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UMS Concert Program, May 1, 2, 3, 4, 1958: The Sixty-fifth Annual Ann Arbor May Festival -- The Philadelphia Orchestra

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Season: Seventy-ninth
Concert: SIXTH
Hill Auditorium, Ann Arbor, Michigan

presented by
The University Musical Society
of the
University of Michigan
of the University of Michigan
SeuentuI linth
Program of the Sixty-Fifth Annual
May 1, 2, 3, 4, 1958 Hill Auditorium, Ann Arbor, Michigan
Published by the University Musical Society, Ann Arbor
Charles A. Sink, A.B., M.Ed., LL.D., HH.D. . . President Alexander G. Ruthven, Ph.D., LL.D., Sc.D. . Vice-President
Shirley W. Smith, A.M., LL.D........Secretary
Oscar A. Eberbach, A.B..........Treasurer
Roscoe O. Bonisteel, LL.B., LL.D., Sc.D.
Assistant Secretary-Treasurer
James R. Breakey, Jr., A.B., A.M., LL.B.
Harlan Hatcher, Ph.D., Litt.D., LL.D.
Harley A. Haynes, M.D.
Thor Johnson, M.Mus., Mus.D.
E. Blythe Stason, A.B., B.S., J.D.
Henry F. Vaughan, M.S., Dr.P.H.
Merlin Wiley, A.B., LL.B.
Gail W. Rector, B.Mus., Executive Director
Eugene Ormandy, Orchestral Conductor
William Smith, Assistant Orchestral Conductor
Thor Johnson, Guest Conductor
Lester McCoy, Choral Conductor
Marguerite Hood, Youth Chorus Conductor
Lily Pons............Coloratura Soprano
Claramae Turner............Contralto
Brian Sullivan..............Tenor
Martial Singher.............Baritone
George London...........Bass-Baritone
Yi-Kwei Sze................Bass
Michael Rabin.............Violinist
Glenn Gould..............Pianist
Gyorgy Sandor..............Pianist
The Philadelphia Orchestra
The University Choral Union
The Festival Youth Chorus
Notices and Acknowledgments
The University Musical Society expresses appreciation to Thor Johnson, Lester McCoy, the members of the Choral Union, and the University Musical Society Orchestra for their effective services; to Marguerite Hood, Geneva Nelson, and other associates in the Ann Arbor Public Schools for their valuable services in training the Festival Youth Chorus; to the several members of the staff for their efficient assistance; and to the teachers in the various schools from which the young people have been drawn, for their co-operation. Appre?ciation is also expressed to the Philadelphia Orchestra, to Eugene Ormandy, its distinguished conductor, and to Manager Donald Engle and his adminis?trative staff.
The Author of the annotations expresses his appreciation to Robert Jobe for his assistance in collecting materials; and to Ferol Brinkman of the Univer?sity Press for her editorial services.
The Steinway is the official concert piano of the University Musical Society; and the Lester Piano is the official piano of the Philadelphia Orchestra. The Philadelphia Orchestra records for Columbia.
The University Musical Society is a nonprofit corporation devoted to educational purposes. Its concerts are maintained through the sale of tickets of admission. The prices are kept as low as possible to cover the expense of production. Obviously, the problem is becoming increasingly difficult. The Society has confidence that there are those who would like to contribute to a Concert Endowment Fund in order to ensure continuance of the high quality of the concerts. All contributions will be utilized in maintaining the ideals of the Society by providing the best possible programs.
The United States Department of Internal Revenue has ruled that gifts or bequests made to the Society are deductible for income and estate tax purposes.
Thursday Evening, May 1, at 8:30
LILY PONS, Coloratura Soprano
(played without pause)
Commissioned by the United States National Commission for UNESCO
"Quelle joie! Quel bonheur!" from L'Enlevement au Serail . . . Mozart
"Avec de la tendresse" from L'Enlevement au Serail.....Mozart
Lol Here the Gentle Lark ..........Bishop-LaForge
Lily Pons
Le Rossignol..................Stravinsky
Vocalise, Op. 34, No. 14............Rachmaninoff
"Bell Song," from Lakmi..............Delibes
Miss Pons
?Symphony in D minor...............Franck
Lento; allegro non troppo Allegretto
Allegro non troppo
? Columbia Records
Friday Evening, May 2, at 8:30
THOR JOHNSON, Guest Conductor
Samson and Delilah
Saint-Saens An opera in three acts, sung in concert form
Delilah............Claramae Turner
Samson.............Brian Sullivan
High Priest...........Martial Singher
}l u 1...........Yi-Kwei Sze
An Old Hebrew)
Hebrews and Philistines.......Choral Union
Saturday Afternoon, May 3, at 2:30
Music by Hungarian Composers
Suite in F-sharp minor, Op. 19...........Dohnanyi
Andante con variazioni
Hungarian Folk Songs
Edited by Marguerite Hood and George Kish; orchestrated by Grant Beglarian
Festival Youth Chorus Rakoczy March...................Liszt
Concerto No. 2 for Piano and Orchestra.........Bartok
Allegro Adagio
Allegro molto
Gyorgy Sandor
Dances from Galanta................Kodaly
Saturday Evening, May 3, at 8:30
?Tone Poem, "Don Juan," Op. 20...........Strauss
"Madamina, il catalogo e questo" from Don Giovanni .... Mozart
"O, du mein holder Abendstern" from Tannhauser.....Wagner
Ford's Monologue, from Falstaff.............Verdi
George London
"Louisiana Story," Suite for Orchestra.........Thomson
Pastoral--The Bayou and the Marsh Buggy Chorale--The Derrick Arrives Passacaglia--Robbing the Alligator's Nest Fugue--Boy Fights Alligator
Symphonic Suite from Boris Godoiinoff........Moussorgsky
(transcribed for orchestra by Eugene Ormandy)
Coronation Scene...........Orchestra
Monologue.............Mr. London
Varlaam's Ballad...........Orchestra
Clock Scene.............Mr. London
Boris' Farewell and Death.......Mr. London
Columbia Records 8
Sunday Afternoon, May 4, at 2:30
THOR JOHNSON, Guest Conductor
PROGRAM In Ecclesiis (for chorus, brass, and organ)........Gabrieli
Sacred Service (Avodath Hakodesh), for baritone (cantor),
chorus, and orchestra--Parts 1, 2, 3..........Bloch
Soloist: Martial Singher
Canticle of the Martyrs
(for baritone, chorus, organ, and orchestra).......Giannint
Soloist: Mr. Singher Mary AfcCall Stubbins, Organist
Concerto in D major for Violin and Orchestra, Op. 35 . . Tchaikovsky
Allegro moderato Canzonctta
Allegro vivacissimo
Michael Rabin
Sunday Evening, May 4, at 8:30
PROGRAM Overture to Egmont, Op. 84............Beethoven
Concerto No. 4 in G major, Op. 58, for Piano and Orchestra . Beethoven
Allegro moderato
Andante con moto Rondo: vivace
Glenn Gould intermission
"Quiet City" for Trumpet, English Horn, and Strings .... Copland
Samuel Krauss, Trumpet John Minsker, English Horn
?Pictures at an Exhibition............Moussorgsky
(arranged for orchestra by Maurice Ravel)
The Gnome
The Old Castle
Tuileries: Children Quarreling at Play
Bydlo--The Polish Oxcart
Ballet of Chicks in their Shells
Samuel Goldenberg and Schmuyle
Limoges: The Marketplace
The Catacombs
The Hut on Fowls' Legs
The Great Gate at Kiev
Columbia Records 10
Thursday Evening, May 1 "Credendum" ("Article of Faith")......Schuman
William Schuman was born in New York City, August 4, 1910.
In 1935, at the age of twenty-five, William Schuman was a musical nonentity. By 1938 he was recognized by leading critics and fellow musicians as one of America's most promising composers. Aaron Copland, writing in Modern Music, May, 1938, stated that "Schuman is, as far as I am concerned, the musical find of the year. There is nothing puny or miniature about this young man's talent . . . Schuman is a composer who is going places." By 1941 he had established himself as one of the outstanding American com?posers of our time. This meteoric rise is the more remarkable when it is realized that as a youth Schuman had shown no particular bent toward music. He played the violin indifferently at the age of eleven, formed a jazz band after graduation from high school, and in the ensuing years wrote many popular songs, collaborating at times with his friend, Frank Loesser, who later attained fame with "Baby, It's Cold Outside," "On a Slow Boat to China," "Praise the Lord and Pass the Ammunition," and Guys and Dolls. At the age of twenty, Schuman was not only unschooled in the grammar and technique of his art, he had in fact shown no interest whatever in serious music. It was on April 4, 1930, to be exact, that he decided upon music as a profession. On that date he heard the New York Philharmonic for the first time, left the concert determined to study music seriously, and abruptly with?drew from the New York School of Commerce, where he had been a student. His initial study was with Max Persin, at the Malkin Conservatory, and with Charles Haubiel. In 1935 he won a scholarship to study at the Salzburg Mozarteum, and the next year, upon his return to America, he became a dedicated student of Roy Harris, whose influence upon his musical and artistic growth continued for several years. By 1937 his second symphony (he had written his first while at Salzburg) was introduced to the public by Serge Koussevitsky and the Boston Symphony Orchestra, as was his third, for which he won the Music Critics' Circle award as the outstanding
American composer of the year 1941-42. With this work he reached full creative maturity, and since that time his name has been constantly before the public as a winner of awards and honors. Among them was the first Pulitzer Prize ever offered in music, which was conferred upon him for his cantata A Free Song (1942).
William Schuman, in addition to these notable achievements, was com?missioned by Billy Rose to write music for his Broadway show The Seven Lively Arts; has taught with distinction at Columbia University and Sarah Lawrence College; and since 1945 has been President of the Juilliard School of Music in New York, displaying unusual talent for administration--all activities which demonstrate his amazing versatility and the catholicity of his tastes.
As a composer he has been extremely prolific. Among his outstanding works are Four Canonic Choruses (1932); six symphonies (between 1935 and 1948); Pioneers, for eight-part chorus (1937); Choral Etude (1937); Prelude, for chorus of women's voices (1939); American Festival Overture (1939); This is Our Time, a secular cantata (1940); A Free Song, a secular cantata No. II (1942); Requiescat, for women's chorus (1942); Holiday Song, for chorus of mixed voices and piano (1942); Concerto for Piano and Small Orchestra (1942); Prayer in Time of War, for orchestra (1943); Te Deum, for the Coronation Scene of Shakespeare's Henry VIII, for mixed chorus (1947); Con?certo for Violin and Orchestra (1947, revised 1954); three ballets, Undertow (1945), Night Journey (Martha Graham, 1947), and Judith, a choreographic poem for orchestra (Martha Graham, 1949); a one-act opera, The Mighty Casey (1951-53); and numerous small pieces.
In his works he shows a strong leaning toward choral music, which he writes with telling effect. His style here, as elsewhere, is bold and uncompromising in its bitonality, polyharmony, involved contrapuntal textures, and complex structures. Leonard Bernstein notes his "buoyancy and energetic drive," his "vigor of propulsion" and "lust for life." Paul Rosenfeld writes of his "force, originally fixed and deadly, which is subject to a new incarnation and finally moves, joyously unified and with a gesture of embrace, out towards life"; and Alfred Frankenstein refers to his "enthusiasm" and the "lithe and aerated draftsmanship of his polyphony and the luminous quality of his orchestration which always glows but never glitters," "the sharp-edged boldness with which he sets forth his ideas," and "the verve and virtuosity and drive that goes the whole hog."
Credendum was the first orchestral work to be commissioned by the Federal Government. It was composed in the summer of 1955 for the United States National Commission of UNESCO and had its first performance on Novem?ber 4, 1955, at a special concert in honor of the Fifth National Conference of the Commission. For a later performance in Philadelphia (March 9, 1956) Mr. Schuman provided the following notes:
The privilege of executing this commission I have regarded as a singular honor. In Performed at the 1945 May Festival.
addition to the title I have given the work, it is tempting, indeed, to write of my convictions concerning the work of UNESCO and the role of government in the arts. But prose encomiums, unless they are on a higher level than I have any right to suppose I could reach, are not only anticlimactic but, in the specific instance at hand, would shed little enlightenment on the music itself. In the brief statement that follows, I have therefore limited myself to descriptive matter concerning Credendum.
The first movement, Declaration, is scored for wind instruments and percussion with the exception of occasional support from the string basses. As its title implies, the musical materials of this movement are "oratorical" in nature.
In the second movement, Chorale, the chorale melody is first heard in the string section of the orchestra where it is developed at some length. As the movement progresses, the chorale is stated by the brass instruments while the strings begin filagree of a contrasting nature. The music gains in intensity and the woodwinds join in the figurations set against the chorale. The movement ends quietly with references both to the chorale theme and the contrasting figurations.
The Finale opens with a scherzo-like material given to the strings, bassoons, and bass clarinet. The gradual development of this material leads to the establishment of characteristic figures. Against these figures a long melody emerges in the 'celli, joined as it continues its course by the first violins. These two melodic lines together with the figures set against them lead to a return of the opening section. As the music gains mo?mentum, a vigorous subject derived from the melody originally heard in the 'celli is announced and developed contrapuntally. A brief reference to music heard earlier in the movement leads ultimately to a return of the Chorale. In this movement, as in the first movement, percussion instruments have a prominent part and the timpani in particular have figures of thematic significance. The work ends with the music of the Declaration now paraphrased and leading to a peroration.
"Quelle Toie! Quel Bonheur" f . ? ,,..,
u j I j ) (from Die Entfunning aus
Avec de la tendress" S dem sJail . MozART
Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart was born January 27, 17S6, at Salzburg; died December 5, 1791, at Vienna.
Die Entjuhrung aus dem Serail was composed by Mozart in deference to a desire on the part of the Emperor Joseph to found a national German opera. The Grand Duke Paul of Russia was expected to visit Vienna in September, 1781, and Mozart was commissioned to have his opera ready for the festivities that were to take place on that occasion. It was already the last day of July when the composer received his text from the librettist Stephanie, inspector of the Vienna opera.
"Yesterday, young Stephanie gave me a book for composition," Mozart wrote to his father on August 1. "It is very good, the subject is Turkish, and it is called Belmonte und Konstanze or Die Verfuhrung aus dem Serail . . . The time is short, certainly, for it is to be performed in the middle of Sep?tember, but the attendant circumstances will be all the more favorable. And indeed, everything combines to raise my spirits, so that I hasten to my writing table with the greatest eagerness, and it is with difficulty that I tear myself away."
The first act was finished August 22, but at the beginning of the following
?Emily Anderson, The Letters of Mozart and Hit Family (London: Macmillan and Co.. Ltd., 1938), III, 1123-24.
month, word was received that the Grand Duke would not visit Vienna until November. When he did arrive, Mozart's opera was put aside to make room for productions of Gluck's Alceste and Iphigenia. Discouraged, Mozart made no attempt to finish his opera, and when the Duke appeared on the scene, it was still unfinished and remained so until the spring of the following year.
The Viennese court was at this time dominated by Italian influences. In spite of his nationalistic intentions, Joseph really preferred Italian music to that of any other nation, and the principal positions in his court were held by musicians who came to Vienna from the south. Yet Joseph II perceived, even if he did not fully understand, the astonishing genius of Mozart. The Italian musicians perceived that genius too, and placed every impediment in the path of its exploitation. It required the express command of the Emperor to overcome the cabals of Salieri and his followers and to bring Die Entjiihrung to its just performance, July 16, 1782.
The results were beyond all expectations. The house was crammed full, there was no end of applause and cheering and performances followed one another in quick succession. A second performance was given three days later. "Can you believe it," wrote the composer to his father, "that the opposition was even stronger than on the first evening. The whole first act was drowned, but they could not prevent the bravos after every song." In this letter Mozart records the fact that "the theater was almost more crowded than on the first. The day before not a seat was to be had."f The general verdict was overwhelmingly in favor of Mozart and was a justification of the Emperor's hopes of founding a German opera. Yet the imperial amateur was not quite sure that his hopes had been realized. "Too fine for our ears, and an immense number of notes, my dear Mozart," he said to the composer. Mozart's reply was worthy of an artist--"Just as many notes, your Majesty, as are necessary." From Vienna the fame of the new work traveled with great speed. It was given at Prague and Leipzig in 1783, and in Mannheim, Cassel, and on numerous other stages with enormous success.
Die Entjiihrung caught the public fancy, because German sentiment, emotion, and disposition found expression for the first time at the hands of an artist. Mozart had in truth established German opera.
"I think I may venture to lay down," said von Weber, "that in the Entjiihrung Mozart's artist experience came to maturity, and that his exper?ience of the world alone was to lead him to further efforts. The world might look for several operas from him like Figaro and Don Juan, but with the best will possible he could only write one Entjiihrung. I seem to perceive in it what the happy years of youth are to every man; their bloom never returns, and the extirpation of their defects carries with it some charms which can never be recovered."
The date given by Otto Jahn is July 12. Antonio Salieri (1750-1825) was the favorite composer of Joseph II. Many of his operas--there were some forty of them--were greatly admired by the Viennese public as well as by the Emperor. Salieri, who was the teacher of a number of composers who later became distinguished, taught Beethoven and Schubert.
t Anderson, op. cit., p. 1204.
t Otto Jahn, Lilt oj Mozart, trans, by Pauline D. Townsend (London: Novello, Ewer & Co., 1882), III, 248.
The story of the opera is concerned with the love of Constance and Belmont. The former, together with her maid Blondchen (Blonda), and Pedrillo, the servant of Belmont, are captured by corsairs and sold as slaves to the Turkish pasha, Selim, who takes Constance for himself and gives Blondchen to his overseer, Osmin. Pedrillo, who is ordered to work in the garden, contrives to send news of their misfortunes to his master. Meanwhile, the pasha seeks vainly to gain the affections of his captive, whose fidelity to Belmont is not to be shaken. Disguised as an artist, Belmont enters the pasha's villa, and he, together with his companions, endeavors to escape from the seraglio. All four are recaptured and brought before the pasha. Constance boldly explains that Belmont is her lover, and that she will die with him rather than leave him. Selim, overcome by emotion, retires to consider what is to be done, and the prisoners prepare for death. The pasha, touched, however, by such con?stancy, gives them their freedom, and, providing them with the means of return to their own country, asks only their friendship as reward.
"Quelle Joie! Quel Bonheur" is the first act aria sung by Constance in which she expresses her grief at being parted from Belmont, her lover:
How enchanting, how enraptured were the days now past when I promised my beloved to be his forever. Suddenly all is lost. Joy has turned to bitter woe, grief is all my heart can know.
"La Tendress" is sung by Blondchen at the beginning of Act II. In it she rebukes Osmin, the pasha's attendant, for his rude wooing.
A free translation and condensation of the aria, which, like the first, is being sung in French in this performance, follows:
When courtship is beginning, tenderness and kindness will win a gentle maiden. Love cannot prosper on rudeness, vexing, and chiding.
Lo! Here the Gentle Lark..........Bishop
Sir Henry Rowley Bishop was born in London, November 18, 1786; died there April 30, 18S5.
Throughout his honorable career, Bishop was a composer and director of Covent Garden (1810); an original member of the Philharmonic Society estab?lished in 1813; Director of Music at King's Theater, Haymarket (1816); musical director at Vauxhall (1830); and finally in 1848 was appointed to a chair of music at Oxford.
This charming, inconsequential little song reflects not only the personal taste and refinement of the composer, but also the respectable mediocrity of his time. For his distinguished service to music just before and during the reign of Queen Victoria (his last work, "The Fortunate Isles," was written to celebrate her wedding), he was knighted in 1842. If, since then, he has not received the highest award in immortality, his name at least will be kept alive through the frequent warblings by coloratura sopranos of such trifles as "Love Has Eyes," "Echo Song," "My Pretty Mocking Bird," and "Lo! Here the Gentle Lark."
MAY FESTIVAL PROGRAM Le Rossignol.............Stravinsky
Igor Stravinsky was born at Oranien-baum near St. Petersburg, June 17, 1882.
In 1909, the Moscow Free Theater commissioned Stravinsky to write an opera. With the aid of Stephen Mitousoff, he began to prepare a libretto on the fairy-tale story of The Nightingale. The prospect was not completed, for just as Stravinsky had finished the first act, he was asked by Diaghilev to prepare a score for his proposed ballet The Firebird. Incidentally, the Moscow Free Theater ran out of funds at the same time. It was not until the fall of 1913 that he again took up the work at the renewed request of the Theater. It was completed in the spring of 1914. Because his style had so radically changed between 1909 and 1913, Stravinsky was reticent about undertaking the work again and wrote:
I hesitated. Only the Prologue--that is to say, Act I--was in existence. It had been written four years earlier, and my language had been appreciably modified since then. I feared that in view of my new manner the subsequent scenes would clash with the Pro?logue. I informed the directors of the Free Theater of my misgivings, and suggested that they should be content with the Prologue alone, presenting it as an independent lyrical scene. But they insisted upon the entire opera in three acts, and ended by persuading me.
As there is no action until the second act, I told myself that it would not be unreasonable if the music of the Prologue bore a somewhat different character from that of the rest. And, indeed, the forest with its nightingale, the pure soul of the child who falls in love with its song ... all this gentle poetry of Hans Andersen's could not be expressed in the same way as the baroque luxury of the Chinese Court, with its bizarre etiquette, its palace fetes, its thousands of little bells and lanterns, and the grotesque humming of the mechanical Japanese nightingale ... in short, all this exotic fantasy obviously de?manded a different musical idiom.
The aria heard on tonight's program occurs at the beginning of Act I. The scene is at night on the edge of a forest by the ocean shore. A fisherman is in his boat (the singing is done off stage while the action is mimed by a mute actor). He sings of the pale moon, of the morning light about to break, of the murmuring waves, and of the nightingale he waits nightly to hear. "O come, pure voice, and fill the night with your sweet song," he sings. At this moment the voice of the nightingale is heard (sung by a voice in the orchestra):
Ah! Ah! Ah!
From the sky a star
In diamond dew fell scattered,
Fell on the garden roses,
Fell in diamond dew, the gardens of the palace,
The gardens of the rose.
Ah, do you hear my voice
Oh roses, do you hear
Your heads bowed low with glittering dew,
Bowed down with diamond dew
Oh weep your diamond tears,
In diamond tears your weeping.
Ah, Ah! ... t
Quoted by permission of Boosey & Hawkes, Inc., from English translation of the libretto, t English translation by Robert Craft for Boosey & Hawkes, Inc.
FIRST CONCERT Vocalise .............Rachmaninoff
Sergei Rachmaninoff was born in Novgorod, April 2, 1873; died in Beverly Hills, California, March 28, 1943.
A "vocalise" in its generic meaning is a wordless technical exercise for the voice. It has in our day acquired a derogatory connotation, identified as it has been with a vocal pedagogy no longer respected or with passages that in scores of the "golden age of singing" quite frankly were meant to display vocal pyro?technics for their own sake. To consider the human voice purely as an instru?ment, and to use it thus, has in our time fallen into disrepute. In this essentially instrumental age of ours, on the other hand, one seldom if ever meets a com?parable scorn vented on the numerous cadenzas that intrude upon violin and piano concertos, where without support from an accompanying orchestra, the performer glories in the potentialities of his instrument and in his own technical mastery of it.
The fact is that the absence of words in vocal music enables the singer to use his voice in a manner not possible with the variety of word sounds, that in many instances conspire against the emission of pure vocal tone.
Throughout the history of music, composers have recognized this fact. From the time of the vocal melismas in Gregorian chant, the textless tenor parts of the thirteenth-century motets, and many of the extended passages of the bal?lades and madrigals of the fourteenth century, to a considerable literature of the sixteenth century, the publications of which were often inscribed with the words de cantare a sonare (to be sung or played), wordless song has soared above the mundane meaning of words. Bach and Handel scores are full of such wordless vocalizations that often take flight and thrill us with, as Richard Wagner once wrote, "the nameless joy of a paradise regained."
In recent history, composers have failed to thus utilize the human voice with any telling effect. Exceptions may be noted, however, in Debussy's '"Sirens," Medtner's "Sonata-vocalise," Op. 41z, and "Suite-vocalise," Op. Alb. Ravel's "Vocalise en forme d'habanera," and Aaron Copland's more recent "Vocalise" --all stunning revivals of an old and still effective practice.
In 1912 Rachmaninoff composed a series of fourteen songs with piano accom?paniment (Op. 34). Upon the last of these, a wordless song to be sung on the vowel "ah," he lavished a hauntingly beautiful melody. In its expressive power it equals or surpasses anything that could be made more specific in meaning by the addition of a text. This wordless melody is as profound and poignant in its significance as any specific emotion that the addition of words might possibly evoke.
"Bell Song" from Lakme..........Delibes
Clement Delibes was born February 21, 1836, at St. Germain-du-Yal; died January 16, 1S91, at Paris.
