Press enter after choosing selection

UMS Concert Program, October 24: Boston Symphony Orchestra -- Henry Lee Higginson

Download PDF

(This is the program provided by the Boston Symphony Orchestra for this concert. You can also view the UMS program).

Rights Held By
University Musical Society
OCR Text

Season: 75
Hill Auditorium, Ann Arbor

SEASON Hill Auditorium, Ann Arbor Monday Evening, October 24
Boston Symphony Orchestra
(Seventy-fifth Season, 1955-1956) CHARLES MUNCH, Music Director
Violins Richard Burgin
Concert-master Alfred Krips George Zazofsky Rolland Tapley Norbert Lauga Vladimir Risnikoff Harry Dickson Gottfried W'ilfinger Einar Hansen Joseph I.eibovici Emil Konuand Roger Shermont
Minot Beale Herman Silberman Stanley Benson Leo Panaso ich Sheldon Rotenberg Fredy Ostrovsky
Clarence Knndson Pierre Mayer Manuel Zung Samuel Diamond Victor Mannseviich James Nagy
Melvin Brvant Llovd Stonestreet Saverio Messina William W'atrrhouse William Marshall Leonard Moss Jesse Ceci Noah Bielski Alfred Schneider Joseph Silverstein
Georges Moleux Gaston Dufresne Ludwig Juht Irving Frankel Henry Freeman Henry Portnoi Henri Girard John Barwicki
Joseph de Pasquale Jean Cauhape Eileen Lelincr Albert Bernard George Humphrey Jerome Lipson Robert Karol Reuben Green Bernard Kadinoff Vincent Mauricci John Fiasca
Vioi.onceixos Samuel Mayes Alfred .ighera
Jacobus Langendoen Mischa Nieland Karl Zeise Josef Zimbler Bernard Parronchi Leon Marjollet Martin Holierman Louis Berger Richard Kapuscinski Robert Riplcy
Doriot Anthony Dwyer James l'appoutsakis Phillip Kaplan
Piccolo George Madsen
Ralph r.ombcrg Jean Hcvergie John Holmes
English Horn Louis Speyer
Clarinets Gino Cioffi Manuel Valerio Pasquale Cardillo
?b Clarinet
Bass Clarinet Rosario Mazzeo
Bassoons Sherman Walt Ernst I'ancnka Theodore Uiewster
Contra-Bassoon Richard Plaster
James Stagliano Charles Vancich Harry Shapiro Harold Meek Paul Keane) Osbourne McConathy
Trumpets Roger Voisin Marcel I.afosse
Armando (?hiialla Gerard Gogucn
Trombones William Gibson William Mover Kauko Kahila Josef Orosz
Tuba K. Vinal Smith
Bernard Zighera Olivia Luetcke
Timpani Roman Szulc Everett Firth
Percussion Charles Smith Harold Farberman Harold Thompson
Piano Bernard Zighera
Leslie Rogers Victor Alpert, Ass't
Hill Auditorium [University of Michigan] Ann Arbor
Boston Symphony Orchestra
CHARLES MUNCH, Music Director Richard Burgin, Associate Conductor
Concert Bulletin
with historical and descriptive notes by John N. Burk
The TRUSTEES of the BOSTON SYMPHONY ORCHESTRA, Inc. Henry B. Cabot . President
Jacob J. Kaplan . Vice-President
Richard C. Paine . Treasurer
Tai.cott M. Banks, Jr. John Nicholas Brown Theodore P. Ferris Alvan T. Fuller Francis W. Hatch Harold D. Hodgkinson
C. D. Jackson Michael T. Kelleher Palfrey Perkins Charles H. Stockton Edward A. Taft Raymond S. Wilkins
Philip R. Allen
N. Penrose Hallowell
M. A. DeWolfe Howe Lewis Perry
Thomas D. Perry, Jr., Manager
G. W. Rector ) Assistant N. S. Shirk Managers
J. J. Brosnahan, Assistant Treasurer Rosario Mazzeo, Personnel Manager
The Boston Symphony Orchestra
CHARLES MUNCH, Music Director
The Berkshire Festival
Nineteenth Season
The Berkshire Music Center
Fourteenth Season CHARLES MUNCH. Director
To receive further announcements, write to Festival Office, Symphony Hall, Bosron
Hill Auditorium [University of Michigan] Ann Arbor
Boston Symphony Orchestra
CHARLES MUNCH, Music Director
MONDAY EVENING, October 24, at 8:30 o'clock
Berlioz.............................Fantastic Symphony, Op. 14A
I. Reveries, Passions
Largo: Allegro agitato e appassionato assai II. A Ball
Waltz: Allegro non troppo
III. Scene in the Meadows
IV. March to the Scaffold
Allegretto non troppo V. Dream of a Witches' Sabbath Larghetto: Allegro
Haydn..............................Symphony in B-flat, No. 102
I. Largo; Allegro vivace II. Adagio
III. Menuetto: Allegro; Trio
IV. Finale: Presto
Ravel................."Daphnis et Chloe," Ballet (Second Suite)
Lever du jour -Pantomime -Danse generate
Performances by the orchestra are broadcast each week on Monday evenings from 8:15 to 9:00 P.M. on the NBC Network.
