Complete Series: 3589
Rackham Auditorium, Ann Arbor, Michigan
1967 Eighty-ninth Season 1968
UNIVERSITY MUSICAL SOCIETY
THE UNIVERSITY OF MICHIGAN
Charles A. Sink, President Gail W. Rector, Executive Director Lester McCoy, Conductor
First Concert Fifth Annual Chamber Arts Series Complete Series 3S89
Forty-fifth program in the Sesguicentennial Year of The University of Michigan
The Chamber Symphony of Philadelphia
ANSHEL BRUSILOW, Conductor
Saturday Evening, October 21, 1967, at 8:30 Rackham Auditorium, Ann Arbor, Michigan
Overture to Signor Bruschino.......Rossini
Italian Serenade for Small Orchestra.......Wolf
Symphony No. 60 in C major ("II Distratto") .... Haydn
Adagio; allegro di molto Andante Menuetto; trio Presto Adagio Finale (prestissimo)
Cantus Animae et Cordis for String Orchestra . . . Yardumian
Symphony No. 1 in D major.......Schubert
Adagio; allegro vivace; adagio Andante
Menuetto (allegro); trio (Landler) Allegro vivace
The Berlin Philharmonic Octet will be presented in the second concert of the Chamber Arts Series, Sunday evening, November 5, at 8:30.
ARS LONGA VITA BREVIS
by Paul Affelder
Overture to II Signor Bruschino.....Gioacchino Rossini
Two of the three operas that Rossini composed in 1813, when he was twenty-one, would probably be forgotten today were it not for their overtures. These works are Tancredi and Signor Bruschino; the third opera, L'ltaliana in Algeri, still enjoys an occasional performance.
Signor Bruschino is a light operatic farce about two lovers who are united through the hero's disguise as his own rival. The libretto by a certain Foppa did not suit Rossini, and he sought to be released from his contract with Cera, manager of the Teatro Mose in Venice. According to legend, when he was unsuccessful, Rossini vented his spleen by inserting into the score all sorts of musical pranks, such as having the coloratura soprano sing notes in the normal tenor range, concluding a merry scene with a funeral march and, in the Overture, having the second violins tap their desks with their bows.
But Rossini's biographer, Francis Toye, has discounted the composer's motive. He defends the funeral march as a mock affair that produces a wonderfully comic effect, and feels that the bow-tapping passage provides a delightful parody on the Overture's principal theme.
Be this as it may, the Overture, like most of Rossini's operatic curtain-raisers, is a jolly, thoroughly engaging, well-written composition, completely able to stand on its own feet.
Italian Serenade for Small Orchestra......Hugo Wolf
In the world of music, the name of Hugo Wolf will be remembered primarily in connec?tion with the many magnificent art songs he created. In proportion to his output of Lieder, the number of his instrumental works is small. Best known of the latter is the Italian Serenade.
Both the quartet and orchestral editions of the Italian Serenade, a combination of puckish good humor, satire, and romantic sentiment, were published posthumously in 1903, and both were given their initial hearing the following year, the quartet version in Vienna and the orchestral version by the Styrian Music Society in Graz on January 29.
The Italian Serenade is scored for pairs of flutes, oboes, clarinets, bassoons, and horns with the customary strings. Max Reger's name appears on the published score as editor but it is doubtful that he made any substantial alterations in Wolf's original orchestration.
Symphony No. 60 in C major ("II Distratto") . . . Joseph Haydn
Those who know the music of Haydn know what a musical prankster he could be. The clue to all these musical shenanigans lies in the symphony's title, II Distratto (The Absent-Minded One). Being in six movements instead of the customary four, this symphony--which Haydn referred to in later years as "the silly old thing"--is already unusual. Everything starts out soberly enough in the first movement, a slow, stately introduction, Adagio, leading to an energetic Allegro di tnolto in fairly orthodox sonata form; the first surprise occurs in its second theme, where the strings die away to near-inaudibility, only to be startled out of their wits by the entrance of the full orchestra, fortissimo. The second movement is a peaceful Andante with a quiet walking motion; but the peace and quiet are interrupted from time to time by loud militaristic fanfares that have no apparent rhyme or reason. In the middle of this movement, a new theme appears briefly; marked in some old editions as being an ancient French song, it has never been positively identified.
The ensuing Menuetto is marked by a certain sturdiness, the use of some counterpoint and phrases of uneven length. Much more striking in its individuality is the trio--or contrasting middle section; scored only for oboes and strings, it expounds a quaint melody in the minor mode with odd scale progressios. Next comes a vivacious Presto in which one Balkan folk tune follows another in rapid succession. As in the trio of the preceding movement, this one is in the minor and is scored only for oboes and strings. Just as we are about to expect a recapitulation, however, the music suddenly shifts to major, and brasses and kettledrums join the rest of the orchestra to present an entirely new and different folk melody, with which the movement is brought to a rather exuberant close.
This could be the end of the symphony. We have already had the requisite four move?ments in their proper sequence, but there is more to come, and with it more surprises. The fifth
movement, Adagio--with the additional words di Lamenlalione on some manuscript parts__is
slow and serene, a sustained melody sung over steadily undulating arpeggios in the second violins. Into the midst of all this serenity bursts another loud fanfare, with the same incompre?hensible rudeness as in the second movement. Most startling of all, though, is the new and totally unrelated figure which appears in the last eight measures of the movement; in one of the earliest instances of an accelerando, the music, which one would have expected to end slowly and quietly, gradually speeds up to Allegro, finishes the proceedings with a brief nod in the direction of a closing chord, then plunges headlong into the Finale, which is marked Prestissimo. Barely have things gotten underway, however, when everything stops dead. The violins try their open strings, and discover that their G strings are a whole tone flat. After bringing them up to proper pitch, the movement continues on its merry way, taking time out once to quote briefly from yet another folk tune, this one an apparent favorite of Haydn's that was evidently familiar to his audiences.