Delibes' early training was under the direction of the leading masters of the Paris Conservatoire, which he entered in 1S4S. In 1853, he was associated with
the Theatre Lyrique, and officiated as organist at the Church of St. Jean et St. Francois. Between 1855 and 1866 he evolved into a master of his craft. His greatest opera, Lakme, was produced in Paris in 1883, but before that he had written some intriguing ballets, which still retain their popularity.
The libretto of Lakme, written by Edward Condinet and Philippe Gille, was taken from a story, "Le Mariage de Loti," which appeared in the Nouvelle Revue in the 'eighties. An opera, however, Das Sonnenjest der Brahminen, given by Marinelli in 1780, traverses the same ground with a similarity of detail that indicates it as the source of the above-mentioned story.
The all too familiar aria on tonight's program takes place at the beginning of Act II. Nilakantha, a Brahman priest, who hates the English invaders and resents their presence in India, is disguised as a beggar to discover who had ventured on the sacred ground near his temple and had spoken to his daughter, Lakme. Lakme is with him and is wearing the dress of a dancing girl. He orders her to sing, hoping that the Englishman will recognize her voice and betray himself.
The following is a free translation and condensation of the aria:
A lovely pariah maiden roams in the woods amid the tender-leaved mimosas, spread in the pale moonlight. Over the forest moss she flies, past the gleaming laurels, dreaming of fairyland, and laughing at the night. Within the deep and somber forest a youth has lost his way, and from the shadows wild beasts spring out upon him. The maiden flies to shield the stricken youth. And on her wand, the silver bells resound and wield a charm. In wonder they look at each other and he whispers, "Be blest and calm, I am Vishnu, the son of Brahm." And since that day is sometimes heard, stirred by a light low breeze, the silver bells, where came a charming maiden once amid the tender-leaved mimosas.
Symphony in D minor...........Franck
Cesar Franck was born December 10, 1822, at Liege; died November 8, 1890, at Paris.
Dr. A. A. Stanley, in the Libretto for the Twenty-first May Festival, wrote thus of Cesar Franck:
To be "in the world, yet not of the world," is an aspiration worthy of the highest manhood, but few there are, in any walk of life, who attain it. The record of Cesar Franck's life must, however, be read in the light of all that is implied in this ideal and his ever-increasing influence can only thus be understood. He was a great teacher because of his singularly pure and noble character and his lovable disposition, as well as by virtue of an undoubted mastery of his art. His character inspired all who came under his instruction to better living; his lovable traits bound his students firmly to him, while his example and precept tended to enforce the end of technical mastery rather than the means, as such. His excessive modesty prevented him from asserting himself or demanding his rights, and his unobtrusiveness blinded many of his contemporaries to his real greatness. He was looked down upon and snubbed by his colleagues in the Conservatoire--most of whom were his inferiors--and was obliged to submit to insults which he resented but never paid in kind. But his pupils loved him and were loyal, because he gave them unreservedly of himself. Many of them have risen to distinction--Chausson, d'Indy, Duparc, etc. His own work was accomplished by giving up to composition hours stolen from sleep, and after the wearisome labor of the day--especially wearisome because he was obliged to eke out his livelihood by giving lessons to amateurs and to the young misses who strummed pianos in Parisian boarding schools. He was, therefore, one of those who reached the heights
through the valley of tribulation. That he did reach great heights is shown by two works --"The Beatitudes," the finest oratorio that stands to the credit of France, and the sym?phony on our program.
Franck was fervently religious and emotional, and the mysticism of his nature and his music has often caused a comparison between him and his countryman, Maurice Maeterlinck. His most eminent pupil and disciple, Vin?cent d'Indy, wrote of him: "The foundation of his character was gentleness: calm and serene goodness. He had high ideals and lived up to them. He never sought honors or distinctions, but worked hard and long to give of the best that was in him." Of the D-minor symphony he says: "Franck's symphony is a continual ascent toward pure gladness and life-giving light because its workmanship is solid and its themes are manifestations of ideal beauty. What is there more joyous, more sanely vital, than the principal subject of the Finale, around which all the other themes in the work cluster and crystallize All is dominated by that motive which M. Ropartz has justly called 'the theme of faith.'"f
The symphony was first performed at the Paris Conservatoire on February 17, 1889, and falling upon unresponsive ears did not achieve a succes d'estime. In his Life of Char Franck, d'Indy gives some interesting facts indicative of the musical taste in the French capital at that time:
The performance was quite against the wish of most members of the famous Sociite des Concerts du Conservatoire [the Paris National Conservatory Orchestra], and was only pushed through thanks to the benevolent obstinacy of the conductor, Jules Garcjn. The subscribers could make neither head nor tail of it, and musical authorities were much in the same position. I inquired of one of them--a professor at the Conservatoire and a kind of factotum on the committee--what he thought of the work. "That, a symphony" he replied in a contemptuous tone. "But, my dear sir, who ever heard of writing for the English horn in a symphony Just mention a single symphony by Haydn or Beethoven introducing the English horn. There--well, you see, your Franck's music may be whatever you please, but it will never be a symphony!" This was the attitude of the Conservatoire in the year of grace 1889. At another door of the concert hall, the composer of "Faust," escorted by a train of adulators, male and female, fulminated a kind of papal decree to the effect that this symphony was the affirmation of "incompetency pushed to dogmatic lengths." t
Franck, himself, on his return home after the concert, replied with beaming countenance to the eager questioning of his family, thinking only of his work, "Oh, it sounded well; just as I thought it would."
This analysis of the D-minor Symphony is based, in a measure, on a synopsis prepared by Cesar Franck himself for the first performance at the Paris Con?servatoire concert and was rewritten, as it appears here, by Philip Hale in the Boston Symphony Program Notes:
I. Lento, D minor, 4-4. There is first a slow and somber introduction, which begins with the characteristic figure, the thesis of the first theme of the movement (violoncellos and basses). This phrase is developed for some thirty measures, and leads into the Allegro, or first movement proper, Allegro non troppo, D minor, 2-2. The theme is given out by all
Vincent D'Indy, Char Franck, trans, by Rosa Newmarch (New York: John Lane Company, 1910), p. 66. t Ibid., pp. 172-73. t Ibid., pp. 54-55.
the strings and developed with a new antithesis. Mr. Apthorp remarked in his analysis of this symphony: "It is noticeable that, whenever this theme comes in slow tempo, it has a different antithesis from when it comes in rapid tempo. The characteristic figure (thesis) reminds one a little, especially by its rhythm and general rise and fall, of the 'Muss es sein' (Must it be) theme in Beethoven's last quartet, in F major." There is a short development, and the opening slow passage returns, now in F minor, which leads to a resumption of the Allegro non troppo, now also in F minor. This leads to the appearance of the second theme, molto cantabile, F major, for the strings, which in turn is followed by a third theme of a highly energetic nature, which is much used in the ensuing develop?ment, and also reappears in the Finale. The free fantasia is long and elaborate. Then there is a return of the theme of the introduction which is now given out fortissimo and in canonic imitation between the bass (trombones, tuba, and basses) and a middle voice (trumpets and cornets) against full harmony in the rest of the orchestra. The theme of the Allegro non troppo is resumed, and leads to the end of the first movement.
II. Allegretto, B-flat minor, 3-4. The movement begins with pizzicato chords for the string orchestra and harp. The theme, of a gentle and melancholy nature, is sung by the English horn. The first period is completed by clarinet, horn, and flute. The violins then announce the second theme, dolce cantabile, in B-flat major. The English horn and other wind instruments take up fragments of the first motive, in B-flat minor. Now comes a new part, which the composer himself characterizes as a scherzo. The theme, of lively nature, but pianissimo, is given to the first violins. Clarinets intone a theme against the restless figuration of the violins, and this is developed with various modulations until the opening theme returns, first in G minor, then in C minor. Then the whole opening section, announced by the English horn, is combined with the chief theme of the scherzo, given to the violins.
III. Finale: Allegro non troppo, 2-2. After a few energetic introductory measures, the chief theme appears, dolce cantabile, in violoncellos and bassoons. After the first period of nearly sixty measures, a phrase in B major, announced by the brass, is answered by the strings. A more somber motive follows in violoncellos and basses. The opening theme of the second movement now reappears (English horn), accompanied by a figure in triplets. The composer gives this description of the remainder of the movement: Development of the themes of the Finale. A marked retard in tempo. A fragment of the opening theme of the second movement alternates with a fragment of the somber third theme of the Finale. Resumption of the original tempo, with a great crescendo, which ends in a climax, --the restatement of the opening D-major theme with all possible sonority. The chief theme of the second movement returns, also with great sonority. The volume of tone subsides, and the third theme of the first movement reappears. This leads to a coda, constructed from the chief themes of the first movement in conjunction with the opening theme of the Finale.
Friday Evening, May 2
Samson and Delilah..........Saint-Saens
(Charles) Camille Saint-Saens was born in Paris, Octo?ber 9, 183S; died in Algiers, December 16, 1921.
No other composer played so great a part in the formation of the modern French school of symphonic writing as Camille Saint-Saens; in the field of music in which France was weakest, he served her best. A thorough master of every technical detail of his art, he brought to everything he wrote a mas?tery of musical means and a skillful technical manipulation. Endowed with a prodigious facility for production and a tremendous talent for the assimilation of musical thought, he was fabulously prolific and equally successful in every department of musical activity. He became a mercurial composer, an inde?fatigable teacher, a skillful pianist, a brilliant conductor--in which office he was active until after his eightieth year--an excellent organist, an incomparable improvisor, and, besides distinguishing himself as a critic and editor, he was also a recognized poet, a dramatist, and a scientist of sorts. Nature had en?dowed him not only with a great intellect and talent, but also with a tremen?dous energy and inexhaustible capacity for work. There was hardly a branch of musical art he left untouched: piano and organ music, symphonies, sym?phonic poems, every variety of chamber music, cantatas, oratorios, masses, operas, songs, choral works, incidental music, operettas, ballets, transcriptions, and arrangements he wrote with equal ease and sureness. With a prodigious versatility he roamed the world in his imagination for inspiration, creating Breton and Auvergnian rhapsodies, Russian songs, Algerian suites, Portuguese barcarolles, Danish, Russian, and Arabian caprices, souvenirs of Italy, African fantasias, and Egyptian concertos. In the same manner he projected himself back into the ages past and wrote Greek tragedies, Biblical operas, pavans of the sixteenth century, minuets of the seventeenth, and preludes and fugues in the style of Bach. There was no composer he could not imitate with amazing perfection of style. "He could write at will a work in the style of Rossini, or Verdi or Schumann or of Wagner," wrote his fellow countryman and composer, Gounod, who never lost an opportunity of expressing his admiration for his friend's wonderful gifts. And this remarkable capacity for assimilation often moved him to write in the styles of other composers as far removed from each other in spirit as Handel and Berlioz, or Charpentier and William Byrd.
But this amazing versatility was the source of his great weakness; his eclec?ticism caused him to become much less a personality than an impersonality, and if the personal style is that which preserves works of art against time, then there is explanation enough for the fact that only a small proportion of his huge output survives today. He avowed himself an eclectic in dramatic style, with the inevitable result of stagnation as far as genuine dramatic ad?vance was concerned. He gave in this art, not himself, but a rather colorless
and spiritless simulacrum of the masters of the past. He knew all styles, but he knew them superficially and only externally. Lacking in genuine warmth of temperament, in imagination, perception, or genuine depth of sentiment, he made up in part for these major defects by the unquestionable power of his intuitive faculty, his natural charm of expression at all times, and his dexterous control of the technical elements of his art.
His works, however, are the product of an epoch in transition, and although not always intrinsic in value, they form so mountainous a bulk that the eye of the musical world turned perforce to France, at a period when she was poor in true musicians; they represented something which was unique in French music of the period--a great classical spirit and a fine breadth of musical culture. His personal tragedy was that although he wrote so much, he added not an iota to the further progress of music.
Jean Aubry has made the most just estimate of Saint-Saens as an artist:
It would be idle to deny his merits and to look with indifference upon his works, but none of them really forms a part of our emotional life or satisfies the needs of our minds completely. They already appear as respectable and necessary documents in musical history, but not as the living emanations of genius which will retain their vitality in spite of the passing of time and fashions.
"How tremendously great and powerful must a musical masterpiece be to stand the test of time," wrote Olin Downes with pointed inference in his review of the revival of Samson and Delilah in New York in 1936. Composed and first performed in the 187O's, Samson and Delilah was then an indication of a new and rising genius in the Lyric Theater, dangerously on the left wing, and a signal for a sensational controversy over "dangerous Wagnerianism"; it was definitely a part of the "Music of the Future." In 1958 it is as definitely a relic from the past. Time has diluted its novelty and faded its one-time bril?liant color. Today it is a score in which everything can be found from poor old defenseless Bach to Wagner--and a very anemic Wagner at that. Gounod, Berlioz, and Meyerbeer come in for their share also, in this score so full of derivative passages.
Begun as an oratorio and transformed into an opera at the suggestion and urging of Franz Liszt, Samson today does better by itself in the static state of an oratorio as Saint-Saens first intended it. Vacillating as it does between oratorio and operatic style, the operatic moments seem too few and too pale. When heard as an oratorio, as on tonight's program, the choruses take on a Handelian grandeur, and many parts of the score, which on the stage are ineffective, become mildly impassioned and effectual. But for the most part, the score that amazed the audiences of the 187O's seems today a very seamy tonal fabric indeed. The story might still be considered good operatic stuff, but for our age it needs another Alban Berg to bring to it real musical life.
The following sketch of Samson and Delilah is translated from Les Annales du Theatre et de la Musique, by Noel and Stouling:
The prelude is singular. There is a darting phrase which is developed, and mingled Jean Aubry, Chesterian (London, January, 1922).
with this phrase is a chorus of Hebrews, sung behind the curtain. The lamenting captives ask deliverance of God. The fugal form of the number, which continues until the rise of the curtain, indicates at once the severe and classic nature of the work. Samson arouses the courage of his companions and prepares the revolt which the insolence of Abimelech brings to a head. Samson kills the Satrap of Gaza. The High Priest of Dagon then descends, attended, from the temple, and curses Samson, followed by the return of the triumphant Hebrews in one of the most ingenious numbers of the opera. There is a chorus of basses, to which liturgic color and rhythm give astonishing breadth. This also emphasizes more strongly the fresh chorus of the women of Philistia, "Now Spring's generous hand." This charming phrase will be found again in the temple scene, the last tableau and in the melodic design of the great duet of the second act, but, ironically, in the orchestra, while Delilah insults the blinded hero. The Dance of the Priestesses of Dagon, which follows the chorus is of delightful inspiration and prepares effectively for the grandeur of the drama which follows. Delilah looks earnestly at Samson and sings to him. Samson listens, not heeding the old man near him who says, "The powers of hell have created this woman, fair to the eye, to disturb thy repose."
The second act is in the valley of Sorek. Delilah's house is nearby. Night is coming on. Delilah sings a passionate appeal to the god of Love, invoking his aid. Then follows her duet with the High Priest, who, deceived by the feigned love of Delilah, begs her to deliver Samson to him. Delilah then reveals her real hatred in a dramatic outburst. The duet of Samson and Delilah is, as one knows, the outstanding number of the opera. It is impossible to paint better the hesitation of Samson, as he stands between love and religious faith. The orchestral storm hastens the actions on the stage and when the elemental fury is at its height, Delilah enters her dwelling. Samson follows her and the curtain falls on the appearance of the Philistines to master their foe.
The first tableau of the third act is a lament of remarkable intensity. Samson in prison, blinded and in chains, mourns his fate, and the chorus of Hebrews reproach him in despair. The style here is of the oratorio rather than the opera. An exquisite chorus follows, "Dawn now on the hilltops," which brings to mind the chorus of the Philistines in the first act. There follows a ballet. From this moment to the fall of the curtain, the orchestra has a hurried motive which is heard with rhythmic effect in the evolutions of the sacred dance and gives to the measure the bitter mockings of Delilah amid the sacrificial ceremonies, and constantly growing faster and more impetuous, accentuates the movement of the final chorus. The motive is feverish and mystical; its rapid pulsations giving the idea of the maddening rites and religious madness of the Philistines at the shrine of Dagon. (The ballet is cut in two by a phrase of great breadth, sustained by arpeggios of the harp.) After the irony of Delilah, Samson once again invokes the aid of the Lord. There are two sonorous and contrasting choruses for the Philistines and the Hebrews whereupon the curtain falls as Samson pulls down the pillars of the temple amid their shrieks and cries.
ACT I--Scene I
Public place in the city of Gaza in Palestine. At left, the portal of the temple of Dagon. At the rising of the curtain a throng of Hebrews, men and women, are seen col?lected in the open space, in attitudes of grief and prayer. Samson is among them.
God! Israel's God!
To our petition hearken! Thy children save I As they kneel in despair Heed Thou their prayer,
While o'er them sorrows darken!
0 let Thy wrath
Give place to loving care!
(Emerging from the throng at right) Pause and stand,
O my brothers, And bless the holy name
Of the God of our fathers! Your pardon is at hand,
And your chains shall be broken!
1 have heard in my heart
Words of hope softly spoken:-Tis the voice of the Lord That through His servant speaketh;
He doth His grace afford: Your lasting good He seeketh;
Your throne shall be restored! Brothers! now break your fetters!
Our altar let us raise
To the God whom we praise!
Alas! vain words he utters,
Freedom can ne'er be ours! Of arms our foes bereft us;
How use our feeble powers Only tears are left us!
Is your God not on high
Hath He not sworn to save you He is still your ally
By the name that He gave you! Twas for you alone
That He spake through His thunders! His glory He hath shown
To you by mighty wonders! He led you through the Red Sea
By miraculous ways, When our fathers did flee
From a shameful oppression!
Past are those glorious days,
God hath avenged our transgression; In His wrath He delays,
Nor hears our intercession.
Wretched souk! hold your peace!
Doubt not the God above you! Fall down upon your knees!
Pray to him who doth love you! Behold His mighty hand,
The safeguard of our nation! With dauntless valor stand
In hope of our salvation! God the Lord speeds the right;
God the Lord never faileth! He fills our arms with might,
And our prayer now prevaileth!
Lo! the Spirit of the Lord
Upon his soul hath rested! Come! our courage is restored;
Let now his way be tested! We will march at his side;
Deliverance shall attend us,
For the Lord is our guide, And His arm shall defend us 1
Scene II
The same. Abimelech, satrap of Gaza, enters at left, followed by a throng of warriors and soldiers of the Philistines.
Who dares to raise the voice of pride
Do these slaves revile their masters Who oft in vain our strength have tried,
Would they now incur new disasters Conceal your despair
And your tears!
Our patience will hold out no longer; You have found that we are the stronger; In vain your prayer;
We mock your fears:
Your God, whom you implore with
anguish, Remaineth deaf to your call;
He lets you still in bondage languish, On you His heavy judgments fall! If He from us desires to save you,
Now let Him show His power divine, And shatter the chains your conquerors gave you!
Let the sun of freedom shine! Do you hope in insolent daring
Our God unto yours will yield, Jehovah with Dagon comparing,
Who for us winneth the field Nay, your timid God fears and trembles
When Dagon before Him is seen; He the plaintive dove resembles;
Dagon the vulture bold and keen.
(Inspired) O God, it is Thou he blasphemeth!
Let Thy wrath on his head descend, Lord of hosts!
His power hath an end. On high like lightning gleameth
The sword sparkling with fire; From the sky swiftly streameth
The host burning with ire:-Yea! all the heavenly legions
In their mighty array Sweep over boundless regions,
And strike the foe with dismay. At last cometh the hour
When God's fierce fire shall fall: Its terrible power
And His thunder appall.
Lord, before Thy displeasure
Helpless the earth shall quake; Thy wrath will know no measure
When vengeance Thou shalt take!
Give o'er, rashly blind! Cease thy railing! Wake not Dagon's ire, death entailing!
Israel! break your chain!
Arise! display your might! Their idle threats disdain!
See, the day follows night!
Jehovah, God of light,
Hear our prayer as of yore,
And for Thy people fight!
Let the right Win once more!
Thou the tempest unchainest;
Thy storms Thy word obey; The vast sea Thou restrainest;
Be our shield, Lord today!
Israel, break your chain! etc. Israel! now arise 1
(Abimelech springs at Samson, sword in hand, to strike him. Samson wrenches the sword away and strikes him. Abimelech falls, crying "Help!" The Philistines ac?companying the satrap would gladly aid him, but Samson, brandishing the sword, keeps them at a distance. He occupies the right of stage; the greatest confusion reigns. Samson and the Hebrews exeunt right. The gates of Dagon's temple open; the High Priest, followed by a throng of attendants and guards, descends the steps of the portico; he pauses before Abime-lech's dead body. The Philistines respect?fully draw back before him.)
Scene III
The same. The High Priest, Attendants, Guards.
What see I
Abimelech by slaves struck down and
dying! 0 let them not escape!
To arms! Pursue the flying! Wreak vengeance on your foes
For the prince they have slain!
Strike down beneath your blows
These slaves who flee in vain! Curse you and your nation forever,
Children of Israel! I fain your race from earth would sever,
And leave no trace to tell! Curse him, too, their leader! I hate him!
Him will I stamp 'neath my feet! A cruel doom must now wait him;
He shall die when we meet! Curse her, too, the mother who bore him,
and all his hateful race I May she who faithful love once swore him
Prove heartless, false, and base! Cursed be the God of his nation,
That God his only trust; His temple shake from its foundation,
His altar fall to dust!
In spite of brave professions, To yonder mountains fly;
When we were slaves, He came our chains to sever,
Leave our homes, our possessions, Our God, or else we die.
(Exeunt, left, bearing Abimelech's dead body. Just as the Philistines leave the stage, followed by the High Priest, the Hebrews, Old Men, and Children enter right. It is broad daylight.)
Scene V
The Hebrew Women and Old Men; then Samson and the victorious Hebrews.
Praise ye Jehovah! Tell all the wondrous
Psalms of praise loudly swell! God is the Lord! In His power and His
glory He hath saved Israel!
God is the Lord! In His power and His
glory He hath saved Israel!
Scene VI
Samson, Delilah, the Philistines, the Hebrew Old Men. The gates of Dagon's tempi open. Delilah enters, followed by Philistine Women holding garlands of flowers 6 their hands.
Now Spring's generous hand
Brings flowers to the land;
Be they worn as crowns By the conquering band!
With light, gladsome voices, "Mid glowing roses,
While all rejoices, Sing, sisters, love Like birds above!
(Addressing Samson) 1 come with a song for the splendor
Of my love who won in the fray!
I belong unto him for aye. Heart as well as hand I surrender I Come, my dearest one, follow me To Sorek, the fairest of valleys, Where, murmuring, the cool streamlet
dallies! Delilah there will comfort thee.
0 God! who beholdest my trial, Thy strength to Thy servant impart.
Close fast mine eyes, make firm my heart, Support me in stern self-denial I
My comely brow for thee I bind With clusters of cool, curling cresses,
And Sharon's roses sweet are twined Amid my long tresses.
Oh, turn away, my son, and go not there!
Avoid this stranger's seductive devices;
Heed not her voice, though softly it
entices; Of the serpent's deadly fang beware!
Hide from my sight her beauty rare, Whose magic spell with right alarms me! Oh, quench those eyes whose brightness charms me
And fills my heart with love's despair!
Sweet is the lily's perfumed breath;
Sweeter far are my warm caresses;
There awaits thee, Love, joy that blesses And all that bliss awakeneth!
Open thine arms, my brave defender! Let me fly to thy sheltering breast; There on thy heart I will sweetly rest,
Filling my soul with rapture tender, Come, O come!
O thou flame that my heart oppresses, Burning anew at this hour, Before my God, before my God, give o'er thy power!
Lord, pity him who his weakness confesses!
Accursed art thou if 'neath her charm
thou fallest, If to her voice, if to her honeyed voice,
thou givest heed! Ah! then thy tears are vain, in vain thou
callest On Heaven to save thee from the fruits
of thy deed!
(The young girls accompanying Delilah dance, wearing the garlands of flowers which they hold in their hands, and seem to be trying to entice the Hebrew war?riors who follow Samson. The latter, deeply agitated, tries vainly to avoid De?lilah's glances, but his eyes, in spite of all his efforts, follow her.)
The Spring with her dower Of bird and of flower
Brings hope in her train; Her scant laden pinions From Love's wide dominions
Drive sorrow and pain. Our hearts thrill with gladness, For Spring's mystic madness
Thrills through all the earth. To fields doth she render Their grace and their splendor--
Joy and gentle mirth. In vain I adorn me
With blossoms and charms! My false love doth scorn me
And flees from my arms! But hope still caresses
My desolate heart-Past delight yet blesses!
Love will not depart! (Addressing Samson, with her face bent
upon him.)
