UMS Concert Program, November 10, 1957: Seventy-ninth Annual Choral Union Concert Series -- The Cleveland Orchestra
Complete Series: 3220
Hill Auditorium, Ann Arbor, Michigan
UNIVERSITY MUSICAL SOCIETY
Charles A. Sink, President Lester McCoy, Conductor Gail W. Rector, Executive Director
Fourth Concert 1957-1958 Complete Series 3220
Choral Union Concert Series
THE CLEVELAND ORCHESTRA
George Szell, Conductor
Sunday Evening, November io, 1957, at 8:30 Hill Auditorium, Ann Arbor, Michigan
Symphony No. 99 in E-flat major.......Haydn
Adagio: vivace assai Adagio
Menuetto: allegretto Vivace
Symphony No. 9 in D minor (unfinished) .... Bruckner
Scherzo: bewegt, lebhaft; Trio: schnell Adagio: sehr langsam
The Steinway is the official piano of the University Musical Society
ARS LONGA VITA BREVIS
Edited by A. Beverly Barksdale
Symphony No. 99 in E-flat major.....Joseph Haydn
It has been said that the Symphony in E-flat was Haydn's favorite among his symphonies. There can be no doubting that it is one of his greatest works, as well as one of the most original symphonies ever written. It is full of novel instrumental effects, and its innovations in symphonic form place it among the landmarks in the history of the symphony.
The use of the clarinets is in itself remarkable, for Haydn had not before employed them in a symphony, although he had used them in his lira concertos and noUurni. In only six of his 104 symphonies did he use the clarinet, and all of these were for London. Already at the beginning of the Adagio introduction (E-flat, 44) the clarinet makes a striking appearance, supplying the bass for the strings with a sustained note in its deep chalumeau register. This introduction is notably free in its modulations, prefiguring Beethoven in its evocation of a mood of mystery and breathless anticipation. The wood?wind adds a soft modulatory chord, almost as an afterthought, and the main body of the movement begins with a quiet and swift announcement of the main theme by the violins (Vivace assai, 44). This first subject is thoroughly worked out before the second theme appears in B-flat major in violins and clarinet. The second theme, curiously similar to a transitional theme that Beethoven was to choose for his Eroica, is tossed about by oboe, flute, and clarinet in the development section in a manner that must have delighted the young Beethoven, and given him food for thought. The material of the exposition is freshly conceived in the recapitulation, which has the character, as Donald Francis Tovey has noted, of Beethoven's great codas, in which that master was again and again to throw such new light upon his themes.
The slow movement (Adagio, G major, 34), also in sonata form, must be counted among Haydn's greatest movements. Tovey has called it "one of Haydn's most majestic things," and Karl Geiringer in his excellent biography of the composer names it "one of the deepest and most stirring pieces written by Haydn." The remote key of G major gives a special color to the announcement of the main theme by the strings. The second theme in D major, sung by violins with oboe and bassoon, is further treated in the development section, which Haydn ends on the dominant of E minor--not of G major-to lend renewed surprise to the announcement of his main theme at the beginning of the recapitulation. Again there is fresh treatment of both themes, culminating in an extensive coda in which the movement rises to its fullest climax with a new development of the second theme. Clarinets, bassoons and horns play repeated chords with telling solemnity. Beethoven was to use this idea with humorous intent in the second movement of his Eighth Symphony, and Mendelssohn to be criticized for his daring in employing it at the beginning of his "Italian" Symphony!
The minuet (Allegretto, E-flat, 34) is, of course, a scherzo in all but name, and the trio in C major (which contrasts as sharply with E-flat as did the G major of the slow movement) is typical of the trios of the scherzos that were to come.
For the finale (Vivace, E-flat, 24) Haydn uses his characteristic form that is half way between sonata and rondo. Strings announce the spritely theme. The contrasting subject is given characteristically comic treatment by the woodwind. There is a fugal development section in which the opening subject proves equally amusing upside down. Haydn has other means of poking fun with this same subject, which must don the disguise of an Adagio and keep a straight face through such mock-solemnity. There is further fun with the second subject before the sweeping scales of the coda bring a Beethovenesque conclusion.
