UMS Concert Program, October 12, 1970: L'orchestre National De La Radio Diffusion Television Francaise -- Jean Martinon
Complete Series: 3697
Hill Auditorium, Ann Arbor, Michigan
The University Musical Society
The University of Michigan
L'ORCnRE MTIOML M LA RADIO
JEAN MARTINON, Musical Director
Monday Evening, October 12, 1970, at 8:30 Hill Auditorium, Ann Arbor, Michigan
National Anthems-StarSpangled Banner and Marseillaise
Symphony No. 4 in D minor, Op. 120........Schumann
Andante; allegro Romanza Scherzo
Finale: largo, allegro
(played without pause)
"Till EulenspiegeFs Merry Pranks," Op. 28.......Strauss
"La Valse"--A Choreographic Poem..........Ravel
?University Choral Union.
Note--This is the fourth appearance of the L'Orchestre National Francais in the Choral Union Series since 1948.
Recordings: Anpel, Nonesuch, Seraphim, EMI, Deutsche Grammophone, and Erato
Tour of the Orchestra made possible with the aid of the French Association for
Artistic Action, and by arrangement with the French Government.
Second Concert Ninetysecond Annual Choral Union Series Complete Programs 3697
PROGRAM NOTES by Paul Affelder
Symphony No. 4 in D minor, Op. 120......Robert Schumann
On May 31, 1841, Clara Schumann wrote in the joint diary kept by her and her husband: "Robert began yesterday another symphony, which will be in one movement and yet contain an Adagio and a finale. I have heard nothing about it, yet I see Robert's bustle, and I hear D minor sounding wildly from a distance, so that I know in advance that another work will be fashioned in the depths of his soul. Heaven is kindly disposed toward us; Robert cannot be happier in the composition than I am when he shows me such a work."
But Schumann was not altogether happy with his new symphony, which he completed and presented to Clara on her birthday, September 13. His First--or Spring--Symphony had appeared the preceding January, shortly after he and Clara were married. The Dminor Symphony, which followed, still shows signs of the joy he felt on having finally won her hand. But this work was very coolly received at its premiere, which took place at a Gewandhaus Concert in Leipzig, con?ducted by Ferdinand David, on December 4, 1841. Schumann offered it for publication two years later as his "Second Symphony, Op. SO," but without success, and the score ultimately fell into the hands of Johannes Brahms.
No more was heard of the Dminor Symphony until 1851, when Schumann made certain revisions in the score and did a considerable amount of reorchestrating. In the meantime, however, he had composed his Symphonies in C major, Op. 61, in 1846, and Eflat major (Rhenish), Op. 97, in 1850. Consequently, when this revised version of the Dminor Symphony was published in 1851, it became the Symphony No. 4, Op. 120. The composer himself conducted the work for the first time in its new form at a concert of the Algemeine Musikverein in Diisseldorf on March 3, 1853, and this time it met with a most favorable reception. It is in this revised form that the symphony is always played today.
Schumann first called this symphony a "symphonic fantasia," and when it finally was pub?lished it bore the title, Introduction, Allegro, Romanze, Scherzo and Finale, in One Movement. The four movements of the work, then, are meant to be played without pause, which was rather a novelty in Schumann's day. But the composer has given the symphony much greater unity than that. The theme of the Introduction is heard again as the middlle section of the Romanze and again as the trio--or contrasting middle section--of the Scherzo, while a theme from the first Allegro figures as a harmonic underlay in the Scherzo and as the basis for the principal subject of the Finale. Closer examination of the score will reveal other thematic lelationships, but the ones mentioned will serve as a rough guide to the listener.
"Till Enlenspiegel's Merry Pranks," Op. 28.....Richard Strauss
Richard Strauss completed Till Eulcnspiegel's Merry Pranks, after the OldFashioned Roguish Manner--in Rondo Form (to give the work its full title) in Munich in May, 1895, and it was first heard at a concert of the Gurzenich Orchestra, Franz Wullner conducting, in Cologne on November 5 of that year.
