UMS Concert Program, October 26, 1947: Sixty-ninth Annual Choral Union Concert Series -- Chicago Symphony Orchestra
Complete Series: 2957
Hill Auditorium, Ann Arbor, Michigan
UNIVERSITY MUSICAL SOCIETY
CHARLES A. SINK, PRESIDENT THOR JOHNSON, GUEST CONDUCTOR
LESTER MCCOY, ASSOCIATE CONDUCTOR
Second Concert 1947-1948 Complete Series 2957
Choral Union Concert Series
CHICAGO SYMPHONY ORCHESTRA ARTUR RODZINSKI, Conductor
Sunday Evening, October 26, 1947, at 7:00 Hill Auditorium, Ann Arbor, Michigan
Toccata and Fugue in D minor........Bach
Symphony No. 1 in C minor, Op. 68......Brahms
Un poco sostenuto, allegro Andante sostenuto
Un poco allegretto e grazioso Adagio, piu andante; allegro non troppo, ma con brio
Suite from the Ballet, "Appalachian Spring" .... Copland Three Dances from "Gaynne"......Khatchaturian
Note.--The University Musical Society has presented the Chicago Symphony Orchestra on previous occasions as follows: Choral Union Series, Theodore Thomas, conductor (7); in thirty-one May Festivals (1905-1935 inclusive), and in the Choral Union Series, November 2, 1936 and November 30, 1941, Frederick Stock, conductor; March 19, 1945, January 31, 1946, and March 16, 1947, Desire Defauw, conductor.
ARS LONGA VITA BREVIS
PROGRAM NOTES by Felix Borowski
Toccata and Fugue, D minor .... Johann Sebastian Bach Transcribed for Orchestra by Julius Wertheim
Bach composed two toccatas in D minor for organ followed in each case by a fugue, both having been composed during his period of service at Weimar as "kammermusicus" and concertmaster at the court of Wilhelm Ernst, Duke of SachsenWeimar. The instrument in the ducal chapel, for which Bach wrote some of his greatest masterpieces, was a small one (as compared with modern organs), containing nine stops on the Great, eight on the Choir, and seven on the Pedal organ.
Julius Wertheim, the arranger of the Toccata and Fugue, was born at Warsaw in 1881. He studied composition there at the Conservatory with Sigismund Noskowski, later joining the faculty as teacher of orchestration in that institution.
Symphony No. 1, C minor, Op. 68 .... Johannes Brahms
Although the first symphony by Brahms was produced in 1876, it is known that as early as 1862 the German master had made sketches for the first movement, which he showed to Albert Dietrich in the summer of that year. Even before this Brahms had worked upon a symphony. "I have been trying my hand at a symphony during the past summer," he wrote to Schumann in January, 1855. "I have even orchestrated the first movement and composed the second and third." As a symphony this work was never completed, but at the suggestion of Julius Otto Grimm, who had helped him with advice in the orchestration, Brahms rewrote the work as a sonata for two pianos, and still later the first and second movements became the corresponding movements of the concerto in D minor for piano, and the third a section of the Deulsches Requiem.
In 1862 Brahms wrote to Dietrich that the F-minor quintet for strings was finished, but that the symphony was still in process of composition. It was still incomplete in 1875, for Dietrich visited Brahms in that year at Zigelhausen, and Brahms showed him several new works. Kalbeck believes that Schumann and Schumann's music to "Manfred" influenced Brahms during the long period in which the C-minor symphony was in process of creation. It is certain that Clara Schumann was made acquainted with the work in the summer of 1862. It would seem that her first impression of the music was one of disappointment. The things which she might hesitate to say even to her intimate friends, Mme Schumann communicated to her diary. "I miss the melodic flight," she wrote in that volume, "however intellectual the workmanship may be. I am debating violently whether I should tell him this, but first I must hear the work complete from an orchestra." Later the symphony made a different impression upon her, but some criticisms of the work she had made to Brahms, and he had acted upon them. The Symphony in C minor was finished in 1876. At the end of the manuscript score there stands the inscription: J. Brahms, Lichtenthal, September, 1876.
The first production took place November 4, 1876, at Carlsruhe. The orchestra was made up of players from that city and from Mannheim. A second performance followed a few days later at Mannheim, and a third at Munich (November 15), both of these having been directed by Brahms himself, who also conducted the work at Vienna (December 17) and at Leipzig (January 18, 1877).
In Chicago the C-minor symphony was played for the first time at concerts of the Chicago Symphony Orchestra--then the Chicago Orchestra--under the direction of Theodore Thomas, February 9-10, 1894. The first performance in the United States had been given by Dr. Leopold Damrosch in New York, December 17, 1877.
