art. Fifty years after
his death, his music was practically unknown, most of the manuscripts having been lost or mislaid.
The neglect, discovery, and final triumph of Bach's music are without parallel in the history of music. His triumphant progress from utter obscurity to a place of unrivaled and unprecedented brilliance is a phenomenon, the equal of which has not been recorded. Today his position is extraordinary. Never was there a period when there were more diverse ideals, new methods, confusion of aims and styles; yet never has Bach been so universally acknowledged as the supreme master of music. Modern critics and composers speak of "going back to Bach." The statement is inconsistent; they have not come to him yet.
Certainly masterpieces were never so naively conceived. Treated with contempt by his associates in Leipzig, where he spent the last years of his life, and restrained by the narrow ideals and numbing pedantry of his superiors, he went on creating a world of beauty, without the slightest thought of posterity. The quiet old cantor, patiently teaching his pupils Latin and music, supervising all the choral and occasional music in the two principal churches of Leipzig, gradually losing his sight until in his last years he was hopelessly blind; never for a moment dreamed of immortality. He continued, year after year, to fulfill his laborious duties, and in doing so created the great works that have brought him eternal fame. His ambitions never passed beyond his city, church, and family.
Born into a day of small things, he helped the day to expand by giving it creations beyond the scope of its available means of expression. His art is elastic; it grows, deepens, and flows on into the advancing years. The changed media of expression; the increased expressive qualities of the modern pianoforte, organ, and complex orchestra have brought to the world a realization of the great dormant and potential beauties that lay in his work. What a magnificent world did the mighty Sebastian evolve from the dry, stiff, pedantic forms, from the inarticulate instruments of his time! As Wagner put it, "No words can give a conception of its richness, its sublimity, its all-comprehensiveness."
The profound religious sincerity of Bach, finding its most direct, complete, and unending expression in the Lutheran Chorale, manifested itself from his first composition as a youth, a single exercise on a chorale melody, to the time, when in the very shadow of death, he dictated to his son-in-law his last work, in the musical form which had been most congenial to him. He ended his earthly labors with Vor Deinen Thron tre1 ich ("I come before Thy throne"). So, at the very end of his life, he sought, through the Chorale, to bid farewell to earth, and this he did with an expression of exquisite peace and trust.
Charles Hubert Parry, writing of Bach and the Chorale, says:
The hold which the German chorales kept upon Bach from first to last is the most significant token of the depth and steadfast earnestness of his nature, and the warmth and sensitiveness of his imagination. The strange love of symbolism which was deeply engrained in him made him feel them to be the embodiments of the religious sentiments which were expressed by the words of the hymns with which they were associated; and when he harmonized them or adorned them with all the subtlety of his art in the forms of "organ chorales," "chorale preludes," "chorale fantasias," "chorale fugues," "chorale variations" he was moved to give expression to the feelings of reverence and devotion which the hymns embodied. In the finest of his compositions in these forms the exquisite skill and sensibility with which he adorned the tunes was no vain display of artistic ingenuities, but the revelation of the deepest workings of his nature, the very musings of his inmost soul. This is apparent even in his unique treatment of the final chorales in the cantatas--where he presents a harmonization of so strange and unconventional a kind that no other composer has ever had the temerity to venture on anything approaching it.
Such work is only possible under special conditions, when the man and the moment are consonant. Bach represented a phase of religious expression in music which cannot recur. All the finest qualities of Teutonic devotionalism and mysticism found their expression in him. Untroubled by the speculations of later philosophy, the central story of Christianity was to him a supreme and vivid reality, and constantly aroused in him the purest and noblest sentiments of which man is capable. And indeed such sentiments as trust, adoration, wonder, hope, humility, gratitude, contrition, submission, self-abasement, and ideal love are most apt to be expressed in music. His imagination dwelt on the story of the supreme sacrifice and loved to meditate on the incidents of the life of one for whom he felt a personal devotion. And these meditations are represented in his chorale prelude and works of that type, as though his mind wandered quietly on and the music welled out as the spirit moved him, kept just within the bounds of necessary artistic coherence by the presence of the sacred symbol of the chorale tune.
The original tune, "O Mensch, bewein' dein' Siinde gross" was written by Matthaus Greittner (1500--1552) and its text by Sebaldus Heyden (1494-1561). Bach's treatment of the chorale is taken from the "Orgelbiichlein." f It tells of the perfidy of man that allowed the betrayal of Christ. The moment which tested the loyalty of His friends, intimates, and disciples, proved their
Charles H. Parry, Johann Sebastian Bach (New York: G. P. Putnam's, 1907).
t Orgelbiichlein: This little collection was begun by Bach during his residence in Cothen (1717-23). It consists of short movements for the organ based on chorales. The "Orgelchoral" (Organ chorale) was a small movement, merely taking a tune in its complete form straight through, and arranging it with parts in instrumental style, which emphasize the expression of the time or words to which it belonged, by all the subject devices of harmonization and figure and ornamental devices. The work was incomplete but contained forty-six preludes.
courage failing, and He, sinless and betrayed, had not so much as one friend left to comfort Him. The music summons the mind to concentrate itself on this poignant episode, and it expresses the kind of pain that comes to the mind when something happens which transcends man's power to estimate and express. It is truly said that, with the chorale, Bach unlocked his heart. It was with this same tune, developed as a great fantasia for chorus and orchestra, that Bach closed the first part of his St. Matthew Passion.
Symphony No. 5 ("Reformation") in D major,
Op. 107.............Mendelssohn
Felix Mendelssohn-Bartholdy was born February 3, 1809, at Hamburg; died November 4, 1847, 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 tranquility.
In a letter to his sister, Fanny, Mendelssohn suggested various names for this symphony--"Symphony for the Festival of the Reformation of the Church," "Confession Symphony," and "Reformation Symphony." The fact that he finally selected the last title, and that he introduced into the work (introduction to first movement) the "Dresden Amen," used in all Lutheran churches in Saxony, and the Lutheran hymn, "Ein feste Burg ist unser Gott" {Andante and Finale) gives support to the contention that he composed it as a commission for the tercentenary festival of the Augsburg Confession, June 25, 1830. The symphony was begun in London in 1829, and was completed April, 1830.
The work does not need detailed analysis. Its themes are simple, and its forms obvious. Although the first movement, so ominous and foreboding in its color, is not typical of Mendelssohn's style, in the second movement he is once more on familiar ground. The entire spirit of this section is created with the opening passage in the woodwinds and horns, and is maintained throughout. The third movement, a somber and wistful one, ends in a great crescendo that leads to the familiar chorale, "Ein feste Burg," which in turn brings forth a powerful and moving transition and leads, without pause, into the Finale. In some of the nobler passages of this movement Mendelssohn rises to a fine sublimity, especially where the broad contrapuntal development, above a sturdy statement of the Chorale, recalls the familiar style of Sebastian Bach.
Concerto No. 1 in B-flat major, Op. 83, for
Piano and Orchestraf...........Brahms
In no other work is Brahms more characteristic than in this magnificent piano concerto. It contains music that arises from his most secluded spiritual realm and is among the choicest, richest, and best balanced works that he ever produced. Nowhere else does he reveal such conscientiousness and solid thoroughness.
The "Dresden Amen" is supposed to have been composed by Johann Gottlief Nau-mann (174.1-1801). It was immortalized by Richard Wagner in his "Parsifal." t See notes on Brahms, page 64.
