UMS Concert Program, November 15, 1948: Third Annual Extra Concert Series -- Cincinnati Symphony Orchestra
Complete Series: 2985
Hill Auditorium, Ann Arbor, Michigan
UNIVERSITY MUSICAL SOCIETY
CHARLES A. SINK, PRESIDENT THOR JOHNSON, GUEST CONDUCTOR
LESTER MC COY, ASSOCIATE CONDUCTOR
Second Concert 1948-1949 Complete Series 2985
Extra Concert Series
CINCINNATI SYMPHONY ORCHESTRA
THOR JOHNSON, Conductor
Monday Evening, November 15, 1948, at 8:30 Hill Auditorium, Ann Arbor, Michigan
PROGRAM Overture to "Russian and Ludmilla"...... Glinka
Symphony No. 35 in D major--"Haffner" (K.V. 385) . . Mozart Allegro con spirito Andante Menuetto Finale, presto
"Job"--A Masque for Dancing.....Vaughan Williams
Introduction, Pastoral Dance, and Saraband
Satan's Dance of Triumph
Minuet of the Sons of Job and Their Wives
Dance of Job's Comforters
Elihu's Dance of Youth and Beauty
Galliard of the Sons of the Morning
Midsummer Vigil (Swedish Rhapsody), Op. 19 .... Alfven Suite from "Der Rosenkavalier".......Strauss
Note.--The University Musical Society has presented the Cincinnati Symphony Orchestra on previous occasions as follows: March 24, 1903, Frank van der Stucken, conductor; February 17, 1915. Ernst Kunwald, conductor; December 5, 1933, Eugene Goossens, conductor; and March IS, 1948, Thor Johnson, conductor.
ARS LONGA VITA BREVIS
Overture to "Russian and Ludmilla" . Michael Ivanovich Glinka
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 A Life for the Tzar (1834), Glinka had found a subject of national import, and in his music he established a definite Russian school. If A Life for the Tzar is to be regarded as a national epic, Glinka's second opera, Russian and Ludmilla (1S42) must be credited with a significance equally nationalistic, though in a different sphere. Here he forsook history for folklore, as Wagner had done after his Rienzi.
The influence of Russian and Ludmilla was tremendous. It set a style for such creations as have since come from the pens of Borodin, Rimski-Korsakov, and Stravinsky. Rimski-Korsakov's Kostchei, Tsar Szdtan, Snow Maiden, Sadko, Kitesh (performed at the 1932 May Festival in concert form), and Stravinsky's Fire Bird Suite all have a foundation in a folklore in which the supernatural and the fantastic predominate.
But there are other elements to support this opera's claim to the distinction of being a pioneer work. It is here that oriental color is for the first time brought to Russian music. The opera is not the only field benefiting from Glinka's policy. Balakirev's piano fantasia "Islamey," an epic of the Orient, Borodin's "In the Steppes of Central Asia," Rimski-Korsakov's "Scheherezade," all owe their inspiration to Russian and Ludmilla.
Ludmilla, daughter of Prince Svietozar of Kiev, had three suitors, one of whom, the knight Russian, was accepted. At her wedding Ludmilla was carried away by the magician Chernomor, and her hand was promised by her father to the suitor who would rescue her. Russian, evoking benevolent magic, received a charmed sword and rescued Ludmilla. On the homeward journey, another suitor, Farlaf, cast the pair into magic slumber and took the maiden to Prince Svietozar, demanding her hand in marriage. Russian, returning to the palace, denounced the traitor Farlaf and won the hand of Ludmilla.
Symphony No. 35 in D major--"Haffner" (K.V. 385)
..........Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart
The rather curious title appended to this symphony originated in the fact that Mozart wrote it for a festal occasion at the home of one Sigmund Haffner, a rich merchant, and at that time the burgomaster of the composer's native city of Salzburg. Like almost everything else, Mozart dashed off the symphony in the greatest haste (it was completed in about four weeks). When he examined the score somewhat later, he found that it was much better than he had remembered. It is, indeed, one of his symphonic masterpieces. If it has less breadth and stature than the last three symphonies, it is no less perfect within its own framework. The music is of the character of Mozart's middle period. It has his grace of manner, but without the fullness and maturity of his last three symphonies.
Allegro con spirito. The movement begins with a few sturdy measures for full orchestra, followed more gently by strings. The main theme echoes in woodwinds and lower strings, and goes off into rapid runs for the violins.
Andante. A very simple melody sings in the first violins. Sighing, the oboe and bassoon respond. The figuration becomes more graceful and florid, then sinks to a cadence.
Menuetto. In some ways the theme of this reminds one of the much later Minuet from the E-flat Symphony. The Trio is said by Philip Hale to remind one of an aria from an early opera of Mozart called La Finta Giardiniera. Violins, oboes and bassoons have the melody.
Finale--presto. The last movement is a rondo of the liveliest variety, sparkling with good humor and the sunniest cheer. Strings begin alone. Now the lower parts scurry about against rhythmic chords. Suddenly the tumult hushes, and the lighter second subject is heard in the first violins. The end is gay and dashing.
"Job"--A Masque for Dancing . . . Ralph Vaughan Williams
Vaughan Williams is the most distinguished living figure in English music, and his work is firmly rooted in English tradition, expressive of the English temperament and character, and profoundly influenced by English folk music. His works have become internationally known, particularly his symphonies.
