Complete Series: 3280
Hill Auditorium, Ann Arbor, Michigan
19S9 Eightyfirst Season 1960
UNIVERSITY MUSICAL SOCIETY
THE UNIVERSITY OF MICHIGAN
Charles A. Sink, President Gail W. Rector, Executive Director
Lester McCoy, Conductor
Eightyfirst Annual Choral Union Series Complete Series 3280
Minneapolis Symphony Orchestra
ANTAL DORATI, Conductor
Monday Evening, February 8, i960, at 8:30 Hill Auditorium, Ann Arbor, Michigan
PROGRAM Overture to the Ballet, "Prometheus," Op. 43
Symphony in D major, No. 101 ("The Clock") Adagio; presto Andante
Menuetto; allegro Finale: vivace
Seven Studies on Themes of Paul Klee Antike Harmonien (Antique Harmonies) Abstraktes Terzett (Abstract Trio) Kleiner Blauteufel (Little Blue Devil) Die Zwitschermaschine (The Twittering Machine) Arabischestadt (Arab Village) Ein unheimlicher Moment (An Ominous Moment) Pastorale
Symphony No. 4 Burlesque Elegy Pastorale
Three Dances from the Ballet, "The ThreeCornered Hat" . The Neighbors The Miller's Dance Final Dance
NOTE--The University Musical Society has presented the Minneapolis Symphony on four previous occasions: Jan. 28, 1941; Feb. 3, 1942; Feb. IS, 1948; and Feb. 12, 1953.
The Steinway is the official piano of the University Musical Society
A R S
L O N G A
B R E V I S
PROGRAM NOTES Overture to the Ballet "Prometheus," Op. 43 . Ludvvig van Beethoven
The story of the ballet, of Greek origin, is about Prometheus who brings two statues to life with fire and gives them feeling and understanding by means of the arts. They are taken to Apollo's court where they meet many different Goddesses. A celebra?tion to give thanks for the gift of life then takes place. It is soon pointed out, however, that the implements they are using for the celebration can also cut off the life whose creation is being feted. In the end, Prometheus is stabbed to death for having con?demned the human race to the horrors of war and destruction.
Symphony No. 101 in D major (aThe Clock") . Franz Joseph Haydn
Similar to many of his symphonies, the first movement of "The Clock" starts with a slow introduction marked adagio. It soon leads into a very swift presto which might remind the listener of a tarantelle, a dance incited by the bite of a tarantula. The second movement is slow, marked andante, and here one perceives a rhythmic sort of ticking sound, reminiscent of the ticking of a clock--thus the subtitle, "The Clock Symphony." As was customary in that time, the third movement, or section, was a dance form, and this movement is labeled as a menuetto. The Finale, vivace, is fast but simple in structure.
Seven Studies on Themes of Paul Klee . . . Gunther Schuller
In Antique Harmonies I tried to preserve not only Klee's amber, ochre, and brown colors, but also the blocklike shapes with which, in constant variation, Klee builds this remarkable painting.
Over a dark, dense background, blocks of lighter colored fifths gradually pile up, reaching a climax in the brighter yellow of the trumpets and high strings. A repeated cadence, common in 14thcentury music and the organumlike open fifths establish the "antique" quality of the "harmonies."
The music for Abstract Trio is played almost entirely by only three instruments at any given time. But the three instruments change during the course of the piece, changing from the bright color of woodwinds through the grainier texture of muted brass and bassoon to the somber hues of low woodwinds and tuba.
Little Blue Devil is transformed into a kind of jazz piece. A perky, angular theme (my subjective musical impression of the geometrically conceived head in Klee's paint?ing) is combined with a blues progression, altered to nine bars instead of the conven?tional twelve, and occasionally distorted asymmetrically. Various shades of "blue" are maintained through the use of muted brass and lowregister clarinets.
A piece based on Klee's famous Twittering Machine should, it seems to me, do primarily one thing, namely: twitter. The mathematical constructive element in presentday serial techniques seemed to lend itself especially logically to such a pointillistic musical representation.