The concerto was begun in May, 1878, at Portschach in southern Austria, on the day before his forty-fifth birthday. It was completed in 1881 at Press-baum, near Vienna. In simultaneous letters of that year to Clara Schumann and Elizabeth von Herzogenberg, Brahms jestingly announced that he had written "quite a little concerto with quite a little scherzo." What he had actually created was a piano concerto and a symphony in one work. Here he found a new solution of the problem of reconciling the piano with the orchestra. By embedding its sound in that of the orchestra, and at the same time preserving its contrasting quality; by suppressing all display of technical virtuosity in the soloist as an end in itself; by relating every theme, figure, chord passage, scale, and run organically to the whole, Brahms created an overpowering concerto.
Unlike the earlier classical concept of the form founded on the alternation of orchestral ritornels and solo episodes, and the later highly romantic display pieces of Liszt with their magnificent tone colors, breath-taking bravuras, and ostentatious effects, Brahms allows the soloist's vanity no satisfaction in his sym-phonically constructed passages, where the parts are firmly grown together into one radiant whole. The piano part, often dense and slow-moving, with its constant preference for working with massive chord effects and broken chord passages, drives into the very tone center of the orchestra to contribute its thread and color to the rich symphonic texture.
The principaltheme of the first movement {Allegro non troppo, B-flat major, 4-4 time) is foreshadowed by a short dialogue between the first horn and piano, creating a quiet twilight atmosphere. The piano leads to a full, sonorous statement of the theme in the orchestra. This prepares for the contrasting lyricism of the second subject, announced by the violins with pizzicato violas and celli, and, after a vigorous passage, the piano enters in octaves, leading to its statement of the principal theme. Part of the opening in the orchestra and the second theme are now developed to some extent. After a passage in F minor for the piano, which leads to a statement in the full orchestra, the development section begins. The principal themes are elaborately treated. The recapitulation begins on the quiet subject of the horn that was heard at the opening of the movement, but the rest of the section is not a literal re-presentation of the exposition material. A tremendous coda, derived from the material heard in the orchestral opening of the concerto and summarizing in a broad melodic sweep the material of the main section of the movement, closes this section.
The second movement (Allegro appassionato, F major, 3-4 time), is the "quite a little scherzo" to which Brahms referred in his letters to Clara Schumann and Elizabeth von Herzogenberg in 1881, although it is not designated as
such in the score. The theme, recalling the piano scherzo in E minor, Op. 4 and the later piano capricci in its uncouth and sullen tone, is stated in the piano. An episode in the orchestra, derived from the rhythmic figure of the piano theme, is continued later in the solo instrument. This forms a concise sonata-form exposition which closes in A major, and is repeated. A development follows which introduces a new jubilant theme in the D major, which has the effect of a trio section. There is a free sonata-like recapitulation of the themes of the exposition, after which a coda, giving freest scope to the piano and orchestra, brings this unique movement to a close.
The orchestra begins the third movement (Aitdante, B-flat major, 6-4 time) with a broad melody for the cello, a forethought of the sad sweet melody of the later song "Immer leiser wird mein Schlummer"; and, after its restatement in which the oboe joins the cello, the piano sounds a figure derived from the same theme. Then in typical Brahms fashion there is a closely woven passage which, in spite of its familiar material, is treated in an improvisatory manner. After a sudden change to F-sharp major, a new melody, found in Brahms' song "Todessehen," Op. 86, is stated in the piano accompaniment by two clarinets. "The melody," writes Tovey, "consists of few notes spaced like the first stars that penetrate the sky at sunset. When the strings join in, the calm is as deep as the ocean that we have witnessed in the storms of this huge piece of music." The first theme returns to the cello in F-sharp minor, and a recapitulation of the opening in the orchestra, this time ornamented by a figure in the piano, brings this lovely movement to a quiet and serene close.
The fourth movement (Allegretto grazioso, B-flat major, 2-4 time), an airy, glittering, and delicately animated finale, presents no trumpets and drums, although after such a tremendous treatment as this concerto has received, one might expect a more triumphant close. The piano states the first rhythmic theme, and it is soon followed by another idea, almost Hungarian in style, which alternates between woodwinds and strings. Another section of it is heard in the solo instrument which leads to a playful subject, still in the piano and accompanied by pizzicato strings. An elaborate development of this and subsidiary material follows, and all is climaxed with a lengthy coda.
Donald Francis Tovey, Essays in Musical Analysis (London: Oxford University Press, 1936), III, 124.
Sunday Evening, May 6 "Te Deum laudamus............Bruckner
Anton Bruckner was born at Ausfelden, Austria, September 4, 1824; died at Vienna, October 11, 1896.
Into the dark abyss he made his way,
Both nether worlds he saw, and in the might
Of his great soul beheld God's splendor bright,
And gave to us on earth true light of day:
Star of supremest worth with its clear ray,
Heaven's secrets he revealed to us through our dim sight,
And had for guerdon, what the base world's spite
Oft gives to souls that noblest grace display.
--Michael Angelo (Sonnet-tribute to Dante)
Anton Bruckner has remained one of the most puzzling figures in the history of music. In spite of all explanations, the discrepancies between the man, a patient, naive, sensitive, and pitiable soul accepting defeat from life and the artist, adamant in his artistic faith, never once forsaking it however the world might judge or ignore him, have never been satisfactorily reconciled. His modest and subservient demeanor and his retiring nature will always stand in the strangest opposition to the imperial grandeur and dignity of his musical mind and the full majesty and rich eloquence of his music.
To recount the details of his life would be to enumerate the cruel tricks of fate, disillusionments, failures, and unbelievable personal hurts that were his lot on this earth. His life offers no drama, no romance; it is simply the sad story of a poor schoolmaster who seemed destined to face an unsympathetic world alone, helpless against the realities of life, and incapable of revealing, in terms the world could understand and would accept, the beauty of which he alone seemed to be aware. For his futile attempts he won no other reward than neglect, scorn, and spiritual abuse beyond description.
Inarticulate in the world in which he spent his mortal days, he spoke, however, a strange and exalted language in his own sphere of music. Here his speech was transfigured--he was a seer at one time, speaking of incredible things,
"uttering magnificence like a Hebrew prophet whose imaginings were penetrated by the suggestion of indescribable wonders, echoing with a strange murmur of revelation." It is difficult to account for this sublime utterance or to find any satisfactory way to describe it. To say that it is music of the cathedral arising from the concept of the sublime grandeur of the Deity, the creation, and the universe, as it often impresses one--that it is a religious, ecstatic, and cosmic music, is to state only a half truth; We cannot ignore its sometimes primitive, naive, and unrefined accents, its tendency to be verbose and grandiloquent, its somewhat limited range of mood. But there is always that inexplicable total effect of nobility of style, loftiness of purpose, and above all, profound sincerity of intention. It is music, for all its faults, that carries a medieval firmness of conviction. After all, a more devout or more religous man than Anton Bruckner never lived, and his music is the ecstacy of a pious believer in his God, who nevertheless is disturbed by agitations of doubt and despair. We never leave him excited or oppressed, however, for there always sounds in his great music a tone of faith and confidence, and of consolatory tenderness. Although he was always engaged in tragic inner conflict, he had that inestimable gift of sublimating his personal emotions into pure musical expression, the beauty and sublimity of which lift, edify, and make tranquil the human spirit.
"As I become more aware of my own consciousness in music," wrote Bruno Walter recently, "I also incline more every year to a composer of by no means undiluted popularity in America, or for that matter, anywhere. I mean Anton Bruckner. The loftiness of one who dwells in the heights is his. . . . His faith is so great, his vision so clear, that inconsistencies of style, workmanship, successions of ideas, are immaterial in the face of the revelations his pages unfold. ... he is the prophet of infinity."
Felix Gatz, distinguished aesthetician, conductor, and Bruckner scholar, has written the following excellent analysis of Bruckner and his art.
