UMS Concert Program, October 20, 1968: I Madrigalisti Di Venezia --
Complete Series: 3626
Rackham Auditorium, Ann Arbor, Michigan
1968 Ninetieth Season 1969
UNIVERSITY MUSICAL SOCIETY
THE UNIVERSITY OF MICH IG AN
Charles A. Sink, President
Gail W. Rector, Executive Director Lester McCoy, Conductor
First Concert Sixth Annual Chamber Arts Series Complete Series 3626
I Madrigalisti di Venezia
Sunday Evening, October 20, 1968, at 8:30
Rackham Auditorium, Ann Arbor, Michigan
Musiche di Scuola Veneziana
Da "11 Ballo delle ingrate"--Entrata e ballo .... Claudio Monteverdi
dall'Ottavo Libro dei Canti Guerrieri et Amorosi (1567-1643)
(Venezia, Vincenti, 1638)
Io mi vivea--Dal Primo Libro delle Canzonette a tre voci
(Venezia, Vincenti e Amadino 1584)..... Claudio Monteverdi
S'el vostro cor Madonna--Dal Settimo Libro de'
Madrigali (Venezia, Magni, 1641)...... Claudio Monteverdi
Hor care canzonette--Dal Primo Libro delle Canzonette a
tre voci (Venezia, Vincenti, Amadino 1584) . . Claudio Monteverdi
Ecco vicine o bella tigre---Dal Settimo Libro
de' Madrigali (Venezia, Magni, 1641) .... Claudio Monteverdi
I bei legami--Dal libro degli scherzi musicali a tre voci
(Venezia, Amadino 1607)......... Claudio Monteverdi
Sonata a tre, Op. 10-11, per due violini (cello .... Giovanni Legrenzi
ad libitum) e cembalo (1626-1690)
Aria di eumene--Dal drama musicale "Serse" di N. Minato
(Venezia, Teatro di S. Gio. e Paolo, 1654) . . . Francesco Cavalli
(Pier Francesco Caletti Bruni, 1599-1676)
Sonata per due violini, violoncello, e basso continuo
(Op. 10-11)............. Giovanni Legrenzi
Aria di Asdrubale--Dal drama musicale "Scipione
Africano" di N. Minato--(Venezia, Teatro di
S. Gio. e Paolo, 1654).......... Francesco Cavalli
Canzon--Dalla raccolta "Canzoni per sonar a quattro
con ogni sorta di stromenti col basso genera . . Giovanni Gabrieli
Aria di Melide--Dal drama musicale "Ormindo" di G.
Faustini--(Venezia, Teatro di S. Cassiano, 1644) . Francesco Cavalli
Clori amorosa--Dal Libro degli Scherzi Musicali
a tre voci (Venezia, Amadino, 1607)..... Claudio Monteverdi
by Paul Affelder
Claudio Monteverdi has been ranked with Beethoven and Wagner as one of the most important, most influential pioneers in the entire history of music. He brought to new artistic heights the Italian madrigal--a form of secular music, usually for five voices--imparting more daring harmonic color and dramatic variety to a type of music that was already waning in popularity. At the same time, he was one of the very first--and certainly the most significant--of the composers of modern opera. It was he who conceived opera as true vocal drama, expanding the role of the recitative and composing the first operatic duet. It was he, too, who enlarged and gave more significance to the opera orchestra. And it was probably he who was first to employ tremolo and pizzicato effects in the stringed instruments.
Monteverdi's career may be divided into two periods. From 1S90 to 1612, he was in the service of Vincenzo Gonzaga, Duke of Mantua, first as a madrigal singer and player of the viols, later as music director. While in Mantua, he published his second, third, fourth, and fifth books of madrigals and his Scherzi muskali for three voices. Here, also, in 1607, he composed his first opera, La Favola d'Orjeo, which met with great success, and which is still performed today.
In 1612, Vincenzo I died, and his son, Francesco Gonzaga, who succeeded him and for whose wedding four years earlier Monteverdi had written the opera Arianna--including the exquisite Lamento d'Arianna, which is all that survives of the work--dismissed the composer from his service. The following year, however, Monteverdi was made director of music at St. Mark's in Venice, a post he held with distinction and honor until his death in 1643. Naturally, his duties in Venice called upon him to concentrate on the production of sacred music, of which he wrote some beautiful examples; yet he also continued to turn out operas and published three more books of madrigals.
Though, at the time of his death, he was widely esteemed, Monteverdi's fame faded for two centuries; and it is only in our own time that we are coming to appreciate his true greatness and the magnitude of his contribution to music.
The works of Monteverdi on this program are drawn from his First Book of Canzonette for Three Voices, published by Giacomo Vincenti and Ricciardo Amadino in Venice in 1584, when the composer was only seventeen; from the Scherzi mnsicali for Three Voices, published by Amadino in Venice in 1607; from the Seventh Book oj Madrigals, published by Bar-tholomeo Magni in Venice in 1619, and from Ballo delle ingrate, the final section of the Eighth Book oj Madrigals, entitled collectively Madrigali guerrieri et amorosi (Madrigals oj War and Love), published by Vincenti in Venice in 1638.