E repetition on the first program of Beethoven's Overture and Haydn's Symphony from Mr. Henschel's initial program of October 22, 1881, invites a glance at the Boston papers of that time and their reception of the then new orchestra. There was very little musical news. President Garfield had succumbed to the bullets of an assassin just a month before (September 21), but there was only passing men?tion of his successor, Chester Alan Arthur. The newspaper headlines were given to what the Evening Transcript called "the muddle in Ireland." On October 9, Parnell, facing Gladstone as champion of the tenant farmers against the landlords, had called the Prime Minister "a masquerading knight-errant," and was called in retort a "leader of rapine." For the moment Parnell was in jail. Fanny Davenport was playing Camille at the Globe Theatre; Rossi, Othello at the Boston Museum, and Joseph Jefferson was announced for Rip Van Winkle.
Any musical paragraphs were incidental. From time to time there were performances by the so-called Philharmonic Society, under Dr. Louis Maas; by the Harvard Musical Association Orchestra, under Carl Zerrahn; or the Conservatory Symphony Orchestra, under the same conductor, which was then advertising five concerts through the season at $1 or $1.50 for the series, boasting "a large and splendid orchestra of picked musicians -fine solo talents." This orchestra, how?ever splendid, disappeared with its fellows when the intentions of the new benefactor came to be felt.
When Henry Lee Higginson announced that he had brought to?gether an orchestra, most people probably did not look upon the venture as more than another coming together of players for an occa?sional evening of music making. Those who knew Mr. Higginson's degree of purpose and pertinacity probably did realize that an orches?tra brought and held together by him, under an imported conductor for regular weekly concerts, might well justify the claim implied in its title: "The Boston Symphony Orchestra."
An item in the Morning Journal of Saturday, October 22, shows that at least the more musical citizens of Boston appreciated that Mr. Higginson was a man to be counted upon for real results. A story in its columns reports a banquet given the night before at Revere House (a hostelry on Bowdoin Square, now long since vanished) in celebra?tion of the 70th birthday of Franz Liszt, then still living. The 150 guests, including the musical cognoscenti of Boston, had advanced the feast a day "so as not to interfere with the symphony concert announced for tonight." The speaking no doubt continued far into
the night, while those who had met Liszt or studied with him boasted of their experiences. But they were obviously well aware that the concert announced for the night following at the Music Hall by Mr. Higginson's newly gathered orchestra under its conductor from Eng?land, Georg Henschel, would be an event not to miss.
The concert was duly reported in the papers on the Monday follow?ing. An editorial in the Boston Transcript noted that the attendance practically filled the capacity of the Music Hall, although there was a little "thinning out" near the organ. "Upon examining the audience closely, one found that almost everybody whom the earnest music lover could wish to be there was actually there. It was an 'oratorio' audience; anyone familiar with the concerts of the Handel and Haydn Society will know what that means." The writer went on to remark that "the playing was as fine as we have ever heard in this city. . . . Mr. Henschel's command of his men is absolute and electric; more than this, he not only governs his orchestra with a very firm hand, he not only makes them do just what he pleases, but (what is quite as important) he makes the audience feel that he does so." This critic only regretted that Mr. Henschel had allowed himself to be carried away by his "momentary enthusiasm" to an impetuous interpretation of Haydn, which was beyond the bounds of a decent classical restraint. The Globe reported a similar impression: "If any criticism could be made of Mr. Henschel's leadership, it would be on the pardonable fault of that gentleman's great enthusiasm which may at times carry him beyond the limits of careful calculation and cool-headedness." This critic applauded the program in that "there was nothing to de?tract from the dignity and elevation which such an occasion demands." The Transcript also complimented Mr. Henschel's good taste in omit?ting encores. A soloist at each concert was then and for a long time afterwards a sine qua non. When the second concert was reviewed, the Globe took exception to Beethoven's First Symphony: "It has all the weakness of imitation -Haydn's form without his spirit." This writer had not yet caught Mr. Henschel's dire intentions in regard to Beethoven. He was to perform all nine symphonies in order through the season and to repeat the practice through the remaining two sea?sons of his term.
