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UMS Concert Program, May 4, 5, 6, 7, 1950: The Fifty-seventh Annual May Festival -- The Philadelphia Orchestra

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Season: 1949-1950
Concert: FIRST
Hill Auditorium, Ann Arbor Michigan

Official Program of the Fifty-seventh Annual
May 4, 5, 6, 7, 1950 Hill Auditorium, Ann Arbor Michigan
Published by The University Musical Society, Ann Arbor
Charles A. Sink, A.B., M.Ed., LL.D.......President
Alexander G. Ruthven, Ph.D., LL.D., Sc.D. . Vice-President
Shirley W. Smith, A.M., LL.D........Secretary
Oscar A. Eberbach, A.B...........Treasurer
Roscoe O. Bonisteel, LL.B. . . . Assistant Secretary-Treasurer James R. Breakey, Jr., A.B., A.M., LL.B.
Harley A. Haynes, M.D. James Inglis
Thor Johnson, M.Mus., Mus.D. E. Blythe Stason, A.B., B.S., J.D. Henry F. Vaughan, M.S., Dr. P.H. Merlin Wiley, A.B., LL.B.
Charles A. Sink, President Mary K. Farkas, Secretary to the President Deanne Smith, Bookkeeper and Cashier Gail W. Rector, Assistant to the President Lester McCoy, Associate Conductor
Eugene Ormandy, Orchestral Conductor Alexander Hilsberg, Associate Orchestral Conductor Thor Johnson, Guest Conductor Marguerite Hood, Youth Chorus Conductor
Ljuba Welitch..............Soprano
Norma Heyde..............Soprano
Marian Anderson.............Contralto
Blanche Thebom............Contralto
Jan Peerce............... . Tenor
Harold Haugh..............Tenor
Mack Harrell.............Baritone
Nathan Milstein............. Violinist
Alexander Hilsberg............Violinist
William Primrose.............Violist
William Kincaid.............Flutist
William Kapell.............Pianist
James Wolfe............ Pianist
The Philadelphia Orchestra
The University Choral Union
The Festival Youth Chorus
Notices and Acknowledgments
The University Musical Society desires to express appreciation to Thor Johnson and Lester McCoy, and to the members of the Choral Union for their effective services} to Miss Marguerite Hood and her able associates for their valuable services in preparation of the Festival Youth Chorus 5 to the several members of the staff for their efficient assistance} and to the teachers, in the various schools from which the young people have been drawn, for their co-operation.
The Author of the annotations hereby expresses his deep obligation to Louise Goss for her aid in collecting materials; and to Donald Engle, annotator for the Philadelphia Orchestra, for his co-operation.
The Steinway is the official concert piano of the University Musical Society and the Lester Grand piano of the Philadelphia Orchestra.
Concerts will begin on time and doors will be closed during numbers.
The University Musical Society is a nonprofit corporation devoted to educational purposes. During its existence its concerts have been maintained through the sale of tickets of admission. The prices have been kept as low as possible to cover the expense of production. Obviously, the problem is becoming increasingly difficult. The Society has confidence that there are those who would like to contribute to a Concert Endowment Fund, to ensure continuance of the high quality of the concerts. All contributions will be utilized in maintaining the ideals of the Society by providing the best possible programs.
The United States Department of Internal Revenue has ruled that gifts or bequests made to the Society are deductible for income and estate tax purposes.
Thursday Evening, May 4, at 8:30
Soloist LJUBA WELITCH, Sofrano
PROGRAM Overture and Allegro from the Suite, "La Sultane" . Couperin-Milhaud
Letter Aria from Eugene Onegin.........Tchaikovsky
Ljuba Welitch
Symphony No. 7 in C major, Op. 105 (in one movement) . . . Sibelius
Adagio; vivacissimo; adagio; allegro molto moderate; vivace; presto; adagio; largamente.
Closing Scene from Salome, Op. 54.......... Strauss
Mme Welitch
Symphonic Poem, "Death and Transfiguration," Op. 24 ... Strauss ?Columbia Records
Friday Evening, May 5, at 8130
"Brandenburg" Concerto No. 5 in D major,
for Piano, Violin, Flute, and Strings.........Bach
Affettuoso Allegro
Song Cycle, "Don Quichotte a Dulcinee".........Ravel
Chanson romanesque Chanson epique Chanson a boire
Mack Harrell
Concerto for Viola and Orchestra..........Bartok
Lento; adagio religioso
Allegretto j allegro vivace
William Primrose
intermission "Magnificat" in D major..............Bach
Magnificat Et exultavit Quia respexit Omnes generationes Quia fecit mihi magna Et misericordia
Fecit potentiam Deposuit Esurientes Suscepit Israel Sixut locutus est Gloria
University Choral Union and Soloists
Alice Luncershausen, Harfsiciordist Mary McCall Stubbins, Organist
Saturday Afternoon, May 6, at 2130
Soloist JAN PEERCE, Tenor
PROGRAM Overture to Benvenuto Cellini............Berlioz
The Walrus and the Carpenter..........Fletcher j
Festival Youth Chorus
"No, O Dio" from Calfhurnia............Handel j
j Love Has Eyes.................Bishop i
"Enjoy the Sweet Elysian Grove" from Alceste......Handel j
Jan Peerce j
Tomb Scene from Lucia di Lammermoor.......Donizetti
"O Paradiso" from L'Ajricana..........Meyerbeer j
Mr. Peerce i
i Symphony No. 2 in B-flat major..........Schubert
Largo; allegro vivace i Andante
Menuetto: allegro vivace -:
Presto; vivace ¦ ¦:
Saturday Evening, May 6, at 8:30
Soloist WILLIAM KAPELL, Pianist
Prelude from Khovantschbia...........Moussorgsky
Concerto No. 3 in D minor, Op. 30, for Piano and
Allegro ma non tanto Intermezzo: adagio Finale
William Kapell
?Symphony No. 5 in E minor, Op. 64.......Tchaikovsky
Andante; allegro con anima
Andante cantabile, con alcuna licenza Valse: allegro moderato Finale: andante maestoso
Victor records
The -piano used is a Steinivay
Sunday Afternoon, May 7, at 2:30
Soloist NATHAN MILSTEIN, Violinist
Song of Destiny (Schicksalslied), Op. 54, for Chorus
and Orchestra...............Brahms
Symphony No. 4--"The Cycle," for Chorus and Orchestra . Peter Mennin
Allegro energico Andante arioso Pronunziato
University Choral Union
Concerto in D major, Op. 77, for Violin and Orchestra
Allegro non troppo Adagio
Allegro giocoso, ma non troppo vivace
Nathan Milstein
Sunday Evening, May 7, at 8:30
Soloist MARIAN ANDERSON, Contralto
?"Classical" Symphony in D major, Op. 25...... Prokofiev j
Allegro j
Larghetto {
Gavotte: non troppo allegro j
Finale: molto vivace i
Kindertotenlieder...............Mahler. ;
Nun will die Sonn' so hell aufgeh'n .
Nun seh' ich wohl ;
Wenn dein Mutterlein tritt zur Tur herein i
Oft denk'ich, sie sind nur ausgegangen! ' ;
In diesem Wetter, in diesem Braus .
Marian Anderson
Two Hispanic Pieces...........Harl McDonald j
Nocturne; Rhumba
Jeanne d'Arc au bucher...............Liszt ]
Miss Anderson
Symphonic Poem, "The Pines of Rome"........Respighi j
The Pines of the Villa Borghese j
The Pines Near a Catacomb s
The Pines of the Janiculum !
The Pines of the Appian Way
? Columbia records (
Thursday Evening, May 4
Overture and Allegro from La Sultane . . Couperin-Milhaud
Francois Couperin was born in Paris, November 10, 1668; died there September 12, 1733.
Taken as a whole, the definitive, manifold, and complex art of "Couperin le grand," as he was respectfully referred to by his age, forms a kind of compendium as it were, of the activities of French instrumental music in the eighteenth century. It embodies its purest and most characteristic qualities. Climaxing, as did Johann Sebastian Bach, a family of musical distinction, famous for over two centuries, Frangois Couperin wrote in all of the musical forms known to his period except opera. With his rapidly increasing publications after 1713, his fame as a composer spread throughout Europe. Already recognized as a most distinguished and brilliant performer on the harpsicord, he won further fame in 1716 as the author of a famous technical treatise, L'Art de toucher de clavegin. In all of these capacities, as performer, composer, and author, he influenced many of the great names of his period, especially Johann Sebastian Bach who adopted his methods, taught his compositions, and used him as a model while composing the French Suites.
Nietzche's virulent protestation against the "romantic disorder--the hodgepodge of tones, with its aspiration after the elevated, the sublime, the involved," would have delighted in Couperin's circumspect workmanship and lack of redundancy. Here is the art he yearned for, "bouyant, fluid art, divinely artificial-that coruscates like a clear flame in a cloudless sky."
The prelude and allegro on tonight's program are the first two movements of a six movement "Sonade en quatuor," a quartet for strings and clavecin continuo, scored for the modern orchestra by Darius Milhaud at the suggestion of Vladimir Golschmann.
A "Sonade" is a suite of several movements for an ensemble of several instruments. This work is to be found in Volume X of Maurice Cauchie's twelve-volume edition of Couperin's works (1932-33), the publication of which was sponsored by Mrs. Louise B. Dyer.
OFFICIAL PROGRAM Letter Aria from Eugene Onegin.......Tchaikovsky
Peter Ilich Tchaikovsky was born at Wotkinsk, Russia, May 7, 1840; died at Petrograd, November 6, 1893.
No composer of the nineteenth century could have been more sensitive to the yearnings of Eugene Onegin than Tchaikovsky. The libretto for his opera, based upon the story by Pushkin, dwells upon the indefinable torture of spirit and frustration of its hero. There is little else in the plot.
Eugene Onegin, in love with another, refuses the proffered love of the beautiful Tatiana. Upon meeting her years later, he falls desperately in love; Tatiana, now happily married, remains true to her husband and Onegin is left alone tortured by bitter memories.
In this aria, Tatiana, troubled by doubts as to Eugene's feeling for her, hesitatingly at first, and then with growing confidence, declares her love for him:
Tatiana {with elevated force and fassion).--Tho' I should die for it, I've
sworn now,
I first shall live each heart-felt longing, Dumb hopes that many a year I've borne
Which yet unstilled, to life are thronging.
I quaff the poison draft of passion! Now let desire his shackles fashion, I see him here,--in ev'ry place I hear his voice and see his face! I hear the tempter's voice and see his
face. (Goes to the writing tablet writes, then
pauses.} No, 'twill not do! Quick, something
different. How strange it is! It frightens me!
How am I to begin it! (Writes. Pauses, and reads what she
has written.')
I write to you without reflection! Is that not all I need to say What led you here to this our lonely
home '
Or what inducement seem'd to offer
Unknown by me, had not come,
The hopes, the fears, for which I suffer!
My unexperienc'd emotion
And to thy words how did I lend me!
And once--No, no, it was no dream,
I saw thee come, thou stood'st before me,
My heart stopped beating; then 'twas
blazing, and then with rapture cried: 'Tishe! 'Tishe!
'Twas thou, in slumber, o'er me bending; 'Twas thou I met my way a-wending, Whom I, the poor and sick attending, Have always seen. Thy voice it was forever ringing, That in my heart was ever singing, Thy face that lulled to sleep at night. And many pretty names you'd make me, And then to new-born life awake me, And bring me hope so pure and bright.
{Pauses as if to reflect.) Art thou an angel watching by me Art thou a tempter sent to try me Give answer, drive these doubts away! The face I dreamt, was that delusion Art thou a freak of fancy Say!
Was all my joy a mere illusion
No, come what may to stand or fall,
My dream-face be my revelation!
Thou art my passion, thou my all!
In thee alone, in thee alone lies my salvation !
But think, ah! think, I've none but thee!
With none to understand or cherish,
With time would soon have passed away,
I'd for another ta'en a notion,
And loved him with supreme devotion,
And learnt a mother's part to play-(Rising suddenly)
Another! No, never any other,
For any other I had loathed!
Thou art by Fate for me appointed,
I am by Heav'n to thee betrothed!
No empty dream by fate was given
When blessed hope to me it gave.
Oft in my dreams did'st thou attend me;
And tho' I knew thee not, I loved;
How by thy glance was I moved,
Alone and helpless, I must perish,
Unless my saviour thou wilt be.
I trust in thee, I trust in thee; be not
But speak one word to comfort me, But not reproach, as well might be, For at a single word my dreams were
(She stands uf and seals the letter) 'Tis finished! Ah! this trust of mine Thou ne'er must punish, ne'er must chide
To thee, my vision-face divine, To thee, thine honor, I confide me!
Symphony No. 7 in C major, Op. 105.......Sibelius
Jean Sibelius was born in Tavastehus, Finland, December 8, 1865.
Until the recent advent of Dimitri Shostakovich, Jean Sibelius held a position of unrivalled eminence among present-day symphonists. His symphonies crowded the air waves, conductors built their programs around them, and record shops dispersed them in albums to an avid public. Our current magazines and papers, year after year, noted every anniversary of his birth, and continuously carried "human interest" stories of his personal fortitude and spiritual strength in the face of disaster. He had become a symbol of his country's courage, and his music sounded the proud defiance of a great people and the sure confidence in their ultimate victory over the ruthless Russian aggressor.
But by virtue of a sudden turn in international affairs, in what might be termed a historical accident, Finland found herself allied with our foe; and as a result, Sibelius disappeared from our concert halls--even the German Wagner, hero of our Nazi enemies, was heard with greater frequency. A new sensation then arrested our attention--the spectacle of a heroic Russian youth, who, in the midst of his country's frightful struggle for survival, created a music that epitomized heroism and dauntless courage, but this time of the Russian people. Music that not so long before was considered dangerous to the best interests of our society, was now receiving the same approbation we had so generously
heaped upon that of Sibelius. The false values, which the changing events of history can give or take away from an artist, make it exceedingly difficult, but all the more necessary, for criticism to make an objective analysis of genuine and permanent values, which alone can ultimately bring either distinction or oblivion to an artist.
There is no intention here of comparing the relative virtues or shortcomings of Shostakovich and Sibelius. The fact remains that in spite of the sensational rivalry offered by the younger Russian composer, Sibelius remains, without doubt, by virtue of the quality and quantity of his output, the outstanding symphonist of our day.
Fate has been persistent in involving Jean Sibelius in great soul-stirring catastrophies. As a young musician, he was an artistic rebel determined upon Finnish freedom, politically as well as artistically, and was involved in Finland's emancipation in the 1890's. World War I found him as staunch and bravely chauvinistic as ever in the face of impending doom. And during the last war, at the close of a long life full of great artistic achievements and deep concern for his native land, the old patriarch refused to leave his unfortunate country in her need and wrote on in the midst of her greatest disaster. Sibelius' faith in humanity has been subjected to the severest tests, but he has never lost that faith.
But, speaking of Sibelius purely as a historical figure, and of his position among the greatest symphonists of the past, it must be acknowledged that it was really through him that the long line of symphonic writing has survived; a line which, except for his efforts, seemed to have come to an end. Contemporary composers of the "new school," having lost the epic sweep and sustaining power that marked such masters as Beethoven and Brahms, declared the symphony a dead form, and turned to the less architectural and more programmatic symphonic poem and a new conception of the suite in which to frame their more lyrical and less epic conceptions. Sibelius alone, working against the tendency of his age, and continuing in the tradition of the great masters of the past, not only saved the symphonic form from oblivion, but raised it again to a level of dignity and grandeur, equaled only by Beethoven. It was Beethoven in fact who guided Sibelius through the labyrinth of his own ideas. "The composer for me above all others is Beethoven," he wrote. "I am affected as powerfully by the human side of him as by his music. He is a revelation to me. He was a Titan. Everything was against him, and yet he triumphed."
A careful consideration of Sibelius' great symphonies reveals this one fact: that he has again sensed the "grand manner" in music, has sustained his inFIRST CONCERT
spiration throughout a long life, and has cast this inspiration in a monumental series of symphonies that remain a unique structure in contemporary music. In the words of his biographer, Karl Ekman--"The noble structure of his works has come forth from the grand line of his life. He has won his inner strength and harmony in a hard battle. In a disjointed time, a period of dissension, Jean Sibelius provides us with the uplifting picture of a man who dared to follow his genius and never was subservient to other claims than those of his own artistic conscience, who dared to live his life in the grand style." Such an indomitable spirit, it seems, must ultimately triumph in art.
In his brief work on Sibelius, Cecil Grey wrote of this symphony:
Sibelius' Seventh--and up to the time of writing, last--Symphony in C major, Op. 105, is in one gigantic movement based in the main on the same structural principles as the first movement of the Sixth. That is to say, it has one chief dominating subject, a fanfarelike theme which first appears on a solo trombone near the outset and recurs twice, more or less integrally, and in addition a host of small, pregnant, fragmentary motives of which at least a dozen play a prominent part in the unfolding of the action. The resourceful way in which these are varied, developed, juxtaposed, permuted, and combined into a continuous and homogeneous textnre is one of the miracles of modern music; Sibelius himself has never done anything to equal it in this respect.f
@@@@In Karl Ekman's more extended work, Sibelius himself is quoted as having said of the Seventh Symphony (upon which, apparently, he was at work simultaneously with the Fifth and with the Sixth):
. The Seventh Symphony. Joy of life, and vitality with appassionato passages. In three movements--the last, a "Hellenic rondo." If so, somewhere along the course he altered his plan. In fact, he himself conceded that he did not know, when he began, precisely how the symphonies would end. "As usual, I am a slave to my themes and submit to their demands." f
Later on the author quotes Sibelius as follows:
At New Year's, 1923, I was engaged for concerts in Norway and Sweden. When I started on January 14th--I have the date from the notes in my diary--three sections of the seventh symphony were ready. On my return home, the whole symphony was completed; I performed it in public at a concert in Helsingfors on February 19th --the last time I conducted in Finland. . . . On March 2nd, 1924, at night, as I
Karl Ekman, Jean Sibelius, His Life and Personality (New York: Knopf, 1938). t Cecil Grey, Sibelius (London: Oxford University Press, 1931). Ekman, of. at.
entered in my diary, I completed "Fantasia Sinfonica"--that was what I at first thought of calling my seventh symphony in one movement.
For the program of April 3, 1926 (first performance by the Philadelphia Orchestra under Leopold Stokowski), Lawrence Gilman supplied this clear and revealing analysis:
The symphony opens with an extended adagio section of brooding and somber intensity. Its initial subject, an ascending scale passage in A minor, 3-2 time, for the strings, furnishes the underlying theme of the work. It crops out again and again, as a whole, or fragmentary, and often inverted. In the twenty-second measure it is succeeded by a broadly lyric theme in C major, sung by the divided violas and cellos, joined later by the divided first and second violins. The scale passages return in the strings and woodwind, and then we hear from the solo trombone a chant-like melody in C, which will later assume great importance.
The tempo quickens; there are more scale passages; the pace is now trivacissimo, C minor. The strings announce a subject that recalls the mood of the Scherzo of Beethoven's Eroica. There is a rallentando, and a return to the adagio tempo of the beginning. The solo trombone repeats its chant-like phrase against figurations in the strings, and it is joined by the rest of the brass choir. Again the tempo quickens, and an allegro molto moderato is established.
The strings (foco f, C major, 6--4) give out a new melody of folklike simplicity and breadth; and this is followed by another subject, also in C major, arranged--¦ according to a pattern of which Sibelius is fond--for woodwind doubled in pairs, playing in thirds, fifths, and sixths. This theme is developed by the strings and wind, with interjections of the familiar scale passages for the violins.
The key changes to E-flat major, the tempo becomes vivace. There are ascending and descending antiphonal passages, strings answered by woodwind.
The tempo becomes ¦presto, the key C major. The strings, divided in eight parts, begin a mysteriously portentous passage, at first fff, with the violas and cellos defining an urgent figure against a reiterated pedal G of the violins, basses, and tympani. A crescendo, rallcntando, is accompanied by a fragment of the basic scale passage, in augmentation, for the horns.
The tempo is again adagio; and now the chant-like C major theme is heard once more from the brass choir, against mounting figurations of the strings.
There is a climax, ff, for the whole orchestra. The strings are heard alone, largamente molto, in an affettuoso of intense expression. Flute and bassoon in octaves, supported by soft string tremolos, sing a plaint. The strings, dolce, in syncopated rhythm, modulate through seventh chords in A-flat and G to a powerful suspension, fortissimo, on the tonic chord of C major; and this brings to a close the enigmatic, puissant, and strangely moving work.
Closing Scene from Salome..........Strauss
Richard Strauss was born at Munich, June 11, 1864; died in Garmish-Parten-Kirchen, Germany, September 8, 1949.
Criticism has always been embarrassed in its attempt to evaluate Richard Strauss. There is no doubt that he was one of the most interesting and extraordinary personalities in the world of music. Whatever his antagonistic critics have had to say of him, he remains, in the light of his early works at least, one of the greatest composers of our time.
