UMS Concert Program, November 11: Sixty-seventh Annual Choral Union Concert Series -- The Cleveland Orchestra
Complete Series: 2910
Hill Auditorium, Ann Arbor, Michigan
UNIVERSITY MUSICAL SOCIETY
CHARLES A. SINK, PRESIDENT THOR JOHNSON, CONDUCTOR
HARDIN VAN DEURSEN, ACTING CONDUCTOR
Second Concert 1945-1946 Complete Series 2910
Choral Union Concert Series
THE CLEVELAND ORCHESTRA
ERICH LEINSDORF, Conductor
Sunday Evening, November 11, at 7:00 Hill Auditorium, Ann Arbor, Michigan
Symphony No. 7 in E major........Bruckner
Allegro moderato Adagio: sehr feierlich und Iangsam
Scherzo: allegro ; trio: etwas langsamer Finale: bewegt, doch nicht schnell
Suite from the Ballet, "Appalachian Spring" .... Copland
Introduction--The Bride and the Bridegroom--The Revivalist and his Flock-Dance of the Bride--Scenes of Daily Activity of the Bride and her FarmerHusband (Variations on a Shaker Theme)--Coda.
Note.--The Cleveland Orchestra has been heard in the Choral Union Series on previous occasions as follows: March 28, 1935; November 9, 1937; November 7, 1938; November 9, 1941; November 8, 1942, Artur Rodjinski, conductor; November 7, 1943, Erich Leinsdorf, conductor; and November 12, 1944, George Szell, guest conductor.
The Steinway piano, furnished through the courtesy of Grinnell Brothers, is the official concert instrument of the University Musical Society
ARS LONGA VITA BREVIS
PROGRAM NOTES By George H. L. Smith
Symphony No. 7 in E Major......Anton Bruckner
Born September 4, 1824, in Ansfelden, Upper Austria Died October 11, 1896, in Vienna
Bruckner wrote his Seventh Symphony between September 23, 18S1, and September 9, 1883, at Vienna and the Abbey of St. Florian. The first performance was at the Gewandhaus, Leipzig, Arthur Nikisch conducting, on December 30, 1884. The symphony was first heard in the United States at a concert of Theodore Thomas' Orchestra in Chicago, July 29, 1886.
The score calls for flutes, oboes, clarinets and bassoons in pairs, four horns, three trumpets, three trombones and bass tuba, tympani, cymbals, triangle, and strings. The additional parts for four Wagnerian tubas in the second and fourth movements arc being played by horns and trombones in these performances. The dedication is "To his Majesty, King Ludwig II of Bavaria, in deepest reverence."
"Bruckner Bruckner Who is he Where does he live What docs he do Such questions are asked by people who regularly attend the concerts in Vienna." Hugo Wolf put this rhetorical question in the city of Bruckner's residence on December 29, 1884. The answer came the next day from Leipzig where Arthur Nikisch conducted the Seventh Symphony for the first time at the Gewandhaus. It was a characteristically radiant performance, intensified, no doubt, by the zeal of the youthful ex-pupil who was bent upon a full revelation of the genius of his sixty-year-old master. The fifteen minute ovation that followed was proof enough that he had succeeded.
The opposition to Bruckner had received a mortal blow. The Seventh Symphony had begun the long and triumphant journey that would take it to the musical capitals of the world. Munich heard it on March 10, 1885, under Hermann Levi, who did not hesitate to call it "the most significant symphonic work since 1827"--a direct attack upon Brahms whose first three symphonies were not exactly unknown to the musical world. Karl Muck introduced the symphony to Graz, and even Vienna fell before it. Bruckner, fearful of the insults of the minority (to whom he represented only Wagnerism and "the music of the future"), tried to prevent the performance by an injunction, but Hans Richter persevered and conducted the symphony at a Vienna Philharmonic concert on March 21, 1886. The overwhelming success so drowned out the opposition that even Hanslick was forced to admit that Bruckner "was called to the stage four or five times after each section of the symphony," but he stubbornly maintained that the music was "merely bombastic, sickly and destructive."
The Adagio of the symphony is traditionally associated with the death of Wagner. "At one time I came home and was very sad," Bruckner wrote to Felix Mottl. "I thought to myself, it is impossible that the Master can live for a long time, and then the Adagio came into my head." This premonition was followed by the news of Wagner's death on February 13, 1883. Work on the Adagio had progressed as far as the mighty C-major chord with cymbals, triangle, and tympani, and Bruckner then added funeral music "to the memory of the beloved and immortal Master of Masters." He referred to the passage as "Funeral music for tubas and horns" in a letter to Mottl concerning a coming performance at Karlsruhe in 1885, and added, "Please take a very slow and solemn tempo. At the close in the dirge (in memory of the death of the Master), think of our Ideal!--Kindly do not forget the at the end of the dirge." He spoke later of the movement as "Partly in premonition, partly as funeral music after the catastrophe."
Suite From the Ballet, "Appalachian Spring" . . . Aaron Copland Born in Brooklyn, N. Y., November 14, 1900
Mr. Copland composed his ballet "Appalachian Spring" in 1943 and 1944 for Martha Graham on a commission from the Elizabeth Sprague Coolidge Foundation. It was first performed by Miss Graham and her company at the Coolidge Festival in the Library of Congress, Washington, D. C, on October 30, 1944.
