(This is the program provided by the Boston Symphony Orchestra for this concert. You can also view the UMS program).
Hill Auditorium, Ann Arbor
FOUNDED IN 1881 BY HENRY LEE HIGGINSON
Hill Auditorium, Ann Arbor Monday Evening, December 10
SIXTY-SEVENTH ANNUAL CHORAL UNION CONCERT SERIES, OF THE
UNIVERSITY OF MICHIGAN AUSPICES, UNIVERSITY MUSICAL SOCIETY
Boston Symphony Orchestra
[Sixty-fifth Season, 1945-1946] SERGE KOUSSEVITZKY, Conductor
THEODOROWICZ, J. HANSEN, E. EJSLER, D. KNUDSON, C. MAYER, P. BRYANT, M. MURRAY, J.
LEFRANC, J. CAUHAPE, J.
ELCUS, C. TAPLEY, R.
DICKSON, H. PINFIELD, C. ZUNG, M. DIAMOND, S.
STONE5TREET, L. ERKELENS, H.
FOUREL, C. ARTIERES, L.
Violins lauga, n. kassman, n.
FEDOROVSKY, P. BEALE, M. MANUSEVrrCH, V. HILLVER, R. MESSINA, S. NAGY, L.
KRIPS, A. CHERKASSKY, P.
RESNIKOFF, V. LEIBOVICI, J.
ZAZOFSKY, G. nUBBS, H. C.ORODETZKY, L. DEL SORDO, R. SAUVLET, H. SILBERMAN, H.
VAN WYNBERCEN, C. BERNARD, A.
CROVER, H. WERNER, H.
KORNSAND, E. HUMPHREY, C.
LEHNER, E. GERHARDT, 8.
BEDETTI, J. ZIGHERA, A.
Flute laurent, g. pappoutsamj, j.
valkenier, w. macdonald, w.
MEEK, H. COWDEN, H.
LANCENDOEN, J. D NIELAND, M. Z
JUHT, L. I
frankel, i. i Oboes
deveroie, j. lukatsky, j.
Horns farkas, p.
MC CONATHY, O. CEBHARDT, W.
zichera, b. caughey, e.
Violoncellos droechmans, h.
creenberc, h. portnoi, h.
Clarinets polatschek, v. valf.rio, m. cardillo, p.
Mass Clarinet mazzeo, R.
Trumpets mager, g. lafosse, m.
voisin, r. l. Timpani
SZULC, R. POLSTER, M.
ZIMBLER, J. PARRONCHI, B.
PACE, W. GIRARD, H.
FABRIZIO, X. MARJOLLET, L.
FREEMAN, H. BARWICKI, J.
panfnka, e. oe cuichard, a.
Trombones raichman, j. iiansotte, l.
COFFEY, J. OROSZ, J.
Percussion stern burg, s.
WHITE, L. SMITH, C. ARCIERI, E.
Librarian rogers, l. j.
Hill Auditorium [University of Michigan] Ann Arbor
SIXTY-FIFTH SEASON, 1945-1946
Boston Symphony Orchestra
SERGE KOUSSEVITZKY, Conductor Richard Burgin, Associate Conductor
MONDAY EVENING, December 10
with historical and descriptive notes by John N. Burk
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Hill Auditorium [University of Michigan], Ann Arbor
Boston Symphony Orchestra
SIXTY-FIFTH SEASON, 1945-1946 SER'GE KOUSSEVITZKY, Conductor
MONDAY EVENING, December 10, 1945, at 8:30 o'clock
Prokofieff........................"Classical" Symphony, Op. 25
III. Gavotte: non troppo allegro
IV. Finale: Molto vivace
Prokofieff............................Symphony No. 5, Op. 100
II. Allegro marcato
IV. Allegro giocoso
Sibelius......................Symphony No. 2 in D major, Op. -13
II. Tempo andante, ma rnl;iui III. ( Vivacissimo; Lento e suave
. t Vivacissimo; JLento e suav r. 1 Finale: Allegro moderato
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"CLASSICAL" SYMPHONY, Op. 25
By Serge Prokofieff Born at Sontsovka, Russia, April 23, 1891
The first performance of the "Symphonie Classique" was in Petrograd, April 21, 1918, the composer conducting. Proko'ieff arrived in New York in September, and in December the Russian Symphony Orchestra in New York played this symphony for the first time in America. It was introduced at the Boston Symphony concerts January 26, 1927. The work is dedicated to Boris Assafieff, a writer on musical subjects whose pen name is "Igor Gleboff."