Trained during his formative years in the classical musical tradition of Haydn, Mozart, and Beethoven, he exerted his individuality and independence of thought and expression with such daring and insistence that at his mature period he was considered the most modern and most radical of composers. Critics turned from their tirades against Wagner, to vent their invectives upon him. They villified him as they had Wagner, with a persistence that seems incredible to us today.
The progressive unfolding of his genius aroused much discussion, largely because it was so uneven and has had so many shifts. Hailed on his appearance as the true successor of Wagner, this Richard II became, for some years, the most commanding figure in modern music. Twenty-five years ago, apart from Germany and Austria, he was almost entirely ignored by the leaders of progressive musical opinion. No composer has ever suffered such a startling, such a sudden and decisive reversal of fortune. Just when his popularity seemed to be steadily j growing and controversy dying down, his works began to disappear from curj rent programs and for a period of approximately ten years became inaccessible ; to the public. ;
During this period, music was developing at a greater rate of speed than at ;
any time in its history. Russia had begun to exert herself in the field with such
great force that it seemed she was about to usurp the position of Germany as the :
leading musical nation; France had caught the attention of the musical world ;
with impressionistic and modern devices; and England had suddenly revived j
interest in native art by rediscovering her heritage of Elizabethan music, and by chauvinistically attending to a contemporary output.
With the interest of the world suddenly caught by the novelty of new styles and held by the rapid shift from one to another, attention was drawn away from Germany just at that period when the works of Strauss were winning acceptance. When, after ten years of indifference to his output, the world again began to hear his works, it was with different ears. Music that had been controversial now seemed perfectly acceptable; what at first appeared to be novel in harmonic device, exotic in coloration, and new in conception of form was now looked upon as being commonplace. Strauss's fresh and ingenious manner of treating old material had been mistaken for startling innovation and open rebellion against musical traditions.
Russia in particular had so extended the expressive powers of music that much that had seemed unusual and even cacophonous now appeared to be utterly prosaic. After the performance of Stravinsky's Rite of Spring (1913), Strauss's one time exceptional harmony, erratic melody, and queer instrumentation "left the itch of novelty behind."
When, however, criticism again turned to him, it observed that he had not continued to fulfill the great promise of his youth, and that aside from not developing from strength to strength, there was a marked deterioration of his talents. His later works, Ariadne on Naxos (1912), Die Frau ohne Schatten (1919), Die Liebe der Danae (1943), bear witness to the gradual degeneration and final extinction of his creative powers. The world had beheld the tragic spectacle of the deterioration of a genius.
Strauss expressed momentarily, in his early masterpieces--the great tone poems and the operas Electra and Salome--the modern psychological point of view, yet he was too strongly marked by the nineteenth century Romanticism to venture far into the new and challenging world. The Romantic movement had persisted longer in music than in any of the other arts, still making in the early years of the twentieth century, as Ernest Newman so colorfully writes, "an occasional ineffectual effort to raise its old head, ludicrous now with its faded garlands of flowers overhanging the wrinkled cheeks." Romanticism had long since outlived itself, yet for composers like Strauss, Mahler, and Rachmaninoff, its fascination proved too strong to be completely resisted. Mahler defended it with a kind
Ernest Newman, Musical Studies (3rd ed.; New York: John Lane Co., 1913).
of impassioned eloquence; Rachmaninoff embraced it to the end of his life with filial affection; and, although Strauss, in his early sojourn into this dying world, seemed at first to "behave toward it like a graceless, irreverent urchin in a cathedral," he soon fell under its spell. The undercurrent of weariness and disgust, of satiety and disillusion, that runs through his work links him today spiritually, mentally, and psychologically with Mahler, Rachmaninoff, and the great romantics of the past, rather than with the modernists. He, like them, had his roots in the same soil that nurtured Wagner, Byron, Goethe, Leopardi, and Tchaikovsky and the tragic spectacle of his gradual but perceptible deterioration is a reflection of the disenchantment with life that had caught the romantic artists in its merciless grip.
With the composition of Salome in 1905 Strauss won his reputation as an opera composer. He had already established himself as the world's outstanding composer of the symphonic tone poem, having between 1886 and 1898 created all of his major works in this field. As they revealed, he had acquired a masterful technique of writing for a tremendous and complicated orchestra. This mastery he applied to the score of his opera Salome, giving to it an entirely new and enormously extended range of expression; he created for it a music of such violent intensity, enticing passion, and breath-taking suspense as had never before been experienced in the opera house.
Wrote Lawrence Gilman in Harper's Weekly after the first performance in America of Salome, January 22, 1907:
Never in the history of music has such instrumentation found its way to the printed page. Never was music so avid in its search for the eloquent word. We are amazed at the ingenuity, the audacity, the resourcefulness of the expressional apparatus that is cumulatively reared in this unprecedented score. Cacophony is heaped upon cacophony; the alphabet of music is ransacked for newer and undreampt of combinations of tone; never were effects so elaborate, so cunning, so fertilely contrived offered to the ears of men since the voice of music was heard in its pristine estate. This score in its intention challenges the music of the day that shall follow it, for it foreshadows an expressional vehicle of unimagined possibilities.
According to this, and other criticism of the time, Strauss seemed to have created an entirely new tonal fashion for opera. By 1934 when Salome was first
The score for Salome calls for 112 instruments, including tom-tom, cymbals, triangle, tambourin, xylophone, castanets, Hechelphone, glockenspiel, organ, celesta, harmonium, and two harps.
revived in New York, the score appeared to be bereft of novelty. Mr. Gilman, reviewing the performance twenty-seven years later, wrote in the New York Herald Tribune, January 14, 1934, "There is nothing in the score that could bruise the contemporary ear, nothing that one would now think of calling tonally violent or brutal .... one succumbs to most of the superb Finale with Salome's malignly beautiful apostrophe to the severed head."
The following excerpts taken from reviews written by Olin Downes in the New York Times, February 5 and 7, 1949, after the most recent revival of the opera at the Metropolitan, will reveal how lacking the score is today in any shocking musical devices or novelties. He writes:
So much of the melodic material is so obvious and commonplace that it verges on the banal. It is transformed, however, by the composer's imagination, by his reckless mastery--indeed divination of orchestral and dissonantal effects wholly novel in 1907, and by his temperament and sense of the theater... . . The Salome form and technique are composite. The orchestra is the symphonic apparatus of Wagner and Liszt. It is also realistic. The style of the scoring is remarkably flexible, symphonic. No doubt it was from the Italian verissmists he learned his lesson of tempo and concentration. . . . Strauss' use of dissonance which is child's play now, but which in 1905 and 1907 was the last word of harmonic writing is still effective. . . . The whole score with its inherent banalities intact, remains an astonishingly unified and indestructible whole, which as of 1949, stands up astonishingly well.
Although it is true that Strauss went beyond Wagner's devices of chromatic harmony, creating uncertain tonal levels, modulating within a few measures and without preparation to unrelated and distant keys, "replacing Wagner's unprepared dissonances by unresolved ones" as Bernard Shaw expressed it, these devices so shocking in 1905 are as Downes has stated, no longer arresting. With our perspective we listen to this score rather as a continuation of the Wagnerian tradition with its dominant orchestra, its system of leading motives, its thick polyphonic texture, and its use of the arioso type of vocal line, although the score is much more taut and concentrated and, with the virtue of its brevity, serves more directly a dramatic and theatrical purpose.
In both the New Testament references to this story (Mark 6: 17-28; Matthew 14: 3-11) Salome is not mentioned by name, but merely referred to as the daughter of Herodias. The important character is her mother, who, enraged at the slanderous accusations of John the Baptist, uses her daughter to avenge her. It is she, not Salome, who demands his head.
Oscar Wilde's exotic drama, from which Strauss's libretto was fashioned, shifts the emphasis completely and not only focuses upon Salome, but creates a degenerate psychopathic creature motivated in all her actions by an overpowering lust for John the Baptist. Herodias is still the vindictive queen, but Salome's demand for the prophet's head comes not from her mother's direction but from her own perverted and frustrated desires. After she has been scornfully rejected by John, her craving for him is transformed momentarily into hatred and then into an insatiable desire for his dead body. This psychopathic theme of necrophilism, and the additional one of suggested incest between King Herod and Salome, his own niece and stepdaughter, shocked and horrified the theater-going public of the day, and when in the hands of Strauss these themes were underscored and emphasized the storm of indignant protest and torrent of critical abuse that had lashed out at Wilde, was now directed to Strauss. The initial performance of the opera originally intended for Vienna was prohibited, and for years after its premiere December 9, 1905, in Dresden, he and Wilde continued to be targets for selfappointed moralists. "It exceeds in gruesomeness and perverted degeneracy, anything that has been offered in a musical work for the stage," wrote Arno Kleffel in the Allgemeine Musik Zeitung. After its single performance in America at the Metropolitan Opera House on January 22, 1907, W. P. Eaton of the Herald Tribune wrote in part, "It remains to record that.... in the audience, the effect of horror was pronounced. Many voices were hushed as the crowd passed into the night. Many faces were white .... the grip of a strange horror or disgust was on the majority." f
The New York critics of the day surpassed those of Europe in viciousness. Mr. Krehbiel in the Herald Tribune wrote that we should all be "stung into righteous fury by the moral stench with which Salome fills the nostrils of humanity. There is not a whiff of fresh and healthy air blowing through Salome, except that which exhales from the cistern . . . Salome is unspeakable; Herodias, a human hyena, Herod, a neurasthenic voluptuary." The Evening Post referred to its "flagrant offense against common decency and morality." The critic of the Evening Journal called it a "dead toad on white lilies . . . Salome's place is in the library of the alienist," he continued, "it should be staged nowhere save in Sodom."
?Performed in 1896; written in French for, but never performed by, Sarah Bernhardt. English translation by Lord Alfred Douglas; German translation upon which Strauss based his libretto by Hedwig Lachinann.
fTwo days later the directors of the Opera House adopted the following resolution: "The directors of the Metropolitan Opera and Real Estate Company consider that the performance of Salome is objectionable and detrimental to the best interests of the Metropolitan Opera House. They therefore protest against any repetition of this opera." The work was not revived until January 13, 1934.
W. J. Henderson in the New York Sun wrote that "the whole story wallows in lust, lewdness, bestial appetites, and abnormal carnality. The slobbering over the dead head is in plain English--filthy. The kissing of dead lips, besmeared with blood, is something to make the hardened shudder."
A cabled interview with Strauss himself in which he attempted to defend his work, was printed in all of the papers. "I would like to know," he said, "what immorality is. The boundaries and relations of morality have been variously conceived by various men at various times. Generally speaking, mankind's ideas of morality are undefined. As to the average man who has seen Salome and objects to it--if such there be--why does he balk at Salome and accept Don Giovanni and Carmen and numberless other operas which to be consistent he must regard as immoral .... that man or woman who has clean hands, a pure heart, a spotless conscience, can regard Salome and all art without favor or prejudice. It is for such men and women that true artists labor, not for those who are vitiated or bigoted." George Bernard Shaw came to Wilde's and Strauss's defense in his typical combative manner. As reported in the New York World, "people cannot," he said, "understand Oscar Wilde, nor such a towering genius as Strauss. There is nothing which makes men angrier than to have their ignorance exposed, and they are brutally enraged against the man who is cleverer than they .... Plays such as Salome were not intended for common people. If they do not understand it they can stay away and allow those who have brains enough to understand, to attend the theatre in their place. Great tragedies and problems are not for little people." To Giacomo Puccini, who witnessed the American performance, Salome was "the most wonderful expression of modern
Evidently the world has agreed with men like Shaw and Puccini, for Salome today is not only accepted as one of the most remarkable works in the history of the lyric theater, but from its first performance to the present day, with every revival its effectiveness increases. Evidently the years have softened the shock of the libretto as they have lessened the dissonances of the score. All protest has been quieted and indignation has in some instances given way to critical facetiousness. "That sinful stepdaughter of the Straussian music, Salome Wilde trod again last night the stage of the Metropolitan Opera House, whence she had been banished twenty-seven years before," wrote the same Lawrence Gilman in the New York Herald Tribune, January 14, 1934. "There she was, apparently unreformed, Salome with her Paphian eyelids, her notorious dancing, her deciduous seven veils and her eccentric hankering after tete de frofhete.....The
scene [heard on tonight's program] could scarcely be anything but sensational, even if it were enacted throughout in complete darkness; since it must be obvious
to the observer that the whimsical young woman is not playing mumbly-peg in Herod's front yard."
In spite of all, Salome is still one of the most exciting scores in the lyric theater, and whenever it finds, as it has in Ljuba Welitch, a singer whose dramatic instinct can match her vocal prowess, Salome will continue to thrill with its bizarre and exciting beauty, for to quote Lawrence Gilman in his final critical opinion which, in a quarter of a century, shifted from utter condemnation to superlative praise: "No other composer could have written this score, with its gorgeous and dazzling color, its consummate mastery of musical means.... the score towers like a masterwork. . . . Salome remains a masterwork. Its defects are harrowing, yet when it triumphs, it triumphs unforgettably, superbly."
The excerpt on tonight's program is the final scene of the opera. It begins as the huge black arm of the executioner rises from the cistern, holding upon a silver charger the severed head of John the Baptist. Salome seizes it as Herod hides his face in his robe. The Nazarenes fall on their knees to pray as Salome begins her passion-crazed rhapsody:
Ah! thou wouldst not suffer me to kiss thy mouth, Jokanaan. Well! I will kiss it now. I will bite it with my teeth as one bites a ripe fruit. Yes, I will kiss thy mouth, Jokanaan. I said it; did I not say it I said it. Ah! I will kiss it now. But wherefore dost thou not look at me, Jokanaan Thine eyes that were so terrible, so full of rage and scorn, are shut now. Wherefore are they shut Lift up thine eyelids, Jokanaan. Wherefore dost thou not look at me Art thou afraid of me, Jokanaan, that thou wilt not look at me And thy tongue, that was like a red snake darting poison, it moves no more, it speaks no words, Jokanaan, that scarlet viper that spat its venom upon me. It is strange, is it not How is it that the red viper stirs no longer Thou didst speak evil words against me, to me, Salome, daughter of Herodias, Princess of Judea! Well, I still live, but thou art dead, and thy head belongs to me. I can do with it what I will. I can throw it to the dogs and to the birds of the air. That which the dogs leave, the birds of the air shall devour. Ah, Jokanaan, Jokanaan, thou wert beautiful. Thy body was a column of ivory set upon feet of silver. There was nothing in the world so white as thy body. There was nothing in the world so black as thy hair. In the whole world there was nothing so red as thy mouth. Thy voice was a censer that scattered strange perfumes, and when I looked on thee I heard strange music. Ah! wherefore didst thou not look at me, Jokanaan! Thou didst put upon thine eyes the covering of him who would see God. Well, thou hast seen thy God, Jokanaan, but me, me, thou didst never see. If thou hadst seen me thou hadst loved me. I am athirst for thy beauty; I am hungry for thy body; and neither wine nor apples can appease my desire. What shall I do now, Jokanaan Neither the floods nor the great waters can quench my passion. Ah! ah! wherefore didst thou not look at me If thou hadst looked at me thou hadst loved me.
Well I know that thou wouldst have loved me, and the mystery of Love is greater than the mystery of Death.
Herod, Herodias, and the slaves begin to leave the terrace. "Hide the stars," Herod cries, as he orders the torches to be extinguished. "Hide the moon, let us hide ourselves in our palace, Herodias, and begin to be afraid." The slaves put out the torches, the moon is hidden by a great cloud. From the darkness is heard the voice of Salome:
Ah, I have kissed thy mouth, Jokanaan, I have kissed thy mouth. There was a bitter taste on thy lips. Was it the taste of blood Nay; but perchance it was the taste of love. They say that love hath a bitter taste. But what matter what matter I have kissed thy mouth, Jokanaan. I have kissed thy mouth.
A ray of moonlight falls on her. Herod, turning around, cries wildly "Kill that woman!" The soldiers rush forward and crush Salome beneath their shields.
Symphonic Poem, "Death and Transfiguration,"
Op. 24............Richard Strauss
"Death and Transfiguration" was composed in 1889. The score was prefaced by a poem written by Strauss's friend, Alexander Ritter. As in the cases of other significant "program" pieces in musical literature, the music was written before the poem. The following is a paraphrase of the poem made by Mr. W. F. Apthorp:
In the necessitous little room, dimly lighted by only a candle-end, lies the tick man on his bed. But just now he has wrestled desperately with death. Now he has sunk exhausted into sleep, and thou hearest only the soft ticking of the clock on the wall of the room, whose awful silence gives a foreboding of the nearness of death. Over the sick man's pale features plays a sad smile. Dreams he, on the boundary of life, of the golden time of childhood
But Death does not long grant sleep and dreams to his victim. Cruelly he shakes him awake, and the fight begins afresh. Will to live and power of death! What frightful wrestling! Neither bears off the victory, and all is silent once more!
Sunk back, tired of battle, sleepless as in fever frenzy, the sick man now sees life pass before his inner eye, trait by trait and scene by scene. First the morning red of childhood, shining bright in pure innocence! Then the youth's saucier play exerting and trying his strength, till he ripens to the man's fight, and now burns with hot lust for the higher prizes of life. The one high purpose that has led him through life was to shape all he saw transfigured into a still more transfigured form. Cold and sneering,
the world sets barrier upon barrier in the way of his achievement. If he thinks himself near his goal, a "Halt!" thunders in his ear. "Make the barrier thy stirrup! Ever higher and onward go!" And so he pushes forward, so he climbs, desists not from his sacred purpose. That which he has ever sought with his heart's deepest yearning he still seeks in his death sweat. Seeks--alas! and finds it never. Whether he comprehends it more clearly or that it grows upon him gradually, he can yet never exhaust it, cannot complete it in his spirit. Then clangs the last stroke of Death's iron hammer, breaks the earthly body in twain, covers the eye with the night of death.
But from the heavenly spaces sounds mightily to greet him that which he yearningly sought for here; deliverance from the world, transfiguration of the world.
The work falls into four continuous sections: Largo (Sleep, Illness and Reverie); Allegro molto agitato (Fever and Struggle with Death); Meno mosso, ma semfre alia breve (Dreams, Childhood Memories and Death); Moderato (Transfiguration).
Friday Evening, May 5
"Brandenberg" Concerto No. 5, for Piano, Violin, and Flute . Bach
Johann Sebastian Bach was born at Eisenach, March 21, 1685; died at Leipzig, July 28, 1750.
In Johann Sebastian Bach, the musical development of two centuries reached its climax. Coming from a family of distinguished musicians famous in Germany for one hundred and fifty years, he entered into the full heritage of his predecessors and used, with incomparable effect, all of the musical learning of his day.
Born in the very heart of medieval Germany, in the remote little town of Eisenach, under the tree-dad summits of the Thuringian Wald, Bach lived in an atmosphere that was charged with poetry, romance, and music. Towering precipitously over the little village stood the stately Wartburg, which once sheltered Luther and where, in one of the chambers, the German Bible came into being. Here also in 1207, the famous Tourney of Song was held, and German minstrelsy flowered.
In these surroundings Bach's early youth was spent, and his musical foundation formed under the careful guidance of his father. The subsequent events of his life were less propitious. Orphaned at the age of ten, he pursued his studies by himself, turning to the works of Buxtehude, Pachelbel, and other predecessors and contemporaries as models.
Singing in a church choir to gain free tuition at school, traveling by foot to neighboring towns to hear visiting organists who brought him occasional touches with the outside world, securing menial positions as organist in Arnstadt and Muhlhausen, filled the monotonous years of this great master's youth.
Although he gained some fame as the foremost organist of his day, he was ignored and neglected as a composer. Of all his church music, parts of only one cantata were printed during his life, not because it was esteemed, but because it was written for an annual burgomeister election! References by contemporaries
are scanty; they had no insight into the value of his art. Fifty years after his death his music was practically unknown, most of the manuscripts having been lost or mislaid.
The neglect, discovery, and final triumph of Bach's music are without parallel in the history of music. His triumphant progress from utter obscurity to a place of unrivaled and unprecedented brilliance is a phenomenon, the equal of which has not been recorded. Today, as the world marks the centennial of his passing, his position is extraordinary. Never was there a period when there were more diverse ideals, new methods, confusion of aims and styles, yet never has Bach been so universally acknowledged as the supreme master of music.
Certainly masterpieces were never so naively conceived. Treated with contempt by his associates in Leipzig, where he spent the last years of his life, and restrained by the narrow ideals and numbing pedantry of his superiors, he went on creating a world of beauty, without the slightest thought of posterity. The quiet old cantor, patiently teaching his pupils Latin and music, supervising all the choral and occasional music in the two principal churches of Leipzig, gradually losing his sight until in his last years he was hopelessly blind, never for a moment dreamed of immortality. He continued, year after year, to fulfill his laborious duties, and, in so doing, created the great works that have brought him eternal fame. His ambitions never passed beyond his city, his church, and his family.
Born into a day of small things, he helped the day to expand by giving it creations beyond the scope of its available means of expression. His art is elastic; it grows, deepens, and flows on into the advancing years. The changed media of expression, the increased expressive qualities of the modern pianoforte, organ, and complex orchestra have brought to the world a realization of the great dormant and potential beauties that lay in his work.