Reviewing the second concert, the Transcript, which gave the larger part of a front-page column to its review each Monday, noted that Brahms's Tragic Overture, billed on the program as "new," was also announced to be repeated in the following week. The critic explained that it was impossible to give a fair estimate of a new work by Brahms on one hearing. He therefore postponed his comments until the second week. They turned out to be entirely favorable.
Mr. Henschel, and in fact the Orchestra itself, shortly came under sharp criticism in the press, not only from critics, but from anonymous writers of letters where professional rivalry may have been involved. The tale is entertainingly told in M. A. DeWolfe Howe's history of the Orchestra. The rejoinders were pointed and indignant, and need?less to say soon prevailed. j. n. b.
Op. 14A
By Hector Berlioz Born at la C6te-Saint-Andr6 (Isere), December 11, 1803; died in Paris, March 8, 1869
Berlioz's title, "Episode in the Life of an Artist," Op. 14, includes two works: The Fantastic Symphony and Lelio; or, The Return to Life, a lyric monodrama.
The Symphony, composed in 1830, had its first performance December 5 of that year at the Conservatoire in Paris, Habeneck conducting.
The first performance in the United States was at a concert of the Philharmonic Society of New York, Carl Bergmann conducting, January 27, 1866. The Symphony was first performed in Boston by the Harvard Musical Association, February 12, 1880, and first performed by the Boston Symphony Orchestra, December 19, 1885.
It is scored for 2 flutes and piccolo, 2 oboes, English horn, 2 clarinets and E-flat clarinet, 4 bassoons, 2 cornets-d-pistons, 2 trumpets, 4 horns, 3 trombones, 2 tubas, timpani, snare drum, bass drum, cymbals, bells, 2 harps, piano, and strings.
The score is dedicated to Nicholas I. of Russia.
r-i-i here have been many attempts to explain that extraordinary X musical apparition of 1830, the Symphonie Fantastique. Berlioz himself was explicit, writing of the "Episode in the Life of an Artist" as "the history of my love for Miss Smithson, my anguish and my dis?tressing dreams." This in his Memoirs; but he also wrote there: "It was while I was still strongly under the influence of Goethe's poem [Faust] that I wrote my Symphonie Fantastique."
Yet the "Episode" cannot be put down simply as a sort of lover's confession in music, nor its first part as a "Faust" symphony. In 1830, Berlioz had never talked to Miss Smithson. He was what would now be called a "fan" of the famous Irish actress, for she scarcely knew of the existence of the obscure and perhaps crazy young French composer who did not even speak her language. Her image was blended in the thoughts of the entranced artist with the parts in which he beheld her on the boards -Ophelia or Juliet -as Berlioz shows in his excited letters to his friend Fernand at the time. Can that image be reconciled with the "courtesan" of the last movement, who turned to scorn all that was tender and noble in the beloved theme, the idee fixe The Berlioz specialists have been at pains to explain the "affreuses verites" with which Berlioz charged her in his letter to Fernand (April 30,
1830). These truths, unexplained, may have been nothing more fright?ful than his realization that Miss Smithson was less a goddess than a flesh and blood human being who, also, was losing her vogue. The poet's "vengeance" makes no sense, except that illogic is the stuff of dreams. It would also be an over-simplification to say that Berlioz merely wanted to use a witches' sabbath in his score and altered his story accordingly. Berlioz did indeed decide at last to omit the story from his programs (for performances of the Symphony without the companion piece Lelio). He no doubt realized that the wild story made for distraction and prejudice, while the bare titles allowed the music to speak persuasively in its own medium. At first, when he drafted and re-drafted the story, he cannot be acquitted of having tried to draw the attention of Paris to his music, and it is equally plain that to put a well-known stage figure into his story would have helped his purpose. The sensational character of the music could also have been intended to capture public attention -which it did. But Berlioz has been too often hauled up for judgment for inconsistencies in what he wrote, said, and did. His critics (and Adolphe Boschot is the worst offender in this) have been too ready to charge him with insincerity or pose. His music often contradicts such charges, or makes them in?consequential.