What sort of man, then, was Bruckner All who knew him were impressed with his deep piety. Piety, in its deepest sense, is the conviction that there exists a super-earthly Power in the face of which all that is merely earthly becomes as naught, and yet that there is some mystic link between this spiritual Power and what is merely of the earth. The ability to envision and realize this Power from the Beyond in the Here is the kernel of piety. Let it not be thought that this piety, this gift of super-earthly vision, is an everyday occurrence. It is far more than a theory-propped affirmation of some creed-bound phenomenon. It predicates that the soul of the truly pious being must burn inextinguishably with faith in a reality beyond that of the senses. It demands soul, phantasy, the ability to universalize, a boundless sense of coherence, an
Felix M. Gatz, "Bruckner's Musical World," Choral and Discord, I, No. 8 (December, 1936), 16.
unerring gift for discerning essentials. This piety requires, above all, greatness of soul. Perhaps spiritual greatness may also arise from other sources, but there can be no doubt that that soul is truly great which can trace step for step the path from reality to super-reality. This piety alone suffices to prove its possessor a being far above the ordinary. Bruckner's was such piety; he was a great being, even outside his music.
A philosopher is one who can formulate his relationship to the world in systematic thought, one who can translate his world-feeling into world-concepts. The philosopher, however, does not stand alone in his possession of a world-outlook. Bruckner was no philosopher. Yet he had an outlook upon the world so consummate that philosophers might well have envied him for it. Perhaps I should not say that Bruckner had such an outlook, but rather, that he personified it, for what is a man if he is not his outlook upon things Bruckner's view was that of the mystic, for whom the earthly world is a mere shadow.
A man's attitudes toward music and the world are inseparable. What he demands of music depends upon how he regards the cosmos and God. Much like the mystic's view of the world, there is a view of music which will not permit intrusion upon the art by the realm of things, of happenings, or of experiences of the ego. Such was Bruckner's outlook upon music. He had no so-called philosophy or esthetics of music, a dialectical presentation of the essence of the art. Nevertheless the basic secret of music was known to him--the secret that the tonal realm is one apart from all that which is describable as nature or soul, matters that may be, more or less adequately, clarified by verbal concepts. Bruckner knew the secret of the basic autonomy of music without having been able to formulate it in the manner of an esthetician. Yet since he never expressed this knowledge in so many words, how may we affirm with certainty that he possessed it Should we deduce his musical views from his tonal creations, we would only be going about in a circulus vitiosus. There is, happily, a better means of ascertaining what he understood by music and what he expected of it--his decades of unceasing musical study. No one today will dare to say that such study was necessary for him because he was insufficiently gifted musically. If music had meant for him merely the art of representing nature or personal experiences in tone, he would have dispensed with the bulk of that long period of "preparatory" study (it lasted more than thirty years) which, naturally, struck misunderstanding observers as grotesque, if not actually pathological in character. He need only have studied nature and the soul before venturing upon symphonic composition. It was not nature in tone, but rather the very nature of music that he sought to fathom, as he analyzed again and again, with infinite care and patience, every known principle of harmony and counterpoint. However superfluous these protracted studies may seem to have been, Bruckner's zeal in their pursuit, once stupidly attributed to the "village organist's" feeling of inferiority, reveals one thing: his belief in the impersonality, autonomy, and complete self-sufficiency of music.
Just as the composer's attitude toward music is closely akin to his view of the world, so the nature of his musical creation depends upon his musical outlook. Of course, the prime prerequisite for musical creation is the possession of a musical creative gift, without which even the soundest outlook upon the art will avail one but little in the
actual creation of valid tonal works. On the other hand, it is possible for the gifted composer to create good music, even though his musical outlook be false and unsound. Many a composer, who has given expression to a faulty musical esthetics, has nevertheless instinctively taken the correct road in his musical creation. Wagner's splendid Walkilre score came into existence despite its composer's false tonal esthetics, musical views which he later altered. When a highly gifted composer also possesses a sound view of the nature, purport, and aim of music, as Bruckner did, he cannot fail to produce eminently musical music. To be sure, all music is musical, absolute, autonomous--the bad as well as the good, the music reflecting a faulty as well as that reflecting a sound musical outlook. Indeed nothing but music can take place during the unfolding of any music. Yet the purely musical quality of different compositions will necessarily vary in degree. Just as there are distinguishably different degrees of reality, so is it possible to differentiate between varying degrees of musical quality as represented in the comparative musical autonomy of various compositions. All music is autonomous, absolute, but some music is more absolute, more autonomous than other music. Bruckner's music has always been regarded as particularly "unliterary," and what, in the final analysis, can the term "unliterary" music signify but autonomous music Even Bruckner's outspoken enemies, who opposed his symphonies out of honest misunderstanding, felt that here was a composer who drew so little upon the things and feelings of this world for his inspiration, that those who listened to his music from any "literary," i.e., extra-musical viewpoint whatsoever, found themselves completely at a loss for even the most general literary (programmatic) background that might throw light upon the music's content. Thus when those who believed themselves enthusiasts for Bruckner's art actually strove to circulate such extra-musical explanations to sanction their fealty to the master in the eyes of a skeptical musical world, they did his cause more harm than good. They loved him, to be sure, but understood him perhaps even less than his enemies, who denied and persecuted him openly for a reason which, however cruel, was founded in truth. The reason was this: Bruckner's music was, as every unprejudiced hearer could clearly feel, literally overflowing with sheer music; that is, with absolute-musical content, and hence was but music, with no significance beyond itself. Bruckner's music is unalloyed music incarnate.
Still this music is at the same time the expression of the man Bruckner, though not in the sense that it reflects or portrays his personal feelings, as if the composer had sought by means of it to reveal himself and his soul. The man Bruckner does find expression in his music, an expression unwilled, one which could not have been conjured up by conscious purpose. The soul of the man Bruckner rested securely on a plane beyond the earthly. It was upon that plane that his entire will and being were focused. Therefore, music meant to him a realm apart, an independent world of impersonal spirituality. That such was his view of music and that his music was indeed an expression of that world, these truths constitute the revelation of his individual personality, a personality wholly impersonal, beyond the personal. Only such an individuality could have been the source of music so wholly impersonal, so supremely autonomous.
The noblest and most inspiring of all sacred hymns, the great canticle, "Te Deum laudamus," was composed about the beginning of the fifth century, a.d.,
by Bishop Nicetas. Its passages were drawn from the Old and New Testaments, the Psalms, Prophets, Gospels, and Epistles--a remarkable fusion of scattered biblical elements. It is little wonder that the early Christians found in its all-comprehensive verses, appealing to man's will to strive and endure, an expression of their unconquerable faith and resolution. Its text has never been treated by a composer with greater respect for its spiritual implications.f Bruckner's long experience as a composer in the field of sacred music made him an accomplished master. Auer catalogued eighty-six compositions for chorus, half of them religious in character. The three Masses in D minor, E minor, and F minor, and the "Te Deum," are the climax of his sacred compositions and a magnificant revelation of his creative power, which he dedicated to the service of the Roman Catholic Church. The "Te Deum" is beyond doubt the masterwork of this group. It is, moreover, Bruckner's most popular composition, for in it he displays more concision, greater sustained tension, and a higher concentration of dynamic power than in any of his other works. Here he speaks with the loftiness "of one who dwells in the heights"; here, he is, indeed, the "prophet of infinity."
The text follows:
Te Deum laudamus, te Deum confitemur. Te aeternum Patrem, omnis terra venera-tnr.
Soprano, Tenor, Contralto
Tibi omnes angeli, tibi coeli, et universae
potestates; Tibi cherubim et seraphim, incessabili voce
We praise Thee, O God: we acknowledge
Thee to be the Lord. Thee, the eternal Father, all the earth
doth worship.
