UMS Concert Program, March 12, 1950: Fourth Annual Extra Concert Series -- Chicago Symphony Orchestra
Complete Series: 3025
Hill Auditorium, Ann Arbor, Michigan
UNIVERSITY MUSICAL SOCIETY
CHARLES A. SINK, PRESIDENT THOR JOHNSON, GUEST CONDUCTOR
LESTER MC COY, ASSOCIATE CONDUCTOR
Fifth Concert 1949-1950 Complete Series 3025
Extra Concert Series
CHICAGO SYMPHONY ORCHESTRA
FRITZ REINER, Guest Conductor
Sunday Evening, March 12, 1950, at 7:00 Hill Auditorium, Ann Arbor, Michigan
PROGRAM Overture, "Leonore," No. 2, Op. 72......Beethoven
"Paganiniana," Op. 65--Divertimento on Themes
of Nicolo Paganini..........Casella
Allegro agitato Polacchetta Romanza Tarantella
Symphony No. 2 in C major, Op. 61......Schumann
Sostenuto assai; allegro ma non troppo Scherzo
Adagio espressivo Allegro molto vivace
Siegfried's Rhine Journey, from Gotterddmmerung "I
Good Friday Spell, from Parsifal . . Wagner
The Ride of the Valkyries, from Die Walkure J
Note.--The University Musical Society has presented the Chicago Symphony Orchestra on pr vious occasions as follows: Choral Union Series, Theodore Thomas, conductor (8); in thirty-one Ma
preFestivals (1905-1935 inclusive), and in the Choral Union Series, Nov. 2. 1936 and Nov. 30, 1941, Frederick Stock, conductor; Mar. 19, 1945, Jan. 31, 1946, and Mar. 16, 1947, Desire Defauw, conductor; Oct. 26. 1947, Artur Rodzinski, conductor; and Mar. 27, 1949, Fritz Busch, guest conductor.
Zino Francescatti, Violinist, Monday, March 20, 8:30 p.m.
ARS LONGA VITA BREVIS
PROGRAM NOTES by Felix Borowski
Overture, "Leonore," No. 2, Op. 72 . . . Ludwig van Beethoven
The work which is performed on this occasion is the first of the overtures which Beethoven composed for his opera Fidelio.
The main movement of the overture "Leonore" No. 2 is preceded by a lengthy Introduction (Adagio, C major, 3-4 time). After nine measures of this the tenth ushers in the opening phrase of the air "In des Lebens Friihlingstagen" sung by Florestan in the second act of the opera, here played by clarinets, bassoons and two horns.
The Allegro (C major, 2-2 time) opens with the principal subject announced pp by the cellos, a sustained C being held by the horns, and the same note muttered by the violas. A gradual crescendo brings a climax with this same subject ff in the full orchestra. The second theme appears in E major in the violoncellos, an arpeggio figure sounding above it in the first violins. This theme is based on Florestan's air previously heard in the Introduction. The Development, mainly constructed on the material of the principal theme, brings in at the close a unison passage in all the strings which leads into a chord of E-flat, upon which a trumpet call is heard as from afar. There follows a reminiscence of the principal subject of the movement, and the trumpet call is heard once more. After fourteen measures of modulation Florestan's air appears once again, Adagio, in the woodwinds and in C major. Note here the important part for the kettledrum. The violins then bring forward the Allegro tempo again in a passage beginning pianissimo, but growing in power as the other strings and the woodwind join in, and finally to culminate in a great climax, upon which (Presto) the material of the principal subject is heard for the last time in the form of a coda.
"Paganiniana," Op. 65--Divertimento on Themes
of Nicolo Paganini........Alfredo Caseixa
Alfredo Casella was one of the important figures in the contemporary musical scene. He became a modern exponent of the younger generation of Italian musicians. His threefold activities as a composer, as a gifted pianist, and as a teacher brought fresh impetus into the artlife of his country.
In spite of his long residence in Paris and his proximity to the great impressionists, Debussy and Ravel, Casella remained an independent: he soon forgot the early influences of the French school for the sake of specifically Italian and nationalistic guideposts.
In 1926, Casella wrote a work which he called "Scarlattiana," in which he attempted a renaissance of music by the eighteenth-century composer in a modern symphonic style. In 1942, he again paid homage to an older Italian musician, Nicolo Paganini, choosing from his scores a series of themes as basic material for an orchestral divertimento.
The occasion was the centenary of the Vienna Philharmonic Orchestra. Invited to contribute a score for the celebration, Casella conceived a work of extreme virtuosity which would display the excellence of the Philharmonic players. The music was also designed to extol the virtuoso spirit of Paganini.
Paganini's music had earlier inspired such important composers as Schumann, Liszt, and Brahms. Rachmaninoff's symphonic variations on a theme by Paganini developed into a romantic concerto for piano and orchestra. Casella, by contrast, heard the overtones of Italianism in the music of Paganini. He observed the peculiar bent of Paganini's melodic line and emulated its raciness and virtuosic gesture. Sometimes, a slight irony is felt in the expression. Certain passages express humor; others, melancholy.
