Complete Series: 3358
Hill Auditorium, Ann Arbor, Michigan
1962 Eighty-fourth Season 1963
UNIVERSITY MUSICAL SOCIETY
THE UNIVERSITY OF MICHIGAN
Charles A. Sink, President Gail W. Rector, Executive Director Lester McCoy, Conductor
First Concert Eighty-fourth Annual Choral Union Series Complete Scries 3358
Detroit Symphony Orchestra
PAUL PARAY, Conductor
Sunday Afternoon, October 7, 1962, at 2:30 Hill Auditorium, Ann Arbor, Michigan
Symphony in D minor..........Franck
Lento; allegro non troppo Allegretto
Allegro non troppo
Variations on "The Wayfaring Stranger"......Cohn
Adagio for String Orchestra........Barber
Suite No. 2 from the Ballet Daphnis and Chloe .... Ravel
The University Musical Society has presented the Detroit Symphony Orchestra on twenty-two previous occasions since 1919; the last occasion was February 17, 1958.
The Steinway is the official piano of the University Musical Society. ARS LONGA VITA BREVIS
Symphony in D minor......Cesar-Auguste Franck
Franck's father was a banker, who, quite in variance with the traditional picture of the moneyman, put no obstacles in the way of his son's espousal of music. On the contrary, he encouraged both of his sons to pursue a complete musical education. Young Cesar, fortunately, took to the musical life like a duck to water. He devoted his life to it, progressing through minus-second-rate compositions to the full flowering of his genius almost in the last moments of his life.
The D minor symphony was given its first performance in February, 1889. Franck died in November of the following year. This work, and the great Symphonic Variations, gave him place among the immortals.
Solemnity and beauty are the truly spiritual themes of the symphony. One is arrested at the outset by the troubling statement, deep in the bass, of the major theme. It appears over and over in varied voices. Every shade of expression is employed, with exquisite regard for the sonorities of the instruments employed. The symphony is in the cycle form in which the movements are integrated thematically. The form had been employed by others, but not with such impressive effects.
Shortly after the opening of the second movement, the voice of the English horn is heard in an eloquent melody. The melody, a just-right composition for the difficult instrument, is preceded by an introduction by the harp and plucked strings. It is here that the symphony becomes an essay in pure loveliness. Violas are presently added to strings and harp, playing a melody in couterpoint, to which flute and finally cellos add their tonal values.
The progress of the music takes on lighter color, albeit of a lambent character, as the movement goes its majestic way, like Sidney Lanier's gods, moving "with ample wind-blown garments from measure to measure." There is a return to the melancholy of the movement's opening, and then a promise of happiness in the ascending clarity of the harp.
The symphony is in three movements, although students point out that the composer, had he willed, could have made two movements of the materials of the second. The final movement, with its first theme in bassoons and cellos leading by vigorous steps to the powerful proclamation of the brass chorale of the second theme, shines with a sunniness which is in high relief to the earlier portions. It is an answer, in effect, to the doubtings which troubled the spirit. The brass statement attracts the other themes to it magnetically, lifting the mood of the symphony, even while the melancholia of the past persists in being heard. The brass shouts them down as it sees a vision of triumph.
Variations on "The Wayfaring Stranger" .... James Cohn
The work of this rising American composer is, to a considerable degree, the dis?covery of the Detroit Symphony Orchestra and Paul Paray. The performance at Ford Auditorium of his Symphony No. 3 in G in December, 1959, was the first presentation of a work by Mr. Cohn by a major American symphony orchestra. As a logical follow-up, the set of variations on "The Wayfaring Stranger" was a world premiere by the Orchestra and Mr. Paray, on October 4 and 6 of this year, in Ford Auditorium, Detroit.
For the publication by Boosey & Hawkes, the composer included a brief program note to introduce the score:
" 'The Wayfaring Stranger,' " he writes, "is one of that vast group of religious folk songs created in the southern United States more than a century ago.
"Many verses have been set to it. As a preface to this instrumental work I have created my own, which embodies, in addition to some of the traditional lines, a con?densation of others:
'I'm just a wayfaring stranger,
Traveling through this world of woe,
And there's no grief, sickness or danger
In that bright land to which I go.
I'm going back among my people,
I'm going back, no more to roam;
They wait for me beyond the river . . .
I'm going back there to my home.' (copyright 1960 by James Cohn)
"The set of twelve variations was written in memory of my friends Maryla Jonas Abraham and Ernest G. Abraham, who passed away in 1959."
Mr. Cohn has provided the following analysis of his "Wayfaring Stranger" variations:
The variations begin with a quiet lyrical statement of the melody by unaccompanied oboe and is then followed by twelve variations, each of which develops rather than ornaments the theme.
The first variation introduces a harmonic setting derived from the melody, and the second begins the development of the rhythm; the meter is now 44 instead of 34 and the mood is more carefree.
In the third variation attention is drawn to the rise and fall of the melodic pitch, emphasized by a flow of evenly-spaced fast notes.
In the fourth and fifth variations the melodic rhythm returns to its original form, but the pitch contour is inverted; the melody now goes up, where before it went down, and goes down where before it went up.
The sixth and seventh variations, taken at the end of a hornpipe, return the pitch-contour of the melody to its familiar form, but in retrograde order; that is, the last notes now appear first and the first notes last.
