Complete Series: 3669
Rackham Auditorium, Ann Arbor, Michigan
The University Musical Society
The University of Michigan
FRANCO GULLI, Violinist
ENRICA CAVALLO, Pianist
Monday Evening, November 17, 1969, at 8:30 Rackham Auditorium, Ann Arbor, Michigan
Sonata in E minor, No. 2, Op. 36a...... Langsam Presto Andante piuttosto grave Andante con moto Busoni
Sonata ............ Debussy
Allegro vivo, intermede Fantasque et leger, finale Tres anime
Divertimento (inspire par la muse de Pierre Tchaikovsky) Sinfonia Danses Suisses Scherzo Pas de deux Stravinsky
Third Concert Seventh Annual Chamber Arts Series Complete Program 3669
PROGRAM NOTES by Franco Gulli
Sonata in E minor, No. 2, Op. 36a......Ferruccio B. Busoni
Although Ferruccio Busoni's fame as a pianist has almost become legendary, the same would certainly not be said about his work as a composer. Really the knowledge of his musical world is limited still nowadays to a small group of militant musicians and musicologists.
Up until a few years ago, Busoni was known principally for his admirable transcriptions of some of Bach's works. These transcriptions, which were even opposed by some extremely academic and falsely "purist" criticism, especially in the period immediately following Busoni's death, offer us the clue to a close comprehension of the Maestro's inner world, to his gigantic outlook on what the becoming of music would be.
He was born at Empoli, in Tuscany, but he had middleEuropean blood in his veins on his mother's side. After beginning his career as a pianist in such a promising way that made Anton Rubinstein exclaim: "Busoni is the greatest of us all!," it was in Germany that he got the possibility of knowing and absorbing the great heritage of Romanticism and of the people who developed it to its extreme consequences: I mean here artists as Scriabin, Mahler, Schoenberg.
There is no reason for discussing here the philosophical motives of Busoni's theatrical works. Just to remain within the limits of his instrumental production, I will mention here two works for piano that seem to give a good resume of Busoni's musical ideals: the "Toc?cata" and the "Contrapuntal Fantasy" of which there is an excellent recording by Egon Petri who was Busoni's most preferred student and follower for interpretation.
Of the two sonatas for violin and piano, the one on this evening's program is a sort of milestone in Busoni's creative production. It is said the Maestro loved to consider it as his main work, the vital substratum of his impulse towards the future, partially released from the tradition and yet also drawing on it for the construction of his greatest works. The Sonata in E minor, which was written between 1898 and 1899, appears to be a great, free fresco made up of one movement which is divided into four principal sections. The first movement (Latigsam) has the character of a rhapsody and is built upon two main themes which follow the piano introduction. The following Presto, strongly rhythmic and energetic, leads into a delicate melody played by the violin in the high register. The following Andante piuttosto grave can be considered as a movement of transition, where themes from the previous Presto are mixed with some anticipations of the fourth part of the Sonata. This last one is made up of a series of variations on Bach's Choral: "Wie wohl ist mir."
The six variations following the Andante con nioto (theme) show us Busoni's skillfulness in moulding the harmonic and contrapuntal construction, always straining towards newer solutions.
The Allegro deciso mi poco maestoso, the last variation, is appeased little by little into a calmer movement apoteotico (as Busoni himself suggests), where some hints of the main theme are to be found, and the Sonata ends in the same austere atmosphere of the beginning.
It was in the middle of the World War I, in 1915, that Claude Debussy decided to write a series of six sonatas for different instruments and dedicated the work to his wife. On the title page is written: "Six Sonates pour divers instruments, composees par Claude Debussy, musicien franc,ais."
He was allowed to complete only three of the planned Sonatas, however: the one for 'cello and piano, the one for flute, harp, and viola, and the one for violin and piano.
The Sonata for violin and piano represents therefore Debussy's last complete work and holds fast to his own proud words, when he said, justifying his going back to the forms, as a true "musicien franqais": "We find again our freedom, our forms: as we have invented them for the most part, it is right to keep them ... we must dare the reproach of being superficial."