Symphony No. 9 in D minor (Unfinished) . . Anton Bruckner
Like Beethoven and Mahler, Bruckner ended his career with a Ninth Symphony in D minor. Beethoven and Mahler lived to complete their Ninths and to lay plans for Tenth Symphonies. Not so Bruckner, who worked at his symphony during years of ill health and was unable to finish the projected fourth movement.
The symphony was sketched in the summer of 1887 shortly after the completion of the Eighth. The composer laid these sketches aside and did not set to work in earnest until 1891. He completed the first movement in October 1892, but was not ready with the scherzo until February 1894, or the Adagio until the following October. The sketches for the finale go as far as the beginning of the coda with no hint of what might have been the final summation--that culminating point of Bruckner's symphonic form in
which he had so often excelled. Ferdinand Lowe has told us in a preface to the published score that the symphony was composed "in spite of severe physical distress, which many times forced the composer to cease working and impressed upon him in increasing degree that he would not be able to finish this last work."
On his seventieth birthday, in September 1894, the composer spoke to a friend from his bed: "I have done my duty on earth. I have accomplished what I could, and my only wish is to be allowed to complete my Ninth Symphony. The Adagio is nearly finished. There remains only the finale. I trust Death will not deprive me of my pen." In another month the Adagio was ready, but though he lived for two more years, he was unable to go beyond the sketches for the finale. For eight years this final score had absorbed his energies, and yet he could not bring it to conclusion.
It is difficult today to realize the mystery that surrounded the score after Bruckner's death. The reasons why the first performance was delayed for more than six years are described by his biographer, Max Auer: "When Bruckner died, music lovers knew that his last legacy to the world, a Ninth Symphony, was still incomplete. Even in the narrow circle of his most intimate friends, the opinion prevailed that this work, in the shape the composer had left it, was fated to perpetual silence; that even the portions that he had finished, were, most likely, unplayable. They were convinced that his many years of illness had brought about not only a complete physical collapse, but also a corre?sponding decline in his mental and spiritual powers. All the greater, therefore, was their astonishment when it was finally announced that a world premiere of this post?humous 'unfinished' symphony was to take place under the direction of that prince of Bruckner disciples, Ferdinand Lowe." The performance caused much excitement and the symphony was so warmly received in Vienna that publication of the posthumous score followed immediately, with repeated performances both in Europe and America.
The analysis of Lawrence Gilman follows:
"The first movement opens with an introductory section (Frierlich mistcrioso, D minor, 2-2) of sixty-two measures. The horns present the theme of this introduction, over a string tremolo, followed by subsidiary themes. One of the themes in the wood?wind, beginning with a downward leap of an octave, foreshadows the chief theme of the movement, which is thundered out at the peak of a crescendo (Schr breit, D minor, ) by the whole orchestra--an immensely bold and imperious subject, somewhat Lisztian in contour, beginning with the downward-leaping octave previously hinted at.
"The key changes to A major (Etwas langsamcr, 4-4) and the first of a group of lyrical themes is sung by the violins. There is a development of this, and a third subject is given out by the muted violins and violas in D minor. Discarding the mutes, the strings expose another section of this theme. A crescendo, a fortissimo, and an orpan-point on F, close what has been called the first division of the movement. For this movement has only two main sections--the second division is a combination of free fantasia and recapitulation.
"A concise horn motif introduces the second division, and themes from the intro?duction are recalled. The chief subject of the movement is imposingly uttered, , by all the wind, against agitated passages in the strings. The coda is begun with the chief subject, in combination with one of the themes of the introduction.
"The Scherzo is an elaborate development of the dance scherzo with trio. The first theme is allotted to the first violins, pizzicato, above a sustained seventh cord strummed pizzicato by the second violins and violas (Be-uiegt, lebhaft, D minor, 3-4). This subject is worked out through a section of two hundred-odd measures. A brief kettledrum solo introduces the Trio (Schnell, F-sharp major, 3-8), in which new themes are exploited; the first, on the muted first violins, spiccato; the second, etwas ruhiger, for the strings and oboes.
