Complete Series: 1956-1957
Hill Auditorium, Ann Arbor
FOUNDED IN 1881 BY HENRV LEE HIGGINSON
Hill Auditorium, Ann Arbor Monday Eve., October 15 and Wednesday Eve., October 17
SEVENTY-EIGHTH ANNUAL CHORAL UNION CONCERT SERIES, OF THE
UNIVERSITY OF MICHIGAN AUSPICES UNIVERSITY MUSICAL SOCIETY
Boston Symphony Orchestra
(Seventy-sixth Season, 1956-1957) CHARLES MUNCH, Music Director
RICHARD BURGIN, Associate Conductor PERSONNEL
Richard Burgin Concert-master
Alfred Krips George Zazofsky Rolland Tapley Norbert Lauga Vladimir Resnikoff Harry Dickson Gottfried Wilfinger Einar Hansen Joseph Leibovici Kmil Kornsand Roger Shermont
Minot Beale Herman Silberman Stanley IJenson Leo Panasevich Sheldon Rotenberg Fredy Ostrovsky
Clarence Knudson Pierre Mayer Manuel Zung Samuel Diamond Victor Manusevitch James Nagy Melvin Bryant Lloyd Stonestreet Saverio Messina William Waterhouse 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 Cauhapc Eugen Lchncr Albert Bernard George Humphrey Jerome Lipson Robert Karol Reuben Green Bernard Ka'.linoff Vincent Mauricci John Fiasca Earl Hedberg
Violoncellos Samuel Mayes Alfred Zighera Jacobus Langendoen Mischa Nieland Karl Zeise Josef Zimbler Bernard Parronchi Martin Holierman Louis Berger Richard Kapuscinski Robert Ripley
Doriot Anthony Dwyer James Pappoutsakis Phillip Kaplan
Piccolo George Madsen
Ralph Gomberg Jean Deverjjie John Holmes
English Horn Louis Speyer
Clarinets Gino Cioffi Manuel Valerio Pasquale Cardillo
Bass Clarinet Rosario Mazzeo
Bassoons Sherman Walt Ernst l'anenka Theodore Brewster
Contra-Bassoon Richard Plaster
James Stagliano Charles Yancich Harry Shapiro Harold Meek Paul Keaney Osbourne McConaihy
Trumpets Roger Voisin Marcel Lafosse Armando Chilalla Gerard Gognen
Trombones William Gibson William Mover Kauko Kaliila Josef Orosz
Tuba K. Vinal Smith
Bernard Zighera Olivia Luetcke
Timpani Everett Firth Harold Farbcrman
Percussion Charles Smith Harold Thompson Arthur Press
Piano Bernard Zighera
Librarians Leslie Rogers Victor Alpert, Ass't
Hill Auditorium [University of Michigan] Ann Arbor
SEVENTY-SIXTH SEASON, 1956-1957
Boston Symphony Orchestra
CHARLES MUNCH, Music Director Richard Burgin, Associate Conductor
MONDAY EVENING, October 15
WEDNESDAY EVENING, October 17
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
Talcott M. Banks, Jr. 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 Oliver Wolcott
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
TANGLEWOOD 195 7
The Boston Symphony Orchestra
CHARLES MUNCH, Music Director
The Berkshire Festival
CHARLES MUNCH, Conductor
The Berkshire Music Center
Fifteenth Season CHARLES MUNCH, Director
To receive further announcements, write to Festival Office, Symphony Hall, Boston
SEVENTY-SIXTH SEASON NINETEEN HUNDRED FIFTY-SIX AND FIFTY-SEVEN
Hill Auditorium (University of Michigan) Ann Arbor
MONDAY EVENING, October 15, at 8:30 o'clock
Weber..................................Overture to "Euryanthe"
Piston.........................................Symphony No. 6
I. Fluendo esprcssivo
II. Leggierissimo vivace
III. Adagio sereno
IV. Allegro energico
(Composed for the 75th Anniversary of the Boston Symphony Orchestra)
Tchaikovsky.....Symphony No. 6, in B minor, "Pathe'tique," Op. 74
I. Adagio; Allegro non troppo
II. Allegro con grazia
III. Allegro molto vivace
IV. Finale: Adagio lamcntoso
Performances by the orchestra are broadcast each week on Monday evenings from 8:15 to 9:00 P.M. on the NBC Network.
BALDWIN PIANO RCA VICTOR RECORDS
OVERTURE TO "EURYANTHE"
By Carl Maria von Weber Born in Eutin, Oldenburg, December 18, 1786; died in London, June 5, 1826
Composed in 1823, Euryanthe was first performed at the Karntnertortheater in Vienna, October 25 of the same year.
The Overture requires the following orchestra: 2 flutes, 2 oboes, 2 clarinets, 2 bassoons, 4 horns, 2 trumpets, 3 trombones, timpani and strings.
Weber composed Euryanthe, his "grand heroic-romantic" opera for Domenico Barbaja, manager of the Karnthnerthor Theater in Vienna, who had a hopeful eye upon a success comparable to that of Der Freiscliiitz. There is every evidence that Weber was ambitious for his work and spared no pains with it. Euryanthe was his longest opera, lasting, as first performed, four hours. Unlike Der Freischiltz, it had a continuous musical score with no interruptions of spoken dialogue. Weber completed the score without the Overture on August 29, 1823, and began at once to compose the Overture, which was not ready until October 19, six days before the first performance. On the day following the event, October 26, the composer wrote to his wife: "My reception, when I appeared in the orchestra, was the most enthu?siastic and brilliant that one could imagine. There was no end to it. At last I gave the signal for the beginning. Stillness of death. The Overture was applauded madly; there was a demand for a repetition; but I went ahead, so that the performance might not be too long drawn out." Yet the success was not unqualified; the printed reports were not all favorable. The libretto in particular was generally denounced as needlessly involved. The opera held the stage for hardly more than twenty performances in the season. There are degrees of success, and such was the case in Vienna in 1823. Schubert, whose Rosamunde, to a text by the same librettist, Helmina von Chezy, was mounted on December 20 of the same season, had reason to envy Euryanthe, for Rosamunde did not survive two performances. Beethoven, who was in Vienna and had a long and cordial meeting with Weber at the time, also envied him his undoubted instinct for the theater as evidenced in the score of Der Freischutz, which he had studied with exclamations of wonderment.
The libretto of Euryanthe has been held to account for the fact that the opera fell considerably short of Der Freiscliiitz in popularity. Helmina von Chezy derived her subject from an old French tale of the 13th century, "Histoire de Gerard de Nevers el de la belle et
This, according to the Life of Weber, by hia son Baron Max Maria von Weber. The elder Weber had conducted Fidelio, and, despite various acrimonious remarks upon Beethoven which are attributed to him, seems to have been a sincere admirer of his genius.
vertueuse Euryant de Savoye, sa mie," for which Boccaccio found use in his "Decameron" (second day, ninth novel), and Shakespeare in his Cymbeline. Shakespeare's rather strained plot seems a model of lucidity beside von Chezy's.
The plot, as Frau von Chezy presented it, devolved upon the purity and constancy of Euryanthe. Her suitor, Count Adolar, praises her beauty and virtue in a public assemblage, and accepts the wager of the supercilious Count Lysiart that he can "gain her favor." There is a plot to besmirch her character, in which Eglantine, who is also in love with Adolar and jealous of Euryanthe, conspires. Adolar, believ?ing this false accusation, drags her into the wilderness to slay her, and is moved with pity only to the extent of leaving her there to die. Lysiart, hearing of Eglantine's treachery, stabs Eglantine and is con?demned to death. Euryanthe, who is announced to have perished, is found to have been only in a faint, and is restored to her lover. There are other extraneous threads to the plot, such as the ghosts of Emma, Adolar's sister, and of her fiance, Udo, who haunt the scene. Emma, at the death of Udo, who fell in battle, has killed herself by means of a poisoned ring, and is doomed to wander as a ghost until "the ring should be wet with the tears shed by an innocent maiden in her time of danger and extreme need." Eglantine steals the ring from the sepulchre, and gives it to Lysiart with a false story to prove the guilt of Euryanthe.
