UMS Concert Program, December 13, 1953: Seventy-fifth Annual Choral Union Concert Series -- Chicago Symphony Orchestra
Complete Series: 3120
Hill Auditorium, Ann Arbor, Michigan
UNIVERSITY MUSICAL SOCIETY
DIAMOND JUBILEE SEASON
Charles A. Sink, President Thor Johnson, Guest Conductor
Lester McCoy, Associate Conductor
Fifth Concert 1953-1954 Complete Series 3120
Choral Union Concert Series
CHICAGO SYMPHONY ORCHESTRA FRITZ REINER, Conductor Soloist: Nan Merriman, Contralto
Sunday Evening, December 13, 1953, at 8:30 Hill Auditorium, Ann Arbor, Michigan
Concerto for String Orchestra in G major, No. 3
"Iberia": Images No. 2 ..........Debussy
"In the Streets and by the Wayside" "The Perfumes of the Night" "The Morning of a Fete Day"
Rondo, "Till Eulenspiegel's Merry Pranks," Op. 28 . . Strauss
Suite from El Amor Brujo (Love, the Sorcerer) .... Falla
Dance for Bewitching the Spirit
The Magic Circle
Dance of Fire
Scene and Pantomime, "The Profane Love"
Song of the Sorrow of Love
Finale, "Morning Bells"
Miss Merriman, Soloist
Overture to Tannhanser.........Wagner
The Chicago Symphony Orchestra uses the Baldwin piano.
Note:--The University Musical Society has presented the Chicago Symphony Orchestra in con?cert on eighteen previous occasions; and at the May Festivals from 1905 to 1935 inclusive.
ARS LONGA VITA BREVIS
PROGRAM NOTES By Felix Borowski
Concerto for String Orchestra, No. 3,
G Major........Johann Sebastian Bach
Christian Ludwig, Margrave of Brandenburg (1677-1734), had made the acquaint?ance of Bach about 1718. The margrave was devoted to music, and he maintained an orchestra which played lor him the large collection of concertos and other works that occupied honored places in the court library. It is certain that Christian Ludwig had been greatly struck by the abilities of Sebastian Bach, and he gave him a com?mission to write for his orchestra some concertos.
"The third concerto" wrote Sir Hubert Parry in his Johann Sebastian Bach (Lon?don, 1909) "is much the most remarkable of the group, as it really departs from the old conception of concertos and depends upon the remarkably rich effects which can be obtained by having three groups of three instruments--that is three violins, three violas and three 'cellos--with double bass and continuo harpsichord to add to the sonority. The grouping of three instruments is maintained almost invariably through?out with astonishing effect, so that the chord-passages of one group are constantly pitted against chord-passages of another group, except where for variety and sonorous enforcement of some characteristic idea the three like instruments are massed in union."
"The artistic conception is superb and superbly carried out, especially in the first movement. There is no slow movement, but only two long sustained chords between the first and brilliant last movement. The latter is in 12-8 time, and most vivacious, but not so interesting as the first, as it has less variety, and less genuine force in the subject matter."
"Iberia": Images for Orchestra, No. 2 .... Claude Debussy
Like the first and second pieces of the set of orchestral "Images," "Iberia" originally was conceived as a work for two pianos--a conception which, however, was not carried into effect. The first production took place at one of the Concerts Colonne, Paris, February 20, 1910. Gabriel Pierne and his orchestra found the music of no ordinary difficulty in performance. Debussy wrote to Durand (May 17, 1910): "I saw Pierne last evening. He is very much taken with 'Iberia,' but I believe that he exaggerates its difficulties of execution." Leon Vallas, in his biography of the composer (.Debussy, Paris, 1929) defended the master's position:
"One passes by the thematic matter," he wrote, "to contemplate in its entirety the picture in which Debussy tried, not to make Spanish music, but to translate into sound his impressions of Spain--of a Spain concerning which he knew little or nothing, but which he imagined with incredible exactness."