Klee's Arab Village is an abstracted aerial view of a town baking in the bright North African desert sun. A beholder of such a scene--floating, as it were, above the village--might hear the often simultaneous chant of Arab melodies: the melancholy distant flute, blending with throbbing drums and the nasal dance tunes of the oboe. In preparation for this piece, I consulted numerous musicological sources on Arab music (including works by Bartok and Hornbostel), and used either authentic Arab folk material or very close adaptations thereof.
The music of An Eerie Moment is a musical play more on the title than on Klee's actual pen drawing. The German word "unheimlich" is practically untranslatable by a single English word, having a connotation not only of "eerie," but of "unearthly" and "terrifying." I have also tried to convey the atmosphere created by the slinking shapes of the picture. The strange, ominous tension of the opening finally finds sudden release in two terrified outbursts, only to sink back into oblivious calm.
Pastorale was subtitled "Rhythms" by Klee. It is one of the many works of the artist employing a variation principle. It is also a painting that cannot be understood by a single glance. As in Klee's painting, several rhythmicmelodic shapes occur on various register and speed (temporal) levels. The pastoral quality of the clarinet, French horn and English horn underlines the suspended mood of the music.
Symphony No. 4.........Roger Sessions
When in 19S7 the Minnesota Centennial Commission asked me to write a work in connection with the State Celebration to be held in 1958, it seemed to me that a work of this kind, embodying as it did very fundamental human attitudes which are both varied and inclusive, was especially fitting for such an occasion as the commemoration
of a hundred years of human history. As my work on it progressed, two things became clear to me--first of all the movements were by implication larger in scope than I had originally conceived them to be; secondly, their very contrasts made them for me parts of a complete design, each incomplete without the others. I adopted the title "Symphony" with a certain hesitation, arising from the fact that each of the movements would contain various tempi and that the contrasts between them would be based primarily on character rather than tempo.
Actually, as the work took its final shape, this proved to be less true than I had anticipated. It is true that each movement is highly concentrated, and contains within itself a number of contrasting elements; and the three movements--as the conception in fact dictates--are more nearly equal in this respect than is generally the case in a Symphony. But the essential contrasts are there, nevertheless; it does not seem far?fetched to see in the "Burlesque" the general character of a Scherzo, in the "Elegy" that of a symphonic Allegro with slow introduction and epilogue, and in the "Pastorale" that of an Andante.
As far as the general architecture of the work is concerned: the "Burlesque" follows lines somewhat analogous to those of the "Sonata" form. A short, readily recognizable theme in the strings, over woodwinds, opens the movement, and returns to introduce each of the main sections. The principal section, consisting of two contrasting groups of themes--(1) horn, followed by woodwinds, (2) violins, then bassoons and bass clarinet, against soft repeated chords in the horns--is followed by a middle section, of which the main part consists of a kind of condensed fugato--trombone, answered by trumpet, then (in inversion) by violins. The final section brings a return of the two contrasting groups of the beginning, in somewhat abbreviated form. This is followed by a very short concluding passage. The whole is in a spirit of exuberance, at times of parody and and even of satire.
The "Elegy" opens with quiet chords, muted horns alternating with muted strings, which support short, fragmentary figures in the individual woodwind instruments, accented by harp and celesta. This leads to a vehement phrase for violas and oboes in unison, over heavy chords in the muted brass, expanded presently in the violins, leading to a climax and bringing a return of the music of the opening measures. The violins then take over a figure from the woodwind fragments, and lead to the principal section of the movement, Allegro impetuoso. The violent first part of this Allegro alternates twice with a passage of more lyrical character. At the climax of its third appearance it is interrupted by harsh chords in woodwinds and brass, over a descending motif given to the four horns in unison. A short Andante lamenloso--bassoon, answered by flutes, over drums and low pizzicato strings, leads to a return of the violas and oboes of the opening section, followed by muted trombones, junebre, over pizzicato violoncelli, contrabassoon, and double basses. The movement ends with a return of the quiet opening measures.
