Complete Series: 3285
Hill Auditorium, Ann Arbor, Michigan
1959 Eightyfirst Season 1960
UNIVERSITY MUSICAL SOCIETY
THE UNIVERSITY OF MICHIGAN
Charles A. Sink, President Gail W. Rector, Executive Director Lester McCoy, Conductor
Fourth Concert Fourteenth Annual Extra Concert Series Complete Series 328S
Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra
WILLIAM STEINBERG, Conductor
Monday Evening, February 29, i960, at 8:30 Hill Auditorium, Ann Arbor, Michigan
Sonata "pian e forte," for Two Instrumental Choirs . . . Gabrieli
Symphony No. 2 in D major.......Beethoven
Adagio molto; allegro con brio Larghetto Scherzo Allegro molto
Overture to Don Giovanni (with concert ending by Busoni) . Mozart
Pittsburgh Symphony........Paul Hindemith
(commissioned by the Pittsburgh Bicentennial Committee) Molto energico Slow march Ostinato
Prelude to Die Meistersinger........Wagner
Steinway Piano Everest and Capitol Records
NOTE--This is the tenth appearance of the Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra under the auspices of the University Musical Society.
The Steinway is the official piano of the University Musical Society ARS LONGA VITA BREVIS
Sonata "pian e forte," for Two Instrumental Choirs . Giovanni Gabrieli
The most striking sight in Venice is the church of St. Mark, facing the piazza. At St. Mark's, there are two organ lofts: one on each side of the cathedral's interior, each accommodating a limited group of singers and instrumentalists. It was this struc?tural plan of the church that inspired the musical inventiveness of Gabrieli. Hence, antiphonal features in the scoring and performance of this music emerge as prominent characteristics of his style.
Symphony in D major, No. 2, Op. 36 . . Ludwig van Beethoven
The introduction to the Second Symphony, an adagio molto, is in its scope an almost independent movement. The thematic substance belongs to this adagio alone. Fortissimo, an upbeat, leads to a fermata, held by the full orchestra. The winds intone a lyric theme, D major, 34. Eventually, this leads to an energetic descent in D minor.
The principal theme of the allegro, D major, 44, is entrusted to the strings. The subsidiary theme (on the dominant A) begins in the clarinets and bassoons. The first strain of the theme is piano; its continuation is fortissimo. Such dynamic contrasts within a single subject become typical of Beethoven's mature style. The volume of tone breaks willfully through the melodic line.
The development of this thematic material is rich in contrapuntal treatment and instrumental finesse. Both themes are seen from new viewpoints. The main theme (now darkened to D minor) appears disquieting. But the subsidiary theme is stripped of its earlier military note. The recapitulation is marked by a certain condensation of state?ments. And the coda is promoted to the stature of another development. Hence the concentration of the reprise: the listener's mind is ready, at the end of a relatively long movement, to absorb new material.
In the lyrical larghelto, the bright and strong colors of trumpet and tympani are missing. The design is inspired by the grace and beauty of its various motives. The larghelto (A major, 38) begins, like so many classical melodies, as a simple circum?scription of basic triads. Gently, the initial motive rises; a trill crowns its pattern. The afterphrase turns to the dominant. From this tender beginning in the strings, a long movement unfolds, rich in themes and still richer in their ingenious combinations.
The subsidiary theme in the first violins is recognized by the syncopating tone line over a gliding bass. Some crossrhythm results in the continuation. A closing theme is warmly sung by the second violins and cellos. The horns have an important counter?point. And thus an exposition of unusual thematic opulence comes to its end.
For the first time, Beethoven called a dance movement within a symphony "scherzo." The movement, an allegro in 34, is brief. It is characterized by rapidly changing dynamics. Three notes--D, E, Fsharp--form the motivic cell. The short motive is announced by bassoons and low strings. In the second bar, it is echoed piano by the violins. In the third measure, it is again heard jorte. And in the fourth, it returns to piano.
The trio continues the play of tonal surprises, and carries it into the domain of harmony. Opening calmly in the main key of D with oboes and bassoons, the trio turns unexpectedly to a boisterous section in Fsharp in the strings. And as though nothing had happened, the gentle strain of the winds returns.
The last movement is a rondo, based on a theme of good humor. The subject of the allegro molto, D major, 22, leaps from the treble down to the lower tone space. This sets the rondo off to a most cheerful motion. Presently, we hear the leisurely mood of the subsidiary theme.
Quiet whole and half notes (clarinet and bassoon, later oboe and flute) are inter?rupted by the run of the violins with their unruly sjorzato. The end of the rondo is a quick fadeout, as spontaneous as anything occurring in the four movements of the youthful work.
Overture, Don Giovanni .... Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart
On his manuscript, Mozart called Don Giovanni "Dramma giocoso" (merry drama), and in the Overture he employs the significant musical ideas associated with the dramatic action of the opera itself.
The concert performance of the Overture presents this problem, however: Mozart's coda ends on a cadence in C. From here a unison motive leads to the opening scene of Act I. Hence, in concert, a different conclusion must be provided.
Ferrucio Busoni, a keen student of Mozart's classical style, is the author of the concert ending which we hear in these performances.
