Complete Series: 3434
Hill Auditorium, Ann Arbor, Michigan
1964 Eighty-sixth Season 1963
UNIVERSITY MUSICAL SOCIETY
THE UNIVERSITY OF MICHIGAN
Charles A. Sink, President Gail W. Rector, Executive Director Lester McCoy, Conductor
First Concert Eighty-sixth Annual Choral Union Series Complete Series 3434
Chicago Symphony Orchestra
JEAN MARTINON, Music Director and Conductor
Friday Evening, September 25, 1964, at 3:30 Hill Auditorium, Ann Arbor, Michigan
Symphony No. 3 in F major, Op. 90......Brahms
Allegro con brio Andante Poco allegretto Allegro
"La Mer" ("The Sea").........Debussy
From Dawn to Noon at Sea
Gambols of the Waves
Dialogue Between the Wind and the Sea
Suite from "The Miraculous Mandarin," Op. 19 ... Bartok Recorded by the Chicago Symphony Orchestra
The Chicago Symphony Orchestra uses the Baldwin Piano.
Note.--The University Musical Society has presented the Chicago Symphony Orchestra in the Choral Union Series on twenty-one previous occasions; and at May Festivals from 1905 to 1935 inclusive--totaling 186 performances.
ARS LONGA VITA BREVIS
Symphony No. 3 in F major, Op. 90.....Johannes Brahms
While the key of Symphony No. 3 is given as F major, the key of F minor is used to such an extent that it would not seem incorrect to call this the Symphony in F major-minor. During the first movement there is much wavering between major and minor; the last move?ment begins in F minor with the key signature of that key and does not return to the major signature until the coda at the end of the movement. This easy exchange between the major and the minor forms of a given key provides for an increase in the use of chromaticism in music, and an enrichment in harmonic possibilities. It may be added that, in time, this is one of the factors which contributed to the breaking up of the system of major and minor keys and the widespread use of the twelve-note chromatic scale.
Brahms seeks to give unity to his composition by the use of a so-called "motto" theme. This theme is made up of the notes F-A-F; it is heard as the top melody of the first three chords of the Symphony. It reappears several times during the course of the first movement; it is incorporated in the melodic line of the second movement, though here, it is perhaps more apparent to the eye than to the ear; and, at the end of the fourth movement, it returns again. It has been suggested that the letters F-A-F represent fret, aber jroh ("free but happy"), which Brahms, following the model of his friend Joachim, the violinist, took as a personal motto. It is probable that Brahms, in the mature period of his Third Symphony, thought of the "motto" theme principally as a means of achieving musical unity.
Particularly in his later works, Brahms is often described as a composer with a highly romantic nature who retained the disciplined forms of the classical period. The Third Sym?phony illustrates this description in some respects. Both the first and the last movements present concentrated examples of the sonata-allegro form, and both may be described as somewhat heroic in scope. Both movements, however, end quietly in a reflective mood. The last movement, particularly, ends with a rather extended coda, suggesting that Brahms lapsed into an expression of longing which characterized his fundamentally romantic nature.
I. Allegro con brio, C major, 6-4 time. The "motto" theme is heard first in this move?ment--F-A-flat-F. The principal theme is then presented by the violins while the string basses and trombones repeat the "motto" theme in the bass. The first measure of the principal theme is thus F major and the second measure is F minor. A quiet passage presenting a sub?sidiary idea leads into the new key, A major, for the second theme for which the time changes to 9-4.
After the second theme, the "motto" theme is heard before the cadence in A minor closes the exposition.
The development section treats both first and second themes; the "motto" theme is used to return to a restatement of the two principal themes. The first theme is restated in the key of F major; the second theme returns in D major. The key of F returns and the movement ends quietly.
II. Andante, C major, 4-4 time. This is a solemn movement. The opening theme contains elements of the simplest folk song; before the movement is ended some of the richest and most romantic harmony Brahms ever wrote may be heard. The first theme is introduced in the woodwinds. Following the second theme that of the first section returns in a varied form.