Weber had begun the rehearsals by reading the opera book to the assembled company, but in spite of his "admirable declamation," there seems to have been some bewilderment as to what it was all about. There were embarrassing questions from all sides. Why did Euryanthe mutely allow herself to be dragged into the wilderness and left there; why did she not lift her voice to expose the treacherous Eglantine and vindicate herself Before such queries, the poor com?poser could only "hang his head in despair." From its first perform?ance, public objections to the plot were equally insistent. No less an authority than Goethe referred to it as "a bad subject, with which nothing could be done." Weber once said at dinner, according to his son: "My Euryanthe should be called 'Ennuyante.'" Philipp Spitta rises to the defense of the much-abused libretto, pointing out that, considered as a vehicle for the music which it serves, it is not without merit, and "abounds in opportunities for the descriptive writing in which Weber so much delighted and excelled. . . . Euryanthe, like all his operas, is an epic procession, an enchanted panorama, repre?senting the life of one special period, that of mediaeval history. Looked at from this point of view, it can be thoroughly enjoyed."
The overture, after an opening in the characteristic fiery Weberian manner, discloses a theme from Adolar's "Ich bau' auf Gott und meine Euryanth'" (Act I) set forth by the wind choirs. The second theme (violins) is from Adolar's aria "Wehen mir liijte Ruh' " (Act II). After a pause of suspense, the composer introduces a largo of fifteen measures, pianissimo, for violins, muted and divided, with a tremolo in the violas. It is an eerie music intended to suggest the scene of the sepulchre. Weber proposed, but abandoned, the idea of having the curtain raised in the midst of the overture to reveal the following tableau: "The interior of Emma's tomb. A kneeling statue of her is beside the coffin, which is surmounted by a twelfth-century baldacchino [canopy]. Euryanthe prays by the coffin, while the spirit of Emma hovers overhead. Eglantine looks on." In a fugato of the development, the first theme is inverted. The lyrical second theme brings the conclusion.
SYMPHONY NO. 6 By Walter Piston
Born in Rockland, Maine, January 20, 1894
Walter Piston's Sixth Symphony was commissioned by the Boston Symphony Orchestra and the Koussevitzky Music Foundation for this Orchestra's anniversary season and is dedicated to the memory of Serge and Natalie Koussevitzky. It was first performed at the Boston concerts, November 25, 1955. On the recent European tour it was performed in seven cities.
The following orchestration is called for: 2 flutes and piccolo, 2 oboes and English horn, 2 clarinets and bass clarinet, 2 bassoons and contra-bassoon, 4 horns, 3 trum?pets, 3 trombones and tuba, timpani, bass drum, triangle, snare drum, military drum, tambourine, cymbals, tam tarn, 2 harps, and strings.
N answer to a request for information about his new Symphony, the composer has sent the following interesting communication:
"It is known that no two orchestras sound alike, and that the same orchestra sounds differently under different conductors. The composer of orchestral music must be aware of this, and his mental image of the sound of his written notes has to admit a certain flexibility. This im?age is in a sense a composite resulting from all his experience in hear?ing orchestral sound, whether produced by one or two instruments or by the entire orchestra in tutti.
"While writing my Sixth Symphony, I came to realize that this was a rather special situation in that I was writing for one designated orchestra, one that I had grown up with, and that I knew intimately. Each note set down sounded in the mind with extraordinary clarity,
THE WHITE HOUSE
September 28, 1956
Dear Mr. Cabot:
The reports of the Boston Symphony Orchestra during its recent tour of Europe have given me great satisfaction. Whenever outstanding Ameri?cans like the men and women of the Boston Symphony display their talents to the people of other countries, the cause of international understanding is advanced.
Since all people want peace, it is necessary for the people of all nations to correspond at all levels and work out methods by which we can gradually learn more of each other. The exchange of artists is one of the most effective methods of strengthening world friendship. Your orchestra has demonstrated this truth.
I should add that it is gratifying to observe that the Boston Symphony Orchestra has developed, in typical American fashion, with the sponsorship and devoted support of private citizens.
Please welcome home your musicians and distinguished conductors, Charles Munch and Pierre Monteux, and accept my congratulations on a job well done.
Mr. Henry B. Cabot
The Boston Symphony Orchestra, Inc.
as though played immediately by those who were to perform the work. On several occasions it seemed as though the melodies were being written by the instruments themselves as I followed along. I refrained from playing even a single note of this symphony on the piano.
"Little need be said in advance about the symphony. Indeed, I could wish that my music be first heard without the distraction of prelimi?nary explanation. The headings listed in the program are indicative of the general character of each movement. The first movement is flowing and expressive, in sonata form; the second a scherzo, light and fast; the third a serene adagio, theme one played by solo 'cello, theme two by the flute; and the fourth an energetic finale with two con?trasting themes. The symphony was composed with no intent other than to make music to be played and listened to.
"1 take this occasion to express my immense indebtedness to the members of the Boston Symphony Orchestra and to the conductors Serge Koussevitzky, Richard Burgin, and Charles Munch, for the many superb performances of my music."
As noted below, the first four symphonies have been performed by this orchestra. The Fifth, which has been commissioned by the Juilliard School of Music, was performed there last season as part of a Festival of American music.
The following orchestral works by Walter Piston have been played at the Boston Symphony concerts in the years indicated:
1928 Symphonic Piece
193? Suite for Orchestra, No. 1
'934 Concerto for Orchestra
'938 Symphony No. 1
'959 Concertino for Piano and Orchestra
(Soloist, Jesus Maria Sanroma)
94 Concerto for Violin and Orchestra
(Soloist, Ruth Posselt)
'943 Prelude and Allegro for Organ and Strings
(Soloist, E. Power Biggs)
'944 Symphony No. 2
(Repeated in 1955 by Charles Munch)
'948 Symphony No. 3
(Repeated in the following season)
'949 Suite for Orchestra, No. 2
'95 Symphony No. 4
'954 Fantasy for English Horn, Strings and Harp
(Soloists, Louis Speyer and Bernard Zighera)
First performance by the Boston Symphony Orchestra.
Conducted by Serge Koussevitzky Walter Piston Walter Piston Walter Piston Serge Koussevitzky
Richard Burgin Serge Koussevitzky
G. Wallace Woodworth Serge Koussevitzky
Charles Munch Charles Munch. Charles Munch Charles Munch
Of the above works the Toccata was dedicated to Charles Munch and first performed under his direction on his tour of this country with the Orchestre National de la Radiodiffusion Francaise in the season 1948-1919. Dr. Munch conducted the Toccata with the Boston Symphony Orchestra in Paris and London in 1952. The Incredible Flutist has been performed by the Pops Orchestra under the direction of Arthur Fiedler, both as a ballet and as a concert number.
SYMPHONY NO. 6, IN B MINOR, "PATHETIC," Op. 74 By Peter Ilyitch Tchaikovsky
Born at Votkinsk in the government of Viatka, Russia, May 7, 1840; died at St. Petersburg, November 6, 1893
Completed in 1893, Tchaikovsky's Sixth Symphony was first performed at St. Petersburg, October 28 of the same year.
Following the composer's death Napravnik conducted the symphony with great success at a concert of Tchaikovsky's music, November 18, 1893. The piece at?tained a quick popularity, and reached America the following spring, when it was produced by the New York Symphony Society, March 16, 1894. It was performed by the Boston Symphony Orchestra on December 28 following, Emil l'aur con?ducting.
The orchestration consists of 2 flutes and piccolo, 2 oboes. 2 clarinets, 2 bassoons, 4 horns, 2 trumpets, 3 trombones, tuba, timpani, bass drum, cymbals, tam-tam and strings.
Talking with his brother Modeste on the day after the first per?formance of the Sixth Symphony, Tchaikovsky discussed the problem of a title, for he was about to send the score to the publisher. He had thought of calling it "A Programme Symphony" and had written to his nephew, Vladimir Davidoff, of this intention, adding, "This programme is penetrated by subjective sentiment. . . . The programme is of a kind which remains an enigma to all -let them guess it who can." And he said to Modeste when the question of a title was under discussion, "What does 'programme symphony' mean when I will give it no programme" In other words, he foresaw that to give it such a name would at the same time explain nothing and invite from every side a question which he could not answer. He ac?cepted Modeste's suggestion of "Pathetique" but thought better of it after the score had been shipped to Jurgenson, and wrote his preference for the number and nothing else. But the symphony was published as the "Pathetique"; Jurgenson had evidently insisted upon what was a good selling title. We can only conclude from these cir?cumstances that there was some sort of programme in Tchaikovsky's mind but that the "subjective" sentiment of which he spoke was more than he could explain. Plainly, too, the word "Pathetique," while giving the general character of the music, fell short of conveying the programme.