Cantus Animae et Cordis.......Richard Yardumian
Cantus Animae et Cordis for string Orchestra was written as a string quartet, a commis?sion by the Philadelphia Stringart Quartet. The work was inspired by certain passages in the writings of Emanuel Swedenborg, having to do with the spiritual conflict of good and evil and the regeneration of man.
There are two themes, based on the last words of Jesus Christ on the Cross, "Eli, Eli, lama sabachthani." The first theme is stated by a solo cello for four bars at the opening; the second follows in the violas. Throughout the first and third major sections of this work, these themes are developed in a modified fugue form.
The music is in three major sections. The first, the composer says, "might be described as an invocation on the part of man." The second part is based on new thematic material which has been woven into the texture of the immediately preceding measures. This appears as a fortissimo climax of the first part. In general, the spirit is that of a song of love and acknow?ledgment. The third part, a recapitulation of the first, "expresses man's response," interrupted by a violin and a cello solo expressing resolution. The coda or climax is a chorale expressive of submission and peace.
Mr. Yardumian describes the "Cantus" as "a polyphonic composition throughout, inher?ently fugal. If each line were to be played separately, each would be found to be predominantly modal, the prevailing modes being Dorian, Phrygian, Lydian, and Mixolydian."
Symphony No. 1 in D major.......Franz Schubert
Authorities like to point out how much Schubert's initial symphonic essay owes to Haydn, Mozart, and Beethoven, and even take pains to call attention to themes derived from their music. No doubt they are right; yet this youthful symphony, with all its imperfections, already reveals in the characteristic curve of its melodies and the coloration of its harmonies the distinctive personality that stamps this and all the other Schubert symphonies as being by him and no one else.
The opening movement offers a combination of novelty and naivety. It begins with an imposing introduction, Adagio, which leads to a considerably less imposing Allegro vivace. Everything moves along quite comfortably until the development section, which is based entirely on the movement's second subject and therefore becomes rather monotonous. Novelty is introduced at the start of the recapitulation, where a portion of the opening Adagio is heard before the return of the movement's main section. A gracefully melodious Andante, one that presages many such movements from Schubert, follows. The third movement is a fairly broad, sturdy Menuetto, Allegro, with a much more relaxed trio, or contrasting middle section, in the form of a richly songful handler, the forerunner of the Viennese waltz, many examples of which were to come from Schubert's prolific pen in the years ahead. The symphony concludes with a bustling Allegro vivace.
The scoring, unquestionably dictated by the makeup of Schubert's school orchestra, comprises flute, two oboes, two clarinets, two bassoons, two horns, two trumpets, kettledrums and strings.
UNIVERSITY MUSICAL SOCIETY
HILL AUDITORIUM EVENTS NOW ON SALE
Olaeta Basque Festival......2:30, Sunday, October 22
Dancers, singers, and instrumentalists combine to provide dances and music of the Basque country--seven provinces on both sides of the Pyrenees, both in Spain and in France
Jose Molina Bailes Espanoles......Friday, October 27
Program of Spanish songs and dances, including folk, classical, and flamenco
"Carmina Burana" (opera by Carl Orff), and
"Divertissement Glazounov" (ballet)--Expo '67
production with Les Ballets Canadiens . (8:00) Sunday, October 29
Christa Ludwig, Mezzo-soprano.....Tuesday, October 31
Program includes songs by Mahler, Schumann, Brahms, Wolf, and Strauss.
Yomiuri Japanese Orchestra......Friday, November 10
Arthur Fiedler, Conductor
Program: Overture to "Semiramide"...........Rossini
Piano Concerto No. 2, F minor, Op. 21.......Chopin
Hiro Imamura, Pianist
Symphony, Op. 25............Prokoftjeff
Selections from "West Side Story"........Bernstein
Suite from "Gaiete Parisienne"........Offenbach
George Frederick Handel
December 1 and 2, 8:30; December 3, 2:30
In Hill Auditorium
Elisabeth Mosher, Soprano Waldie Anderson, Tenor
Huguette Tourangeau, Contralto Ara Berberian, Bass
University Choral Union
Members of the Interlochen Arts Academy Orchestra Mary McCall Stubbins, Organist; Marilyn Mason, Harpsichordist
Lester McCoy, Conductor Tickets: $2.50--$2.00--1.SO--$1.00
Chamber Music Festival
Loewenguth Quartet........Friday, February 16
Warsaw Chamber Orchestra......Saturday, February 17
Early Music Quartet......(2:30) Sunday, February 18
Series Tickets: $8.00--$6.00--$5.00 Single Concerts: $5.00--$4.00--$2.00
On Sale November 6. Note: All programs begin at 8:30 p.m. unless otherwise indicated.
THE UNIVERSITY MUSICAL SOCIETY, Burton Tower
(Hours: Mon.-Fri., 9 to 4:30; Sat., 9 to 12 a.m.) Telephone: 665-3717