It would be absurd to deny that some kind of wild phantasmagoria involving the composer's experiences of love, literature, the stage, and much else must have had a good deal to do with the motivation of the Symphony. Jacques Barzunj brilliantly demonstrates that through Chateaubriand Berlioz well knew the affecting story of Paul and Vir?ginia, of the fates of Dido and of Phedre, of the execution of Chenier. E. T. A. Hoffmann's Tales filled him with the fascination of the super?natural and De Quincey's Confessions of an Opium Eater, in de Musset's translation, may well have contributed. But who in this age,
Lelio was intended to follow the Symphony. The "composer of music" speaks, in front of the stage, addressing "friends," "pupils," "brigands," and "spectres" behind it. He has recovered from his opium dreams and speculates on music and life in general, after the manner of Hamlet, which play he also discusses, t Berlioz and the Romantic Century, 19S0.
j.e ftaynes jfue
Him. . Ijayurs ICn.
HIM i.lui)iumit Strrrt. ftmitmi
so remote from the literary aesthetic of that one, will attempt to "understand" Berlioz in the light of all these influences, or reconcile them with a "love affair" which existed purely in his own imagination The motivation of the simplest music is not to be penetrated -let alone this one. Enough that Berlioz directed his rampant images, visual, musical or literary, into what was not only a symphonic self-revelation, but a well-proportioned, dramatically unified symphony, a revolution in the whole concept of instrumental music comparable only to the Eroica itself.
For it should be borne in mind that symphonic music by the year 1830 had never departed from strictly classical proprieties. The waltz had never risen above the ballroom level. Beethoven had been dead but a few years and the Pastoral Symphony and Leonore Overtures were still the last word in descriptive music. Even opera with its fond?ness for eery subjects had produced nothing more graphic than the Wolf's Glen scene from "Der Freischiitz" -musical cold shivers which Berlioz had heard at the Opera and absorbed with every fibre in his being. Wagner was still an unknown student of seventeen with all of his achievement still ahead of him. Liszt was not to invent the "sym?phonic poem" for nearly twenty years. That composer's cackling Mephistopheles, various paraphrases of the Dies Irae, Till on the scaffold -these and a dozen other colorful high spots in music are direct descendants of the Fantastique.
The "Estelle" melody is the subject of the introduction (played after the opening chord, by the muted strings). The melody proper, the idee fixe, which opens the main body of the movement and which is to recur, transformed, in each succeeding movement, contains the "Estelle" phrase from its sixteenth bar, in mounting sequences of the lover's sighs:
The first movement, like the slow movement, which makes full use of the idee fixe, is characterized by its ample, long-lined melody, never in the least obscured, but rather set off in high relief by the harmonic color, the elaborate but exciting effect of the swift, running passages in the accompaniment. Even the rhapsodic interjections accentuate and dramatize the melodic voice of the "artist" declaring his passion. For all its freedom, there is a clear exposition with a second theme in the dominant, followed by a repeat sign, a development (unorthodox and richly resourceful), a return to the original form of the theme with the added voice of the solo oboe (the happy inspiration of a re-working, praised by Schumann) and a pianissimo coda, "religiosamente."
In the same line of thought, the "ball scene" is the waltz-scherzo. Its main theme, which is introduced simply by the violins after a sweep?ing introduction of harp chords and string tremolos, is sinuous and swaying in a way which must have revealed to audiences of 1830 new possibilities in the "valse" then still constrained by the stilted, hopping rotations of the German dance. But presently the idee fixe (sounding quite natural in the triple rhythm) is introduced by the flute and oboe. The waltz theme proper returns to complete the movement,
Conductor of the Boston Symphony Orchestra
Tourist and First Class Flights every
Saturday from Boston. Dally from New York
SAVE ON FAMILY TRAVEL-Write for Free Folder
except for a pianissimo interruption by the persistent motive (clarinet and horn) before the close.
The Scene au Champs opens with a gentle duet between the English horn and the oboe "in the distance," as of one shepherd answering another. At the close of the movement, the voice of the English horn returns, but the melancholy pipings ha'e no response save the soft rumbling of distant thunder, as in the last remnants of a dying storm. This bucolic prelude and postlude have no relation to the main body of the movement by notation, musical precedent, or any plausible "program." Yet any sensitive musician submits willingly to the spell of what is probably the most intense and highly imaginative move?ment of the symphony, where the idee fixe, by now pretty thoroughly worked, appears in the fresh and entrancing guise of a sort of roman?tic exaltation.
