Complete Series: 3487
Hill Auditorium, Ann Arbor, Michigan
1965 Eighty-seventh Season 1966
UNIVERSITY MUSICAL SOCIETY
THE UNIVERSITY OF MICHIGAN
Charles A. Sink, President Gail W. Rector, Executive Director Lester McCoy, Conductor
Third Concert Eighty-seventh Annual Choral Union Series Complete Series 3487
The Czech Philharmonic Orchestra
VACLAV NEUMANN, Conductor
Friday Evening, October 29, 1965, at 8:30 Hill Auditorium, Ann Arbor, Michigan
"Carnaval" Overture, Op. 92........Dvorak
Symphony No. 4...........Martinu
Poco modcrato, poco allegro Allegro vivo Largo
Taras Bulba: A Rhapsody for Orchestra.....Jana?ek
The Death of Taras Bulba
Symphonic Poem: "The Moldau".......Smetana
Parliament, Artia, Supraphon and Deutsche Grammophon Records
The Steinway is the official piano of the University Musical Society
ARS LONGA VITA BREVIS
"Carnaval" Overture, Op. 92.......Antonin Dvorak
The Carnaval Overture is the second part of the cycle originally named "Nature, Life and Love." All three overtures have one main thematic basis, the character of which, however, changes in each according to the content of the composition. These works are programmatic, at least to a certain extent, and the idea of "Carnaval" is characterized by Otakar Sourek as follows: "Man enters reality from dreams, the variegated bustle of life from the feeling of sublime solitude. And he is happy here. Man readily yields to the rash whirl and merry-mak?ing, being thankful for all the beauty and joy. The circle of playful, merry youth in which he finds himself does not matter; on the contrary, he lets himself be drawn, carried away and becomes intoxicated by it, he himself shouts with joy and is frolicsome." This is the content of the first part in which Dvorak presents two themes. The first is energetic, cheerful, and joyous. Later, as the intoxicating whirl reaches its climax, it is magically replaced, rhythmically and harmonically, by the second theme, a very beautiful lyrical intermezzo. To this touching and poetic theme, interpreted by the flute, Dvorak immediately added the nature motif from the first part of the cycle. After this intermezzo the torrent of exuberant music returns in shortened form as the finale.
Symphony No. 4.........Bohuslav Martinu
The Fourth Symphony belongs to those works by Martinu in which lyricism and calm, the chief traits of his character, prevail side by side with the pathetic attitude manifested in his Third Symphony. When the Symphony was first performed the composer supplied the follow?ing detailed analysis of the work:
"The First Movement (Moderato, 6-8) is constructed on two elements: two short one-measure 'cellules,' the one lyrical and the other a rhythmic pattern in sixteenths in 6-8 time. Both 'cellules' appear in the development and variations of the themes, which are elaborated according to the principles of musical and structural composition. This movement is not in the usual sonata form; its structure might be designated thus: a-b-A-B-Coda.
"The first exposition, a, limits itself to the two 'cellules'; they are worked over in brief variations without any special rise and fall in tension or gradation. The second exposition, b, suddenly resolves the two 'cellules.' The now broader melodic line of the strings, constantly interrupted by the rhythmic element, dominates gradually the musical outpour and brings us to the first climax. A pp interlude leads back to the first and second expositions which proceed to unite and amplify the two 'cellules' melodically and harmonically. After a second climax, several measures in poco meno bring the movement back to its original character, moderato, in B minor.
"The Second Movement, a Scherzo (Allegro vivo, 6-8), gives free rein to fantasy. The main theme, rhythmically irregular, is announced in a brief introduction first by the bassoons, then by muted trumpet, while the strings create a background in quick triolet rhythm. The woodwinds take up and embroider the motif. There is a brusque change in tempo (2-4) as a climax is developed and fades away. The original 6-8 time is resumed ... In sharp relief is the ensuing Trio (Moderato, 6-8), calm and soothing in mood, in which the strings play the lead?ing role. The Scherzo is repeated. The Third Movement (Largo, 3-4) opens with a short chromatic passage in the woodwinds. The strings, singing molio tranquillo, announce the long melodic line which forms the core of the whole movement. It flows along in steady slow-pubing rhythm, gradually rising to a ff climax. The woodwinds embellish it with decorative passages. There is a return to the hushed calm of the opening measures.
"The Fourth Movement (Poco allegro, 4-4): After a brief introduction, the strings, in unison, introduce the principal subject in a lengthy passage that is rhythmical and energetic in character. A second and contrasting theme enters and rises to passionate lyricism. This thematic material, condensed in form, is developed by the strings in two variations. There is a return to
the second cantilena subject, which is worked over more energetically. This leads to a reprise of the first theme and to the Coda. In a sense, this movement is a lyrical summing up of the entire symphony."
Taras Bulba: A Rhapsody for Orchestra.....Leos Janacek
Janacek was the most original of outstanding Czech composers of the first half of the twentieth century. Passionately emotional content and dramatic tension as well as simple, folk melody full of tenderness and intimate feelings characterize his works. His musical language is terse, and his compositions do not follow any clearly definable lines of construction. As regards the richness of motivic work and rhythmic inventiveness, however, Janacek is a true master.