When night comes, star-laden, Like a sad, lonely maiden, I'll sit by the stream, And mourning, I'll dream. My heart I'll surrender
If he come today, And still be as tender As when Love's first splendor
Made me rich and gay:-So I'll wait him alway.
The powers of hell have created this woman,
Fair to the eye, to disturb thy repose; Turn from her glance, fraught with fire
not human;
Her love is a poison that brings count?less woes!
My heart 111 surrender If he come today,
And still be as tender
As when Love's first splendor Made me rich and gay:-So I'll wait him alway!
(Delilah, still singing, again goes to the steps of the portico and casts her enticing glances at Samson, who seems wrought upon by their spell. He hesitates, strug?gles, and betrays the trouble of his soul.)
ACT II--Scene I
The stage represents the valley of Sorek in Palestine. At left, Delilah's dwelling, which has a graceful portico and is sur?rounded with Asiatic plants and luxuriant tropical creepers. At the rising of the cur?tain, night is coming on, and becomes complete during the course of the action. (Delilah is more richly appareled than in the first act. At the rising of the curtain, she is discovered seated on a rock near the portico of her house, and seems to be in a dreamy mood.)
(Alone) Tonight Samson makes his obeisance,
This eve at my feet he will lie 1 Now the hour of my vengeance hastens--
Our Gods I shall soon glorify!
0 Love! of thy might let me borrow! Pour thy poison through Samson's heart!
Let him be bound before the morrow--
A captive to my matchless art! In his soul he no longer would cherish
The passion he wishes were dead; Can a flame like that ever perish,
Evermore by remembrance fed He rests my slave; his feats belie him;
My brothers fear with vain alarms;
1 only of all--I defy him.
I hold him fast within my arms! O Love! of thy might let me borrow!
Pour thy poison through Samson's heart! Let him be bound before the morrow--
A captive to my matchless art! When Love contends, strength ever faileth!
E'en he, the strongest of the strong, Through whom in war his tribe prevaileth,
Against me shall not battle long!
(Distant flashes of lightning.)
Scene II Delilah; the High Priest of Dagon
I have climbed o'er the cheerless
Mountain-peaks to thy side; 'Mid dangers I was fearless;
Dagon served as my guide!
I greet you, worthy master; A welcome face you show, Honored e'er as priest and pastor!
Our disaster you know!
Desperate slaves without pity Rose against their lords,
They sacked the helpless city-None resisted their hordes;
Our soldiers fled before them At the sound of Samson's name;
The pangs of terror tore them! Like sheep they became!
I know his courage dares you,
Even unto your face; He endless hatred bears you
As the first of your race.
Within thine arms one day His strength vanished away; But since then
He endeavors to forget thee again. 'Tis said, in shameful fashion
His Delilah he flouts; He makes sport of his passion,
And all its joy he doubts.
Although his brothers warn him,
And he hears what they say, They all coldly scorn him
Because he loves astray; Yet still, in spite of reason.
He struggles all in vain;
I fear from him no treason,
For his heart I retain! 'Tis in vain he defies me,
Though so mighty in his arms; Not a wish he denies me;
He melts before my charms.
Then let thy zeal awaken,
Use thy weird magic powers, That unarmed, overtaken,
He this night may be ours! Sell me this redoubtable thrall, Nor then shall thy profit be small; Naught thou wishest could be a burden, Priceless shall be thy well-earned guerdon.
Do I care for thy promised gold Delilah's vengeance were not sold For all a king's uncounted treasure! Thy knowledge, though boundless in
Hath played thee false in reading me! O'er you he gained the victory, But I am still too powerful for him; More keenly than thou, I abhor him!
That vengeance now at last may find him, Delilah's chains must firmly bind him!
May he by his love yield his power, And here at my feet meekly cower.
That vengeance now at last may find him, Delilah's chains must firmly bind him! May he by his love yield his power, And here at thy feet meekly cower.
That vengeance now at last may find him, etc.
In thee alone my hope remaineth, Thy hand the honored victory gaineth.
That vengeance, etc. We two shall strike the blow-Death to our mighty foe!
My hand the honored victory gaineth. That vengeance, etc. We two shall strike the blow-Death to our mighty foe!
Ah can it be 28
And have I lost The sway I held O'er my lover The night is dark Without a ray; If he seek me now Who discovers! Alas! The moments pass.
Scene III
Delilah; Samson. He seems to be disturbed, troubled, uncertain. He glances about him. It grows darker and darker. {Distant flashes of lightning.)
Once again to this place
My erring feet draw nigh! I ought to shun her face;
No will have I! Though my passion I curse,
Yet its torments still slay me, Away! away from here,
Ere she through stealth betray me!
(Advancing toward Samson) Tis thou! 'Tis thou, whom I adore I
In thine absence I languish: In seeing thee once more
Forgot are hours of anguish! Thy face is doubly welcome.
Ah! cease that wild discourse; At thy words all my soul Is darkened with remorse.
Ah! Samson, my best beloved friend, In thy heart dost thou despise me
Is't thus thy love hath an end, Which once above all jewels did prize me
Thou hast been priceless to my heart,
And never canst thou be discarded!
Dearer than life art thou regarded!
Ne'er again will I behold thy matchless
beauty! No more to joyful love give way!
Israel's hopes revive by this token; For the Lord hath decreed the day
Which shall see our chains surely broken! He hath spoken to me His word: Among thy brethren thou are elected
To lead them back to God their Lord:
Ending all the woes whereby they are afflicted!
A God far more mighty than thine,
My friend, through me his will pro-
claimeth; 'Tis the God of Love, the divine,
Whose law thy God's small scepter
shameth! Recall blissful hours by my side,
If thou from thy mistress wilt sever! Thou'st broke the faith that should abide!
I alone remain constant ever!
Thou unfeeling! To doubt of my heart! Ever of my love all things tell me!
0 let me perish by God's dart,
Tho' God's lightning should overwhelm me!
(The thunderstorm approaches.)
1 struggle with my fate no more,
I know on earth no law above thee! Yea, though Hell hold my doom in store. Delilah! Delilah! I love thee!
My heart at thy dear voice
Opens wide like a flower Which the morn's kisses waken; But that I may rejoice,
That my tears no more shower, Tell thy love, still unshaken! O say thou wilt not now
Leave Delilah again! Repeat thine accents tender Every passionate vow,
Oh, thou dearest of men! Ah! to the charms of love surrender! Rise with me to its height of splendor!
Delilah! Delilah! I love thee!
As fields of growing corn
In the morn bend and sway When the light zephyr rises, E'en so my heart forlorn
Is thrilled by passion's play At thy voice's sweet surprises! Less rapid is the dart
In its death-dealing flight
Than I spring to delight To my place on thy heart! Ah ! to Love's delight surrender! Rise with me to its height of splendor!
111 dry thy tears
By charm of sweet caresses, And chase thy fears
And the grief that oppresses! Delilah ! Delilah ! I love thee! (Flashes of lightning. Violent crash of
But no ! ... the dream is o'er! Delilah trusts no more!
Words are idle pretenses! Thou hast mocked me before, In oaths I set no store,
Too flagrant thy offenses!
When I dare to follow thee now Forgetful of God and my vow-The God who hath sealed my existence With strength divine that knew no resistance
Ah! well, thou shalt now read my heart!
Know why thy God I have envied,
hated-Thy God, by whose fiat thou art,
To whom thou art consecrated! Oh, tell me this vow thou has sworn--
How thy mighty strength is redoubled! Remove the doubts whereby I am torn,
Let not my heart be longer troubled! (Thunder and lightning in the distance.)
Delilah, what dost thou desire
Ah! let not thy distrust rouse mine ire!
If still I have power to move thee, Whereby in the past I was blessed, This hour I would now behoove thee! (Lightning and thunder nearer and nearer.)
Alas! the chain which I must wear Maketh not nor marreth thy joyance! For my secret why dost thou care
Tell me thy vow! Assuage the pain I bear!
Thy power is vain; vain thy annoyance. (Lightning without thunder.)
Yea, my power is vain
Because thy love is bounded! My desire to disdain,
To despise my spirit, wounded
By the secret unknown; And to add without reason, In cold, insulting tone,
Charge of latent treason!
With a heart in despair
Too immense to be spoken, I raise to God my prayer
In a voice sad and broken!
For him I have displayed
All my beauty's decoration 1 And how am I repaid
What for me but lamentation Come!
Say no more!
At his wrath cast defiance!
Vain is my self-reliance. 'Tis the voice of God!
Coward! you loveless heart!
I despise you!
(Delilah runs toward her dwelling; the storm breaks in all its fury; Samson, raising his arms to heaven, seems to call upon God. Then he springs in pursuit of Delilah, hesitates, and finally enters the house. Philistine soldiers enter at left and softly approach Delilah's dwelling. A vio?lent crash of thunder.)
(Appearing at her window) Your aid, Philistines, your aid!
I am betrayed!
(The soldiers rush into the house.)
ACT III First Tableau.--A prison at Gaza
Scene I
Samson; the Hebrews. Samson, in chains, blinded, with his locks shorn, is discovered turning a hand-mill. Behind the scenes a chorus of captive Hebrews.
Look down on me, O Lord! Have mercy
on me! Behold my woe! Behold, sin hath undone
me! My erring feet have wandered from Thy
And so I feel the burden of Thy wrath! To Thee, O God, this poor, wretched life
I offer I
I am no more than a scorn to the scoffer! My sightless eyes testify of my fall; Upon my head Hath been shed Bitter gall!
Samson, you've betrayed the God of your
brothers, You've betrayed now your brethren.
Alas! Israel loaded with chains From God's holy face sternly banished, Every hope of return hath vanished, And only dull despair remains! May we regain all the light of Thy favor I Wilt Thou once more Thy protection
accord Forget Thy wrath at our reproach, O
Thou whose compassionate love doth not waver!
God meant thou shouldst take the command To lead us back to fatherland. Samson! why thy vow to God hast thou
broken What to us doth it token
Brothers, your complaint voiced in song Reaches me as in gloom I languish, And my spirit is torn with anguish
To think of all this shame and wrong!
God! take my life in expiation I Let me alone thine anger bear;
Punishing me, Thine Israel spare! Restore Thy mercy to our nation I
He for a woman sold his power!
He to Delilah hath betrayed us! Thou who wert to us like a tower,
Why hast thou slaves and hopeless made us
Contrite, broken-hearted, I lie, But I bless Thy hand in my sorrow! Comfort, Lord, let Thy people borrow,
Let them escape! Let them not die!
(The Philistines enter the prison and take Samson out.)
Scene III
The High Priest; Delilah; the Philistines. The High Priest of Dagon is surrounded by Philistine maidens crowned with flow?ers, with wine-cups in their hands. A throng of people fill the temple. Day is breaking. Samson is led in by a child.
All hail the judge of Israel, Who by his presence here
Makes our rite doubly splendid! Let him be by thy hands,
Fair Delilah, attended. Fill high for thy love the hydromel! Now let him drain the beaker with songs
for thy praise, And vaunt thy power in swelling phrase!
Samson, in thy pleasure we share!
We praise Delilah, thy fair mistress! Empty the bowl and drown thy care!
Good wine maketh less deepest sorrow!
samson (aside)
Deadly sadness fills my soul! Lord, before Thee humbly I bow me, Oh, by Thy will divine allow me
To gain at last life's destined goal!
(Approaching Samson with a wine-cup in
her hand)
By my hand, love, be thou led! Let me show thee where thy feet may
tread! Down the long and shaded alley
Leading to the enchanted valley Where often we used to meet, Enjoying hours heavenly sweet! Thou hadst to climb craggy mountains
To make thy way to thy bride, Where, by the murmuring fountains,
Thou wert in bliss at my side! Tell me now thy heart still blesses All the warmth of my caresses!
Thy love well served for my end. That I my vengeance might fashion,
Thy vital secret I gained, Working on thy blinded passion!
By my love thy soul was lured! 'Twas I who have wrought our salvation! 'Twas Delilah's hand assured Her god, her hate, and her nation!
Twas thy hand that assur'd
Our God, our hate, and our nation 1
samson {aside) Deaf to Thy voice, Lord, I remained,
And in my guilty passion's blindness, Alas! the purest love profaned
In lavishing on her my kindness.
Come now, we pray, sing, Samson, sing!
Rehearse in verse thy sweet discourses Which thou to her wert wont to bring
From thy eager love's inmost sources! Or let Jehovah show his power,
Light to thy sightless eyes restoring! I promise thee that self-same hour
We all will thy God name, adoring. Ah! He is deaf unto thy prayer,
This God thou art vainly imploring! His impotent wrath I may dare
And scorn His thunder's idle roaring!
Hearest Thou, O God, from Thy throne, How this impudent priest denies Thee, And how his hateful troop despise Thee,
With pride and with insolence flown!
Once again all Thy glory show them! Once more let Thy marvels shine, Let Thy light and Thy might be mine,
That I again may overthrow them!
Ha! ha! ha! ha!
We laugh at thy furious spite!
Us thou canst not affright.
With idle wrath thou ragest; The day is like the night! Thine eyes lack their sight,
A weakling's war thou wagest! Ha! ha! ha! ha!
Come, fair Delilah, give thanks to our God,
Jehovah trembles at his awful nod.
Consult me now What his godhead advises;
E'en while we bow The sacred incense rises.
(.Delilah and the High Priest turn to the sacrificial table, on which are found the sacred cups. A fire is burning on the altar, which is decorated with flowers. Delilah and the High Priest, taking the cups, pour a libation on the fire which flames, then vanishes, to reappear at the third strophe of the invocation. Samson has remained in the midst of the stage with the boy who led him. He seems overwhelmed with grief, and his lips are moving in evident prayer.)
Dagon be ever praised!
He my weak arm hath aided, And my faint heart he raised
When our last hope had faded.
Dagon be ever praised!
He thy weak arm hath aided, And thy faint heart he raised
When our last hope had faded.
Oh, thou ruler over the world,
Thou who all stars createst, Be all thy foes to ruin hurled!
Over all gods thou art greatest!
God, hear our prayer
Within thy fane I Make us thy care!
Justice now reign! Success attend us
When'er we fight! Protection lend us
Both day and night!
Dagon shows his power! See the new flame tower! Our Lord of light,
Descending, o'er us flashes! Lo! the god we worship now appeareth. All his people fear his nod!
(To Samson) That fate may not in favor falter,
Now, Samson, come, thine offering pour Unto Dagon there on his altar, And on thy knees his grace implore!
(To the boy) Guide thou his steps! Let thy good care
enfold him, That all the people from afar behold him!
Now, Lord, to Thee do I pray! Be Thou once more my stay; Toward the marble columns, My boy, guide thou my way. (The boy leads Samson between the two pillars.)
Dagon shows his power, etc.
God, hear our prayer, etc.
Thou hast vanquished the insolent
Boldness of Samson,
Strengthened our arm,
Our heart renewed,
Kept us from harm,
And by thy wonders
Brought these people to servitude,
Who despised thy wrath
And thy thunders!
God, hear our prayer, etc.
Glory to Dagon! Glory!
(Standing between the pillars and endeavor?ing to overturn them)
Hear Thy servant's cry, God, my Lord, Though he is sore distressed with blind?ness!
My former force once more restore. One instant renew thy gracious kindness!
Let Thine anger avenge my race,
Let them perish all in this place.
(The temple jails, amid shrieks and cries.)
Saturday Afternoon, May 3 Suite for Orchestra, Op. 19........Dohnanyi
Ernst von Dohnanyi was born at Pressburg, Hungary, July 27, 1877.
Dohnanyi possesses an amazing ability to infuse into conventional musical materials and formulas a new life-giving force and a unique kind of beauty without negating any of the traditional usages of the elements of music. Melody has a novel grace, harmony a new suavity, and instrumental color a vernal freshness that make listening to his music a delightful experience. He possesses an original and vivacious temperament and is always ready to relieve the severe forms of the sonata, variations, or passacaglias in which he chooses to work. At the outset of his career he earned the warm approbation of Brahms, and in his ingenious handling of the classical forms there is much to remind us of that master.
The principal movement of the Suite for Orchestra is an original theme with six variations, not overly complex but manipulated with a keen sense of instru?mental distinction and the hidden possibilities of the theme.
I. Andante con variazione. The theme (F-sharp minor) has an intriguing elasticity of phrase structure. The design is a two-part form. In Part I there are two phrases in the woodwinds alone which have successively five then four measures. These two phrases are repeated in the strings. Part II has four phrases in the woodwinds alone of three, four, five, and four measures respec?tively. They, too, are repeated in the strings with horns added. Then there follows a set of six variations.
Variation One {piu animato) is based on a rhythmic figure of detached pairs of sixteenth notes through which a sustained florid melody is woven, prin?cipally by the clarinet.
Variation Two {animato moto piu allegro) is more lively and the design is enlarged but clearly brought out through the changes in instrumental color.
Variation Three {andante tranquillo) changes to major and is more subdued. The theme is not difficult to recognize here.
Variation Four {allegro) features the English horn.
Variation Five {vivace) gives the theme first to the bassoons and then to the clarinets and horns over a pizzicato bass.
Variation Six {adagio), again in major, begins very broadly fortissimo, but ends quietly.
II. Scherzo {allegretto vivace, A-minor, 3-4 time). The kettledrum marks the rhythm, and the flutes and clarinets alternate with strings in presenting the first two parts of the theme. The first part returns fortissimo, and then a harp glissando leads to the Trio in A-major. This is characterized by a con-
tinuous sounding of A by violas and violoncellos as a pedal point. The main division of the Scherzo is repeated with modifications.
III. Romanza {andante poco moto, F-major, 3-4 time). After three intro?ductory measures in the strings pizzicato, the principal theme is stated by the oboe. Following an ingratiating passage in the cello, the English horn presents a new idea shared with the clarinet. The tempo increases and the harp and strings announce a more intense theme, after which the English horn returns with its plaintive melody. A soaring line in the violins brings the movement to a quiet close.
IV. Rondo {allegro vivace, A-major, 2-2 time). The vigorous subject of the last movement is announced by the strings and continued in the wood?winds accompanied by the pizzicato strings. The theme returns several times after contrasting episodes. The first digression (E-major) begins with an opening fortissimo chord. The opening theme then returns according to the requirements of the rondo design. After a descending passage in the woodwinds, the second digression is heard in the flute and this leads to a more opulent theme in the strings accompanied by an arpeggio figure in the cellos. After an extended development of this theme, the rondo theme again returns. A crescendo leads to a broad and brilliant theme in the strings, woodwinds, and horns with the timpani and castanets making a vigorous rhythm. At the con?clusion of this section, the opening theme returns for the last time. After a suspended moment, the opening theme of the first movement that received the variations returns in a broad statement. The suite ends with a swift brilliant passage.
Edited and translated by Marguerite V. Hood and George Kish Orchestrated by Grant Beglarian
The Quail's Call
Hear the quail call from the forest,
Ro, ro, re-ke-te, Hear the quail call from the forest,
Ro, ro, re-ke-te.
And I call, call for you,
For my heart longs for you, And I call, call for you,
For my heart longs for you.
Three times now the quail has called out,
Ro, ro, re-ke-te, Three times now the quail has called out,
Ro, ro, re-ke-te.
Debrecen Fair
Off we go to see the fair, now,
Ev'ryone around is there now, For a turkey we are shopping
In the market place we're stopping.
Will you sell that big bird there, sir
Do you want a price that's fair, sir Come on boys, it's time to start now!
Put the turkey in the cart now.
Watch it, driver, not so jerky-We don't want to lose our turkey!
Ah, but this old horse is slow, boys, Jiggle, joggle, home we go, boys.
The Shepherd's Song
How I love to be a shepherd boy so free, Here the peaceful fields of green are all I see!
I've ten florins, twenty pennies monthly pay, With such riches, life is gay!
I have bread and bacon for my food each day, At the end of summer just "goodbye" I say,
And I pack my things up in my kerchief gay, Play my flute and march away.
Spring and Fall
Spring is coming, spring is coming,
Feel the breeze, gentle breeze, Bees are humming, hear them humming,
See the buds on the trees. Far above
The clouds are slowly drifting by, White and soft
They float across the bright, blue sky.
When the leaves are gently falling,
Raining gold, red and gold, And the birds fly southward calling
Through the cold, frosty cold. Then it's fall
And all the harvest work is done; Nuts and grapes
And apples ripen in the sun.
The Turtle Dove
There's a town that's stately and fair,
See the steeple high in the air. On the wall I see a dove,
She sings each ev'ning sad songs of love.
Why so sad, my wee turtle dove, Have you lost the one that you love
"For my captive mate I sigh, Imprisoned in a cage, soon he'll die!"
My New Hat
My new hat, now isn't it fine And my boots, how brightly they shine!
Spurs go jingle, jingle,
Gaily, gaily as I go, And with my new hat
Girls love me, I know.
My new hat, it's cocky and smart! It will help me find a sweetheart.
Peacefully the Maros Flows
Peacefully the Maros River flows,
All along the path the jasmine grows. There a youth so sad dreams of the days of yore,
For his sweetheart's gone, She comes no more.
Violets blooming here
In the garden greet me. Hear my song, little maid,
Please come out and meet me.
Oh, no, Oh, no,
That I will not do-I'm too busy
Now to come with you.
See the sun, sinking low,
Ev'ning bells are ringing. Come out, dear, don't be long
Join me in my singing.
Stork Up So High
Stork up so high,
Up so high, up so high. Stork, can you fly,
Can you fly, can you fly All day long you stand there on one long leg,
Come down off that big chimney, down, I beg!
Fly to my love,
To my love, to my love. Fly through the clouds
Far above, far above. Carry to him this message on your way,
Tell him that I miss him through ev'ry day.
Brightly Shine the Seven Stars
Brightly shine the Great Bear's seven stars on high, Seven pretty sweethearts all at once had I.
One alone of all the seven was my true love, In the churchyard now she's sleeping,
While the roses grow above.
See the golden corn and barley, see the wheat,
And see the maid who dances and looks so sweet! She's my darling, she's my darling,
She's my pet and my delight, She's not too tall, not too small,
She's just right!
Ah, sweet maiden, pretty maiden,
Ah, she dances fast and light, She's my darling, she's my darling,
She's my pet and my delight, She's not too tall, not too small,
She's just right!
Rakoczy March..............Liszt
Born October 22, 1811, at Raiding, Hun?gary; died July 31, 1886, at Bayreuth.
As a composer, pianist, teacher, and critic, Franz Liszt completely domi?nated his age. As a composer he brought to fruition the romantic tendencies of the period, with his vividly expressive and highly descriptive music. He created new art forms (the symphonic poem) and increased the expressive qualities of the orchestra, the piano, and every medium in which he chose to work. As perhaps the most sensational pianist who ever lived, he con?tributed incalculably to general musical interest. As a teacher he established a school of piano technique that has produced, and is still producing, some of the most notable pianists of our day. As a critic and as a propagandist, he drew the attention of the world to young unknown composers, among them Brahms and Wagner, and clarified the various movements that were becoming apparent in the musical evolution of the early nineteenth century.
Liszt displays a broad sweep and a grand style, and moves with ease in vast musical forms. His tendency to casual improvisation destroys at times the homogeneity of his work, but when the foundations of this improvisation are well constructed, he often reaches the apogee of brilliance and power.
Unfortunately, however, Liszt's creative talent and inventiveness tended to lag behind his imagination and artistic desire. As a result, much of his music is more grandiose than majestic, more voluptuous than passionate, and more pretentious than inspired. Despite his fustian, however, he was one of the last great Europeans with the gift of universality, fiery eloquence, and the grand epic style, and where he lacked spontaneity of invention, he impressed with his own bold and adventurous intelligence.
The Rakoczy March is a Hungarian national air named after the national hero Francis Rakoczy (1676-1735) and was composed upon an older folk tune by James Bihari in 1809. Liszt made at least three different piano ver?sions and scored it for orchestra in 1865. He introduced the march to Berlioz, who used it with brilliant effect in Part I, scene 3, of his Damnation of Faust (1845). Liszt, in deference to Berlioz, withheld his orchestral version for
several years, although his earlier piano versions and probably parts of the orchestral arrangement were actually written before that of Berlioz. While not as brilliantly orchestrated as the Berlioz version, Liszt's march is never?theless an effective concert piece.
Concerto No. 2 for Piano and Orchestra.....Bartok
Bela Bartok was born in Nagyszentmiklos in Hungary, March 2S, 1881; died in New York, September 26, 1945.
Bela Bartok was distinguished in every sphere of the music he served so conscientiously and selflessly; no creative artist in any field was ever so com?pletely dedicated to his art, or lived such a life of self-denial in its interest. The extent of his musical activity as composer and scholar is staggering to contemplate; even to begin to recount his manifold achievements would quickly consume the space allotted to this whole program.
