UMS Concert Program, February 23, 1950: Seventy-first Annual Choral Union Concert Series -- Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra
Complete Series: 3024
Hill Auditorium, Ann Arbor, Michigan
UNIVERSITY MUSICAL SOCIETY
CHARLES A. SINK, PRESIDENT THOR JOHNSON, GUEST CONDUCTOR
LESTER MCCOY, ASSOCIATE CONDUCTOR
Ninth Concert 1949-1950 Complete Series 3024
Choral Union Concert Series
PITTSBURGH SYMPHONY ORCHESTRA Paul Paray, Guest Conductor
Thursday Evening, February 23, 1950, at 8:30 Hill Auditorium, Ann Arbor, Michigan
Overture to The Magic Flute........Mozart
Symphony No. 4 in D minor, Op. 120......Schumann
Introduction: ziemlich langsam, lebhaft Romanze: ziemlich longsam Scherzo: lebhaft Langsam: lebhaft
(Played without pause)
Choreographic Poem, "La Valse"........Ravel
Suite from "Pelleas et Melisande"........Faure
"Fileuse" ("The Spinner")
"The Sorcerer's Apprentice".........Dukas
Note.--The University Musical Society has presented the Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra on previous occasions as follows: Nov. 6, 1899, Nov. 12, 1900, Nov. 18, 1902, and Feb. 17, 1904, Victor Herbert, Conductor: Nov. 18, 1904, Nov. 24, 1905, and Nov. 23, 1906, Emil Paur, Conductor.
The Steinway is the official piano of the University Musical Society
ARS LONGA VITA BREVIS
PROGRAM NOTES By Paul Affelder
Overture to The Magic Flute . . . Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart
Mozart composed Die Zauberjiote (The Magic Flute) at the instigation of Johann Emanuel Schikaneder, a small-time theatrical impresario who was giving performances at the Theater auf der Wieden, just outside the city walls of Vienna.
Mozart received the libretto of The Magic Flute in March, 1791, and set to work rather half-heartedly on the music. His wife, Constanze, was ill and was away at Baden taking the waters. Not only was he lonely, but he was not in good health himself.
The playbills for the first performance, which took place on September 30, bore the name of Schikaneder in large, bold letters--though much of the libretto had actually been written by a man named Giesecke--while underneath, in small type, was printed the following: "The music is by Herr Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart, Kapellmeister and composer. Herr Mozart, in deference to the excellent and honorable public, and also out of friendship for the author of the piece, has consented to conduct the orchestra in person for this day only."
The Overture is scored for flutes, oboes, clarinets, bassoons, horns and trumpets-all in pairs--three trombones, kettledrums and strings.
Symphony No. 4 in D minor, Op. 120. . . . Robert Schumann
On May 31, 1841, Clara Schumann wrote in the joint diary kept by her and her husband: "Robert began yesterday another symphony, which will be in one movement, and yet contain an Adagio and a finale. I have heard nothing about it, yet I see Robert's bustle, and I hear D minor sounding wildly from a distance, so that I know in advance that another work will be fashioned in the depths of his soul."
But Schumann was not altogether happy with his new symphony, which he completed and presented to Clara on her birthday, September 13. His First--or Spring-Symphony had appeared the preceding January, shortly after he and Clara were married. The D minor Symphony, which followed, still shows signs of the joy he felt on having finally won her hand. But this work was very coolly received at its premiere, which took place at a Gewandhaus Concert in Leipzig, conducted by Ferdinand David, on December 6, 1841.
Schumann first called this symphony a "symphonic fantasia," and when it finally was published, it bore the title, Introduction, Allegro, Romanze, Scherzo and Finale, in One Movement. The four movements of the work, then, are meant to be played without pause, which was rather a novelty in Schumann's day. But the composer has given the symphony much greater unity than that. The theme of the Introduction is heard again as the middle section of the Romanze and again as the Trio of the Scherzo, while the principal subject of the first movement proper figures prominently in the Finale. Closer examination of the score will reveal other thematic relationships, but the ones mentioned will serve as an adequate guide to the listener.
The symphony is scored for two flutes, two oboes, two clarinets, two bassoons, four horns, two trumpets, three trombones, kettledrums and the usual strings.