In the eighth variation, which is slow and dreamy in mood, the melody is heard not only in retrograde but also inverted.
The ninth, tenth, and eleventh variations become a fugue, at first slow and deliberate in pace (variation nine), then faster and more agitated, with interjected syncopated fragments which impatiently "pile up" upon one another (variation eleven).
These fragments "spill over" into the twelfth and last variation, swirling briefly in counterpoint around the final appearance of the complete melody, which has now returned to its original familiar form, giving the entire composition the unity of a cycle and restoring it to the spirit in which the work began.
Adagio for String Orchestra.......Samuel Barber
Originally the slow movement of the String Quartet, Op. 11, Barber's Adagio has become, in its String Orchestra version, one of the best known of contemporary American works. The Adagio is essentially a monothematic work which falls into a ternary design. Canonic treatment follows the simple harmonized statement of the theme in the beginning. A powerful climax ensues, and the work ends with an ab?breviated restatement of the primary melodic material in a mood of nostalgic remi?niscence. Basically triadal, the harmonic background is tinged with a modal feeling which, along with the choice of a key, B-flat minor, rare for string works, contributes to the expressiveness of serenity, lost and then regained.
Suite No. 2 from the Ballet Daphnis and Chloe . . Maurice Ravel
The story of the ballet is that of an ancient Greek romance which tells of the love of the shepherd Daphnis and the maiden Chloe for one another; her abduction by a band of pirates and the reunion of the young lovers through the kind offices of the god Pan.
The second suite has this argument:
"There is no sound save the murmur of rivulets nourished by dew that seeps from the boulders. Daphnis lies prone before the Grotto of the Nymphs.
"Little by little, day breaks, and the twitter of birds is heard. Far off, a shepherd is tending his flock; at the rear of the stage, a second shepherd passes by. Herdsmen enter, seeking Daphnis.
"They find Daphnis and arouse him. In anguish he seeks about him for Chloe, who at last appears, surrounded by shepherdesses. The lovers dash into each other's arms. Daphnis espies Chloe's chaplet and knows that his dream of her rescue by Pan was a true vision. It is manifest that the god has intervened.
"Lammon, an old shepherd, relates how Pan saved Chloe in remembrance of the nymph Syrinx whom he loved, Daphnis and Chloe mime the tale of Pan and Syrinx; Chloe impersonates the youthful nymph wandering through the meadows. Daphnis, in the guise of Pan, appears and tells her of his love.
"The nymph repulses him but the god grows more insistent. She flees among the reed-grasses. Beside himself, Pan plucks a stalk, fashions a pipe and plays on it a mel?ancholy air. Chloe comes forth and by her dance imitates the accents of the flute.
"The dance becomes more and more animated. Amidst wild whirling, Chloe falls into the arms of Daphnis. Before the altar of the nymphs, the lover swears his fidelity on two lambs. Maidens enter in the garb of Bacchantes with tambourines. A band of youths joins them. There is joyous tumult and general merrymaking."
1962 UNIVERSITY MUSICAL SOCIETY PRESENTATIONS 1963
Choral Union Series
"La Traviata" (Verdi opera)......Friday, October 19
French National Orchestra.....Wednesday, October 24
Shankar--Hindu Dance Company .... Tuesday, November 6
Leningrad Philharmonic......Monday, November 12
"Marriage of Figaro" (Mozart opera) . . . Saturday, November 17
Gerard Souzay, Baritone.......Tuesday, January 8
Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra .... Thursday, February 14
Toronto Symphony Orchestra......Tuesday, March 12
San Francisco Ballet........Friday, March 22
Standing room only
"The Sound of Music" . . . . (8:00) Wednesday, October 31
National Ballet of Canada......Friday, November 9
"Rigoletto" (Verdi opera) .... (2:30) Sunday, November 18
Hamburg Symphony Orchestra .... Wednesday, January 16
Birgit Nilsson, Soprano........Monday, March 18
Standing room only
Saturday, December 1, at 8:30, and Sunday, December 2, at 2:30 University Choral Union with Guest Soloists
and University Symphony Orchestra Tickets: $2.00--$1.50--$1.00 and 75(J -on sale October 10.
Artur Rubinstein, Pianist......Thursday, February 7
Ann Arbor May Festival
Philadelphia Orchestra in six concerts .... May 9, 10. 11, 12
Chamber Dance Festival
Kovach, Rabovsky, and Company . . . (2:30) Sunday, October 14 Phakavali, Thailand Dance Company .... Monday, October IS
Jose Molina Bailes Espanoles.....Tuesday, October 16
Series Tickets: $6.00 and $4.00. Single prices: $2.50 and $2.00.
Chicago Little Symphony .... (2:30) Sunday, December 9
Tickets: $2.50 and $2.00
Chamber Music Festival
Budapest String Quartet . . February 20, 21, 22, 23, & (2:30) 24 Complete cycle of Beethoven string quartets Series Tickets: $10.00 and $7.00 -on sale November 5.
Julian Bream, Guitarist and Lutist . . . (2:30) Sunday, March 31 Tickets on sale January 10 -$2.50 and $2.00
For tickets and information, address: University Musical Society, Burton Memorial Tower