His music retains, more than a decade after his death, a powerful individ?uality and refreshing originality seldom encountered in our day. It offers per?haps the greatest challenge known to contemporary musical thought and will no doubt do so for some time to come. In the 1920's his idiom became the standard of "modern music" everywhere in the world; he was the inventor of one of the most experimental and widely practiced styles of the period between the two wars. From this era of spiritual atrophy, moral stupefaction, and prevailing sterility, he emerged not only a continuing experimentalist to the end of his life but an artist of the most exacting standards. From a re?lentless harshness and baffling complexity, his art matured and mellowed into something warmly human and communicatively direct, without sacrifice of any of its originality, certainty, or technical inventiveness. He seems to have realized, as Oscar Wilde once observed, that "nothing is so dangerous as being too modern; one is apt to grow old-fashioned quite suddenly."
Bartok was equally distinguished as a musical scholar; with his encyclopedic knowledge of folk music, he became one of the leading authorities of our time. The profundity of his scholarship was unique among creative artists. He not only investigated the music of his native Hungary, of Romania, Bulgaria, Yugoslavia, and French North Africa, with the authority and thoroughness of the most meticulous scientist, but as a composer he subjected it to a com?plete artistic transformation and distillation. It was never used as an exotic element for spicing up his own musical language in the manner of Franz Liszt and Brahms, who with their so-called "Hungarian" rhapsodies and dances misled generations of musicians as to the true nature of real Hungarian folk music. A nationalistic or racial artist like Bartok has to do more than merely transcribe literally the music of his people. It is not the task or the aim of a composer merely to make arrangements of a few folk songs. He has to be so permeated with the spirit of the music of his people that its characteristic features are woven into the texture of his score almost unconsciously. Thus, a personal style becomes so blended with the racial or national ideas that to distinguish between the two is impossible; with Bartok, it became the very
substance of his musical thought and the substratum of every score he created. The Concerto No. 2 for Piano and Orchestra was written in 1930-31, at a time when Bartok was particularly preoccupied with his research into Hun?garian folk music. In it is to be found a fabulously complex synthesis of harmonic, rhythmic, and melodic devices derived from this source, which only the most minute and detailed analysis of the score could reveal. The total effect of a first hearing is simply one of striking power, limitless color hues, and virtuosity that baffles the imagination. To relate that the first movement (Allegro) is a complex, free sonata form of unrelenting energy and drive, that the second movement (Adagio) is in a three-part design in which ascending and descending sequences in the piano contrast with a highly chromatic and scintillating Presto, and that the Finale (Allegro molto) is cast in an extended rondo form with barbaric episodes and recitative passages alternating with occa?sional references to material from the first movement, is about as instructive and revealing as a similar statement would be on the meaning of Goethe's Faust. To attempt to carry an audience through the labyrinths of this work's structural ingenuity would be as futile as it is unnecessary, for here is music so elementally vital in its propulsive rhythms, so strikingly contrasted in its moods of introspection and energy, that few will fail to respond directly to its emotional fertility, eloquence, and power.
Dances from Galanta............Kodaly
Zoltan Kodaly was born in a suburb of Budapest, December 16, 1882.
Zoltan Kodaly shares with Bela Bartok the distinction of being one of Hungary's few outstanding composers. He is often spoken of, and unjustly so, as a follower and imitator of his more famous compatriot and contemporary. It is true that there is a superficial resemblance, but this is simply the out?come of wholly impersonal and extraneous influences to which they have both been subjected. Both were students at the Academy of Music in Budapest and composition students of Haus Koersler, a German musician who had settled there in 1883 and who had become enthusiastic about Hungarian music. About 1905, Kodaly and Bartok became associated through their awakened interest in folk sources. Together they traveled throughout the countryside collecting, notating, and recording literally thousands of folk songs and dances.
Hungarian folk music nurtured their talents, and as a result a certain nationalistic undertone is sounded in their music. Their style of composition owes much of its character to the individual musical idioms they have created out of Hungarian peasant music, but Kodaly's highly individual and personal expression distinctly places him apart. Both speak the same language, as it were, but each expresses a different order of ideas.
Kodaly is not a prolific writer, but the paucity of his output is not due to a lack of inventive powers or ingenuity. Like Brahms, he is perhaps one of the most self-critical of composers. His aristocratic reserve, his exercise of
restraint and control, the refinement and delicacy of his treatment, and its unique combination with the popular and idiomatic mode of expression found in the folksong, gives to his music a peculiar charm and a strong individual?ism. With all of its directness and simplicity, there is a curious subtlety and exactness of detail, so that it seems at the same time to be ingenious and yet full of candor.
Kodaly composed the "Dances from Galanta" in 1934 to celebrate the eightieth anniversary of the Philharmonic Society of Budapest.
In the preface to the score we read that Galanta "is a small Hungarian market-town, known to travelers, between Vienna and Budapest. The com?poser passed there seven years of his childhood. There existed at that time a gypsy band which has since disappeared. Their music was the first 'orches?tral sonority' which came to the ears of the child. The forebears of these gypsies were known more than a hundred years ago. About 1800, some books of Hungarian dances were published in Vienna, one of which contained music 'after several gypsies from Galanta.' They have preserved the old Hungarian tradition. In order to continue it, the composer has taken his principal sub?jects from these ancient editions."
There are four dances presented. They are played without pause and are held together by recurring thematic material.
Saturday Evening, May 3 Tone Poem, "Don Juan," Op. 20.......Strauss
Richard Strauss was born at Munich, June II, 1864; died at Garmish-Parten-Kirchen, Germany, September 8, 1949.
Criticism has always been embarrassed in its attempt to evaluate Richard Strauss. There is no doubt that he was one of the most interesting and extra?ordinary personalities in the world of music. Whatever his antagonistic critics have said of him, he remains, in the light of his early works at least, one of the greatest composers of our time.
Trained during his formative years in the classical musical tradition of Haydn, Mozart, and Beethoven, he exerted his individuality and independence of thought and expression with such daring and insistence that at his mature period he was considered the most modern and most radical of composers. Critics turned from their tirades against Wagner to vent their invectives upon him; they vilified him as they had Wagner, with a persistence that seems incredible to us today.
The progressive unfolding of his genius aroused much discussion, largely because it was so uneven and erratic. Hailed on his appearance as the true successor of Wagner, this Richard II became, for some years, the most com?manding figure in modern music. Thirty-five years ago, except in Germany and Austria, he was almost entirely ignored by the leaders of progressive musical opinion. No composer has ever suffered such a sudden and decisive reversal of fortune. Just when his popularity seemed to be steadily growing and con?troversy dying down, his works began to disappear from current programs and for a period of approximately ten years became almost inaccessible to the public.
During this period, music was developing at a greater rate of speed than at any time in its history. Russia had begun to exert herself in the field with such great force that it seemed she was about to usurp the position of Germany as the leading musical nation. France had caught the attention of the musical world with late impressionistic and modern devices, and England had suddenly revived interest in native art by rediscovering her heritage of Elizabethan music, and by attending to a contemporary output.
With the interest of the world suddenly caught by the novelty of new styles and held by the rapid shift from one to another, attention was drawn away from Germany just at that period when Strauss was winning acceptance. When, after ten years of indifference to his output, the world again began to hear his works, it was with different ears. Music that had been controversial now seemed perfectly acceptable; what at first appeared to be novel in har?monic device, exotic in coloration, and new in conception of form was now looked upon as commonplace. Strauss's fresh and ingenious manner of treating old material had been mistaken for startling innovation and open rebellion against musical traditions.
Russia in particular had so extended the expressive powers of music that much that had seemed unusual and even cacophonous now appeared to be utterly prosaic. After the performance of Stravinsky's Sacre du printemps (1913), Strauss's one-time exceptional harmony, erratic melody, and queer instrumentation "left the itch of novelty behind."
When, therefore, criticism again turned to him, it observed that he had not continued to fulfill the great promise of his youth, and that aside from his failure to develop from strength to greater strength, there was a marked decline of his talents. His later works, Ariadne auj Naxos (1912), Die Frau ohne Schatten (1919), Die Liebe der Danae (1943), bore witness to the gradual degeneration and final extinction of his creative powers. The world had beheld the tragic spectacle of the deterioration of a genius.
Romain Rolland, in his essay on Strauss, sensed this depletion when he wrote: "The frenzied laugh of Zarathustra ends in an avowal of discouraged impotence. The delirious passion of Don Juan dies away into nothingness. Don Quixote, in dying, forswears his illusions. Even the Hero himself (Hcldcn-leben) admits the futility of his work, and seeks oblivion in an indifferent nature."
Strauss had expressed momentarily in his early masterpieces--the great tone poems and the operas Elektra and Salome--the modern psychological point of view; yet he was too strongly marked by the nineteenth century romanticism to venture far into the new and challenging world. The Romantic movement had persisted longer in music than in any of the other arts, still making in the early years of the twentieth century, as Ernest Newman so colorfully writes, "an occasional ineffectual effort to raise its old head, ludicrous now with its faded garlands of flowers overhanging the wrinkled cheeks."f Roman?ticism had long since outlived itself, yet for composers like Strauss, Mahler, and Rachmaninoff, its fascination proved too strong to be completely resisted. Mahler defended it with a kind of impassioned eloquence; Rachmaninoff em?braced it to the end of his life with filial affection; and, although Strauss, in his early sojourn in this dying world, seemed at first to "behave toward it like a graceless, irreverent urchin in a cathedral," he soon fell under its spell. The undercurrent of weariness and disgust, of satiety and disillusion, that runs through his work links him today spiritually, mentally, and psychologi?cally with Mahler, Rachmaninoff, and the great romantics of the past, rather than with the modernists. He, like them, had his roots in the same soil that nurtured Wagner, Byron, Goethe, Leopardi, and Tchaikovsky, and the tragic spectacle of his gradual but perceptible deterioration is a reflection of the dis?enchantment with life that had caught the Romantic artists in its merciless grip.
More than a quarter of a century ago Cecil Gray wrote of Strauss:
His whole career is symbolically mirrored in his own Don Juan, in the splendid vitality and high promise of his beginning, the subsequent period of cold and reckless perversity, the gradual oncoming of the inevitable nemesis of weariness and disillusion, until at last, in the words of Lenau, on whose poem the work is ostensibly based, ergreijt ihn der Ekel,
Romain Rolland, Musicians 0 Today (New York: Henry Holt & Co., 1915), p. 166. t Ernest Newman, Musical Studies (3rd ed.; New York: John Lane Co., 1913), p. 274.
und der ist der Teufel der ihn halt, and the theme of disgust that is blared out triumph?antly in Don Juan reappears in Zarathustra. In place of the arrogant, triumphant figure conceived and portrayed in Nietzche, we are shown a man tormented by doubt and dis?illusion, desperately seeking relief in religion, passion, science, and intellectual ecstasy and finally ending up where he began, in doubt and disillusion.
In the light of today, therefore, Strauss is no longer considered an innovator of any true significance. But let it be said that from the first, he has mani?fested an extraordinary mastery of technical procedure; that he is one of the few composers of our generation who have shown themselves capable of con?structing works on a monumental scale and of approaching the epic conception. His work as a whole is greater than any of its constituent parts, and, in this sense, he possesses an architectonic quality of mind that is impressive. There are in his greatest works a nervous energy and exuberance, a vitality and fer?tility of invention, and a technique of handling the orchestra that are admittedly unsurpassed. He has again and again shown his power to create beauty of rare freshness, but he most tragically failed in the complete realization of his highest achievement. At the end of his essay, Romain Rolland saw in Richard Strauss's defeat and depletion of talent a symbol of contemporary Germany and spoke thus, and how prophetically:
In this lies the undying worm of German thought. I am speaking of the thought of the choice few who enlighten the present and anticipate the future. I see an heroic people, intoxicated by its triumphs, by its numbers, by its force, which clasps the world in its great arms and subjugates it, and then stops, fatigued by its conquest and asks: Why have I conquered t
Nikolaus Lenau, a pseudonym for the Austrian poet Nikolaus Franz Niembsch von Strehlenau, author of the poem "Don Juan," himself expounded the philosophy of his poem. "My Don Juan," he said, "is no hot-blooded man eternally pursuing women. It is the longing in him to find a woman who is to him incarnate womanhood, and to enjoy in the one, all the women on earth, whom he cannot as individuals possess. Because he does not find her, although he reels from one to another, at last Disgust seizes hold of him, and this Dis?gust is the Devil that fetches him."$
Lawrence Gilman in his program notes for this work points out the kinship that exists between Lenau's and Strauss's Don Juan and Theodore Dreiser's Eugene Witla and the Michael Robartes of William Butler Yeats. Like Michael, he loved a woman, not really for herself, but rather as an immortal and tran?scendent incarnation of beauty. This passion for the "ideal beauty" of Plato-"pure and clear and unalloyed, not clogged with the pollutions of mortality and all the colors and vanities of human life," leads the Don from incandescent ardor and impassioned impulse at the beginning of his search to bitterness and despair at the realization that beauty and love are but fleeting illusions, and unattainable.
"Don Juan" is not program music, strictly speaking; it tells no definite
Cecil Gray, A Survey of Contemporary Music (London: Oxford University Press, 1927), p. 48.
t Rolland, op. cit., pp. 166 and 167.
I Chicago Symphony Orchestra Programs, December 26, 1934.
story or series of connected incidents; it is an exercise in musical psychology, a field in which Beethoven gave us Coriolanus, and Liszt essayed a portrait of Faust. In this work, Strauss is a student of human nature and life, no less than an accomplished musician. With all the colors of the modern orchestra on his palette, he paints the youthful hero, in search of what the poem calls a ". . . magic realm, illimited, eternal. Of gloried woman, loveliness supernal 1"
Ernest Newman, speaking of Strauss's music itself, noted that in "Don Juan" we get some of the finest development that is to be found in the history of symphonic music; "the music unfolds itself, bar by bar, with as perfect continuity and consistency as if it had nothing but itself to consider, while at the same time it adds fresh points to our knowledge of the psychology of the character it is portraying. No other composer equals Strauss in the power of writing long stretches of music that interests us in and for itself, at the same time that every line and color in it seem to express some new trait in the character that is being sketched." The various love episodes may be filled with special characters without great harm, save that the mind is diverted from a higher poetic view to a mere concrete play of events. The very quality of the pure musical treatment, referred to by Mr. Newman, thus loses nobility and significance.
"Don Juan" was Strauss's second tone poem.f It was composed in 1887-88, when he was but twenty-four years of age, and was published in 1890. The first performance was at Weimar in 1889, at which time Strauss himself con?ducted from manuscript.
To the score, he prefixed the following stanzas from Lenau's poem:
0 magic realm, illimited, eternal,
Of gloried woman--loveliness supernal! Fain would I, in the storm of stressful bliss, Expire upon the last one's lingering kiss! Through every realm, 0 friend, would wing my flight, Wherever Beauty blooms, kneel down to each, And, if for one brief moment, win delight! ?
1 flee from surfeit and from rapture's cloy, Keep fresh for Beauty service and employ, Grieving the One, that All I may enjoy.
The fragrance from one lip today is breath of spring:
The dungeon's gloom perchance tomorrow's luck may bring.
When with the new love won I sweetly wander,
No bliss is ours upfurbish'd and regilded;
A different love has This to That one yonder,
Not up from ruins be my temples builded.
Yea, Love life is, and ever must be new,
Cannot be changed or turned in new direction;
It cannot but there expire--here resurrection;
And, if 'tis real, it nothing knows of rue!
Each beauty in the world is sole, unique:
So must the Love be that would Beauty seek!
Newman, op. cit., p. 272.
t "Macbeth," Op. 23, published a year after "Don Juan," was really his first.
So long as Youth lives on with pulse afire, Out to the chase! To victories new aspire!
It was a wond'rous lovely storm that drove me: Now it is o'er; and calm all 'round, above me; Sheer dead is every wish; all hopes o'ershrouded-'Twas p'r'aps a flash from heaven that so descended, Whose deadly stroke left me with powers ended, And all the world, so bright before, o'erclouded; And p'r'aps not! Exhausted is the fuel; And on the hearth the cold is fiercely cruel.
--English version by John P. Jackson
"Madamina" from Don Giovanni.......Mozart
In the Wiener Zeitung (No. 91), 1778, after the first performance of Mozart's Don Giovanni in Prague there appeared the following criticism:
On Monday, October 29th, Kapellmeister Mozart's long expected opera "Don Giovanni" was performed by the Italian opera company of Prague. Musicians and connoisseurs are agreed in declaring that such a performance has never before been witnessed in Prague. Here Mozart himself conducted and his appearance in the orchestra was a signal for cheers which were renewed at his exit. The opera is exceedingly difficult of execution and the excellence of the representation, in spite of the short time allowed for studying the work, was the subject of general remark. The whole powers of both action and orchestra were put forward to do honor to Mozart. Considerable expense was incurred for additional chorus and scenery. The enormous audience was a sufficient guarantee of public favor.
The work was then given in Vienna, May 7, 1788, by command of Emperor Joseph II. It was a failure, however, in spite of the fact that it was given fifteen performances that year. A contemporary writer, Schink, indignant at the cold reception given the work in Vienna, wrote, "How can this music, so full of force, majesty, and grandeur, be expected to please the lovers of ordi?nary opera The grand and noble qualities of the music in 'Don Giovanni' will appeal only to the small minority of the elect. It is not such as to tickle the ear of the crowd and leave the heart unsatisfied. Mozart is no ordinary composer."
Goethe, after a performance in Weimar in 1797, wrote to Schiller, "Your hopes for opera are richly fulfilled in 'Don Giovanni' but the work stands absolutely alone and Mozart's death prevents any prospect of its example being followed." f
In this aria, Leporello, Don Giovanni's lackey, is maliciously reading a list of his master's feminine conquests to Donna Elvira, whom the Don has re?cently abandoned. He purports to give comfort, but he mercilessly probes at Donna Elvira's unhealed wound--her love for Don Giovanni in spite of his deceitfulness. His final thrust comes at the end of the aria, where he repeti-tiously insists that no woman is able to resist his master, ending with the cynical and cruel admonition: "You ought to know that:"
Every country and township has contributed to my master's pleasure. Dear lady, this
W. J. Turner, Mozart tie Man and His Works (New York: Alfred A. Knopf, 1938), p. 349. t Ibid.
catalogue numbers them all. I have myself compiled it, and if it please you, peruse it with me (he turns the pages of the catalogue). In Italy, six hundred and forty; in Germany, ten score and twenty; as for France, oh, say a hundred; but ah! in Spain--in Spain--a thousand and three. Some you see, are country maids, ladies in waiting, others are from the city--countesses, duchesses, baronesses--every kind of "esses"--women of all conditions. If they are haughty, they do not frighten him; if they are tiny, no less, he likes them. He is kind to the dark ones, beseeching to the blue-eyed; in the winter he prefers them portly, in the summer, slender. Women can't resist my master, you ought to know that.
"0, du mein holder Abendstern" from Tannhauser . . Wagner
Richard Wagner was born May 22, 1S13, at Leipzig; died February 13, 1883, at Venice.
"Into this work," wrote Wagner, "I precipitated myself with my whole soul, and with such consuming ardor that, the nearer I approached its end, the more I was haunted with the notion that perhaps a sudden death would prevent me from bringing it to completion; so that when the last note was written I experienced a feeling of joyful elation, as if I had escaped some mortal danger." But Wagner gave even further testimony to the flame of enthusiasm which burned within his soul when Tannhauser was in process of creation. "This opera," he wrote, "must be good, or else I never shall be able to do anything that is good. It acted upon me like real magic; whenever and wherever I took up the work I was aglow and trembling with excitement. After the various long interruptions from labor, the first breath always trans?ported me back into the fragrant atmosphere that had intoxicated me at its first conception." f
In scene 1 of Act III, Elisabeth, in love with the wayward Tannhauser, is praying before a crucifix for her release from the world and her salvation. The minstrel Wolfram, secretly but hopelessly in love with her, stands at a distance sorrowfully watching. As she rises to return to the Wartburg, he offers to accompany her, but with a gesture she declines. Meanwhile twilight has fallen over the valley. Accompanying himself on his minstrel's harp, he sings a wonderfully expressive apostrophe to the evening star which now glows in the darkening sky. For sheer beauty and simplicity Wagner never surpassed in all his operas the deep expressiveness of this scene. Throughout the score of Tannhauser, he lavished upon Wolfram his most tender and mellifluous melo?dies, attempting through them to create a feeling in us for the nobility and sensitiveness of Wolfram's character which he has so specifically described in these words: "Wolfram, in contrast to Tannhauser who is above all a man, is primarily a poet and artist. For since he is not dominated by intense sensory responses, he is able to make his impression of life the subject for meditation rather than action. He endures his hopeless love for Elisabeth with pride and dignity."
C. F. Glasenapp, Life o) Richard Wagner, trans, by W. A. Ellis (London: Kegan Paul, Trench, Triibner and Co., Ltd., 1902), II, 86.
t Ibid., p. 88.
t William Ashton Ellis, translator, Richard Wafer's Prose Works (London: Kegan Paul, Trench, Triibner & Co., Ltd., 1894), III, 204.
FOURTH CONCERT "Ford's Monologue" from Falstaff........Verdi
(Fortunio) Giuseppe (Francesco) Verdi was born in Le Ron-cole, October 10, 1813; died in Milan, January 27, 1901.
The vitality and resourcefulness of Verdi were exceptional among com?posers. So enduring and resourceful was he, that his greatest and most elaborate works were produced after he was fifty-seven years of age; and when he was verging on sixty he composed A'ida, an opera abounding in the strength, vigor, and freedom of youth. He was sixty-one when he wrote the Requiem and seventy-four when he composed Otello, and there is no hint of any diminution of his creative power in these works that culminated his long career. His last opera, Falstaff, considered by many his masterpiece, was written when he was eighty! The consistent and continuous growth of his style over sixty years of his life is evidence of an incomparable capacity for artistic development and a triumphant vitality and thrilling fortitude of spirit.
With his last operas, Otello (1887) and Falstaff (1893), Verdi blazed a path to the new conception of tempo and texture as characteristic of con?temporary music drama. In these works, his music, impatient at being confined to restricted traditional operatic forms, rushed on in a torrent of continuous sound, reflecting at every turn the spirit and the fluctuating moods of the text. Writers have often noted, because of the change in Verdi's style, the influence of Richard Wagner. Nothing could be more misleading or further from the truth. Unlike Wagner, Verdi never conceived his operas symphonically or eclipsed the human voice, which alone can personalize a character and humanize an action in opera. The orchestral texture of Otello and particularly Falstaff is unburdened and transparent, with none of Wagner's complex and opaque polyphonic weaving; his harmonic texture as well is judiciously, not excessively, chromatic; and his melody is plastic, often short-breathed, always sensitive to every textual nuance, not, as in Wagner, either dangerously reduced to static declamation or lost in an endless complex of leading motives.
Falstaff is Verdi's only successful comedy in music (he wrote an early comic work Un Giorno de regno, 1840, which was a failure), and it never fails to catch the ebullient, swift-moving current of the drama, or to point up the robust, life-giving forces that animate the characters created by Shakespeare. Here, as seldom achieved, is an almost ideal fusion of text, action, and music.
The opera from the beginning progresses with breath-taking velocity. In the midst of all the sparkle, laughter, and buffoonery, the sustained and tragic soliloquy of Ford as he is led by Falstaff to suspect the honor and faithfulness of his wife, provides the moment of seriousness and contemplation that lifts true comedy above the level of mere diversion and farce.
The following is a translation and reduction of the text of Ford"s Monologue:
Am I awake or do I dream Master Ford! Arouse thee! Nincompoop! Wretch benighted! Thy wife is faithless, her shame and degradation have wrecked thy home, thine honor, thy reputation! Thy friends will all say that a husband befooled deserves no pity!
O consternation, confusion I Death and damnation! Let none but blockheads put faith in their spouses! O cruel fortune! Of all gladness and hope my life's denuded.
But thou shalt not escape. No! ruffian, traitor, accursed rogue and faitour! I'll avenge this outrage! Though I be scorned and spited, this deadly wrong shall fully be requited I
"Louisiana Story," Suite for Orchestra.....Thomson
Virgil Thomson was born in Kansas City, Missouri, November 25, 1896.
"I was born in Kansas City, Missouri," wrote Virgil Thomson, "grew up there and went to war from there. That was the other war. Then I was edu?cated some more in Boston and Paris. In composition I was a pupil of Nadia Boulanger. While I was still young I taught music at Harvard and played the organ at King's Chapel, Boston. Then I returned to Paris and lived there for many years, till the Germans came, in fact. Now I live in New York, where I am music critic of the Herald Tribune.
"My most famous works are the operas Four Saints in Three Acts and The Mother of Us All (both texts by Gertrude Stein), The Plow that Broke the Plains and The River (films by Pare Lorentz), though there are also sym?phonies and string quartets and many other works in many forms. I have made over a hundred musical portraits, too, all of them drawn from life, the sitter posing for me as he would for an artist's portrait. I have appeared as guest conductor of my own works with the New York Philharmonic-Symphony, the Philadelphia, Cincinnati, Indianapolis, St. Louis, Pittsburgh, Buffalo, and Louisville orchestras.