The "Pastorale" also opens quietly. A short figure in the English horn, then bass clarinet, leads to a melody of pastoral character, 68 time, in the oboe. This rises to a climax, then subsides. A new melody, Adagio, muted violas over trombones, bass clari?net, and double basses--leads to a series of free variations, twice interrupted by a short interlude, based on the opening motif of the movement (oboe, over bassoons). The tempo becomes constantly more animated and increases in intensity to the biggest climax of the movement. As this subsides, the melody of the opening section is very briefly resumed. The movement ends very quietly with the figure of the opening, taken in reverse, passed from oboe to English horn, and finally to 'celli, coming to rest on a soft low E.
Three Dances from the Ballet, "The
Three Cornered Hat" . ?.....Manuel de Falla
The plot concerns itself with a young miller and his wife reveling with their neigh?bors in a village dance. The elderly, lecherous Governor of the province comes by with his retinue of bodyguards and servants and is immediately smitten with the young miller's wife. Returning during the miller's absence (he has been arrested to get him out of the way), the Governor makes clumsy amorous advances to the miller's wife. Her taunting agility in evading him results in his falling into the nearby stream. Alone, he exchanges his wet clothes for those of the miller who, having escaped, discovered the Governor in his house. Vengeance is his when the police enter, mistake the Governor for the escaped miller, thrash him soundly and drag him off as the villagers gather to rejoice at the Governor's misfortune.
The concert suite of three dances opens with the "Neighbor's Dance" at the opening of the ballet. The slower "Miller's Dance" is a fine musical portrayal of the rough, buoyant nature of the young miller. The "Final Dance" accompanies the concluding scene when the Governor is belabored by his own men while the villagers cavort.
MAY 5, 6, 7, 8, 1960
THE PHILADELPHIA ORCHESTRA AT ALL CONCERTS
THURSDAY, MAY 5, 8:30 P.M.
Rudolf Serkin, Pianist. All Beethoven program: "Leonore" Overture No. 3; Symphony No. 7 in A major; and Piano Concerto No. S ("Emperor"). Eugene Ormandy, Conductor.
FRIDAY, MAY 6, 8:30 P.M.
Andres Segovia, Guitarist. -Concerto in D major (CastelnuovoTedesco); and Fantasia for Guitar and Orchestra (Rodrigo). University Choral Union in Alleluia (Thompson); Symphonic de P.salmes (Stravinsky); Choros No. 10 (VillaLobos); and Corrido de "El Sol" (Chavez). Thor Johnson, Conductor.
SATURDAY, MAY 7, 2:30 P.M.
William Kincaid, Flutist, and Marilyn Costello, Harpist. Overture "Le Corsaire"; Concerto for Flute and Harp, K. 299 (Mozart); Divertissement (Ibert); Variaciones Concertantes (Ginastera); and "Till Eulenspiegel" (Strauss). William Smith, Conductor.
SATURDAY, MAY 7, 8:30 P.M.
Anshel Brusilow, Violinist, and Lome Munroe, Cellist. Symphony No. 7 in C major, Op. 105 (Sibelius); Concerto for Cello, Op. 107 (Shostakovich); Concerto for Violin, Op. 77 (Brahms). Eugene Ormardy, Conductor.
SUNDAY, MAY 8, 2:30 P.M.
Leonfyne Price, Soprano; Frances Bible, Mezzosoprano; Albert da Costa, Tenor; Kim Borg, Bass; University Choral Union; in Verdi Requiem. Thor Johnson, Conductor.
SUNDAY, MAY 8, 8:30 P.M.
Soloist to be announced. Toccata and Fugue in D minor (Bach-Ormandy); Symphony No. 2 (Ross Lee Finney); and Suite from Der Rosenkavalier (Strauss). Eugene Ormandy, Conductor.
Season Tickets: $15.00--$12.00--$9.00--$8.00 Single concert tickets will be on sale beginning March 15.
The Festival Quartet (in 20th Chamber Music Festival)
....................February 12, 13, 14, in Rackham Auditorium
Bach Aria Group............................Tuesday, February 16
Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra.............Monday, February 29
Andres Segovia, Guitarist........................Monday, March 7
Giulietta Simionato, Mezzosoprano (2:30)........Sunday, March 13
Lamoureux Orchestra (from Paris).............Thursday, March 24
Chicago Symphony Orchestra....................Monday, April 4
For tickets or information, address: University Musical Society, Burton Memorial Tower.