The symphony is scored for two flutes, two oboes, two clarinets, two bassoons, two horns, two trumpets, timpani and strings.
Written in 1916-17, considerably before "neo-classicism" set in, this symphony in miniature surely cannot be looked upon as a pledge to past ways. It might rather be considered a momentary dalliance with the eighteenth-century formula. It would probably be as mistaken to look for reverence in the "Symphonie Classique" as to look for irreverence in it. Let us say that the composer had a single and passing impulse to weave his own bright threads into an old pattern.
Prokofieff gives himself precisely the orchestra of Mozart or Haydn; he is punctilious in his formal procedure. He is also concise -so much so that the four movements occupy no more than thirteen minutes -about half the usual duration of the symphonies which he took as model.
D major is the prevailing key. The first movement, with clipped phrases, staccato and to the point, sets forth its themes, its development, its recapitulation and coda, all complete. The Larghetto is in simple rondo form, beginning and ending with a charming pizzicato in the strings, pianissimo, a mere accompanying figure which nevertheless lingers in the memory. The theme and its development has a suggestion of eighteenth-century ornamentation, but is in less serious vein. Prokofieff departs from the letter rather than the spirit of his models in choosing a gavotte instead of the rigidly customary minuet. The Finale gives, naturally, a far greater freedom to his fancy, although he sets himself a first theme upon the common chord which his forbears might have found quite in order and to their own purposes. The working out, recapitulation, and coda are virtuously observed. The episodic byplay turns up a sauce of "modern" wit which the periwigged masters could scarcely have approved.
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SYMPHONY NO. 5, Op. 100 By Serge Prokofieff
Born in Sontsovka, Russia, April 23, 1891
Prokofieff composed his Fifth Symphony in the summer of 1944. It had' its first performance in Moscow on January 13, 1945, when the composer conducted. The symphony has had its first American performances by the Boston Symphony Orchestra.
The orchestra required consists of two flutes, two clarinets, E-flat clarinet and bass clarinet, two oboes and English horn, two bassoons and contra-bassoon, four horns, three trumpets, three trombones and tuba, timpani, bass drum, cymbals, harp, piano, military drum and strings.
Prokofieff composed his First ("Classical") Symphony in 19161917 and his Fourth (Op. 47) in 1929, dedicating it to this orchestra on its fiftieth anniversary. It is after fifteen years of much music in other forms that he has composed another. Robert Magidoff, writing from Moscow to the New York Times (March 25, 1945), described the Fifth Symphony and the opera "War and Peace," based on Tolstoy's novel, which has not yet had a public stage performance. Prokofieff told the writer that he had been working upon his Fifth Symphony "for several years, gathering themes for it in a special notebook. I always work that way, and probably that is why I write so fast. The entire score of the Fifth was written in one month in the summer of 1944. It took another month to orchestrate it, and in between I wrote the score for Eisenstein's film, 'Ivan the Terrible.'"
"The Fifth Symphony," wrote Magidoff, "unlike Prokofieff's first four, makes one recall Mahler's words: 'To write a symphony means to me to create a whole world.' Although the Fifth is pure music and Prokofieff insists it is without program, he himself said, 'It is a symphony about the spirit of man.' "
It can be said of the symphony in general that the broad constructive scheme of the four movements is traditional, the detailed treatment subjective and daring.