Modeste's title "Pathetique" was an obvious first thought, and an apt one, because the symphony has all the habiliments of melan?choly -the stressing of the minor mood, the sinking chromatic melodies, the poignant dissonances, the exploration of the darkest depths and coloring of the orchestra, the upsweeping attack upon a theme, the outbursts of defiance. But these are not mere devices, as Tchaikovsky used them. If they were, the symphony would be no better than a mass of mediocre music in the affecting style then being written. They were externals useful to his expressive purpose, but no more basic than the physical spasm which is the outward sign of an inward impulse. There is a deeper motivation to the symphony -a motivation which is eloquent and unmistakable in the music itself and which the word "Pathetique" serves only vaguely to indicate.
There have always been those who assume that the more melan?choly music of Tchaikovsky is a sort of confession of his personal troubles, as if music were not a work of art, and, like all the narra?tive arts, a structure of the artist's fantasy. The symphony, of course, is colored by the character of the artist himself, but it does not mir?ror the Tchaikovsky one meets in his letters and diaries. The neurotic fears, the mental and physical miseries as found in the diaries have simply nothing to do with musical matters. Tones to Tchaikovsky were pure sensuous delight, his salvation when life threatened to become insupportable. And he was neither the first nor the last to re?sort to pathos for the release of music's most affecting and luxuriant expression. The fact that he was subject to periodical depressions and elations (he showed every sign of elation while at work upon the symphony) may well have attuned him to nostalgic music moods. But the general romantic trend of his time certainly had a good deal more to do with it. His generation revelled in the depiction of sorrow. The pathos of the jilted Tatiana of Pushkin actually moved Tchaikovsky to tears and to some of his most dramatic music. But Tchaikovsky enjoyed nothing more than to be moved to tears -as did his admirers, from Nadejda von Meek down. "While composing the [sixth] symphony in my mind," Tchaikovsky had written to his nephew, "I frequently shed tears."
There can be no denying that the emotional message of the "Pathetique" must have in some way emanated from the inmost nature of its composer. But the subtle alchemy by which the artist's emotional nature, conditioned by his experience, is transformed into the realm of tone patterns is a process too deep-lying to be perceived, and it will be understood least of all by the artist himself. Tchaikov?sky, addicted like other Russians to self-examination, sometimes tried to explain his deeper feelings, especially as expressed in his music, but invariably he found himself groping in the dark, talking in high-
The Martyrdom of
LONO PLAY S3.9B
MiO Mil COillOLAN
munch in person 3
on rca Victor records
To Charles Munch, conducting is not a profession but a sacred calling. And this dedication, combined with the magnificence of the Boston Symphony Orchestra, brings you performances of unmatched power and beauty. You feel and hear this devotion whether he conducts Ravel, Berlioz or Beethoven . .. whether the performance is in Symphony Hall or... on RCA Victor Records, of course!
r Adnb4 Pitow Oft
11.41 ibcu ??N." Onh.phonic" lliih Mi) R.tu.Jui twanlU Vkui "N. Onh.pliM.lt" Hb FU.lii, --klroU.-
sounding but inadequate generalities. At such times he accused him?self of "insincerity"; perhaps we could better call it attitudinizing to cover his own vague understanding. Only his music was "sincere" -that is, when he was at his best and satisfied with it, as in the "Pathetique." He wrote to Davidoff, to whom he was to dedicate the symphony, "I certainly regard it as quite the best --and especially the most sincere -of all my works. I love it as I never loved any one of my musical offspring before." Here is a case where the artist can express himself as the non-artist cannot; more clearly even than he consciously knows himself.
The final impression of the "Pathetic" Symphony when it is listened to without preconceptions is anything but pessimistic. The first move?ment and the last, which are the key movements of the symphony, are very similar in plan. The duality in each case consists of a spare and desolate theme and another of sorrowful cast which is neverthe?less calm and assuaging. Each theme is developed independently in separate alternating sections, each working up into an agitated form. But the second theme has always the final answer. Each movement ends gently with a gradual and peaceful subsidence.
The bassoon softly sets forth the first theme, Adagio, in rising sequences accentuating the minor. The violas carry it down again into the depths, and after a suspensive pause the theme becomes vigorous and rhythmic in an Allegro non troppo as it is developed stormily over a constant agitation of string figures. The figure melts away and after another pause the second theme, tranquil and singing in a clear D major, spreads its consolation. "Tenera-mente, molto cantabile, con espansione," reads the direction over it. The theme is developed over a springy rhythm in the strings and then, in an Andante episode, is sung without mutes and passion?ately, the violins sweeping up to attack the note at its peak. This theme dies away in another long descent into the depths of the bas?soon. And now the first theme returns in its agitated rhythmic form and works up at length to violent and frenzied utterance. Another tense pause (these pauses are very characteristic of this dramatic symphony) and the second theme returns, in a passionate outpour?ing from the violins. Its message is conclusive, and at last passion is dispersed as the strings give out soft descending pizzicato scales of B major. The strife of this movement, with its questionings and its outbreaks, is at last resolved.
The second movement, an Allegro con grazia in 54 rhythm through?out, has relics of the traditional scherzo in its repeats, trio and da capo, but there is nothing scherzo-like in its mood. It moves at a
As the string figure subsides into the basses, the trombones intone (at bar 201) a chant for the dead. The allusion is to a liturgy of the Russian church, "May he rest in peace with the saints. A second phrase from this quotation is developed, but in a violent and Durelv symphonic way.
steady, even pace, gracefully melodic, a foil to the great variety of tempo and the extreme contrasts of the movement before. The main section offers a relief from melancholy, and only the trio, with its constant descent and its reiteration of drumbeats, throws a light cloud over the whole. Here there is another verbal clue: "Sweetly and plaintively" ('Con dolcezza e flebile").
After the placidity of this movement, the third bursts upon the scene with shattering effect. It seems to pick up the fitful storminess of the first movement and gather it up into a steady frenzy. Again the strings keep up a constant agitation as the brass strides through fragments of a martial theme. Pomp is here, with clashing cymbals. But when with a final abrupt outburst the movement has ended, the frenzies of defiance (if such it is) are completely spent.
Again the complete contrast of a dark lamentation in the strings, as the last movement begins. With its melodic descent, its dissonant chords, the symphony here reaches its darkest moments. Then comes the answering theme in a gentle and luminous D major. "Con lenezza e devozione," the composer directs, lest we miss its character of "gen?tleness and devotion." The theme is sung by the strings over soft pul?sations from the horns. The anguished opening theme returns in more impassioned voice than before. But when this voice has lapsed into silence in the dramatic way which by this time has become inevitable, there comes a chain of soft trombone chords that might well have been labelled "con devozione," and once more there is heard the quiet descending scale theme by the muted strings. Now passion is gone as well as violence, as the melody descends into the deepest register of the 'cellos and melts into silence. If the composer ends darkly, he is at least at peace with himself. Resignation is a strange word to use for Tchaikovsky, but it seems to fit here.
When Tchaikovsky conducted the first performance of his newly completed Sixth Symphony in 1893, one might reasonably have expected a great success for the work. The composer then commanded favorable attention, having attained eminence and popularity -though nothing remotely approaching the immense vogue this very symphony was destined to make for him immediately after his death, which occurred nine days after the first performance. The composer believed in his symphony with a conviction which he by no means always felt for his newest scores as he presented them to the world. His preliminary doubts about the melancholy finale, the adagio lamen-toso, read like astonishment at his own temerity in having followed his own artistic dictates with so sure a hand against all symphonic tradition.
He had good reason to believe that the broad and affecting flood
of outpouring emotion would sweep the first audience in its cur?rent. But such was not the case. The performance, according to Tchaikovsky's scrupulous brother Modeste, "fell rather flat. The sym?phony was applauded, and the composer recalled; but the enthusiasm did not surpass what was usually shown for one of Tchaikovsky's new compositions. The symphony produced nothing approaching that powerful and thrilling impression made by the work when it was conducted by Napravnik, November 18, and later, wherever it was played." The critics, too, were cool. The Viedemosti found "the thematic material not very original, the leading subjects neither new nor significant." The Syn Otechestva discovered Gounod in the first movement and Grieg in the last, and the Novoe Vremja drew this astonishing conclusion: "As far as inspiration is concerned it stands far below Tchaikovsky's other symphonies."