Soprano, Tenor, Contralto
To Thee all the Angels, to Thee the Heavens, and all the powers therein:
To Thee the Cherubim and Seraphim with unceasing voice cry aloud:
Recent research of Professor Peter Wagner, Dom Paul Cagin, O.S.B., and Clemens Blume, places the time of its composition at a much earlier date.
¦ Since the polyphonic period, the Te Deum has been the vehicle of elaborate choral settings, usually on occasions of thanksgiving after victory. The outstanding ones are by Handel, for the peace of Utrecht, 1712, and for the victory of Dettinger, 1743; Berlioz' "Te Deum of a Thousand," 1849-54; Dvorak, 1846; Sullivan, for Queen Victoria's Diamond Jubilee, 1897; Verdi, 1898.
Max Auer, Anton Bruckner, Sein Leben und Werke (Vienna: Musikwissenschaft-licher Verlag, 1934).
Sanctus, sanctus, sanctus Dominus Deus
Sabaoth. Pleni sum coeli et terra majestatis gloriae
Te gloriosus, apostolorum chorus, Te prophetarum, laudabilis numerus, Te martyrum, candidatus laudat exercitus.
Te per orbem terrarum, sancta confitetur
Patrem, immensae majestatis, Venerandum tuum verum, et unicum
Sanctum quoque, Paraclitum Spiritum. Tu Rex gloriae, Christe. Tu Patris, sempiternus es Filius. Tu ad liberandum suscepturus hominem: Non horruisti Virginis uterum.
Tu devicto mortis aculeo:
Aperuisti credentibus regna coelorum.
Tu ad dexteram Dei sedes, in gloria Patris. Judex crederis, esse venturus.
Te ergo quaesumus, tuis famulis subveni: Quos pretioso sanguine redemisti.
Aeterna fac cum sanctis tuis, in gloria numerari.
Chorus and Quartet
Salvum fac populum tuum Domine,
Et benedic haereditati tuae.
Et rege eos, et extolle illos usque in
aeternum. Per singulos dies, benedicimus te.
Holy, Holy, Holy Lord God of Sabaoth. The heavens and this earth are full of the
majesty of Thy Glory. Thee, the glorious choir of the Apostles, Thee, the admirable company of the
Prophets, Thee, the white-robed army of Martyrs
doth praise.
Thee, the Holy Church throughout the
world doth confess, The Father of infinite majesty, Thine adorable, true and only Son, Also the Holy Ghost, the Comforter. Thou, O Christ art the King of Glory. Thou art the everlasting Son of the Father, Thou didst not abhor the Virgin's womb,
when Thou tookest Upon Thee human nature to deliver man.
When Thou hadst overcome the sting of
death, Thou didst Open to believers the kingdom of heaven.
Thou sittest at the right hand of God, in
the glory of the Father. Thou, we believe, art the Judge to come.
We beseech Thee, therefore, help Thy
servants whom Thou Hast redeemed with Thy precious Blood.
Make them to be numbered with Thy Saints, in glory everlasting.
Chorus and Quartet
Save Thy people, O Lord, and bless Thine
And rule them, and exalt them forever. Day by day, we bless Thee.
Et laudamus nomen tuum in saeculum, et
in saeculum saeculi. Dignare Domine die isto, sine peccato nos
Miserere nostri Domine: miserere nostri. Fiat misericordia tua Domine super nos,
quemadmodum speravimus in te.
Chorus and Quartet
In te Domine speravi: Non confundar in aeternum.
And we praise Thy Name forever; yea
forever and ever. Vouchsafe, O Lord, this day, to keep us
without sin. Have mercy on us, O Lord; have mercy
on us. Let Thy mercy, O Lord, be upon us; even
as we have hoped in Thee.
Chorus and Quartet
In Thee, O Lord, have I hoped: let me not be confounded forever.
Symphony No. 9 in D minor, Op. 125.....Beethoven
Ludwig van Beethoven was born in Bonn, December 16, 1770; died in Vienna, March 26, 1827.
Beethoven embodied in his art the true spirit of the French Revolution, which announced to a startled world the breaking up of an old civilization and the beginning of a new social regime. In the true meaning of the words "liberty," "equality," and "fraternity," he found the motivating force that gave sustaining vitality to everything he wrote, from the somber fury of the "Appassion-ata Sonata," the symbol of early revolt, with its unyielding tension and its sovereign inhumanity, to the Choral Ninth Symphony with its all-embracing affection for mankind so sorely wounded by the violence of revolution and its final outburst of joy at the thought of a better world to come.
This force, this spirit, that infused itself into the music of Beethoven had already driven deep into the minds of men, and had with a shocking suddenness unleashed its fury, leaving in its wake a devastated society and a wreckage of tradition. When finally its violence was spent and the tension had relaxed, when fears and hatreds were dispelled, a new world seemed to emerge like a phoenix from its ashes, a world bright with hope and full with the promise of benevolence. The ecstasy of relief, the joy of being alive, created a new subject matter for artistic expression. It was this spirit that drove Beethoven to the creation of a music which his world had not yet even dared to imagine, a music torrential in its passion for freedom, strong in its conviction, deep and moving in its heartfelt compassion, and exuberant at its release from confining tradition.
The outburst of exuberance in Beethoven's music is one of its most striking traits. His opera, "Fidelio," based upon a drama of rescue from oppression and tyranny with its overtures of abounding joy, the gargantuan scherzi of his symphonies, the overture to Goethe's "Egmont" with its "Symphony of Victory," the overpowering vitality of the finales of his Fifth and Seventh Symphonies, and, finally, the "Ode to Joy" in the Ninth Symphony, are only a few of the many instances that attest the manifestation of this spirit. Beethoven had been guided by humanitarian ideals for many years, through the lofty impulses of Goethe, the austere ethics of Kant, the magnanimity of Shakespeare, and the passionate optimism of Schiller, whose poem, "Lied an die Freude" (Ode to Joy) had, from the early years of his creative life, inspired him with the hope that one day he would find a musical expression worthy of the text. Through the written words of these great minds Beethoven had caught a glimpse of a better, freer world, when men would ultimately live together in freedom, equality, and mutual understanding; a world, which, after a century of subsequent torment, we have not been able to realize.
Oscar Wilde once said that a map of the world on which Utopia is not shown is not worth looking at, for it omits a shore on which mankind will always land. Both Schiller and Beethoven saw that shore and marked their courses with abiding confidence that humanity would some day reach it. Schiller's denial of the realities of the past and his vision of the unrealities of the future, his uncompromising idealism, his unlimited and elemental shout to a glorious future in which all mankind would be held in the bond of brotherhood, spoke directly to Beethoven's great heart and strengthened his conviction that man's destiny was to be glorious and fine.
During a period of chaos very much like ours today, Beethoven stood like a colossus, bridging with his mighty grasp the two centuries in which he lived-one which saw devastation, the other, hope based upon that destruction. He embodied the ideas of both the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries, becoming the sage of the one and the prophet of the other. Too big and timeless for ordinary classification as a romanticist or a classicist, he created epoch-making masterpieces based upon firm foundations of the past, liberated, however, from all confining elements of tradition and set free to discover new regions of unimagined beauty.
The Herculean reach of his conceptions, the sovereignty of their expression, and the constant search for new methods, new techniques, the stretching of exist The intention of utilizing Schiller's "Ode" dates from the year 1793. The text occurs again in a sketchbook of 1798; some of it is intermingled with sketches for the Seventh and Eighth Symphonies made in 1811, and from this time on references to it occur with ever-increasing frequency.
ing forms to an unheard-of-degree, his dramatic success in seeking a harmonious embodiment of opposing forces by fusing them into a great architectural oneness, gives the impression that a daemonic force was working through his brain, and directing the bold strokes of his pen.
