UMS Concert Program, April 18, 1951: Seventy-second Annual Choral Union Concert Series -- Vladimir Horowitz
Complete Series: 3052
Hill Auditorium, Ann Arbor, Michigan
UNIVERSITY MUSICAL SOCIETY
Charles A. Sink, President
Thor Johnson, Guest Conductor
Lester McCoy, Associate Conductor
Complete Series 3052
Choral Union Concert Series
VLADIMIR HOROWITZ, Pianist
Wednesday Evening, April 18, 1951, at 8:30 Hill Auditorium, Ann Arbor, Michigan
Sonata in E-flat major, Op. 78........Haydn
Allegro Adagio Finale; presto
Intermezzo in B-flat minor, Op. 117, No. 8..... Brahms
Polonaise-Fantaisie, Op. 61......... Chopin
Barcarolle, Op. 60........... Chopin
Nocturne in F minor, Op. 55......... Chopin
Scherzo in B minor, Op. 20, No. 1....... Chopin
Pictures at an Exhibition........Moussorgsky
(Revision by Vladimir Horowitz, based on the original piano manuscript) Promenade Promenade
The Gnome Ballet of Chicks in their Shells
Promenade Two Jews, the One Rich, the Other Poor
The Old Castle Limoges: The Marketplace
Promenade The Catacombs
Tuileries: Children Quarreling at Play The Hut on Fowl's Legs Bydlo: The Polish Oxcart The Great Gate at Kiev
Note.--The University Musical Society has presented Vladimir Horowitz on previous occasions as follows: Nov. 12, 1928; Jan. 31, 1930; Mar. 6, 1933; Jan. 15, 1941; Jan. IS, 1945; Jan. 17 1947; and Feb. 11, 1949.
Mr. Horowitz uses the Steinway piano. ARS LONGA VITA BREVIS
ANALYTICAL NOTES BY OLIN DOWNES
Sonata in E-flat major, Op. 78........Haydn
The sonata is in three movements, done in Haydn's polished and classic manner. The first is a brilliantly written allegro, in strict sonata form; the second, a slow movement in the same form, abridged, and in the unusually related key of E major; the third a rondo of lively and witty spirit. Yet there is prophecy in this music, and anticipation of modern technic.
Intermezzo in B-flat minor, Op. 117, No. 8.....Brahms
This is one of the little masterpieces for piano which Brahms composed in his last years, under collective titles such as "Fantasias," "Capricii," "Intermezzi." In these pieces he spends as much care and profound thought upon small fragments of ideas as he had bestowed in the flush of his strength and passion upon the themes of the great symphonies.
Polonaise-Fantaisie, Op. 61.........Chopin
Chopin left the world a legacy of eleven Polonaises, seven of which he endorsed for publication. The seventh, and the last published during his lifetime, is the Polonaise-Fantasie, a unique flowering of Chopin's individuality.
Barcarolle, Op. 60...........Chopin
The Barcarolle was created by Chopin in 1846, and played by him at his last public concert in Paris in 1848, a year before his death, when his weakness was upon him, so that he fainted after playing.
Nocturne in F minor, Op. 55.........Chopin
The Nocturne opens with a melody of a vaguely melancholy and pensive beauty. There is a more agitated contrasting passage. The vaporous ending represents one of those occasional pages when Chopin finds peace within himself.
Scherzo in B minor, Op. 20, No. 1.......Chopin
The first of the four great scherzi in which Chopin achieved an expression as distinctive and characteristic of his inspiration as the scherzo movements of the sonatas and symphonies of Beethoven are representative of that master. Nor is the Chopin scherzo a dance idea. It is a dramatic tone poem, an independent and unique creation standing on its own feet structurally and expressively as firmly today as it did a century ago. As for the B-minor scherzo, it is volcanic in its passion.
Pictures at an Exhibition........Moussorgsky
The year after the death of the Russian architect, painter, designer and wood engraver, Victor Alexander Hartmann, in 1873, the critic Vladimir Stassov arranged an exhibition of his work. Moussorgsky was a bosom friend of the departed, whom he mourned in letters of frantic protest against fate. He visited the exhibition, looked upon the paintings and designs shown there, and memoralized Hartmann in a series of short piano pieces whose fame has far outlived that of the pictures which inspired them. They were first popularized by Ravel's orchestral version, made at the behest of Dr. Serge Koussevitzky in 1923.
Mr. Horowitz's editing of Moussorgsky's piece is in no sense an effort to compete with the orchestra transcriptions or to introduce any extraneous elements in the music as Moussorgsky wrote it. It is a return to the original text of the piano pieces as they are published in the Lamm edition made from Moussorgsky's manuscripts.
The theme, square-toed, powerfully and irregularly rhythmed, is in the old Slavonic style, and is to be taken as a portrait of Moussorgsky himself walking through the exhibition, looking at the pictures. In its several reappearances it is altered and usually foreshortened. It suggests changes of mood and of observation as the beholder moves from picture to picture.
"The gnome is a child's plaything, fashioned after Hartmann's design in wood, for the Christmas Tree at the Artist's Club . . . The gnome accompanies his droll movements with savage shrieks."
Twelve measures of the theme, now in the bass, and surmounted by ecclesiastical harmonies. In the tenth measure a D-flat of other editions is made D-natural, an important difference in harmony, confirmed by the same progression in the last measure.
The Old Castle
"A medieval castle, before which stands a singing troubadour."
Eight measures of the motto theme, the two measure periods in inverted counterpoint. The theme breaks off as another picture comes to view.