It should be explained that the canzonclla, which reached the height of its popularity during Monteverdi's lifetime, was a generally satirical song, a slightly more polished, more courtly form of the more rustic--sometimes even boorish or obscene--Neapolitan villanella. Literally translated, Scherzi musical means "musical jokes" or "musical effects." In this instance, the second definition probably comes closer to the mark; for these Scherzi musicali are songs of a light character, rhythmically more regular than many of the madrigals and with repeated instrumental interludes. Though it is included in the Eighth Book of Madrigals, II Ballo delle ingrate (The Ballet oj the Ungrateful Women) dates from 1608, having been one of the works presented at the wedding of Francesco Gonzaga in Mantua. This is a dramatic allegory whose principal protagonists are Cupid, Venus, Pluto, and the shades of beautiful but vain women condemned to the latter's realm. The moral of the allegory, obviously aimed at some of the women of the ducal court at Mantua, is that too many aristocratic ladies forego the delights of love in pursuit of vain beauty; spending their lives dressing themselves in finery and breaking men's hearts, they will ultimately be condemned to the gloom and loneliness of the underworld. The purely instrumental music presented on this program is that accompanying the entrance and ballet of the ungrateful women which, at its initial performance, must have been an elaborate spectacle.
Giovanni Legrenzi distinguished himself in several branches of the musical art. Begin?ning as an organist in Bergamo, he later became music director for the Duke of Ferrara. In 1664, Legrenzi went to Venice. In 1672, he was made director of the Conservatorio dei Mendicanti; in 1681, he became assistant director of music at St. Mark's, and four years later succeeded to the post of music director. Once in charge, he enlarged the orchestra at St. Mark's. He also composed eighteen operas, which reveal significant advances over those of his predecessors, both in the vocal and orchestral writing.
But Legrenzi's most important contribution was probably his chamber music for strings with basso continuo (harpsichord usually reinforced in the bass part by a solo cello, double-bass, or bassoon). He published four sets of sonatas, totaling sixty-three works. Most of these are sonate a Ire--or trio-sonatas--for two violins with harpsichord and cello. The two examples on this program are from his last set, published in Venice in 1673 as his Op. 10. These sonatas, the independence of whose parts helped to lay the groundwork for the piano trios of the late eighteenth century, belong to the category of sonata da chiesa--or "church sonata"--signifying music of a more learned and serious nature, from which movements in dance style are absent.
PIER FRANCESCO CAVALLI
Pier Francesco Cavalli (his surname was Caletti-Bruni, but according to the fashion of the times, he adopted that of his patron, Federigo Cavalli, a Venetian nobleman) was the son of the musical director at Crema, though his entire career was centered in Venice. A disciple of Monteverdi, he first sang under his direction in the choir at St. Mark's in 1617. In 1640, he became the second organist there; in 1655, he was made first organist, and in 1668, he was appointed director of music. Like Monteverdi, Cavalli composed a good deal of church music, but, also like Monteverdi, he achieved far greater renown for his operas. In his more than forty works in this form, he picked up where Monteverdi had left off, often bringing to them greater richness and dramatic power, though his use of the orchestra was usually more frugal than had been that of his predecessor. Cavalli and his operas were extremely popular, but almost none are heard in their entirety today.
Giovanni Gabrieli, together with his equally famous uncle and teacher, Andrea Gabrieli, did much to enliven and enrich the music and musical life of Venice during the latter part of the sixteenth century and the beginning of the seventeenth. Much of that enrichment took place within the confines of St. Mark's, where Giovanni Gabrieli became second organist in 1585. It was he perhaps more than anyone else who took full advantage of the physical layout of the basilica, writing music that created antiphonal effects between choirs and in?strumental groups situated on opposite sides of the building. He also made numerous other important innovations.
As employed by Gabrieli, the canzona--or canzon--is a free instrumental adaptation of the French chanson--or song. The writing is usually in four parts, each going its separate way in counterpoint, and the work is often in several short, contrasting sections. In 1615, he published a collection of canzoni for from three to twenty-two voices--the "voices" in this instance being mostly instrumental.
UNIVERSITY MUSICAL SOCIETY INTERNATIONAL PRESENTATIONS--1968-1969
I MADRIGALISTI DI VENEZIA'S first tour of America is largely devoted to performing the music of Claudio Monteverdi, who lived and composed in Venice for much of his life as chapel master at St. Mark's Basilica. Although Monteverdi wrote much chamber church music, his works broke away from the symmetry of the Renaissance and turned to a free interpretation of individual expression and feeling. In his chamber works, masses, and operas he remains the supreme expression of the Baroque period. I Madrigalisti di Yenezia brings to light the lesser known aspects of Monteverdi's genius and sparkling inventive freshness.
THE ROMANIAN FOLK BALLET from Bucharest will be presented Thurs?day, October 24, in the second program in the Dance Series,--company of one hundred dancers, singers, and musicians with their native instruments.
BAVARIAN SYMPHONY ORCHESTRA OF
MUNICH, Rafael Kubelik, Conductor . . . Saturday, October 26
Program: Symphony No. 104 in D major...........Haydn
Double Concerto for Two String Orchestras,
Piano, and Timpani ............Martinu
Symphony in D minor..............Franck
THE UDAY SHANKAR COMPANY of dancers and musicians from India will be presented Tuesday, October 29 (replacing the Mazowsze Dance Company previously scheduled for November 18).
MELOS ENSEMBLE from London......Thursday, November 7
Program: Adagio and Rondo for Piano and Strings......Schubert
Piano Quintet, Op. 57 ...........Shostakovitch
Contrasts for Clarinet, Violin, and Piano.......Bartok
Quintet in E-flat, K. 452, for Piano and Woodwind . . . Mozart
Annual MESSIAH Performances In Hill Auditorium--December 6, 7, 8 (2:30)
University Choral Union, Interlochen Arts Academy Orchestra, Susan Belling, Soprano; Elizabeth Mannion, Contralto; Henry Nason, Tenor; David Clatworthy, Bass; Lester McCoy, Conductor
THE UNIVERSITY MUSICAL SOCIETY, Burton Tower Ann Arbor, Michigan 48104
Hours: 9:00 to 4:30, Monday through Friday; Saturday 9:00 to 12:00 (Also iyi hours before performance at auditorium Box Office)
University Musical Society