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UMS Concert Program, November 25, 1969: The Nhk Symphony Orchestra --

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Concert: Sixth
Complete Series: 3670
Hill Auditorium, Ann Arbor, Michigan

The University Musical Society
The University of Michigan
from Tokyo
HIROYUKI IWAKI, Music Director and Conductor TADAAKI OTAKA, Assistant Conductor
YOSHIO UNNO, Violinist
Tuesday Evening, November 25, 1969, at 8:30 Hill Auditorium, Ann Arbor, Michigan
"Bugaku"--Ballet Suite
Concerto for Violin and Orchestra Allegro con fermezza Andante sostenuto Allegro vivace
Toshiko Mayuzumi
Yosnio Unno
Symphony No. S in E minor, Op. 64 .
Andante; allegro con anima
Andante cantabile, con alcuna licenza Valse: allegro moderato
Finale: andante maestoso; allegro vivace
Sixth Concert
Ninetyfirst Annual Choral Union Series
Complete Programs 3670
PROGRAM NOTES by Paul Affelder
"Bugaku"--Ballet Suite.........Toshiro Maytjzumi
One of Japan's leading contemporary composers, Toshiro Mayuzumi received his training at the Tokyo University of Art and Music and the Paris Conservatory. This variety of background has enabled him to combine effectively in his compositions the best elements of Oriental and Occidental music. Thus, he has successfully blended certain characteristics of Japanese music with such western devices as the twelvetone technique and electronic music.
"Bugaku" (CourtMusic) was commissioned for Ballet Society, Inc., by a group of prominent New Yorkers. It was first presented by the New York City Ballet on March 20, 1963. The choreography was by George Balanchine, and Robert Irving conducted. At that time, the following explanatory note appeared in the program:
"The company of musicians and dancers maintained by the Japanese Household, known as Gagaku, came to the United States and appeared with great success on the regular programs of the New York City Ballet in 19S9. The Gagaku musicians and dancers are the oldest constituted dance company in the world, with an uninterrupted tradition of repertory and performance extend?ing almost a thousand years. They play in a special pavilion in the Imperial Palace in Tokyo at special holiday and ritual occasions and their trip to the United States was the first time they have ever left the Japanese islands. Their repertory is particularly fascinating since it incorporates much musical practice from Southeast and Central Asia, which is almost lost on the Asian mainland. George Balanchine, having heard the Gagaku and seen the dancers, requested Toshiro Mayuzumi, one of Japan's most gifted young composers, to write a piece in the style of the courtmusic (Bugaku), but for Western orchestration.... Mr. Balanchine has not attempted a direct imitation of the Gagaku gestures or movement, but has transposed the classic Western academic ballet into a style suggested by the music."
Concerto for Violin and Orchestra......Aram Khachaturian
Western audiences are deeply indebted to Aram Khachaturian for helping to make them aware of the colorful folk music of the Caucasus. Though he does not employ actual folk melodies in his music, the Armenianborn composer writes, for the most part, in the semioriental manner that characterizes the folk songs and dances of that area.
Khachaturian did not begin to study music until he was nineteen. He went to Moscow to live with his brother, and enrolled in the music school operated by the composer Mikhail Gnessin, studying cello and theory and, ultimately, composition with Gnessin himself. From 1929 to 1934 he attended the Moscow Conservatory, where his teachers were Miaskovsky for composition and Vassilenko for orchestration.
In 1939 the Committee of Organization of Soviet Composers, of which Khachaturian was deputy president, established the Ruza Composers' Home, a center for creative work located on the bank of the Moskva River not far from Moscow. Khachaturian and his family spent the summer of 1940 there, and during the two and a halfmonth period he composed his Violin Concerto. He had gone there with the basic plan of the concerto already established in his mind. "I worked without an effort, sometimes my thoughts and imagination outraced the hand that was covering the staffs with notes," he recalled to his biographer, Grigory Shneerson. "The themes came to me in such abundance that I had a hard time of it putting them in some sort of order.
"While composing the concerto," he said, "I had for my models such unattainable masterpieces of world violin literature as the concertos by Mendelssohn, Brahms, Tchaikovsky and Glazunov. I wanted to create a virtuoso piece employing the symphonic principle of development and yet understandable to the general public."