In each one of the four movements, Casella blended the old with the new. Paganini was a melodist, not a polyphonic thinker. Hence, Casella aimed at a horizontal movement of chords rather than that of counterpoints. He abandoned individual part writing in the sense of a genuine polyphony. Within the textures of swiftly moving chords, he mixed, in smooth succession, traditional harmonies with more dissonant modern ones. Thus Casella obtained results considered incompatible by conservative musicians while called reactionary by the radical modern ones.
The printed study score of "Paganiniana," published by the Vienna Edition Philharmonia, lists the sources of Casella's thematic material as follows:
The first movement, allegro agitato, is based on four themes from Paganini's Violin Capriccios, Numbers 5, 12, 16, and 19.
The second movement, polachetta, is taken from the Quartet, Op. 4, for violin, viola, cello, and guitar. (Paganini played the guitar with great skill.)
The third movement, romanza, is from an unpublished composition entitled "The Spring." The finale, called tarantella, has its origin in Paganini's music of the
Symphony No. 2, C major, Op. 61 .... Robert Schumann
The first sketches for his C-major symphony were made by Schumann in the period from December 12 to December 28, 184S, at Dresden, where Schumann had retired for rest and the seclusion which it was hoped would benefit the grave condition of his health. That the improvement in his condition was very slow and gradual, Schumann himself made clear in a communication concerning his C-major symphony to Georg Dietrich Otten, the founder of the Hamburg Musikverein:
"I composed the symphony in December, 1845, when I was still ailing; it seems to me as if one could not but hear it in the music. It was only in the finale that I began to feel myself again and it was not until I had completed the whole work that I became completely well. It is thus full of reminiscences of a dark period."
Schumann began the scoring of his symphony in February, 1846, but this work was soon interrupted by his nervous condition. He suffered particularly from irritation of the auditory nerves, which produced a constant buzzing and singing in his ears. A journey to Norderney--a small island in the North Sea, off the coast of East Friesland--brought about so much improvement in the master's health that he was able to apply himself once more to the orchestration of his symphony. The work was completed October IS, 1846, and the following month it was given its first production at the fifth subscription concert at the Gewandhaus, Leipzig. Mendelssohn conducted, and the orchestra performed the symphony from manuscript.
Schumann scored his second symphony for two flutes, two oboes, two clarinets, two bassoons, two horns, two trumpets, three trombones, kettledrums, and strings.
Siegfried's Rhine Journey from Gotterddmmerung . Richard Wagner
Although Gotterddmmerung ("Twilight of the Gods"), the last music drama of the four works that make up the cycle of "Der Ring des Nibelungen," was finished in 1872, Wagner had conceived the work as early as 1848, immediately following the completion of Lohengrin.
"Siegfried's Rhine Journey" is an instrumental interlude separating the prologue from the first act. It represents the hero's departure from the scene of the rock on which he had penetrated the flames that the god, Wotan, had caused to spring up around the slumbering form of Briinnhilde. Wagner himself made an arrangement of this piece--which he calls an "orchestral scherzo"--for concert purposes.
Good Friday Spell, from Parsifal.....Richard Wagner
This portion of Parsifal constitutes the third and last act. The scene is a pleasant garden in springtime. From above floats down the sound of voices softly singing a chant of gratitude and praise.
The Ride of the Valkyries, from Die Walkiire . . Richard Wagner
The "Ride of the Valkyries" is the prelude to the third act of the music drama. The scene is a rocky mountain top, over which clouds are driven by the storm wind. Occasional flashes of lightning reveal other peaks in the far distance, half hidden by the mists. The Valkyries--daughters of Wotan and Erda--race over the rocks on their steeds. It is their mission to carry to Valhalla the dead bodies of heroes who have fallen in battle, there to become the protectors of the gods; and as the horses fly through the mists, the forms of the slain warriors are to be seen hanging from their saddles.
Wagner made the arrangement of this excerpt for concert performance. It is written in B minor (Lebhaft, 9-8 time) and is based throughout on the bold theme which suggests the impetuous energy of the flight of the Valkyries as they ride their horses through the clouds.
MAY 4, 5, 6, 7, 1950 j
THE PHILADELPHIA ORCHESTRA AT ALL CONCERTS I
LJUBA 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 K1NCAID, 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 .... Couperin-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 . . . Strauss
Symphonic Poem, "Death and Transfiguration" ....... Sthauss
FRIDAY, MAY 5, 8:30 University Choral Union Thor Johnson, Conductor
Norma Heyde, Soprano William Primrose, Viola Blanche Thebom, Alexander Hilsberg,
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 . . Bart6k
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 Celltm . Berlioz
"The Walrus and the Carpenter" . Fletcher
"No, oh Dio" from Alceste Handel
Love Has Eyes..... Bishop
"Enjoy the Sweet Elysian Grove"
from Alceste..... Handel
Tomb Scene from Lucia di Lammer-
"0 Paradiso" from L'Ajricana . Meyerbeer
SATURDAY, MAY 6, 8:30
Eugene Ormandy, Conductor
Soloist: William Kapell, 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. 5 in E minor,
Andante; allegro con anima
Andante cantabile, con alcuna licenza Valse: allegro moderate Finale: andante maestoso
SUNDAY, MAY 7, 2:30
Thor Johnson, Conductor
University Choral Union
Soloist: Nathan Milsrein, Violinist
"Schicksalslied" ("Song of Destiny"),
"The Cycle," Symphony No. 4 for Chorus and Orchestra . . Peter Mennin
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.