Of all Beethoven's concrete contributions to the art of music, the most powerful and original were: the treatment he gave the first movement form, so full of titanic and elemental struggle; the tumultuous humor and elfin wit, the bacchanalian exultation of the great scherzi; the mystic and ethereal lyricism of the incomparable adagio movements, and the amazing musical architecture found in the variation form.
The Choral Ninth Symphony in all its movements reveals mature and culminative treatment of all these innovations. The originality in Beethoven's music is due in the last analysis to the fact that he thought more deeply, that he was moved more profoundly by life and by an ideal for life than his predecessors; and that his music represented that deeper and more profound thought sublimated into broader conceptions of musical form and technique.
Beethoven completed his Eighth Symphony in 1812, and for eleven years no other symphony came from his pen. In a sketchbook of the year 1816, however, are to be found passages which later became subjects for the first movement and the scherzo of the Choral Symphony. The actual composition was begun in 1817, the sketches for that year being again confined to the first movement and the scherzo. In 1818, Beethoven conceived the idea of writing twin symphonies, and in a sketchbook of that year he made the following memorandum:
"Adagio Cantique": Sacred song in a symphony in an old mode (We praise Thee, O God--Alleluia), either to stand alone, or as introduction to a fugue. The whole Second Symphony to be based perhaps on its melody. The singing voices enter in the last piece, or as early as the adagio, repeated in a certain manner in the last piece, the singing voices being first introduced little by little. In the adagio the text of a Greek myth "Cantique Ecclesiastique" in the allegro, festival of Bacchus.
The Ninth Symphony was the result of the merging of these two ideas, when at last, in the vortex of Beethoven's mind, eruptions and mystic amalgamation took place, and fragmentary ideas submitted to his imperial reason and were fashioned by his powerful hand into a single monumental form.
The question of Beethoven's success in writing the Choral Finale to this great symphony has been in the minds of music critics for a long period. It is no longer arrogance or sacrilege to question his judgment in writing it. Critical opinion today considers that it was ill-advised, and that it plays the iconoclast in a temple. The fatal mistake of the Choral Finale was the attempt to mix poetry-the concrete and finite, with music--the abstract and infinite, in equal propor[85]
tions. Music might be inspired by, but should not be dependent upon, tht subject of a poem. This being a symphony, the chief source of expression is musical and not poetic, and the most unique and complete expression is found when the composer, freed from the finite meaning of words, gives fervent and eloquent expression through the art of music alone. Schiller's "Ode" served Beethoven well by inspiring him to some of the most glorious music he ever wrote, but when he actually harnessed his tones to Schiller's lines, he stopped their flight and dragged them down from the "cloud-capped peaks" of the first three movements, to a "humiliating and belittling concreteness."
Beethoven himself became conscious of the temporary rejection of his art. Czerny told Jahn that after the first performance Beethoven emphatically declared he was dissatisfied with the "Hymn to Joy" and wished to write another movement without vocal parts to take the place of this failure. Unfortunately for posterity Beethoven failed to carry out his intention.
In addition, Beethoven could not write for the voice, and failed completely to realize the potential expressive beauty that lies in the proper treatment of it as a unique instrument. Thinking almost entirely in terms of the orchestra, he grew impatient with its limitations. His ruthless treatment of the voices in the "Hymn to Joy" invariably turns legitimate singing into unholy screeching. Having forced the human instrument entirely out of its sphere, the music given to it loses all real expressive quality; and, as a result, much of it in the finale is oppressively trivial and even unforgivably dull.
Wagner was not unmindful of the fact that, without words, Beethoven might have soared to the heights he sought in the first three movements, and he reminds us that the great theme of this movement first presented itself to us unburdened by words:
"Thus we find the master still abiding in the realm of the world's idea," he writes, "for it is not the meaning of the word that really takes us with his entry of the human voice--neither is it the thought expressed in Schiller's verses that occupies our minds thereafter, but the familiar sound of the choral chant. It is obvious especially with the chief melody proper, that Schiller's words have been built in perforce and with no great skill, for this melody had first unrolled
Traces of the "joy theme" can be found scattered throughout Beethoven's work for over a period of thirty years. It occurred in the first part of a song, "Senfzer eines Ungeliebten und Gegenliebe" composed about 1795, and again in a setting of Liedge's poem "An die Hoffnung," made in 1805, to the words "Freude schoner Gottes Funken." It is appropriate that the joy movement in the Ninth Symphony should have grown out of a song about hope. The motive appears again in a little song written in 1810, "Mit einem gemalten Band."
its breadth before us as an entity per se, entrusted to the instruments alone, and there had thrilled us with the nameless joy of paradise regained."
Wagner's astute critical mind has sensed the real reason for Beethoven's failure at the end of the Finale--his attempt to achieve a fuller meaning by joining poetry with music in equal proportions; and he has revealed the only, and everlasting, source of Beethoven's powerful expression--an unadulterated, self-sufficient, and transcendent music.
Whatever this music means to each individual who hears it is beyond knowing, but to a world again torn asunder by war, to a world seething with national and racial hatreds, to a joyless world, this great culmination to Beethoven's creative life speaks perhaps with greater significance than ever before. It offers a renewed faith in the essential goodness of man and a new realization of his inherent nobility of mind. But it does more than this, it re-echoes the cry that has been heard down through the ages, and that has always arisen from the deepest impulses of mankind whenever those impulses have been thwarted or suppressed by tyranny, the cry for a world in which liberty, equality, and fraternity, the complex of the true democratic ideal, shall reign supreme, and all repression, hatred, and lust for power shall have disappeared from the face of the earth. This is the ideal for which men have fought and died in centuries past and are fighting and dying for today. But Beethoven lived for this ideal, and by this ideal he wrote a music that has, and will, survive all wars and revolutions. Beethoven's map of the world still shows a Utopian shore, and furthermore, it charts the course by which mankind may some day reach it.
Following is the text of the Choral Finale--English version by Natalia Macfarren; f
Baritone Recitative O friends, no more these sounds continue! Let us raise a song of sympathy, of gladness.
O Joy, let us praise thee!
Baritone Solo, Quartet, and Chorus Praise to Joy, the God-descended
Daughter of Elysium! Ray of mirth and rapture blended,
Goddess, to thy shrine we come. By thy magic is united
What stern Custom parted wide, All mankind are brothers plighted
Where thy gentle wings abide.
W. A. Ellis (ed.), Richard Wagner's Prose Works, V, 102. (London: Novello and Co., Ltd.; New York: H. W. Gray Co., Agents.
Ye to whom the boon is measured,
Friend to be of faithful friend, Who a wife has won and treasured,
To our strain your voices lend! Yea, if any hold in keeping
Only one heart all his own, Let him join us, or else weeping,
Steal from out our midst, unknown.
Draughts of joy, from cup o'erflowing,
Bounteous Nature freely gives Grace to just and unjust showing,
Blessing everything that lives. Wine she gave to us and kisses,
Loyal friend on life's steep road, E'en the worm can feel life's blisses,
And the Seraph dwells with God.
Tenor Solo and Chorus
Glad as the suns His will sent plying Through the vast abyss of space, Brothers, run your joyous race,
Hero-like to conquest flying.
Praise to Joy, the God-descended
Daughter of Elysium! Ray of mirth and rapture blended,
Goddess, to thy shrine we come. By thy magic is united
What stern Custom parted wide, All mankind are brothers plighted
Where thy gentle wings abide.
O ye millions, I embrace ye!
Here's a joyful kiss for all!
Brothers, o'er yon starry sphere Surely dwells a loving Father.
O ye millions, kneel before Him, World, dost feel thy Maker near Seek Him o'er yon starry sphere,
O'er the stars enthroned, adore Him!