The masterly "Job" revives the typically English art of the masque. It was founded on William Blake's Illustrations of the Book of Job. Musically Vaughan Williams accomplishes several striking ideas in "Job," not the least impressive of which is the music for Satan whose appearances are heralded by increased discordance in the bass. There is an impressive basso ostinato employed when he performs the dance of triumph before the empty throne of God, and the figure is repeated in a sort of dying extenuation toward the end of the ballet. The saxophone's whine is employed dramatically to point up the hypocrisy of Job's comforters--one of the best uses to which the instrument has been put in symphonic music. Throughout the work, the composer has made expert use of all the woodwinds, sometimes achieving a pastoral effect; at others there is an effect of a vast chorale with muted brass and chordal harp punctuation. A solo violin played andante with strong rubato gives a celestial feeling to the dance of Elihu. Crescendos and diminuendos are employed with subtle dramatic impact in the expert writing.
Midsummer Vigil (Swedish Rhapsody) Op. 19 . . . Hugo Alfven
Hugo Alfven is one of the best known Swedish contemporary composers and is considered the chief Swedish composer in the symphonic form. He obtained his musical education at the Stockholm Conservatory. Leaving the Conservatory in 1890, he became a violin player in the Royal Chapel and in the orchestra of the Royal Stockholm Opera. For a time he was assistant conductor under Kutschbach in Dresden. Returning to Stockholm, he was appointed teacher of composition and orchestration at the Conservatory in 1903, and seven years later he became musical director of the Royal University at Upsala.
As a composer, Alfven is a follower of Brahms and shows considerable finesse of workmanship. He is frequently compared with another Swedish composer, Andreas Hallen, who was one time leader of the Stockholm Philharmonic Orchestra and for many years was conductor of the Royal Opera House. Alfven's Midsummer Vigil, which has made his reputation in America, is built on Swedish tunes, organized and developed in the spirit of classic composers. The work was suggested by the music of a rustic revel during the popular festival of St. John's Eve, the night of June 24. The Eve of St. John is still celebrated in the more remote parts of Scandinavia with bonfires, dancing, and carousing.
The work begins allegro moderato (D major, 24 time) with an attractive theme for clarinet over a pizzicato accompaniment. After a repetition of the tune, a second subject is foreshadowed burlescamente by the bassoon and later is stated officially by bassoons and horns in unison vigoroso. The tempo changes to andante, with a passage for muted strings, and an English horn sings a reminiscently beautiful melody. As the tempo becomes allegretto, violins introduce a dancelike theme pianissimo, with an interjection on the triangle. The mood quickens to an allegro con brio, with the violins singing above a pedal-point. The music grows more lively with the revelry to a resounding close.
Suite from "Der Rosenkavalier" . . . . . Richard Strauss
The project of composing a comic opera came to Strauss after the production of Salomi in 1905. He was unable to discover a subject which suited him, but having had his attention drawn by a friend to Hofmannsthal's Elektra, he entered into negotiations with the Austrian poet with a view to the utilization of Elektra as an opera text. He wanted to write a playful score, tender, ironic, burlesque, passionate. The libretto with which Hofmannsthal provided Strauss was remarkable for both its comic and its dramatic possibilities. It created two characters of unforgettable vividness--the sad and aging Marschallin and the ridiculous and rotund Baron Ochs. It reproduced the background and atmosphere of old rococo Vienna. For this libretto, Strauss wrote his greatest operatic score, a score inexhaustible for magic of mood and feeling. The concert suite from "Rosenkavalier" is fashioned in the form of a symphonic poem. It follows the dramatic outline of the opera and could be called its symphonic synopsis.
Ezio Pinza, Bass ...".... Thursday, November 18
Clifford Curzon, Pianist.....Saturday, November 27
Rudolf Serkin, Pianist......Friday, December 3
Boston Symphony Orchestra .... Monday, December 6 Serge Koussevitzky, Conductor
Ginette Neveu, Violinist......Saturday, January 8
Vladimir Horowitz, Pianist.....Friday, February 11
Heifetz, Violinist.......Saturday, February 19
Nathan Milstein, Violinist......Friday, March 4
Indianapolis Symphony Orchestra .... Sunday, March 13
Fabien Sevitzky, Conductor Chicago Symphony Orchestra.....Sunday, March 27
Fritz Busch, Guest Conductor
Single Concerts (inc. tax): $3.00--$2.40--$1.80--$1.50.
"Messiah" (Handel)--Saturday, December 11, at 8:30 p.m., and a repeat performance, Sunday, December 12, at 2:30 p.m.
Doris Doree, Soprano; Nan Merriman, Contralto; Frederick Jacei., Tenor; John Gurney, Bass; University Choral Union; Special "Messiah" Orchestra; Mary McCaix Stubbins, Organist; Lester McCoy, Conductor.
Tickets (inc. tax): 70 cents and SO cents.
Chamber Music Festival
Paganini String Quartet--Three concerts, January 14, 15, and 16, 1949.
Henri Temianka and Gustave Rosseels, Violins; Robert Courte, Viola, and Adou Frezin, Violoncello. Tickets (inc. tax): $3.60 and $2.40
Friday Evening at 8:30
Quartet in E-flat major, Op. 125, No. 1 ............................ Schubert
Quartet in F major, Op. 59, No. 1 ................................ Beethoven
Quartet in C major (Dissonance), K. 465 ............................ Mozart
Saturday Evening at 8:30
Quartet in G major, Op. 77, No. 1 ....................................Haydn
Quartet No. 3 ...................................................... Jacobi
Quartet in E-flat major, Op. 127 ................................. Beethoven
Sunday Afternoon at 2:30
Quartet in B-flat major, Op. 18, No. 6 ............................ Beethoven
Quartet No. 7 .................................................... Milhaud
Quartet in D major................................................ Franck
MAY FESTIVAL season ticket orders will be accepted beginning as of December 1, and filed in sequence--Unclaimed seats in Block A, $12.00; Block B, $10.80; Block C, $9.60; Block D, $8.40--at University Musical Society, Charles A. Sink, President, Burton Memorial Tower.