The march to the gallows rolls inexorably with resolute and un-relaxing rhythm to its thundering close, just before which the clarinet fills a sudden silence with a tender reminiscence of the idee fixe, heard only this once, until it is cut short with a mighty chord. This ironclad movement is in complete and violent contrast with all that has gone before. But the finale, the Songe d'une Nuit de Sabbat, is fearsome in another way -its many weird effects, then undreamt of in a sym?phony, must have been more than startling in the correct and musty concert world of its day. Only Berlioz could have summoned such new colors from the depths and heights of the orchestra. The first allegro again softly brings in the ubiquitous theme, but now its grace and ardor is gone, and presently the violins defile it with sharp accents and sardonic, mocking trills. The E-flat clarinet squeals it out and the whole orchestra becomes vertiginous with it. Then come the tolling bells and the chant of death. The theme which rocks along in a 6-8 rhythm, foreshadowing a certain apprentice sorcerer, becomes the subject of a double fugue in the final section, entitled "Ronde du Sabbat," where it is ingeniously combined with the Dies Irae.
SYMPHONY IN B-FLAT MAJOR, NO. 102 (No. 9 of the London Series)
By Joseph Haydn Born at Rohrau, Lower Austria, March 31, 1732; died at Vienna, May 31, 1809
This was the only symphony on the first program of the Boston Symphony Orchestra, on October 22, 1881. This program was repeated on the Orchestra's Fiftieth Anniversary, October 10, 1930, when Sir George Henschel returned to repeat his original program.
The symphony is scored for 2 flutes, 2 oboes, 2 bassoons, 2 horns, 2 trumpets, timpani and strings.
This symphony is one of the six which Haydn composed for his second visit to London in 1794 and 1795 -he composed twelve in all for performance by the orchestra of Salomon in the British capital. The symphony was written, according to C. F. Pohl, Haydn's biog?rapher, in 1795, and must accordingly have been performed in that year. Haydn was required by the terms of his agreement with Salomon to write a new work for each of the weekly concerts in the subscription series which that impresario arranged, and the composer was as good as his word. He stipulated (hearing, perhaps, that the British public had late-coming habits) that the new piece should be played always at the beginning of the second part of the program. When each particular symphony was played it is usually impossible to tell, for the programs simply state: "New Grand Overture (Symphony)," or "Grand Overture (Symphony) mss." There is every evidence that England took the twelve symphonies to its heart. The concerts were crowded, and another management had only to announce a work of Haydn to be sure of an audience. The Morning Chronicle probably voiced the general opinion when it praised the "agitating modula?tions" of the symphonies, and the "larmoyant passages" in their slow movements. Everyone was charmed by Haydn's grace and humor, and the arias and choruses of Handel were momentarily overlooked in the interest of those unaccustomed forms to which Haydn had given such abundant life -the symphony and the string quartet. The second of the London symphonies (in D major), and the "Sur?prise" Symphony were singled out for special favor, and often re?peated. Also of the Salomon series were the so-called "Clock," "Drum Roll," and "Military" symphonies.
As elsewhere among his final symphonies, Haydn here dispenses with the ceremonious portal of a broad coup d'archet. A soft chord
' It was not until 1817 that the programs of the London Philharmonic Society identified symphonies by number or key.
suffices to introduce the tender largo, with its gentle syncopated pul?sations. The sprightly allegro vivace takes sudden possession of the movement. Speaking of its formal mastery, Professor Tovey puts him?self on record as setting this work together with the Symphony in D major (No. 104) and the String Quartet in F, Op. 77, No. 3, as Haydn's "three greatest instrumental works." He points out at length Haydn's success in obtaining that symmetry expected of a symphony in the eighteenth century, while avoiding the rather bar?ren means of an almost identical recapitulation, to balance the exposition. "What the orthodox textbooks assume to be Haydn's recapitulation is neither more nor less than a true Beethoven coda of the ripest kind. Where then does the symmetry come in It comes in at the end of the exposition, which Haydn always rounds off very neatly in a phrase quietly reproduced at the end of the movement, just where it is the last thing you would expect. . . . The only way to get the benefit of Haydn's or any great composer's sense of form is to listen naively to the music, with expectation directed mainly to its sense of movement. Nothing in Haydn is difficult to follow, but almost everything is unexpected if you listen closely, and without preconcep?tions." Haydn, the subtle vagrant in modulation, here plies his skill to the utmost. Near the end of the exposition he drops his ingratiating ways to establish his new keys with sudden loud chords. They have a boldness foretelling Beethoven, but none of the provocative challenge of the master to come.
