UMS Concert Program, March 13, 1949: Third Annual Extra Concert Series -- Indianapolis Symphony Orchestra
Complete Series: 2999
Hill Auditorium, Ann Arbor, Michigan
UNIVERSITY MUSICAL SOCIETY
CHARLES A. SINK, PRESIDENT THOR JOHNSON, GUEST CONDUCTOR
LESTER MCCOY, ASSOCIATE CONDUCTOR
Fifth Concert 1948-1949 ' Complete Series 2999
Extra Concert Series
INDIANAPOLIS SYMPHONY ORCHESTRA
FABIEN SEVITZKY, Conductor Sunday Evening, March 13, 1949, at 7:00
HlLL AUDITORIUM, ANN ArBOR, MlCHIGAN
PROGRAM Overture, "Le Carneval Romain"......'. Beelioz
Sei Danze Antiche.........Vinci-Gueeeini
Quasi sarabanda Siciliana
Essay for Orchestra No. 1, Op. 12.......Barber
"Porgy and Bess," A Symphonic Picture .... Gershwin (Arranged for orchestra by Robert Russell Bennett)
Symphony No. 5 in E minor.......Tchaikovsky
Andante, allegro con anima
Andante cantabile, con alcuna licenza Valse, allegro moderato Finale, andante maestoso
The Steinway is the official piano of the Indianapolis Symphony Orchestra. Victor Red Seal Records Howard Harrington, Manager
ARS LONGA VITA BREVIS
Overture, "Le Carneval Romain" (RomÃ¡n Carnival) . HÃ©ctor Berlioz
Berlioz never attained the musical stature of a Beethoven because he Iacked sustained inspiration. His musical ideas were more fragmentary than complete. Grillparzer has said that Berlioz was a genius with musical talent. Whether this statement is a true evaluation of his musical work is open to question. Certainly, he was an innovator of the leitmotiv, which was the germ idea prevalent and further developed by Wagner. Though he may have Iacked musical craftsmanship, he had a gift for melody, tonal color, and originality in thematic material.
Originally intended as an introduction to his unfortunate opera Benvenuto Cellini, this overture met with more success than the complete score. "The main theme of this work is the salterello which is to be found at the end of the first act of the opera. The overture opens with an allegro assai con juoco. The main theme is articulated by the violins and violas and later reannounced by the ilutes, oboes, and clarinets of the woodwind sectÃon. Later the horns, bassoons, trumpets, and cornets continuÃ© the theme repetition. After a sudden silence, the English horn enunciates a quiet theme from Benvenuto's aria found at the beginning of the trio in the first act. It is repeated by the violas and the horns, and later again by the violas. Dancing through this melody is a gay passage in the woodwinds, brasses, and percussion. As this theme dies away, one hears again the andante theme, but this is replaced shortly by the salterello in the strings. This completes the main section of the overture, and the ensuing development is a section of contrast between the salterello and the andante theme. The finale is dominated by the salterello, taken at very fast tempo" (Hale).
Sei Danze Antiche (Six Ancient Dances)......Vinci
Transcribed and elaborated for string orchestra by Guido Guerrini, from the string quartet.
Recognition of the work of maestro Guerrini, who now Uves in Florcnce (Italy) has been sponsored in this country by Dr. Sevitzky. The premiÃ©rc of the Italian composer's transcription for string orchestra of a Bach sonata was given by the Indianapolis orchestra last season, and the work being played at this concert was premiÃ©red in Indianapolis this season.
Leonardo Vinci, composer of almost innumerable grandand Iight-operas, was born in Strongoli, Italy (the province of Calabria) in 1690 and died in Naples in, according to the most logical calculation, 1730. He was a pupil of Gaetano Greco in Naples; his first known work, a comic opera in Neapolitan dialect, was first produced in 1719, and met with such instantaneous success that the composer was appointed maestro di capella to the Prince of Sansevero, who was also a patrÃ³n of Scarlatti. Vinci entered a monastery in 1728, but continued his operatic writing.
That Vinci did not confine his composing to opera is obvious from the fact that these six ancient dances were induded in a string quartet writtcn by him. It will be noted in these dances that the strong sense of dramatic expression for which Vinci's operas were praised carried over into at least his string quartets, and probably into his other forms of writing.
Essay for Orchestra No. 1, Op. 12.....Samuel Barber
Samuel Barber began the study of music at six and wrote his first composition the next year. At thirteen he entered the Curtis Institute of Music and by the time he was twenty-five he had won many coveted prizes: the Bearns Prize from Columbia University, the Prix de Rome in 1935 and the Pulitzer award in 1935 and again in 1936 . . . the first composer to receive this honor twice.