The title "Appalachian Spring" was chosen by Miss Graham. She borrowed it from the heading of one of Hart Crane's poems, though the ballet bears no relation to the text of the poem itself.
The Suite is a condensed version of the ballet, retaining all essential features but omitting those sections in which the interest is primarily choreographic. It contains the following sections, played without interruption:
Very slowly. Introduction of the characters, one by one, in a suffused light.
Fast. Sudden burst of unison strings in A-major arpeggios starts the action. A sentiment both elated and religious gives the keynote to this scene.
Moderate. Duo for the Bride and her Intended--scene of tenderness and passion.
Quite Fast. The Revivalist and his flock. Folksy feelings--suggestions of square dances and country fiddlers.
Still faster. Solo dance of the Bride--presentiment of motherhood. Extremes of joy and fear and wonder.
Very slowly (as at first). Transition scene to music reminiscent of the introduction.
Calm and flowing. Scenes of daily activity for the Bride and her Farmer-husband. There are five variations on a Shaker theme. The theme--sung by a solo clarinet-was taken from a collection of Shaker melodies compiled by Edward D. Andrews.
Moderate (Coda). The Bride takes her place among her neighbors. At the end the couple are left "quiet and strong in their new house." Muted strings intone a hushed, prayer-like passage. The close is reminiscent of the opening music.
Mr. Copland originally scored the ballet for a chamber ensemble of thirteen instruments. The Suite, prepared in the spring of 1945, employs a larger orchestra consisting of flutes, oboes, clarinets, bassoons, horns, trumpets and trombones in pairs, kettledrums, bass drum, snare drum, tabor, cymbals, triangle, wood block, claves, chimes, xylophone, glockenspiel, piano, harp, and strings.
Born March 7, 1875, in Ciboure, Basses-Pyrenees; died December 28, 1937, in Paris
Ravel wrote "Bolero" as a ballet for Ida Rubinstein in the summer of 1928 in Paris. It was first performed at the Opera on November 20 of the same year by Mme Rubinstein and her company. Walter Staram conducted. The first performance in America was given on November 14, 1929, by the New York Philharmonic-Symphony Orchestra, Arturo Toscanini conducting.
The score, dedicated to Mme Rubinstein, calls for two flutes and piccolo, two oboes, oboe d'amour and English horn, two clarinets and E-flat clarinet, two bassoons and contra-bassoon, three saxophones, four horns, four trumpets, three trombones and bass tuba, kettledrums, side drums, cymbal, tam-tam, celesta, harp, and the usual strings.
A "danse lascive," as Ravel called it, "Bolero" makes no attempt to follow the tempo and structure of the traditional bolero, usually denned as a "brisk Spanish dance." He insisted that "the effect must be achieved solely by the cumulative production of sound and the relentless insistence of monotonous rhythm."
A drum establishes the dance rhythm which is maintained without variation in pace (Tempo di ballo, moderato assai, 3-4). The theme is announced by a flute. Wind instruments sing it in turn; then it is given to groups of instruments. There is an interminable crescendo, and a sudden, climactic modulation. The music assumes a tragic color, utterly unexpected, and the work ends in a tornado of sound, which surges up and breaks, leaving auditors literally spellbound by its magic.
Choral Union Concerts
(Concerts begin at 8:30 p.m.)
Alexander Uninsky, Pianist .... Monday, November 19 Jennie Tourel, Contralto.....Tuesday, November 27
Don Cossack Chorus.......Monday, December 3
Serge Jaroff, Conductor
Boston Symphony Orchestra .... Monday, December 10 Serge Kotjssevitzky, Conductor
Heifetz..........Friday, January 18
Chicago Symphony Orchestra .... Thursday, January 31 Desire Defauw, Conductor
Artur Schnabel, Pianist.....Wednesday, February 13
Detroit Symphony Orchestra.....Monday, March 11
Karl Krueger, Conductor
A limited number of tickets are still available for some of the concerts.
Annual "Messiah" Concert
The annual performance of Handel's "Messiah" will be given Sunday afternoon, December 16, at 3:00 p.m., in Hill Auditorium.
Rose Dirman, Soprano Arthur Kraft, Tenor
Kathryn Meisle, Contralto Mark Love, Bass
Hugh Norton, Narrator
University Choral Union
Special "Messiah" Orchestra
Frieda Op't Holt Vogan, Organist
Hardin Van Deursen, Conductor
Reserved seat tickets, including tax: main floor, 65 cents; first balcony, SO cents; and second balcony, 40 cents.
Chamber Music Festival
The SIXTH ANNUAL CHAMBER MUSIC FESTIVAL, consisting of three concerts, will be given Friday evening and Saturday afternoon and evening, January 25 and 26, in Rackham Lecture Hall.
THE BUDAPEST STRING QUARTET
Josef Roismann, Violin Boris Kroyt, Viola
Edgar Ortenberg, Violin Mischa Schneider, Violoncello
Series tickets, including tax: $3.60, $3.00, and $1.50; single concerts, $1.50, $1.20, and $.80.
Tickets now on sale at the offices of the University Musical Society, Burton Memorial Tower. Mail orders should include self-addressed stamped envelope, and be mailed to University Musical Society, Charles A. Sink, President, Burton Memorial Tower, Ann Arbor, Michigan.