"I am the author of three books: The State oj Music (Wm. Morrow, N.Y., 1939), The Musical Scene (Knopf, N.Y., 1945), and The Art of Judging Music (Knopf, N.Y., 1948)."$
What Mr. Thompson did not include in this brief sketch of the mere events of his life is the fact that while in Paris, in addition to the stimulating associa?tion with Gertrude Stein, he came into direct contact with that challenging group of avant garde artists among whom were Jean Cocteau, Pablo Picasso, Arthur Honneger, Darius Milhaud, Franqois Poulenc, and Eric Satie, and felt in the formative years of his career the emancipating influence of their un?conventional aesthetics and their daring and often irreverent works. These powerful conditioning factors in the formation of his style were tempered, however, by the strict discipline he received from Nadia Boulanger, and par?ticularly by his own strong native and regional proclivities which he never allowed to be completely redirected or submerged. In spite of the fact that Virgil Thomson is often referred to as our "most musical Francophile," these French influences were quickly assimilated and transformed into a means of, rather than the end of, expression. His style is an amalgamation of French attitudes and methods, and American spirit and subject matter--a combination difficult if not impossible to classify by any ordinary standards. His meticulous craftsmanship is immediately apparent in everything he writes, but not always
P. Glanville-Hicks, "Virgil Thomson," Musical Quarterly, XXXV (1949), 210. Mr. Thomson resigned from this position in 19S4 to devote his time to composition. t Since this article was published, Mr. Thomson has written another book, Music, Right and Left (New York: H. Holt, 1951).
easy to analyze or classify; his style is highly individual, yet impersonal and objective; his means are concise and direct, the end often poetic and illusory. Whatever he has written, however, from the highly sophisticated and stylized idiom of Capital, Capitals (1927), Four Saints in Three Acts (1928), and The Mother of Us All (1947)--all on texts by Gertrude Stein--to the epic, highly evocative, and poetic music of the documentary films The Plough that Broke the Plains (1933), The River (1937), A Tuesday in November (1945), or the Louisiana Story (1949), is exhilarating and elegant by virtue of his fastidious taste and immaculate technique.
In 1948, Robert Flaherty, brilliant author of such films as Man of Aron and Elephant Boy, produced his remarkable semidocumentary film Louisiana Story, which told the story of the coming of oil-well prospectors to the bayou region of Louisiana, and the effect of the intrusion of a mechanical age upon the Acadians (French-speaking residents of the bayou region) living there. For the film Virgil Thomson wrote an accompanying musical score of such imaginative and evocative power that it won for him the Pulitzer Prize in music in 1949. According to Miss Glanville-Hicks, Louisiana Story has a greater eloquence and a closer fusion of all his musical resources than any?thing else he has written.
In this score, Thomson made use of several Acadian ("Cajun") folk melo?dies found in Irene Therese Whitfield's collection Louisiana French Folksongs (Louisiana State University Press, 1939) and in recordings of Cajun melodies collected by Alan Lomax. But the greater part of the score is entirely original material. The composer enlarged the orchestration and selected only a part of the film music for this orchestral suite. Other music from the score is em?ployed in another suite entitled Acadian Sottgs and Dances.
In the Philadelphia Orchestra program book for November 26-27, 1948, Donald Engel provided the following synopsis of the film and a description of the programmatic intention of each section of the suite:
Louisiana Story is a saga of an oil development project in that southern state, and its effect on a simple French-speaking family. The story unwinds a pair of tangled threads off the same skein, with the scene shifting between two violently contrasting aspects of mankind's eternal struggle against nature. On the one hand, there are the rough and ready-oil drillers, prospecting for black gold through an alligator-infested bayou, pitting the ingenuity of their machines against Nature's reluctance to yield up her hoarded wealth. On the other hand, one's attention is focused on a superstitious native lad, who roams through the swamps with a coon for a pet, making friends with the oil men, and using his own secret magic to ward off evil "things," from werewolves to submerged mermaids. Living with his humble parents in this remote corner of civilization, the boy spends most of his time in Nature's own classroom, paddling his little boat through the sluggish waters of Petit Anse bayou, landing the largest of fish and observing the habits of the murderous alligators. Through his eyes one sees civilization encroaching upon his domain, as the marsh-buggy (an amphibious tractor), the white speedboat, and the towering derrick enter the scene. Gradually his suspicion toward these outsiders is replaced by friendship, and when all their superior knowledge fails to bring in a gusher, his miraculous little bag of salt does the trick. Or so he naively believes. . . .
With the exception of one folk tune, the suite with which we are concerned consists of
Glanville-Hicks, op. tit., p. 222.
the composed or original music in the film score, its four movements derived from a se?quence of scenes in the life of the Cajun boy. The subject matter of the movements is as follows:
I. The Pastorale breathes an atmosphere of moss-draped trees and long-necked birds, with lily pads and lotus blossoms gently floating on the surface as the lad paddles his tiny boat through the bayou. Arpeggiated brass and woodwinds add a mechanical intrusion in this quiet scene as the awkward marsh-buggy lumbers along near the boy's favorite haunts.
II. Chorale-like phrases of unrelated chords herald the arrival of the barge with the derrick, expressing the boy's growing amazement at this towering monster, thrice taller than the tallest trees he has ever seen.
III. Boys will be boys, and the discovery of a nest of alligator eggs arouses insatiable curiosity. While the unsuspecting chap examines his find, a slow, five-pulse Passacaglia theme adds ominous overtones as the returning reptile slithers toward the intruder. A sub?dued woodwind subject over pizzicato strings gives way to mounting tension above the repeated bass pattern, reaching a climax when the boy realizes the impending danger and scampers to safety. From this point in the film score, a cut is made to the scene from which the last movement is derived.
IV. Believing the alligator has gobbled up his pet coon, the boy sets his trap. Caught in a rope noose, the enraged alligator thrashes around in the water while the boy tries to haul it up the slippery bank. The odds are uneven, but the lad refuses to let go, and is gradually drawn deeper and deeper into the water. His frantic father arrives in time to pull him out, and the alligator's skin becomes his prized trophy. A pungent, vigorous quadruple fugue was chosen by the composer as the most effective device for sustaining the musical interest during this exciting sequence.
Symphonic Suite from Boris Godounoff . . . Moussorgsky
Modeste Petrovich Moussorgsky was born at Karevo, March 21, 1839; died at Saint Petersburg, March 28, 1881.
For Moussorgsky, art was so valuable a means of effecting human under?standing that to treat it merely as a vehicle for the glorification of the beau?tiful would be to pervert its purpose and dissipate its power. For him art was no autonomous segregated phenomenon, but rather the direct expression of humanity, and like it, art is in a constant state of flux and evolution. There should be, therefore, no arbitrary formulistic boundaries imposed upon it. As the expression of humanity is an office which ought to be carried out with a full sense of responsibility attached to those entrusted with it, the artist is called upon to be sincere and truthful in any work he undertakes. For Moussorgsky, "art for art's sake" became "art for life's sake."
Hard things have been said of him as an artist. He has been accused of crude realism, of a lack of any sense of real beauty, of creating clumsily, laboriously, and imperfectly. It is true that he was a thoroughgoing realist in music, but for him realism was not only an essential and indispensible quality in art; it also rendered to art an instrument through which the masses could be brought to a realization of their social and moral duties. This attitude, contrary to the conception of art as appealing primarily to the cultivated, is comparable to that of Tolstoy.
The music of Moussorgsky brings varying and confused impressions to the mind. Considering his work as a whole, there is at times imperfection, incom?pleteness, and carelessness. It is marked by a rugged crudeness and by unprece-
dented and quite intuitive audacities with their constant adaption to the special needs of his own creative temperament. And yet, we must acknowledge a genius of colossal inspiration and awful power. To his more conservative contempo?raries, Tchaikovsky and Rubinstein, Moussorgsky was a musical nihilist, and his music filled them with misgivings. In a letter written by Tchaikovsky to Mme von Meek, November 27, 1878, we meet with an interesting charac?terization:
As far as talent goes, he is perhaps the most important of all, only his is a nature in which there is no desire for self-improvement--a nature too absorbed with the absurd theories around him. Moreover, his is a rather low nature, that loves the uncouth, coarse and ugly. He prides himself on his ignorance, and writes down what comes to his head, believing blindly in the infallibility of his genius.
The reference to the "absurd theories around him" refers to the group of young Russian contemporary composers who had banded themselves together in opposition to Tchaikovsky and Rubinstein, who, they thought, were more Teutonic than Russian. Other members of this chauvinistic coterie were Cesar Cui, Borodin, Balakirev, and Rimsky-Korsakov. This group, known as "The Five," were the young radicals in their day, looking with scorn upon the whole musical world. None looked with more contempt than Moussorgsky, who was "always ready to sacrifice poetry and musical charm to realism, and never recoiled from shocking rudeness."f
His obvious incorrectness at times, his ultracrude realism, and his insistence upon preserving his originality at the cost of discipline do not destroy in any way his position as perhaps the most gifted of the Neo-Russian School, over?flowing with vitality and reckless in his daring. His powerfully spontaneous and startlingly free and unfettered music submerges all weaknesses of detail. Claude Debussy has exactly defined his music in these terms: "It resembles the art of the enquiring primitive man, who discovers music step by step, guided only by his feelings."! He is in truth the Dostoevsky of music, and his music is a poetic evocation to nationalism.
In Boris Godonnoff, Moussorgsky achieved the highest level in his creative career. The works prior to the years 1868-74 were a preparation for his masterpiece, and the efforts of the later years were those of a spent genius. For a more or less untrained composer to create the most national and most Russian of operas, and to reach a power of sustained expression which places the work among the great operas of all periods and all "schools," is a tribute to the intensity of the inner flame which glowed, sometimes at white heat, during the years of creating this unique music drama. Written in the period when Verdi in Italy was winning acclaim for the sheer beauty of vocal melody, and Wagner, with his symphonic operas, was all-powerful in western Europe, Boris Godounoff bows to neither of these operatic ideals, but marches steadily, gloomily forward, creating a new expression. It is in the primal power of the music and in sharply defined characterization that Boris is outstanding. The
Modcste Tchaikovsky, The Lije and Letters of Peter Hich Tchaikovsky, translated and edited by Rosa Newmarch (New York: John Lane Company, 1906), p. 252. + Ibid. I Oscar Thompson, Debussy, Man and Artist (New York: Tudor Publishing Company, 1940), p. 195.
music here moves in massive blocks, following the plan of semidetached tableaux, rather than that of a continuous drama. Nothing could be less Verdian or Wagnerian. Boldness, audacity, and sincerity lift Boris Godounoff above the level of routine opera writing and overshadow its undeniable weaknesses.
These weaknesses have to do with the dramatic structure. A clearly denned, integrated plot in the usual sense is absent here. Yet, in spite of this weakness of plot construction, Boris Godounoff possesses an almost Aeschylean grandeur in the handling of dramatic forces. Moussorgsky's drama presents in several episodes the climaxing moments in the life of Boris, and some of the events which brought on his mortal fear, the gradual weakening of his spirit and power, and the consequent disintegration of his nature. In his version of the story, however, which is based on Pushkin's poetic play, Moussorgsky cen?tered his interest upon elevating to a dramatic level, higher than that of any individual character, the surging, groaning, and agitating populace. Born among the country folk, ever sympathetic to their position with respect to imperialism, he pictures at first their blind obedience, their humble obeisance, and then their muttering discontent, awesome power, and terrifying strength, which, finally unleashed, wreaks destruction on a whole social order. With inexorable forces acting upon him and beyond his control, Boris becomes a passive and gauntly tragic victim of circumstances. Perhaps all this was a prophecy of the events of 1918; in which case there is an explanation for the removal of the opera from the repertoire in Russia under the Czar, and for the great popularity of the work in recent times.
The historical facts behind the story of Boris Godounoff are as follows:
Czar Ivan the Terrible had two sons: Feodor, who ascended the throne, and his brother Dimitri, in exile at Uglitch. Dimitri was found foully mur?dered near the end of the reign of Feodor, and when Boris ascended the throne at his death, it was rumored that he (Boris) had been responsible for the death of Dimitri. The reign of Boris was short and troubled. Led by a pretender, who posed as the murdered Dimitri who had been brought back to life by a miracle, the people revolted against Boris at the time of his death.
This is the skeleton of the plot, drawn from history and elaborated into dramatic proportions by the poet-dramatist Pushkin, and readapted by the composer when he utilized these incidents for his opera.
The Prelude to Boris is short. In this Symphonic Suite, it will lead directly into the Coronation Scene.
Coronation Scene
The scene is a square in the Kremlin. Some people are kneeling in the space between the Cathedral of the Assumption and the Cathedral of the Archangels. As Boyars and others assemble, loud peals of bells announce the beginning of the pageant of the Coronation of Czar Boris. The procession, in gorgeous panoply of religious and military array, wends its way through the throng
toward the Cathedral of the Assumption. An old folk-song chant serves as the basis of the Coronation Hymn: it is rich in harmonic texture as it is solid and severe in rhythm. As the music mounts to a climax, Boris appears on the cathedral porch, surrounded by his children and the officers of the court.
In the "Monologue" Boris reflects that though he is now an all-powerful ruler, neither the crown and its glory nor the plaudits of his people are able to bring him any happiness; and though he has hoped to find comfort in the well-being of his children, he now stands accused of murdering his daughter's betrothed and poisoning his sister:
I stand supreme in power. Five years and more my reign has been untroubled. Yet happiness eludes my sad, my tormented soul! In vain I hear astrologers foretell long years of life and power, peace and glory. Nor life, nor power, nor transient lure of glory, nor praise from the crowds rejoice my aching heart. I hoped amid my children to find comfort, and soon to see a splendid marriage-feast prepared for my Tsarevna, my well-beloved. But cruel death has struck the one she loved. How heavy is the hand of God in his wrath, how merciless a doom awaits the sinner! In gloom I tread, for darkness surrounds me. no single ray of light brings solace. My heart is torn with anguish, is hopeless and weary. A secret terror haunts me. ... I wait, I tremble. With all my heart I implore saints and angels, and God, I beseech to grant me mercy. And I, I wish with all my power, Tsar of Russia, I, feared and envied, in tears I vainly beg for mercy. Now dangers loom: Boyars rebelling, intrigues and plots all over Lithuania, pestilence, disloyalty, starvation. Like beasts of prey hungry peasants are prowling. The land is bare. Russia weeps tears of blood. And groaning under the weight of the burden on all, for a great sin inflicted, all throw the blame on me. They denounce me, they hate my very name, openly curse me. And even sleep has fled. Each night I see visions. A blood-bespattered child appears to me, sobbing in anguish, writhing, lamenting, praying for mercy, and mercy was denied him! Blood from his wounds is pouring; loudly he cries, with death he struggles . . . . O merciful Lord, my God!
Varlaam's Ballad
The famous Ballad is taken from the final episode of Act I. The scene is an inn by the Lithuanian border. Messail and Varlaam, two bibulous monks, arrive with Gregory, pretender to the throne of Russia, but now disguised as a beggar. His escape from a monastery and his attempt to reach the Polish border is known to the police. While officers search the inn, Gregory escapes. At the height of a drinking party, Varlaam is induced to sing an old folk song "By the Walls of Kazan, the Mighty Strong-hold," which tells of the fall of this city at the hands of the crafty Ivan the Terrible. The boldness and audacity of its rhythm and harmony create the wildness and fury of a Tartar song. Musically, the orchestra presents a set of variations on the melody, which is repeated again and again by Varlaam. For tonight's performance, only the orchestral transcriptions will be heard.
Clock Scene
Alone with his memories and his conscience, Boris unveils his innermost feelings in this scene of great power and intensity. As a clock ticks and a grisly
accompaniment is heard in the orchestra, he thinks aloud of his past and of the evils which are piling upon one another. Breathing with difficulty, he cries out for mercy and forgiveness:
Ah, I can scarcely breathe! I suffocate! All my blood seems to have run to my head and feels like a great weight. How my conscience does remind me of my deeds. One sin in my past, caused only by chance, and my heart and soul are burning as though poisoned. My senses are unbalanced! What is it that I see Can it be the blood-stained body of the child Ah, no! Stand back! Don't come near me! It was not I who killed you! Back! Oh, God, have mercy on the sinful soul of Boris!
The Polonaise is heard in scene 2 of Act III. The scene is the gardens of a castle in Poland. As the curtain rises, the Pretender, Dimitri (Gregory), is waiting near a fountain to keep his tryst with Marina, a Polish princess, who is within dancing with her guests. As she appears, accompanied by a group of Polish noblemen, the music of the Polonaise is heard through the open doors as the dance continues.
Boris' Farewell and Death
The death of Boris is one of the most poignant scenes in operatic literature. Whether viewed as drama or music, it is matchless. The tender human traits exhibited in his final address to his son, his warnings to beware of disloyal Boyars, his adjuration to uphold the Holy Faith, his plea for the protection of "your sister Xenia, so pure and gentle," and his prayer to God for the gift of grace to the innocent children--these and other sentiments reveal the nature of Boris as a father which can scarcely be reconciled with his crafty methods of achieving power. Bells toll as he embraces his son, Feodor. A choir of monks sounds in the distance, coming nearer and nearer, and Boris intuitively recognizes the approach of his doom. As they enter to the words, "for him is no salvation," Boris dramatically rises, and with a last show of power in "Await my orders, your Czar commands," the climax of the opera is reached. In the next measure, the same words are repeated almost in a whisper--but the ring of supreme power is replaced by a dull murmur from a crushed soul. The Czar of the Russias is now the humble penitent before the Throne of Grace. The Boyars are motionless, awed by the passing of Boris. Out of the depths of the orchestra ascends a melodic phrase, symbolic of the upward flight of his soul and of its release from human frailties. The curtain slowly falls:
Leave me with my son. Farewell, my son. I die now. You will be the Tsar. Do not question how the throne came to me; it is yours by right. Beware of those about you who plot against you. Do not spare your enemies. Prove yourself just and worthy to the people. Guard the Holy Faith. Protect your sister. She has only you. Oh, God, see my tears, those of a sinful father! I do not ask for myself, but for my guiltless children. Preserve them.
Listen! The funeral bell is tolling! Bring me the holy shroud. Oh, God--how my sins weigh upon me. Is there no mercy for me
I am still the Tsar! I am still the Tsar! God--forgive me! Forgive!
Sunday Afternoon, May 4 In Ecclesiis ..............Gabrieli
Giovanni Gabrieli was born in Venice in 1557; died there in 1612.
As the Renaissance drew to a close at the end of the sixteenth century, and before the subsequent Baroque era had firmly established itself, there was a period of transition and general confusion among the arts. Music reflected this at the turn of the century in a bewildering diversity of conflicting tenden?cies, styles, forms, and definitions of terms, brought about by the deliberate retention and preservation of many of the tenets of the past, and the simul?taneous attempt to replace them with new concepts. To differentiate these conflicting ideas, the term stile antico (old style) was used in opposition to stile moderno (new style). In brief, the term stile antico designated the strict a cappella (unaccompanied), polyphonic (many-voiced) style of the older school of Palestrina (1525-94). As a result of the intercession of one faction of the famous Council of Trent, which ended in 1563, this style was preserved throughout the century in spite of the advancing popularity of the stile moderno. The new style came to signify a much greater freedom, a wider range of melody, the appearance of self-contained blocks of harmony, of dissonance, antiphonal effects, vivid contrasts of form, and particularly, the use of the concerto principle, which implied the opposition of dissimilar bodies of instru?ments or voices either in size or color; choirs of high-toned instruments alter?nating with low, stringed instruments pitted against winds, or instrumental choirs competing with vocal ensembles. Characterized as the Baroque, this style reached its climax in the era of Johann Sebastian Bach (1685-1750).
In the early part of the sixteenth century vocal music, although written a cappella style, was in many instances actually accompanied by instruments; but their function was limited to substituting for the vocal parts already writ?ten or merely doubling these parts. By the end of the century, however, instruments were specifically indicated, and when this occurred, the terms concerto or concertato (from the word concertare; to compete) were applied --terms which implied now not only the presence of instruments, but also the fact that they occasionally existed independent of the vocal parts, often "com?peting" with them or with each other. Thus, the stile moderno, often used interchangeably with the term stile concertante, emerged. It was noticeably present in the music of the Venetian composers Andrea Gabrieli and his nephew Giovanni, where the changes that were taking place during the last half of the sixteenth century were codified. As early as 1597, Giovanni Gabrieli published compositions in which are to be found independent scoring for instruments and choirs contrasted antiphonally. His Sonata Pian e Forte for brasses and viols provided one of the first instances we have of alternating intensities within the same piece of music. He was also the first composer to prescribe exact
"orchestration" in the essential sense of that term. His vocal polychoral works in the new concertato style produced a splendor, richness, and variety of sound hitherto unknown in music. In their vibrant sonorities, flights of virtuosity, and sharpness of color contrasts they recall the great Venetian paintings of Titian, Veronese, and Tintoretto, in which striking, bold design, great massings of color, and vivid contrasts of light and shadow created such dramatic effects. Like Correggio, Gabrieli achieved a rich chiroscuro of sound, which immeasur?ably enriched the expressive power of music and prophesied a glorious future. "The ecstatic passion, elemental power, and mystic fervor of the Venetians," writes Lang, "led by the two Gabrielis, express the same renewal of faith in the incomparably more colorful, bold and progressive music. But the towering tone clusters of Gabrieli's [Giovanni] double and multiple choirs, the scintil?lating orchestral accompaniments, the brilliant solo passages, and the sharp dynamic contrasts are already leading into the dramatic and monumental world of the baroque."
The height of the early baroque sacred music was reached in Giovanni Gabrieli's polychoral Symphoniae Sacrae, which was published in two parts; Part I in 1597 contained forty-five choral and sixteen instrumental works; Part II, published posthumously in 1615, contained thirty-two works for voices with instruments, including the In Ecdesiis of this afternoon's program. Many such works were written to accompany and enhance the splendor of the civil and religious festivals of the great Republic of Venice, such as the one pictured in Gentile Bellini's famous "Procession in the Piazza San Marco." In such a work as this, the use of antiphonal choirs is only the most primitive manifes?tation of Gabrieli's choral techniques. The device of using double choirs had been employed for centuries in the venerable antiphony of the Gregorian Chant. Gabrieli went far beyond the old impression of mere dialogue, adding striking effects of differentiated choral and solo ensemble, contrasting masses of unequal and varying proportions--from a solo voice to a complex of fourteen parts for voices and instruments.
All modern editions of this music are in a sense "transcriptions" of the original, which cannot be reproduced with complete assurance and exactness. This performance, therefore, is given in the spirit, rather than in the letter, of the original score.
The text is made up of five verses, each concluding with a ritornello (inter?lude) on the word "Alleluia," at which time there is a quick shift from duple to triple rhythm that catches the jubilant feeling implied in the word.
In Ecdesiis Verse 1:
In ecdesiis benedicite, Domino (Bless the Lord in the Congregations): Soprano Alleluia: Antiphonal chorus Verse 2:
In omni loco dominations benedic anima mea Dominum (In every place of his dominion bless the Lord, O my soul): Tenor
Paul Henry Lang, Music in Western Civilization (New York: W. W. Norton and Company, Inc., 1941), p. 237.
Alleluia: Antiphonal chorus Sinfonia: Instruments alone Vesse 3:
In Deo salutari meo et gloria mea, Deus auxilium meum et spes mea in Deo est (In God, who is my salvation and my glory; God is my help and my hope is in God): Duet for Soprano and Tenor Alleluia: Chorus with instruments Verse 4:
Deus meus, te invocamus, te adoramus, Libera nos, salva nos, vivifica nos (My God, we invoke Thee, we worship Thee, Deliver us, preserve us, quicken us): Duet for Soprano and Tenor
Alleluia: Antiphonal chorus Verse 5:
Deus, adjutor noster in Aeternam (God our helper in eternity): Chorus with instruments Alleluia: Two 4 part choruses, all instruments, and a thrice-repeating culminating Alleluia
Sacred Service (Avodath Hakodesh).......Bloch
Ernest Bloch was born July 24, 1880, in Geneva, Switzerland; now living in America.