The Adagio is in effect the development of a single theme. There is no middle section, no arbitrary sequence of variation patterns, no break in the general rhythmic scheme of triple time with a constant accompanying figuration of sixteenth notes; no marked variety in the instrumentation, wherein the first violins, doubled by a single flute, usually carry the melody. The charm of the music lies in its delicacy and variety of detail, in which the device of a duple against a triple rhythm is much used. It is a single melodic unfolding of infinite re?source, a mood so enkindled that it need never lapse into formula. This Adagio must have been a favorite with Haydn, for it also appears in a Piano Trio, where the key is F-sharp, a half tone higher than in the symphony. The Trio was dedicated to Haydn's very special friend Mrs. Schroeter, who, according to Dr. Pohl, fondly cherished this piece.
The Minuet, together with its trio, re-establishes the tonic key. In the second part, the humor which sparkled in the opening movement reasserts itself in triple bass chords.
The Finale, like most finales of Haydn when invention was fully unloosed, is indescribable. W. H. Hadow, in his study of Haydn as a "Croation composer," detects in the opening theme a march tune com?monly played in Turopol at rustic weddings. (The melodic first phrase ?of the largo which introduces the symphony Mr. Hadow finds similar to a Slavonic folk ballad: "Na placi sem stal.")
The Sunday Times, London, July 10, 1955
In the autumn of 1954 Dr. Vaughan Williams, as visiting professor,, gave four lectures in Cornell University. The substance of these, together with a further lecture given at Yale in December, is now available in this country in a small volume entitled The Making of Music The informal talks make pleasant and profitable reading; if it be objected that Dr. Vaughan Williams raises more problems than he quite solves, the answer is that final solutions would in any case be out of the question in a little volume of no more than sixty-one pages.
His personal likings and dis-likings are always interesting. For him Bach is the greatest of all composers, and Sibelius the most original of the present time. Bach is "the great example of the right man, at the right time, in the right place." That happy conjunction of circum?stances none will dispute, and Bach was indeed fortunate in being just what he was, alive just then, just there, content to work within the temporal, geographical and musical bounds assigned him by fate. A few other composers have perhaps been almost equally lucky in this respect -Vivaldi, for example, Mozart and Johann Strauss, to name only three.
Others, again, and some of them the most outstanding in the history of music, had the ill-luck to be born out of due time or due place and so never realized all their native potentialities: the most striking ex?amples are perhaps Monteverdi and Victoria. On the other hand, there have been composers, of whom Beethoven and Wagner are the supreme examples, who did not accommodate themselves to their environment but created their own.
The Bach case is unique in that here was a genius of the first order who, partly from necessity but also from choice, "stayed put" in the one social and cultural and musical environment his whole life long. We get quite a wrong impression of the Leipzig of Bach's day if we see it from his angle. The young Goethe described it as a "little Paris" -an impression one would never have derived of it from a study of Bach's daily round at St. Thomas's. His Leipzig was less an actuality than a residuum left in him by the play of his own beliefs and temperament on a fund of not only German baroque musical tradition but also German baroque poetry and prose.
Cornell University Press, Ithaca; London, Geoffrey Cumberlege. Oxford University Press.
But we must be careful in our use of the term "environment" where musicians are concerned. A static figure in a static environment, as exemplified in the case of Bach, was hardly possible after his epoch. To realize this we have only to study the curious hypothetical case of Schubert. He died, at the age of thirty-one, in November, 1828, some eighteen months after the death of Beethoven. But suppose he had managed to live to the age of seventy-five or so -a feat easily per?formed by quite a number of people What changes he would have seen in music, changes going to the very roots of the art!
Within a few months after Beethoven's death he could have ab?sorbed himself in the wholly new world of that master's last quartets. At the age of fifty-two he could have seen Chopin into the grave; at fifty-nine, Schumann. At about sixty-three he could have been studying the score of Tristan, and within the next decade most of the Ring. He could have seen the emergence of the young Brahms as a new force in German music, and have heard Rigoletto, II Trovatore and La Traviata by the time he was fifty-six. He would have been only sixty-seven when Meyerbeer's career ended, only seventy-two when Berlioz died. He could have heard Gounod's Faust at sixty-two, Orphe'e aux Enters at sixty-one and La Belle He'lene at sixty-seven.
Here, within the possible space of one man's life, was a musical environment and climate that changed with a vengeance! How would Schubert's fine-fibred genius have reacted to all these new develop?ments Would it have finally been better or worse for him as a com?poser to have lived in an epoch of such constant musical change than to have spent his whole life in an environment as static as Bach's
BOUND VOLUMES of the "Boston Symphony Orchestra
CONTAINING: Analytical and descriptive notes by Mr. JOHN N. BURK on all works performed during the season.