"La Valse"--A Choreographic Poem.....Maurice Ravel
Ravel composed La Valse in 1920 at the suggestion of Sergei Diaghileff, who wished to have an "Apotheosis of the Waltz" to make into a ballet for his Russian troupe. When Ravel showed him the music, however, he did not find it to his liking, and told the composer so. As a result, a quarrel ensued, causing the permanent estrangement of the composer and the impresario.
La Valse was first played in an arrangement for two pianos by Ravel and the Italian composer-conductor-pianist, Alfredo Casella, in Vienna in November, 1920. In its orchestral dress, it was first heard on December 12th of that year, at a concert of the Lamoureux Orchestra in Paris, conducted by Camille Chevillard.
Casclla described La Valse as "a sort of triptych: (a) The Birth of the Waltz, (6) The Waltz, (c) The Apotheosis of the Waltz."
On the score is printed the following description, written by Ravel himself: "Whirling clouds give glimpses, through rifts, of couples waltzing. The clouds scatter, little by little. One sees an immense hall peopled with a twirling crowd. The scene is gradually illuminated. The light of the chandeliers bursts forth, fortissimo. An Imperial Court about 18SS."
Suite from Pelttas et Melisande......Gabriel Faure
Maeterlinck wrote Pelleas et Melisande in 1892. Faure's incidental music was composed six years later, to accompany an English version of the play, which was presented in London on June 21, 1898, with Mrs. Patrick Campbell starred as Melisande. At that premiere, the composer conducted his own music.
Briefly, the story of Pelleas et Melisande is this: Golaud, the widowed grandson of old King Arkel of Allemonde, comes upon the beautiful, childlike Melisande in a forest. He is immediately attracted to her, and takes her home as his bride. There she meets Golaud's younger brother, Pelleas, and the two fall in love. One day, while Pelleas and Melisande are seated by a fountain, she playfully tosses her wedding ring in the air and it falls into the water. When Golaud asks what has become of the ring, Melisande tells him she lost it in a grotto. Angered, he send Pelleas with her to look for it, but the two are frightened away by three blind sisters sitting in the cave. Golaud, who has by now become suspicious of the love of Pelleas for Melisande, surprises the couple when they are together. Later, he has his young song, Yniold, spy on them. Finally, mad with jealousy, Golaud again comes upon the two lovers in the park, and he slays his younger brother. As Melisande lies in her bed, dying from grief and childbirth, Golaud demands that she tell him the truth--has she loved Pelleas guiltily With her last dying breath, she declares that their love was blameless, and that they committed no wrong.
The opening movement is the Prelude to the play. In mysterious, melancholy tones, the music sets the stage for the impending tragedy which is to unfold. "Fileuse"--or "Spinner"--is the title of the second movement. It is the depictive introduction to the first scene of Act III, which bears the following stage directions: "A room in the castle, Pelleas and Melisande are discovered. Melisande is at the back of the room--spinning." The last movement is "The Death of Melisande." The music accompanies the final dialogue of the play, as the jealous Golaud questions the dying Melisande about her love for Pelleas.
The Sorcerer's Apprentice........Paul Dukas
The one work for which Dukas will remain immortal is his orchestral scherzo, "The Sorcerer's Apprentice. This amusing and brilliant piece has often been cited as the perfect example of what a symphonic poem should be.
The thrice-familiar story of "The Sorcerer's Apprentice" deals with a young apprentice magician who, while his master is away, decides to try out one of the favorite tricks he has seen the sorcerer perform. He intones a few "hokus-pokuses," and an innocent-looking broom suddenly starts up from its corner and begins fetching water for the young man's bath. In practically no time at all, the bath is full, so the apprentice commands the broom to stop. But he finds he has forgotten the magic formula, so the broom continues to bring more water. Soon the whole room is flooded. In desperation, the boy grabs an axe and chops the broom in half. That ought to fix it, thinks he. The flood stops only momentarily, however; recovering quickly from the shock, the two halves of the broom get up, and both begin to draw water. As the entire house becomes a raging torrent, the panic-stricken apprentice calls for help. Just as he is about to be drowned, aid arrives in the person of the master. With the prescribed magic words, he makes the brooms stop, and they return to their corner, mere sticks of wood once again.
"The Sorcerer's Apprentice" was written in 1897, and on May IS of that year received its initial performance, under the composer's direction, at a concert of the Societe Nationale in Paris.
