Complete Series: 3764
Hill Auditorium, Ann Arbor, Michigan
The University Musical Society
The University of Michigan
PRAGUE SYMPHONY ORCHESTRA
JINDRICH ROHAN conductor
The Festival Chorus of the University Choral Union Donald Bryant, Director
Sunday Evening, February 27, 1972, at 8:30 Hill Auditorium, Ann Arbor, Michigan
Vox Clamantis--Symphonic Movement for Three Trumpets and Orchestra.........
Czech Song--Cantata for Mixed Chorus and Orchestra
The Festival Chorus Donald Bryant, Conducting
Symphony No. 5 in F major, Op. 24
Allegro, ma non troppo Andante con moto Allegro scherzando Allegro molto
Ninetythird Annual Choral Union Series
Complete Programs 3764
Vox clamantis, Symphonic Movement for Three Trumpets and
Petr Ebcn spent his youth in the ancient and historic city of Krumlov in southern Bohemia, where he began the study of piano and organ. His studies were interrupted by the Nazi occupation of Czechoslovakia. First, he was banned from attending school; then, at the age of fifteen, he was sent off to the concentration camp at Buchenwald. When his homeland was liberated in 1945, he returned to study cello, piano, organ, and composition at the Academy of Musical Art in Prague. Though today his first love is composition, he also lectures on music at Charles University and remains very active as a pianist, performing at chamber music concerts and on television, where he has revealed his ability to improvise.
Eben's compositions are many and varied. They include choral works, large and small, concerti for organ and piano, chamber music for both strings and winds, solo works for organ and piano, sacred music, instructional pieces for children, and song cycles, for which he has won particular distinction. As a creative musician, he does not indulge in selfserving experiments. While he main?tains strong tics to tradition, he also has his own equally strong individuality of style, achieved through the use of polyphony, dissonant harmony and expressive, motoric rhythms.
Czech Song, Cantata for Mixed Chorus and Orchestra . . . Bedrich Smetana
Through his operas, his symphonic poems, his choral works and his shorter pieces for piano, Smetana did much to bring a new national musical idiom to his native Bohemia.
Smetana did not compose any Czech choral music until 1860. In March of that year, during the period when he was living and working in Goteborg, Sweden, he received a letter from Prague from his former pupil, Ludevit Prochazka, requesting a fourpart male chorus for inclusion in a collection which he was editing entitled Zaboj.
From the material sent by Prochazka, Smetana selected a text by the patriotic priest and re?vivalist, Jan Jindfich Marek, and in June 1860 set it to music as Czech Song, a cantata for unaccom?panied male choir. Unfortunately, however, his inexperience in setting Czech words led to a certain awkwardness of style. According to Smetana's most recent biographer, Brian Large, there were also some musical inaccuracies: the tenor line was written an octave too high, while the bass parts also went beyond the normal vocal range. This first version of the Czech Song was never published or performed.
Eight years later, Smetana arranged the Czech Song for mixed chorus with piano accompani?ment; but it had to wait another two years for a first hearing, when it was presented at a morning concert in Prague on May 16, 1870, during the Congress of Mixed Choirs. Even though the cantata met with great success, the composer must have realized then and there that the accompaniment by a lone keyboard instrument was insufficient. Consequently, he resolved to rescore the accompaniment for orchestra, though that project did not come to fruition until 1878.
In its final form as a cantata for mixed chorus and orchestra, the Czech Song, Smetana's only choral work with orchestral accompaniment, received its initial performance in Prague on January 4, 1880, at a concert celebrating the fiftieth anniversary of Smctana's first public appearance.
In his biography of Smetana, Brian Large gives this concise description of the Czech Song: "An orchestral introduction leads to four separate 'songs': the first, serious, extolling the Czech landscape; the second, a lyrical love song for female voices; the third, a dramatic song for men only; and the finale, a national patriotic song for full chorus which ends with a fullblooded coda recalling the introduction."
THE CZECH SONG
by Jan Jindrich Marek
Translation by Carl Brablec
A Czech song is sublime
When heard in the church
And lofts the spirit
To the heavens.
A Czech song has a glorious sound
When people sing "Holy," "Holy."
A Czech song flows sweetly
From a maiden's lips
With notes rippling like a brook
Among wild flowers.
A Czech song has a glorious sound
When a girl sings of love.
A Czech song is beautiful When in chorus sung. It is the breezes of May swinging Leaves and branches happily. A Czech song is beautiful When in harmony sung.
A Czech song stirs the heart
Smoothly first then with force.
It softly soothes and
Next in woe we're wrapped
Or jokes us into fun.
But it sounds most warmly when
It kindles love of country.
Symphony No. 5 (Old No. 3) in F major, Op. 24 (76) . . . Antonin Dvorak
There has been a great deal of confusion over the numbering of the Dvorak symphonies, but the greatest confusion surrounds the one on this program. During the course of its career, it has been known as No. 3, No. 4 and No. S, and it has also been graced with two opus numbers--24 and 76. Some of the fault lay with the composer himself and some with his publisher Simrock.