"lA Musical Education in One Volume" '"Boston's Remarkable 'Book of Knowledge"
Lawrence Gilman in the N. Y. Herald and Tribune Price $6.00 per volume
DAPHNIS ET CHLOt -Ballet in One Act Orchestral
Second Series: "Daybreak," "Pantomime," "General Dance" By Maurice Ravel
Born at Ciboure, Basses-Pyrenees, March 7, 1875; died in Paris, December 28, 1937
The ballet Daphnis et Chloe was completed in 1911, and first produced June 8, 1912 by Diaghilefl's Ballet Russe, at the Chdtelet in Paris, Pierre Monteux conduct?ing. Of the two orchestral suites drawn from the ballet, the second had its first performance at the concerts of the Boston Symphony Orchestra, December 14, 1917 (Dr. Karl Muck conducting).
The Second Suite is scored for 2 flutes, bass flute and piccolo, 2 oboes and English horn, 2 clarinets in B-flat, clarinet in E-flat and bass clarinet, 3 bassoons and contra-bassoon, 4 horns, 4 trumpets, 3 trombones and tuba, timpani, bass drum, 2 side drums, cymbals, triangle, tambourine, castanets, celesta, glockenspiel, 2 harps and strings. A wordless mixed chorus is written in the score, but is optional and can be replaced by instruments.
In his autobiographical sketch of 1928, Ravel described his Daphnis et Chloe as "a choreographic symphony in three parts, commis?sioned from me by the director of the company of the Ballet Russe: M. Serge de Diaghileff. The plot was by Michel Fokine, at that time choreographer of the celebrated troupe. My intention in writing it was to compose a vast musical fresco, less scrupulous as to archaism than faithful to the Greece of my dreams, which inclined readily enough to what French artists of the late eighteenth century have imagined and depicted.
"The work is constructed symphonically according to a strict tonal plan by the method of a few motifs, the development of which achieves a symphonic homogeneity of style.
"Sketched in 1907, Daphnis was several times subjected to revision -notably the finale."
There were late revisions. If Ravel's date of igo7f is indeed correct, "Daphnis et Chloe" was five years in the making and must indeed have many times been "remis sur le rnetier," as Ravel expressed it, before the perfectionist was sufficiently content with his handiwork to release it for dancing and for printing.
This according to Serge Lifar, who was a dancer in the Ballet Russe at that time and who states that Daphnis et Chloe was not put on in 1911, "because Ravel was not yet ready. At last, in 1912 he sent the orchestral score to DiaEhileff." -"La Revue Musicale," December, 193S.
t The date is surprising. Diachileff's Ballet had its first Paris season in 1909 ; 1909, and sometimes 1910, are given as that in which Ravel began "Daphnia et Chloe'." Roland-Manuel thinks that Ravel made a "mistake of two years" in naming 1907, which again is surprising, ?ince Roland-Manuel originally wrote the autobiographical sketch at Ravel's dictation. In 1907 Diaghileff was in Paris and probably had met Ravel, but there was no plan as yet for a ballet season in Paris. It is, of course, possible that Ravel's first sketches for "Daphnis et Chlo6" were purely symphonic in intent, a fact he might not have been quick to admit after the vicissitudes of the piece in the theatre.
Diaghileff, deflecting the principal creative musicians of the day (Stravinsky, Strauss, Debussy) to his purposes, could not quite make ballet composers out of them, and the same may be said of Ravel. Nijinsky and Karsavina danced the title parts in the original production. The scenario was by Fokine; the designer of scenery and costumes was Leon Bakst. An indifferent success was reported, attributable in part to a gathering storm of dissension between Fokine and Diaghileff. There was considerable dissension within the Ballet Russe at the time. Disagreement seems to have centered on the problem of a danced presentation of subjects from Ancient Greece. Nijinsky, even while miming the character of Daphnis, was executing, according to novel ideas of his own, "L'Apres-Midi d'un Faune." It can be well imagined that, in the presentation of "Daphnis et Chloe," Nijinsky and Fokine found it hard to work together. One can further surmise, from Ravel's later allusion to "the Greece of his dreams," a "late eighteenth century" Greece would not have contributed toward single-mindedness in the re?hearsals of "Daphnis." Those rehearsals were many and extended to the very morning of the first performance. They took place, according to Serge Lifar, "under a storm cloud. The corps de ballet ran afoul of the 5-4 rhythm in the finale, and counted it out by repeating the syllables 'Ser-ge-Dia-ghi-leff,' 'Ser-ge-Dia-ghi-leff.' " When the season ended, there duly followed the break between Fokine and Diaghileff. As for the music itself, it has found fitful usefulness in the theatre, but enjoys a lusty survival in the concert hall.