Mr. Barber's Essay was composed in 1937 and first performed the next year by the NBC Orchestra under Toscanini. This was a distinctive honor for Mr. Barber, as his Essay and Adagio for Strings were the first American works to be played by Toscanini and the NBC Orchestra. The Adagio was the only American work performed by Toscanini on his South American tour.
Charles O'Connell writes of the Essay: "This composition . . . . is akin to the literary essay in its form, having brevity and conciseness, of an almost epigrammatic neatness. Its two principal themes are contrasted rather than extensively developcd. The lower strings present a slow-paced one which is the basis of the first secÃ¼on. A livelier figure introduces the second section, in which eventually the first thcme reappears in augmentation. There is a broad conclusiÃ³n."
Besides the Essay and Adagio for Strings, Mr. Barber's compositions for orchestra include an Overture to "The School for Scandal"; Music for a Scene from Shelley; a Violin ConcertÃ³; and a Symphony in One Movement. His chamber-music includes a Serenade for String Quartet; a String Quartet in B minor; a Sonata for violoncello and piano. He has also written many songs and choral works--an imposing list for a man in his "thirties."
"Porgy and Bess": A Symphonic Picture . . Geeshwin-Bennett
The Negro opera Porgy and Bess was Gershwin's last major work, and the one he liked best, according to his friends. The opera was first performed in 1935 by the New York Theater Guild. It is based on the DuBose and Dorothy Heyward play Porgy, and tells the story of a crippled Negro beggar Porgy, and Bess, his woman. The scene is Iaid in Catfish Row, a Negro tenement on the waterfront in Charleston, North Carolina.
A Symphonic Picture is an orchestral arrangement of parts of Gershwin's opera. Robert Russell Bennett was commissioned to make the arrangement by Fritz Reiner, who first performed it with the Pittsburgh Orchestra in 1942. Bennett said of the work: "I have bcen careful to do what I knew--after many years of association with Gershwin--Gershwin would like as a symphonic versiÃ³n of his work."
The Bennett arrangement includes: The Scene in Catfish Row, with peddlers' calis; Opening of Act III; Opening of Act I; "Summertime"; "I Got Plenty o' Nuttin'"; Storm Music; "Bess, You Is My Woman Now"; The Picnic Party; "Thcre's a Steamboat That's Leavin' Soon for New York"; "It Ain't Necessarily So" and The Finale: "Oh Lawd, I'm On My Way."
Symphony No. 5 Â¡n E Minor, Op. 64 . Peter Ilyitch Tchaikovsky
Tchaikovsky's works were written in anguish, most of them, and had to wait for recognition. This was true of the Fifth Symphony. Ten years after he had completed the Fourth Symphony the composer felt ready for the composition of another great work in this mould. He wrote to his confidant, Nadjeda van Meck, that he has been gathering material and that he feels ripe for the final work of creation. At last in 1888 the hour struck, and in August of that year the work was completed.
Ernest Newman differs from the current opiniÃ³n, which looks upon Tchaikovsky as outmoded. He thinks him "much more the man of our own day than the belated followers of the classical tradition. He made one desperate attempt, in his first symphony, to look at music and life through the eyes of the formalist; but ever after that he wisely allowed his imagination to carry him whither it would. We must not forget Â¡n esÃ¼mating his total achievement, that he died in the very prime of his powers, just when he was beginning to have a visiÃ³n of what the future may do in music.
"The gloomy, mysterious opening theme suggests the leaden, delibÃ©rate tread of fate. The allegro, after experimenting in many moods, ends mournfully and almost wearily. The beauty of the andante is twice broken in upon by the first sombre theme. The third movement, the waltz, is never really gay; there is always the suggestion of impending fate in it; while at times the scale passages for the strings give it an eerie, ghostly character. At the end of this also there comes the heavy, muffled trend of the veiled figure that is suggested by the opening theme. Finally, the last movement shows us, as it were, the emotional transformation of this theme, evidently in harmony with a change in the part it now plays in the curious drama. It is in the major instead of in the minor; it is no longer a symbol of weariness and foreboding, but bold, vigorous, emphatic, self-confident. What may be the precise significance of the beautiful theme from the second movement that reappears in the finale it is impossible to say; but it is quite clear that the transmutation which the first subject of the allegro undergoes, just before the ciÃ³se of the symphony, is of the same psychological order as that of the 'fate' motive--a change from clouds to sunshine, from defeat to triumph."
MAY 5, 6, 7, 8, 1949