Dvorak composed the Symphony in F major between June 15 and July 23, 187S. As yet, he had not achieved any degree of recognition as a creative musician. About the time he began work on this symphony, he applied for the Austrian state grant, an annual stipend that was given to aid young, little known, and needy composers. To support his request, he submitted several compositions which so impressed the committee of selection that he was awarded the grant for five consecutive years. A member of that committee was Johannes Brahms, who was so enthusiastic about Dvorak's work that he introduced him to his Berlin publisher, Fritz Simrock. Thus began a long and fruitful friendship between two great composers and an even longer--though not always friendly--association between Dvorak and Simrock.
In order of composition, the Symphony in F major was the fifth of Dvorak's works in this form. Ten years earlier, in 1865, he had written his Symphony Xo. 1 in C minor, Op. 3 ("The Bells of Zlonice"), but he believed the work had been lost or destroyed. As a result, he called his Symphony No. 2 in Bflat major, Op. 4, his "Symphony No. 1," and continued numbering in that fashion, so that the autograph score of the F major Symphony is headed "Symphony No. 4, Op. 24." The real First Symphony did not come to light until 1923, nineteen years after Dvorak's death.
The symphony's first movement, Allegro, ma non troppo, opens with a quiet theme that has been described as "idyllic." This soon leads to a second theme of a more robust character, almost like a peasant dance. The third theme, a little chromatic figure, is again calmer. There is also a broader, striding fourth theme. All these are developed and recapitulated, though the treatment of them in the recapitulation is somewhat irregular. The movement ends as quietly as it began.
The second movement, Andante con moto, begins and ends with a broadly lyrical though some?what melancholy section, whose theme bears a strong resemblance to the principal subject of Men?delssohn's Fingal's Cave Overture. For contrast, there is a slightly more animated, more affirmative middle section. Following the return of the first section, the movement concludes with a bridge passage that leads directly into the third movement, Allegro scherzando, whose playful chief theme and rhythmic verve foreshadow the later Slavonic Dances. The trio, or contrasting middle section, introduces a new theme and dotted rhythm.
The Finale, Allegro molto, is concerned mainly with a theme which the composer presents in several different guises--darkly brooding, tensely dramatic, and joyously exuberant. There is also a subordinate theme of a highly individual, more lyrical nature. The evolution and development of the principal theme mark a great advance in Dvorak's own development as a symphonist. Toward the close of the movement, overall unity is achieved with a reminder of the opening theme of the first movement.
THE FESTIVAL CHORUS
Donald Bryant, Conductor Nancy Hodge, Accompanist
First Sopranos Ann Barden Lela Bryant Elaine Cox Linda Fenelon Cynthia Goodyear Darlene Gray Susan Haines Gladys Hanson Susan Hesselbart Leslie Horst Betsy Johnsmiller Mary Lage Carolyn Leyh Beth Pack Margaret Phillips Edith Robsky Carol Schlarman
First Tenors Owen Cathy Timothy Dombrowski Marshall Franke Marshall Grimm Michael Kaplan Paul Lowry David Reynolds Jess Wright
Mary Ann Sincock Karen Smith Diane Zola
Second Sopranos Margaret Babineau Lael Cappaert Doris Datsko Donna Folk Nancy Graser Alice Horning Fiances Lyman Cindy Maher Laurel Beth Ronis Jo Ann Staebler Cheryl Thompson Patricia Tompkins
Second Tenors Martin Barrett John Burgess Michael Chateau Alan Cochrane Merle Galbraith Donald Haworth Thomas Hmay John Lathrop Robert MacGregor Jonathan Miller Michael Snabes Alan Weamer
Sandra Winzenz Kathy Wirstrom
First Altos Judith Adams Marion Brown Sally Carpenter Beth Dover Nancy Karp Andrea Kelly Lois Nelson Susan Palmer Lydia Polacek Mary Reid Christine Swartz Patricia Taylor Claudia Tull Carol Wargelin
First Basses Thomas Folk David Gitterman Thomas Hagerty Edgar Hamilton Jeffrey Haynes Thomas Hochstettler Orville Kimball Klair Kissel James McDonald William Magretta Michael Nowak Terril Tompkins Donald Williams
Linda Wolpert Charlotte Wolfe
Second Altos Elaine Adler Sandra Anderson Marjorie Baird Mary Davidson Martha Gibiser Mary Haab Joan Hagerty Jayne Hannigan Elsie Lovelace Judith McKnight Beverly Roeger Kathryn Stebbins Barbara Tuss Nancy Williams Johanna Wilson
Second Basses Neville Allen W. Howard Bond Gabriel Chin Oliver Holmes Gregg Powell George Rosenwald Helmut Schick Wallace Schonschak Thomas Sommerfeld Robert Strozier
Remaining Concerts in Hill Auditorium
Boston Symphony Orchestra,
William Steinberg, Conductor......Wednesday, March 15
Vienna Symphony Orchestra........Sunday, March 19
Josef Krips, Conductor
Minnesota Orchestra..........Sunday, April 9
Stanislaw Skrowaczewski, Conductor
ANN ARBOR MAY FESTIVAL........May 4, S, 6, 7
The Philadelphia Orchestra, Eugene Ormandy and Thor Johnson, conductors
UNIVERSITY MUSICAL SOCIETY
Burton Memorial Tower, Ann Arbor, Michigan (Phone 6653717)