Cases such as this, and there are plenty of them, where a subse?quently acknowledged masterpiece first meets an indifferent reception, invite speculation. Was the tardy general acceptance of new ideas mostly to blame, or was the first audience perhaps beclouded by a grop?ing and mediocre performance, intransigeance on the part of the play?ers It would seem that even a reasonably straightforward performance of anything quite so obvious as the "Pathetic" Symphony should have awakened a fair degree of emotional response.
Mankind's propensity to find presentiments of death in the sym?phony, which Rimsky-Korsakov had plentiful opportunity to observe, was circumstantially combated by Modeste and by Kashkin, who were careful to account for each of Tchaikovsky's actions in the year 1893. There are quoted a number of letters written while he was at work upon the symphony; he speaks about the progress of his score, always in a tone of buoyant confidence in his music. Kashkin last saw him shortly before the performance of his symphony; Modeste was with him until the end. Both say that he was in unfailing good spirits. Death was mentioned in the natural course of conversation at the funeral o? his friend Zvierev in October. Zvierev, as it happened, was one of sev?eral friends who had died in close succession. Tchaikovsky talked freely with Kashkin at this time. Friends had died; who would be the next to go "I told Peter," wrote Kashkin, "that he would outlive us all. He disputed the likelihood, yet added that he had never felt so well and happy." And from Modeste: "A few years ago one such grief would have affected Tchaikovsky more keenly than all of them taken together seemed to do at this juncture." And elsewhere: "From the time of his return from England (in June) until the end of his life, Tchaikovsky was as serene and cheerful as at any period in his existence."
SEVENTY-SIXTH SEASON NINETEEN HUNDRED FIFTY-SIX AND FIFTY-SEVEN
Hill Auditorium (University of Michigan) Ann Arbor
WEDNESDAY EVENING, October 17, at 8:30 o'clock
Bach.................Suite No. 2, in B minor, for Flute and Strings
Bourree I; Bourrce II
Polonaise and Double
Flute Solo: Doriot Anthony Dwyer
Debussy.................."Iberia" ("Images" for Orchestra, No. 2)
I. Par les rues et par les chemins (In the streets and byways) II. Les parfums de la trait (The fragrance of the night) III. Le matin d'un jour de fete (The morning of a festival day)
Beethoven........Symphony No. 3 in E-flat major, "Eroica," Op. 55
I. Allegro con brio
II. Marcia funebre: Adagio assai
III. Scherzo: Allegro vivace
IV. Finale: Allegro molto
Performances by the orchestra are broadcast each week on Monday evenings from 8:15 to 9:00 P.M. on the NBC Network.
BALDWIN PIANO RCA VICTOR RECORDS
OVERTURE (SUITE) NO. 2 in B minor for Flute and String Orchestra
By Johann Sebastian Bach Born at Eisenach, March 21, 1685; died at Leipzig, July 28, 1750
This Suite was first performed by the Boston Symphony Orchestra (the continuo edited by Robert Franz) February 13, 1886. The edition of Hans von Billow was performed October 20, 1906, November 2, 1912, February 13, 1915, April 26, 1919, December 24, 1931, and October 17, 1952.
Bach's orchestral suites, of which there are four, have generally been attributed to the five-year period (1717-23) in which he was Kapellmeister to the young Prince Leopold of Anhalt-Cothen. Albert Schweitzer conjectures that they may belong to the subsequent Leipzig years, for Bach included them in the performances of the Telemann Musical Society, which he conducted from the years 1729 to 1736. But the larger part of his instrumental music belongs to the years at Cothen where the Prince not only patronized but practised this department of the art -it is said that he could acquit himself more than acceptably upon the violin, the viola da gamba, and the clavier. It was for the pleasure of his Prince that Bach composed most of his chamber music, half of the Well-tempered Clavichord, the Inventions. Composing the six concertos for the Markgraf of Brandenburg at this time, he very likely made copies of his manuscripts and performed them at Cothen.
Bach's own title upon the score was "H moll Ouverture al flauto, 2 violini, viola e basso, di J. S. Bach." The flute part is marked "tra-versiere," or transverse-flute, to distinguish it from the now obsolete flute a bee. The bass is marked "continuo."
The harpsichord continuo in the present performances will be played by Daniel Pinkham.
The suites, partitas, and "overtures," so titled, by Bach were no more than variants upon the suite form. When Bach labeled each of his orchestral suites as an "ouverture," there is no doubt that the French ouverture of Lulli was in his mind. This composer, whom Bach closely regarded, had developed the operatic overture into a larger form with a slow introduction followed by a lively allegro of fugal character and a reprise. To this "overture" were sometimes added, even at operatic performances, a stately dance or two, such as were a customary and integral part of the operas of the period. These overtures, with several dance movements, were often performed at concerts, retaining the title of the more extended and impressive "opening" movement. Georg Muffat introduced the custom into Germany, and Bach followed him. Bach held to the formal outline of the French ouverture, but extended
and elaborated it to his own purposes. In the dance melodies of these suites, Albert Schweitzer has said "a fragment of a vanished world of grace and eloquence has been preserved for us. They are the ideal musical picture of the rococo period. Their charm resides in the per?fection of their blending of strength and grace."
The grave introductory measures of the first movement, given to the combined group, are followed by a lively fugue, the development of which is occasionally interrupted by florid passages for the flute which here first emerges as a solo instrument. In the Rondo, which is an unusual form with Bach, the voice of the flute is matched with the strings. In the Sarabande, the cellos follow the flute theme in canonic imitation. The second of the two Bounces again projects the flute in the recurring ornamental figuration which gives the suite so much of its charm. The flute is again so treated in the Double (or variant) of the Polonaise. The Minuet has the usual two sections, but no trio. The Badinerie, a lively presto movement, is characteristic of its com?poser. (The first suite ends with two "passepieds," the third with a gigue, the fourth with a vivo entitled "Rejouissance.")
"IB?RIA," "IMAGES," for Orchestra, No. 2
By Claude Debussy
Born at St. Germain (Seine-et-Oise), France, August 22, 1862; died at Paris,
March 25, 1918
Debussy completed the "Rondes de Printcmps" in 1909, "Iberia" in 1910, and "Gigues" in 1912. The three "Images" as published bore numbers in reverse order.
"Ibtria" was first performed by Gabriel Pierne at a Colonne concert in Paris, February 20, 1910. It had its first performance in America, January 3, 1911, under Gustav Mahler, at a concert of the New York Philharmonic Society. The first performance in Boston was on April 21, 1911, by the Boston Symphony Orchestra. Max Fiedler, conductor.
The most recent performances at these concerts were on October 30-31, 1953.
The orchestration requires 3 flutes and piccolo, 2 oboes and English horn, 3 clarinets, 3 bassoons and contra-bassoon, 4 horns, 3 trumpets, 3 trombones and tuba, timpani, tambourine, castanets, military drum, cymbals, xylophone, celesta, bells, two harps and strings.
Debussy wrote to Durand, his publisher, on May 16, 1905, of his plan to compose a set of "Images" (a conveniently noncommit?tal title) for two pianos, to be called I. "Gigues Tristes," II. "Iberia," III. "Valses ()" Before long the project had become an orchestral one, and the questioned "Valses" had been dropped. The two orches?tral pieces were expected for the summer of 1 go6. They were not forth?coming. The musician who could once linger over his scores at will, rewriting, refining, repolishing, while the world cared little, was now the famous composer of "Pelleas." Publishers, orchestras, were at his
doorstep, expectant, insistent, mentioning dates. Debussy was still un?hurried, reluctant to give to his publisher a score which might still be bettered. He wrote to Durand in August of 1906: "I have before me three different endings for 'Iberia'; shall I toss a coin -or seek a fourth" To Durand, July 17, 1907: "Don't hold it against me that I am behind; I am working like a laborer -and making some progress, in spite of terrible and tiring setbacks!" Two months later he promises that "Iberia" will be ready as soon as the "Rondes de Printemps," the third of the "Images," is "right and as I wish it." By Christmas of 1908, the first full draft of "Iberia" was completed, but the composer was by that time involved in a project for an opera on Poe's "Fall of the House of Usher," immediately followed by another operatic project which, like the first, came to nothing: "The Devil in the Belfry."