The story comes from a document of ancient Greece, and is at?tributed to a sophist, Longus, who lived in the second or third cen?tury a.d. It is the oldest of countless tales of the love, tribulation and final union of a shepherd and shepherdess. The first version of Daphnis and Chloe to appear in print was a French translation by Amyot, which was printed in 1559. The first English translation was made by Angell Dave, printed in 1587. A translation by George Thorn-ley (1657) is in current print. Thornley in a preface "to the critical! reader," commends the author as "a most sweet and pleasant writer,"" and calls the tale "a Perpetual Oblation to Love; An Everlasting Ana?thema, Sacred to Pan, and the Nymphs; and, A Delightful Possession even for all."
Recorded under the leadership of CHARLES MUNCH Beethoven Symphony No. 7 Berlioz "Fantastic Symphony"
Overture to "Beatrice and Benedick"
"Romeo and Juliet" (complete)
"The Damnation of Faust" (complete) Brahms Piano Concerto No. 2 (RUBINSTEIN)
Symphony No. 4
Bruch Violin Concerto No. 1 (MENUHIN) Chopin Piano Concerto No. 2 (BRAILOWSKY) Handel "Water Music" Suite (arr. Harty) Haydn Symphony No. 104 Eonegger Symphonies Nos. 2, 5 Lalo Overture to "Le Roi d'Ts" Menotti Violin Concerto (SPIVAKOVSKY) Mozart Overture to "The Marriage of Figaro" Ravel "Daphnis and Chloe" (complete)
"La Valse"
"Pavane for a Dead Princess"
"Rapsodie Espagnole"
Rousscl "Bacchus and Ariane," Suite No. 2 Saint-Sarns Overture to "La Prinoesse Jaime"
Piano Concerto No. 4 (BRAILOWSKY) Schubert Symphony No. 2 Schumann Overture to "Genoveva"
Symphony No. 1
Strauss "Don Quixote" (Soloist. PIATIGORSKY) Tchaikovsky Violin Concerto (MILSTEIN)
Among the recordings under the leadership of SERGE KOUSSEVITZKY
Bach Brandenburg Concertos Nos. 1, 6; Suites Nos. 1, 4
Beethoven Symphonies Nos. 3, 5. 9
Berlioz "Harold in Italy"
Brahms Symphony No. 3; Violin Con?certo (HEIFETZ)
Copland "A Lincoln Portrait": "Ap?palachian Spring" ; "El Salon Mex-. ico"
Hanson Symphony No. 3
Harris Symphony No. 3
Haydn Symphonies Nos. 92, "Oxford"; 94, "Surprise"
Khatrhuturian Piano Concerto
ilendclssohn Symphony No. 4, "Ital?ian"
ilozart "Eine kleine Nachtmusik": Serenade No. 10, for Woodwinds; Symphonies Nos. 36, "Linz"; 39
Prokofleff "Classical" Symphony : "Lt. Kije" Suite: "Romeo and Juliet." Suite No. 2; Symphony No. 5; Violin Concerto No. 2 (HEIFETZ)
Rachmaninoff "Isle of the Dead"
Ravel "Bolero"; "Ma Mere L'Oye" Suite
8chubert Symphony in B Minor, "Un?finished"
Sibelius Symphonies Nos. 2, 5
Strauss, R. "Don Juan"
Tchaikovsky Serenade in C; Sym?phonies Nos. 4, 5
Wagner Siegfried Idyll
Recorded under the leadership of PIERRE MOXTEUX Liszt "Les Preludes"
Mozart Piano Concertos Nos. 12, IS (LILI KRAUS) Soriabin "The Poem of Ecstasy" Stravinsky "Le Sacre du Printemps" Tchaikovsky Symphony No. 6, "PathStique"
liccordvd under the leadership of Leonard Bernstein Stravinsky "L'Histoire du Soldat"; Octet for Wind Instruments
The above recordings are available on Long Play (33;4 r.p.m.) and (in some cases) 45 r.p.m.
Official Piano Boston Symphony Orchestra
CHARLES MUNCH Music Director

Download PDF