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UMS Concert Program, January 17, 1950: Seventy-first Annual Choral Union Concert Series -- Cincinnati Symphony Orchestra

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Season: 1949-1950
Concert: Seventh
Complete Series: 3022
Hill Auditorium, Ann Arbor, Michigan

Seventh Concert
Complete Series 3022
Seventy-first Annual
Choral Union Concert Series
Tuesday Evening, January 17, 1950, at 8:30 Hill Auditorium, Ann Arbor, Michigan
Suite from "The Water Music"........Handel
Arranged by Sir Hamilton Harty Overture Air
Andante espressivo Allegro deciso
"Joseph's Legend"--A Symphonic Fragment .... Strauss
Symphony in D minor..........Franck
Lento; allegro non troppo Allegretto Allegro non troppo
Note.--The University Musical Society has presented the Cincinnati Symphony Orchestra on previous occasions as follows: Mar. 24, 1903, Frank van der Stucken, conductor; Feb. 17, 1915, Ernst Kunwald, conductor; Dec. S, 1933, Eugene Goossens, conductor; Mar. 18, 1948; Nov. 15, 1948, Thor Johnson, conductor.
(From the Program Book of the Cincinnati Symphony Orchestra) Suite from "The Water Music" . . . George Frederick Handel
The version performed at these concerts was arranged by Sir Hamilton Harty and published in 1922. He scored six of Handel's twenty pieces from the Water Music for two flutes, piccolo, two oboes, two clarinets, two bassoons, four horns, two trumpets, timpani and strings. To these, for fuller sonority, Thor Johnson has added a bass clarinet, English horn, and contrabassoon. The Suite includes:
1. Overture--an opera overture in the French style, opening with a slow Introduction with fanfares, repeated and followed by fugal treatment.
2. Air--particularly appropriate for an English suite, since this type of song, so popular with Continental composers of the 18th century, dates back to the 16th century English composer, John Dowland.
3. Hornpipe--an English dance as old as Chaucer, named for the ox horn on which it originally was played; later it was performed on violins and bagpipes. Hornpipes were danced between the acts of plays as late as last century.
4. Andante--a soothing song, contrasting with the rest of the music.
5. Allegro deciso--a finale in quick time, in the same spirit as the famous Hallelujah Chorus; fanfares close the work as they began it.
"Joseph's Legend"--A Symphonic Fragment . . Richard Strauss
An allegorical expansion of the simple Bible story of Joseph and Potiphar's Wife was suggested by Count Harry Kessler, a dilettante who interested Richard Strauss in its choreographic possibilities for the Ballet Russe. Hugo von Hofmannsthal, who provided the librettos for Elektra, Der Rosenkavalier, Die Aegyptische Helena and Arabella, was induced to prepare the plot and scenario for Joseph's Legend. The original settings for the Ballet Russe production were designed after Veronese by the Spanish artist, Jose Maria Sert, and the costumes by Leon Bakst.
The sixty-five minute ballet was reduced for concert performance by the composer, himself, in 1948. The new version in the guise of a symphonic poem, having been completed by Strauss during a summer visit at Montreux in Switzerland, was sent to Max Reiter for its world premiere performance on February 26, 1949, with the San Antonio Symphony. Originally the ballet score called for piccolo, four flutes, three oboes, English horn, Heckelphone (shades of Salome) .three clarinets, bass clarinet and double-bass clarinet, three bassoons, double bassoon, six horns, four trumpets, four trombones, tenor and bass tubas, five kettledrums, glockenspiel, triangle, tambourine, cymbals, bass drum, side drum, four pairs of castagnettes, two small cymbals, xylophone, wind machine, tam-tam, celesta, four harps, piano, organ, and violins divided in three parts, violas and cellos each in two parts, and double-basses--probably the most elaborate score Strauss ever devised instrumentally.
Thor Johnson characterizes even the new symphonic version as a "very thick scoring," although, generally, it omits one of each of the woodwinds and brasses and two harps, as well the Heckelphone, castagnettes, xylophone and wind machine.
Symphony in D Minor...... . . Cesar Franck