The movements are as follows:
I. "Par les rues et par les chemins" ("In the streets and byways"). Assez anime (dans tin rhythme alerte mais precis).
II. "Les parfums de la nuit" ("The fragrance of the night") . Lent et riveur.
III. "Le matin d'un jour de fite" ("The morning of a festival day"). Dans un rhythme de marche lointaine, alerte et joyeuse.
There was a considerable expression of dissatisfaction with "Iberia" in Paris, when it was first heard. "Half the house applauded furiously," reported a newspaper correspondent, "whereupon hisses and cat calls came from the other half. I think the audience was about equally divided." There was also much critical disfavor, while certain indi?viduals pronounced roundly in favor of "Iberia."
Manuel de Falla, a Spanish purist who might well have frowned upon a quasi Spanish product of France, smiled upon this piece in an article printed in the Chesterian:
"The echoes from the villages, a kind of sevillana -the generic theme of the work -which seems to float in a clear atmosphere of scintillating light; the intoxicating spell of Andalusian nights, the festive gaiety of a people dancing to the joyous strains of a banda of guitars and bandurrias ... all this whirls in the air, approaches and recedes, and our imagination is continually kept awake and dazzled by the power of an intensely expressive and richly varied music. . . ."
'Falls further states that Debussy thus pointed the way to Albenix towards the use of the fundamental elements of popular music, rather than folk-tunes as such. Vnllas points out that the first part of Albeniz's "Iberia" suite appeared as early as 1906, and was well known to Debussy, who delighted in it and often played it. The last part of the "Iberia" of Albeniz appeared in 1909, at which time its composer probably knew nothing: of Debussy's score. Debussy was thus evidently indebted to Albeniz, for he never made the visit to Spain which could have given him material at first hand. The "realism" which many have found in Debussy's "Iberia" was not of this sort.
MUSIC OF TODAY By Pablo Casals
Excerpts from "Conversations with Casals" by J. Ma. Corredor, translated by Andre Mangeot (Hutchinson & Co., Ltd., 1956).
Numerous musicians think Richard Strauss is the greatest composer of the XXth century.
That is possible. In any case 1 admire him enormously. In all his work you find such clarity and precision; his way of treating and bringing out instrumental colour is positively extraordinary and I doubt anyone having surpassed him in that direction.
What do you think of impressionism
To my mind musical impressionism, of which Debussy and Ravel are undoubtedly the leaders, is a decadent deviation from the stream of great music. Not that I deny the value of what these two composers have created: their new artistic formula is of great interest and denotes an exquisite poetical charm and is very suggestive. If one wanted to put a label on impressionism (if labels could prove anything) one could write on it "decorative music". Debussy's melodic line is far from being remarkable: it is through his harmonic invention that he has given to his works the interest and charm of which I was speaking.
You knew Ravel when he was very young
Yes, it was at the time when we all visited Mrs. Ram. In those days Ravel was still a student attending Faure's composition classes at the Conservatoire. He asked me one day to listen to one of his latest com?positions. It was the Pavane pour une Infante Defunte. I told him that (as 1 thought) it was a masterly little work. He was surprised, as I remember it, and, of course, as I told you, he was still a student.
Enesco used to ask: "Who is not touched by the charm of Ravel or Debussy But, besides this charm, I should like some broader and more spacious music" (I cannot vouch that these are his actual words, but it was what he meant).
I quite agree with Enesco.
And what about Faure
Faur6 may have contributed to the impressionist school of music with his great delicacy and his capacity for harmonic invention, but he derives from the central growth of art. To use a simile, we could think of Faure as coming from the trunk of great music, while Debussy and Ravel are only offshoots of a branch.
have heard it said that Faure had the rare privilege of being "the man of his work".
Yes, both as a man and as a composer we find in him a deep and exquisite nature.
Did you know Schonberg xuell
Yes, I was in touch with him, I followed his evolution and, through conversations I had with him, I know what his anxieties and aspira?tions were. I know where he stands, and when I hear that he and some modern composers are put together in the same category I say: No, there is a mistake. In Schonberg we have a man who deliberately chose the path of research with complete sincerity towards himself. Some people thought that, because he was successful, he allowed himself to write insignificant works in the belief that they would naturally be applauded by people who were unable to understand his compositions, but wanted to look as if they did.
Schonberg was not like that: he had musical genius and he revered all composers who deserved it. (What would some of the iconoclasts of our time say if they had heard him say, as I have, how well he under?stood and admired even a composer like Donizetti)
With the prophetic instinct of his race and his profound devotion to music he wished to explore unknown spheres, like atonality, with the object of finding out what could be done with it. His attitude was one of self-sacrifice -it consisted of putting on one side the "known" methods (in which he excelled) in order to penetrate into the "un?known". His goal was not to break with the past, but to increase the treasures of music with the new possibilities produced by his researches.
What was he like as a person
Oh, delightful! Very simple, full of charm and possessing a brilliant intelligence.
What do you think of the result of Schonberg's innovations
By and large I think that some of his ideas will help in the normal (but not purely cerebral) development of music. But, on the other hand, I think that some of his innovations will prove fruitless. I remember one day in Vienna when Schonberg talked to me of his plans. In spite of all his enthusiasm, I could not escape the vision of the abyss which was opening beneath his feet!
What impression did Alban Berg's "Wozzeck" make on you That of a master who moves in a world that is not mine. Do you think of atonality as fundamentally wrong Not wrong in principle. I have used it myself to describe some kind of musical vision, especially in my Sardana for 'celli. But before and
Boston Symphony Orchestra
CHARLES MUNCH, Musk Director SCHEDULE OF CONCERTS, Winter Season 1956-1957
12-13 '5 iG
'3 '4 '5 i(3
23-24 27 29 3O-
DECEMBER } (Fri.-Sat. VII)
Cambridge (Kresge Aud. M.I. 1.)
iioston New London New York
(Fri.-Sat. I) (Tues. A)
(Tues. B) (Fri.-Sat. Ill) (I)
(Fri.-Sat. IV) (Sun. a) (Tues. C) (Rehearsal I) (Fri.-Sat. V)
(I) (Wed. I)
(I) (Sat. I)
(Fri.-Sat. VI) (Tues. D) (Rehearsal II)
(Sun. b) ")
(Wed. II) (I) (II)
(Sat. II) (Tues. E) (Rehearsal III) (Fri.-Sat. IX) (Fri.-Sat. X)
(Fri.-Sat. XI) (Wed. Ill)
10 I I 12
18-19 2O 22
4 5 6
19 20 21 22
Boston Boston Boston
Boston (For the Am. College ot Physicians)
(Sat. Ill) (Fri.-Sat. XII) (Sun. c)
(II) (Wed. IV)
(Sat. IV) (Tues. F) (Rehearsal IV) (Fri.-Sat. XV) (III)
(Fri.-Sat. XVI) (IV)
(Fri.-Sat. XVII) (Tues. G) (Rehearsal V) (Fri.-Sat. XVIII) (Sun. d) (IV) (Fri.-Sat. XIX)
(V) (Sat. V)
(Tues. H) (Rehearsal VI) (Fri.-Sat. XXI)
(V) (Thurs.-Sat. XXIII)
(Tues. I) (Fri.-Sat. XXIV)
The matinee in Holy Week will be given on Thursday.
after these descriptive passages, I have written some real music. (Vin?cent d'Indy wrote to me about my Sardana for 'celli congratulating me and explaining that he agreed with my way of using atonality. At the end of his letter he quoted a bit of the Sardana that he specially liked.) A composer has a right to use any means, even atonality, at a given time. We find Bach, Chopin and Wagner using it as a means to create an impression. But can music be reduced to a series of impressions as our modern composers try to do It has no sense. It is absurd to turn atonality into a system.
You told me once that one could establish a parallel between Picasso and Stravinsky.
Picasso has said: "All my pictures are only experiments."
For centuries the masters of music have kept their experiments to themselves and thought that they should only give to listeners the works which they had felt, thought over and allowed to mature.
One cannot stop evolution in the Arts.
We should not confuse natural evolution with a complete rupture with the past. A musician can get rid of restraints and find his own way without breaking, in a fit of temper, with all the ties which connect him with the experiments of his predecessors. Evolution following a normal course has always existed, and always will exist.
"We used to think that when an artist had originality it was revealed without effort on his part. We found that the pleasure of the unex?pected was born of those occasions when we were denied the pleasure of the expected. The variety, the very modifications a musician brought to the construction and the language used, were worked out within the accepted framework. But, in most present-day compositions, since the listener is unable to anticipate anything while the music is going on, the sensation of the unexpected has disappeared." (Max d'Ollone.)