MAY 4, 5, 6, 7, 1950
THE PHILADELPHIA ORCHESTRA AT ALL CONCERTS
UUBA WELITCH, Soprano NORMA HEYDE, Soprano BLANCHE THEBOM, Mezzo-soprano MARIAN ANDERSON, Contralto JAN PEERCE, Tenor HAROLD HAUGH, Tenor MACK HARRELL, Baritone NATHAN MILSTEIN, Violin ALEXANDER HILSBERG, Violin WILLIAM PRIMROSE, Viola
WILLIAM KINCAID, Flute WILLIAM KAPELL, Piano JAMES WOLFE, Piano EUGENE ORMANDY, Conductor ALEXANDER HILSBERG, Conductor THOR JOHNSON, Conductor MARGUERITE HOOD, Conductor UNIVERSITY CHORAL UNION FESTIVAL YOUTH CHORUS
THURSDAY, MAY 4, 8:30 Eugene Ormandy, Conductor Soloist: Ljuba Welitch, Soprano Overture and Allegro from
La Sultane .... Coupeein-Milhaud "Or sai chi l'onore" from Don Giovanni . Mozart "Voi che sapete" from
Marriage of Figaro.....Mozart
Symphony No. 7 in C major, Op. 105 . Sibelius Closing Scene from Salome . . . Stbauss
Symphonic Poem, "Death and Transfiguration" ....... Strauss
FRIDAY, MAY 5, 8:30 University Choral Union Thor Johnson, Conductor
Norma Heyde, Soprano William Primrose, Viola Blanche Thebom, Alexander Hilsberg,
M ezzo-Soprano Violin
Harold Haugh, Tenor William Kincaid, Flute Mack Harrell, Baritone James Wolfe, Piano "Brandenburg" Concerto No. 5, for Piano,
Violin, Flute, and Strings . . . Bach Concerto for Viola and Orchestra . . Bartok
William Primrose "Magnificat" in D major .... Bach
Choral Union and Soloists
Alice Lungershausen, Harpsichord
Mary Stubbins, Organist
SATURDAY, MAY 6, 2:30
Alexander Hilsberg and Marguerite Hood, Conductors
Festival Youth Chorus Soloist: Jan Peerce, Tenor
Overture to Benvenuto Cellini . . . Berlioz "The Walrus and the Carpenter" . . Fletcher
Youth Chorus "No, oh Dio" from Alceste . . . Handel
Love Has Eyes......Bishop
"Enjoy the Sweet Elysian Grove"
Jan Peerce Tomb Scene from Lucia di Lammermoor........Donizetti
"0 Paradiso" from L'Ajricana . . Meyerbeer
Mr. Peerce Symphony No. 2.....Schubert
SATURDAY, MAY 6, 8:30
Eugene Ormandy, Conductor
Soloist: William Kapcll, Pianist
Prelude to Khovantchina . . Moussorgsky Concerto No. 3 in D minor, Op. 30 for Piano and Orchestra . . . Rachmaninoff Allegro ma non tanto Intermezzo: adagio Finale
William Kapell Symphony No. S in E minor.
Andante; allegro con anima
Andante cantabilc, con alcuna licenza Valse: allegro moderato Finale: andante maestoso
SUNDAY, MAY 7, 2:30
Thor Johnson, Conductor
University Choral Union
Soloist: Nathan Milstein, Violinist
"Schicksalslied" ("Song of Destiny"),
Symphony No. 4, "The Cycle" for
Chorus and Orchestra . . Peter Mennin
Choral Union Concerto in D major, Op. 77, for
Violin and Orchestra .... Brahms Allegro non troppo Adagio
Allegro giocoso, ma non troppo vivace Nathan Milstein
SUNDAY, MAY 7, 8:30
Eugene Ormandy, Conductor
Soloist: Marian Anderson, Contralto
"Classical" Symphony in D major,
Two Hispanic Pieces .... McDonald Jeanne d'Arc au Bucher .... Liszt
Miss Anderson Symphonic Poem, "The Pines of Rome" Respighi
The Pines of the Villa Borghese
The Pines near the Catacomb
The Pines of the Janiculum
The Pines of the Appian Way
SEASON TICKETS NOW ON SALE--$10.80 and $9.60 (tax included); at University Musical Society, Burton Memorial Tower.