The opening movement, Andante, is built on two full-voiced melodic themes, the first in triple, the second in duple beat. Contrast is found in the alternate rhythm as both are fully developed. There is an impressive coda. The second movement has earmarks of the classical scherzo. Under the theme there is a steady reiteration of a staccato accompaniment, 4-4. The melody, passed by the clarinet to the other wood winds and by them variously treated, plays over the marked and unremitting beat. A bridge passage for a substantial wind choir ushers in (and is to usher out) the trio-like middle section, which is in 3-4 time and also rhythmically accented, the clarinet first bearing the burden of the melody. The first section, returning, is freshly treated. At the close the rhythm becomes more incisive and intense.
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The slow movement, Adagio, 3-4 (9-8), has, like the scherzo, a persistent accompaniment figure. It opens with a melody set forth espressivo by the wood winds, carried by the strings into their high register. The movement is tragic in mood, rich in episodic melody. It carries the symphony to its deepest point of tragic tension, as descending scales give a weird effect of outcries. But this tension suddenly passes, and the reprise is serene. The finale opens Allegro giocoso, and after a brief tranquil passage for the divided 'cellos and basses, gives its light, rondo-like theme. There is a quasi-gaiety in the development, but, as throughout the Symphony, something ominous seems always to lurk around the corner. The awareness of brutal warfare broods over it and comes forth in sharp dissonance -as at the end.
"When the war broke out," Prokofieff said to Mr. Magidoff in his recent interview, "I felt that everyone must do his share, and I began composing songs, marches for the front. But soon events assumed such gigantic and far-reaching scope as to demand larger canvases. I wrote the Symphonic Suite '1941,' reflecting my first impressions of the war. Then I wrote 'War and Peace.' This opera was conceived before the war, but the war made it compelling for me to complete it. Tolstoy's great novel depicts Russia's war against Napoleon, and then, as now, it was not a war of two armies but of peoples. Following the opera I wrote the 'Ballad of an Unknown Boy' for orchestra,
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choir, soprano and dramatic tenor, to words of the poet Pavel Antokolsky. Finally I wrote my Fifth Symphony."
Discussing his opera "War and Peace," Prokofieff confessed to having been faced with the problem of compressing that panoramic novel into practicable operatic proportions.
" 'The greatest problem was the choice of material. The novel had too much one wanted to use. Another difficulty lay in my determination to use Tolstoy's prose rather than verses written on the basis of that prose. Here was where the help of my wife came in. The general dramatic conception of the opera is my own, but she did individual scenes and picked out the text usable for singing. Virtually all the lines of the opera belong to Tolstoy. Whenever the music was written before the text for it had been chosen, my wife searched and found in the novel words for the dialogue we lacked.' "
"The opera consists of eleven scenes," Mr. Magidoff explains, "the first six of which tell the story of Natasha and Andrei Bolkonsky, while the last five depict the war against Napoleon. One exception is the fifth scene, where Prokofieff shows the drama of the bewildered soul of a young girl with a warmth and tenderness remindful of Tchaikovsky. The war scenes seem to me more dramatic and musically rich than the scenes depicting the relationships of the heroes of the opera.
" 'War and Peace' has not yet completely won over the Soviet music critics, who have, on the whole, succumbed to the beauty and power of Prokofieff's Fifth Symphony. Many of them quarrel violently with Prokofieff's lack of respect for many traditions of opera, including his neglect of long arias and what sounds to them an unpermissible misuse of recitative and the use of a blasphemous combination of sensitive lyricism and naturalistic prose.
"Prokofieff seems little concerned by either praise or condemnation and just goes on writing. His plans for 1945 include the rewriting of his Fourth Symphony, the completion of his first violin sonata, started in 1939, and plans for a Sixth Symphony."
Prokofieff's most recent work, "Ode for the End of the War," was scheduled for performance in Moscow on the twenty-eighth anniversary of the Soviet Revolution, November 7. The Ode is scored for eight harps, four grand pianos, three trumpets and three saxophones.