III. Poco allegretto, C minor, 3-8 time. While this movement is comparable to the scherzo, the character of the music is rather gentle. The violoncellos play the theme of the opening section. After the contrasting trio section, a short transition, containing expressive harmony in Brahms' romantic style, leads to a repetition of the first section.
IV. Allegro, F minor, 2-2 time. The first theme is followed by a quiet, hymnlike sub?sidiary theme played by the strings and woodwinds. A vigorous passage, based on the first theme, then leads to the second theme. As the music moves into the closing section to the exposition, the key changes from C major to C minor, and the vigorous closing theme is given out fortissimo.
The development section is concerned primarily with the first theme and the hymnlike subsidiary theme that followed it in the exposition. The recapitulation restates the second theme first; it returns in F major. The material of the closing theme to the exposition is then used to build up a tremendous orchestral climax, at which point the first theme appears, played in the bass of a full-bodied orchestral texture. The music subsides; the first theme is repeated but its rhythm is transformed in various ways.
The coda is a quiet and contemplative section in F major. It begins with a broadened (augmented) version of the first theme played by the oboe. The opening figure of the first theme then appears in fragmented form, passing from one instrument to another. Above a rich harmonic progression of chords, the horns softly outline the "motto" theme and then the woodwinds and horns join in a brief reminiscence of the second theme of the second movement. In the final measures, fragments of the first theme appear underneath the ascend?ing line of the flute outlining the F-A-flat-F motto theme; as the strings descend into the final F major chord, they outline the first theme of the first movement.
La Mer ("The Sea").........Claude Debussy
La Mer was begun in 1903 and finished two years later. At its first Parisian performance it was not well received. It was another example of the "new" music, the music of impression?ism, the music which was, in part at least, a rebellion against the forms and practices of the past. A very conscious part of what might be called the aesthetics of Debussy appears to have been a rejection of the traditions and forms of past musical practices. Negation, however, is not sufficient matter on which to build an art form; constructively, then, Debussy empha?sized the necessity for freedom of musical expression. New freedom for musical expression might be found in the close observation of nature. His references to nature, of course, point to the influence of the ideals and methods of the impressionist writers and painters, many of whom were well known to him. A few of Debussy's remarks, mostly separated from the bitter barbs he delighted in committing to print, are quoted:
"Music is the expression of the movement of the waters, the play of curves described by changing breezes. There is nothing more musical than a sunset. He who feels what he sees will find no more beautiful example of development in all that book which, alas, musicians
read but too little--the book of Nature___" Debussy published some of his articles in a
book which he called Monsieur Croche, Antidillcttante. At one point he has Monsieur Croche say, "Music is the sum total of scattered forces .... And people have made of it a song composed of theories! I prefer a few notes from the flute of an Egyptian shepherd. He collaborates with the scenery around him and hears harmonies of which our textbooks are ignorant.... Musicians listen only to music written by skillful hands; they never hear what is written in Nature. There is more to be gained by seeing the sun rise than by hearing the 'Pastoral' Symphony."
He expands his ideas still more in an article for a music journal written in 1913, several years after the composition of La Mer: "Of all the arts, music is closest to nature--offers her the most subtle attraction. Although they claim to be nature's sworn interpreters, painters and sculptors can give us but a loose and fragmentary rendering of the beauty of the universe. Only one aspect, one instant is seized and placed on record. To musicians only it is given to capture all the poetry of night and day, of earth and heaven, to reconstruct their atmosphere and record the rhythm of their great heart-beats."