Pittsburgh Symphony........Paul Hindemith
Paul Hindemith wrote his new symphony in honor of the Bicentennial celebration of the city of Pittsburgh. The title of the new score, Pittsburgh Symphony, obviously points to the type of nomenclature--familiar since the symphonies of the early classical masters--where the name of the work offers clues not only to the place and source of a commission, but also to certain folkloristic ties inherent in the tonal substance.
The individual three movements of the Pittsburgh Symphony are highly integrated; there are, however, no obvious thematic connections between them. The first movement is a powerful molto energico. The thematic arch, with its alternation of triple and double meter, makes us immediately aware of Hindemith's typical building stones.
An identical melodic line reigns sovereign in continuous motion: the entire first movement evolves from several repeats of the lengthy main theme. In baroque manner, the music is spun forth from section to section. Each end dovetails with the beginning of the next section. Each of these repeats is distinguished by individual tone color. Thus, after the announcement of the theme by the full orchestra, the first repeat is played by the winds.
Of the various contrapuntal devices, the inversion of the theme plays an important role (first heard in the solo flute). A central section, phi calmo, belongs to the espressivo of the string quintet, tied to a curious fundament in the tympani.
At the resumption of the tempo primo, the opening movement pushes with urgency toward its final bars. Here the brasses accentuate the chief motive once more.
A Pennsylvania Dutch ditty--"Hab lumbedruwwel mit me lumbeschatz"--is the core of the second movement. First we hear a slow march. The solo oboe intones the melody espressivo. This is accompanied by the marked rhythms of muted strings and winds, antiphonally. Later, the French horns continue the melodic thread.
Eventually the texture encompasses every single instrument, with the percussion marking rhythm and adding spice. These are busy pages. The note picture shows a mul?titude of small values; thirtyseconds are strewn over the parts in rich ornamentation.
From this embroidered part, a section marked pin lento leads to serene contrast. The ditty appears in buoyant orchestration. An allegro assai, the tune is brightly blown by piccolo and trumpet, seconded by other woodwinds and brasses. We hear music of rustic vitality. The ditty is driven through six full variants of instrumentation. The last of them again bridges to the initial broad melodic section. Now clarinets and bassoons vary the march. Muted brass echoes the folk tune.
The solo bassoon (with the march theme), juxtaposed to strings and tympani ("lumbedruwwel") forms the link to the calm coda. The strings sing out warmly, simply.
The finale bears the heading ostinato. It is based on a row of eight notes (Eflat, Aflat, Bflat, F, Fsharp, A, E, D) which permeates the entire movement. We hear this group now in the bass, now in the descant or in the middle voices. This, then, is the skeletal theme; the notes appear in every measure (or every other measure) to guide the succession of the melodicharmonic development.
Following the four bar statement of this ostinato, an allegro moderato treats its inherent polyphonic elements. The chief subject varies, coping with the principal devices of contrapuntal design. It is now rhythmically torn apart, now compressed. It frequently appears in new color.
A series of important counterpoints run against the ostinato. Toward its end, the relatively short movement reaches for a big climax. After a short transition, we hear the signallike glorification of the celebrating city: "Pittsburgh Is a Great Old Town!"
The familiar tune immediately focuses the listener's attention upon the farewell "message" of the Pittsburgh Symphony. The motive is blown by the horns in unison, and taken up, poco pin largamente, by the full brass in rich harmonization. The rest of the orchestra rings out in jubilation.
Prelude to Die Meistersinger......Richard Wagner
Among the great instrumental works whose fundamental principle is that of polyphony, the Prelude to Die Meistersinger stands alone. The overture begins with the theme of the mcistersingers in heavy pompous chords; the second theme, only fourteen measures in length, expresses the tender love of Eva and Walther. In an interlude the violins sing the famous "prize song" in which the whole work finds its highest expression in the last act.
A stirring climax is reached with the simultaneous sounding of the three themes: the "prize song" in the first violins, first horns, and celli; the banner theme in the wood?winds, lower horns, and second violins; and the meistersinger theme in basses of all choirs.
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. 5 ("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); Symphonie de Psalmes (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" (Berlioz); 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 Ormandy, Conductor.
SUNDAY, MAY 8, 2:30 P.M.
Leontyne 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.
Lisa Delia Casa, Metropolitan Opera Soprano--arias from Don Gio?vanni and Marriage of Figaro (Mozart); Ariadne atij Naxos and Capriccio (R. Strauss). Toccata and Fugue in D minor (Bach-Ormandy); Symphony No. 2 (Ross Lee Finney); and Suite from Der Rosenkavalicr (Strauss). Eugene Ormandy, Conductor.
Season Tickets: $15.00--$12.00--$9.00--$8.00 Single concert tickets will be on sale beginning March IS.
Andres Segovia, Guitarist (sold out) .... Monday, March 7
Giulietta Simionato, Mezzosoprano (2:30) . . Sunday, March 13 Program of arias from II Barbicre di Siviglia (Rossini) ; Rinaldo (Handel) ; La Favorita (Donizetti) ; Don Carlo (Verdi) ; and songs by Spontini, Bellini, Verdi, Favara, Tomasi, and Granados.
Lamoureux Orchestra (Extra Series) . . . Thursday, March 24 Igor Markevitch, Conductor
Program: Symphony No. 2.......Gounod
"Daphnis et Chloe".......Ravel
For tickets or information, address: University Musical Society, Burton Memorial Tower.