"Praise to Joy, the God-descended Daughter of Elysium" etc.
"O ye millions, I embrace ye!
Here's a joyful kiss for all!" etc.
O ye millions, kneel before Him, World, dost feel thy Maker near Seek Him o'er yon starry sphere.
Brothers! Brothers!
O'er the stars enthroned, adore Him!
Quartet and Chorus
Joy, thou daughter of Elysium,
By thy magic is united What stern Custom parted wide.
All mankind are brothers plighted Where thy gentle wings abide.
Chorus "O ye millions, I embrace ye!" etc.
Founded in 1879
Sixty-Sixth Season, 1944-1945
Hardin Van Deursen, Conductor
Ruby Kuhlman, Accompanist
Marjorie Hollis, Librarian Elsa Goodman, Assistant Librarian
Atkins, Georgia M. Atwood, Harriet Bates, Ellen Bohl, Evelyn I. Bonesteel, Beverly Bradstreet, Lola Mae Bubb, Margaret Jean Chute, Bettymarie Corbin, Horatia J. Curtiss, Ardis Daley, Carolyn Louise Dunlap, Roberta B. Eisner, June Fedje, Mary B. Fuller, Leviathia F. Gale, Doris A. Gale, Shirley M. Goodman, Marilyn Lee Hanson, Gladys M.
Heeney, Madelyn Humphrey, Emily G. Hyman, Rita Marion Grewe, Marilyn Kays, Doris Lock, Inez Lofgren, Ruth Longsdorf, Corinne MacMullan, Charlotte MacLaren, Helen L. MacNeal, Ruth Malan, Fannie Belle Malin, Myra Marcellus, Shirley McDonald, Ruth Mullreed, Orel M. O'Conner, Edna O'Dell, Katherine Ostler, Georgia M.
Parker, Lois M. Perry, Ruthann Prince, Margaret Irene Puglisi, Elizabeth A. Purpus, Antoinette Riopelle, Helen G. Scherer, M. Roberta Simpson, Faith Smith, Dorothy Jean Smith, Ruth Phillips Smith, Virginia Ruth Stockwell, Priscilla T. Storgaard, Barbara Stuck, Janice M. Summers, Edith R. Taylor, Sarah B. Van Manen, Lucille Weisman, Bernice Harriet Zapf, Virginia
Adams, Jean F. Amendt, Dorothy S. Beerup, Ruth Booth, Roberta Chilman, Suzanne Crossley, Donita J. Davidson, Jean Davidter, Hazel E. Derderian, Rose Suzanne Fairman, Barbara W.
Gaines, Edith Ann Gilman, Jean Gregory, Mary Helen Grider, Mary E. Hoogsteen, Ruth E. Hooker, Ruth Juengel, Lois M. Katz, Sybil C. King, Betty James Kinoshita, Esther M.
Luther, Mary McMillin, Johanne Merrill, Sylvia Jean Minneman, Mildred Moeller, Geraline M. Nave, Ruth Nordquist, Ruth A. Nichol, Margaret Jean Ono, Masako Penix, Kathryn
Powell, Delva D.
Smith, Elizabeth Alison Staats, Nora Jane
Storgaard, Lorna Turgeon, June J. Vandenberg, Phyllis
Vlisides, Elena C. Walker, Mary R. Wendling, Phyllis Louise
Ahrens, Jessie-May Anez, Helen Boden, Harriet A. Boehm, Charlotte Kathryn Boice, Irene V. Breitmeyer, Margot Campbell, Phyllis Louise Castricum, Dorothy Ellen Cook, Ann Bradford Crawford, L. Phyllis Crossley, Anne E. ' Eager, Grace Evans, Cleone T. Farquharson, Jean Follin, Betsy Foreman, Kathryn I. Fowler, Beulah Frederick, Merian B. Fryman, Shirley F.
Griffin, Nancy L. Griffith, Erma Reany Goodman, Elsa Hainsworth, Annie M. Hollis, Marjorie James, I. Lucille Jones, Betty Pratt Jordan, Ruth B. Kaufman, Renee Joy Ketcham, Mary Kloeppel, Marguerite E. Kruska, Genevieve Foote Kuhlman, Ruby Joan Laine, Hilia Ling, Joanne Litchfield, Barbara Lund, Mary Arlene Markus, Dorothea L. Mattern, Shirley
McCabe, Maxine E. McOmber, Elizabeth Olsen, Evelyn M. Parrish, Mary E. Peterson, Janet Brooks Peugeot, Arlene D. Pochert, Betty Read, Clothylde Ruettinger, Hazel Searles, Eleanor Shugart, Betty Siegfried, Marian C. Smith, Barbara Lee Stahmer, Walda Street, Carolyn Vetter, Antonia Wiedman, Anna O. Wiedmann, Louise P. Williams, Ruth J.
Anderson, Helen M. Ball, Genevieve S. Batchelor, Hazel R. Beyer, Marion A. Blake, Grace H. Bogart, Gertrude J. Bostwick, Frances Brown, Gloria H. Cordice, Victoria Olive Dalrymple, Mada M. Fikse, Geraldine Forburger, Lois Irene Holtman, Estella
Huey, Geraldine King, Katherine E. Law, Virginia Lee, Doris M. Matson, Jeanne McCracken, N. Florence Mohrmann, Laura Morrison, Patricia Netting, Marcia Renfrew, Margaret M. Risk, Harriet Robertson, Patricia Robin, Shirley
Rohns, Elizabeth Ruppert, Betty Schultz, Alice Gwen Semple, Margaret Simonetta, Margaret A. Snedecor, Mary Stevens, Esther A. Thalner, Jean E. Williams, Mildred W. Wiseman, Irene J. Woodworth, Alta H. Ziegler, Ruth Ellen Zumstein, Marguerite R.
Barber, Joseph W. Corothie, Harry A. Cox, Calvin Edward, Jr.
Ellena, Robert Fairbanks, Avard F. Heininger, Kenneth. A.
James, W. S.
Kim, Charles Wesle7
McCudden, Justin
Schwartz, Laskar Smith, H. Eugene
Taylor, Charles L. Torrey, Owen L.
Tuttle, Rollin Waltz, Robert G.
Bain, Devereaux Fenwick Benford, Robert T. Caldevilla, Gabriel M. Dearborn, Norman DeTurk, Scott D. Good, Ronald
Kemp, Christopher W. Lee, Joseph W. Mills, Orris Neuderfer, John M. Rabe, Robert J. Sokatch, Richard
Spurrier, Harry Story, Christopher, Jr. Straight, Sidney Taylor, Jay C. Woodward, Robert David.',
Ablin, George Barth, Eugene I. Bulthuis, Glenn Howard Cortright, Richard W. Crosman, George R. Dakin, Gerald F. Davidter, Royal C. DeGraaf, Donald E. DeVries, Harold J. Doyle, George F. Eoyang, John
Farrar, Howard B. Frederick, Julian R. Fries, Charles Gould, Stuart M., Jr. Guthrie, Charles E. Hainsworth, William Kays, J. Warren MacGowan, William ] Mauch, Herbert McKeachie, Duane Musch, Edward Jack
Myers, James F. Peterson, Stephen R. Quetsch, Richard M. Rash, Jack Reed, Carl R. Schulte, Paul H. Schultz, Donald C. Steele, Ray M. Straka, Donald M. Striedieck, Werner F. Van Valkenburg, Ernest
Allen, Stanley W. Anderson, Carl A. Anderson, Harvey W. Appleby, Roger Boice, Harmon E. Bundren, Cecil E. Buntaine, Raymond E. Cathey, Arthur Coons, John D. Franklin, Charles
Funk, Robert C. Guenter, Thomas E. Howe, Dudley Jenkins, Ivor N. Kuiper, Klaas G. Mallory, Worth Malpas, Philip Manley, Robert Lynn McFadden, James A.