"Ctsar Franck served his art with steadfast devotion. No power on earth could force him to break off a period which seemed to him right and necessary . . . He affiliated himself with the great composers for whom sounds had distinct meaning in their sonorous phraseology . . . He served music without ever asking it for renown."
Cesar Franck's Symphony constituted an innovation with a cyclical form of compositions, with which he already had experimented in some of his earlier works. Franck's chief contribution to music, his use of "generative phrases" or basic germs from which the music grows, was employed later by Vincent d'Indy, Debussy, and Ravel. D'Indy made a sweeping comment: "From this moment, the cyclical form, the basis of modern symphonic art was created and consecrated. The plastic, majestic and perfectly beautiful Symphony in D Minor is constructed so."
The music, dedicated to one of Franck's pupils, Henri Duparc, is scored for two flutes, two oboes, English horn, two clarinets, bass clarinet, two bassoons, four horns, two trumpets, two cornets-a-piston, three trombones, tuba, timpani, harp and strings. It is divided into three movements:
I. Lento; Allegro non troppo: The lower strings, answered by woodwinds and violins, announce a questioning motive, foreshadowing the main theme of the subsequent faster section. The passage rises in tremolo excitement into the Allegro, the six-bar theme being divided into three parts. Twenty bars later the material of the Introduction is suggested, again followed by the Allegro. There are developments of sections one, two and three, the second with its memorable rising and falling figure finally being brought forward fortissimo by the full orchestra, and there is a final reminiscence of the principal subject.
II. Allegretto: Harp and pizzicato strings establish the prefatory basis of the melody, which arrives plaintively in the English horn, continued by clarinet, horn and flute. Muted strings suggest a variant of the opening part of the movement in the Scherzo section, woodwinds rustling in reply. Clarinets then introduce a sylph-like dance, afterwards taken up by the strings. The English horn's song returns, disjointedly, and the movement continues in elaboration of the serious and the sylph-like themes.
III. Allegro non troppo: D'Indy said of this movement that its themes are manifestations of ideal beauty. "What is there more joyous, more sanely vital, than the principal subject of the Finale, around which all the other themes in the work cluster and crystalize In the upper registers, all is dominated by that motive which Ropartz called a 'theme of faith'." Cellos and bassoons, after a few introductory measures, announce the principal theme, which is elaborated until a second triumphant subject appears in the brasses. After twenty measures a sinister theme creeps through the basses. The English horn motive from the second movement comes to share interest with those just introduced in the third, eventually mounting crescendo in full orchestra. There next appears the third theme of the first movement, with its syncopations. Most of the motives join in the finale, beginning pianissimo and rising to a dynamic climax, the principal theme of the last movement being accorded the last word in an "outburst of beatific joy."
MAY 4, 5, 6, 7, 1950
BLANCHE THEBOM......Mezzo-Soprano
MARIAN ANDERSON.......Contralto
HAROLD HAUGH..........Tenor
JAN PEERCE...........Tenor
NATHAN MlLSTEIN.........Violin
WILLIAM KAPELL.........Piano
JAMES WOLFE...........Piano
Philadelphia Orchestra at all Concerts
MAY FESTIVAL season ticket orders are being accepted and filed in sequence--Unclaimed seats in Block A, $12.00; Block B, $10.80; Block C, $9.60--at University Musical Society, Charles A. Sink, President, Burton Memorial Tower.
Myra Hess, Pianist......Friday, February 17, 8:30
Fantasia in D minor.........Mozart
Sonata in G major, K. 283........Mozart
Sonata, Op. 110..........Beethoven
Waltzes, Op. 39..........Schumann
Etudes Symphoniques, Op. 13......Schumann
Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra . Thursday, February 23, 8:30 Paul Paray, Guest Conductor
Chicago Symphony Orchestra . . . Sunday, March 12, 7:00 Fritz Reiner, Guest Conductor
Zino Francescatti, Violinist .... Monday, March 20, 8:30 Single Concerts (inc. tax): $3:00--$2.40--$1.80

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