It is true. The exaggerated desire for originality leads to worse aberrations. Each one of us possesses as much originality as the most modest creation of nature. How many leaves are on this tree in the garden, and yet there are not two alike! If you see a friend coming in the distance you will know him by his gait; there is no need for him to gesticulate in any fancy way in order that you may know who it is. Why Just because he has his own characteristics, his originality in fact. In music it is easy to gesticulate and talk nonsense, in order to appear original; the difficulty is to put one's own mark on a composi?tion while using th,e accepted language which is comprehensible to all.
Prokofieff said: "I have been trying to find a melodious and clear language without renouncing the harmonic and melodic shapes uni?versally acknowledged. And this is where the difficulty comes in: to write music with a new clarity."
The great masters have used the recognised harmonic system, but they have done it with such art and individual genius that their works always seem new. In Bach and Mozart I can easily perceive a "new clarity". I think that Prokofieff and Bart6k are both extraordinarily gifted musicians. Some of their compositions will certainly survive triumphantly the test of time. The rest of their work I am not so sure about.
I have not seen Hindemith since 1932, when I played with him, Schnabel and Huberman in Vienna at some chamber music concerts I shall never forget. Never mind what his theories were; he has left unmistakable proofs of his remarkable talent as a composer.
A critic wrote about one of his last works, "Nobilissima Visione," tliat Hindemith has used again "a language which speaks to the heart".
All to the good.
What of Milhaud
Milhaud has a great gift for composition and has given us some mag?nificent works. It is a pity that he also thought he had to be "modern" at all costs. I have a most touching letter from Milhaud in which he tells me of the impression I made on him the first time he heard me, when he was very young.
It seems to me that he is one of the contemporary composers of greatest musical value. (I think that the best composer of our time is Ernest Bloch.) In spite of his "modernism" Honegger refrained from going beyond certain limits. He has been influenced by modern ten?dencies but has known how to choose some innovations and reject others, while remaining faithful to what we may define as a musical idea, the thing that so many contemporary musicians have just abolished.
Musicians as modern as Honegger and Hindemith have said about dodecaphonism: "This serial system prides itself on having very strict rules. These people look to me like convicts, who having shaken off their chains, voluntarily tie up their feet with weights in order to run quicker! . . ." (Honegger.) "One can invent as many arbitrary rules of this kind as one chooses. But if one chooses to use them to produce a new style of musical composition, I think one could find other rules less narrow and more interesting. The idea of dodecaphonism seems to me more theoretic than all the pedantries of the professors of tradi?tional harmony." (Hindemith.)
I am delighted to hear that Honegger and Hindemith say those things. What is necessary is that composers understand the art of expressing oneself musically. Those who have nothing to say should do something else. And those who truly feel a deep necessity to com?pose should do so in ways which may be new but which must in any case be simple and comprehensible. I insist: It is not the procedure that matters, but the result. In the long run, time will choose, and give to everyone the place he deserves.
Simplicity in forms of expression has never been prejudicial to a sincere creator, for he always knows that originality is above all a gift. I have heard a lot of music in the course of my long career, but every time I hear Haydn I have the impression that I hear some newly dis?covered thing. Great music, if well performed, is sufficiently rich to keep intact the sense of novelty and to increase the desire to hear it again.
Honegger is very pessimistic on the future of music: "At present, what plays the most important part in compositions is the use of rhythmical shock in contrast to voluptuous melody. At the present rate we shall have by the end of this century an elementary, barbarous music which will combine elemental melody with brutally scanned rhythm. This will admirably suit the deformed ear of the music-lover of the year 2000V'
I do not share these pessimistic views. Aesthetically, the receptive faculties do not disappear any more than the discriminative moral faculties. There are periods of crisis and straying, but man finds again the notion of things that are beautiful and pure.
Furtwangler says: "Technical questions like tonality and atonality, historical considerations, are all secondary in relation to this other question: in which proportion does the music of today represent ade?quately what rue are How much of ourselves do we find in this music This question is positively a question of conscience: it would deter?mine the truth of our musical expression and the authenticity of our existence as musicians."
These words seem to hit the nail on the head. The criterion of con?science is what will prevail in the end, because the great things of humanity will never change and what we shall always find in artistic creation is the man, the man in flesh and blood and not an abstract thousands of years old, like Chinese and Indian poetry. They have the same reason for existing as our true music has. Their life is the same today as in all eternity.
THE MAN WHO MET BRAHMS By George Marvill
(Manchester Guardian, June 81, 1956)
I had my music lessons from a man who had had lessons from a man who had had lessons from a man who had been a pupil of Cipriani Potter, who was a pupil of Beethoven. Furthermore, I used to know, and to speak with every day, a man to whom Brahms had given a cigar. For these reasons I like to think that the virtues inherent in the apostolic laying-on of hands are operative in the sphere of musical education; that some dregs of divine grace linger, however imper?ceptibly, in my own attempts at music-making.
In the late nineties the man who met Brahms came to England. His two elder brothers had been for some time established here among the band of German industrialists who invaded the West Riding in the latter half of the nineteenth century. Many years later, when he was 60 and I was 16, when the trumpets had long since sounded for Brahms on the other side, the man who met Brahms met me. I entered his employ as a very junior clerk, and soon learned to speak of him as Mr. Max, to distinguish him from his brothers, Mr. Fritz and Mr. Her?mann. They were all three fussy and autocratic little men, still ad?dicted to the wearing of side-whiskers and silk cravats and black frock-coats.
For a long time I never associated Mr. Max with Brahms, or with anything outside the realm of orders and quotations and red-lined accounts. He seemed in no way different from his brothers who, though approaching their 80s, still attended the office every day from half-past eight to at least half-past six.
Those were hard days in the office: no tea break, no gossip of cricket or football; from the chief clerk downwards we perched on our high office stools, speaking only of business and engrossed, apparently, in our tasks. There were, of course, occasions when a huge calf-bound ledger could form a very convenient screen for a newspaper or other extramural reading matter. Had it not been so I should probably never have made the discovery that Mr. Max was a man who had met Brahms.
He approached me suddenly one day round a corner. I closed my ledger with a snap and hastened to put it in the safe. It happened, however, to be the very ledger he wished to consult.
"Just come to my office," he said, trotting away with the book under his arm.
I followed him awkwardly into the private office. Mr. Fritz and Mr. Hermann were fortunately both out. Mr. Max sat down before his
roll-top desk and opened the ledger. It opened, of course, at the miniature score.
"What's this What's this" he said. It was Brahms's Clarinet Quintet, op. 115, which we were "taking" just then at the musical appreciation class, though I did not like to say so and maintained an embarrassed silence.
Mr. Max was silent, too. I saw to my amazement that he was reading the score, following the five staves with his eye from left to right and turning over at the bottom of the right-hand page. "So!" he said when he had reached the end of the first section. "You are a musician"
"Not really, sir," I replied. "Just a -a student."
He looked at the score again. "Quintet for Clarinet and Strings, by Brahms.... Did you know I was myself present at the first performance of this I also was a student then, at Munich in 1891. Young Miihlfeld, about my age, took me -he was my friend. His father was playing. Do you know who was Miihlfeld"
"Yes, sir," I replied. They groomed us well at that musical appre?ciation class. "Richard Miihlfeld, the great German clarinettist, a friend of Brahms."
"So! . . . There was a reception afterwards; young Miihlfeld took me with him. Brahms offered us all cigars. He offered one to me." Sud?denly Mr. Max did something amazing; nobody in the office had ever known him do it before. He chuckled.
"I took a cigar from the box and thought to myself, '1 will not smoke this. I will keep it always and sometimes show it to my friends and say: "This cigar was given to me by Johannes Brahms after the first performance of his Clarinet Quintet." ' But Brahms saw me as I was putting the cigar in my pocket. 'Do you not smoke' he asked. 'Yes, Herr Doktor,' I said, 'but I should like to keep this as a souvenir of this very great occasion.' Brahms was very angry. 'That is one of my best cigars,' he said. 'They are much too good not to be smoked. Give it back to me.' So he took the cigar away from me and put it between his own lips. I felt very much ashamed. . . . The Herr Doktor was sorry for me, I think, for presently he brought another box of cigars. 'These are very bad cigars,' he said. 'Take one for your souvenir. It will keep well. And now let us see you smoke.' He offered me another cigar from the good box. I smoked it and was afterwards very sick. . . . I have the bad cigar still."
