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UMS Concert Program, February 15, 1948: Second Annual Extra Concert Series -- Minneapolis Symphony Orchestra

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Season: 1947-1948
Concert: Fourth
Complete Series: 2970
Hill Auditorium, Ann Arbor, Michigan

Fourth Concert 1947-1948 Complete Series 2970
Second Annual
Extra Concert Series
Sunday Evening, February 15, 1948, at 7:00 Hill Auditorium, Ann Arbor, Michigan
Overture--"Leonore," No. 3, Op. 72......Beethoven
Symphony No. 41, in C major, K. 551 ("Jupiter") . . . Mozart
Allegro vivace Andante cantabile Menuetto: allegretto Finale: molto allegro
Symphony in B-flat major, Op. 20......Chausson
Lento, allegro vivo Tres lent Anime, tres anim6
Three Pieces from "The Damnation of Faust" .... Berlioz
Minuet of the Will-o'-the-Wisps Dance of the Sylphs Rakoczy March
NOTE.--The University Musical Society has presented the Minneapolis Symphony Orchestra on previous occasions as follows: January 28, 1941 and February 3, 1942.
PROGRAM NOTES By Carlo Fischer
Overture, "Leonore," No. 3
Op. 72.....Ludwig van Beethoven (1770-1827)
The sense of drama is patent in much of Beethoven's music; but "stage-sense" is lacking even in his one opera. He rejected story after story until he encountered the tale of fabulous wifely devotion which is the basis of "Fidelio." To this work he devoted his whole soul.
Leonore (known as Fidelio, since she appears in the guise of a man), is the wife of Florestan, a political prisoner incarcerated for unmentioned but supposedly unjust reasons by Pizarro, the heavy but not very awe-inspiring villain of the piece. In order to bring succor to her husband, the distracted wife dresses as a boy, gains employment which admits her to the prison, and also incidentally fires with passion the simple soul of Marcelline, the daughter of Rocco, the jailer. Pizarro, hearing that Bon Fernando, a minister of state, is about to inspect the prison, remembers that dead men tell no tales, and tries to induce Rocco to murder the already half-starved Florestan. This Rocco refuses to do; but he cannot refuse to dig a grave for the victim, and in this work Leonore contrives to assist. When Pizarro makes as if to stab Florestan, Leonore throws herself between them and proclaims that Pizarro's dagger must first pierce her heart. Even this, he avers, must then be his gruesome task; but Leonore draws a little pistol and holds the villain at bay. At this moment, from the outside, is heard a trumpet which announces the approach of Don Fernando. Leonore falls on her husband's breast, Pizarro is reduced to mere profanity, and Rocco, with evident relief, orders immediate preparation for the reception of the minister. The happy outcome is celebrated, not in the dungeon but on the sunny parade ground above.
The "Leonore No. 3" was supplanted, as overture to the opera, by the lighter "Overture to Fidelio," at the performance of the final revision of the opera in 1814, but is ordinarily played during the resetting of the stage for the final scene. It has a long introduction (Adagio) and the usual sonata-form Allegro following. Little of the music of the opera is used. In the Introduction there is a fragment of Florestan's air, "In the springtime of life happiness departed from me"; and the two trumpet calls, off stage, are those which in the piece herald the approach of Don Fernando.
Symphony No. 41, in
C major ("Jupiter") . Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart (1756-1791)
Mozart wrote no less than forty-one symphonies and of these the last three--the greatest of them all--were written in 1788, within the incredibly short space of time of three weeks. Of the group of three, the "Jupiter" was the last, the dignity, loftiness, and skill of this one placing it above all others written previous to the time when Beethoven gave the world his wonderful series of nine. It is somewhat doubtful as to who gave the title "Jupiter" to this work. The accepted belief is that the title came to be prefixed as a spontaneous expression of popular admiration for a masterpiece.
The first three movements of the symphony are written in the conventional form while the fourth is an elaborate Fugue with four subjects--or rather a rondo on four subjects treated in a fugal manner. The theme of four notes with which the last movement opens is drawn from an old church tune and was a favorite subject not only with Mozart, who used it in several other compositions, but also with other composers such as Handel, Bach, Schubert, and Mendelssohn.
Symphony in B-flat
major, Op. 20.....Ernest Chausson (1855-1890)