McGinnis, James H. Orser, Robert M. Parlin, Willis Pemberton, Donald E. Schaible, T. E. Schultz, Ted Sleeper, Frank M. Tiefel, Paul M. Ver Schure, Harris Andrew
Eugene Ormandy, Conductor Saul Caston, Associate Conductor
Harl McDonald, Manager Louis A. Mattson and Norman S. Shuk, Assistant Managers
Hilsberg, Alexander, Concert-master
Madison, David, Asst. Concert-master
Zenker, Alexander
AleinikofT, Harry
Henry, Dayton M.
Simkin, Jasha
Kayaloff, Yasha
Schmidt, Henry
Lipkin, Arthur B.
Beimel, George
Coleman, David
Gesensway, Louis
Zungoloj Antony
Costanzo, Frank
Baumel, Herbert
Putlitz, Lois ?Vogelgesang, Frederick Farnham, Allan
Ruden, Sol
Sharlip, Benjamin
Gorodetzky, A.
Reynolds, Veda
Bove, D.
Kaufman, Schima
Dabrowski, S.
Molloy, John W.
Roth, Manuel
Miller, Charles S.
Brodo, Joseph
Lusak, Owen
Mueller, Matthew J.
Zalstein, Max
Kresse, Emil
In Service. [94]
Zelig, Tibor Shure, Paul C. Simkin, Meyer
VIOLAS Lifschey, Samuel Roens, Samuel Mogill, Leonard Braverman, Gabriel Ferguson, Paul Greenberg, Wm. S. Bauer, J. K. Kahn, Gordon Loeben, Gustave A. Frantz, Leonard Gray, Alexander Aronoff, Max
VIOLONCELLOS Mayes, Samuel H. Hilger, Elsa Gusikoff, B. Schmidt, William A. Belenko, Samuel Siegel, Adrian Gorodetzer, Harry Lewin, Morris Sterin, J. Gray, John de Pasquale, Francis Druian, Joseph
BASSES Torello, Anton Lazzaro, Vincent Torello, Carl Strassenberger, Max
Benfield, Warren A. Eney, F. Gilbert Siani, S.
Wiemann, Heinrich Hase, A. Torello, William
Phillips, Edna Tyre, Marjorie
Kincaid, W. M.
Terry, Kenton F.
Atkinson, Burnett F.
Fischer, John A. Tipton, Albert Emery, Kenneth B.
Tabuteau, Marcel Di Fulvio, Louis Minsker, John Siegel, Adrian
ENGLISH HORN Minsker, John
CLARINETS MacLean, Ralph Serpentini, Jules J. Rowe, George D. Lester, Leon Guerra, Michael Portnoy, Bernard
SAXOPHONES Lester, Leon Guerra, Michael
BASSOONS Del Negro, F. Fisnar, John Gruner, William Angelucci, Adelchi Louis ?Schoenbach, Sol
Chambers, James
Tomei, A. A.
Fearn, Ward O.
Mayer, Clarence
Lannutti, Charles
Horner, Anton Jones, Mason Pierson, Herbert
Caston, Saul Hering, Sigmund Rehrig, Harold W.
Krauss, Samuel G.
BASS TRUMPET Gusikoff, Charles
TROMBONES 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
CELESTA AND PIANO Tyre, Marjorie Putlitz, Lois Loeben, Gustave A.
ORGAN Elmore, Robert
EUPHONIUM Gusikoff, Charles
LIBRARIAN Betz, Marshall
ASST. LIBRARIAN Braverman, Gabriel
PUBLICITY Siegel, Adrian
Lotz, Paul P.
Schmidt, Henry
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) 1927. MUSICAL DIRECTORS Calvin B. Cady, 1879-1888 Albert A. Stanley, 1888-1921 Earl V. Moore, 1922-1939
CONDUCTORS Thor Johnson, 1939-1942 Hardin Van Deursen, 1942 In Service.
Maintained by the University Musical Society
Founded by Albert A. Stanley and his associates on the Board of Directors in 1894
Albert A. Stanley, 1894-1921 Earl V. Moore, 1922-1939
Thor Johnson, 1940-1942 Hardin Van Deursen, 1943-ORGANIZATIONS
The Boston Festival Orchestra, Emil Mollenhauer, Conductor, 1994--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, 1939-The 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; JuvaN. Higbee, 1928-1936; Roxy Cowin, 1937; Juva N. Higbee, 1938; Roxy Cowin, 1939; JuvaN. Higbee, 1940-1942; Marguerite Hood, 1943The 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
1894 Manzoni Requiem, Verdi
1895 Damnation of Faust, Berlioz
1896 Lohengrin, Act I, Finale from Die Meistersinger, Wagner
1897 Arminius, Bruch; Stabat Mater, Rossini
1898 Manzoni Requiem, Verdi
1899 German Requiem, Brahms; Samson and Delilah, Saint-Saens
1900 Lily Nymph, Chadwick; Hora Novissima, Parker
1901 Elijah, Mendelssohn; Golden Legend, Sullivan
1902 Orpheus, Gluck; Faust, Gounod; Tannhauser, Wagner
1903 Caractacus, Elgar; Aida, Verdi
1904 Fair Ellen, Bruch; Dream of Gerontius, Elgar; Carmen, Bizet
1905 St. Paul, Mendelssohn; Arminius, Bruch
1906 Stabat Mater, Dvorak; A Psalm of Victory, Stanley; Aida, Verdi
1907 Messiah, Handel; Samson and Delilah, Saint-Saens
1908 Creation, Haydn; Faust, Gounod
1909 Seasons, Haydn; Damnation of Faust, Berlioz
1910 Fair Ellen, Bruch; Odysseus, Bruch; New Life, Wolf-Ferrari
1911 Judas Maccabeus, Handel; Eugene Onegin, Tchaikovsky
1912 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
Caractacus, Elgar; Messiah, Handel; Into the World (Children), Benoit
New Life, Wolf-Ferrari; Children's Crusade, Pierne
Paradise Lost, Bossi; Samson and Delilah, Saint-Saens; Children at Bethlehem (Children), Pierne
Dream of Gerontius, Elgar; A'ida, Verdi; The Walrus and the Carpenter (Children), Fletcher
The Beatitudes, Franck; Carmen, Bizet; Into the World (Children), Benoit
Ode to Music, Hadley; Faust, Gounod; Fair Land of Freedom, Stanley
Manzoni Requiem, Verdi; Damnation of Faust, Berlioz
Elijah, Mendelssohn; Ai'da, Verdi; Voyage of Arion (Children), Moore
New Life, Wolf-Ferrari; A Psalmodic Rhapsody, Stock; Tannhauser (Paris version), Wagner; A Song of Spring (Children), Busch
B-minor Mass (excerpts), Bach; f Hymn of Jesus, Hoist; Dirge for Two Veterans, Hoist; Samson and Delilah, Saint-Saens
B-minor Mass (excerpts), Bach; fLa Primavera (Spring), Respighi; fSea Drift, Delius; Excerpts from Ai'da and La Forza del Destino, Verdi
The Bells, Rachmaninoff; B-minor Mass (excerpts), Bach; La Gioconda, Pon-chielli; Alice in Wonderland (Children), Kelley
Elijah, Mendelssohn; Lohengrin, Wagner; The Lament of Beowulf, Hanson; The Walrus and the Carpenter (Children), Fletcher
Missa Solemnis, Beethoven; fChoral Symphony, 2d and 3d movements, Hoist; Carmen, Bizet; Heroic Elegy, Hanson; Voyage of Arion (Children), Moore
World premiere at the May Festival Concerts. ¦) American premiere at the May Festival Concerts.