The Sonata, a masterpiece among the works for violin and piano, is much too well known and it does not require here a formal analysis. I think it is more interesting to notice the way of showing the manysided possibilities of a string instrument through pizzicato and glissando and the extraordinary sound balance between piano and violin.
Divertimento (inspire par la muse de Pierre Tchaikovsky) . Igor Stravinsky
1909 was a very important year to Igor Stravinsky, when he met Serge Diaghilev, the founder of the first company of the "Russian Ballets," and formed a partnership with him that lasted twenty years. In fact a remarkable part of Stravinsky's production in that period is rendered in the form of ballets: "L'oiseau de feu" in 1910, "Petrushka," in 1911, "Sacre de printemps," in 1913.
In 1927 Ida Rubinstein ordered from him a ballet that should be inspired by some music of Tchaikovsky, an artist to whom Stravinsky always showed a deep admiration. It was because of the spirit that enlivened Tchaikovsky's music that Stravinsky chose as a subject for his ballet Andersen's tale "The Virgin of the Glaciers."
It was so that "Le Baiser de la fee" came into being. From this ballet, as from other similar works, Stravinsky arranged a Suite for Orchestra and we must wait for him to meet the violinist Samuel Dushkin (to whom he later dedicated the "Concerto for violin" and the "Duo concertante" for violin and piano) to have a transcription of the Suite into the "Divertimento" for violin and piano, which is on the program this evening.
1969 -INTERNATIONAL PRESENTATIONS -1970
NHK SYMPHONY ORCHESTRA, JAPAN . . . Tuesday, November 25
Hiroyuki Iwaki, Conducting
Program: Bugaku..............TosHnto Mayuzuiq
Concerto for Violin and Orchestra..........Khachaturian
Symphony No. 5 in E minor, Op. 64.........Tchaikovsky
fNEW YORK PRO MUSICA.......Monday, January 12
?NIKOLAIS DANCE COMPANY.....Wednesday, January 21
MUSIC FROM MARLBORO.......Wednesday, January 28
JOAN SUTHERLAND, Soprano, with
RICHARD BONYNGE, Pianist.....Friday, January 30
JEANPIERRE RAMPAL, Flute, and
ROBERT VEYRONLACROIX, Keyboard . . Thursday, February 5
VLADIMIR ASHKENAZY, Pianist......Monday, February 9
"BARBER OF SEVILLE" (Rossini)--
Canadian Opera Company......Saturday, February 14
DANZAS VENEZUELA........Tuesday, February 17
fANDRES SEGOVIA, Classical Guitarist . . . Thursday, February 19 PHAKAVALI MUSICIANS AND DANCERS, from Bangkok Monday, March 2 ROYAL WINNIPEG BALLET......2:30, Sunday, March IS
Lecturedemonstration, January 20, 8:30. Admission $1.00 (As part of a 3day residency presented with the
support of the Michigan State Council for the Arts.) t Standing room only.
George Frederick Handel December 5 and 6, 8:30; December 7, 2:30
In Hill Auditorium
THE UNIVERSITY CHORAL UNION
MEMBERS OF THE INTERLOCHEN ARTS ACADEMY ORCHESTRA
Janice Harsanyi, Soprano Waldee Anderson, Tenor
Rosalind Hupp, Contralto Robert Oliver, Bass
Mary McCall Stubbins, Organist Charles Fisher, Harpsichordist
Donald Bryant, Conductor
Tickets: $3.00--$2.50--$2.00--$1.50 All programs begin at 8:30 unless otherwise indicated.
UNIVERSITY MUSICAL SOCIETY
BURTON MEMORIAL TOWER, ANN ARBOR, MICHIGAN 48104 Office Hours: Mon. thru Fri. 9 to 4:30, Sat. 9 to 12 (Telephone 6653717)