Strauss based his work on a story by Dr. Thomas Murner, which was published in Strasbourg in 1519. Murner, in turn, based his tale on actual historical fact, for there really was a Till Eulenspiegel. In the town of Molin, near Liibeck, is a tombstone with this inscription on it: "This stone no one should lift up. Here is buried Eulenspiegel. Anno Domini MCCCL." Also engraved in the stone is an owl with a mirror clutched in its claws (the English translation of Eulenspiegel is Owlglass).
According to his custom, Strauss at first refused to put in writing any programmatic sug?gestions for Till Eulenspiegel. "It is impossible for me to furnish a program to Eulenspiegel," he said, "were I to put into words the thoughts which its several incidents suggested to me, they would seldom suffice, and might then give rise to offense. Let me leave it, therefore, to my hearers to crack the hard nut which the rogue has prepared for them. By way of helping them to a better understanding, it seems sufficient to point out the two Eulenspiegel motives, which, in the most manifold disguises, moods, and situations, pervade the whole up to the catastrophe, when, after he
has been condemned to death, Till is strung up to the gibbet. For the rest, let them guess at the musical joke which a rogue has offered them."
Later, however, the musical analyst, Wilhelm Mauke, prevailed upon Strauss to make these notations on his copy of the score of Till Eulenspiegel: "Once upon a time there was a Volksnarr; Named Till Eulenspiegel; That was an awful hobgoblin; Off for new pranks; Just wait, you hypocrites! Hop! On horseback into the midst of the marketwomen; With sevenleague boots he lights out; Hidden in a mousehole; Disguised as a pastor, he drips with unction and morals; Yet out of his big toe peeps the rogue; But before he gets through he nevertheless has qualms because of his having mocked religion; Till as a cavalier pays court to the girls; She has really made an impression on him; He courts her; A kind refusal is still a refusal; Till departs furious; He swears vengeance on all mankind; Philistine motive; After he has propounded to the Philistines a few amazing theses he leaves them in astonishment to their fate; Great grimaces from afar; Till's street tune; The court of justice; He still whistles to himself indifferently; Up the ladder! There he swings; He gasps for air, a last convulsion; The mortal part of Till is no more."
Ballet, "Cydalise"............Gabriel Pierne
The charming ballet of Gabriel Pierne, Cydalise el le ChevrePied, on a theme by Robert de Flers and Gaston Caillavet, has a gracefulness which is typically French. The variety and unex?pectedness of the tempi and the delicate poetry which bathes the entire scene combine to make it a success which has been unanimously recognized.
The story imagines that Cydalise, a dancer at the Opera, has been sent for to dance in a princely fete at Versailles. M. Rene Dumesnil sums it up thus: "her carriage is crossing a clearing at the moment when a group of young fauns and nymphs is gathered there for their lessons on the Pan pipes and in the dance. The young satyr, Styrax, is being punished. He is tied to the trunk of a tree. A nymph takes pity on him and lingers behind her companions to untie him. He takes advantage of his freedom by hiding in the costume trunk at the moment the carriage of Cydalise is passing. In the second scene he emerges from it during a rehearsal of the ballet and dances as only a young satyr knows how. In the third he is reunited in her room with the lovely Cydalise, who is disturbed as he is himself. But he hears the mysterious voices of the forest; the inspiration of Pan has faded, and his companions are coming to seek him. A look of farewell--and perhaps of regret--at the pretty mortal who is half asleep, and he departs."
"La Valse," A Choreographic Poem.......Maurice Ravel
Ravel composed La Valse in 1920 at the suggestion of Sergei Diaghilev, who wished to have an "Apotheosis of the Waltz" to make into a ballet for the Russian troupe. When Ravel showed him the music, however, he did not find it to his liking and told the composer so. As a result, a quarrel ensued, causing permanent estrangement of the composer and the impresario.
La Valse, which has since been transformed into a ballet by several different choreographers, was first played in an arrangement for two pianos by Ravel and the Italian composerconductorpianist Alfredo Casella in Vienna in November 1920. In its orchestral dress it was first heard on December 12 of that year at a concert of the Lamoureux Orchestra in Paris, conducted by Camille Chevillard.