Suite from the Ballet, "Appalachian Spring" . . Aaron Copland
The composer of "Appalachian Spring" is of Russian-Jewish descent, the youngest of his parents' five children. He showed musical talent in early childhood, and his sister began to teach him the piano when he was eleven. Her lessons did not last long, and the boy was given into the hands of Leopold Wolfsohn. Already he had begun to compose, and his teacher recommended that he take lessons in musical theory from Rubin Goldmark, a nephew of the composer of the overture, "Sakuntala" and the opera, "Die Konigin von Saba." Copland studied with Goldmark until 1921, when he went to Paris to enter the Fountainebleau School of Music, where he became a pupil of Nadia Boulanger, and with whom he remained for three years. On his return to the United States in 1924, Copland was awarded a Guggenheim Fellowship, which enabled him to spend two more years in Europe, studying and composing.
Mr. Copland contributes the following information concerning his "Appalachian Spring:"
" 'Appalachian Spring' was composed in 1943-44 as a ballet for Miss Martha Graham on a commission from the Elizabeth Coolidge Foundation. It was first performed by Miss Graham and her company at the Coolidge Festival in the Library of Congress in Washington, D. C. on October 30, 1944. The original scoring called for a chamber ensemble of thirteen instruments. The present arrangement for symphony orchestra was made by the composer in the spring of 194S. It is a condensed version of the ballet, retaining all essential features, but omitting those sections in which the interest is purely choreographic.
"The action of the ballet concerns a 'pioneer celebration in Spring around a newlybuilt farmhouse in the Pennsylvania hills hi the early part of last century. The bride-to-be and the young farmer-husband enact the emotions, joyful and apprehensive, their new domestic partnership invite. An older neighbor suggests now and then the rocky confidence of experience. A revivalist and his followers remind the new household of the strange and terrible aspects of human fate. At the end, the couple are left quiet and strong in their new house.'"
Three Dances from the Ballet "Gaynne" . . Aram Khatchaturian
The composer of this work, the son of an Armenian bookbinder, did not begin the study of music until he was nineteen years of age. He went to Moscow, and studied at the music school directed by Michail Gnessin. Later he entered the Conservatory of Moscow in which first he studied violoncello, but soon took up composition with Miaskowsky and Visilenko as his teachers.
Early in his career the composer had been attracted by Georgian, Armenian, Azerbaijan, and Uzbeck folksong. Already in 1926 he had begun essays in composition in which he had made use of this exotic material, although he had also been attracted by the dissonantal influences of the modern French school and of Bela Bartok. In 1934 Khatchaturian brought out at Moscow his first symphony, conducted by Eugene Szenkar at concerts of the Moscow State Philharmonic Orchestra.
The reputation of the composer soon grew rapidly. In 1938 he employed a poem by the Azerbaijan writer, Ashug Mirza, for a symphonic poem, a "Poem of Stalin" which was interpreted at the annual October Festival, and he received the Order of Lenin, for important services in the musical development of his native Armenia.
The three dances from the ballet, "Gaynne," produced in 1942, were played for the first time in the vicinity of Chicago at a concert of the Ravinia Festival, conducted by Edmund Kurth, July 20, 1944. The movements are the following: (1) Dance of the Rose Maidens; (2) Lullaby; (3) Sword Dance.
Daniel Ericouet, Pianist......Tuesday, November 4
Cleveland Orchestra . . . . (7:00 p.m.) Sunday, November 9 George Szeix, Conductor
Set Svanholm, Tenor.......Friday, November 14
Westminster Choir.......Monday, November 24
John Finley Williamson, Conductor
Don Cossack Chorus.......Tuesday, December 2
Serge Jaroit, Conductor
Boston Symphony Orchestra .... Monday, December 8 Serge Koussevitzky, Conductor
Myra Hess, Pianist.......Saturday, January 10
Minneapolis Symphony Orchestra . (7:00 p.m.) Sunday, February 15
DlMITRI MlTROPOUXOS, Conductor
Detroit Symphony Orchestra .... Monday, February 23 Karl Krueger, Conductor
Georges Enesco, Violinist......Tuesday, March 2
Alexander Brailowsky, Pianist .... Wednesday, March 10
Cincinnati Symphony Orchestra .... Thursday, March 18 Thor Johnson, Conductor
Single Concerts (inc. tax): $3.00--$2.40--$1.80--$1.50.
Chamber Music Festival
Paganini String Quartet--Three concerts, January 16 and 17, 1948 Henri Temianka and Gtjstave Roeseels, Violins; Robert Courte, Viola, and Robert Maas, Violoncello.
Rackham Lecture Hall. Tickets (inc. tax): $3.60 and $2.40
"Messiah" (Handel)--Saturday, December 13, at 8:30 p.m., and Sunday,
December 14, at 2:30 p.m.
Frances Yeend, Soprano; Mary Van Kirk, Contralto; Harold Haugh, Tenor; Mark Love, Bass; University Choral Union; Special "Messiah" Orchestra; Frieda Op't Holt Vogan, Organist; Lester McCoy, Conductor.
Tickets (inc. tax): Main Floor and First Balcony, 70 cents; Top Balcony, 50 cents.
For tickets or for further information, please address: Charles A. Sink, President, University Musical Society, Burton Memorial Tower.