We owe tonight's work to Christian Ludwig, Markgraf of Brandenberg, a Prussian prince who lived about two centuries ago. He loved music so much that he spent a good part of his fortune on it. This eccentric Markgraf had a fetish for concertos, and had acquired a most remarkable collection of them by famous contemporary composers. He is supposed to have met Bach in Carlsbad about 1719 and to have commissioned him to write some music. Bach leisurely fulfilled the Commission and on March 24, 1721, he presented the Markgraf with a set of six works, now known as the Brandenberg Concertos, with the following touchingly modest dedication in French:
Two years ago, when I had the honour of playing before your Royal Highness, I experienced your condescending interest in the insignificant musical talents with which heaven has gifted me, and understood your Royal Highness' gracious willingness to accept some pieces of my composition. In accordance with that condescending command, I take the liberty to present my most humble duty to your Royal Highness in these Concerti for various instruments, begging your Highness not to judge them by the standards of your own refined and delicate taste, but to seek in them rather the expression of my profound respect and obedience. In conclusion, Monseigneur, I most respectfully beg your Royal Highness to continue your gracious favor toward me, and be assured that there is nothing I so much desire as to employ myself more worthily in your service.
With the utmost fervour, Monseigneur, I subscribe myself your Royal Highness' most humble and obediant servant,
Jean Sebastian Bach
And in these manifestations of Bach's "insignificant musical talents" the name of Christian Ludwig, Markgraf of Brandenberg lives today. Strange are the ways of immortality.
What His Royal Highness wrote in answer to this letter--the servility of which was in the customary style of authors and composers when they addressed their social superiors--is not known. It is probable, however, that Christian Ludwig did not set upon Bach's music the value which he placed on music by other composers whose work is now as forgotten as their names. For in 1734 the Markgraf of Brandenberg died and was borne with imposing ceremony to the tomb wherein rested the other princely representatives of his house. In putting Christian Ludwig's affairs in order, the administrators of that ruler's estate found it necessary to dispose of his large collection of compositions. A catalogue of these was carefully drawn up, the most important concertos, and so forth, having been placed first. In this inventory the name of Bach could not have been found by any reader who might have sought for it. The eighteenth century was the period in which Italian music was most liked and most fashionable. So it happened that Vivaldi, Brescianello, Venturini, and others of their land were the composers whose names were written large in the Markgraf's inventory; and the concertos of a number of unimportant composers--there were some twenty-seven of them-were included in a separate section, each concerto having been appraised at four groschen (eight cents). Among this valueless collection were the six concertos which Bach had sent to Christian Ludwig as a token of his "profound respect and humble obedience." The score of his concertos, which Bach had forwarded to the Margrave, fell at a later date into the possession of Johann Philip Kirnberger, who was a pupil of the master from 1739101741, and that musician beSECOND CONCERT
queathed it to Princess Amalie of Prussia, whose teacher and kapellmeister he was. The princess left the concertos in her will to the Joachimsthal Gymnasium, and from there they found their way eventually to the Royal, or the State, Library, Berlin, where they remained until the recent war. They were edited by S. W. Dehn and published by Peters of Leipzig in 1850.
Today we think of the "concerto" as a display piece for a solo instrument, accompanied by the orchestra; that is to say, as a contrast in the tone color of a solo instrument as opposed to the orchestra with its infinite color combinations. The eighteenth-century concerto was very different. Bach, Handel, Vivaldi, Corelli, and their contemporaries wrote orchestral "concerti" for a small group of principal instruments called the "concertino," assisted by the full orchestra or "concerto grosso" of strings only, or strings and woodwinds with harpsichord.
The Brandenberg Concertos are Bach's first essays in the realm of absolute symphonic instrumental music. Although he had previously written instrumental works of importance, these concertos easily surpassed anything he had done before. No doubt Bach wanted to show that he could write concertos for all the different kinds of solo instruments available in his day, and not restrict himself to the usual solo strings. This feat was accomplished by writing each concerto for a different group of instruments.
The fifth, heard on tonight's program, features a concertino for harpsichord, flute, and violin. Sir Hubert Parry wrote:
The fifth concerto is notable again, for a remarkably brilliant solo part for the clavier, which in its turn has a flute and a solo violin as attendants. There is an enormously long passage of the most brilliant description for the keyed instrument, unaccompanied, with every device of execution embodied in it, illustrating Bach's extraordinary inventiveness in the line of virtuosity, not for itself but as a means of making all the instruments play similar passages; for a great cembalo player like Bach could hardly be contented with setting down anything for it which any other instrument could play.
The slow movement is a very expressive trio between the cembalo, the flute and the solo violin, marked auspiciously and suggestively affetuoso and full of elaboration and of beautifully conceived figures beautifully interwoven. Bach was evidently in the humor for expression at the time he wrote this concerto, as the last movement, in 6-8 time, has many directions for interpretation, among which the word cantabile ("in a singing style"), frequently occurs.
Sir Hubert H. Parry, Johann Sebastian Back: The Story of a Great Personality (rev. ed.j New York: Putnam, 1934).
OFFICIAL PROGRAM Song Cycle--"Don Quichotte a Dulcinee" ...... Ravel
Maurice Ravel was born in Ciboure, Basses-Pyrenees, March 7, 1875; he died in Paris, December 28, 1937.
Although he was at home among the colored vapors of the Debussyan harmonic system, Ravel expressed himself in a more tangible form and fashioned the same materials into set designs. His art, in this connection, stands in much the same relationship to musical impressionism as the art of Renoir does to the same style in painting; it restores formal values. Like Debussy, he reveals the typical French genius, an exquisite refinement, unerring sense of form, purest craftsmanship, attention to minute details, impeccable taste, and a finesse and lucidity in execution.
Born practically on the Spanish border, and "lulled to sleep by the ancient songs of Spain," Ravel throughout his life had a penchant for Spanish themes, as is evidenced by his "Habanera" (1895) ; the opera L'Heure esfagnole and the "Rhapsody espagnole," both from the year 1907; the popular "Alborado del grazioso" (1912); the famous "Bolero" (1928) and several smaller works.
In "Don Quichotte a Dulcinee," his last creative work, he called again upon the sustaining inspiration that had produced some of his most famous and colorful compositions. He took the text for this song cycle from a collection of poems by Paul Morand, published in 1924. The translations are taken from the program book of the Minneapolis Symphony Orchestra:
If ever for rest you are yearning,
I'll hush the winds and seas, my love,
I will say to the sun above: "Cease in your flight, stay in your turning!"
If ever for morning you sigh,
The stars will I hide and their wonder,
The splendour of heaven tear asunder,
And banish the night from the sky ....
But if ever I hear you cry: "Give me your life, prove how you love me,"
Darkness will fall, shadows above me,
Blessing you still, then I shall die!
O Dulcinee!
Unto my soul her presence lending,
Saint Michael, come! her champion let me be, .j
With knightly grace her fame defending,
Saint Michael, come! to earth descending, j
With good Saint George before the shrine
Of the Madonna with face divine. '¦]
May the light of heaven be lying, !
Give to my spirit purity,
And lend my heart sweet piety
And lift my soul in ecstacy undying!
(O good Saint George and Saint Michael, hear me)
An angel watches ever near me,
My own beloved, like, so like to you,
Madonna, maid divine! Amen.
Lady adored! Wherefore this sorrow
I live in your glance divine,
Say not that love, love and good wine
Brings to us mortals grief tomorrow.
Drink then! Drink to joy!
For good wines make you laugh like a merry boy! ....
Who wants a maid (not I, I'm thinking)
A maid who mopes all day long,
Silent and pale, never a song,
Frowning to see her lover drinking!
Drink then, drink to joy . . . .
Concerto for Viola and Orchestra.........Barto'k
Bela Bartok was born in Nagyszentmiklos, Hungary, March 25, 1881; died in New York, September 26, 1945.
The first performance of this work by one of the most sincere and original composers of our era was given December 2, 1949, by the Minneapolis Symphony Orchestra under the baton of Bartok's fellow-countryman Antal Dorati.
The following information concerning the concerto was released October 29, 1949, by the publishers Boosey and Hawkes:
?The first radio performance took place over NBC, February n, 1950. Tonight's performance will mark the third hearingof the work.
Bela Bartok wrote four major works during the last four years of his life which he; spent here in America. The first was a Sonata for Solo Violin, composed for Yehudi Menuhin. This was followed by the Concerto for Orchestra, commissioned by Serge Koussevitzky and introduced by the Boston Symphony Orchestra. The third and fourth works were written simultaneously during the spring and summer of 1945. By this; time, Bartok was gravely ill and often in great pain. The Concerto for Piano and Orchestra, his third in this medium, was scored fully with the exception of the last i seventeen bars, which were sketched in a kind of musical shorthand used by Bartok. j These last seventeen bars were deciphered and scored by his friend and colleague, Tibor ; Serly. !
Bartok worked feverishly to the very last to complete the Third Piano Concerto and ! it was touching to note that he had prematurely scrawled in pencil the Hungarian word j "vege"--the end, on the last bar of his sketchy copy as though he were desperately I aiming to reach it. On no other score had he ever written the word. j
The fourth major work, which had been commissioned and which he had hoped i to finish for William Primrose, was a viola concerto. To Primrose, Bartok wrote shortly ' before his death: j
"I am very glad to be able to tell you that your viola concerto is ready in draft, so that only the score has to be written which means a purely mechanical work, so to speak. If nothing happens, I can be through in 5 or 6 weeks, that is, I can send you a copy of the orchestra score in the second half of October, and a few weeks afterwards a copy (or if you wish more copies) of the piano score. . . .
"Many interesting problems arose in composing this work. The orchestration will be rather transparent, more transparent than in a violin concerto. Also the sombre, more masculine character of your instrument executed some influence on the general character of the work. The highest note is "A," but I exploit rather frequently the lower registers. It is conceived in a rather virtuoso style. Most probably some passages will prove to be uncomfortable or unplayable. These we will discuss later, according to your observations. . . ."
September 8, 1945 Bela Bartok
This "draft" has for some months been in the hands of Tibor Serly, who has given ] much time to the challenging task of deciphering the manuscript from which he comj pleted the orchestration and prepared the work for publication. He writes: ,
"What for Bartok would have been 'a purely mechanical work' involved in reality 1 a task requiring infinite patience and painstaking labor. j
"First there was the problem of deciphering the manuscript itself. Bartok wrote his sketches on odd, loose sheets of music paper that happened to be on hand at the moment, some of which had parts of other sketches already on them. Bits of material that came to his mind were jotted down without regard for their sequence. The pages were not numbered nor the separation of movements indicated. The greatest difficulty encountered was in deciphering his correction of notes--for Bartok, instead of erasing, grafted his improvement onto the original notes.
"The next problem involved the matter of completing harmonies and other adornments which he had reduced to a form of 'shorthand,' known only to his close associates. For as Bartok observed in his letter: 'Most probably some passages will prove too uncomfortable or unplayable.'
"Finally, except for Bartok's statement that 'the orchestration will be rather transparent' there were virtually no indications of its instrumentation. Strangely, this part presented the least difficulty, for the voice leadings and contrapuntal lines upon which the background is composed were clearly indicated in the manuscript."
Donald Ferguson wrote the following analysis for the first performance of the concerto. It is quoted here for those who desire some kind of aid to guide them through the labyrinth of a contemporary score:
One must approach with diffidence the attempt to describe the music in words. What follows will perhaps be helpful. The first movement (Moderato, 4-4 time) begins with the statement by the solo of an important theme--a simple utterance of sober character in the higher register of the instrument. Three pizzicato notes in the basses accompany the second bar of the theme (a whole note), and economy such as this is apparent in the accompaniment throughout. To write a concerto in the lower registers chiefly of the viola is indeed to offer the instrument its most characteristic possibilities; but it is a task which is all but impossible to perform without obscuring the solo part by the orchestral voices. The theme turns into more rapid notes and becomes a brief cadenza. Then the same theme reappears in the lower octave of the instrument, now accompanied by divided violas, cellos, and basses, still pizzicato. Presently a new motive in 7-4 time appears, imitatively, in the winds, the solo filling its pauses with spurts of arpeggiation. A more urgent strain appears in the twenty-fourth bar, likewise dealt with in imitation, but the opening motive is still occasionally in evidence. Again the solo expands this into a short cadenza, and a degree of climax is reached with a quick figure in the winds supported below by the brass.
The speed is now slightly slackened, and the strings sound a pizzicato motive against excited sextolet figures, ascending, as in the solo. The strings, at last with the bow, add an ascending chromatic figure; the flute and oboe mingle sextolet sixteenths with those of the solo; and presently the original tempo is regained. There is a brief tutti at the peak of this ascent. The solo then takes over in a curiously unstable rhythm, imaginatively preparing for what in the ordinary sonata form would be the second
subject. This is presented flu dolce by the solo and is continued by the bassoons and other wind instruments, against which the solo has ornamental figures. At length the solo announces in sixths a new and firm motive which is soon accompanied by scale figures in triplets in clarinets and bassoons, and a still more animated figure appears in the strings and soon in the solo. Once more, the development of the matter brings a cadenza.
Now the opening theme appears again, and there is for a time a fairly definite recapitulation. This, however, does not restate all of the opening matter. In fact, the whole fabric seems to dwindle almost to extinction; but the solo, as if in comment, speaks a few bars, lento, farlande, in a very earnest tone, concluding with more excited scale passages.
This, however, does not bring a pause. The solo bassoon, in four bars of recitation, moderate, links the first movement to the second. This is marked adagio religioso. The solo, in high register, utters a grave and exalted thought to the accompaniment of muted strings. The same strain, in low register, with higher winds for background, follows. The continuation is an inversion of the opening strain, still accompanied by the strings. It grows in purport and intensity, and eventuates in a new passage in the solo, fiangendo, molto vibrato. Against this there are quick figures in thirty-seconds and flutes and piccolo, the violins accompanying tremolmdo. The melody in the solo continues for some time to soar broadly; then it returns to the opening which it presents with high eloquence. A tiny cadenza of three bars leads to a change of tempo of allegretto, 2-4 time, the horns announcing a see-saw rhythmic step, gradually quickened and taken up by other instruments. The solo presently enters with energetically rhythmed, solid chords, and the trumpet soon has something to contribute to what is evidently preparation for the third movement.
This, in the already adopted 2-4 time, is apparently some kind of a Hungarian dance. The solo has rapid, jiggety figures which build up in intensity to the entrance of an excited tutti on a vehement, stamping rhythm. The solo presently makes its contribution to this thought, and gradually reduces the excitement. For contrast there is a tune, very frankly in A, first in oboe, then in flute, then in the solo, still in a vital rhythm. The theme announced by the tutti earlier in the movement is now resumed, and chiefly on this note a higher and higher excitement is developed which brings the concerto to an end.
And a voice came out of the throne, saying "Praise our God, all ye his servants, and ye that fear Him, both small and great. And I heard as it were the voice of a great multitude, and as the voice of many waters, and as the voice of mighty thunderings, saying, Alleluia.
--Revelations 19:5SECOND CONCERT
According to Terry, there is reason to conclude that the "Magnificat" was composed for Bach's first Christmas at Leipzig and that it had its first performance, Saturday, December 25, 1723. Before the recent war, two autographed versions existed in the Berlin Staats Bibliotek. An early one in E-flat included, according to Lutheran practice of the time, a number of interpolated stanzas of congregational hymns dealing with the birth of Christ.f A later version, written in 1730 for an Easter or Whitsuntide service deleted the extraneous numbers, transposed the key to D, enlarged the orchestra by adding two flutes, and changed some of the part writing. This carefully revised version is the accepted one for performance today. It was published in 1862 by the Bach Gesellschaft.
The "Magnificat" is one of the most representative of Bach's works, revealing in its treatment of chorus, solo, instrumentation, and setting of the text, procedures that are to be found in all of his great vocal compositions. It is considerably shorter and more concise, however, than any of the other larger choral works. Shorter, for instance, than the Credo alone of the B-minor Mass, it reveals abbreviated choruses and condensed arias, none of which is in da cafo or repeated form. This brevity is due to the fact that it was performed late in the afternoon. After the preacher's prayer, the giving of thanks, church announcements, and so forth, there was little time left, so Bach conceived it in the form of an extended cantata, taking little more than forty minutes to perform.
Few composers have been able to express intelligibly and with certainty the concrete ideas they imagined they were expressing, without verging upon the ludicrous. Music, working in the shadowy realm of the abstract, through a medium little suited to depict the concrete, soon reaches its limits of expression when it leaves the transcendent regions of the vast and vague, the infinite, illusive, and inarticulate, and attempts to represent objects in, or ideas of, reality. In spite of this inherent limitation, it has throughout its history attempted to do so. Picorial and poetic tendencies have, in all epochs, exercised a tremendous force upon reconditioning musical form, but at the same time they have often led music into pretentious and deceptive ways. When music leaves its unique realm, it does so at the peril of its dignity and power. When, however, music and words join forces as in the art song, opera, or the mass, words can make specific what is,
Charles Sanford Terry, Bach, the Magnificat Lutheran Masses and Motets (London: Oxford University Press, Humphrey Milford, 1924).
f This was the first of Bach's larger concerted works to reach the press; it was published by Nikalaus Simrock at Bonn in 1811.
Lutheran practice followed medieval tradition, i.e., the Magnificat was regarded as an evening canticle, and as in the English Book of Common Prayer, the equivalent of the Te Deur" in the morning office--an act of praise.
in the music, only the vaguest kind of feeling; and music can, when words begin to falter, enter and take command of domains which are its own by divine right.
Bach's solution of the problem of expression when dealing with words and music is unique and highly individual. There is in his vocal works the most intimate and personal relationship existing between music and text. This intimacy does not relate to poetic and musical form, ictus and rhythm, but rather to spirit, mood, and feeling. Bach's musical style, with its complicated, many-voiced lines simultaneously sung, destroys immediately any verbal form or beauty, stretching as it does, at times, a single syllable of a word upon the rack of many bars-dismembering it for the sake of a musical melisma, repeating words in order to extend musical phrases, and so on. But his music is at all times noble and expressive; it has caught the mood, the atmosphere of the text, and has conveyed it to us at times with overpowering directness.
That Bach's intention while composing was definitely pictorial and representative, Schweitzerf has revealed beyond any doubt; by observing and analyzing the regular return and consistent employment of definite musical formulae to express certain feelings, he has proved indubitably that Bach evolved for himself a complete tonal language. Bach himself, so far as we know, never made any reference to this system. Whether it was consciously or unconsciously created by Bach, and whether or not we are as aware of its details as is Schweitzer, is of no great importance. It is simply based on the fact that for certain feelings Bach preferred certain definite patterns and rhythms. These associations are so natural that they at once suggest their meaning to anyone with a musical mind. The images or ideas in the text give opportunities for definite, plastic musical expression; measured, tranquil intervals in a melody, for instance, indicate resolution and confident faith, intervals more widely spaced symbolize strength, pride, and defiance; a motive invariably associated with joy is constructed on an uninterrupted pattern of eighth or sixteenth notes; one that depicts lamentation is built upon a sequence of notes tied in pairs, torturing grief upon a chromatic motive of five or six notes, and so on. Occurrences of these formulae will be noted in the analysis which follows.
The text of the "Magnificat" is taken from Luke I: 46-53. It is the song uttered by the Virgin Mary in the house of Zacharius, after she has heard the inspired prophecy of Elizabeth, "Blessed art thou among women, and blessed is the fruit of thy womb." Each stanza of Saint Luke's narrative furnishes the text
See notes on Mahler, page 71.
f Albert Schweitzer, J. S. Bach, trans, by Ernest Newman (London: A. & C. Black Limited, 1935), Vol. II.
of a separate movement, except where Bach particularizes the words omnes generationes by making them the basis of a separate choral movement, and where at the end there is the addition of a Gloria.
I. Magnificat anima mea Dominum My soul doth magnify the Lord
The instrumentation of this section is for strings, two flutes, two oboes, three trumpets, timpani, and continue To indicate the universal and timeless emotion of the Virgin's text here, Bach has written not for a solo voice, as the words "My soul" would indicate, but for a chorus in a sustained polyphonic or many-voiced style. Thus he clearly indicates his intention that this opening be a universal and not a personal paean of praise. Throughout the complicated writing, the word magnificat is heard with emphatic clarity as it appears at different times in the vocal line; the two themes associated with the text are also heard echoing in the orchestra. Note the domination in this section of the "joy" motive made up of uninterrupted sixteenth notes.
II. Et exultavit spiritus meus in Deo salutari meo
And my spirit hath rejoiced in God my Savior.
Accompanied by strings and continuo, these words, sung by the solo voice of the Virgin, are set in a concentrated and brief aria without da capo repetition. The orchestra first states the ascending and joyful theme which the voice repeats with the words "And my spirit hath rejoiced." Here again the "joy" motive is heard in the bass and in the cadences.
III. Quia respexit humilitatem ancillae suae: ecce enim ex hoc beatam me dicent....
For he hath regarded the low estate of his handmaiden; for behold from henceforth ....