1928 St. Francis of Assisi, Pierne; Marching Song1 of Democracy, Grainger; ATda, Verdij
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
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;
fLegend 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 Aida, Verdi; +The 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
1945 Ninth Symphony, Beethoven; Te Deum laudamus, Bruckner; Blessed Damozel, Debussy; A Free Song, Schuman; Fun of the Fair, Rowley, orchestrated by Dorothy James
World premiere at the May Festival Concerts, f American 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 1944--45 were as follows:
Saturday Evening, November 4, 1944
Helen Traubel, Sofrano Coenraad V. Bos at the Piano
God is my song...............Beethoven
Joy of sorrow...............BEETHOVEN
I love you................BEETHOVEN
"Voi lo sapete" from "Cavalleria Rusticana"........MASCAGNI
My abode 1
Cradle songj-................SCHUBERT
Ecstasy J
Rest thee my soul..............R. Strauss
Caecilie................R. Strauss
Song without words.............Mendelssohn
Elsa's Dream from "Lohengrin"............Wagner
Deep river j..........Arr. by Burleigh
Swing low, sweet chanotj
Sea shell................Carl Engel
A memory..............Blair Fairchild
Blow, blow, thou winter wind.........McNair Ilcenfritz
Sunday Evening, November 12, 1944
The Cleveland Orchestra
George Szell, Guest Conductor
Overture to "A Midsummer Night's Dream".......MENDELSSOHN
Symphony No. 6 ("Pastoral")...........BEETHOVEN
Symphonic Metamorphosis on Themes of C. M. Von Weber .... Hindemith "Till Eulenspiegel's Merry Pranks," Op. 28.........Strauss
Friday Evening, November 17, 1944
Fritz Kreisler, Violinist
Carl Lamson, Accompanist
Sonata in A major, Op. 47............Beethoven
Concerto No. 3 in G major.............Mozart
Rondo brilliant for violin and piano..........Schubert
Hungarian Rondo . . ......... . Haydn-Kreisler
La Zambra.............E. Fernandez Arbos
La Jota ... Falla
Monday Evening, November 27, 1944 Simon Barere, Pianist
Menuett in G minor ...........Rameau-Godowsky
Carnaval, Op. 9..............Schumann
Grande polonaise brilliante.............Chopin
Poeme, Op. 32...............Scriabin
fitude, Op. 8................Scriabin
fitude tableau..............Rachmaninoff
Rhapsody No. 12................Liszt
Tuesday Evening, December 5, 1944
Carroll Glenn, Violinist Sanford Schlussel, Accomfanist
Sonata No. 1 in B minor.............J. S. Bach
Sonata No. 3, D minor, Op. 108...........Brahms
Sonatina for Violin and Piano............CHAVEZ
Prelude in C-sharp minor..........Gershwin-Heifetz
Monday Evening, December ii, 1944 Boston Symphony Orchestra Serge Koussevitzky, Conductor
Symphony No. 3 in E-flat major, Op. 55.........Beethoven
Prayer in Time of War.............Schuman
Suite from the opera, "The Fairy Tale of Tsar Saltana" . . . RlMSKY-KoRSAKOFF
Monday Evening, January 15, 1945
Vladimir Horowitz, Pianist
Variations on the aria, "La Ricordanza," Op. 33........CZERNY
Sonata in C major, Op. 53............BEETHOVEN
Sonata No. 7, Op. 83.............Prokofieff
Two etudes tableaux............RACHMANINOFF
Waltz in A minor, Op. 34, No. 2) Chopin
Two etudes J
Excursions, Op. 20...............Barber
Hungarian Rhapsody, No. 6..............LisZT
Saturday Evening, February 3, 1945
Dorothy Maynor, Sop-ano Ernst Victor Wolff at the Piano
Gismunda's aria from "Ottone" HANDEL
Rodelinda's aria from "Rodelinda") '
Chant de Forgeron..............MlLHAUD
Mandoline 1
Les Berceaux j-................Faure
Fleur jetee J
Meine Liebe ist griin.............. Brahms
Feldeinsamkeit................ Brahms
Aria, "II est doux" from "Herodiade".........Massenet
Songs my mother taught me.............DVORAK
The heights of Tatra..............Dvorak
The traveler................Heilner
Me company along..............Hageman
Spirituals:...............Arr. by Wolff
Going to ride up in the chariot
Songs of death
I got shoes
Children you'll be called on
Sunday Afternoon, February ii, 1945
Westminster Choir John Finley Williamson, Conductor
Motet, "Sing Ye to the Lord".............Bach
Crucifixus................. Lorn
Come Blessed Rest................Bach
Motet, Op. 29, No. 2, Psalm 51............Brahms
Ballad for Americans..............Robinson
Ezekiel Saw de Wheel..............Dawson
Water Boy................Robinson
Set Down Servant...............Shaw
OP Man River ...............Kern
The Shower................Angelli
Whoop-ee, Ti Yi Yo..............O'Hara
Old Black Joe................Foster
Navajo War Dance..............Farwell
Monday Evening, March 19, 1945
Chicago Symphony Orchestra
Desire Defauw, Conductor
Ballet Suite from "Cephale et Procris".......... Gretry
"The Birds"--Suite for small orchestra.........RESPIGHI
Symphonic Poem, "Stenka Razine," Op. 13........Glazounow
Symphony in B-flat major, Op. 20...........Chausson
Selections from "Damnation of Faust"..........Berlioz
[ 102]
"MESSIA H" Georg Friedrich Handel
Desi Halban, Soprano Mary Van Kirk, Contralto
Hardesty Johnson, Tenor Gean Greenwell, Bass
Hugh Norton, Narrator
The University Choral Union Special "Messiah" Orchestra
John Wheeler, Organist Hardin Van Deursen, Conductor
Budapest String Quartet
Josef Roismann, Violin Boris Kroyt, Viola
Edgar Ortenberg, Violin Mischa Schneider, Violoncello
FIRST CONCERT Friday Evening, January 19, 1945
Quartet in D major, K. 499.............Mozart
Quartet in B minor...............Barber
Quartet in C-sharp minor, Op. 131..........Beethoven
SECOND CONCERT Saturday Afternoon, January 20, 1945
Quartet in G major, Op. i8,No. 2..........Beethoven
Quartet No. 7, Op. 96..............Krenek
Quartet in A minor, Op. 51, No. 2...........BRAHMS
THIRD CONCERT Saturday Evening, January 20, 1945
Quarter in G minor, Op. 74, No. 3...........Haydn
Quartet in E-flat major.............Hindemith
Quartet in C major, Op. 50, No. 3..........Beethoven
Sixty-Seventh Annual Choral Union Series
November 3 November 11
November 19 November 27 December 3 December 10
January 18 January 31
February 13 March 11
Paul Robeson, Baritone
Cleveland Orchestra, Erich Leinsdorf, Conductor
Alexander Uninsky, Pianist
Jennie Tourel, Contralto
Don Cossack Chorus, Serge Jaroff, Conductor
Boston Symphony Orchestra, Serge Koussevitzky, Conductor
Jascha Heifetz, Violinist
Chicago Symphony Orchestra, Desire Defauw, Conductor
Artur Schnabel, Pianist
Detroit Symphony Orchestra, Karl Krueger, Conductor
Annual Christmas Concert December 16. "Messiah" by Handel.
Sixth Annual Chamber Music Festival
January 25 and 26, 1946. The Budapest String Quartet in three concerts.
' Fifty-Third Annual May Festival May 2, 3, 4, 5, 1946. Six Concerts.
[ 104]

Download PDF