Ernest Bloch is the most solitary figure in contemporary music; he has stood by himself in splendid isolation above all the conflicts and confusions of modernism. Throughout his career he has never forsaken his artistic credo --to avoid the eccentric and to express with sincerity, originality, and un?erring truthfulness what he as an artist felt compelled to express, irrespective of the fashions, cults, and changing ideologies of modern art. "Art is the outlet of the mystic emotional need of the human spirit; it is created rather by instinct than by intelligence, rather by intuition than by will," he once wrote. He has always had a distaste for cerebral creations hatched from algebraic theorems and has remained coldly aloof from all the experimentation and striving for the novel, spectacular, and fashionably smart that has pro?duced so much puerile music in our day. "Unlike those who have strained to be up-to-date more than to be artistically communicative, Bloch never succumbed to the aesthetic gangrene of his time," wrote John Hastings. "He had no interest in fashions, cults, isms, formulas, or systems. And he had no use for the sensationalism that was the crutch of many a precarious celebrity. For these reasons his music, while it has steadily consolidated its grip upon a growing audience, has never been in vogue; and therefore it has been snubbed by that sector of the critical fraternity that follows every mode like a house?maid with a dust pan after a shedding dog--his music has shown a spon?taneous forthrightness that in most of his contemporaries' arbitrary theorizing has strangled in its bassinet. His, indeed, is the miracle of whole genius which, occurring so seldom in any generation, transcends the cocoon of 'conditioning factors,' of which it is never essentially a part."f Bloch believes that music should be an experience and not a formula; an art, not a craft, and that it is a whole spiritual expression involving on the part of both composer and
Joan Chissell, "Style in Bloch's Chamber Music," Music and Letters. XXIV, No. 1 (January. 1943), 31. t John Hastings, "Ernest Bloch and Modem Music," Music Review, X, No. 2 (May, 1949), US.
listener "not the use of the microscope and the seismograph, but the exercise of the mind undivorced from the heart and the activation of the spirit un-alienated from the pulse."
The question of Judaism is always foremost in any discussion of Bloch, for, from the beginning of his career, he expressed himself in a peculiarly Jewish idiom such as no other composer of his religion had done before him, and at a time when such an idiom was practically unknown to modern music. According to Guido Gatti, Bloch should be considered the first, perhaps the sole, Jewish musician the history of music affords us. He fashioned early a modern musical expression that conveyed something akin to the deep sorrow and noble exaltation of Judaism as it is found in the Old Testament. In such early works as the Psalms (1912-14), Trois poemes juifs (1913), Schelomo (1915), Israel (1912-15), and Baal Shem (1923) he gave complete and conscious utterance to his Hebraic spiritual inheritance. Of this period he has written, "I have but listened to an inner voice, deep, secret, insistent, ardent ... a voice which seemed to come from far beyond myself--a voice which surged upon me on reading certain passages in the Bible--this entire Jewish heritage moved me deeply, it was reborn in my music."f As he matured and developed, his own rugged and impetuous personality exerted its control over his religious feelings with the result that a new music began to emerge that was an amal?gamation of both. The Jewish quality of his earlier idiom was never achieved superficially by the adaptation of Hebrew melodies, the authenticity of which he himself doubted, aware that most of them were borrowed from other nations. He wrote:
It is not my purpose nor my desire to attempt a "reconstitution" of Jewish music, or to base my work on melodies more or less authentic. I am not an archaeologist. I hold it of first importance to write good genuine music. It is the Jewish soul that interests me, the complex, glowing, agitated soul that I feel vibrating throughout the Bible; . . . the freshness and naivete of the Patriarchs; the violence of the Prophetic Books; the Hebrew's savage love of justice; the despair of the Ecclesiastes; the sorrow and the immensity of the Book of Job; the sensuality of the Song of Songs. All this is in us, all this is in me, and it is the better part of me. It is all this that I endeavor to hear in myself and to transcribe in my music; the venerable emotion of the race that slumbers way down in our soul.t
The qualities of his art do not belong exclusively to any ethnic or religious group. The universality of appeal that it now enjoys repudiates any arbitrary lines of demarcation. He was simply gifted by nature to give expression to racial currents that flow in his veins, but his idiom is now his own and reflects himself as well as his race.
In Irwin Edman's Philosopher's Quest, the author, in an imaginary con?versation with Schopenhauer, has him speak of our contemporary music thus:
Perhaps modern music does peculiarly catch the note of reality. Its discords and dis?sonances, its broken melodies, its shattered harmonies--these are the very essence of the nature of things, the blind frustrations of the reasonless desire, the futile reiterations of
Ibid., p. 117.
t David Ewen, Book oj Modem Composers (New York: Alfred Knopf, 1942), p. 251.
X Chissell, op. cil., p. 31.
the will always doomed to futility. Perhaps the music of your day is something like the music I have been waiting for. But, from the little I have heard of it, there is something missing; the touching quality of song, the poignance of feeling. It is the geometry of tragedy rather than the heartbreak of it that these cerebral young composers have caught. But if ever the great musician comes, he will have caught the very tone of world sorrow itself and of human fatality, and in listening we will become one with it, and our own little tragedies will find their fulfillment in transfigured union with the tragedy of all things.
No one could have painted a better word portrait of Ernest Bloch and his achievement than that stated in the last sentence of the above paragraph. Ernest Bloch may not be producing the "music of the future," but he has demonstrated noble qualities of mind and heart and has asserted a spiritual integrity and aspiration both in word and deed desperately needed in the world today.
The fusion of personal and racial idioms is perfectly illustrated in The Sacred Service, which was written between the years 1932 and 1934. Bloch had just returned to Europe from an extended residence in America. Sad?dened by the tragic condition in which he found the world, he created through?out this work a mood of brooding contemplation and resignation. In spite of the dramatic implications in many parts of the text, he not only avoided all sharp contrast and theatrical climax, but in many instances underscored the words in a most unexpected and individual manner. There is no confidence or feeling of victory sounded in the music which accompanies such words as "The Lord shall reign for ever and ever more," no excitation in "Who is this King of Glory", no Handelian exaltation, no triumphal assurance sounds through "0 hear, Israel, our God, our Creator, is One!" Here is music that expresses in its intense quietude the personal and muted anguish of its creator and the despair of a sorely tried people. In spite of the fact that the work relates primarily to the Jewish Sabbath service, its emotional appeal is uni?versal. Only occasionally is use made of specifically Jewish material, but these characteristic, melismatic dissonant harmonic moments never disturb or con?flict with the normally conventional and familiar idioms of Western music.
The following notes were provided by the composer for a recorded perform?ance of this work:
The Service is a setting of Hebrew texts used in the Reform Temples of America. Most of them belong to the Sabbath morning service, and they originate from the Psalms, Deuteronomy, Exodus, Isaiah, Proverbs, and other sources of Jewish spiritual patrimony. These texts embody the essence of Israel's aspirations and its message to the world. Though Jewish in its roots, this message seems to me above all a gift of Israel to the whole of mankind. It symbolizes for me more than a "Jewish Service," for, in its great simplicity and variety, it embodies a philosophy acceptable to all men.
Musically, the work falls in five parts, following the liturgy, the whole to be performed without interruption. The occasional short preludes and interludes were intended to replace the so-called "responsive readings," and to allow people, instead, to fall into silent medita?tion and prayer, thus connecting, also, the several moods of the text itself and giving them unity.
Irwin Edman, Philosopher's Quest (New York: The Viking Press, 1947), p. 138.
Part I.
The short orchestral prelude, Meditation, sets forth the initial (myxolydian) motive, which permeates the whole work, and two other melodic forms too, which recur here and there. "How goodly are Thy Tents" is a kind of invocation, in the desert perhaps, de?picting the Temple of God in "Nature."
More liturgical is "Sing His Praise," that follows.
The short interlude which leads to "Oh hear, Israel" is more "cosmic," as if representing the hidden of the Universe. "Oh hear, Israel" is the great profession of the Jewish faith-the essential affirmation of unity.
Then comes "And thou shalt love Him," characterising the union of religion and every?day life, suggesting, in a kind of sublimation, the simplicity, grandeur, and sacredness of all things, and the idea of a religion, not of words, but of acts.
"Who is like Thee" is a crowd's response, and it expresses its exultation in the section "And the Lord shall reign." The tragic accents of "Rock of Israel" succeed this short-lived joy, however, to end Part I on a mournful note expressive of the sufferings of humanity.
Part II.
Here the music comes from another world, seraphic and mysterious. The Kodosh, Kodosh, Kodosh, (Holy, Holy, Holy) is the original form of the Sanctus, Sanctus, Sanctus of the Catholic Church.
Two bars of the "cosmic" motive lead to "One is He, our God," in its formidable con?cision and affirmation of the Unity of the world. Upon its repetition, its mood changes completely, as it here represents the faith of the people in this affirmation. Part II ends in a paean of joy with "Thou shalt reign, Adonoy, evermore."
Part III.
Part III deals, symbolically, with the law, its order, discipline, and limitations. But, before accepting it, to understand it and to submit joyfully to its discipline, a purification of heart is required. The short prelude, "Silent Devotion," and the a cappella chorus, "May the words of my mouth," express this feeling.
Then the Cantor intones, "Lift up your heads, O ye portals, that the King of Glory may enter." This I interpreted in the sense of clouds rising high into the sky, and of darkness receding from man's heart, so that the light may enter. I wanted to express the wish that man may free himself from hate, from dark instincts, and all that prevents him from rising above himself and seeing Truth.
Then the Scroll is taken from the Ark (symphonic interlude) and borne slowly through the assembly, and the Cantor explains: the Law which God gave through Moses is the Law of the House of Jacob; the chorus repeats it, and both the Cantor and chorus call "House of Jacob"--in the sense, for me, of all mankind--"Come ye and walk with me in the Light of God." And light bursts out clear and mystical. It abates and, mysteriously, the Cantor once more proclaims the act of faith: "Our God is ONE!"
After a great crescendo and ascending progression, there bursts forth a final chorus of exultation, "Thine, Adonoy, is the greatness."
Parts IV and V are omitted in this performance.
Avodath Hakodesh
Part I.
Mah Tovu: How goodly are thy tents, Yaakov, goodly thy dwellings, Israel. Through Thy great compassion, O Lord, I come to worship To praise Thy Name in Thy temple; I bow in reverence before Thee. Adonoy, Adonoy, I love the place where thou dwellst and the house wherein dwellcth Thy
glory; There I bow worshipping Thee, O Lord, my God,
Power Divine, Creator of life and all.
May my prayer, humbly upraised, seem good, Adonoy, in Thine eyes,
Elohim! I come in meekness.
Answer Thou,
In mercy, grant me, O Lord, Thy salvation.
Borechu: Sing His praise, sing to the Lord, praise and adore; Sing praise to the Lord, praise and adore for evermore.
Shema Yisroel: O hear, Israel, our God, our Creator is One! O praised be His name, He Whose Kingdom shall never end.
Veohavto: And thou shalt love Him, thy Lord God,
With all thy heart, with all thy soul, shalt thou love Him with all thy might.
And these words which I command thee . . . these words shall be on thy heart this day.
And thou shalt teach them thy children, and of them shalt speak,
When by thy hearth thou sittest, and when thou walkest on thy way, and
when thou liest, and when thou risest up.
Thou shalt bind a sign on thy hand, and as frontlets they shall be between thine eyes. On the door-posts of thy house be written; also upon thy gates.
Mi Chomocho: Who is like Thee of the mighty, O Lord
Who is like Thee, O Lord all glorious
Thy works we proclaim;
Thy marvels we praise!
And when Thy children were shown Thy wonders, they cried, behold this is my God!
And the Lord shall reign for ever and evermore!
Tzur Yisroel (Traditional): Rock of Israel, arise to the help of Israel!
Our deliv'rer Adonoy, O bless and praise His Name,
O blessed Israel, O blest be Thou, O Lord, Redeemer of Israel.
O praise Him and His Holy Name. Amen.
Part II.
Kadushah: Sanctified be Thy Name evermore. On earth as it is sanctified at Thy Throne on high; And we hallow Thy Name, as the prophets wrote; Thy Name we glorify, proclaiming: Kodosh, kodosh, kodosh, Adonoy, tzevoos, Heaven and the earth are filled with His glory. O God, ever mighty,
Make us like unto Thee. Lord.
How glorious is Thy Name in all the earth.
We praise Thy Name, Lord, our God, in Thy Dominion.
For One is the Lord, our God.
He, our Father; He, our Ruler; He, our Redeemer.
And He shall answer us in His might in the sight of all men.
Shalt reign, Adonoy, evermore!
Zion, Zion, thy God,
From generation to generation, the Lord shall reign.
Thy God shalt reign evermore. Halleluia!
This line of text will be sung in Hebrew in this performance.
Part III. 0 Lord, may the words of my mouth and the meditations of my heart be
acceptable before Thee, Adonoy, my Rock and Redeemer. Amen.
Seu Sheortm: Lift up your heads, O ye portals!
Lift, ye everlasting doors!
That the King of glory may enter!
Who is this King of Glory
Adonoy of Sabaoth, He is the King of Glory!
Selah, Selah, Selah.
(Taking the Scroll from the Ark.)
Toroh Tzivoh: The Torah, which God gave thro' Moses, is the law of the house of Jacob.
O house of Jacob,
Come ye, walk in the light, the light of the Lord.
O hear, Israel, our God, our Creator, our God is One!
And Thine, Adonoy, is the greatness and all dominion and Thine the majesty
and the glory and the pow'r, For all things in heaven and on earth are Thine, Adonoy, and Thine be the Kingdom, Be Thou, Lord, exalted over all.
Canticle of the Martyrs..........Giannini
Vittorio Giannini was born in Phil?adelphia, Pa., October 19, 1903.
Vittorio Giannini is not a highly publicized composer. This may be due to the fact that in this day of radical and quickly changing idioms his music seems conventional and unchallenging. His life too has been undramatic and uneventful; the events can be recited briefly. He first studied music with his mother; went to Milan for a short period, finally entered the Juilliard School of Music in New York City as a student of Ruben Goldmark (an early teacher of William Schuman). In 1932, Giannini was given a fellowship at the Academy at Rome. At present he teaches at the Juilliard School of Music.
Mr. Giannini is especially gifted as a composer of vocal music. His intimate knowledge of, and respect for, the expressive potentialities of the human voice enable him always to write effectively for it. Whether in the art song, the opera, or in choral works, his style is unaffected and direct, unburdened by the many devices of contemporary music that so often disfigure works in these categories. This does not mean that Mr. Giannini is unaware of, or adverse to, the stimulating and challenging devices of the modern idiom; he merely chooses to write in a conventional mold. But within it, he reveals a prodigious technical mastery and a powerful means of direct communication.
Among his works are the following: Suite for Orchestra (1926), Symphony "In Memorium Theodore Roosevelt" (1935), Concerto for Two Pianos and Orchestra (1940), Concerto for Violin and Orchestra (1945), two symphonies
This line of test will be sung in Hebrew in this performance.
(1949, 1955); five operas: Lucedia (Munich, 1934), The Scarlet Letter (Ham?burg, 1938), Beauty and the Beast (commissioned by the Columbia Broad?casting System and given its first performance on radio in 1939), Blennerhassett (radio performance over CBS, 1940), and The Taming of the Shrew (1950), for which he won a special award from the New York Critics' Circle in 1955. Other works include a Requiem for chorus, soli, and orchestra, performed in Vienna in May, 1937; chamber music, including a String Quartet (1930), Quintet for Piano and String Quartet (1930), Sonata for Violin and Piano (1944), Sonata for Violin Alone (1946), Concerto Grosso for String Orchestra (1946), Prelude and Fugue for String Orchestra (1956), and approximately twenty-five songs.
Canticle of the Martyrs was commissioned by the Moravian Church at its 500th anniversary in 1957 and was performed for the first time at Bethlehem, Pennsylvania, on June 30 of that year under the direction of Thor Johnson. Donald M. McCorkle provided the following notes on that occasion:
For his Canticle of the Martyrs Giannini chose the text material from the Moravian liturgy for All Saints' Day, a service in memory of the martyrs (the Moravian Church observes All Saints' Day twice a year, on the Sundays nearest July 6, the anniversary of Hus' martyrdom, and November 1).
The Canticle of the Martyrs is akin to a chorale cantata, a composite form in which a continuous narrative text of religious character is developed throughout, reaching its reso?lution in the concluding chorale. Giannini begins the work with a long and urgent fugato chorus on the hymn, "Praise the Lord! From the deeds of martyrs bold." Without breaking the motion the solo voice enters proclaiming: "Behold! a great multitude which no man can number stands before the throne." Between this arioso and the next is a fervent chorale by the chorus: "Hail, thou martyr host of heaven!" Once again the solo voice resumes the narrative with the Beatitude "Blessed are they that are persecuted for righteousness' sake." His final exhortation to "rejoice and leap for joy, for your reward is great in heaven," brings forth the chorus jubilantly singing "Hosanna! Blessed is He that comes in the name of the Lord." The familiar anthem by Christian Gregor (in a new setting by Giannini) resolves the narrative and brings thematic unity to the Canticle of the Martyrs.
Praise the Lord, Praise the Lord, Praise the Lord!
From the deeds of Martyrs bold,
God His gracious blessing sending.
Fruit hath sprung an hundred fold.
Far and wide o'er earth extending
In our Zion, faith, love, fruitful prove.
Jesus come, Jesus come, Jesus come.
Strengthen Thou our trust in Thee.
When fierce dangers would affright us
Do not let our courage flee.
May the Martyrs' faith incite us
To press forward though on fiery road.
On to God, On to God, On to God.
Behold! a great multitude which no man can number
Stand before the Throne, and before the Lamb, with palms in their hands.
Quoted by permission of The Moravian Music Foundation, Inc., Donald M. McCorkle, Director.
And they cry with a loud voice saying:
Salvation to our God Who sitteth upon the Throne, and unto the Lamb.
Who are these, in white robes arrayed
And whence do they come
These are they of whom the world was not worthy,
They wandered in deserts, and mountains, and dens.
And in the caves of the earth.
They were stoned. They were sawn asunder.
They were tempted, were slain with the sword,
They were burned at the stake!
They were destitute, afflicted, and in misery.
Hail, thou Martyr host of Heaven, Now no more your bodies languish, Under sword, fire, pain and anguish. Victor palms to you are given, Who in Jesus' service fell, Nobly in His service fell. Battling 'gainst the pow'rs of Hell.
Blessed are those that are persecuted for righteousness' sake. For theirs is the Kingdom of Heaven.
Blessed are ye, when men shall hate you, and separate you from their company. And reproach you, and cast out your name as evil, for the Son of Man's sake. Rejoice ye in that day and leap for joy, for Behold! your reward is great in Heaven!
Hosanna! Hosanna ! Hosanna! Blessed is He that comes, Hosanna! Hosanna! Blessed is He that comes, He that comes in the Name of the Lord. Hosanna in the highest, Hosanna 1
Concerto for Violin and Orchestra, D major, Op. 35 . Tchaikovsky
Peter Ilich Tchaikovsky was born May 7, 1840, at Kamsko-Votinsk; died November 6, 1893, at St. Petersburg.
A Russian to the core, Tchaikovsky was nevertheless criticized severely by those self-styled nationalists, "The Five," for being too strongly influenced by German and French methods and styles to be a true exponent of Russian music. He, on the other hand, found much to admire in their art, and was very enthusiastic in his praise of Rimski-Korsakov in particular. Nevertheless, he resented the assumption of superiority and the canons of judgment laid down by this coterie. He turned rather to Beethoven and to the scholarly technique exhibited in the construction of his symphonies and concertos. At the same time he was not immune to the charm of Italian music, and although he deprecated its superficial use of the orchestra, he did sense in the music of Italy the eternal value of pure melody, which he brought to fullest beauty
See notes on page 51.
through his superb and unequaled knowledge of instrumental effects. From Beethoven, Tchaikovsky no doubt gained a sense of design and unity of style, but so intent was he on the fascination and charm of the single episode, and so aware of the spell of the immediate melodic beauty and the particular suggestive power of the orchestral coloring, that he never gained the superb structural heights or the completely epic conception found in Beethoven. The constant oscillation between sudden exaltation, violent passion, and unresisted submission in his temperament excluded the sustaining and impersonal elements necessary to the true epic style. He gave himself up, as Sibelius noted when speaking of his music, to every situation without looking beyond the moment, and in spite of the fact that his symphonies and concertos rank among the finest examples of musical architecture, their spirit, like those of Schubert, is not symphonic. But such is the beauty and power of his themes, so fine is their general construction, and above all so masterful and effective is the use he makes of the orchestral palette that we do not consider it a discrepancy to find lyric conceptions encased in epic forms.
As in the case of Brahms, Mendelssohn, and Beethoven, a single concerto for violin is Tchaikovsky's contribution to the literature for violin virtuosos. Although completed in the spring of 1878 with the assistance of Kotek, a vio?linist who was visiting the composer at Clarens, almost four years elapsed before the work was given a public performance. Tchaikovsky had dedicated the concerto to Leopold Auer, who was then the principal teacher of violin at the Petrograd Conservatory. Because of the difficulties of the solo part, the famous virtuoso could not bring himself to undertake a presentation of the work. Later, however, he not only performed it frequently, but taught it to his many famous pupils.
Adolph Brodsky, a concert artist of considerable reputation and a teacher of violin at the Moscow Conservatory with which Tchaikovsky also was connected as instructor in composition, produced the concerto for the first time in Vienna at a concert of the Philharmonic Society, Hans Richter conducting. The result of the performance was indecisive, since there had been only one rehearsal and the orchestra accompanied pianissimo throughout, so that if anything went wrong the effect would be less displeasing. The reviewers of the work were almost unanimous in its condemnation, though there had been much applause at the concert. The criticism which hurt the composer most was written by Hanslick and published in the Neue Freie Presse of Vienna. It would seem from the following that Hanslick had neither sympathy for Russian music in general, nor respect for Tchaikovsky:
The violin is no longer played, it is yanked about, it is torn asunder, beaten black and blue. I do not know whether it is possible for anyone to conquer these harrassing difficulties, but I do know that Mr. Brodsky martyrized his hearers as well as himself.
For several paragraphs the reviewer continued in this vein, seeming to go out of his way to discover phrases of opprobrium to cast at the work. The fact that the concerto has since become a perennial in the concert halls
of Europe and America and has been interpreted by the greatest virtuosi, even though only those of supreme technical powers can essay it, is significant proof that the initial verdict of the Vienna critics was neither final nor just.
In the first movement (Allegro moderato, D major, 4-4), the opening theme heard in the first violins is not the principal subject; this is announced later by the solo instrument. After some brilliant passages, the second theme is also announced by the solo instrument. Following a short episode, the development section manipulates the first theme. The solo instrument is heard interpolating a great amount of complicated passage work, and after further treatment of the first theme in the orchestra, a long and rather elaborate cadenza is played by the solo violin. The recapitulation of the first section follows, and the movement ends with a brilliant coda.
The violins announce the first theme of the second movement (Canzonetto --Andante, G minor, 3-4), after a twelve-measure introduction in the wood?winds. The solo instrument presents the second theme, which is marked by a triplet figure. This finally leads to a return of the first theme still in the solo instrument, with an accompanying arpeggio figure in the clarinet. The intro?duction to the movement returns and then leads without pause into the finale.
After a vigorous sixteen-measure introduction and cadenza for the solo violin, the principal theme of the third movement (Allegro vivacissimo, D major, 2-4) is announced in the solo violin. It is in reality a Russian dance known as the "Trepak." In a more tranquil section, the second theme is heard in the violin over a drone bass. After a return of the "Trepak" theme, there is some develop?ment of it. The second theme reappears, and the movement ends with an ex?tended and extremely brilliant coda built upon material from the opening theme.
Sunday Evening, May 4 Overture to Egmont...........Beethoven
Ludwig van Beethoven was born at Bonn, Decem?ber 16, 1770; died at Vienna, March 26, 1827.
For a performance of Goethe's Egmont at the Hofburg Theatre, Vienna, May 24, 1810, the manager, one Mr. Hartl, commissioned Beethoven to pro?vide incidental music for the play. So impressed was Beethoven with the nobility of this drama that he refused any remuneration for his efforts. Per?haps hero worship of Goethe led him to this generous step, or perhaps he saw in the misunderstood, self-reliant Egmont, gloriously struggling with a relentlessly persecuting fate, and filled with tragic longing for a pure and ideal love, an image of himself.
At any rate, Beethoven produced in Egmont music of such heroic deline?ation, and of such dramatically moving stuff, that it can take its place with the "Eroica" Symphony, the Fifth Symphony, and the Leonore No. 3 as an imperishable testimony to the genius which he infused into his portrayal of the heroic, the noble, and the magnanimous.
Goethe's Egmont differs in many particulars from the Egmont of history. He is a man of most genial temper, sincerely devoted to the cause of freedom, and befriended because of his frankness, courage, and inexhaustible generosity. But he lacks the power to read the signs of hostile intention in others, and this defect, which necessarily springs from some of his best qualities, exposes him to deadly peril and leads ultimately to his ruin. Interwoven with the history of his relations to the public movements of his age is the story of his love for Clarchen, who is in every respect worthy of him, capable of heroic action as well as of the tenderest love.