Orchestrated for the oboe d'amore (a minor third below the oboe) and continuo, this setting of the text creates a mood of submission and humility, not only by the unobtrusive tone of the oboe d'amore, but by the descending chromatic melody (progressing by half tones) and the constantly repeating word, humilitatem. Near the end, on the words, beatan me dicent ("shall call me blessed"), the oboe melody associated with the word humilitatem returns, to emphasize the feeling of resignation and self abasement. At the words omnes generationes ("all generations"), Bach interrupts the verse by making these last two the basis of a new section for chorus.
IV. Omnes generationes
All generations [shall call me blessed]
Two flutes, two oboes d'amore, strings, and continuo accompany a great free choral fugue in which the melodic lines are so written as to emphasize the word omnes ("all") by constant repetition, in alternating male and female voices at first a half bar apart and later at intervals of fourths and fifths and through ascending and descending entrances.
Here is a stirring example of Bach's unique treatment of text. Although the words of this stanza are those spoken by the Virgin and are realistically given to the solo soprano voice, the text is suddenly interrupted by a shift to the chorus on omnes generationes to again imply the universality of the Virgin's prayer.
V. Quia fecit mihi magna qui potens est, et sanctum nomen eius.
For He that is mighty hath done to me great things; and holy is His name.
Only a continuo bass accompanies this aria. As in so many of Bach's continuo basses, a feeling of confidence and strength is created by its onward pulse. The words qui ¦potetis cst ("that is mighty") quite naturally suggested to Bach the use of the bass voice.
VI. Et misericordia eius a progenie in progenies timentibus eum.
And His mercy is on them that fear Him from generation to generation.
This duet is accompanied by strings, two flutes, and continuo. The strings are muted and the flutes stay in unison with the violins; they set the suave and graceful mood that is retained throughout. The unvarying and gentle rhythm is broken for realistic purposes at one place only--to illustrate the meaning of the words timentibus ("fear"). Terryf interprets the long line of unbroken rhythm as signifying Bach's belief in the persistent and changeless flow of divine mercy.
VII. Fecit potentiam in brachio suo, dispersit superbos mente cordis sui.
He hath shown strength with His arm; He hath scattered the proud in the imagination of their heart.
A full orchestra of strings, two flutes, two oboes, three trombones, tympani, and continuo state, with the chorus, a bold, forceful, and vigorously rhythmic theme that maintains the spirit of the words "He hath shown strength." A long embellished theme is made the basis of a striding fugue that rises through five voices to the text disferset suferbos ("scattered the proud") and is finally and shrilly sounded in the trumpets. With the austere adagio movement at the end, the proud stand rebuked by Divine Might.
VIII. Deposuit potentes de sede et exaltavit humiles.
He hath put down the mighty from their seats, and exalted them of low degree.
The opening assertive theme in unison violins and continuo catches the combative spirit of the text. Again, Bach attempts to be graphically illustrative on the word depomit ("He hath put down") with his downward passage in the voice and unison violins; on the word fotentes ("mighty") with the wide leaping intervals; and on exaltavit ("exalted") with the ascending florid line for the tenor voice.
The separation of the words of a text into independent movements was not original with Bach. It was practiced by several eighteeenth-century Italian composers, f Terry, of. tit.
IX. Esurientes implevit bonis et divites dimisit inanes.
He hath filled the hungry with good things; and the rich He hath sent empty away.
Flutes and continuo, as usual in Bach, are used to create an ingratiating and tender mood. Here they illustrate, through employment of the "joy" motive, the idea of an administering providence that brings comfort and help to the needy. To the rich who have been turned away, Bach is less sympathetic; to the words divites dimisit, ("rich sent empty away") he employs a softened version of the downward motive that was associated with the word defosuit in the tenor aria. Terry points out the subtle and humorous touch at the end where, in the last bar, the flutes omit the resolution cadence on the word inones ("empty"). "It is no tragedy," he writes, "that the rich not be given more of what they already have."
X. Suscepit Israel puerum suum recordatus misericordiae suae.
He hath holpen His servant Israel, in remembrance of His mercy.
There is no evidence to show whether this movement is to be sung by a trio or a chorus. On this occasion, it is sung by a semichorus of women's voices. The accompanying instruments are two oboes in unison and violoncello.
The words Suscefit Israel imply a retrospective view of God's providential guidance, and Bach uses here, as he did later in the Confitior from the B-minor Mass, a traditional plainsong of the Catholic church. The melody is heard in the oboes, while the voices embroider it in imitation.
XI. Sicut locutus est ad patres nostros, Abraham et semini eius in saecula.
Even as He promised to our forefathers; to Abraham and to his seed forever.
To a continuo, firm and resolved, Bach emphasized the meaning of the words "He promised." There is unswerving regularity in this rigid and academic little fugue, no doubt meant by Bach to stress the security of man in God's word.
XII. Glora patri, gloria Filio, et gloria Spiritui Sancto. Sicut erat in principio et nunc et semper et in saecula saeculorum. Amen.
Glory be to the Father, and to the Son, and to the Holy Ghost. As it was in the beginning, is now and ever shall be, world without end. Amen.
This brilliantly conceived setting to the Gloria text is accompanied by strings, two oboes, two flutes, three trumpets, tympani, and continuo. It forms a stirring contrast in style and feeling to the austerity of the previous section. In this mighty shout to the Glory of God, each of the Trinity is addressed in turn. Over a low organ point (long held note in the bass) the voices rise in long coloratura passages, building to a majestic climax at which time the trumpets blaze forth. They continue to be heard to the end of the movement. With masterful feeling for constructive unity, Bach brings back the theme of the "Magnificat" (first movement) to the concluding words Sicut erat m frincifio ("as it was in the beginning").
Terry, of. cit.
Saturday Afternoon, May 6
Overture to Benvenuto Cellini.........Berlioz
Hector Berlioz was born in Cote-Saint-Andre, France, December 11, 1803; died in Paris, March 8, 1869.
In 1837 Heinrich Heine wrote: "From Berlioz we shall soon have an opera. The subject is an episode from the life of Benvenuto Cellini, the casting of his 9tatue. Something extraordinary is expected since the composer has already achieved the extraordinary."
Berlioz had begun the work on this opera in 1834. Inspired by Cellini's magnificent memoirs and E. T. A. Hoffman's story, "Salvator Rosa," he had requested a libretto on the subject from the poet, De Vigny, who refused to write it himself, but consented to supervise the project. The actual work was done by Leon de Wailly and Auguste Barbier. The result was a clumsy and unwieldy text that overpowered Berlioz at every turn.
The critics met the first performance of the work at the Paris Opera, September 10, 1838, with a battery of abuse, referring to it as "Malvenuto Cellini," and the public, in Berlioz' own words, "hissed it with admirable energy and unanimity." The overture, however, he continued, was "received with exaggerated applause." In a reminiscent mood later, he wrote in his memoirs, "It is fourteen years since I was dragged to execution at the Opera; and on re-reading my poor score with strict impartiality, I cannot help recognizing in it a variety of ideas, an impetuous verve, and a brilliancy of musical coloring which I shall probably never again achieve and which deserved a better fate."
Slightly modified as regards the poem, Benvenuto Cellini was successfully produced at Weimar where it was often given under Franz Liszt's direction.
Memoirs of Hector Berlioz, trans, by Rachel (Scott Russell) Holmes and Eleanor Holmes; annotated and trans, rev. by Ernest Newman (New York: Alfred A. Knopf, 1932), p. 224.
Cantata for Children, "The Walrus and
the Carpenter"......... Percy Fletcher
Percy Fletcher was born December 2, 1880, in Derby, England.
It is not so easy a task as it appears to set to music a text as unusual as Lewi9 Carroll's "The Walrus and the Carpenter," without destroying the particular charm that comes to us through the utterly delightful nonsense of the words. To retain a sufficient amount of musical sanity and pure musical interest, and yet not evaporate the topsy-turvy mood created by the text, needs the most sensitive kind of manipulation. Mr. Fletcher has succeeded in retaining not only the atmosphere of the poem, but in actually emphasizing some of its most curious and fantastic moments.
Throughout, delightfully foolish verse is matched with the whimsical charm of a music, simple to the point of naivete, but particularly adapted to the voices of children:
We have a story to relate
Which may be rather long, And so as not to worry you
We'll tell it you in song. 'Twas told to gentle Alice,
(Who reads the book will see), By Tweedledum's twin brother,
Whose name was Tweedledee.
The sun was shining on the sea, Shining with all his might;
He did his very best to make The billows smooth and bright,
And this was odd, because it was The middle of the night.
The moon was shining sulkily, Because she thought the sun
Had got no business to be there After the day was done:-"It's very rude of him," she said, "To come and spoil the fun!"
The Walrus and the Carpenter
Is what the tale is called, And by its quaint philosophy
You soon will be enthralled. The moral of the story
We leave for you to guess; But though you may not do so,
You'll like it none the less.
The sea was wet as wet could be, The sands were dry as dry;
You could not see a cloud, because No cloud was in the sky:
No birds were flying overhead, There were no birds to fly.
The Walrus and the Carpenter Were walking close at hand;
They wept like anything to see Such quantities of sand:
"If this were only cleared away," They said, "it would be grand!"
"If seven maids, with seven mops,
Swept it for half a year, Do you suppose," the Walrus said,
"That they could get it clear" "I doubt it," said the Carpenter, . And shed a bitter tear.
"Oh, Oysters, come and walk with us!"
The Walrus did beseech-"A pleasant walk, a pleasant talk,
Along the briny beach; We cannot do with more than four
To give a hand to each."
The eldest Oyster looked at him,
But never a word he said; The eldest Oyster winked his eye,
And shook his heavy head-Meaning to say he did not choo6e
To leave the oyster-bed.
But four young Oysters hurried up,
All eager for the treat; Their coats were brushed, their faces washed,
Their shoes were clean and neat-And this was odd, because, you know,
They hadn't any feet.
Four other Oysters followed them,
And yet another four; And thick and fast they came at last,
And more, and more, and more-All hopping through the frothy waves,
And scrambling to the shore.
The Walrus and the Carpenter
Walked on a mile or so, And then they rested on a rock
Conveniently low: And all the little Oysters stood
And waited in a row.
"The time has come," the Walrus said,
"To talk of many things: Of shoes--and ships--and sealing wax
--Of cabbages--and kings-And why the sea is boiling hot-And whether pigs have wings!"
"But wait a bit," the Oysters cried,
"Before we have our chat; For some of us are out of breath,
And all of us are fat!" "No hurry!" said the Carpenter:
They thanked him much for that.
"A loaf of bread," the Walrus said,
"Is what we chiefly need: Pepper and vinegar besides
Are very good indeed-Now, if you're ready, Oysters, dear,
We can begin to feed."
"But not on us," the Oysters cried,
Turning a little blue, "After such kindness, that would be
A dismal thing to do!" "The night is fine," the Walrus said,
"Do you admire the view"
"It was so kind of you to come, And you are very nice!"
The Carpenter said nothing, but "Cut us another slice:
I wish you were not quite so deaf-I've had to ask you twice!"
"It seems a shame," the Walrus said, "To play them such a trick,
After we've brought them out so far, And made them trot so quick!"
The Carpenter said nothing, but "The butter's spread too thick!"
"I weep for you," the Walrus said,
"I deeply sympathize!" With sobs and tears he sorted out
Those of the largest size, Holding his pocket-handkerchief
Before his streaming eyes.
"Oh, Oysters," said the Carpenter, "You've had a pleasant run!
Shall we be trotting home again" But answer came there none-And this was scarcely odd, because They'd eaten every one.
Our story now is ended,
Our fairy-tale is told; You've listened to it patiently
As Alice did of old. No doubt you like the Walrus best
Because he was so grieved; Or do you think he ate the most,
As Tweedledee believed
Then should you like the Carpenter
Because he ate the least, You must agree with Tweedledum,
He had a monstrous feast; But if you dream of them to-night,
We hope you will not end By thinking you were gobbled up
By the Walrus and his friend.
"No, O Dio" from Cal-phurnia.........Handel
Georg Friedrich Handel was born at Halle, February 23, 1685; died in London, April 14, 1759.
From the beginning of his career, Handel was the "People's Composer." No doubt this was because of the cosmopolitan training he received in Germany, Italy, and England, and the fact that he chose opera as his medium--in the eighteenth century the most popular and spectacular form of musical entertainment. But there was also something inherent in his music that could account for the position he gained in the hearts of the public in his day; his expression was direct and simple, with no ostentatious display for its own sake. His music had little of the introspective quality that was characteristic of his greater but less popular contemporary, Bach; and it was this nonsubjective quality that made his style irresistible in its appeal to the masses.
Handel, known to the public today largely as the composer of Messiah and frequently performed suites such as the Water Music, was to his generation the outstanding composer of Italian opera in Europe--as famous and admired in Italy itself as in his native Germany or in England, the land of his adoption. Although many of his forty operas are obsolete and only occasionally one reaches performance today, arias of rare beauty have survived on the concert stage, giving us some idea of the wealth of vocal literature that still lies buried in his scores.
Great confusion reigns over the authenticity of this aria. Nowhere in any listing of Handel's complete works is a Calfhurnia mentioned. However, the
Italian composer, Giovanni Battista Bononcini, Handel's rival in London at the time, was the author of an opera so titled (1724). The aria on tonight's program has been published and performed, however, under the name of Handel. Excerpts from a letter written by Warner Bass, who has arranged and orchestrated it, follow:
Years ago I saw an old manuscript of this aria on which the writer remarked "presumably by Handel." The Carwen Edition (T. Carwen and Sons Ltd., London) published an album of ten songs by Handel in which the "No, O Dio" appears again; here the source is not given, but the editor (Arthur Somervell) says: "some authorities attribute this to Giovanni Batti6ta Bononcini. It is he who wrote Cdphumia." Now there is a single copy of it published on which it states that it is both by Handel and from Cdlfhurnia. The facts are most obscure and all conclusions are guess work.
Whatever the facts are, it is, as Mr. Bass continues to say, a "beautiful piece of living and moving music that will surely outlive generations of musicologists."
A free translation follows. The many repetitions of words, typical of the aria of this period, are not indicated :
No, oh God, thou wouldst not want my grief to last. What sorrow fills my heart when parted from my beloved.
Love Has Eyes..............Bishop
Sir Henry Rowley Bishop was born in London, November 18, 1786; died there April 30, 1855.
Throughout his honorable career, Bishop was composer and director of Covent Garden (1810); an original member of the Philharmonic Society established in 1813; Director of Music at King's Theatre, Haymarket (1816); musical director at Vauxhall (1830); and finally in 1848, was elevated to a musical chair at Oxford.
This charming, inconsequential little song reflects not only the personal taste and refinement of its composer, but the respectable mediocrity of his time. For his distinguished service to music just before and during the early reign of Queen Victoria (his last work, "The Fortunate Isles," was written to celebrate her wedding), he received a knighthood in 1842. If since, he has not received the highest award in immortality, his name at least will be kept alive in the minds of men and in the hearts of coloratura sopranos by such trifles as "Lo, Hear the Gentle Lark," "Echo Song," and "My Pretty Mocking Bird."
THIRD CONCERT "Enjoy the Sweet Elysian Grove" from Alceste .... Handel
On January 8, 1750, Handel completed some incidental music for Smollett's English version of Euripides' drama, Alceste. Elaborate preparations were made for the presentation. The great Servandoni, famous for his Doric Temple in the Greek Park, had built the scenery, and the most popular English performers of the time--Mrs. Arne, Mrs. Faulkner, Gustav Waltz--had been given leading parts. Nothing was to keep the performance from being a sensational one, nothing, that is, but an earthquake, which occurred on February 8, exactly one month to the day that Handel had put the finishing touches to his score. On that date, all London was shaken by an earth tremor that sent bricks, mortar, and a terrorized public into the streets. The performance of Alceste was delayed. Within a week, preparations were begun again, but at dawn on March 8, Londoners were shaken from their beds by another quake. The regularity of the repeating disaster on the 8th of each month caused rumor to fly abroad that on the 8th of April all London would be destroyed. Forty thousand "unbelievers" were taken into the church, but attendance at theatrical and musical affairs took a decided slump.
On April 8 nothing happened, Londoners returned to their routines, and the pursuit of their pleasure, but the plans for the performance of Alceste were given up, and the work was never produced. Most of the music from the fourth act, in which this aria occurred, has survived in score; the rest has disappeared.f
Tomb Scene from Lucia di Lammermoor.....Donizetti
Gaetano Donizetti was born March 29, 1797, in Bergamo; died there April 8, 1848.
Of Donizetti's sixty-seven operas, not more than a half dozen are now recognized as of enduring quality. Of these, his comic operas L'EUsir d'amore (1832), La Fille du regiment (1840), and Don Pasquale (1843), are worthy successors to Rossini's Barbiere di Siviglia (1816), carrying on the traditions of of era buff a beyond the first decade of the nineteenth century. In these amusing works the last vestiges of the form are to be found. Of his serious operas only Lucia di Lammermoor (1835) has survived. The libretto for Lucia di Lammermoor was founded on Sir Walter Scott's novel, The Bride of Lammermoor and was written by Salvator Cammerano.
?Handel's opera, Ademeto, 1727, was based upon the same story, t Handel later adapted his score to some words of Spenser's Polymete and called it The Choke of Hercules.
Deceived by her brother into believing that her lover Edgar has been false to her, Lucia unwillingly consents to wed another. When she discovers her brother's treachery, she becomes insane, kills her husband, and dies.
Edgar, convinced that Lucia is unfaithful, and not knowing of her death, visits the churchyard and in somber meditation soliloquizes:
Tomb of my sainted fathers, open your portals.
I, the last of my kindred, am come to rest beside them.
His thoughts turn to Lucia, as he continues:
Ungrateful one, while I mourn for my perished hopes--thou art full of gladness. In despair I die. To earth I bid a last farewell. The tomb will soon close over me. Forget the grave that hides me, my spirit's last repose. Trouble not the last rest of him who died for thee.
When he learns the truth of Lucia's faithfulness to him and of her death, Edgar stabs himself.
"O Paradiso" from L'Africana . .......Meyerbeer
Giacomo Meyerbeer was born September 5, 1791, in Berlin; died May 2, 1864, in Paris.
During the second quarter of the nineteenth century the operatic "czardom" of Meyerbeer reached its apogee, not only in Paris and Berlin, but indirectly throughout the provincial theaters. Although he was not a composer of the first rank, he possessed a keen understanding of the taste of the public which he served, and a peculiar gift for exaggeration and effective contrast in his music for the stage. Some beautiful cantilena passages have been set in bizarre and trivial "frames" in his operas, which tend to create, through concert performances of his fine arias, a higher evaluation of his work than the dramatic productions in their entirety justify.
The aria on this afternoon's program is taken from the last of the master's dramatic works, The African, text by Scribe, which was produced at Paris, April 28, 1865. The story deals with the period and experiences of Vasco da Gama, the explorer, and hence is quasi-historical in its appeal. The aria occurs in Act IV, in the Temple of Brahma, whither Vasco has been conducted to await his execution. The beauty of the Indian landscape inspires him to voice his admiration and to hail this land as an earthly paradise.
Symphony No. i in B-flat major........Schubert
Franz Schubert was born in Lichtenthal, a suburb of Vienna, January 31, 1797; died there November 19, 1828.
A blissful instrument of God, like a bird of the fields, Schubert let his songs sound, an invisible grey lark in a plowed field, darting up from the earthy furrow, sent into the world for a summer to sing..
In the year 1815, Schubert, then only eighteen, produced more music than most composers today produce in a lifetime--two symphonies, two masses, four dramatic works, a sonata, smaller piano pieces, church music, choral works, and one hundred and forty-five songs! "In all this mountain of notes," writes Schauffler, "there is no evidence of carelessness or superficial taste. Bach, Handel, and Haydn were rapid writers, but none of them showed such fecundity as this. So the formidable year of Waterloo, which saw the master of mankind hurled into the depths, countered this carnage by giving evidence that the world's greatest master of song was in the full tide of his creation."
A certain type of academic criticism has never ceased to call attention to the constructive weakness of Schubert's instrumental works, and to his lack of musical education that resulted in stiff, inelastic forms, extended repetitions, short development sections, and a lack of contrapuntal treatment of material. What this kind of criticism fails to recognize is that every major work Schubert left us is, in a sense, an early work. He died at the age of 31, having produced in the incredibly short creative period of eighteen years over one thousand works. Who knows what perfection he might have achieved had he lived to his full artistic maturity.
It is no defense of his weaknesses to note that in Schubert there are no artful concealments of art, no artistic artifices to cover his failures. With all the natural faults of youthful expression, where is there to be found such honest statement, such exuberance and irresistible gaiety of spirit; where in art are there so many effects discovered with so few means detected With disconcerting naivete, how gently but firmly this artless art of his defies the probe.
It is from 1815, the most productive year in Schubert's short, tragic career, that the second symphony comes. Begun on December io, 1814, it was com Robert Haven Schauffler, Frame Schubert, tte Ariel of Music (New York: G. P. Putnam's Sons, 1949).
pleted March 24, 1815, but did not receive performance until sixty-two years later, in 1877, when it was performed in London at the Crystal Palace concerts.