Chausson belongs to that small group of composers who at last made the world aware of France as a nation which shared many of the musical ideals of other nations. He began tardily the study of music, for it was the family's intention that he should enter the law; but like Schumann and Tchaikovsky he found his distaste for that pursuit too great to make bearable any practical work in the field. He studied for two years with Massenet at the Conservatoire but left the institution altogether to join that obscure brotherhood of seekers after musical righteousness who surrounded the saintly figure of Cesar Franck in the organ loft at the Church of SaintSulpice. The likeness in temperament of pupil and master was great--so great that Chausson's music often sounds like an imitation of Franck's; but closer scrutiny shows a character of thought and a continuity of logic in structure so complete that the charge of imitation is patently absurd. There can be no doubt of the legitimate influence of the master on the pupil; neither will there be question which is the greater mind; but a distinct personality is nevertheless impressed upon us with every work of Chausson's.
Shortly after his death Pierre de Brevill published a brief article about his work which Philip Hale translated, and from which the following sentences are taken:
"It may be said that all his works exhale a dreamy sensitiveness which is peculiar to him. His music is constantly saying the word cher. His passion is not fiery: it is always affectionate, and this affection is gentle agitation in discreet reserve." "He has been charged with melancholy, but he was not a sad man. The melancholy that veiled his soul, veiled also from his eyes the vulgarity of exterior spectacles."
Chausson, like Franck, confines his symphony within the framework of three movements. There is an Introduction {Lent) in which a severe phrase precedes statement of the essence, rather than the substance of the chief themes. The main theme (AUegro-vivo) is announced without undue force by horn and bassoon. The second subject is more vigorous and exuberant than the first. Development and conclusion are worked out on these themes, the ultimate tone being joyous and kinetic. The slow movement (Tres lent) is wholly introspective--brooding, static, desolate, "like a forest on a winter day." The English horn is the vehicle of the utterance. The third movement (Anime) begins with the excitement and something of the confusion of healthy vigor. Elaborately expounded, this theme at last proceeds to a lofty choral. The symphony ends on a statement by the basses of the first measures of the Introduction.
Three Pieces from "The
Damnation of Faust" .... Hector Berlioz (1803-1869)
The French composer, Berlioz' setting of Goethe's drama "Faust," under its title as a Dramatic Legend in four parts, follows the spirit though not the detail of the original poem. Originally a choral work, it was changed later into an opera.
The three familiar orchestral numbers are described as follows: The Minuet is danced by evil spirits and Will-o'-the-Wisps, whom Mephisto has summoned to surround the house of Marguerite and bewilder the maiden. In the second number, Dance of the Sylphs, the gnomes and sylphs have sung Faust to sleep, and as the sylphs dance, Marguerite appears to him in a vision. The Rakoczy is a Hungarian march, the tune composed by a Hungarian gypsy, Michael Barna, court fiddler to the Prince Rakoczy (1676-1735) and handed down from generation to generation. Berlioz, enroute to Budapest in 1846 to conduct a concert, had his attention directed to the march tune by a friend in Vienna where he stopped to rest and visit. Anxious to write something that might please the Hungarians he composed the march based upon this tune the night before he resumed his journey. Its success at Budapest was sensational and shortly afterwards the Hungarians adopted it as a national march. Berlioz himself, greatly impressed, incorporated it in his music to "The Damnation of Faust."
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.
APRIL 29, 30 AND MAY 1, 2, 1948
BIDU SAYAO.......... Soprano
VIRGINIA MacWATTERS (new) . . . . Soprano ANNE BOLLINGER (new) ...... Soprano
CLOE ELMO (new)........Contralto
NELLTANGEMAN (new)......Contralto
DAVID LLOYD (new)........Tenor
LEONARD WARREN (new)......Baritone
JAMES PEASE (new)........Baritone
WILLIAM KINCAID.........Flutist
MISCHA ELMAN.........Violinist
LEON FLEISCHER (new) ....... Pianist
Choral Works
Great Mass in C Minor........Mozart
"The Bells".........Rachmaninoff
Songs of the Americas . . Edited by Marguerite Hood and Orchestrated by Eric DeLamarter
Season tickets (6 concerts) now on sale. Address: Charles A Sink, President, University Musical Society, Burton Memorial Tower.

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