The Adagio begins (Schr langsam, jeierlich: E major, 4-4) with the principal subject in the strings, supported by the brass (2 tenor tubas, 2 bass tubas, contrabass-tuba, trombones, horns). This deeply earnest theme--introduced by the first violins-with its upward step of a minor ninth, is characteristically Brucknerian, though the wraiths of Liszt and Wagner do unmistakably peer out at us through the bars. The music rises to a fortissimo, subsides through a calming passage for the tubas and horns, under string tremolos, and leads to the enunciation of the second theme, in A-flat major, by the first and second violins in unison (Sehr breit). There is alternate development of these subjects--including treatment of the second theme in augmentation by oboe, clarinet, and first violins (Sehr ruhig, doch nicht schleppend.) The tempo is gradually accelerated, crescendo, and the first phrase of the chief theme is uttered in a fortissimo climax by the whole orchestra, followed by a pause. The end is tranquil. Woodwind and strings exhibit a sort of informal stretto derived from the two phrases of the chief theme. The tubas recall, in ghostly outline, a phrase from the Adagio of Bruckner's Eighth Symphony--an elegiacal, chant-like passage, in E major, sehr zart, p, about which the violins twine embellishing figuration. The end is reached in long-held, pianissimo chords for the brass, which die away into silence."
Rudolf Serkin, Pianist (Extra) .... Friday, November 15
Chromatic Fantasy and Fugue..........Bach
Sonata in D major, K. 311..........Mozart
Sonata in F minor, Op. 57..........Beethoven
Variations and Fugue on a Theme of Handel, Op. 24 .... Brahms
William Warfield, Baritone (C.U. Series) . Tuesday, November 26
"Thanks be to Thee" from Israel in Egypt......Handel
"Good Fellows be merry" from Peasant Cantata.....Bach
"Bois epais" from Amad'S de Gaule........Lully
"Why do the nations" from Messiah........Handel
Am Feierabend ...........Schubert
"Infelice e tuo credevi" from Ernani........Verdi
Old American Songs.........Arr. Aaron Copland
City Called Heaven.........Arr. Hall Johnson
Little David, Play on Your Harp.....Arr. Harry Burleich
My Lord, What a Morning.......Arr. Harry Burleich
Ride On, King Jesus.........Arr. Hall Johnson
Vienna Choir Boys (2:30 p.m.) (Extra) . . Sunday, January 12
Detroit Symphony Orchestra (C.U. Series) . Monday, February 17
Paul Paray, Conductor
Obernkirchen Children's Choir (C.U. Series) . Tuesday, February 25
Chicago Symphony Orchestra (C.U. Series) . . Sunday, March 2 Fritz Reiner, Conductor
Myra Hess, Pianist (C.U. Series) .... Saturday, March 8 Mantovani and his New Music (Extra) . . Tuesday, March 11
Vienna on Parade (C.U. Series) .... Wednesday, April 2 Capt. Julius Herrmann, Conductor
Single Concerts: $3.50--$3.00--$2.50--$2.00--$1.50
Annual Christmas Concerts
Messiah (Handel) .... Adele Addison, Soprano Eunice Alberts, Contralto Harold Haugh, Tenor
Tickets: 75c and 50c (either concert).
December 7 and 8, 1957 Paul Matthen, Bass Choral Union and Orchestra Lester McCoy, Conductor On sale beginning October 15.
Eighteenth Annual Chamber Music Festival
Budapest String Quartet .... February 21, 22, 23, 1958 Joseph Roisman, First Violin Boris Kroyt, Viola
Alexander Schneider, Second Violin Mischa Schneider, Violoncello Assisted by Robert Courte, Viola Season Tickets: $3.50 and $2.50. Single Concerts: $1.75 and $1.25
For tickets or information, address: University Musical Society, Burton Memorial Tower.