"Taras Bulba: A Rhapsody for Orchestra" is a programmatic composition in three move?ments, based on the novel by N. V. Gogol. Janacek wrote this work during the first World War under the influence of the then generally sympathetic attitude of the Czechs for the fighting Russian people. Each of the three movements describes an individual phase of Taras Bulba's struggle against the Poles.
The first, inscribed "Andrea's Death," tells of the love of Taras' son, Andrea, for a beautiful Polish girl for whom he betrayed his people. Taras Bulba kills his son to punish his treasonable act.
The second part, "Ostap's Death," describes the moment when Taras' older son, taken prisoner by the Poles, is dying amid unheard of torments on a scaffold in Warsaw. A few minutes before his death, Ostap, shaken in his faith by prolonged solitude and torments, is calling his father, who, having moved stealthily into the crowd, answers the call and offers moral comfort to him in the darkest moments of his son's life.
The final part bears the inscription "The Death of Taras Bulba." The legendary leader, mortally wounded in a battle, is now himself in the hands of his enemies. They tie him to a tree and burn him alive. The composition interprets the prophetic vision of the dying man affirming his faith in the final victory of the Russian people.
Symphonic Poem, "The Moldau"......Bedrich Smetana
The cycle "Ma Vlast" (My Country) is a series of six symphonic poems in which Smetana depicts the history and legends of Bohemia. The second of the series, "The Moldau," is the most popular and best known because of its wealth of beautiful melody and the lovely pastoral scenes it suggests. It features one broad theme which is heard early in the woodwinds over string accompaniment after an introduction by solo flutes and clarinets and is repeated in each section of the work.
In this symphonic poem Smetana follows closely the course of the Great Moldau River which is described in the preface to the score:
"Two springs gush forth in the shade of the Bohemian forest, the one warm and spouting, the other cool and tranquil. Their waves joyously rushing down over their rocky beds unite and glisten in the rays of the morning sun. The forest brook fast hurrying on becomes the river Vltava (Moldau), which coursing ever on through Bohemia's valleys grows into a mighty stream. It flows through thick woods in which the joyous noise of the hunter's horn is heard ever nearer and nearer; through grass-grown pastures and lowlands, where a wedding feast is celebrated with song and dancing. At night the wood and water nymphs revel by moonlight in its shining waves, in which many fortresses and castles arc reflected as witnesses of the past glories of knighthood and the vanished war-like fame of bygone ages. At the St. John Rapids the stream rushes on, weaving through cataracts, and with foamy waves beats a path for itself through the rocky chasm into the broad river in which it flows on in majestic repose toward Prague, welcomed by the time-honored fortress, Vysehrad. Whereupon it sweeps past the quays and under the bridges of the city, to vanish in the dim distance where the gaze of the poet can no longer follow it."
UNIVERSITY MUSICAL SOCIETY INTERNATIONAL PRESENTATIONS
All presentations are at 8:30 p.m. unless otherwise noted.
"CARMEN" (Bizet)--N.Y. City Opera Co. . Saturday, November 20 Tickets: $5.00--$4.50--$4.00--$3.50--$2.50--$1.50
CHORAL UNION SERIES
Poznan Choir, from Poland......Tuesday, November 2
Moscow Philharmonic Orchestra .... Monday, November 1S Kiril Kondrashin, Conductor Mstislav Rostropovich, Cello soloist
Program: Symphony No. 3 in F major (Brahms) ; Variations on a Rococo Theme (Tchaikovsky) ; and "Don Quixote" (Strauss).
"Barber of Seville" (Rossini)--N.Y. City Opera Co. Sunday, November 21
Grand Ballet Classique de France .... Tuesday, November 23
Phyllis Curten, Soprano....... Thursday, January 20
Monte Carlo National Orchestra .... Saturday, February 26
Paul Paray, Conductor
Michel Block, Piano Soloist National Ballet, from Washington, D.C. . . (2:30) Sunday, March 27
Moscow Philharmonic Orchestra .... Tuesday, November 16 Evgeni Svetlanov, Conductor Igor Oistrakh, Violin Soloist
Program: Prelude to "Khovantchina" (Moussorgsky-Shostakovich) ; Symphonic Dances, Op. 45 (Rachmaninoff); Concerto for Violin and Orchestra in E minor (Mendelssohn) ; and "La Mer" (Debussy).
"Pagliacci" and "Cavalleria Rusticana"--
N. Y. City Opera Co......(2:30) Sunday, November 21
Rumanian Folk Ballet......Wednesday, February 16
Rudolf Serkin, Pianist........Monday, March 7
CHAMBER ARTS SERIES
Rafael Puyana, Harpsichordist......Sunday, October 31
New York Pro Musica.......Friday, November 12
Hermann Prey, Baritone......Wednesday, February 2
Vienna Octet..........Tuesday, March 1
I Solisti Veneti.........Wednesday, March 16
Chicago Little Symphony......Thursday, March 31
Messiah (Handel).........Friday, December 3
Saturday, December 4 (2:30) Sunday, December 5 University Choral Union; Members of the Detroit Symphony Orchestra;
and soloists. Lester McCoy, Conductor Messiah Tickets: $2.50--$2.00--$1.50--$1.00
For tickets and information, address UNIVERSITY MUSICAL SOCIETY, Burton Tower