Press enter after choosing selection

UMS Concert Program, November 19, 1952: Seventy-fourth Annual Choral Union Concert Series -- Vladimir Horowitz

Download PDF
Rights Held By
University Musical Society
OCR Text

Season: 1952-1953
Concert: Fourth
Complete Series: 3090
Hill Auditorium, Ann Arbor, Michigan

Charles A. Sink, President Thor Johnson, Guest Conductor
Lester McCoy, Associate Conductor
Fourth Concert 1952-1953 Complete Series 3090
Seventy-fourth Annual
Choral Union Concert Series
Wednesday Evening, November 19, 1952, at 8:30 Hill Auditorium, Ann Arbor, Michigan
PROGRAM Toccata in C major.........Bach-Busoni
Intermezzo: adagio Fugue
Sonata in E major )..........Scarlatti
Sonata in G major
Arabesque, Op. 18..........Schumann
Sonata in B-flat minor, Op. 35........Chopin
Grave--doppio movimento Scherzo--piu lento Funeral March Finale--presto
Sonata No. 9, Op. 68 (in one movement)
Etude in B-flat minor, Op. 8, No. 9 . Scriabin
Etude in C-sharp minor, Op. 42, No. 5 J
The Little Shepherd )f "Children's Corner" Suite . . Debussy Serenade for the Doll
Hungarian Rhapsody No. 2......Liszt-Horowitz
Victor Records
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. 15, 1945; Jan. 17 1947; Feb. 11, 1949; and April 18, 1951.
Mr. Horowitz uses the Steinway piano. ARS LONGA VITA BREVIS
Toccata in C major.........Bach-Busoni
This toccata is a piece of superbly baroque music, in its greatest masses and fantastical alterations of line and shade, and passages of mystery and revery alter?nating with those of grandeur and rugged power. The introductory flourish, with its grand sweep and swirl, was of course originally for the manuals of a great organ. It is followed by the longest and perhaps the greatest of all Bach's pedal passages for the organist--a long walk for that gentleman, but one yielding great profit to body and soul. Then come grand, maestoso pages, with passages richly ornamented in the Italian manner and punctuated with crashing chords and simple grand cadences that remind one somewhat of Handel. These majestic pages lead to the Intermezzo, which indicates how much Bach had absorbed of the style of the Italian writers of chamber music. The conclusion is the vigorous and structurally simple fugue. It is introduced by some mighty progressions, in seven-part harmony, with a first chord of crashing modernity, especially as Busoni scores it for the piano. It is actually, like so many of Bach's stunning harmonic effects, a perfectly logical and simple transition from A minor, through the leading tone seventh of G minor, toward the final key which is the basic tonality of the work. But it is so spaced that it sounds very radical and has the impact of a cyclone.
Sonata in E major )..........Scarlatti
Sonata in G major )
In the same year as Bach and Handel--1685--was born Domenico Scarlatti .... a composer of miraculous spontaneity and individuality; an Italian to the bottom of his soul; a singer on the keyboard; an artist of coruscating wit and invention; and the comprehensive prophet, in his nearly five hundred sonatas for the harpsi?chord, of the modern literature of the piano.
Arabesque, Op. 18..........Schumann
Schumann declared, as Robert Haven Schauffller tells us in his Florestan, biography of the composer, that he indicated the "Arabasque" and another piece, the "Blumenstueck," "in order to make himself beloved of the ladies of Vienna." In this object he succeeded, for the music exemplifies the sentimental salon piece at its best. But this piece is more than a pretty antique. It is the music, not too serious, of a young man's turning lightly to thoughts of love. And it is preciously and essen?tially Schumann.
Sonata in B-flat minor, Op. 35........Chopin
In a former day--the B-flat minor sonata made its appearance in 1840--there was consternation and questioning as to the accuracy of the title of "Sonata" applied at all to this romantic music. But the first movement follows the sonata idea clearly if not in the most classic or expert manner, and with thematic integration. The scherzo is none the less a scherzo for its imaginative tone-painting. The dramatic sequence of the Funeral March is obvious. It replaces the classic slow movement. The enigma, of course, is the fantastic finale--all in flying unisons, to be played, according to the composer's behest, as swiftly as possible with both pedals, and no expression. The question of "Sonata form" need hardly detain us. A sonata Not necessarily. Let us reduce it to the lowest terms: the music of a genius.
Sonata No. 9, Op. 68..........Scriabin
Farthest from any other work on this program is the one movement, modernly constructed, and highly individualistic Ninth Sonata of Alexander Scriabin. Its past has been a curious one; its destiny is not yet fully revealed. Time was, in the early decades of this century, when Scriabin was acclaimed as the futurist composer who would lead music into new and mysterious paths of fulfillment. Later came the sharp
esthetic reactions to the two world wars and their disillusions, and advance of the scientific attitude, in music as in other aspects of human thought.