Perhaps Schubert's treatment of the symphonic form was unsophisticated and immature, perhaps he did lack the constructive power of a Beethoven or a Brahms, perhaps he did nothing to extend the formal limits of the symphony, but he endowed it with a magic, a romance and sweet naturalness that no other composer has ever approached. By these, all analysis is rendered superfluous.
Saturday Evening, May 6 Prelude from Khovanstchina........Moussorgsky
Modeste Petrovich Moussorgsky was born in Karevo, March 21, 1839; died in Saint Petersburg, March 28, 1881.
The music of Moussorgsky, in his day, was considered imperfect, incomplete, and careless. It was marked by a rugged crudeness and by unprecedented and quite intuitive audacities, with their constant adaptation to the special needs of his own creative temperament. And yet today we must acknowledge a genius of colossal inspiration and awful power. To his more conservative contemporaries, Tchaikovsky and Rubenstein, Moussorgsky was a musical nihilist, and his music filled them with misgivings. In a letter written by Tchaikovsky to Mme von Meek, November 27, 1878, we meet with an interesting characterization of Moussorgsky:
As far as talent goes, he is perhaps the most important of all, only his is a nature in which there is no desire for self-improvement--a nature too absorbed in the absurd theories about him. Moreover, his is a rather low nature, that loves the uncouth, coarse, and ugly. He prides himself on his ignorance and writes down what comes to his head, believing blindly in the infallibility of his genius.
His obvious incorrectness at times, his ultracrude realism (for his generation), and his insistence upon preserving his originality at the cost of discipline do not destroy in any way his position as perhaps the most gifted of the neo-Russian school, overflowing with vitality and reckless in his daring. His powerfully spontaneous and startlingly free and unfettered music submerges all weakness of detail. Claude Debussy has exactly defined his music in these terms: "It resembles the art of the inquiring, primitive man, who discovers music step by step, guided only by his feelings." He is, in truth, the Dostoievski of music, and his music is a poetic evocation to nationalism.
As in his opera, Boris Godounov, so in Khovanstchina, Moussorgsky's central theme is the Russian people. He found in the turbulent period at the end of the seventeenth century, torn by religious and political conflicts, a wealth of draOFFICIAL PROGRAM
matic suggestion from which he fashioned his own complex libretto. It dealt with the revolt of the conservative royal body guards, the Streltsi, and their fanatical, half-oriental leaders, Prince Ivan Khovansky and his sons, against the intrusion of "reforms," encouraged by Czar Peter and the semiliberalized aristocrats; with the defeat of the Streltsi and the ignominious end of the Khovanskys, and with the struggle of the Raskolniki, or "Old Believers," who preferred destruction to apostasy. The word "Khovanstchina" was coined by the followers of Peter the Great, and was used to refer contemptuously to those men who, with the Princes Khovansky, revolted against the Czar.
Khovanstchhia was Moussorgsky's last opera; he died before he had finished it. The score was completed by Rimski-Korsakov and was published in 1882.
Concerning the prelude to Khovanstchina, Oskar von Riesemann wrote:
Descriptions of nature are not often found in Moussorgsky; when they appear, they' are without exception tone pictures of striking effect. Two of the loveliest musical landscapes that Moussorgsky ever painted are contained in Khovanstchina--one is the prelude to the first act; Moussorgsky calls it "Dawn on the Moskva River." It consists of five "melodic variations"--varied no less in their harmony, rhythm and figures--on a lovely, clear-cut theme of truly national character. ... It is not (as is often erroneously supposed) the sunrise that Moussorgsky means to depict in this prelude; the music entirely lacks the pomp and circumstance usually employed for such effects.
Concerto No. 3 in D minor, Op. 30, for Piano and
Sergei Rachmaninoff was born April 2, 1873, in Novgorod; died March 28, 1943, in Beverly Hills.
The somber beauty and brooding melancholy that courses through Rachmaninoff's art as a whole marks him, as it did Gustav Mahler and Richard Strauss, as another, perhaps the last, of the Titans of musical romanticism, who lived beyond the fulfillment of an era. He not only carried to an epic climax the soul life of his country, but also that of an epoch, with its gloom and the despair of man's struggle against a relentless destiny. Like these great romanticists, he clung tenaciously to a dying tradition, regretful at its passing, and nostalgic with its memories.f
Oskar von Riesemann, Moussorgsky, trans, by Paul England (New York: Alfred A. Knopf, Inc., 1929).
f See notes on Strauss, page 19; Mahler, page 70.
Virgil Thomson, writing in the New York Herald Tribune for Sunday, February 26, 1950, has summed up his position thus:
The career of Sergei Rachmaninoff was that of a major talent. His natural gifts of ear and hand were impeccable; his training was nowhere short of completeness; recognition in professional life came early. The only kind of success he never enjoyed was that of intellectual distinction. He would have liked being a popular musician, a conservative musician and an advanced one all at the same time. But as a young modernist he suffered defeat at the hands of his contemporary, Alexander Scriabine, and there is reason to believe that later he entertained some bitterness about the impregnable position occupied in the intellectual world of music by his junior compatriot, Igor Stravinsky.
There is no question, however, about Rachmaninoff's mastery. He composed, as he played the piano, in complete fullness and control. The nature of his expression-his passionless melancholy, his almost too easy flow of melody, his conventional but highly personal harmony, the loose but thoroughly coherent structure of his musical discourse---is often distasteful to musicians. They tend to find it a retreat from battle, an avoidance of the contemporary problem. But it is not possible, I think, to withhold admiration for the sincerity of the sentiments expressed or for the solid honesty of its workmanship. Rachmaninoff was a musician and an artist, and his expression through the divers musical techniques of which he was master, seems to have been complete.
Whether success in the world was a deep desire of Sergei Rachmaninoff I do not know, but success was his in a way that musicians seldom experience it. It came to him in his own lifetime, moreover, and through the practice of three separate musical branches. As a composer, as a conductor and as a touring virtuoso of the pianoforte he received worldwide acceptance and acclaim. His domestic life, too, seems to have been remarkably satisfactory. A more optimistic temperament than his would probably have glowed with happiness.
Actually, his letters and recorded conversations are consistently gloomy. Like Tchaikovsky, whom he adored, and who usually wept a little on almost any day, he seemed to find his best working conditions a dispirited state. Indeed, even more than in the case of Tchaikovsky, his depressive mentality has come to represent to the Western world a musical expression both specifically Russian and specifically attractive through the appeal of sadness. Whether this opulence of discontent is found equally pleasant in the Soviet Union I do not know; but Rachmaninoff, in spite of his conservative political opinions, has been adopted since his death as a Russian classic master in Russia. This success is another that would have pleased him profoundly, I am sure, though he would no doubt have acknowledged it with a mask of woe.
There is probably some resemblance between contemporary Russia and the United States underlying'Rachmaninoff's great glory in both countries. The official mood of cheerfulness is in both cases a thin surface through which wells of rich blackness gush forth constantly, relieving the emotional poverty of sustained optimism and providing
for accepted states of mind both a holiday and a corrective. Rachmaninoff's music is no toner-up of depressed nations. It is most heartily enjoyed in those countries where the national energies are strong enough to need a sedative.
Rachmaninoff wrote the Third Concerto for his American tour in 1909. It had its premiere under the direction of Walter Damrosch, November 28, the same year. The second performance was conducted by Gustav Mahler. It was published with a dedication to Joseph Hofmann in 1910.
Symphony No. 5 in E minor, Op. 64......Tchaikovsky
Our yearning sets for home, And yet we know not whither. . . .
"No, that is nothing like me, I am far unhappier than that" cried Byron when he beheld in Rome the bust made of him by the sculptor, Thorwaldsen. Goethe described Byron in the fine phrase, "His being consists in rich despair," and in fact, fame, love, wealth, and beauty left him sick with satiety--a despiser of the world. The soul-life of the age bore the stamp of this man for whom "sorrow was knowledge," he was in truth, the eponymous hero of an epoch.
The age was literally infected by Byronism. Chateaubriand in France, who gave such fluent and beautiful expression to the emotional ideas originated by Rousseau, created the type of the esprit romanesque in his Rene. At odds with himself and the world, sensitive and disillusioned, full of yearning for love and faith but without the strength for either, he felt nothing but bitter emptiness. "All," says Rene, "preaches to one of dissolution--everything wearies me, painfully I drag my boredom about with me and so my whole life is a yawn."
In the art of Chateaubriand and Byron, literature tended to become decadent, a "splendid greeny-gold growth, glittering and seductive, but filled with intoxicating saps that corrode." Byron's soul was incarnate in his Manfred, who reflected an increasing egoism in the expression of melancholy. Goethe's Werther too, had this romantic desire to feel and suffer uniquely from an unhappiness caused by hidden, indefinable longing. This mixture of egoism and sensibility is found as basic stuff in the heroes of the literature of the time. Their philosophy was that of another spokesman of their age, Leopardi, who reflected that "sorrow and ennui is our being and dung the earth--nothing more; where-ever one looks, no meaning, no fruit." Slavonic literature too, stated the "superfluous" theme. Pushkin, the "Russian Byron," in his Eugene Onegin and Lermantov in The Hero of Our Time created dramatic young men, who wrapped themselves in
Byron's dark mantle, and stalked from one anguish to another. This universal and self-cultivated melancholy had the whole world in its grip. "It was," said Immerman, "as though humanity, tossed about in its little bark on an overwhelming ocean, is suffering from a moral sea-sickness of'which the outcome is hardly to be seen."
The sources for this world sickness can be found in a measure in the effects the Industrial Revolution had upon the lives of men. As a result of this tremendous reorganizing force with its consequent power and wealth, a new attitude toward life was created. The growth of a rationalistic materialism destroyed suddenly the comforting old beliefs in the Bible. It gave rise to a period of doubt and disillusionment; it seemed as though the old culture were to disappear completely. Strong spirits like Carlyle, John Stuart Mill, and Ruskin fought valiantly for the "revenge instinct," and the composers like Wagner and Brahms tried to strengthen the flaccid spirit of their time by sounding a note of courage and hopefulness.
Less fortified minds, however, fell before the onslaught of industrialism and its materialism, sank into mental and spiritual apathy, and decayed. With decay came disease and the contagion struck deep into men's souls. From an overfertilized emotional soil grew a decadent school of art. Chopin's supersensitive soul cried out its longing in his languorous nocturnes, Berlioz in his Fantastic Symphony pictured the narcotic dreams of a young artist who, because of an unrequited love, had attempted suicide by opium. Wagner, expressing one side of the Industrial Revolution in the imperious force and merciless drive of his music, nevertheless allowed his desire-sick soul to long for death as the only release from the world. The "renunciation" motive is the basis of his great dramas. Senta renounces life for the salvation of the Dutchman, Elizabeth dies for Tannhauser, Briinnhilde throws herself upon the funeral pyre of Siegfried to redeem the race, and Tristan and Isolde live only for the night and long for death to unite them forever, Heine characterized this feeling in Germany. "People," he said, "practiced renunciation and modesty, bowed before the invisible, snatched at shadow kisses and blue-flowered scents." This unnatural and unhealthy mental attitude led to a great deal of self-contemplation and introspection which tended to substitute futile or morbid imaginings for solid realities of life. The overintrospective and supersensitive artist cuts himself off from a larger arc of experience and is prone to exaggerate the importance of the more intimate sentiments, and when, as in the nineteenth century, such a tendency is widespread, a whole school may become febrile and erotic.
Tchaikovsky, like Byron, was a child of his age. It is truly said of Byron that he had but one subject--himself, and that saying is equally true of TchaiOFFICIAL PROGRAM
kovsky. If his personality was less puissant and terrible than that of Byron, his artistic instincts were reflected none the less forcibly in his self-cultivated and exhibitionistic art. His personal unassuageable grief, the tragedies and frustrations of his own life, all he knew of anguished apprehension and despair he poured out in his music. His persistent penchant for melancholy expression, his feverish sensibility, his revulsions of artistic feeling, and his superficial emotions which sank him into morbid pessimism, deadening depression, and neurotic fears on the one hand, or raised him to wild hysteria on the other--picture him in the framework of his age. "And if bereft of speech, man bears his pain, a god gave me the gift to tell my sorrow," wrote Tasso. Of this gift, Tchaikovsky had his share.
A Russian to the core, Tchaikovsky was nevertheless criticized severely by those self-styled nationalists, "The Five," for being too strongly influenced by German and French methods and styles to be a true exponent of Russian music. Tchaikovsky, on the other hand, found much to admire in their art, and was very enthusiastic in his praise of Rimski-Korsakov in particular. Nevertheless, he resented the assumption of superiority and the canons of judgment laid down by this coterie. He turned rather to Beethoven and to the scholarly technique exhibited in the construction of his symphonies; at the same time he was not immune to the charm of Italian music. Although he depreciated its superficial treatment of the orchestra, he did sense in the music of Italy the eternal value of pure melody, which he brought to fullest beauty through his superb and unequaled knowledge of instrumental effects. From Beethoven, Tchaikovsky no doubt gained what sense of architectural design and unity of style he had, but so intent was he on the fascination and charm of the single episode, and so aware of the spell of the immediate melodic beauty and the particular suggestive power of the orchestral coloring, that he never gained the superb structural heights or the completely epic conception of the symphony found in Beethoven.
Tchaikovsky himself spoke of his symphonic works as "showing the seams" and revealing "no organic union between the separate episodes." The constant oscillation between sudden exaltation, violent passion, and unresisted submission in his temperament excluded the sustaining and impersonal elements necessary to the true epic. He gave himself up, as Sibelius noted when speaking of his music, to every situation without looking beyond the moment, and in spite of the fact that his symphonies rank among the finest examples of symphonic architecture, their spiri.t, like those of Schubert and Berlioz, is not symphonic. But such is the beauty and power of his themes and so masterful and effective is the use he makes of the orchestral palette that we do not consider it a discrepancy to find so thoroughly a lyric conception encased in so epic a form. In fact, Tchaikovsky's faults enhance his virtues, and this is the enigma of genius.
The dates, frequently given for the composition of the Fifth Symphony (1886-87 )are incorrect, according to Tchaikovsky's letters; for in one to his brother Modeste (May 15, 1888) he writes: "I am hoping to collect the materials for a symphony." On June 10, 1888, he says in a letter to Mme von Meek: "Have I told you that I intend to write a symphony The beginning was difficult; now, however, inspiration seems to come. We shall see!" Again he writes (August 26, 1888), "I am so glad that I have finished my symphony (No. 5) that I can forget all physical ailments." This would seem to establish the date of its composition.
Tchaikovsky was not pleased with the effect of his new score. After two performances in St. Petersburg, and one in Prague, he felt the work to be a complete failure. In December, 1888, he wrote to Mme von Meek:
.... After two performances of my new symphony in St. Petersburg and one in Prague I have come to the conclusion that it is a failure. There is something repellent, something superfluous, patchy, and insincere, which the public instinctively recognizes. It was obvious to me that the ovations I received were prompted more by my earlier work, and that the symphony itself did not really please the audience. The consciousness of this brings me a sharp twinge of self-dissatisfaction. Am I really played out, as they say Can I merely repeat and ring the changes on my earlier idiom Last night I looked through our symphony (No. 4). What a difference! How immeasurably superior it is! It is very, very sad!
But, in the following spring, the work had great success in Moscow and in Hamburg, where Tchaikovsky himself conducted it. The orchestra men liked it, and Tchaikovsky, with renewed spirits, wrote to his friend Davidov, "I can again boast of a great success. The Fifth Symphony was excellently played, and I have come o love it again."
That Tchaikovsky had a program in his mind when he composed his later symphonies is reasonably certain. In the case of the Fourth (F minor) we know that he wrote to Mme von Meek a long explanation of its meaning--that he endeavored to represent in tones the inexorableness of fate--" a power which consistently hangs over us like the Sword of Damocles and ceaselessly poisons the soul; a power overwhelming and invincible." We know also that the Sixth Sym: phony ("Pathetic") was originally to have been entitled "Program Symphony" and that, although its import was never vouchsafed to the world by the composer, its significance was so fraught with meaning to himself that Tchaikovsky could write, "Often during my wanderings, composing in my mind, I have wept bitterly." But he .never even suggested that the Fifth Symphony bore a program. And yet it is impossible to suppose that this work is without an underlying tragedy and hopeless fate.
Mr. Newman has persuasive reasons for thinking that the Fifth Symphony "bears the strongest internal evidence of having been written to a programme." He explains:
The feeling that this is so is mainly due to the recurrence, in each movement, of the theme with which the symphony begins (the opening theme, for clarinets, Andante, E minor, 4-4). This produces a feeling of unity that irresistibly suggests one central controlling purpose. The theme in question is peculiarly sombre and fateful. It recurs twice in the following Andante, and again at the end of the waltz that constitutes the third movement. In the finale, the treatment of it is especially remarkable. It serves, transposed in the major, to commence this movement; it makes more than one reappearance afterwards. But this is not all the thematic filiation this symphony reveals. One of the themes of the second movement--the Andante--also recurs in the Finale, while the opening subject proper of the Finale (following the Introduction) is plainly based on the opening subject of the whole symphony. Lastly, the first subject of the allegro of the first movement reappears in the major, on the last page but two of the score, to the same accompaniment as in the allegro. So that--to sum the matter up concisely--the fourth movement contains two themes from the first and one from the second; the third and second movements each contain one theme from the first. No one, I think, will venture to assert that so elaborate a system of thematic repetition as this is due to mere caprice; nor is it easy to see why Tchaikovsky should have indulged in it at all if his object had been merely to write a symphony in four movements. Nothing can be clearer than that the work embodies an emotional sequence of some kind. It is a great pity that we have no definite clue to this; but even on the face of the matter as it now stands the genera] purport of the symphony is quite plain.
The gloomy, mysterious opening theme (the "motto-theme" in the clarinets) suggests the leaden, deliberate 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 tread 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 close 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 Festival program book, 194.0.
Sunday Afternoon, May 7 Schicksalslied ("Song of Destiny")........Brahms
Johannes Brahms was born May 7, 1833, at Hamburg; died April 3, 1897, at Vienna.
If he will only point his magic wand to where the might of mass, whether in chorus or orchestra, lends him its strength, even more marvelous glimpses into the secrets of the spirit world await us. ...
--Robert Schumann
Brahms, Wagner, and Tchaikovsky were products of the same artistic soil, nurtured by the same forces that conditioned the standards and norms of art in their period. They lived in a poverty-stricken and soul-sick period, when anarchy seemed to have destroyed culture, an age which was distinctly unfavorable to genuinely great art--unfavorable because of its pretentiousness and exclusiveness, its crass materialism, its hidebound worship of the conventional. The showy exterior of the period did not hide the inner barrenness of its culture.
It is no accident that the real Brahms seems to us to be the serious Brahms of the Requiem, the Alto Rhafsody, the Song of Destiny, the great tragic songs, and the quiet resignation expressed in the slow movements of his symphonies. Here is to be found, in somber and serious accents, an expression of the true spirit of the period in which he lived. But by the exercise of a clear intelligence, he tempered an excessively emotional nature, and thereby avoided mere sentimentalism. Unlike Tchaikovsky and other "heroes of the age," Brahms, even as Beethoven, was essentially of a healthy mind, and was triumphant in his art. In a period turbulent with morbid emotionalism, he stood abreast with such spirits as Carlyle and Browning, to oppose the forced impoverishment of life and the unhealthful tendencies of his period. Although he suffered disillusionment no less than Tchaikovsky, his was another kind of tragedy, the tragedy of a musician born out of his time. In fact he suffered more than Tchaikovsky from the changes in taste and perception that inevitably come with the passing of time. But his particular disillusionment did not affect the power and sureness of his artistic
See notes on Tchaikovsky, page 54.
impulse. With grief he saw the ideals of Beethoven dissolved in a welter of cheap emotionalism; he saw the classic dignity of his art degraded by an infiltration of tawdry programmatic effects and innocuous imitation, and witnessed finally its complete subjugation to poetry and the dramatic play. But all of this he opposed with his own grand style, profoundly moving, noble, and dignified. With a sweep and thrust he forced music out upon her mighty pinions to soar once more. What Matthew Arnold wrote of Milton's verse might well have been written of the music of Brahms: "The fullness of thought, imagination, and knowledge makes it what it is" and the mighty power of his music lies "in the refining and elevation wrought in us by the high and rare excellence of the grand style." If the "grand style" referred to "can only be spiritually ascertained," then certainly the works on this program are an imposing manifestation of its existence.
In his admirable book on Brahms, Fuller Maitland, made reference to the parallelism between the composer and Robert Browning. The association is a happy one. There is something similar in their artistic outlook and method of expression, for Brahms, like Browning, often disclaimed the nice selection and employment of a style in itself merely beautiful. As an artist, none the less, he chose to create, in every case, a style fitly proportioned to the design, finding in that dramatic relation of style and motive a more vital beauty and a broader sweep of feeling. This epic conception often lifted Brahms to the brink of the sublime. He lived in his creative life upon the "cold white peaks." No master ever displayed a more inexorable self-discipline, or held his art in higher respect. For Brahms was a master of masters, always painstaking in the devotion to his work, and undaunted in his search for perfection. "The excellence he sought dwelt among rocks hardly accessible, and he had to almost wear his heart out to reach her." The Brahms of the "Song of Destiny" is the man, in Milton's magnificent phrase, "of devout prayer to that Eternal Spirit that can enrich with all utterance and knowledge, and who sends out his seraphim with the hallowed fire of his altar, to touch and purify the lips of whom he pleases."