The scene of the tragedy is laid in the Low Countries at the beginning of the revolt against Spain. In the fifteenth century, Philip of Burgundy had annexed several of the Netherland provinces to swell his own rich domains. His successor, Charles V, abolished their constitutional rights and instigated the Inquisition.
Favorite of court and people was the Flemish soldier, Count Egmont, who by his victories at Saint Quentin and Gravelines had become one of Europe's most famous military figures. When in 15S9 a new Regent of The Nether?lands was to be chosen, the people hoped that Egmont would be named. How?ever, Margaret of Parma, Philip's half sister, a powerful and tyrannical woman, was chosen, who, with the ruthless Count Alva, pressed the demands of Spain still further.
This, in brief, is the historical background against which, with many factual changes, Goethe places his tragedy. The central motif is this--". . . man imagines that he directs his life . . . when in fact his existence is irresistibly controlled by his destiny."
Egmont is the typical soldier and man of action, who expresses his philosophy in his own words . . . "Take life too seriously and see what it is worth . . . reflections--we will leave them to scholars and courtiers . . ." He is beloved by Clarchen, who in turn is loved by Brackenburg, the very opposite of Eg?mont. In the midst of court intrigue Egmont dares to defy Alva and is arrested. Clarchen, knowing that death must await Egmont, drinks the poison that Brackenburg, ironically, had prepared for himself. Egmont, the idealist to the last, dies in the belief that he gave himself for the freedom of his people and that they, to avenge his death, would rise in revolution against the Spanish yoke.
In view of Beethoven's expressed intentions regarding certain parts of his incidental music to Egmont, it may be asked: Are we not justified in extending these to the Overture Is not this to be viewed as a dramatic tone-picture Though entering more into generalities than the Overture to Coriolanus, which (as Wagner has pointed out) is restricted to a single scene, it is assuredly not less pronouncedly dramatic, or less expressive of the feelings of the principal personages concerned, and of the circumstances surrounding them. Egmont's patriotism and determination and Clarchen's devotion seem to be brought before us. The prevailing key (F minor) serves as an appropriate background to the general gloom of the dramatic picture, but it is occasionally relieved by its relative major (A-flat)--indicative, as it often seems, of Clarchen's loving presence. The Overture concludes with the Sieges-Symphonie (Symphony of Victory), which at the close of the drama immediately follows Egmont's last words, "Fight for your hearths and homes, and die joyfully--after my example--to save that which you hold most dear," addressed to his comrades as he is led away to execution. This music, occurring in the Overture, seems to indicate prophetically the victory of freedom to be gained by Egmont's death for his country.
Concerto No. 4 in G major, Op. 58
for Piano and Orchestra.........Beethoven
Beethoven always approached a new form with caution, leaning heavily at first upon traditions established by his predecessors, Haydn and Mozart. What?ever the form--the symphony, the sonata, the quartet, or the concerto--he entered the untried field with deliberation. Once he found himself the master, he subjected the form to merciless scrutiny and went about deliberately to free it from the fetters of the past that were binding it.
His piano compositions were always in the vanguard of his maturing style. Whenever the piano was the medium, he showed greater originality and free?dom from the restrictions of tradition. Prior to the year 1800, he had com?posed eleven piano sonatas, among them the "Pathetique" (C minor, Op. 31), a cornerstone for nineteenth-century romantic piano music. Isolated movements from the others began to show feverish exploration, such as that detected in
the slow movement of Op. 10, No. 3, one of the most powerful utterances to be found in his early music.
Beethoven's first three piano concertos came from the same period (1795-1800), although the third showed considerable advance over the first two rather conservative ones, disclosing a more conscious liberation of creative energy. It was the most mature and highly developed of all the compositions which Beethoven had brought to fruition in the first year of the new century. In the grandeur of its conception the third piano concerto is an imposing landmark on the way to the epoch-making "Eroica" symphony composed four years later, again proving that through the medium of the piano, Beethoven first released the vast innovating force that was to recondition every musical form he touched.
About five years elapsed between the writing of the third and fourth con?certos, the latter being composed for the most part and completed in 1806. During this period Beethoven was pursued by disaster, disappointments, and sorrows of all kinds brought about by the full realization of the seriousness of his increasing deafness and the collapse of the high hopes he had for his opera Fidelio. In a letter to Wengeler dated November 16, 1801, he had written, "I will as far as possible defy my fate, though there must be moments when I shall be the most miserable of God's creatures--I will grapple with Fate, it shall never drag me down."
There are few more potent examples of an artist's defense against his fate or escape from personal grief and tragic circumstances than those that are to be found in the fourth piano concerto, the first Rasoumowsky quartet, the fourth symphony, and the violin concerto which came from his pen during this time. In their exuberance and light-hearted charm, Beethoven lost himself in a world of his own making, a world of adolescent happiness and fairy-tale atmosphere.
The fourth concerto was dedicated to the Archduke Rudolph of Austria and was published in August, 1808. It had its initial performance at one of the two subscription concerts devoted entirely to Beethoven's works, given at the home of Prince Lobkowitz in Vienna, in March, 1807. In addition to the new concerto, the fourth symphony and the "Coriolanus" overture were also pre?sented for the first time. The first public performance took place at the Theater an der Wien, Vienna, December 22, 1808.
For many years the fourth Concerto was neglected, overshadowed by the overwhelming popularity of the great one in E-flat major known as "The Emperor." It was Mendelssohn who saved it from possible oblivion when he revived it at a Gewandhaus concert at Leipzig in 1836. At the time Robert Schumann wrote, "I have received a pleasure from it such as I have never enjoyed and I sat in my place without moving a muscle or even breathing, afraid of making the least noise."f
The fourth concerto marks an innovation in the long evolution of the form, from a mere show piece with a servile orchestral accompaniment to a full
Grove's Dictionary oj Music and Musicians (3d ed., New York: The Macmillan Company, 1935), I, 280. t Ibid., p. 306.
emancipation of the orchestra, such as one finds in those of Schumann and Brahms.
The first movement {allegro moderato, G major, 4--4) begins with the an?nouncement of the principal theme in the piano. By giving the initial statement to the solo instrument instead of the orchestra, Beethoven helped to free the concerto from one of its most traditional bonds. It is a brief statement of only four measures after an introductory chord, but none the less daring for its brevity. With the entrance of the orchestra the treatment becomes orthodox, presenting the conventional exposition of contrasting themes.
The second movement {andante con vioto, E minor, 2-4) is compared by Tovey to Orpheus taming the wild beasts with his music. He refers obviously to the contrasts between the forbidding, strongly rhythmic recurring figure in the strings and the tender, wistful melody in the piano. The movement is very free in its construction, aiming chiefly at expressiveness. Described by Sir George Grove, it "is one of the most original and imaginative things that ever fell from the pen of Beethoven, or any other musician. The strings of the orchestra alone are employed, but they maintain throughout a dialogue with the piano in alternate phrases of the most dramatic character--the orchestra in octaves forte and staccato, fierce and rude; the piano employing but one string molto cantabile, molto expressivo, as winning, soft, beseeching as ever was human voice."
The third movement (rondo: vivace, G major, 2-4), following the pre?ceding movement without pause, opens with a lively theme announced imme?diately in the strings, pianissimo, answered by the piano in a florid variation. After a short melodic phrase, first heard in the strings and taken up by the piano, and a bold digressing section in the orchestra, the second theme of the movement is stated in the piano. This "round" of returning themes is brilliantly developed in a "reckless, devil-may-care spirit of jollity" to a coda of enormous proportions, and the movement ends on an exciting increase of tempo.
Quiet City...............Copland
Aaron Copland was born in Brook?lyn, New York, November 14, 1900.
A little over a quarter of a century ago a virile and tremendously active group of composers appeared in America. Among the outstanding names were those of Marc Blitzstein, George Antheil, Roy Harris, Henry Cowell, Randall Thompson, Virgil Thomson, Howard Hanson, Walter Piston, Roger Sessions, and Aaron Copland. These composers energetically espoused the cause of American music, although as individuals they represented every variety of background, attitude, and musical style. Some were mildly conservative, others daringly experimental, but in their enthusiasm and newly awakened national?istic feeling, they possessed a common goal--to uphold the autonomy of their art, to free it from all the extramusical trappings inherited from nineteenth-
century Europe, and to make the world aware that America had come of age musically through the discovery of an idiom that was indigenous to her. According to Roger Sessions, writing in Modern Music in November, 1927, . . . "young men are dreaming of an entirely different kind of music--a music which derives its power from forms beautiful and significant by virtue of inherent musical weight, rather than intensity of utterance; a music whose impersonality and self-sufficiency preclude the exotic, which takes its impulse from the realities of a passionate logic, which in the authentic freshness of . its moods is the reverse of the ironic, and in its very aloofness from the con?crete preoccupations of life, strives rather to contribute form, design, a vision of order and harmony."
The most authoritative voice among this group was that of Aaron Copland, authoritative not only because of the volume and importance of his output and his diversified activity in the world of American music that reached into the realms of radio, theater, films, and pedagogy, but because he did so much to draw the attention of the world to the music of his own country by de?fining, in a more specific way than ever before, the meaning of an indigenous American idiom. His initial attempts were in the field of jazz, the techniques of which he mastered and applied with telling effect in two works, Music for the Theater (1925) and Concerto for Piano and Orchestra (1927). Aware of the expressive limitations in this direction, he began to write in a simple but extremely austere manner, producing in the Piano Variations (1930), Short Symphony (1933), and the Piano Concerto (begun in 1935 and finished in 1941) vital works of ingenious craftsmanship and originality, but of limited appeal. Realizing the danger of working in a vacuum if he pursued further in this manner, and sensing the growth of a new public for music through the radio, the films, and the phonograph, he began what he described as his "tendency toward an 'implied simplicity'" which produced some very colorful and directly appealing works: El Salon Mexico (1936); Music for Radio ("Saga of the Prairie," 1936); music for the films including Of Mice and Men (1939), The City (1939), Our Town (1940), and North Star (1943); music for the ballet in such engaging scores as Billy the Kid (1938), Rodeo (1942), and Appalachian Spring (1944), all of which employed American folk tunes. His Third Symphony (1946), Clarinet Concerto (1948), and Piano Quartet (1950) turned again toward an abstract expression without any traces of jazz or folk cliches, but revealing a new inventiveness and maturity that results in an economy of means and an avoidance of elaboration without ending in aridity.
Quiet City is an adaptation of The City, written in 1939 for a play by Irwin Shaw. The play concerns a young trumpet player, who through his playing attempts to awaken dormant feelings of those about him and to arouse them from their world of doubt, uncertainty and unrest.
MAY FESTIVAL PROGRAM Pictures at an Exhibition........Moussorgsky
(Orchestrated by Ravel)
In the spring of 1874, a posthumous exhibition of drawings and water colors by the architect Victor Hartmann, an intimate friend of Moussorgsky, was held at the Academy of Fine Arts, Saint Petersburg. Moussorgsky's musical fancy had full play only when it had some objective reality upon which to work. He created this composition under the influence of a deep inspiration derived from his late friend's pictures. Wishing to show his affection for Hart?mann, he paid him tribute by "translating into music" the best of his sketches in the form of a piano suite.
At the suggestion of Serge Koussevitsky, conductor of the Boston Sym?phony, Maurice Ravel in 1922 provided a brilliant orchestration for this suite. The Introduction to the work is entitled "Promenade." The following com?ment on this section is by Calvocoressi:
The introduction "Promenade," which reappears several times as an interlude between the pieces, can be ranked among Moussorgsky's charming inspirations of his instrumental works. Here the rhythmic suggestion is precise and sustained: "The composer," says Stassov, "portrays himself walking now right, now left, now as an idle person, now urged to go near a picture; at times his joyous appearance is dampened, he thinks in sadness of his dead friend!" t
An abbreviated translation of Moussorgsky's description of the pictures, printed in the original piano edition of his Suite, follows:
I. Gnomus. A drawing representing a little gnome, dragging himself along with clumsy steps by his little twisted legs.
II. Vecchio Castello. A castle of the Middle Ages, before which a troubador is singing.
III. Tuileries. Children disputing after their play. An alley in the Tuileries gardens with a swarm of nurses and children.
IV. Bydlo. A Polish wagon with enormous wheels, drawn by oxen.
V. Ballet of Chicks in their Shells. A drawing made by Hartmann for the staging of a scene in the ballet "Trilby."
VI. Samuel Goldenberg and Schmuyle. Two Polish Jews, the one rich, the other poor. "Two Jewish melodies, one replying to the other. One of them is grave, imposing, decisively marked; the other is lively, skipping, supplicating . . ."t
VII. Limoges. The market place. Market women dispute furiously.
VIII. Catacombs. In this drawing Hartmann portrayed himself, examining the interior of the Catacombs in Paris by the light of a lantern. In the original manuscript, Moussorg?sky had written above the Andante in B minor: "The creative spirit of the dead Hartmann leads me towards skulls, apostrophizes them--the skulls are illuminated gently in the interior."
IX. The Hut on Fowls' Legs. The drawing showed a clock in the form of the fantastical witch Baba-Yaga's hut, on the legs of fowls. Moussorgsky added the witch rushing on her way seated on her mortar.
X. The Gate of the Bogatirs at Kiev. Hartmann's drawing represented his plan for con?structing a gate in Kiev, in the old Russian massive style, with a cupola shaped like a Slavonic helmet.
See notes on Moussorgsky, p. 50.
t Michel D. Calvocoressi, Modest Moussorgsky, Bis Life and Works (Fair Lawn, N.J.: Essential Books, Inc., 1956). p. 182.
X Pierre d'Alhcim, Moussorgsky (Paris, 1896).
Organized in 1879. Incorporated in 1881.
Henry Simmons Frieze, 1879-1881 and 1883-1889
Alexander Winchell, 1881-1883 and 1889-1891
Francis W. Kelsey, 1891-1927
Charles A. Sink (Executive Secretary, 1904-1927); 1927-
Calvin B. Cady, 1879-1888 Albert A. Stanley, 1888-1921 Earl V. Moore, 1922-1939
Thor Johnson, 1939-1942 Hardin Van Deursen, 1943-1947 Thor Johnson, (Guest), 1947-Lester McCoy, Associate Conductor, 1947-1956; Conductor, 1956-
Charles A. Sink (Executive Secretary, 1904-1927); President, 1927-
Gail W. Rector (Assistant to the President, 1945-1954); Executive Director,
Ross Spence (Secretary) 1893-1896 Thomas C. Colburn (Secretary) 1897-1902 Charles K. Perrine (Secretary) 1903-1904
Maintained by the University Musical Society and founded by Albert A. Stanley and his associates in the Board of Directors in 1894
Albert A. Stanley, 1894-1921 Earl V. Moore, 1922-1939
Thor Johnson, 1940-1942 Hardin Van Deursen, 1943-1946 Thor Johnson (Guest), 1947-
The Boston Festival Orchestra, Emil Mollenhauer, Conductor, 1894-1904.
The Chicago Symphony Orchestra, Frederick Stock, Conductor, 1905-1935; Eric De Lamar-ter, Associate Conductor, 1918-1935.
The Philadelphia Orchestra, Leopold Stokowski, Conductor, Saul Caston and Charles O'Con-nell, Associate Conductors, 1936; Eugene Ormandy, Conductor, 1937, 1938; Eugene Or-mandy, Conductor, Saul Caston, Associate Conductor, 1939-1945; Eugene Ormandy, Conductor, Alexander Hilsberg, Associate Conductor, 1946-1952, and Guest Conductor, 1953; Eugene Ormandy, Conductor, 1954-; William R. Smith, Assistant Conductor, 1957.
The University Choral Union, Albert A. Stanley, Conductor, 1894-1921; Earl V. Moore, Conductor, 1922-1939; Thor Johnson, Conductor, 1940-1942; Hardin Van Deursen, Conductor, 1943-1947; Thor Johnson, Guest Conductor, 1947-; Lester McCoy, Asso?ciate Conductor, 1947-1956, and Conductor, 1957-.
The Festival Youth Chorus, trained by Florence B. Potter, and conducted by Albert A.
Stanley, 1913-1918. Conductors: Russell Carter, 1920; George Oscar Bowen, 1921-1924;
Joseph E. Maddy, 1925-1927; Juva N. Higbee, 1928-1936; Rosy Cowin, 1937; Juva N.
Higbee, 1938; Roxy Cowin, 1939; Juva N. Higbee, 1940-1942; Marguerite Hood, 1943-
1956; Geneva Nelson, 1957; Marguerite Hood, 1958.
The Stanley Chorus, trained by Margaret Martindale, 1934; trained by Wilson Sawyer, 1944 The University Glee Club, trained by David Mattern, 1937 The Lyra Chorus, trained by Reuben H. Kempf, 1937
Gustav Hoist (London, England), 1923, 1932 Howard Hanson (Rochester), 1926, 1927, 1933,
Felix Borowski (Chicago), 1927 Percy Grainger (New York), 1928
Jos6 Iturbi (Philadelphia), 1937 Georges Enesco (Paris), 1939 Harl McDonald (Philadelphia), 1939, 1940, 1944
University Choral Union
Bach: Mass in B minor (excerpts)--1923, 1924, 192S (complete), 19S3
Magnificat in D major--1930, 1950 Beethoven: Missa Solemnis in D major, Op. 123--1927, 1947, 19SS
Symphony No. 9 in D minor, Op. 125--1934, 1942, 1945 Berlioz: The Damnation of Faust--1895, 1909, 1920, 1932 Bizet: Carmen--1904, 1918, 1927, 1938 Bloch: "America," An Epic Rhapsody--1929
Sacred Service (Parts 1, 2, 3)--1958 Bossi: Paradise Lost--1916 Brahms: Requiem, Op. 45--1899 (excerpts), 1929, 1941, 1949
Alto Rhapsodie, Op. 53--1939
Song of Destiny, Op. 54--1950
Song of Triumph, Op. 55--1953 Brtjch: Arminius-1897, 1905
Fair Ellen, Op. 24--1904, 1910
Bruckner: Te Deum laudamus--194S Carey: "America"--1915 Chadwick: The Lily Nymph--1900 Chavez, Carlos: Corrido de "El Sol"--19S4J Delius: Sea Drift--1924 DvorAk: Stabat Mater, Op. 58--1906 Elcar: Caractacus--1903, 1914, 1936
The Dream of Gerontius, Op. 38--1904, 1912, 1917 Fogg: The Seasons--1937 Franck: The Beatitudes--1918 Gabrieli: In Ecclesiis benedicto domino--1958 Gianntni: Canticle of the Martyrs--1958 Gluck: Orpheus--1902
Goldmark: The Queen of Sheba (March)--1923 Comer, Llywelyn: Gloria in Excelsis--1949 Gounod: Faust--1902, 1908, 1919
Gradiger, Percy: Marching Song of Democracy--1928 Hadley: "Music," An Ode, Op. 75--1919 Handel: Judas Maccabeus--1911
Messiah--1907, 1914
World premiire
t United States premiire
Hanson, Howard: Songs from "Drum Taps"--1935
Heroic Elegy--1927
The Lament for Beowulf--1926
Merry Mount--1933 Haydn: the Creation--1908, 1932
The Seasons--1909, 1934 Heger: Ein Friedenslied, Op. 19--1934t Holst: A Choral Fantasia--1932t
A Dirge for Two Veterans--1923
The Hymn of Jesus--1923t
First Choral Symphony (excerpts)--1927t Honegcer, Arthur: King David--1930, 193S, 1942 KodAly: Psalmus Hungaricus, Op. 13--1939 Lambert, Constant: Summer's La=t Will and Testament--1951t Lockwood, Normand: Prairie--1953
McDonald, Harl: Symphony No. 3 ("Lamentations of Fu Hsuan")--1939 Mendelssohn: Elijah--1901, 1921, 1926, 1944, 1954
St. Paul--1905
Mennin, Peter: Symphony No. 4, "The Cycle"--1950 Moussorgsky: Bom Godounofi--1931, 1935 Mozart: Great Mass in C minor, K. 427--1948
Requiem Mass in D minor, K. 626--1946
"Davidde penitente"--1956 Orff, Carl: Carmina Burana--1955 Parker: Hora Novissima, Op. 30--1900 Pierne: The Children's Crusade--1915
Saint Francis of Assisi--1928, 1931 Ponchielli: La Gioconda--1925 Prokofiev: Alexander Nevsky, Op. 78--1946 Rachmaninoff: The Bells--1925, 1938, 1948 Respighi: La Primavera--1924t Rimsky-Korsakov: The Legend of Kitesh--1932t Rossini: Stabat Mater--1897
Saint-Saens: Samson and Delilah--1896, 1899, 1907, 1912, 1916, 1923, 1929, 1940, 1958 Schonberg: Gurre-Lieder--1956
Schuman, William: A Free Song (Cantata No. 2)--1945 Sibelius: Onward Ye Peoples--1939, 1945 Smith, J. S.: Star Spangled Banner--1919, 1920 Stanley: Chorus Triumphalis, Op. 14--1897, 1912, 1921
Fair Land of Freedom--1919
Hymn of Consecration--1918
"Laus Deo," Choral Ode--1913, 1943
A Psalm of Victory, Op. 8--1906 Stock: A Psalmodic Rhapsody--1922, 1943 Stravinsky: Symphonie de Psaumes--1932 Sullivan: The Golden Legend--1901 Tchaikovsky: Episodes from Eugen Onegin--1911, 1941 Thompson, Randall: Alleluia--1941
Vardell, Charles: Cantata, "The Inimitable Lovers"--1940 Vaughan Williams, Ralph: Five Tudor Portraits--1957 Verdi: Aida--1903, 1906, 1917, 1921, 1924 (excerpts), 1928, 1937, 1957
La Forza del Destino (Finale, Act II)--1924
Requiem Mass--1894, 1898, 1913, 1920, 1930, 1936, 1943, 1951
Stabat Mater--1899
Te Deum--1947
Villa-Lobos, Heiter: Choros No. 10, "Rasga o corac,ao"--1949 Vivaldi-Casella: Gloria--1954
World premiere t American premiere
Wagner: Die fliegende Hollander--1918
Lohengrin--1926; Act 1--1896, 1913
Die Meistersinger, Finale to Act III--1903, 1913; Choral, "Awake," and Chorale Finale to Act III--1923
Scenes from Parsifal--1937
Tannhauser--1902, 1922; March and Chorus--1896; "Venusberg" Music--1946 Walton, William: Belshazzar's Feast--1933, 19S2 Wolf-Ferrari: The New Life, Op. 9--1910, 1915, 1922, 1929
Festival Youth Chorus
Abt: Evening Bells--1922 Anonymous: Birds in the Grove--1921 Arne: Ariel's Song--1920
The Lass with the Delicate Air--1937 Barratt: Philomel with Melody--1924 Beethoven: A Prayer--1923
Beglarian, Grant (orchestrator): Hungarian Folk Songs--1958 Benedict: Sweet Repose Is Reigning Now--1921 Benoit: Into the World--1914, 1918 Boyd, Jean: The Hunting of the Snark--1929 Brahms: The Little Dust Man--1933
Eleven Songs--1954
Britten, Benjamin: Suite of Songs--1953 Bruch: April Folk--1922 Busch: The Song of Spring--1922 Caraciolo: Nearest and Dearest--1923
A Streamlet Full of Flowers--1923 Careys: "America"--1913, 1917, 1918, 1920 Chopin: The Maiden's Wish--1931 Coleridge-Taylor: Viking Song--1924
DeLamarter, Eric (orchestrator): Songs of the Americas--1944, 1948 English, Granvtlle: Cantata, "The Ugly Duckling"--1934
Farwell: Morning--1924 '
Fletcher: The Walrus and the Carpenter--1913, 1917, 1926, 1942, 1950, 1957 Folk Songs--Hungarian--1958
Italian: The Blackbirds, Sleep Little Child--1921
Scotch: "Caller Herrin"--1920
Welsh: Dear Harp of My Country--1920
Zuni Indian: The Sun Worshippers--1924 Gaul: Cantata, "Old Johnny Appleseed"--1931
Cantata, "Spring Rapture"--1933, 1937 Gillett: Songs--1941 Gounod: "Waltz Song" from Faust--1924 Grainger, Percy: Country Gardens--1933 Gretchaninoff: The Snow Drop--1938 Handel: "He Shall Feed His Flock," from Messiah--1929 Howland, Russell (orchestrator): Song Cycle from the Masters--1947, 1052 Humperdinck: Selection from Hansel and Gretel--1923 Hyde: Cantata, "The Quest of the Queer Prince"--1928 d'Indy: Saint Mary Magdalene--1941 James, Dorothy: Cantata, "Jumblies"--1935
Cantata, "Paul Bunyan"--1938
American Folk Songs (orchestration)--1946, 1951
Lieder Cycle (orchestration)--1949
Songs by Robert Schumann (orchestration)--1956 Kelly: Suite, "Alice in Wonderland"--1925 Kjerulfs: Barcarolle--1920 Madsen: Shepherd on the Hills--1920, 1922
World premiire 76
McArtor, Marion (orchestrator): Songs--1940
Folk Song Fantasy--1943
Suite of Songs (Britten)--1953
Viennese Folk and Art Songs--19SS Mendelssohn: On Wings of Song--1934
Spring Song--1924
Mohr-Gruber: Christmas Hymn, "Silent Night"--1916 Moore, E. V.: "The Voyage of Arion"--1921, 1927 Morley: It Was a Lover and His Lass--1921, 1938
Now Is the Month of Maying--1935 Mozart: Cradle Song--1930
The Minuet--1922 Myrberg: Fisherman's Prayer--1922 Piern?: The Children at Bethlehem--1916, 1936
The Children's Crusade--1915
Saint Francis of Assisi--1928, 1931
Planquette: Invitation of the Bells from Chimes of Normandy--1924 Protheroe: Cantata, The Spider and the Fly--1932 Purchell: In the Delightful Pleasant Grove--1938 Reger: The Virgin's Slumber Song--1938 Reinecke, Carl: "In Life If Love We Know Not"--1921
O Beautiful Violet--1924
Rowley-James: Cantata, Fun of the Fair--1945 RuBrNSTEiN: Thou'rt Like Unto a Flower--1931
Wanderer's Night Song--1923 Sadero: Fa la nana bambin--1935 Schubert: Cradle Song--1924, 1939
Hark, Hark the Lark--1930
Hedge Roses--1934, 1939
Linden Tree--1923, 1935
Serenade in D minor--1939
The Trout--1937
Who Is Sylvia--1920
Schumann, Georg: Good Night, Pretty Stars--1924 Schumann, Robert: Lotus Flower--1930
Spring's Messenger--1929
The Nut Tree--1939
Scott: The Lullaby--1937 Strauss, Johann: Blue Danube Waltz--1934 Strong: Cantata, "A Symphony of Song"--1930 Sullivan: Selection from Operas--1932 Thomas: Night Hymn at Sea--1924 Tosti: Serenade--1933 Van der Stucken: At the Window--1920 Wagner: "Whirl and Twirl" from The Flying Dutchman--1924 Wahlstedt: Gay Liesel--1922 Weber: "Prayer" from Der Freischiitz--1920
The Voice of Evening--1924
World premiire
Thor Johnson, Guest Conductor Lester McCoy, Conductor William Osborne, Pianist
Atkinson, Jeanne O. Bates, Frances Ann Bennett, Virginia Bergeret, Eleanor N. Bradstreet, Lola M. Burr, Virginia A. Carrigan, Sharon A. Connolly, Sharon R. Copenhaver, Nancy J. Curtiss, Shirley A. Fischer, Laurel S. French, Nancy A. Getty, Betty Jean Hanson, Gladys Harris, Margaret L. Heatwole, Audry A. Henry. Charleen H. Herfurth, Sharon A. Huber, Sally A. Jerome, Ruth O. Kite, Nancy Carol Krause, Laurel L. Laidlaw, Sue Ann Leeke, Marlene Anne Lock, Inez Jeanette Lockwood. Gail O. Loewen, Mary E. Luecke, Doris L. MacAlpin, Carole G. MacLaren, Helen L. Malan, Fannie Belle McDonald, Ruth M. Milanowski, Marcia R. Otterman, Leila P. Patton, Beatrice M. Pearson, Agnes T. Pearson, Mary K. Peets, Mildred M. Pott, Margaret F. Skinner, Elizabeth B. Stevens, Ethel C. Tarboux, Isabelle N. Taylor, Merle L. Tazelaar, Annemarieke Ward, Mary Warren, Eleanor Wendeln, Sue Anne Wiedmayer, Fay C. Wright, Patricia Yokes, Jean Ann
Branson, Allegra Brodie, Frances S. Cargill, Carla A. Datsko, Doris Mae Dykhouse, Delphine A. Fenwick, Ruth G. Hahn, Ruth Marie Heath, Harriet E. Horn, Elaine Kashkin, Elaine M. Keller, Suellen Kellogg, Merlyn L. Knollmueller, Elizabeth C. Knowlton, Suzzanne K. May, Barbara Ann McAdoo, Mary C. McCann, Karen Nelle McCann, Mary F. Meyer, Theodora L. Miller, Nandeen Morrison, Judith Nelson, Sally Jo Nobilette, Dorothy M. Ostroski, Mary Overall, Eleanor L. Phillips. Patricia A. Pilot, Nancy L. Rosenbaum, Iris R. Schneider, Edith M. Search, Carol A. Selby, Ruth M. Semmler, Ruth H. Serbin, Sandra Sharpe, Wenonah M. Sleet, Audrey M. Smey, Johanna Snyder, Karen V. Trautwein, Janet L. Turner, Sara Jane Ver Schure, Arlene J. Vlisides, Elena C. Williams, Joyce F. Young, Margaret J.