We were silent for a little while on a peak in Munich, in 1891, among flutes, violins, bassoons, and double basses, tankards of German beer and the odour of cigars. Then the top-hatted heads of Mr. Fritz and Mr. Hermann, returning from Bradford, passed the window. Almost crossly Mr. Max thrust the score of the quintet at me. "Take it away, take it away!" he said. "Put it in your pocket. We do not come here to play. . . . Where is Higginbottom's account"
SYMPHONY NO. 3 IN E-FLAT, "EROICA," Op. 55
By Ludwig van Beethoven Born in Bonn, December 16 (), 1770; died at Vienna, March 26, 1827
Composed in the years 1802-1804, the Third Symphony was first performed at a private concert in the house of Prince von Lobkowitz in Vienna, December, 1804, the composer conducting. The first public performance was at the Theater an der Wien, April 7, 1805. The parts were published in 1806, and dedicated to Prince von Lobkowitz. The score was published in 1820.
The symphony is scored for 2 flutes, 2 oboes, 2 clarinets, 2 bassoons, 3 horns, 2 trumpets, timpani and strings.
Those who have listened to the Eroica Symphony have been re?minded, perhaps too often, that the composer once destroyed in anger a dedication to Napoleon Bonaparte. The music, as one returns to it in the course of succeeding years, seems to look beyond Napoleon, as if it really never had anything to do with the man who once fell short of receiving a dedication. Sir George Grove once wrote: "Though the Eroica was a portrait of Bonaparte, it is as much a portrait of Beethoven himself -but that is the case with everything he wrote." Sir George's second remark was prophetic of the present point of view. The name of Napoleon is now little associated with the score, except in the form of an often repeated anecdote.
The concept of heroism which plainly shaped this symphony, and which sounds through so much of Beethoven's music, would give no place to a self-styled "Emperor" who was ambitious to bring all Europe into vassalage, and ready to crush out countless lives in order to satisfy his ambition. If the Eroica had ever come to Napoleon's attention, which it probably did not, its inward nature would have been quite above his comprehension -not to speak, of course, of musical comprehension. Its suggestion is of selfless heroes, those who give their lives to overthrow tyrants and liberate oppressed peoples. Egmont was such a hero, Leonore such a heroine. The motive that gave musical birth to those two characters also animated most of Beethoven's music, varying in intensity, but never in kind. It grew from the thoughts and ideals that had nurtured the French Revolution.
Beethoven was never more completely, more eruptively revolution?ary than in his Eroica Symphony. Its first movement came from all that was defiant in his nature. He now tasted to the full the intoxica?tion of artistic freedom. This hunger for freedom was one of his deepest impulses, and it was piqued by his sense of servitude to titles. Just or not, the resentment was real to him, and it increased his kin?ship with the commoner, and his ardent republicanism. The Eroica, of course, is no political document, except in the degree that it was
the deep and inclusive expression of the composer's point of view at the time. And there was much on his heart. This was the first out?spoken declaration of independence by an artist who had outgrown the mincing restrictions of a salon culture in the century just ended. But, more than that, it was a reassertion of will power. The artist, first confronted with the downright threat of total deafness, answered by an unprecedented outpouring of his creative faculties. There, es?pecially, lie the struggle, the domination, the suffering, and the triumph of the Eroica Symphony. The heroism that possesses the first movement is intrepidity where faith and strength become one, a strength which exalts and purifies. The funeral march, filled with hushed mystery, has no odor of mortality; death had no place in Beethoven's thoughts as artist. The spirit which gathers and rises in the middle portion sweeps inaction aside and becomes a life assertion. The shouting triumph of the variation Finale has no tramp of heavy, crushing feet; it is a jubilant exhortation to all mankind, a foreshadowing of the Finales of the Fifth and Ninth Symphonies. It is entirely incongruous as ap?plied to the vain and preening Corsican and his bloody exploits. Beethoven may once have had some misty idea of a noble liberator; he was to have an increasingly bitter experience of the misery which spread in Napoleon's wake.
As his notebooks show, he forged his heroic score with a steady on?slaught, expanding the inherited form almost beyond recognition, yei preserving its balance and symmetry. The plans for each movement but the scherzo were laid in the first fever of creation. But Beethoven seems to have been in no great hurry to complete his task. The work?manship in detail is largely attributed to his summer sojourns of 1803 at Baden and at Ober-Dobling. Ries remembered seeing a fair copy in its finished state upon the composer's table in the early spring of 1804.
Certain definitely established facts, as well as legends based on the sometimes too fertile memories of his friends, surround Beethoven's programmistic intentions regarding the Eroica Symphony. Ries told how in the early spring of 1804, he saw the completed sheets upon Bee?thoven's work table with the word "Buonaparte" at the top, "Luigi van Beethoven" at the bottom, a blank space between; how when he told Beethoven a few weeks later that the "First Consul" had pro?claimed himself "Emperor of the French," pushing the Pope aside and setting the crown on his own head, the composer flew into a rage, and tore the title page in two. Schindler confirms this tale, having heard it from Count Moritz Lichnowsky. The manuscript copy (not in Beethoven's script, but freely marked by him) which has come down to posterity and which is now at the Library of the Gesellschaft der
asked the brahmin of the brewer...
"Pray tell, good fellow, why not a beverage Brewed in a fashion a bit above the average A light-hearted ale, dry refreshing beer Worthy of a connoisseur, worthy of a Peer"
"Matey, you're in luck", said the Brewer to the Brahmin, "You and the missus and the Beacon Hill barman, For Carling's now in Natick, brewing ale and beer Worthy of a connoisseur, worthy of a Peer."
CARLING BREWING CO.
Musikfreunde in Vienna, has a different title page. It reads: "Sinfonia Grande -Intitulata Bonaparte -804 in August -del Sigr. Louis van Beethoven -Sinfonia 3, Op. 55." The words "Intitulata Bonaparte" have been blotted out, but can still be traced. Under his name in lead pencil, now barely discernible, Beethoven has written: "Geschrieben auf Bonaparte." Beethoven wrote to Breitkopf and Hartel, August 26, 1804, offering them "a new grand symphony, really entitled Bonaparte, and in addition to the usual instruments there are specially three ob-bligato horns. I believe it will interest the musical public." This was the Beethoven who liked to take the tone of a shrewd business man, and also the Beethoven who devised his dedications with a cold eye for expediency. The symphony "written on Bonaparte" was finally published as "Sinfonia Eroica, composed to celebrate the memory of a great Man." The inscription might well have been put this way: "Composed in memory of greatness dreamed by a musician and for?feited by a statesman."
The immense step from the Second Symphony to the Third is primarily an act of the imagination. The composer did not base his new power on any new scheme; he kept the form of the salon sym?phony which, as it stood, could have been quite incongruous to his every thought, and began furiously to expand and transform. The exposition is a mighty projection of 155 bars, music of concentrated force, wide in dynamic and emotional range, conceived apparently in one great sketch, where the pencil could hardly keep pace with the outpouring thoughts. There are no periodic tunes here, but fragments of massive chords, and sinuous rhythms, subtly articulated but inex?tricable, meaningless as such except in their context. Every bar bears the heroic stamp. There is no melody in the conventional sense, but in its own sense the music is melody unbroken, in long ebb and flow, vital in every part. Even before the development is reached the com?poser has taken us through mountains and valleys, shown us the range, the universality of his subject. The development is still more incredible, as it extends the classical idea of a brief thematic interplay into a sec?tion of 250 bars. It discloses vaster scenery, in which the foregoing elements are newly revealed, in their turn generating others. The re?capitulation (beginning with the famous passage where the horns mysteriously sound the returning tonic E-flat against a lingering dominant chord) restates the themes in the increased strength and beauty of fully developed acquaintance.
But still the story is not told. In an unprecedented coda of 140 bars, the much exploited theme and its satellites reappear in fresh guise,
He first projected the movements conventionally, as the sketchbooks show. The opening chords of the first movement, stark and arresting, were originally sketched as a merely stiff dominant-tonic cadence. The third movement first went upon paper as a minuet. Variations were then popular, and so were funeral marches, although they were not used in symphonies.
as if the artist's faculty of imaginative growth could never expend itself. This first of the long codas is one of the most astonishing parts of the Symphony. A coda until then had been little more than a bril?liant close, an underlined cadence. With Beethoven it was a resolution in a deeper sense. The repetition of the subject matter in the reprise could not be for him the final word. The movement had been a narra?tive of restless action -forcefulness gathering, striding to its peak and breaking, followed by a gentler lyricism which in turn grew in tension until the cycle was repeated. The movement required at last an es?tablished point of repose. The coda sings the theme softly, in confident reverie under a new and delicate violin figure. As the coda takes its quiet course, the theme and its retinue of episodes are transfigured into tone poetry whence conflict is banished. The main theme, ringing and joyous, heard as never before, brings the end.