The Schicksalslied ("Song of Destiny") comes from the period 1868-71, the most decisive and important years of Brahms's production, when he was at the height of his slowly won fame and in the plenitude of his creative power. In the summer of 1868 while he was working on the second version of the Deutsche Requiem, he completed his setting of Goethe's "Rinaldo," composed the song cycle which included such famous songs as "Die Nachtigal" and "Wiegenlied" and produced the Liebeslieder Walzer. The climax of these fruitful years came
Fuller Maitland, Brahms (London: Meuthen & Co., 1911).
with two of his finest choral works, the Alto Rhapsody based upon Goethe's Harzreise im Winter and a setting of Friedrich Holderlin's "Schicksalslied."
Often referred to as the "Little Requiem," the "Song of Destiny" is indeed, in spirit and form, closely and intimately related to the more epic work. Both deplore the mutability of human destiny, expressing with grand tragic resignation the everlasting antithesis between earthly and heavenly existence, transiency and eternity, life and death.
The depressing and desperate poem of Holderlin utters the ineradicable human lament concerning the different lot of gods and men. It describes the contrast felt by the poets of antiquity between suffering, struggling mortals forever thrust into the unknown, and "tossed like a wave from reef to reef" and immortal gods "treading the soft floor of heaven in eternal light" unmindful of human destiny, showing neither compassion nor pity. In the closing verses Holderlin is merciless and desolate--nothing abides among men save wretchedness and uncertainty; the dark problem of existence remains unsolved and inscrutable.
This ancient conception of life dominated by an inexorable fate was entirely foreign to the sympathetic nature of Brahms. He could not leave us, as did the poet, on a dark note of doubt and despondency. Through the beauty and nobility of his music he brings to the fatalistic poem a deeper and more personal meaning.
In a rapturous, yet blissfully serene instrumental prologue, he represents the realm of the gods, where celestial beings dwell in beatitude. As the chorus sings of their blessed state, the music is of supreme and tranquil beauty, but with the daemonic verses that tell of the hopeless striving and suffering of mankind the choral passages become breathlessly detached, harsh and resigned in turn; the accompaniment in the orchestra wildly agitated. Brahms sings the poet's verses that tell of Olympian felicity and man's earthly woe, but omits those that deal with his bitter resignation and everlasting doom. With compassion for the human race, he mitigates the austerity of the classical conception of fate by leading us back to peace and tranquility in a postlude that lifts the spirit with its consolatory beauty, suggesting that a better fate awaits man than the terrible doom declared by the poet. An orchestral peroration of indescribable and unearthly beauty leads us back to the theme of the opening in a major key. In this inspired conclusion,
Johann Christian Friedrich Holderlin was born March 20, 1770. His life was tragic. Morbidly sensitive and introspective, he finally became insane and died June 7, 18+3. As the Neo-Hellenist, he wished to see the Greek spirit return to German literature. His major work, "Hyperion's Schicksalslied," is full of lyric subjectivity and dythrambic beauty. His collected writings were published in 1846.
he "utters the unutterable" and gives eloquent expression to what the poet left unspoken; it is Brahms own touching and fervid testimony that the world's anguish lies at rest and that man's dignity is restored by his own resignation to sorrow and death; that he alone and no stern god-head or blind power of fate dictates his destiny.
Brahms had at one time considered a chorus here, but after much indecision and experimentation, he concluded to omit it and restate the Introduction instead. In a letter to Reinthaler, he wrote, "Schicksalslied is being printed, and the chorus is silent in the final adagio--as we have sufficiently discussed--I say something that the poet left unsaid." "That Brahms actually had some such intention in adding the postlude" writes his pupil and biographer, Florence May, "is the personal knowledge of the present writer. He regarded it as not merely accessory but as being in a sense the most important part of his composition. In rehearsing the work it was over this portion that he lingered with peculiar care and when conducting its performance, he obtained from the postlude some of his rarest and most exquisite effects of ethereal tenderness."
The work falls into three continuous sections. There is an orchestral introduction (Langsam und sehnsuchtsvolly E-flat major, 4-4) which leads into the serene and lofty first movement for the chorus. This closes softly, and, after a few measures of interlude for the orchestra, we are brought sharply to earth in the tragic and pathetic choral movement (Allegro, C minor, 3-4) which depicts the earthly lot of man. The protesting voices cease, wearily, resignedly. Then, in C major (Adagio, 4-4), the orchestra follows with its assuaging and luminous song, a mystical promise of divine felicity.
Langsam und sehnsuchtsvoll
Far in yon region of light, where pleasures fail not,
Wander the spirits West,
Breathed on by airs of glory, bright and divine,
Like a harp when a master hand wakes it from silence.
Free from care, like a babe that is sleeping,
Are they in heaven that dwell;
Pure and lowly as half-opened blossoms,
In those fields of light they ever bloom;
And in bliss are their eyes still gazing
On clearness, calm and eternal.
?Florence May, The Life of Johannes Brahms (London: E. Arnold, 1935), 3 vols.
But man may not linger, and nowhere finds he repose; We stay not, but wander, we grief-laden mortals, Blindly from one sad hour to another, Like water from cliff ever dropping, Blindly at last do we pass away.
Adagio (Orchestral Postlude)
Symphony No. 4--"The Cycle," for Chorus of Mixed
Voices and Orchestra...........Mennin
Peter Mennm was born in Erie, Pennsylvania, May 17, 1923; he is now living in New York City.
Peter Mennin's early formal musical training began at the Oberlin Conservatory. After serving in the Army Air Corps during the last war, he continued his studies at the Eastman School of Music where he ultimately received the Doctor of Philosophy degree in music.
He has been the recipient of several major awards for composition. For his Symphonie allegro, he won in 1945 the first George Gershwin Memorial Award; for his second Symphony, the Beam's Prize at Columbia University. Other honors have been: an award from the American Academy of Arts and Letters, a Guggenheim Foundation fellowship, commissions from the League of Composers, the Dallas Symphony Orchestra, the Juilliard Foundation, the Koussevitsky Foundation, and Robert Shaw's Collegiate Chorale.
His works have been performed by the major orchestras in this country, Europe, and South America with outstanding success.
Allen Parker who wrote the annotations for his Carnegie Hall concerts has furnished the following analysis:
The orchestra and chorus are equally important in the presentation and development of material, complimenting each other in a "concertante" style. The work is clearly polyphonic. The resultant harmonies are colorful, always sensitively voiced, and the choral writing ;s clean, truly vocal in quality.
English version by the Rev. Dr. Troutbeck; taken from Philadelphia Orchestra program notes by Lawrence Gilman, April 29, 1932.
Subtitled "The Cycle" by Mr. Mennin, who has written the verses as well as the music, the symphony is in three large movements, which, however, are unified by a persistent motivic focus: that of a rising diminished fifth followed by a descending halfstep. The first movement, allegro energico, opens in a vigorous linear manner in D minor, and introduces the theme and the most important counterpoint. The chorus enters in unison, moving in sustained manner against unceasing eighth-note activity in the orchestra to a central climax in G major on the words "look where the star hurls." Some of the excitement of the orchestra is transmitted to the chorus in the staccato section which follows, building again with the first material to a brilliant final cadence in A-flat major.
A tender lyricism pervades the andante arioso movement characterized by an unending, irregular rhythmic flow. The violins introduce a theme in A minor, which is taken up by the other strings and the alto voices. This persists as a ground work for the movement, about which there is a new melodic figure treated polyphonically in the chorus. In its second statement, the new theme is inverted and placed against a rhythmically diminished version of itself in an a cappella choral section: the basses and tenors singing canonically in 38 time, while the sopranos and altos move in their own canon of long half notes. A homophonic section in E minor reaches the highest intensity, the chorus singing "Come back, come back" over the insistent motif of the beginning. The movement closes as it opened with the quiet polyphony in the strings, and the men's voices reiterating "Return to the earth."
A forceful homophonic passage on the words "Time passing, waters flowing" opens the third movement, and recurs throughout, separating the contrapuntal sections which lie between. Two main thematic ideas are introduced independently, and then combined to form a double fugue which is developed in separate blocks of orchestra and chorus. The themes are sharply contrasted: the first, "with dark and tragic destiny" being predominantly rhythmic in character, and confined within a small melodic range, while the second moves in a long slow melody over a rapid staccato ostinato in the bass instruments. Sharp punctuation in the brass accelerates the rhythmic drive to the end, the extended closing section using new melodic material in the chorus "still rising" while the orchestra uses almost all the previous ideas in altered forms.
The dark sea is a tide of flowing waters, And in its vasty depths we view eternity. Look where the star hurls from its flaming rest And eyeless worlds are suppliant yet. They act not from random thought, But from old wounds and maturing Time, With sounds that pierce the marrow With savage songs of exultation.
Come back to the earth again and feel her roots.
Man forgets.
The dark waters remember ancient conflicts
and are silent.
Return to the Earth.
Time passing, waters flowing,
The great cycle begins once more,
Washing staini away.
With dark and tragic destiny
Do all things return to dust.
Stirring fills the air.
Sounds of deliverance
Cancel the past rages.
Still rising does the waiting earth
Sublimely sing,
Embracing all of man.
Concerto in D major, Op. 77, for Violin and Orchestra . . Brahms
Great interest was aroused in the musical circles of Germany and Austria when it became noised abroad in the year 1878 that Brahms was at work upon a violin concerto, and that it was intended for the friend of his youth, the great violinist, Josef Joachim. The summer of 1878 the composer spent in Portschach where the first draft of the work was finished. Writing to his friend, Hanslick, the Viennese critic, from this beautiful summer place on Lake Worther in Carinthia, Brahms reports that "so many melodies fly about, one must be careful not to tread on them." The peace and tranquility of these summer weeks is no doubt reflected in the first movement of the concerto which has a mood somewhat similar to that of the Second Symphony, likewise in D major. To many, the sentiment is maintained at a loftier height in the concerto and the limpid grace of the melodic line has an immediate fascination for a general audience.
After studying the violin part of the concerto which the composer had sent him, Joachim replied from Salzburg, "I have had a good look at what you sent me and have made a few notes and alterations, but without the full score one can't say much. I can however make out most of it and there is a lot of really good violin music in it, but whether it can be played with comfort in hot concert rooms remains to be seen." After considerable correspondence and several conferences the score and parts were ready and the first performance scheduled for January 1, 1879, in Leipzig. Joachim, naturally, was the soloist
on this occasion. In his sympathetic review of his first performance of the new work, Dorffel, in the Leifiziger Nachrichten, says:
No less a task confronted Brahms, if his salutation to his friend were to be one suitable to Joachim's eminence, than the production of a work that should reach the two greatest, Beethoven and Mendelssohn. We confess to have awaited the solution with some heart palpitation, though we firmly maintained our standard. But what joy we experienced! Brahms has brought such a third work to the partnership. The originality of the spirit which inspires the whole, the firm organic structure which is displayed, the warmth which streams from it, animating the work with joy and life--it cannot be otherwise--the concerto must be the fruit of the composer's latest and happiest experiences.
It remains to be noted that the concerto was not published immediately. Joachim kept it for a while and played it several times in England with much success. The performer on several of these occasions made alterations to the score which did not always meet with the approval of the composer as is evidenced by excerpts from a letter from Brahms to Joachim: "You will think twice before you ask me for another concerto! It is a good thing that your name is on the copy; you are more or less responsible for the solo violin parts." During the summer of 1879 a second violin concerto was begun but was never finished.
Brahms did not write out the cadenza at the end of the first movement. Originally, Joachim wrote one for himself but since that time it has been provided with cadenzas by nearly all of the great violin masters; at least twenty published cadenzas exist. Mr. Milstein will play his own on this occasion.
The following analysis by Felix Borowski in the program book of the Chicago Symphony orchestra is presented here for those interested in following the technical details of the construction of the concerto:
I. {Allegro non tro-p-po, D major, 34 time.) The plan of this movement follows the classical construction of the first movement of a concerto, as that construction was employed in the concertos of Mozart, Beethoven, and of contemporaries less famous than they. The first Exposition for orchestra begins, without any introduction, with the principal subject (in D major) in the bassoons and lower strings. After a transitional passage, in which the material of the principal theme is worked over, fortissimo, in the full orchestra, the second subject, in the same key, enters tranquilly in the oboe, and is taken up by the first violins. Another and more marcato section of it is heard in a dotted figure, forte, in the strings. After the strings have played a vigorous passage in sixteenth notes, the solo violin enters with a lengthy section--composed principally of
passage work--introductory to its presentation of the main subject. This at length arrives, the theme being accompanied by an undulating figure in the violas. The second subject appears in the flute, later continued in the first violins, passage work playing around it in the solo instrument. The second, marcato, section now is taken up by the violin. Development follows--as is customary in older concertos--being introduced in an orchestral tutti. The Recapitulation (principal subject) is also announced by the orchestra, ff. The second theme occurs, as before, in the orchestra, but now in D major, the solo violin playing around it with passage work, as in the Exposition. The second section of the theme is played by the violin in D minor. A short tutti precedes the cadenza for the solo instrument. The coda, which follows it, begins with the material of the principal subject.
II. {Adagio, F major, 24 time.) This movement has the orchestral accompaniment lightly scored, merely the woodwind, two horns, and the usual strings being employed. It opens with a subject in the woodwind, its melody being set forth by the oboe. The solo violin takes up a modified and ornamental version of this theme. A second subject follows, also played by the solo instrument, and the first is eventually, and in modified form, resumed.
III. {Allegro giocoso, ma non trof-po vivace, D major, 24 time.) The principal theme is announced at once by the solo violin, and it is taken up, ff, by the orchestra. A transitional passage leads to the second subject, given out, energicamente, by the violin in octaves; this is worked over and leads to a resumption of the main theme by the solo instrument. An episode (G major, 34 time) is set forth by the violin suggestions of the opening subject occurring in the orchestra. The second theme is once more heard in the solo violin, and is, in its turn, succeeded by further development of the principal subject. A short cadenza for the solo instrument leads into the coda, in which the first subject is further insisted upon, now in quicker tempo and somewhat rhythmically changed.
Sunday Evening, May 7 "Classical" Symphony in D major, Op. 25.....Prokofiev
Sergei Prokofiev was born in Sontsovka, Russia, April 24, 1891.
Sergei Prokofiev, a senior member of a very significant group of Soviet Republic composers, of whom Dimitri Shostakovitch is perhaps the most sensational member, has, after a few early startling excursions into the grotesque, and only an occasional sojourn into the cacophonous realm of musical modernism, produced music that is not merely interesting and clever, but brilliantly effective.
At a period when European audiences were being doped into a state of insensibility by the vacuity of the postimpressionists, incensed to riots by the shocking barbarism of Stravinsky, or baffled into boredom by the mathematical cerebrations of Schonberg, whose music seemed, as far as emotional expression was concerned, to be hermetically sealed, the spectacle of a composer who was still able to create music that had a natural ease and fluidity, a freshness and spontaneity that was essentially "classical," was as surprising as it was eventful.
It was not without a provoking wit, and just a little satire, perhaps, that Prokofiev ever so politely thumbed his nose at the young radical "moderns" for a moment, and with his tongue in his cheek deluded the staid traditionalists by creating the impression that the "good old classicism" of the past was as alive as ever. The "Classical" Symphony, produced in 1917, has all the polished craftsmanship and mannered elegance of a true eighteenth-century composition.
Employing an orchestra typical of Haydn or Mozart, and adhering religiously to the formal symphonic traditions of their time, Prokofiev has almost outdone his models in charm, elegance, and nice proportion. Throughout the work,
The symphony is scored for two flutes, two oboes, two clarinets, two bassoons, two horns, two trumpets, tympani, and strings.
however, there are, here and there, sly intrusions of daring harmonic progressions, and pointed misshaping of phrases that would certainly have taken the curl out of the periwigs of an eighteenth-century audience. But these moments provide delightful zest and engaging interest, and no little humor, to those who know well their classic composers.
Mr. A. H. Meyer, commenting upon the first performance of the work by the Boston Symphony Orchestra, wrote:
The entire Symphony is built upon the principles of pure classicism at its zenith. Prokofiev had a fancy that he would like to write a symphony in the style of the supreme classicist, Mozart. Highly seasoned, modernist pieces, came from Prokofiev before and after; the Symphony stands by itself.
To call the symphony "Mozartean" (with due reservations, naturally!) is to characterize it. ... Its formal schemes arc those of the classicists at maturity before the romanticism of Beethoven had begun to modify them.
The first movement, Allegro, is based on the conventional sonata-form: a first theme, a transition, a second. All three are in the light, elegant style which justifies the appelation "Mozartean." Staccati and neatly clipped motives and phrases abound. They offer not much suggestion of what the present era calls modern harmony. Not a single one of the three themes is melodic in the lyric sense. A perfectly regular development, recapitulation, coda, round out the movement.
The second movement, Larghetto, presents much the same type of theme. The form is that of a simple rondo--three appearances of the theme with intervening episodes.
For third movement, instead of the Minuet which Mozart would surely have included, stands a Gavotte, rhythmed according to the best eighteenth-century models. In descending consecutive fifths, mildly chromatic, the main theme moves. A trio, more exactly rhythmed than the conventional Musette, offers contrast.
In the Finale the main theme with its arpeggiated staccati is as Mozartean as any in the whole work. A contrasting theme offers simple repetition of a single note in an upper voice, while there is elementary shifting between dominant and tonic harmony underneath--a characteristic device of Mozart. After the manner of a highly developed Rondo, the main theme is repeated, there is development, recapitulation, coda.
Boston Transcrift, January 27, 1927.
OFFICIAL PROGRAM Kindertotenlieder........... . . Mahler
Gustav Mahler was born in Kalischt, Bohemia, July 7, i860; died in Vienna, Austria, May 8, 1911.
Sensibility which no words can express--charm and torment of our vain years--vast consciousness of a nature everywhere greater than we are, and everywhere impenetrable. _ --Senaucour
Near the end of Mahler's life tremendous changes were taking place in the world. It was inevitable that the changing currents in European thought at the end of the nineteenth century would affect music. The romantic spirit that had given the art its tremendous vitality was fading before the advance of the realistic, the logical, and the scientific. Between the end of the romantic nineteenth and the beginning of the scientific twentieth century, music was experiencing a period of the greatest intellectual fermentation and creative fertility. Mahler found himself surrounded by numerous composers who seemed to have discovered untrammeled ways into the future of their art. On every hand, in every field of re-creation, he heard about him a host of the most technically skilled performers, and he beheld such huge and eager audiences as the world of music had never before known. Yet before his untimely death in 1911, the first year of what was to be a tragic decade, this active spring of inspiration began to grow sluggish. Creation went on, but composition started to show signs of becoming more a matter of method and arrangement than a means of personal expression; more a matter of aural sensation than spiritual inspiration. By this time Debussy's originality had run its course, and, although he continued to compose, the old certainty was gone, the creative imagination depleted. The creative stream of Richard Strauss leveled off and became stagnant after producing Rosenkmalier in 1911; while Schonberg, upon completing the massive Gue7ve Lieder, his last work in the post-Wagnerian romantic style, mistook a tributary for the main current and ran dry in the arid plains of atonality.
German music had grown weary of perpetuating the principles of romanticism, and her composers had, by 1911, begun to forsake the past and to follow their new leaders, Reger and Schonberg. The composers of the post-Wagnerian period in Germany were not writing the last chapter of romanticism; they were writing its epilogue.
It was for Mahler alone, among German composers of his period, to reach full maturity while the romantic point of view still survived as a potent source
See notes on Strauss, page 19.
of musical fecundity, his mind like that of Wagner and Brahms was nurtured by the rich blood of German romanticism. But with keen instinct and sensitive awareness, he felt that he was experiencing the end rather than the climax of a great era. His peculiar position--as the last real romanticist who lived on into the twentieth century, forming, as it were, a bridge between a dying tradition and the birth of a new scientific ideology--is what gave to his art its peculiar distinction and character. His voice echoed from a vanishing world--a world that was becoming increasingly remote--still beheld in the mists of distance, but irrecoverably lost. Yet, with the soul of a mystic, Mahler continued to seek after deeper realities than appeared in the immediate and material world; with the mind of a philosopher he probed the depths of human experience and tried to relate the values he found there to those that were already superseding them.
The overwrought pathos, the impassioned eloquence, and fitful intensity found in his art has often been accredited to his Jewish origin, but the desperate nostalgia, the restless longing that surges through his pages, is not to be explained merely in terms of race, for Mendelssohn and Schonberg created no such feeling. It was the gloomy premonition of the approaching death of the romantic world view that haunted Mahler. In the wake of an advancing machine age and its insistence upon scientific reality, he was troubled by the fading away of illusion and the loss of the picturesque, disturbed by the slow emasculation of the magic, the supernatural, and the mythical symbols that so vitalized the music of the world he knew. It is the consciousness of this receding world, this slipping away of old values, that gives to such works as Kindertotenlieder their deeply nostalgic color and their troubled, poignant feeling. Yet Mahler had little in common with the earlier and fully formed romanticists; he shared their sensitivity and burning passion, but he lacked their fervor and strength, their "soaring flight in grief." There is in him none of the heroic and epic pathos of Wagner; there is only an unconquerable melancholy and infinite regret, a heartfelt protestation against the fleetingness and pain of life. As Santayana wrote of those philosophers who, like Mahler, believed that existence was an illusion, he was "without one ray of humor, and all persuaded that the universe, too, must be without one."