The Violin Concerto is in the customary three movements. The first, Allegro con jermezza (rapidly with firmness), has a vigorous first subject contrasting with a poetic, tender, and lyrical second subject. Toward the end there is a cadenza for the soloist. The second movement, Andante sostenuto, combines elements of the recitativelike improvisations of the ashugs--the bards of the Caucasus--and a waltz theme. The finale, Allegro vivace, is full of brilliant, festive virtuosity with a theme said to be of folk dance origin. At one point the headlong forward motion is interrupted by another recitative similar to that in the slow movement. But the dance soon resumes, and the concerto ends in a blaze of color after a reminder of the opening theme of the first movement.
Symphony No. 5 in E minor, Op. 64 .... Piotr Ilyitch Tchaikovsky
In May 1888, Tchaikovsky established himself in his newlyacquired country home at Frolovskoe, on the road between Klin and Moscow. There he spent long hours tending his garden and taking walks in the nearby forest. Amid the peace and seclusion that his new surroundings afforded him, he hoped to write a new symphony to follow his Fourth, which had appeared ten years earlier. But ideas came slowly, and at the end of May he wrote his brother Modeste that he felt no impulse for creative work, and wondered if he had written himself out. Shortly thereafter, he was able to report to his benefactress, Mme von Meek, that inspiration was beginning to come and that he had started work on the new symphony.
The late Ernest Newman, distinguished English critic, made the following interesting observa?tions about the Fifth Symphony: "It is a curious fact that whereas the Sixth Symphony, admittedly based on a program, leaves us here and there with a sense that we are missing the connecting thread, the Fifth Symphony, though to the casual eye not at all programmistic, bears the strongest internal evidences of having been written to a program. The feeling that this is so is mainly due to the recurrence, in each movement, of the theme with which the symphony begins. This produces a feeling of unity that irresistibly suggests one central controlling purpose. The theme in question is peculiarly sombre and fateful. It recurs twice in the following Andante, and again at the end of the waltz that constitutes the third movement. In the finale, the treatment of it is especially remarkable. It serves, transposed into the major, to commence this movement; it makes more than one reappearance afterwards. But this is not all the thematic filiation this symphony reveals. One of the themes of the second movement--the Andante--also recurs in the finale, while the opening subject proper of the finale (following the introduction) is plainly based on the opening subject of the whole symphony. Lastly, the first subject of the Allegro of the first movement reappears in the major, on the last page but two of the score, to the same accompaniment as in the Allegro. So that--to sum the matter up concisely--the fourth movement contains two themes from the first and one from the second; the third and second movements each contain one theme from the first--a scheme that is certainly without a parallel in the history of the symphony. No one, I think, will venture to assert that so elaborate a system of thematic repetition as this is due to mere caprice; nor is it easy to see why Tchaikovsky should have indulged in it at all if his object had been merely to write a symphony in four movements. Nothing can be clearer than that the work embodies an emotional sequence of some kind. It is a great pity that we have no definite clew to this; but even on the face of the matter as it now stands the general purport of the symphony is quite plain."
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
ROBERT VEYRONLACROIX, Keyboard . . Thursday, February 5
VLADIMIR ASHKENAZY, Pianist......Monday, February 9
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 S1.00 (As part of a 3day residency presented with the
support of the Michisan Stale Council for the Arts.) t Standing room only
George Frederick Handel December 5 and 6, 8:30; December 7, 2:30
In Hill Auditorium
Janice Harsanyi, Soprano Waldie 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.SO All programs begin at 8:30 unless otherwise indicated.
1970 MAY FESTIVAL -Season ticket orders accepted beginning December 1. Preliminary announcement with programs available upon request.
BURTON MEMORIAL TOWER, ANN ARBOR, MICHIGAN 48104 Office Hours: Mon. thru Fri. 9 to 4:30, Sat. 9 to 12 (Telephone 66S3717)

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