Ravel originally called this composition Wicn (Vienna), and the score bears the indication "Movement of a Viennese Waltz." There are some who find much irony in this music, as if Ravel were painting a musical picture of nineteenthcentury Vienna as seen through the disillusioned eyes of the twentieth century. Included in the music is a traceable quotation from the SchatzWalzer from the younger Johann Strauss' operetta The Gypsy Baron.
Casella described La Valse as " a sort of triptych: a) The Birth of the Waltz--The poem begins with dull rumors, as in Rheingold, and from this chaos gradually takes form and develop?ment; b) The Waltz; c) The Apotheosis of the Waltz."
On the score is printed the following description, written by Ravel himself: "Whirling clouds give glimpses, through rifts, of couples waltzing. The clouds scatter, little by little. One sees an immense hall peopled with a twirling crowd. The scene is gradually illuminated. The light of the chandeliers bursts forth, fortissimo. An Imperial Court about 1855."
1970 INTERNATIONAL PRESENTATIONS 1971
CHORAL UNION SERIESRemaining Concerts
MELBOURNE SYMPHONY ORCHESTRA.....Saturday, October 24
Whxem van Otterloo, Conductor
Program: In recognition of the 25th anniversary of the United Nations:
Sun Music III ......................... Peter Sculthorpe
Four Psyche Fragments ......................... Franck
John McCollum, Tenor, and 90 singers from the University Choral Union Symphony No. 5 ............................. Beethoven
LOS ANGELES PHILHARMONIC ORCHESTRA . . Saturday, November 7 Zubin Mehta, Conductor
EMIL GILELS, Pianist...........Wednesday, November 18
"ORPHEUS IN THE UNDERWORLD" (Offenbach)--
Canadian Opera Company..........Saturday, January 9
BEVERLY SILLS, Soprano...........Saturday, January 30
ISAAC STERN, Violinist..........2:30, Sunday, February 21
MENUHIN FESTIVAL ORCHESTRA.......Wednesday, March 10
Yehudi Menuhin, Conductor and soloist
MSTISLAV ROSTROPOVICH, Cellist........Monday, March IS
PENNSYLVANIA BALLET COMPANY......Saturday, October 17
MARTHA GRAHAM AND DANCE COMPANY .... Monday, October 26 BAYANIHAN PHILIPPINE DANCE COMPANY . . Saturday, November 21
ALVIN AILEY AMERICAN DANCE THEATER . . . Friday, February 12
Lecturedemonstration Thursday, February 11. Tickets: $1.00. Season ticket subscribers to the Dance Series will receive complimentary admission.
SIBERIAN DANCERS AND SINGERS OF OMSK......Saturday, March 27
(In place of the Ballets Canadiens, whose entire U. S. tour has been cancelled)
Season Tickets: $17.50--$15.00--$12.50--$10.00--$7.50 Single Performances: $6.00--$5.50--$5.00--$4.00--$3.00--$2.00
CHAMBER ARTS SERIES
Rackham Auditorium PAUL KUENTZ CHAMBER ORCHESTRA OF PARIS . Thursday, October IS
Program: Concerto Xo. 13 for Organ....................... Handel
Concert a quatre ............................ Charpentier
Concerto for Organ ............................ Haydn
Symphonie Conccrtante for Violin and Cello......J. C. Bach
Sinfonia from Cantata No. 169 ................ J. S. Bach
Prelude (Genesis) .................. Jacques Charpentier
SOLISTI DI ZAGREB...........Wednesday, November 4
MOSCOW TRIO...............Friday, November 13
ELAINE SHAFFER, Flutist; and
HEPHZIBAH MENUHIN, Pianist......Monday, January 19
FESTIVAL WINDS.............Tuesday, February 2
GUARNERI STRING QUARTET........Thursday, February 25
MUNICH CHAMBER ORCHESTRA.........Friday, March 12
Hans Stadlmauj, Conductor
Tickets: $6.00--$5.50--$5.00--$4.00--$3.00--$2.00 All programs begin at 8:30 P.M. unless otherwise indicated.
UNIVERSITY MUSICAL SOCIETY
BURTON MEMORIAL TOWER, ANN ARBOR, MICHIGAN 48104