The first theme of this sonata, marked "legendaire" in the score, has two elements, the first of a melancholy and nostalgic character, the second like an ominous drum?beat, with the fall of a minor third. This is to be " murmure." The second theme, of two rising and falling semitones, is marked "avec une langueur naissante," and later, "avec une douceur de plus en caressante et empoisonnee." The opening theme, rhythmically transformed, becomes in one place almost the replica of the figure upon which Prokofieff made his famous Toccata, Opus 2.
And now the second theme enters with a new power and menace, in the rhythm of an implacable march. The tension of the music grows to an immense climax. The music sweeps forward, then recedes, with an effect of hurried departing footsteps. A bass tone is held, pianissimo. Over it, for an instant of melancholy reminiscence, the first theme laments. And silence.
Etude in B-flat minor, Op. 8, No. 9......Scriabin
This Etude, with its fine melodic line and its interwoven themes, is descended of two composers, Chopin and Tchaikovsky. Yet there is the Slavic richness of tone color and the clear but sonorous scoring for the piano which is always Scriabin's faculty.
Etude in C-sharp minor, Op. 42, No. S......Scriabin
The Byronic theme is developed in appropriately theatrical style. The theme is repeated and extended, always with unity of effect yet variety and resource of treat?ment. Scriabin's rapidly growing harmonic individuality is clear in the texture of the chords and in the expansion, harmonically as well as melodically, of the generative idea.
The Little Shepherd jfrom Chiidren's Corner" Suite . . Debussy Serenade for the Doll j
The set, "The Children's Corner," was composed between 1906 and 1908, and it bears the dedication of Debussy to his daughter: "To my dear little Chouchou, with her father's affectionate apology for what follows." Alfred Cortot, in his book, French Piano Mtisic .... apostrophizes the image of "The Little Shepherd": "Charming toy shepherd with a funny little flock of sheep, just taken out of the box, and smelling of nice new varnish, what secret poetry you carry with you of that unknown shepherd life your crude figure evokes, with its sylvan quiet, its silence, and its distant horizons."
Hungarian Rhapsody No. 2......Liszt-Horowitz
To the famous pianist, one of his favorite pupils, Alexander Siloti, who had ventured one day to alter some of the figurations of one of his works, Liszt said: "Most of my compositions are sketches. You can make changes when you can im?prove them." In the instance of this well-known and very popular Second Rhapsody Mr. Horowitz has made important structural variations, developments and extensions of the material, principally in the second part, where themes have been transposed and combined, and sometimes two, sometimes all three of the motives of the final section contrapuntally bound together. His most important contribution to the score is the cadenza, created, as could properly be said, at the invitation of the composer! It occurs at the place, just before the end, marked in the score "cadenza ad libitum." Other cadenzas have been provided by performing virtuosi for use here. That of Mr. Horowitz has a formal purpose, aside from its techniques. It consists in the return, with special breadth and emphasis, of the lordly theme of the introduction. For the moment the piano rhapsodizes with this theme, in slow tempo, with figura?tions which develop from it. This provides a final point of repose before the whirl?wind of the final pages, and is intended to give added balance and coherence to the structure. The most significant formal departure from the original is the one which binds more closely together the whole composition. It consists in the return for a moment, before the whirling coda, of the splendid theme of the introduction, duly reinforced and emphasized in its breadth and majesty, before the conclusion.
Claudio Arrau, Pianist (Extra Series)
Bidu Sayao, Soprano.....
Vienna Choir Boys.....
Minneapolis Symphony Orchestra Antal Dorati, Conductor
Heifetz, Violinist (Extra Series) .
Gershwin Concert Orchestra . Lorin Maazel, Conductor Soloists: Carolyn Long, Soprano
Theodor Uppman, Baritone
Sanroma, Pianist
Artur Rubinstein, Pianist
Boston "Pops" Orchestra (Extra Series) Arthur Fiedler, Conductor Soloist: Hilde Somer, Pianist
Boston Symphony Orchestra Charles Munch, Conductor
Tuesday, November 25
Monday, December 1
Friday, January 16
Thursday, February 12
Tuesday, February 17 Monday, March 2
Thursday, March 12 Monday, March 23
Tuesday, May 19
First Concert: Saturday, December 6, 8:30 p.m.
Repeat Concert: Sunday, December 7, 2:30 p.m.
Nancy Carr, Soprano David Lloyd, Tenor
Eunice Alberts, Contralto James Pease, Bass
University Choral Union and Orchestra Mary McCall Stubbins, Organist
Lester McCoy, Conductor Tickets (either performance): 70 cents and 50 cents
Chamber Music Festival
Rackham Auditorium Three concerts, February 20, 21, and 22, 1953.
Josef Roisman, Violin Boris Kroyt, Viola
Jac Gorodetzky, Violin Mischa Schneider, Violoncello
Season Tickets: $3.50 and $2.50 Single Concerts: $1.75 and $1.25
For tickets or for further information, please address: Charles A Sink, President, University Musical Society, Burton Memorial Tower.

Download PDF