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SERGE KOUSSEVITZKY, Conductor JULY 25 AUGUST 11
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SYMPHONY NO. 2, IN D MAJOR, Op. 43
By Jean Sibelius Rorn December 8, 1865, at Tavastehus, Finland
Begun in Italy in the spring of 1901, the symphony was completed in Finland hefore the end of the year. It was first performed on March H. 1902, at Helsinki under the composer's direction. The first performance in this country was by thf Chicago Symphony Orchestra. Theodore Thomas, Conductor. January 2, 1904. Wilhelm Gericke introduced it at the Boston Symphony Concerts on March 11 of uie same year.
The Second Symphony is scored for two flutes, two oboes, two clarinets, two bassoons, four horns, three trumpets, three trombones, tuba, timpani and strings. The score is dedicated to Axel Carpelan.
rT"' he Second Symphony proclaims Sibelius in his first full-rounded -maturity, symphonically speaking. He has reached a point in hi exuberant thirties (as did also Beethoven with his "Eroica" and Tchaikovsky with his Fourth at a similar age) when the artist first feels himself fully equipped to plunge into the intoxicating realm of the many-voiced orchestra, with its vast possibilities for development. Sibelius, like those, other young men in their time, is irrepressible in his new power, teeming with ideas. His first movement strides forward confidently, profusely, gleaming with energy. The Finale exults and shouts. Who shall say that one or all of these three symphonies overstep, that the composer should have imposed upon himself a judicious moderation Sober reflection was to come later in the lives of each, find its expression in later symphonies. Perhaps the listener is wisest who can forego his inclinations toward prudent opinion, yield to the mood of triumph and emotional plenitude, remember that that mood, once outgrown, is hard to recapture.
Copiousness is surely the more admissible when it is undoubtedly the message of an individual, speaking in his own voice. The traits of Sibelius' symphonic style -the fertility of themes, their gradual divulging from fragmentary glimpses to rounded, songful completion, the characteristic accompanying passages -these have their beginnings in the first tone poems, their tentative application to symphonic uses in the First Symphony, their full, integrated expression in the Second.
Sibelius begins his Second Symphony with a characteristic string figure, a sort of sighing pulsation, which mingles with the themes in the first pages and recurs at the end of the movement. One would look in vain for a "first" and "second" theme in the accepted manner. There is a six bar melody for the wood winds, a theme given out by the bassoons, another of marked and significant accent for the violins,
and another, brief but passionate, for the violins. These themes are laid forth simply, one after the other, with no transitions or preparaÂ¦ tions. Yet the tale is continuous as if each suggested, quite naturally, i the next. There follows the theme for the flutes which Cecil Gray ; refers to as what "would in ordinary parlance, no doubt, be called J the 'first subject.' " It appears as nothing more than a high sustained C-sharp, followed by a sort of shake and a descending fifth. The phrase : would be quite meaningless outside of its context, but Sibelius uses i it with sure effect over the initial string figure to cap his moments of 1 greatest tension, and finally increases it b) twice its length to an eloquent period. The initial scraps of themes succeed each other, are combined, gather meaning with development. The whole discourse j unfolds without break, coheres in its many parts, mounts with wellcontrolled graduation of climax. The fusion of many elements is beyond the deliberate analyst. It bespeaks a full heart, a magnificent , fertility, an absorption which pervades all things and directs them to } a single end. '
The slow movement opens, as did the lirst, with a string figure which is an accompaniment and yet lar more than an accompani] ment. Various wood winds carry the burden ol melody, introduced j and maintained in an impassioned minor, htgubrr. Thematic snatches i of melody follow each other in rich prolusion. In tinopening move ;
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ment, Sibelius has made telling use of the time-honored contrast between the lyric and the incisive, proclamatory elements. In his andante this sharp opposition is notably increased. An oratorical, motto-like theme, launched by stormy, ascending scales, keeps drama astir. As the melodic themes recur, an undercurrent of the spinning, whirring figures in the strings, such as are to be found in almost any score of Sibelius, dramatizes lyricism itself.
The third movement pivots upon a swift 6-8 rhythm; it suggests Beethoven in its outward contour, but is more tumultuous than gay. A suspensive pause with pianissimo drum taps introduces the tender trio in which the oboe sings a soft melody which is echoed by its neighbors and subsides in a pianissimo from the solo 'cello. It is as peaceful and unruffled in this symphony of violent contrasts as its surroundings are stormy. The vivacissimo and trio are repeated -with a difference.