The second movement, like the first, is one of conflicting impulses, but here assuaging melody contends, not with overriding energy, but with the broken accents of heavy sorrow. The legato second strain in the major eases the muffled minor and the clipped notes of the open?ing "march" theme, to which the oboe has lent a special somber shad?ing. The middle section, in C major, begins with a calmer, elegiac melody, over animating staccato triplets from the strings. The triplets become more insistent, ceasing only momentarily for broad fateful chords, and at last permeating the scene with their determined rhythm, as if the composer were setting his indomitable strength against tragedy itself. The opening section returns as the subdued theme of grief gives its dark answer to the display of defiance. But it does not long continue. A new melody is heard in a fugato of the strings, an episode of quiet, steady assertion, characteristic of the resolution Beethoven found in counterpoint. The whole orchestra joins to drive the point home. But a tragic decrescendo and a reminiscence of the funeral first theme is again the answer. Now Beethoven thunders his protest in mighty chords over a stormy accompaniment. There is a long subsidence -a magnificent yielding this time -and a return of the first theme again, now set forth in full voice. As in the first movement, there is still lack?ing the final answer, and that answer comes in another pianissimo coda, measures where peacefulness is found and sorrow accepted, as the theme, broken into incoherent fragments, comes to its last concord.
The conquering life resurgence comes, not shatteringly, but in a breath-taking pianissimo, in the swiftest, most wondrous Scherzo Bee?thoven had composed. No contrast more complete could be imagined. The Scherzo is another exhibition of strength, but this time it is strength finely controlled, unyielding and undisputed. In the Trio, the horns, maintaining the heroic key of E-flat, deliver the principal phrases alone, in three-part harmony. The Scherzo returns with changes, such
as the repetition of the famous descending passage of rhythmic dis?placement in unexpected duple time instead of syncopation. If this passage is "humorous," humor must be defined as the adroit and fanci?ful play of power.
And now in the Finale, the tumults of exultant strength are released. A dazzling nourish, and the bass of the theme is set forward simph by the plucked strings. It is repeated, its bareness somewhat adorned before the theme proper appears over it, by way of the wood winds. The variations disclose a fugato, and later a new theme, a sort of "second subject" in conventional martial rhythm but an inspiriting stroke of genius in itself. The fugato returns in more elaboration, in which the bass is inverted. The music takes a graver, more lyric pace for the last variation, a long poco andante. The theme at this tempo has a very different expressive beauty. There grows from it a new alternate theme (first given to the oboe and violin). The principal theme now strides majestically across the scene over triplets of increas?ing excitement which recall the slow movement. There is a gradual dying away in which the splendor of the theme, itself unheard, still lingers. A presto brings a gleaming close.
The varied theme had already appeared under Beethoven's name as the finale of Prtmethcus, as a contra-dance, and as a set of piano variations. Was this fourth use of tt the persistent exploitation of a particularly workable tune, or the orchestral realization for which the earlier uses were as sketches The truth may lie between.
EDNA NITKIN, M. Mus.
Studio: 500 Boylston St., Copley Sq.
Boston KE 6-4062
RCA VICTOR RECORDS
BOSTON SYMPHONY ORCHESTRA
Recorded under the leadership of CHARLES MUNCH Beethoven Overtures Leonora Nos. 1, 2, 3; "Fidelio"; "Coriolan" Symplionies Nos. 5, 6, 7 Violin Concerto (Hktfetz)
Berlioz "Fantastic Symphony"; Overture to "Beatrice and Benedick": "Romeo nnd Juliet" (complete) ; "Summer Nights" (De Los Angfi.es); "The Damnation of Faust" (complete) llrahm.t Piano Concerto No. 2 (Rubinstein)
Symphonies Nos. -. 4; "Tragic Overture" liruch Violin Concerto No. 1 (Menuhin) Chautsim "Poeme" for Violin and Orchestra (Oistrakh) Chopin Piano Concerto No. 2 (Braii.owsky) Debussy "The Mnrtyrdom of St. Sebastian"; "Prelude to the Afternoon of a
Faun": "The Blessed Damozel" (Dk Los Angelks) Handel "Water Music" Suite (arr. Harty) Ilinjdn Symphony No. 104 Honegger Symphonies Nob. 2. 5 Lalo Overture to "Le Hoi l'Ys" Menotti Violin Concerto (Spivakovsky) Mozart Overture to "The Marriage of Figaro" Havel "Daphnis and Chloe" (complete) ; "Pavane"
Newly Recorded: "Bolero" ; "La Valse" ; "Rapsodie Espagnole" Roussel "Bacchus and Ariane," Suite No. 2 Saint-Satins "Introduction and Rondo Capriceioso" (Oistrakh) Overture to "La Princesse Jaune" Piano Concerto No. 4 (Brailowsky)
Schubert Symphonies Nos. 2, 8 ("Unfinished" Symphony) Schumann Overture to "Genoveva" Symphony No. 1 Strauss "Don Quixote" (Soloist, Piatigorsky)
Tchaikovsky Violin Concerto i Mii.stt.ix i : "Francesca da Rimini"; "Romeo and Juliet"
Among the recordings under the leadership of SEUGE KOtJSSBVITZKY
Jiacli Brandenburg Concertos Nos. 1, 6; Suites Nos. 1, 4
Beethoven Symphonies Nos. 3, 5, 9
Berlioz "Harold in Italy" (Primrose)
Brahms Symphony No. 3; Violin Con?certo (IIkifetz)
Copland "A Lincoln Portrait" : '"Appala?chian Spring" ; "El Salon Mexico"
Hanson Symphony No. 3
Harris Symphony No. 3
Haydn Symphonies Nos. 92, "Oxford"; 94, "Surprise"
Khatchaturian Piano Concerto (Kapeix)
Mendelssohn Symphony No. 4, "Italian"
Mozart "Eine kleine Nachtinusik" ; Sere?nade No. 10, for Woodwinds; Sym?phonies Nos. 3G, "Linz" ; 39
Prokofleff "Classical" Symphony; "Lt Kije" Suite ; "ltomeo and .luliet," Suite No. 2 : Symphony No. 5; Violin Con?certo No. 2 (IIkiketz)
Rachmaninoff "Isle of the Dead"
Ravel "Bolero"; "Ma Mere L'Oye" Suite
Schubert Symphony in B Minor, "Un?finished"
Sibelius Symphonies Nos. 2, 5
Strauss, R. "Don .luan"
Tchaikovsky Serenade in C; Symphonies Nos. 4, 5
Wagner Siegfried Idyll
Recorded under the leadership of PIEHUE MONTEUX
Debussy "La Mer": "Nocturnes" Liszt "Lea Pr6lndes"
Mozart Pinno Concertos Nos. 12, 18 (Lili
Scriabin "The 1'oein of Ecstasy" Utrnrhmkii "I.o Sacre du 1'rintemps"
Tchaikovsky Symphony No. G, "Pathe-tique"
Dclibcs Ballets 'Sylvia," "Coppella" by Members of the Boston Symphony Orchestra
Recorded under the leadership of Leonard Bkrnstein .Stravinsky "L'Histoire du Soldat" ; Octet for Wind Instruments
The above recordings are available on Long Play (33 r.p.m.) and (in some cases) 45 r.p.m.
Baldwin's new Orga-sonic Spinet Organ . .. offers you new worlds of pleasure from the all too brief leisure that today's busy world affords ... an exciting instrument you can learn to play now!
Inspiration, relaxation, widening horizons . . . just plain fun . . . these are among the rewards that possession of the Orga-sonic will bring... and, thousands have found it's never too late to begin.
BALDWIN GRAND PIANOS HAMILTON STUDIO PIANOS
THE BALDWIN PIANO COMPANY CINCINNATI, OHIO
ACROSONIC SPINET AND CONSOLE PIANOS BALDWIN AND ORGA-SONIC ELECTRONIC ORGANS