Children in the Tuileries gardens, quarreling after play -a tender and mischievous page, by the author of "The Nursery."
Bydlo: The Polish Oxcart
The picture is of a Polish peasant of Sandomir driving a cart drawn by oxen. The Polish word "Bydlo" means literally "cattle." The grinding of the ungreased wheels of the primitive cart is heard drawing near, then vanishing into the distance. The drunken driver, hiccoughing, sings in the Aeolian mode.
Ten measures of the "Promenade," with changed harmonization, prepare for the ballet piece.
Ballet of Chicks In Their Shells
The Hartmann sketches show canaries enclosed in eggs as in suits of armor, with protruding wings and legs. This gives Moussorgsky the opportunity for a cheeping scherzo.
Two Jews, the One Rick, the Other Poor
The piece contrasts the arrogant and overbearing deportment of the rich Jew and the trembling supplication of the poor man. It is extraordinary realism and satire, and in final measures it is pity.
Limoges: The Market Place
The market women at Limoges. On the margin of his score Moussorgsky wrote in emulation of the peasant gabble which had amused Hartmann, "Great news! Monsieur de Panta Pantaleon has just recovered his cow. The Fugitive. 'Yes ma'am, that was yesterday.' 'No, ma'am, that was day before yesterday.' 'Oh yes, ma'am, the beast roamed all over the neighborhood.' 'Oh no, ma'am, the beast never got loose at all.'
"Interior of Paris catacombs with figures of Hartmann, the architect Kenel, and the guide holding a lamp." Curious harmonies lead to a middle section, bearing the caption, "Con linguis mortuis in lingua mortua" ("With the dead in a dead language"). Moussorgsky's marginal note says, "The creative spirit of Hartmann leads me towards the skulls and addresses them --Â¦ a pale light radiates from the interior of the skulls."
The Hut On Fowl's Legs
The Baba Yaga legend fascinated Hartmann. At a fancy ball in the sixties he made a sensation in a grotesque costume of the old sorceress who lives in the hut with fowl's legs. It is clear that Moussorgsky's imagination dwelt not upon Baba Yaga's appearance, but her wild ride in her mortar through the sky. The tempo is fast and furious, with demonic accents, and sounds of unholy glee. There is a hobgoblin trio, one to be played dryly, "for Baba Yaga is without blood." The piece requires the virtuoso's arsenal.
The Great Gate At Kiev
The theme has the character of a grand hymn, sounding over booming basses, and accompanied, on its repetition, with a brilliant counterpoint in octaves. In current versions these octaves move consistently step-wise. Mr. Horowitz uses an alternate figure that Moussorgsky left among his sketches, one that progresses in a more jagged and powerful fashion. For the peroration he reinforces the sonorities of the hymn with its splendid evocation of ecclesiastical pomp and ceremony, and rejoicing multitudes, by an E-flat pedal point doubled above, in a 16th note figure which is wholly consonant with Moussorgsky's style.
Philadelphia Orchestra et all Concerts
THURSDAY, MAY 3, 8:30--Artur Rubinstein, Pianist; Eugene Ormandy, Conductor. Toccata and Fugue in D minor (BachOrmandy); Piano Concerto No. 2 (Chopin); Symphonie fantastique (Berlioz).
FRIDAY, MAY 4, 8:30--Eileen Farrell, Soprano; Blanche Thebom, Contralto; Coloman de Pataky, Tenor; Oscar Natzka, Bass; University Choral Union; Thor Johnson, Conductor--in Verdi's "Requiem Mass."
SATURDAY, MAY 5, 2:30--Tossy Spivakovsky, Violinist; Alexander Hilsberg, Conductor. Festival Youth Chorus, Marguerite Hood, Conductor. Overture to "Manfred" (Schumann); American Folk Songs, orchestrated by Dorothy James; Rhapsodie espagnole (Ravel); Violin Concerto in D minor (Sibelius).
SATURDAY, MAY 5, 8:30--Rise Stevens, Mezzo-Soprano; Eugene Ormandy, Conductor. Suite for Strings, Op. 5 (Corelli); "Che faro senza Euridice" from Orfeo ed Euridice (Gluck); "Voi che sapete" from Marriage of Figaro (Mozart); "U est doux" from H6rodiade (Massenet). Symphony No. 1 (Shostakovich); Die Moldau (Smetana); Air de Lia from L'Enfant prodigue (Debussy); Habanera, and Seguidilla from Carmen; Polka and Fugue from Schwanda (Weinberger).
SUNDAY, MAY 6, 2:30--William Kapell, Pianist; Oscar Natzka, Bass; University Choral Union; Thor Johnson, Conductor. Overture, "Fingal's Cave" (Mendelssohn); "Summer's Last Will and Testament" (Lambert); Piano Concerto No. 3 (Prokofieff).
SUNDAY, MAY 6, 8:30 -Patrice Munsel, Soprano; Eugene Ormandy, Conductor. Overture, Euryanthe (Weber); "Chacun le sait" from Daughter of the Regiment (Donizetti); "O mio babbino caro" from Gianni Schicci (Puccini); "Mi chiamano Mimi" from La Boheme (Puccini); Symphony No. 3 (Creston); Lucy's Arietta from The Telephone (Menotti); Willow Song (Coleridge-Taylor); Norwegian Echo Song (Thrane); Laughing Song from Die Fledermaus (Strauss); Suite from Der Rosenkavalier" (Strauss).
Single Concerts: $3.00--$2.40--$1.80 (with tax). Tickets on sale at University Musical Society, Burton Memorial Tower.