There creeps into the trio, at first hardly perceptibly, the solemn chant of the finale, as yet but softly intoned, and adroitly, without any sense of hopping over an awkward stile, the master leads his hearers straight into the finale, which is at once in full course. There are two principal themes, the first making itself known as an elementary succession of half notes, the second a longer breathed, incendiary melody with an accompanying scale figure adding fuel to its flame. The structure of the movement is traditional, with two themes alternating, interlarded with episodic matter; the simple scheme serves its contriver in building with great skill a long and gradual ascent to a climax in full splendor. Rising sequences, mounting sonorities, contribute to the impressiveness of the final conflagration.
Bengt de Torne points out in his "SIbeliua -A Cloae-Up," that this finale is in reality a "classical sonata movement," which, "having no h coda like those to be found In Beethoven's work, . . . preserves the form of a Mozart allegro." Yet D. Millar Craig, the English commentator, writes of the "big coda" to this movement. That two analysts should choose for disagreement over nomenclature this particular ringing and clarion conclusion is only less surprising than that it should be associated in any way with Mozartean poise. Mr. Torne allays the perplexity which his academic comparison arouBes Wy adding: "Like all true innovators -and unlike those whose bloodless, intellectual productions aim at overthrowing the great traditions in art -Sibelius believes that the new and transforming ideas must come from within, not from the exterior form. And like Dante he is a revolutionary by temperament although a conservative by opinion."
VICTOR RED SEAL RECORDS
Boston Symphony Orchestra
SERGE KOUSSEVITZKY, Conductor
Bach, 0. P. B.........Concerto for Orchestra in D major
Beethoven ............Symphonies Nos. 2 and 8; Missa Solemnis
Berlioz ...............Symphony, "Harold in Italy" (Primrose)
Three Pieces, "Damnation of Faust"
Brahms ..............Symphonies Nos. 3, 4
Violin Concerto (Heifetz)
Copland .............."El Sal6n Mexico"
Debussy .............."La Mer," Sarabande
Faure ................"Pelleas et Mellsande," Suite
Foote ................Suite for Strings
Grieg ................"The Last Spring"
Handel ...............Larghetto (Concerto No. 12)
Harris .............. Symphony No. 8
Haydn ...............Symphonies Nos. 94 ("Surprise") ; 102 (B-flat)
Liadov ..............."The Enchanted Lake"
Liszt .................Mephisto Waltz
Mendelssohn ..........Symphony No. 4 ("Italian")
Moussorgsky .........."Pictures at an Exhibition"
Prelude to "Khovanstchlna"
Mozart ...............Symphonies in A major (201) ; C major (338)
Prokofleff.............Classical Symphony; Violin Concerto No. 2 (Helfetz);
"Lieutenant KijeV' Suite; "Love for Three Oranges," Scherzo and March; "Peter and the Wolf"
Ravel ................Bolero;"Mother Goose," Suite
"Daphnls and ChloeV' Suite No. 2 (new recording)
Rlmsky-Korsakov ....."The Battle of Kerjenetz" ; Dubinushka
Satie ................."Gymnopedie" No. 1
Schubert ............."Unfinished" Symphony ; "Rosamunde," Ballet Music
Schumann ............Symphony No. 1 ("Spring")
Sibelius ..............Symphonies Nos. 2 and 5; "Pohjola's Daughter";
"Tapiola" ; "Maiden with Roses" Strauss, J.............Waltzes: "Voices of Spring," "Vienna Blood"
Strauss, R............"Also Sprach Zarathustra"
"Till Enlenspiegel's Merry Pranks"
Stravinsky ...........Capriccio (Sanroma) ; Song of the Volga Bareemen
Tchaikovsky ..........Symphonies Nos. 4, 6: Waltz (from String Serenade);
Overture "Romeo and Juliet"
Vivaldi ...............Concerto Grosso in D minor
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