The history of the art song is largely the record of the separation rather than the union of poetry and music. In its early stages of evolution poetic rhythm and structure exerted an imperious control over music. Through the genius of Franz Schubert, however, the song was emancipated. With his freely composed and fluently expressive piano accompaniment, Schubert enriched and deepened its musical meaning; with his incomparable melodic gift he transformed what was for the most part ordinary poetry into indescribable musical beauty. In Robert Schumann, Johannes Brahms, and Hugo Wolf this freedom continued, and
the more the accompaniment expressed, the more firmly the song became established as a musical form; the more music asserted itself the further poetry receded into the background. Poetic rhymes lost their effect through the lack of correspondence between musical and verbal phrases; accented notes in music did not always coincide with the stress in the verse; the measure in music was often at cross purposes with the meter in the poetry; a single word was often dismembered by the bar line and most serious of all, the direct intellectual and emotional appeal of the poem was swept away in a flood of pleasure derived directly and overwhelmingly from the music. Instead of poetry giving meaning to music, music added meaning to and enforced the expression of the words. The suggestion of an atmosphere was the most direct service which poetry now rendered to music. The poet merely furnished a mood and an inspiration; the art song had emerged primarily as an expression of the composer's art.
A tendency had already begun in Beethoven {An die jerne Geliebte, Op. 84) and was continued in Schubert (Miillerleider and Winterreisse) to group poems together to create a larger framework and scope for music than the single song allowed. In these song cycles, the composer, by writing piano preludes, interludes, and postludes (Schumann's Dichterliebe) continued to increase music's share in the responsibility for expression. A later development saw the piano finally give way as an accompanying instrument to various instrumental ensembles and to the full orchestra. It was Richard Strauss and particularly Mahler who, in thus accompanying their songs, destroyed perhaps some of their intimacy, but without question increased their musical effectiveness.
Song and poetry formed the basis of most of Mahler's orchestral works-five out of his nine symphonies employed voices, chorales, and solos. Essentially he was as personal and introspective a writer of song as Brahms or Schumann. Like them, he too, in the nineteenth century tradition, felt compelled to expresf himself in the more extended form of the song cycle, but for the piano he substituted the more complex orchestral accompaniment.
With the cycle Mahler was able to achieve the detailed subtlety that the single song invited, and yet, within the fuller span it provided, accomplish a more dramatic effect; with the orchestra, he could realize the possibilities of subtle instrumental color and nuance, of which he was such a complete and incomparable master.
His songs number forty two. Of these there are two cycles with orchestral accompaniment, the Lieder eines Fahrenden Gesellen, 1884, and the Kindertotenlieder, 1900-1902.
Perhaps Mahler's finest and most representative work as a composer is to be found, not in his lengthy, wandering, and often redundant symphonies, but here where he was free, yet disciplined by the inherent demands of the song, to achieve his effects with directness and immediacy.
The Kindertotenlieder was based upon poems written by Friedrich Ruckert after the death of his two children. From thirty or more poems, Mahler selected five to set to music, much against the will of his wife, who has written:
I found this incomprehensible. I could understand setting such frightful words to music if one had no children, or had lost those one had. Moreover, Friedrick Rukert did not write these harrowing elegies solely out of his imagination. They were dictated by the cruellest loss of his life. What I could not understand was bewailing the death of children who were in the best of health and spirits hardly an hour after having kissed and fondled them. I exclaimed at the time, "For heaven's sake, don't tempt providence."
Providence had either been tempted, or Mahler had had a fateful premonition of a personal tragedy, for in 1907 he lost his eldest daughter, Maria Anna, who died at the age of five. Mahler never escaped from this overwhelming grief until his own death four years later.
I. Now the sun will rise so brightly, as if the night had brought no misfortune! Misfortune befell me alone! The sun shines on all! Thou must not enfold the night within thee, but must submerge it in eternal light! A little lamp went out before my shrine! Hail the joyous light of the world!
II. Now I see well why such dark flames flashed before me in so many moments! O
eyes! O eyes! It is as if thy power had been condensed to a single glance! I did not sense, surrounded by mists of blended destinies, that the ray was sent to prepare a homecoming to the place from which all radiance stems. Thou wouldst have told me with thy light; We would remain with thee, but destiny has struck that from us. Behold us now, for soon we shall be far from thee! What now are only eyes to thee shall be but stars in nights to come.
III. When your mother steps to the door, and I turn my head to greet her, her glance
does not fall upon me but upon the place near the threshold where we saw your lovely face when you, my little daughter, used to come in with her, so radiant with joy. When your mother steps to the door in the shimmering candle-light,
? Frau Alma Maria Mahler, Gustav Mahler Memories and Letters, trans, by Basil Creighton (New York: Viking Press, 1946).
it seems to me as if you came with her and slipped into the room as you once did. Oh you, heart of your father's heart, light of joy so quickly snuffed out!
IV. Often I think they have only gone out! Soon they will come home again! The
day is fine! Be not afraid! They are only taking a long walk. Yes, they have only gone out, and now they will come home! Be not afraid, the day is fine! They are only going to the height! They have only gone before us and will never wish to come home! We shall find them on the height in the sunshine! The day is fine on the height!
V. In this weather, in this tumult, I should never have sent the children out. They
were taken from us, taken away, I dared say nothing. In this weather, in this storm, I should never have let the children out. I should have been afraid that they would be taken ill. Now those are idle thoughts. In this weather, in this gruesome atmosphere, I let the children go. I feared they would die the following day. Now there is nothing to be done. In this weather, in this storm, in this tumult, they sleep as if in their mother's house, frightened by no thunder, covered with God's hand; they sleep as if in their mother's house.
Two Hispanic Pieces...... Harl McDonald
Born near Boulder, Colorado, July 27, 1899; now living in St. Davids, Pennsylvania.
In the program book of the Philadelphia Orchestra for April 1-2, 1949, Mr. McDonald contributed this brief sketch of his personal background which influenced his early love for Hispanic music:
My upbringing in the Southwest brought me into close contact with Hispanic music. Most of the ranches used Mexican labor and when I was a small boy, I saw the last of the vaquero life. Wherever a few Mexicans congregate there is music and dancing, and as long ago as I can remember I felt the hypnotic attraction of the many and complex rhythms of Spanish-American music.
My formal training in music began with my mother, an excellent musician, as my teacher, when I was four years old. Harmony exercises are rather trying diet for a child of seven, so at that age I amused myself by writing dances in the more exciting style of the music I heard every day. Fortunately, my mother, who preferred Bach to all other composers, kept a tolerant and amused eye on the whole business, and while she demanded a certain amount of routine study in harmony and counterpoint, she gave me invaluable aid in the many problems that arose as a part of my early efforts in composition. I still treasure a collection of short dances which include a bolero, a tango, a jota, etc., that were done when I was seven and eight years old. Another set, done when I was ten, was published, much to my delight at the time, and to my consternation in later years. ¦ .
This love for Hispanic rhythms has never abated and I recall a Mexican Fantasy for Cello and Piano, a Suite "El Camino Real" for piano, a Mexican Rhapsody for piano, an orchestral suite, and "Mojave"--a symphonic fantasy, as some of the many works I have written that reflect this influence.
The two Hispanic Pieces on tonight's program were written by Mr. McDonald at different periods and for different works. The "Rhumba" comes from a symphony completed in 1935. "The Mission" was written three years later as one of two "San Juan Capistrano" nocturnes. Of these two works Mr McDonald writes:
Several years ago, quite by accident, I heard a Cuban band doing wonderful things in rhumba rhythms and my first thought was that when I had sufficiently saturated myself with the style of Cuban dance music, I should write a rhumba for symphony orchestra. Shortly after this the dance became popular in the United States, and while many of our dance bands fail to preserve the exotic and violent style of the native dance, it became for me one of the most interesting and exciting things in jazz music. My Rhumba Symphony was not planned as a setting for the dance, but rather, as I considered the plan of the symphony, I felt that a rhumba instead of the conventional scherzo was almost essential.
"San Juan Capistrano" was composed in the latter part of 1938. The music is meant to reflect two scenes in the little mission community of Capistrano which lies near the Mexican border in California. For nearly three hundred years the mission has dominated the town and its inhabitants. Except for an occasional automobile, at which children stare as it passes through, life in Capistrano goes on in much the same fashion as it did a century ago.
The first movement, "The Mission," opens in a quiet vein suggesting the tranquility of early evening. Occasionally the soft music of the strings is punctuated by the sound of mission bells. Faintly, as from a distant procession, comes a strain reminiscent of a seventeenth century ecclesiastical melody, and gradually the chanting and the clangor of the bells engulf the scene. As the procession disappears in the distance the subdued and languorous music of the opening passages is heard.
Jeanne d'Arc au bucher.............Liszt
Born October 22, 1811, in Raiding, Hungary; died July 3, 1886, in Bayreuth.
As a composer, pianist, teacher, and critic, Franz Liszt completely domi-. nated his age. -As a composer he brought to fruition the romantic tendencies of
?Philadelphia Orchestra program book, April i-z, 1949.
the period, with hfs vividly expressive and highly descriptive music. He created new art forms (the symphonic poem) and increased the expressive qualities of the orchestra, the piano, and every medium he chose to work in. As perhaps the most sensational pianist who ever lived, he contributed incalculably to general musical interest. As a teacher he established a school of piano technique that has produced, and is still producing, some of the most notable pianists today. As a ¦ critic, and as a propagandist, he drew the attention of the world to young unknown composers, among them Brahms and Wagner, and clarified the various movements that were becoming apparent in the musical evolution of the early nineteenth century.
Liszt displays a broad sweep and a grand style, and moves with ease in vast musical forms. His tendency to casual improvisation destroys at times the homogeneity of his work, but when the foundations of this improvisation are well constructed, as they are in this brilliant concerto, he reaches the apogee of power.
Unfortunately, however, Liszt's creative talent and inventiveness often tended to lag behind his imagination and artistic desire. As a result, much of his music is more grandiose than majestic, more voluptuous than passionate, and more pretentious than inspired. Despite his fustian, however, he was one of the last great Europeans with the gift of universality, fiery eloquence, and the grand epic style, and where he lacked spontaneity of invention, he impressed with his own bold and adventurous intelligence.
"Jeanne d'Arc au bucher" was composed by Liszt to a poem by Alexander Dumas as a dramatic scene for a mezzo voice and orchestra. It relates the last words of Joan of Arc before she is burned at the stake:
0 Lord, my flock humbly I tended, There came to me Thy dread command To drive the insolent stranger
From a suffering ravaged land.
In the night of my spirit's lightness
Shone the ray of Thy spirit's light,
1 go to die a fiery death
But thro' me France is free, France liveth.
Let not, O Lord, my courage falter, Thy will be done, I do not shrink, Yet well I know the bitter anguish Of a cup that Thy child must drink.
As I march to the final combat, . .
Thou wilt guide me as oft before.
I go to a fiery death
But thro' me France is free, France liveth.
Go bring my immaculate banner Whereon in fair letter of gold The name of Jesus and of Mary The soldier's fainting heart uphold. On that dear pledge of their protection Mine eyes shall rest thro' smoke and flame. I go to a fiery death But thro' me France is free, France liveth.
Symphonic Poem: "The Pines of Rome"......Respighi
Ottorino Respighi was born in Bologna, July 9, 1879; died in Rome, April 18, 1936.
In an article in ha Revue musicale for January, 1927, G. A. Luciani wrote of Respighi:
Of all the contemporary Italian musicians, Respighi has had the most ample and varied output. He has treated all genres with such technical resource that one can hardly say which best reveals the personality of the composer. . . . He stands always in the first rank of those Italian musicians who have contributed to the renascence of symphonic music in Italy. In the "Fountains of Rome" he has succeeded in realizing a personal'form of symphonic poem, where descriptive color blends intimately with sentiment and lyricism, where the classical line is unbroken by modern technical usage. He returns to this form in the "Pines of Rome" which culminates in a triumphal march, rich and powerful in sonority.
As Alfredo Casella has aptly observed, the more recent musical output of Respighi is characterized by a new classicism which consists of a harmonious fusion of the latest musical tendencies of all countries. This tendency is nowhere better realized than with Ottorino Respighi. To the success of his work, moreover, are added two traits which are eminently Latin: a feeling for construction, and a serenity, the expression of which is rare in the music of our day.
"The Pines of Rome" is the second of a cycle of three compositions dealing with the Eternal City. The first, "The Fountains of Rome" was written in 1916; eight years later, in 1924, he produced the "Pines of Rome"; and in 1928, the "Roman Festivals." Shortly after composing "Pines of Rome,"
Respighi wrote to Lawrence Gilman: "The symphonic poem, 'The Pines of Rome' was composed in 1924 and performed for the first time at the Augusteo, Rome, in the season of 1924-25. While in the preceding work, 'The Fountains of Rome,' the composer sought to reproduce, by means of tone, an impression of nature; in the 'Pines of Rome' he uses nature as a point of departure in order to recall memories and visions. The century-old trees which dominate so characteristically the Roman landscape, become testimony of the principal events in Roman life."
When Respighi arrived in America in 1925, he was interviewed by a representative of Musical America and made the following reference to this work:
I do not believe in sensational effects for their own sake. It is true that in my new orchestral poem, "The Pines of Rome," which Toscanini will introduce to you with the New York Philharmonic, some of the instruments play B sharp, and othert B flat in the same passage. But this is not obtruded upon listeners; in the general orchestral color it simply provides a note which I wanted.
Yes, there is a phonograph record of a real nightingale's song used in the third movement. It is a nocturne and the dreamy, subdued air of the woodland at the evening hour is mirrored in the scoring for the orchestra. Suddenly there is silence, and the voice of the real bird arises, with its liquid notes.
Now that device has created no end of discussion in Rome, in London--wherever the work has been played. It has been styled radical, a departure from the rules.
I simply realized that no combination of wind instruments could quite counterfeit the real bird's song. Not even a coloratura soprano could have produced an effect other than artificial. So I used the phonograph. The directions in the score have been followed thus wherever it has been played.
As in the case of the "Fountains," the "Pines" is written in four movements. In the program book of the Philadelphia Orchestra, Mr. Gilman added the following explanation to the printed description which formed the preface to the score:
The Pines of Villa Borghese {Allegretto vivace, 2-8). Children are at play in the pine-grove of the Villa Borghese, dancing the Italian equivalent of "Ring Around the Rosy"; mimicking marching soldiers and battles; twittering and shrieking like swallows at evening; and they disappear. Suddenly the scene changes to
The Pines Near a Catacomb {Lento, 4-4; beginning with muted and divided strings, muted horns, fianissimo). We see the shadows of the pines which overhang the entrance to a catacomb. From the depths rises a chant which re-echoe solemnly, sonorously, like a hymn, and is then mysteriously silenced.
The Pines of the Janiculum (Lento, 4-4, piano cadenza; clarinet solo). There is a thrill in the air. The full moon reveals the profile of the pines of Gianicolo's Hill. A nightingale sings (represented by a gramaphone record of a nightingale's song heard from the orchestra).
The Pines of the Appian Way (Temfo di marcia). Misty dawn on the Appian Way. The tragic country is guarded by solitary pines. Indistinctly, incessantly, the rhythm of innumerable steps. To the poet's phantasy appears a vision of past glories; trumpets blare, and the army of the consul advances brilliantly in the grandeur of a newly risen sun toward the sacred way, mounting in triumph the Capitoline Hill.
Organized in 1879. Incorporated in 1881.