Suite from "The Miraculous Mandarin," Op. 19 ... Bela Bartok
The pantomime, The Miraculous Mandarin, was composed in Rakotkuresztur, an eastern suburb of Budapest, between October 1918 and May 1919, a time of extreme political up?heaval in Hungary. The book was written by Menyhert Lengyel. The story takes place in a poor room in a brothel. A girl is set at the window to entice men into the room so that her three male accomplices can rob them. In the German preface to the score the three accom?plices are called "tramps" or "ruffians" (Strolche). At the first call of the girl, there appears a shabbily dressed cavalier, who has no money and is eventually thrown out by the ruffians. The second visitor is a young man who likewise has no money and is similarly ejected. The third man to appear at the door is the strange character of the mandarin. Halsey Stevens describes his visit as follows:
"[He] stands motionless in the doorway. The girl struggles to quell her aversion, and dances for him; the dance runs a course from reluctance to sensuality, as the mandarin's burning eyes in his impassive face follow the dancer. She falls into his lap; he trembles with passion as he embraces her and, frightened, she tries to elude him. The chase becomes furious; the mandarin reaches the girl and they struggle. The ruffians spring upon him and strip him of his jewels and money. Then debating how to dispose of him, they try first to smother him under the pillows, but he will not die: his eyes look longingly at the girl. They stab him with a rusty sword, but he still stands, and tries to reach the girl. They hang him from a chande?lier; it falls, and in the darkness the mandarin glows in a greenish light. Then the girl, overcome with compassion, embraces the mandarin; his longing fulfilled, his wounds at last begin to bleed, and he dies as the curtain falls."
The music of the suite, beginning with the first portions of the pantomime and concluding with the "furious" chase of the mandarin after the girl, is continuous and is played without interruption as it moves from scene to scene. The opening section, what might be considered the introduction to the pantomime itself, describes the sounds of a city street in a veritable vortex of orchestral sonority. There follows the command of the ruffians to the girl, musically carried out in a somewhat jagged figure in the violas over tremolo strings. The appearance of the clarinet solo marks the entrance of the cavalier. He is very shortly thrown out. The young man pleases the girl, and the dance, beginning somewhat lightly and becoming more impassioned, is more extensive. The appearance of the mandarin is marked by a strangely colorful orchestration. The dance for the mandarin is a waltz, beginning slowly and gradually becoming faster. The music changes from the waltz tempo to vivace in 2-2 time for the beginning of the "chase," represented musically by a fast-paced fugal passage with a theme strongly marked by syncopation. It is with this material that the brilliant finale of the suite is reached.
1964 UNIVERSITY MUSICAL SOCIETY PRESENTATIONS 1965
All presentations arc at 8:30 p.m. unless otherwise noted. In Hill Auditorium
Ballets de Paris, featuring Zizi Jeanmaire . Tuesday, September 29 Roland Petit. Choreographer and Director Yves Saint-Laurent, Costumes
Varied program, including ballet sketches (music of Milhaud, Rossini, Chabricr, and Auric) ; and modern dances and songs in a Parisienne revue. Tickets: $4.50--$4.00--$3.50--$3.00--$2.25--SI.50
Choral Utoiurs Series
Antonio and the Ballets de Madrid . . . Thursday, October S
Warsaw Philharmonic.......Wednesday, October 14
Leonid Kogan, Violinist......Wednesday, November 4
Raduga Dancers.........Saturday, November 14
Faust (Gounod) New York City Opera . . . Sunday, November 22
Minneapolis Symphony Orchestra .... Monday, February S
Rosalyn Tureck, Pianist.......Monday, March 1
Robert Merrill, Baritone.......Friday, March 12
National Ballkt of Canada......Saturday, April 3
London Symphony Orchestra......Friday, October 2
Program: Sinfonia da requiem............Britten
Symphony No. 104 ("London").........Haydn
Concerto for Orchestra...........Bartok
Irina Arkhipova, Mezzo-soprano.....Monday, November 9
Merry Widow (Lehar) New York City Opera (2:30) Sunday, November 22
Berlin Philharmonic.......Saturday, January 30
Polish Mime Theater.......Tuesday, February 23
Messiah (Handel)........Saturday, December 5
and (2:30) Sunday, December 6 Tickets: $2.00--$1.50--$1.00--$.75 On sale beginning October 1.
In Rackham Auditorium CHAMBER DANCE FESTIVAL
Paul Taylor Dance Company .... Friday, October 23 Jean-Leon Destine, Haitian Dance Co. . . Saturday, October 24 First Chamber Dance Quartet . . (2:30) Sunday, October 25
Series Tickets: $6.00--$5.00--$4.00 Single Performances: $3.50--$2.50--$2.00
For tickets and information, address UNIVERSITY MUSICAL SOCIETY, Burton Tower