Rondo, "Till EulenspiegeFs Merry Pranks," Op. 28 . Richard Strauss
Shortly after the first performance, "Till Eulenspiegel" was provided with a lengthy and descriptive analysis by Strauss' friend and biographer Wilhelm Klattc, who pub?lished it in the pages of Die Allgeineine Musik Zeitung. The composer, however, never gave official sanction to this analysis, which may thus be summed up:
"After the Eulenspiegel motives have been stated, the roguish adventures of the whimsical Till begin. He rides his horse through a crowd of market women sitting
chattering at their stalls, puts on the vestments of a priest and assumes an unctuous mien, but, feeling uncomfortable in this disguise, tears it off. He becomes a Don Juan and waylays pretty women. One bewitches him, but TilPs advances are treated with derision. The rogue's anger is scarcely over when a troop of worthy Philistines appears, and these good people are gibed at by Eulenspiegel. Gaily he goes on his way playing his waggish pranks, but Nemesis is upon him. Till is dragged by the jailer before the criminal tribunal. Note the roll of the side drum and the threatening chords betoken?ing the interrogations of the court. To each, Till replies calmly--and lies. He is con?demned to death, and fear seizes him. The rogue is then strung up, and his soul takes flight. The piece closes with an epilogue constructed from the opening measures of the work."
Suite from the Ballet El Amor Bmjo .... Manuel de Falla
El Amor Brujo (Love, the Sorcerer), a choreographic fantasy in one act and two scenes, was written at the suggestion of the dancer, Pastora Imperio, who wished to have a work in which she could both dance and sing. The plot was based on a scenario by Gregorio Marinez Sierra, who derived it from a story narrated by Pastora Imperio's mother, an old Gypsy.
The plot is concerned with Candelas, a young and passionate woman, who having loved a wicked and jealous gypsy, is haunted by him when, after he is dead, she turns her affections to the handsome and gallant Carmello. Knowing her first lover to have been an impressionable admirer of femininity, Candelas persuades her friend, Lucia, to flirt with the Spectre, and while this adventure is being carried into effect she gives the kiss of perfect love to Carmello which defeats the evil influence of the Spectre, which disappears in the direction of its grave, definitely conquered by love.
Overture to Tannhduser.......Richard Wagner
The overture begins with an Introduction (Andante maestoso, E major, 3-4 time), in which the pilgrims' chorus, "Begliickt darf nun dich," from the third act is intro?duced. After this theme has been presented, piano, there is a crescendo, and the melody is repeated, fortissimo, by the brass. The figure in the violins accompanying this theme plays an important part, and Wagner explained that it was intended to symbolize "the pulse of life." The pilgrims' song dies away, and the bacchanalian music of the Venusberg follows without pause. The movement (Allegro, E major, 4-4 time) is largely taken from the first act of the opera. The brilliant second theme, in B major, is Tannhauser's song, "Dir tone Lob." At the close of this the bacchanale returns with renewed frenzy; but there follows (in the clarinet over tremolos in the violins) Venus' "Geliebter, kom, sich' dort die Grotte." The music becomes more agitated, the time is hastened and Tannhauser's song is heard again at the climax, now in E major. There is a renewal of the bacchanalian orgy; the violin figure heard before in the pilgrims' chorus returns, and with it, twelve bars later, the theme of the chorus itself. This is given out at first by the clarinets, bassoons, and horns, but after a crescendo the subject is thundered out, fortissimo, by the brass.
Chamber Music Festival
Rackham Auditorium--Ann Arbor, Michigan
Griller String Quartet
Sidney Griller, 1st Violin Philip Burton, Viola
Jack O'Brien, 2nd Violin Colin Hampton, Cello
Friday, February 19, 8:30 p.m.
Quartet in G, Op. 33, No. S...........Haydn
Quartet No. 2...............Bloch
Quartet in B-flat, K. 4S8............Mozart
Sunday, February 21, 2:30 p.m.
Five Fugues .............Bach-Mozart
Quartet No. 2............Edmund Rubbra
Quartet in E-flat, Op. 127...........Beethoven
Reginald Kell Players
Reginald Kell, Clarinet Melvin Ritter, Violin
Joel Rosen, Piano Aurora Natola, Cello
Saturday, February 20, 8:30 p.m.
Trio in C minor, Op. 1, No. 3..........Beethoven
Trio in A minor, Op. 114............Brahms
TICKET PRICES: Season Tickets (3 concerts): $3.50 and $2.50 Single Concerts: $1.75 and $1.25
Choral Union and Extra Series
Marian Anderson, Contralto.....Sunday, January 10
Toronto Symphony Orchestra . . . Wednesday, February 10 Sir Ernest MacMillan, Conductor
Paul Badura-Skoda, Pianist .... Wednesday, February 17 George London, Bass......Sunday, February 28
Boston Pops Tour Orchestra .... Thursday, March 4 Arthur Fiedler, Conductor
Elena Nikolaidi, Contralto......Friday, March 12
Myra Hess. Pianist.......Wednesday, March 17
1954 MAY FESTIVAL. Orders for season tickets now being accepted and filed in sequence--at University Musical Society, Burton Tower.