Adams, Wendy E. Andrews, Joyce Arnstine. Lillian K. Beam, Eleanor P. Beane, Alice L.
Birch, Dorothy Bush, Linda Lee Butler, Marjorie H. Carpenter, Barbara E. Clark, Elizabeth L. Crosby, Anne Curtz, Rebecca R. Cutler, Alisande Davidson, Connie Diamond, Ellen F. Eiteman, Sylvia Fillmore, Lucille R. Hakken, Jane Hodgman, Dorothy B. James, Innez L. Jones, Mary M. Kessler, Linda C. King, Cathy E. Kerchman, Margaret M. Koss, Sandra K. Lane, Rose Marie Lehker, Regina W. Lewis, M. Delight Marsh, Martha M. Matthews. Jean W. Peterson, Phyllis Sayre, B. Jean Smalley, Joan W. Storms, Jean A. Tinker, Mary A. Went worth, Elizabeth B. Westerman, Carol F. VViedmann, Louise P. Wilkinson, Janet M. Winchell, Janet G. Zeeb, Helen R.
Allen, Winifred G. Arnold, Helen M. Bayar, Zeporah C. Beardsley, Grace E. Bickley, Dorothy A. Bogart, Gertrude J. Bolt, Phyllis Mae Crossley, Winnifrcd Cummings, Ann DeCavitte, Altha E. Dykhouse, Thelma I. Easton, Helen R. Ellis, Carol S.
Enkemann, Gladys C. Friedenthal, Marianne Galbraith, Alice E. Harris, Elizabeth C. Hartsema, Virginia L. Hibbard, Virginia M. Huey, Geraldine E. Huggard, Susan Kamper, Jo Katona, Marie y. Kazarinoff, Louise King, Jean L. Lahde, Judith E. Liebscher, Erika Lousma, Judith E. Meyerson, Linda E. Morton, Christine M. Okcy, Ruth Anne Pairolero, Nancy A. Price, Susan L. Reed, Nancy C. Roeger, Beverly B. Ross, Judith A. Rutten, Henny V. Schwartz, Susan Schweitzer, Marjorie G. Spero, Peggy Stewart, Lenoir B. Strumia, Lucia J. Taylor, Patricia R. Thacker, Mary Lou Thompson, Carol J. Van Ness, Judith L. Williams, Nancy
Baker, Henry R. Chao, James Chesnut, Walter Collins, Allan M. Cooley, David B. Ebner, Jerome M. Edmiston, James C. Greenberger, Allen J. Gres, Jean-Pierre Houser, Ronald Andre Johnson, George F. Lowry, Paul T. MacNaughton, Orison A. Mclnnis, Douglas D. Miller, Charles S. Mustazza, Antonino Oppenneer, Keith D. Paddon, John W. Snortum, Neil K.
Thompson, Frazier White, Hal A. Williams, Richard C. Wurst, Charles
Athnos, Gregory S. Bieber, Charles Brady, David S. Butler, Ralph D. Crawford, Richard Daenzer, Donald E. Dunlap, Robert W. Fuller, Robert B. Gaskell, Jerry T. Gerrard, Allen G. Hartz, Theodore M. Kroth, James R. Manning, Gerald Marks, Robert H., Jr. Noparstak, Irwin H. Pearson, John R. Pelcman, Jean J. Pratt, Richard E. Reed, John A., Jr. Rogers, Charles L. Souter, Gary L. Sterrett, David R. Sublette, Warren J. Wolverton, Franklin B.
Bates, Herman D. Beam, Marion L. Berg, James W. Brodie, Donald C. Brown, Irving T. Burke, Michael A. Burr, Charles F. Cathey, Arthur Clemens, Earl Coale, Frederick A. Cook, Gerald E. DeHaven, D. Frederic Dwyer, Donald H. Eisman, Michael M. Farley, Alan E. Farrar, Craig J. Farrar, Howard B. Ferguson, Charles W., Jr. Garber, Verlin L. Hall, Lawrence E. Head, Michael E. Kays, J. Warren
Lewy, Thomas J. Manci, Orlando J., Jr. Mauch, Robert K. Michaels, Peter Morgan, Douglass H. Padwe, Gerald W. Pontious, Henry A. Schmitt, Fred G. Schultz, Paul M. Snyder, Dirck Spelman, Willard E. Sue, Wallace Tazelaar, Josiah Wagner, Richard V. Wargelin, John H. Warren, Melville Watt, Richard A. Wills, Robert E.
Allen, John L. Bay, John P. Beam, Bradley M. Beam, Joel F. Bedell, Kenneth G. Campbell, John V. Challender, Ralph C. Damouth, David E. Fantle, Sam Farrand, William R. Harrison, Richard D. Hecht, Dwight W. Huber, Franz E. Hunt, James W. James, Donald E. Jones, William R. Kincaid, William H. Matthews, Mike K. McAdoo. William P. Mohr, Dale Mothersill, Philip W. Moxon, Charles E. Nast, Donald A. Natanson, Leo Plaxton, Arthur N. Pope, John R. Randau, Charles E. Rosemergy, Daniel Schafer. Walter E. Shingledecker, Richard Steinmetz, George P. Vandeveer, James F. Westman, Ronald S. White, Keith C.
Lester McCoy, Conductor
Thor Johnson, Guest Conductor
Robert L. Hause, Manager
Green, Elizabeth A. H. Concertmaster
Avsharian, Michael Haughn, Elizabeth Meldrum, Delores Meldrum, George Merte, Herman Posner, Doris Rupert, Jeanne Sherman, Lenore Stumm, Virginia Thompson, Donna Waterman, Curtis Wunderlich, Charles
Zimberoff, Helia Principal
Alkema, Dale Carter, Mary Ellen Joseph, Alice Kelly, Mary Mansfield, Judy McMath, Joann Mulligan, Aileen Mulligan, Sharon Needham, Sally Platte, Dorothy Sik Yun, Chang Springett, Marlita Weise, Carolyn
Wilson, George Principal
Farrand, Nancy Harris, Pamela Hughes, Byron Lichty, Elizabeth Lilly a, Ann Mueller, Blanche
CELLOS Shetlcr, Donald
Principal Allen, Anne Dalley, Gretchen Harris, Velma Merrill, Elizabeth Mills, Marine Ritsema, Robert
BASSES Hurst, Lawrence
Principal Blubaugh, Sally Hammel, Virginia Malone, Sue McCollum, Lonny Spring, Peter Wolff, Roberta
FLUTES Baird, Sarah
Principal Lewis, Louis Rearick, Martha, Piccolo Watson, Frances
Lynch, Raymond
Principal Krstich, Violette
Skei, Allen Principal
Bandos, Bettie Busdicker, Southard
BASS CLARINET Busdicker, Southard
BASSOONS Bird, Betty Principal Euper, Jo Ann Keivit, Marilyn Smith, Dan
Howard, Howard T.
Principal Glenn, Karl Whitwell, David Wickham, David
TRUMPETS Stollsteimer, Gary
Principal Alexander, John Balduf, Carl
Hause, Robert
Principal Christie, John Gabrion, Charles
Estes, Alan
TIMPANI Jones, Harold
Principal Effron, David Pellegreno, Dominick
PERCUSSION Pellegreno, Dominick Starnal, Erick
Combined list of personnel who participated with the Choral Union in the two Messiah performances and in preparation of the May Festival choral works this season.
Eugene Ormandy, Music Director and Conductor William Smith, Assistant Conductor
Donald L. Engle, Manager Joseph H. Santarlasci, Assistant Manager
FIRST VIOLINS Krachmalnick, Jacob
Concertmaster Madison, David
Assistant Concertmaster Reynolds, Veda Shulik, Morris Lusak, Owen Simkins, Jasha Costanzo, Frank Aleinikoff, Harry Ruden, Sol Henry, Dayton Zenker, Alexander Putlitz, Lois Stahl, Jacob Simkin, Meyer Gesensway, Louis Goldstein, Ernest L. Schmidt, Henry W.
SECOND VIOLINS Rosen, Irvin Schwartz, Isadore Wigler, Jerome Brodo, Joseph Black, Norman Di Camillo, Armand Dreyfus, George Ludwig, Irving Sharlip, Benjamin Eisenberg, Irwin T. Gorodetsky, Aaron Miller, Charles S. Roth, Manuel Kaplow, Maurice Weinberg, Herman Kaufman, Schima
Cooley, Carlton Mogill, Leonard Braverman, Gabriel Ferguson, Paul Frantz, Leonard Primavera, Joseph P. Jr. Kahn, Gordon Bauer, J. K. Bogdanoff, Leonard Granat, Wolfgang Epstein, Leonard Greenberg, William S.
Munroe, Lome
Hilger, Elsa
Gorodetzer, Harry
de Pasquale, Francis
Druian, Joseph
Belenko, Samuel
Siegel, Adrian
Saputelli, William
Farago, Marcel
Brennand, Charles
Sterin, Jack
Caserta, Santo
Gray, John BASSES
Scott, Roger M.
Torello, Carl
Arian, Edward
Maresh, Ferdinand
Eney, F. Gilbert
Lazzaro, Vincent
Strassenberger, Max
Batchelder, Wilfred
Gorodetzer, Samuel HARPS
Costello, Marilyn
de Cray, Marcella FLUTES
Kincaid, W. M.
Cole, Robert
Terry, Kenton F.
Krell, John C, Piccolo OBOES
de Lancie, John
Morris. Charles M.
Di Fulvio, Louis
Minsker, John, English Horn CLARINETS
Gigliotti, Anthony M.
Montanaro, Donald
Serpentini, Jules J.
Lester, Leon, Bass Clarinet
Garfield, Bernard H.
Shatnlian, John
Angelucci, A. L.
Del Negro, F.,
Contrabassoon SAXOPHONE
Waxman, Carl HORNS
Jones, Mason
Mayer, Clarence
Fearn, Ward O.
Hale, Leonard
Lannutti, Charles
Pierson, Herbert TRUMPETS
Krauss, Samuel
Rosenfeld, Seymour
Rehrig, Harold W.
Hering, Sigmund TROMBONES
Smith, Henry C, III
Gusikoff, Charles
Cole, Howard
Harper, Robert S.,
Bass Trombone TUBA
Torchinsky, Abe TIMPANI
Hinger, Fred D.
Bookspan, Michael BATTERY
Owen. Charles E.
Bookspan. Michael
Valeric James
Smith, William
Putlitz, Lois LIBRARIAN
Hauptle, Theodore H., Ugr.
Hauptle, Theodore E.
Siegel, Adrian
The University Musical Society, in addition to the annual May Festival, provided the following concerts during the season of 1957-58.
RISE STEVENS, Mezzo Soprano
James Shomate at the Piano
October 3, 1957
"Where'er you walk," (Scmele) . . . Handel
"Voi che sapete," (Marriage oj Figaro) . Mozart
Water Lily "
Morning Dew I ... Grieg
The First Meeting (
A Dream
Alle Dinge haben Sprache . . . Erich Wolf
Begegnung.........Hugo Wolf
Dein blaues Auge........Brahms
Nichts...........R. Strauss
"Mon coeur s'ouvre a ta voix,"
(Samson et Dalila) .... Saint-Saens
Prelude in A minor.......Debussy
Impromptu in A-flat major. No. 3 . . Faure The Fragrance of Song .... Cecil Cowles
The Pasture......Charles Naginskv
Wild Swans........John Duke
Monastery Evening . . Reginald Boardman
Arcady J
Excerpts from Carmen.......Bizet
Charles Munch, Conductor
October 17, 19S7
Symphony in G minor, K. 550 . . . Mozart "Jeu de cartes" ("Card Game") . Stravinsky Symphony No. 4 in E minor .... Brahms
Adolph Baller at the Piano
October 29, 1957
Sonata in G major, Op. 13.....Grieg
Partita in D minor (for violin alone) . . Bach
Fantaisie, Op. 159.......Schubert
Dryades et Pan, from "Mythes,"
Op. 30........SZYMANOWSKI
I Palpiti..........Paganini
George Szell, Conductor
November 10, 1957
Symphony No 99 in E-flat major . . . Haydn Symphony No. 9 in D minor
(unfinished) .......Bruckner
Otto Herz at the Piano
November 26, 1957
"Thanks Be to Thee" (Israel in Egypt) Handel "Good Fellows Be Merry"
(Peasant Cantata).......Bach
"Bois epais" (Amadis de Gaule) . . . Lully "Why Do the Nations" (Messiah) . . Handel Susses Begrabnis.........Loewe
Wohin )
Am Feierabend f........Schubert
Ungeduld )
"Infelice e tuo credevi" (Ernani) . . . Verdi
Old American Songs
(second set) .... 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
Paul Paray, Conductor
February 17, 1958
Overture, A Midsummer Night's
Symphony in B-flat major, Op. 20 . . Chausson
Suite, from "Namouna".......Lalo
An American in Paris......Gershwin
America, the Beautiful . . . Samuel A. Ward
Die Nacht..........Schubert
In stiller Nacht........Brahms
A Legend.........Tchaikovsky
Maria durch ein Dornwald
ging.....Anonymous--circa 1850
Der Kuckuck.....Laurentius Lemlin
Mignonne......Guillaume Costeley
Echo-Lied.......Orlando di Lasso
Hochzeitslied aus Poniki.....Bartok
Die Tochter der Heide .... Hugo Disiler Deep River .... Arr. by H. T. Burleigh
Kolokolschick.....Russian Folk Song
Where the Bee Sucks . . Dr. Thomas A. Arne Der Schneider Jahrestag . . German Folk Song
"Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs" (musical fantasy based on the fairy tale by the Brothers Grimm).
Fritz Reiner, Conductor
March 2, 1958
Overture to Beatrice and Benedict . . Berlioz Symphony No. 36 ("Linz") .... Mozart
Spanish Rhapsody........Ravel
Symphony No. 5, Op. 100 . . . Prokofieff
MYRA HESS, Pianist March 8, 1958
Rondo in D major, K. 485.....Mozart
Adagio in B minor, K. 540.....Mozart
Gigue in G major, K. 574.....Mozart
Sonata in A minor, Op. 42 .... Schubert
Partita in B-flat major.......Bach
Sonata No. 32, C minor, Op. Ill . Beethoven
VIENNA ON PARADE The Deutschmeister Band
Soloists and Ensembles
Captain Julius Herrmann, Conductor
April 2, 1958
Radetsky March......J. Strauss, Sr.
Erzherzog Albrecht Marsch.....Komzak
Hofball in Schonbrunn . . . Arr. Herrmann
Gumpoldskirchner Kindermarsch . . . Ziegler G'schichten aus dera Wieneiwald . . J. Strauss Tiroler Buben . . . Austrian National Song
Unter der lachenden Sonne.....Eisele
Waltz from "Die lustige Witwe" . . . Leijar Gibt's in Wien a Hctz a Draberei
from "Fruhling im Prater" .... Stolz Leise, ganz leise from
"Ein Walzcrtraum".....0. Straus
Ich tanz mit dir ins Himmelreich from
"Der Zigeunerprimas".....Kalman
Servus Wien..........Dostal
Mir san vom k. u. k........Jurek
Deutschmeister March.......Jurek
Draussen in Sievering blueht
schon der Flieder.....J. Strauss
Im weissen Rossi . . .
Harry Lime Theme........Karas
Waltz in A-flat major......Brahms
Frohsinn aus Oesterreich......Fetras
Holzhackerbaum Alpine March . . . Wagner
Das Fiakerlied..........Pick
Wien, Wien nur du allein .... Sieczynski
Prinz Eugen Marsch......Leonhardt
Der alte Trommler......Herrmann
Extract from "Kaiserwalzer" . . . J. Strauss O du mein Oesterreich.......Suppe
Peter Herman Adler
Conductor and Stage Director
October 6, 19S7
The Marriage of Figaro
(an opera in three acts) .... Mozart
Carlo Zecchi, Conductor
October 24, 19S7
Overture to La Scala di seta .... Rossini
Symphony in D major.....Cherdbini
Sinfonia Americana .... Franco Mannino
Suite from La Pisanclla.....Pizzetti
Overture to Vespri Sicilian!.....Verdi
RUDOLF SERKIN, Pianist November 15, 1957
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
Gerhard Track, Musical Director
January 12, 1958
Repleti sunt ..........Gallus
0 Sacrum convivium.......Gallus
Asoendit Deus.........Gallus
0 bone Jesu........Palestrina
God's Greatest Gift.......Widman
Echosons...........Di Lasso
The Village Barber (comic opera) . . Schenk
The Nightingale........Schubert
La Pastorella.........Schubert
Folksongs from our Travels
Vienna Melodies
Broadway Panorama.......Manilla
"True Love" from High Society . Cole Porter
All the Things You Are .... Jerome Kern
Schon Rosmarin........Kreisler
The Emperor Waltz......J. Strauss
Clair de lune.........Debussy
Deserted Ballroom........Gould
Parlez moi d'amour.......Lenoir
Dance of the Comedians from
The Bartered Bride.....Smetana
Toyshop Ballet.......Mantovani
Love Is a Many-Splendoured Thing . . . Fain The Canary.........Poliankin
1 Could Have Danced All Night . . . Loewe Waltz from Swan Lake .... Tchaikovsky
Perpetuum mobile.......J. Strauss
Around the World........Youno
Orpheus in the Underworld . . . Offenbach
Josef Roisman, Violinist
Alexander Schneider, Violinist
Boris Kroyt, Violist
Mischa Schneider, Cellist
Robert Courte, Guest Violist
Friday. February 21, 1958
Quartet in C minor, Op. 18, No. 4 . Beethoven Quartet in A minor, Op. 17, No. 2 . . Bartok Quintet in C minor, K. 406 .... Mozart
Saturday, February 22, 1958 Quartet in A major, Op. IS, No. 5 . Beethoven
Quartet No. 7.........Milhaud
Quintet in F major, Op. 88 .... Brahms
Sunday, February 23, 1958 Quartet in B-flat major,
Op. 18, No. 6......Beethoven
Quartet, Op. 22, No. 3.....Hindemith
Quintet in E-flat major, K. 614 . . . Mozart
HANDEL'S Messiah
December 7 and 8, 1957
Adele Addison, Soprano
Eunice Alberts, Contralto
Harold Haugh, Tenor
Paul Matthen, Bass
University Choral Union
Musical Society Orchestra
Mary McCall Stubbins, Organist
Lester McCoy, Conductor
CONCERTS FOR 1958-1959
Roberta Peters, Coloratura Soprano.....Wednesday, October 1
Boston Symphony Orchestra........Saturday, October 18
Charles Munch, Conductor
Gina Bachauer, Pianist..........Monday, October 27
National Orchestra of Mexico......Tuesday, November 11
Luis Herrera de la Fuente, Conductor
Jerome Hines, Bass...........Monday, November 24
Nathan Milstein, Violinist.........Monday, January 5
Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra......Thursday, February 26
William Steinberg, Conductor National Symphony Orchestra.......Wednesday, March 4
Howard Mitchell, Conductor
Cesare Valletti, Tenor..........Wednesday, March 11
Andre Tchaikowsky, Pianist.........Monday, March 23
Chicago Symphony Orchestra........Monday, October 6
Fritz Reiner, Conductor
Isaac Stern, Violinist.........Wednesday, November 5
Boston Pops Tour Orchestra........Tuesday, January 13
Arthur Fiedler, Conductor
Renata Tebaldi, Soprano.........Tuesday, February 10
Robert Shaw Chorale and Orchestra . . . (2:30) Sunday, March IS
Robert Shaw, Conductor
Messiah (Handel)..........December 6 and 7, 1958
Nancy Carr, Soprano Kenneth Smith, Bass
Florence Kopleff, Contralto Choral Union and Orchestra
John McCollum, Tenor Lester McCoy, Conductor
Societa Corelli...........February 13, 14. 15, 1959
Srx Concerts...........April 30, May 1, 2, 3, 1959
The Philadelphia Orchestra, Eugene Ormandy, Conductor, William Smith, Assistant Conductor; University Choral Union, Thor John?son, Guest Conductor, and Lester McCoy, Conductor; Festival Youth Chorus, Marguerite Hood, Conductor. Soloists to be announced.
84 ?
Victoria de los Angeles

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