Henry Simmons Frieze, 1879--1881 and 1883-1889 Alexander Winchell, 1881-1883 and 1889-1891 Francis W. Kelsey, 1891-1927 Charles A. Sink (Executive Secretary, 1904-1927) 1927MUSICAL DIRECTORS
Calvin B. Cady, 1879-1888 Albert A. Stanley, 1888-1921 Earl V. Moore, 1922-1939
Thor Johnson, 1939-1942
Hardin Van Deursen, 1942-1947
Thor Johnson (Guest), 1947-Lester McCoy, Associate Conductor, 1947THE ANN ARBOR MAY FESTIVAL
Maintained by the University Musical Society
Founded by Albert A. Stanley and his associates in the Board of Directors in 1894
Albert A. Stanley, 1894-1921 Earl V. Moore, 1922-1939
Thor Johnson, 1940--1942 Hardin Van Deursen, 1943-1946 Thor Johnson (Guest), 1947OFFICIAL PROGRAM
The Boston Festival Orchestra, Emil Mollenhauer, Conductor, 1894--1904
The Chicago Symphony Orchestra, Frederick Stock, Conductor, 1905--1935; Eric DeLamarter, Associate Conductor, 1918-1935
The Philadelphia Orchestra, Leopold Stokowski, Conductor, Saul Caston and Charles O' Connell, Associate Conductors, 1936; Eugene Ormandy, Conductor, 1937, 1938; Eugene Ormandy, Conductor, Saul Caston, Associate Conductor, 1939--1945; Eugene Ormandy, Conductor, Alexander Hilsberg, Associate Conductor, 1946-The University Choral Union, Albert A. Stanley, Conductor, 1894--1921; Earl V. Moore, Conductor, 1922--1939; Thor Johnson, Conductor, 1940-1942; Hardin Van Deursen, 1943-1947; Thor Johnson (Guest Conductor), 1947--; Lester McCoy, Associate Conductor, 1947-The Young People's Festival Chorus (now the Festival Youth Chorus), trained by Florence B. Potter, and conducted by Albert A. Stanley, 1913--1918. Conductors: Russell Carter, 1920; George Oscar Bowen, 1921--1924; Joseph E. Maddy, 1925-1927; Juva N. Higbee, 1928-1936; Roxy Cowin, 1937; Juva N. Higbee, 1938; RoxyCowin, 1939; Juva N. Higbee, 1940-1942; Marguerite Hood, 1943The Stanley Chorus (now the Women's Glee Club), trained by Marguerite Martindale, 1934; trained by Wilson Sawyer, 1944
The University Glee Club, trained by David Mattern, 1937 The Lyra Chorus, trained by Reuben H. Kempf, 1937
Gustav Hoist (London, England), 1923, 1932
Howard Hanson (Rochester), 1926, 1927, 1933, 1935
Felix Borowski (Chicago), 1927
Percy Grainger (New York), 1928
Jose Iturbi (Philadelphia), 1937
Georges Enesco (Paris), 1939
Harl McDonald (Philadelphia), 1939, 1940, 1944
University Choral Union
Bach: Mass in B minor (excerpts)--1923, 1914, 1915 Magnificat in D major--1930, 1950
Beethoven: Missa Solemnis in D major, Op. 123--19171 1947
Symphony No. 9 in D minor, Op. 125--1934, 1942, 1945 BERLIOZ: The Damnation of Faust--1895, 1909, 1920 Bizet: Carmen--1904, 1918, 1927, 1938 Bossi: Paradise Lost--1916 Brahms: Requiem, Op. 45--1899 (excerpts), 1929, 1941, 1949
Alto Rhapsodie, Op. 53--1939
Song of Destiny--1950 Bruch: Arminius--1897, 1905
Fair Ellen, Op. 24--1904, 1910
Bruckner: Te Deum laudamus--1945 Chadwick: The Lily Nymph--1900 Delius: Sea Drift--1924 Dvorak: Stabat Mater, Op. 58--1906 Elgar: Caractacus--1903, 1914, 1936
The Dream of Gerontius, Op. 38--1904, 1912, 1917 Fogg: The Seasons--1937 FrancK: The Beatitudes--1918 GlucK: Orpheus--1902
GoLDMARK: The Queen of Sheba (March)--1923 Gomer, Llywelyn: Gloria in Excelsis--1949 Gounod: Faust--1902, 1908, 1919
Grainger: Marching Song of Democracy--1928 Hadley: "Music," An Ode, Op. 75--1919 Handel: Judas Maccabeus--1911
Messiah--1907, 1914 Hanson, Howard: Songs from "Drum Taps"--1935
Heroic Elegy--1927
The Lament for Beowolf--1926
Merry Mount--1933 Haydn: The Creation--1908, 1932
The Seasons--1909, 1934 Heger: Ein Friedenslied, Op. 19--1934+ Holst: A Choral Fantasia--i93 2f
A Dirge for Two Veterans--1923
The Hymn of Jesus--1923"t"
First Choral Symphony (excerpts)--1927")" HoneggeR: King David--1930, 1935, 1942 Kodaly: Psalm us Hungaricus, Op. 13--1939
McDonald, Harl: Symphony No. 3 ("Lamentations of Fu Hsuan")--1939 Mendelssohn: Elijah--1901, 1921, 1926, 1944
St. Paul--1905 Mennin, Peter: Symphony No. 4, "The Cycle,"--1950
World premiere f American premiere
Moussorcsky: Boris Godounov--1931, 1935 Mozart: Great Mass in C minor, K. 427--1948
Requiem Mass in D minor--1946 Parker: Hora Novissima, Op. 30--1900 Pierne: The Children's Crusade--1915
Saint Francis of Assisi--1928, 1931 Ponchielli: La Gioconda--1925 Prokofieff: Alexander Nevsky, Op. 78--1946 Rachmaninoff: The Bells--1925, 1938, 1948 Respichi: La Primavera--1924! Rimsky-Korsakoff: The Legend of Kitesh--lgi Rossini: Stabat Mater--1897
Saint-Saens: Samson and Delilah--1896, 1899, 1907, 1912, 1916, 1913, 1929) 1940 Schuman, William: A Free Song(Cantata No. 2)--1945 Smith, J. S.: Star Spangled Banner--1919, 1920 Sibelius: Onward Ye Peoples--1939, 1945 Stanley: Chorus Triumphalis, Op. 14--1897, 1912, 1921
Fair Land of Freedom--1919
Hymn of Consecration--1918
"Laus Deo," Choral Ode--1913, 1943
A Psalm of Victory, Op. 8--1906 Stock: A Psalmodic Rhapsody--1922, 1943 Stravinsky: Symphonie de Psaumes--1932 Sullivan: The Golden Legend--1901
Tchaikovsky: Episodes from "Eugene Onegin"--1911, 1941 Thompson, Randall: Alleluia--1941 Vardell: Cantata, "The Inimitable Lovers"--1940 Verdi: Alda--1903, 1906, 1917, 19211 1924 (excerpts), 1928, 1937
La Forza del Destino (Finale, Act II)--1924
"Manzoni" Requiem--1894, 1898, 1913, 1920, 1930, 1936) 1943
Stabat Mater--1899
Te Dcum--1947
Villa-Lobos, Heitor: Choros No. 10, "Rasga o coracao"--1949 Wagner: The Flying Dutchman--1898
Lohengrin--1926; Act I--1896, 1913
Die Meistersinger, Finale to Act III--1903, 1913; Chorale, "Awake," and Chorale Finale to Act III--1923
Scenes from "Parsifal"--1937
Tannhauser--1902, 1922; March and Chorus--1895 Walton: Belshazzar's Feast--1933 Wolf-Ferrari : The New Life, Op. 9--1910, 1915, 1922, 1929
Festival Youth Chorus
Abt: Evening.Bells--1922 Anonymous: Birds in the Grove--1921
f American premiere
Arne: Ariel's Song--1920
The Lass With the Delicate Air--1937 Barratt: Philomel with Melody--1924 Beethoven: A Prayer--1923
Benedict, Jules: Sweet Repose is Reigning Now--1921 Benoit: Into The World--1914, 1918 Boyd : The Hunting of the Snark--1929 Brahms: The Little Dust Man--1933
Lullaby--1931 Bruch: April Folk--1922 Busch: The Song of Spring--1922 Caracciolo: Nearest and Dearest--1923
A Streamlet Full of Flowers--1923
Carey: National Hymn, "America"--1913, 1917, 1918, 1920 Chopin: The Maiden's Wish--1931 Coleridge-Taylor: Viking Song--1924
DeLamarter, Eric (orchestrator) : Songs of the Americas--1944, 1948 English: Cantata, "The Ugly Duckling"--1934 Far well: Morning--1924
Fletcher: The Walrus and the Carpenter--1913, 1917, 1926, 1942, 1950 Folk Songs--Italian: The Blackbirds, Sleep Little Child--1921
Scotch: "Caller Herrin"--1920
Welsh: Dear Harp of My Country--1920
Zuni Indian: The Sun Worshippers--1924 GAUL: Cantata, "Old Johnny Appleseed"--1931
Cantata, "Spring Rapture"--1933, 1937 Gillett: Songs--1941 Gounod: Waltz Song from "Faust"--1924 Grainger: Country Gardens--1933 Gretchaninoff: The Snow Drop--1938 Handel: "He Shall Feed His Flock," from "Messiah"--1929 Howland, Russell (orchestrator) : Song Cycle from the Masters--'947 Humperdinck: Selections from "Hansel and Gretel"--1923 Hyde: Cantata, "The Quest of the Queer Prince"--1928 d'Indy: Saint Mary Magdalene--1941 James, Dorothy: Cantata, "Jumblies"--1935
Cantata, "Paul Bunyan"--1938
American Folk Songs (orchestration)--1946
Lieder Cycle (orchestration)--1949 Kelly: Suite, "Alice in Wonderland"--1925 Kjerulf: Barcarolle--1920 Madsen: Shepherd on the Hills--1920, 1921 McArtor, Marion (orchestrator) : Songs--1940
Folk Song Fantasy--1943
World premiere
Mendelssohn: On Wings of Song--1934
Spring Song--1924
Mohr-Gruber: Christmas Hymn, "Silent Night"--1916 Moore, E. V.: "The Voyage of Arion"--1921, 1927 Morley: It Was a Lover and His Lass--1921, 1938
Now is the Month of Maying--1935 Mozart: Cradle Song--1930
The Minuet--1922 Myrberc: Fisherman's Prayer, 1922 Pierne: The Children at Bethlehem--1916, 1936
The Children's Crusade--1915
Saint Francis of Assisi--1928, 1931
Planquette: Invitation of the Bells from "Chimes of Normandy"--1924 Protheroe: Cantata, "The Spider and the Fly"--1932 Purcell: In the Delightful Pleasant Grove--1938 Recer: The Virgin's Slumber Song--1938 Reinecke, Carl: "In Life If Love We Know Not"--1921
O Beautiful Violet--1924
Rowley-James: Cantata "Fun of the Fair"--1945 Rubenstein: Thou'rt Like Unto a Flower--1931
Wanderer's Night Song--1923 Sadero: Fa la nana bambin--1935 Schubert: Cradle Song--1924, 1939
Hark, Hark the Lark--1930
Hedge Roses--1934, 1939
Linden Tree--1923,1935
Serenade in D minor--1939
The Trout--1937
Who Is Sylvia--1920
Schumann, Georg: Good Night, Pretty Stars--1924 Schumann, Robert: Lotus Flower--1930
Spring's Messenger--1929
The Nut Tree--1939 Scott: The Lullaby--1937 Strauss, Johann: Blue Danube Waltz--1934 Strong: Cantata, "A Symphony of Song"--1930 Sullivan: Selections from Operas--1932 Thomas, Goring: Night Hymn at Sea--1924 Tosti: Serenade--1933 Van der Stucken: At the Window--1920 Wagner: Whirl and Twirl from "Flying Dutchman"--1924 Wahlstedt: Gay Liesel--1922 Weber: "Prayer," from "Der Freischutz"--1920
The Voice of Evening--1924
World premiere
Maintained by the University Musical Society Founded in 1879
Seventy-first Season, 1949-1950
Thor Johnson, Guest Conductor Lester McCoy, Associate Conductor
Frederick Don Truesdell, Pianist
Mary McCall Stubbins, Organist
Marjorie Gould and Veronica Britton, Librarians
Alschbach, Floy J. Aprill, Virginia A. Boyd, Elinor Jean Bradstreet, Lola Mae Britton, Veronica F. Campbell, Ruth R. Corbin, Horatia J. Davis, Barbara Day Doudna, Virginia D. Elliott, Joanne E. Finlay, Nancy Anne Hanson, Gladys M. Heldreth, Dorothy J. Heyde, Norma Lee Houston, Alberta J.
Jewett, Patty Johnson, Barbara R. Jun, Rose Marie Kirby, Adele Lake, Mary Eleanor Lamberton, Pauline Lock, Inez Jeanette Logan, Bernadyne MacLaren, Helen L. Malan, Fannie Belle Newell, Dorothy P. Patton, Beatrice M. Prince, Ethel Mary Proctor, Phyllis J.
Randall, EllaMay Ranger, Mary I. Reed, Mary Alice Shirley, Hazel Shufelt, Phyllis J. Sloss, Alice M. Stauffer, Mary L. VanManen, Lucille L. Warren, L. Eleanor Williams, Jane N. Winter, Elisabeth R. Zeeuw, Faith Dolores Zuckerman, Shirley R. Zwagerman, Marcia
Baker, Joyce Y. Brockett, Eleanor Brooks, Faith S. Burton, Mary J. Carillo, Edith M. Carstens, Dorothy M. Christensen, Joanne Clark, Janice Ruth Clark, Maury W. Danko, Dorothy L. Davidter, Hazel E. DeMond, Carol W. Detzer, Mary Ann Diepenhorst, Marion Dictz, Maryellen Fisher, Winifred
Baumgarten, Patricia Berger, Edith G. Blair, Virginia E. Boice, Irene A. Brask, Sannah A. Brehm, Beverly J. Conover, Mary C. Craze, Barbara J. Dinnan, Mary E. Dobberstein, Arlene Estep, Jeannette Falcone, Mary L. Fandrem, Barbara Goble, Patricia Ann Gould, Marjorie L. Griffith, Erma R.
Hall, Lois Jean Hendrian, Suzanne Hooper, Helen Kay Huizenga, Thelma Ireland, Daphne P. Ivick, Franceanne Jewell, Arlene J. Jewell, Esther L. Kindig, Beverly L. King, Mary Patricia Kuhl, Elise Alice Lindquist, Carol L. McDowell, Wanda E. McKinley, Ann W. Merrill, Barbara Misner, Patricia
Griggs, Jessiemay Gunterberg, Anne P. Herrick, Hildegarde Hoesman, Maxine M. Kahn, Janice S. Kelso, Barbara Ann Leet, Leonora J. Lewis, Nancy Joan Looney, Mary Jane Maguire, Anne Margeson, Bette L. Mastin, Neva M. McCall, Margaret McKeachie, Joyce Moran, Marilyn L.
Mittler, Marilyn Oates, Dolores E. O'May, Miriam S. Patrick, Patricia Patsloff, Patricia Peterson, Ingrid Poliquin, Marie T. Riley, Margaret M. Shafer, Ann Dyke Traxler, Ellen N. Turner, Mary E. Vlisides, Elena C. Vogt, Elva M. Wight, Earlene A. Zapf, Joan Carol Zickerman, Edith
Niemann, Mary Jane O'Conner, Edna A. Palmer, Anna W. Pierce, Janet C. Poor, Mary Louise Rauschkolb, Sunhild Reed, Marilyn Roff, Lane Shirly Rouse, Elaine G. Sill, Martha M. Stoltz, Barbara L. Symmonds, Charleen VanLaar, Eloise K. Wiedmann, Louise P. Wilcox, Leonella M. Zeeb, Helen R.
Alchin, Carol W. Benson, Patricia V. Birk, Allene A. Bogart, Gertrude J. Branson, Anita C. Clark, Barbara L. Clark, Helen M. Crossley, Sarah-Lou Crossley, Winnifred Dawson, Dorothy Easton, Helen R. Enkemann, Gladys C. Foster, Dorothy D. Gast, Marcella J. Greene, Barbara J.
Alperin, Harvey Brown, Archie M. Brown, Hugh C. Comfort, Gordon Craven, James W. Dunn, Ralph O., Jr. Foster, John Allan Franke, George M. Harris, Robert A.
Bronson, David L. Brown, Robert W. Carson, James C. Chronic, Byron J. Freeman, Franklin Goodwin, F. Walter Hagen, Ivan John Hardy, Gerald D. Haswell, Max Hennes, Allen R.
Hamrick, Julia R. Helfrich, Mary H. Holtman, Estella Holzer, Jeanne F. Huey, Geraldine B. Karnischky, Nancy Kish, Rhea K. Korhonen, Gloria V. Larsen, Joan E. Lenz, Elsa Lown, Mary Lucille McKinney, E. Belle McMurray, Nancy Miller, Virginia
James, William S. Kirby, Richard L. Liefer, Gerald H. Lowry, Paul T. Miller, Richard D. Niemann, Frederick Norling, Richard L. Norman, Jack Lewis Pearson, Robert S. Robertson, Allen B.
Kirsten, Walter T. Kochenderfer, L. V. Lenz, Wallace W. Munzel, Herbert L. Olander, Eino R. Paivinen, John O. Parrot, S. Jean Porretta, Frank S. Robinson, Don Carl Roderick, Thomas
Mulkey, Virginia Oberholtzer, Erma Palmer, Beverly S. Ries, Catherine M. Sargent, Stephanie Simmons, Emma Jo Sitts, Jean Elaine Stevens, Adelaide Straley, Elizabeth Swanson, Charlotte Tulecke, Hazel B. Winston, Ernestine Woodworth, Alta H. Wright, Erma A. Zumstein, Marguerite
Roush, Richard E. Thompson, Frazier Thompson, Peter Vis, Vincent A. Visosky, John M. Waldron, Wilfred Webber, Richard C. Weatherill, Robert Wiseman, Donald O.
Rogers, Marion J. Rothe, Ralph J. Sargent, Douglas A. Shirley, George W. Swanson, Nils R. Tcsorsro, Isaac Tripp, Thomas Vandenberg, E. L., Jr. Wasserberger, Leo J. Wortley, Charles K. Youngberg, Harold E.
Ablin, George Button, Donald W. Button, Robert E. Caldwell, Carroll Cathey, Arthur J. Daley, John G. Dejager, Donald Dietz, Robert J. Doolittle, Robert Engel, Albert J., Jr. Graham, Garrett R. Hamilton, Ralph E., Jr.
Anderson, Carl A. Berberian, Ara Berg, Arthur D. Beu, Karl E. Boice, Harmon E. Caley, Thomas G. Chase, Willis E., Jr. Conover, John T. Coons, John D. Davidter, Royal C. Gozesky, Max A.
Heyde, John B. Hines, Paul R. Ireland, David Jackson, Paul J. Janton, William H. Kays, J. Warren McGaw, Richard W. Meredith, Robert A. Nylen, John Lawrence Pealy, Robert H. Pelton, Jack Davis
Jahsman, David P. Johnson, Rodney C. Larson, David D. LeClair, David V. Liang, Charles Y. Marshall, Arnaud T. McCaughey, Richard J. Meade, Jerauld R. Molgren, Gerald E. Murray, David C, Jr. Neuhardt, John B.
Putnam, Leon J. Rash, Jack I. Roberts, William Cuny, Jon E. Towler, Lewis W. Truesdell, Frederick Umphrey, James R. Van Laar, Jack Wechsler, Martin T. Winter, Herbert Worth, Harold E. Young, C. William
Northrup, Peter B. Olthoff, Ned L. Petach, Alexander Schubert, Earl D. Stetter, Charles Strickland, J. Bertram Swisher, John E., Jr. Ulmer, David F. Whale, Edmund H. Wilhelm, James K., Jr. Williams, Lewis R., Jr.
Eugene Ormandy, Conductor Alexander Hilsberg, Associate Conductor
Harl McDonald, Manager Thomas A. Greene, Assistant Manager
Hilsberg, Alexander,
Cottcertmaster Madison, David,
Assistant Concert-master Zenker, Alexander Reynolds, Veda Henry, Dayton M. Simkins, Jasha Costanzo, Frank Aleinikoff, Harry Gesensway, Louis Lusak, Owen Coleman, David Sharlip, Benjamin Simkin, Meyer Goldstein, Ernest L. Putlitz, Lois Snader, Nathan Schmidt, Henry
Ruden, Sol Rosen, Irvin Shulik, Morris Pepper, Joseph Bove, D. DiCamillo, A.
Gorodetzky, A. Eisenberg, Irwin Schwartz, Isadore Brodo, Joseph Miller, Charles S. Dabrowski, S. Kaufman, Schima Roth, Manuel Mueller, Matthew J. Ludwig, Irving
Lifschey, Samuel Roens, Samuel Mogill, Leonard Braverman, Gabriel Frantz, Leonard Ferguson, Paul Bauer, J. K. Kahn, Gordon Greenberg, Wm. S. Loeben, Gustave A. Gray, Alexander Epstein, Leonard
Olefsky, Paul Hilger, Elsa
Gusikoff, B. Belenko, Samuel Gorodetzer, Harry Siegel, Adrian de Pasquale, Francis Lewin, Morris Druian, Joseph Gray, John Sterin, J. Gorodetzky, Hershel
Scott, Roger M. Torello, Carl Lazzaro, Vincent Strassenberger, Max Eney, F. Gilbert Wiemann, Heinrich Arian, Edward Marcsh, Ferdinand Schaeffer, John A.
Costello, Marilyn Bailiff, Jill
Kincaid, W. M. Terry, Kenton F. Atkinson, Burnett F. Fischer, John A. Cole, Robert
PICCOLO Atkinson, Burnett F.
Tabuteau, Marcel, Solo de Lancie, John, Associate Solo Di Fulvio, Louis Minsker, John Siegel, Adrian
Minsker, John
McLane, Ralph Serpentini, Jules J. Rowe, George D. Lester, Leon Gigliotti, Anthony M.
Lester, Leon Guerra, Selma
Schoenbach, Sol Fisnar, John Gruner, William Del Negro, F. Angelucci, A. L.
Jones, Mason Tomei, A. A. Fearn, Ward O. Mayer, Clarence Lannuti, Charles Pierson, Herbert Hale, Leonard Kent, Douglas
Krauss, Samuel Hering, Sigmund Rehrig, Harold W. Rosen feld, Seymour Dell'Angelo, Michael
BASS TRUMPET Gusikoff, Charles
Gusikoff, Charles, Solo Lambert, Robert W., Associate Solo
Cole, Howard Harper, Robert S.
EUPHONIUM Gusikoff, Charles
Torch insky, Abe
Grupp, David Schulman, Leonard
Hinger, Fred D. Schulman, Leonard Valerio, James Roth, Manuel
Putlitz, Lois Levine, Joseph
ORGAN Elmore, Robert
LIBRARIAN Taynton, Jesse C.
Siegel, Adrian
Schmidt, Henry
THE UNIVERSITY MUSICAL SOCIETY, in addition to the annual May . Festival, provided the following concerts during the season of 1949--50:
Seventy-First Annual Choral Union Series
October 4, 1949
Compositions of Frederic Chopin Andante spianato et grandc polonaise, Op. 22 Nocturne Mazurka
Sonata in B-flat minor, Op. 35 Ballade in G minor, Op. 23 Two Etudes
Impromptu in G-flat, Op. 51 Polonaise in A-flat, Op. 53
VIENNA CHOIR BOYS Haeald Hedding, Musical Director
October 15, 1949 Super flumina Babylonis .... Palestrina
O bone Jesu.........Incegnehi
Domine non sum dignus.....Vittoria
Eiultate Deo.........Scarlatti
Alleluja from "Exultate, jubilate" . . . Mozart Operetta, "Herr und Madam Denis" . Offenbach
Charles Munch, Conductor
October 23, 1949
"La Procession nocturne".....Rabaud
Symphony No. 5 in C minor . . . Beethoven
Symphonic Suite.........Piston
"Daphnis et Chloe," Suite No. 2 ... Ravel
George Szell, Conductor
November 6, 1949
Overture to "Anacreon".....Cherubini
Concerto for Orchestra...... Bartok
Symphony No. 2 in D major .... Brahms
ITALO TAJO, Bass Robert Turner, Pianist
November 16, 1949 Mentre ti lascio, o figlia )
Un Bacio di mano . . . Mozakt
"Madamina" (Don Giovanni) )
Caro mio ben.........Giordani
Come raggio di sol.......Caldara
"The Truth is Suspected" (A Life
lor the Tsar).........Glinka
The Song of the Flea .... Moussorgsky The Two Grenadiers......Schumann
Rondo a capriccio, Op. No. 129 . . Beethoven Valse oubliee t
Etude in D-flat [........Liszt
La Campanella )
Mr. Turner
"La Mort de Don Quichotte"
(Don Quichotte)......Massenet
"Vous qui faites l'endormie" (Faust) . Gounod
Russian Picnic......Harvey Enders
Pilgrim's Song........Tchaikovsky
Three for Jack..........Squibe
RISE STEVENS Brooks Smith, Pianist
December 12, 1949
"Where'er You Walk" (Semelc) . . . Handel "II est doux, il est bon" (Herodiade) Massenet Oh, What a Beautiful City . Arr. by Boatner
Were You There.....Arr. by Burleigh
My Good Lord Done Been Here Arr. by Johnson
Traum durch die Dammerung .... Strauss
Meine Liebe ist griin.......Brahms
Das verlassene Magdlein......Wolf
Sonata in G major.......Scarlatti
Nocturne in E minor.......Chopin
Capriccio in F minor.....Dohnanyi
Mr. Smith
To the Children......Rachmaninoff
April .......... St. Leger
The Ash Grove......Arr. by Britten
An Ocean Idyll .....Brooks Smith
"Habanera," "Seguidilla," and "Gypsy Song" (Carmen)........Bizet
January 17, 1950 Suite from "The Water Music" .... Handel
"Joseph's Legend"........Strauss
Symphony in D minor......Feanck
MARYLA JONAS, Pianist February 17, 1950
Passacaglia in G minor......Handel
Capriccio in D minor.....W. F. Bacii
Sonata in D minor, No. 2 .... Beethoven
Kinderscenen, Op. 15......Schumann
Three Mazurkas I _Â

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