UMS Concert Program, May 5, 1972: The Ann Arbor May Festival -- The Philadelphia Orchestra
Complete Series: 3773
Hill Auditorium, Ann Arbor, Michigan
The University Musical Society
The University of Michigan
THE PHILADELPHIA ORCHESTRA
Eugene Ormandy, Musical Director and Conductor William Smith, Assistant Conductor
FESTIVAL CHORUS OF THE UNIVERSITY CHORAL UNION
Donald Bryant, Director
THOR JOHNSON, Conducting
NOELLE ROGERS, Soprano WALDIE ANDERSON, Tenor
ELIZABETH MANNION, Contralto WILLIS PATTERSON, Bass
SUSAN STARR, Pianist
Friday Evening, May 5, 1972, at 8:30 Hill Auditorium, Ann Arbor, Michigan
Vesperae solemnes de conjessore in C major, K. 339.....Mozart
Noelle Rogers, Elizabeth Mannion, Waldie Anderson, Willis Patterson, and the Festival Chorus ; Mary McCall Stubbins, Organist
Concerto No. 3 for Orchestra
EulogyAndante aperto CarillonAllegro
?Concerto in A minor for Piano and Orchestra
Intermezzo: andantino grazioso Allegro vivace
Available on Columbia Records RCA Red Seal
79th Annual May Festival
Complete Programs 3773
by Glenn D. McGeoch
Vesperae solemnes de conjessore in C major, K. 339......Mozart
To the Romantic purists, much of the religious music of the seventeenth and eighteenth cen?turies "lacked religious sincerity," presented "a degradation of ecclesiastical composition," and "a vulgar mixture of styles." A large part of the church music of this period was thus censored and condemned by nineteenthcentury critics. The masses, litanies, and motets of the Italians in general, as well as the religious works of Haydn and Mozart, were considered to be "inappropriate" and "unliturgical." The mixture of the Italian "galant" and the "learned" styles remained a guiding principle for the entire eighteenth century, especially in church music. Mozart, by temperament, taste, and training, followed the "galant" manner of his great Italian predecessors, but ultimately affected a synthesis in which he reconciled the stylistic dualism of his period and, in doing so, trans?formed the musical language of his century.
In the Vesperae solemnes de conjessore heard this evening, as in the later Great Mass in C minor (K. 427), and in his final work, the Requiem, the charm of the Italian style, with its tender melo?dies, bravura vocal effects, and transparent texture, emerge even in the more orthodox, academic moments. Religious feeling and artistic impulse in Mozart are one and the same; absence of austerity is not to be taken for lack of respect. If the childlike piety, the humanity and directness of these works are to be excluded as "inappropriate liturgical music," then, as Alfred Einstein points out, "so should the circular panels of Botticelli depicting the Infant Christ surrounded by Florentine angels."
Mozart composed, either by commission or personal desire, much religious music between 177217S0--11 masses, two litanies, throe offertories, four miscellaneous pieces and two sets of Vespers (one of the eight canonical hours in the Catholic rite) for voices, orchestra, and organ (K. 331 and 339), each comprising five Psalms and the Magnificat. They were composed in 1779 and 1780 respectively. It is impossible to fix the exact date of K. 339; therefore, we have no knowledge of the Saint or Martyr it was supposed to honor. It is one of Mozart's most diversified and eloquent scores. Whether in the vigorous and majestic Dcxit Dominum (Psalm 110, "The Lord said unto my lord, 'Sit at my right hand' "); the ardent Confitebor (Psalm 111, "I will give thanks to the Lord with my whole heart"); the exultation, through leaping intervals and exploitation of the solo voices in Bcatus Vir (Psalm 112, "Blessed is the man who delights in His commandments") ; the Laudate Pueri (Psalm 113, "Praise the Lord, O servants of the Lord")--the only section in a minor key, with its strict, archaic fugue; in the sublime Laudate Dominum (Psalm 117, "Praise the Lord all nations, for great is his steadfast love for us") with its tenbar instrumental introduction, sharp contrast of tempo, and tender soprano solo; or in the concluding affirmative Magnificat ("My soul doth magnify the Lord," Luke 1:4655), the Vespers is a vocal score of unique splendor of sound that emerges from an orchestra of bassoon, two trumpets, three trombones, drums, strings (without violas) and organ, its choral groups, and its solo voices. In composing it, Mozart became completely free from tradition. So subjective and personal was his expression, that ultimately it led to a break with his orthodox patron, the Archbishop Colloredo, and brought Mozart's ecclesiastical activity in Salzburg to an end.
Concerto No. 3 for Orchestra...........Tircuit
Hcuwell Tircuit was born October 18, 1931, in the small river town of Plaquemine, Louisiana. He was educated at Louisiana State University, Northwestern University, and the University of Southern California. His professional career began as timpanist in the percussion sections of orches?tras in this country and in Japan. The eight years that Mr. Tircuit lived in Japan were to leave an imprint on his future compositions. It was also in Japan that he began his career as a music critic. After returning to the United States he served as a music critic for the Chicago American, and since 1966 he has been music, dance, and records editor for the San Francisco Chronicle.
Mr. Tircuit prefers to compose in projects, or cycles. He has written several cantatas on basic themes of life--Birth, Death, God, and Love. He has written six orchestral concertos, the third of which is heard this evening. Other major compositions include a violin concerto, a cello concerto, and the Concerto for Solo Percussionist and Orchestra. The latter is his most ambitious work to date. It was premiered in Chicago in 1969 and was performed in February of this year by the Philadelphia Orchestra. He has also written many chamber works, which include several with percussion, two string quartets, a string trio, and sonatas for various solo instruments.
The Concerto No. .5 for Orchestra was commissioned by Thor Johnson, Music Director of the Peninsula Music Festival in Fish Creek, Wisconsin, and received its premiere there on August 22, 1970. The six orchestral concertos are written for varying sizes and kinds of orchestras. As opposed to No. 6, which is for very large orchestras, "almost Mahlerian," according to the composer, No. 3 is the smallest of the six and the most intimate. The work is in two movements--Eulogy and Carillon --and the overall body of the piece is in a kind of "bud" form. A lone flute begins, with a gradual opening up to full orchestration, then a drawing back of instrumentation to close with a quiet ending. It is a soloistic display piece, allowing listeners to hear the different instruments of the orchestra. The scoring is around the color of the various instruments, some of which are unusual. Among them are a soprano trombone (about the size of a trumpet), a large set of antique cymbals, sleighbells, and a commercial toy piano. Conspicuous by their absence are the bassoon, the tuba, and the timpani.
Concerto in A minor for Piano and Orchestra......Schumann
German music, during the time of Robert Schumann (181056) was rearward; it was neither a part of the romantic movement in France (Berlioz, 180369), nor the contemporary literature of its own country. The productiveness of the eighteenth century had ceased. Beethoven, Schubert, and Weber had died shortly before Schumann's advent, and the new generation of composers were too much in awe of Beethoven to venture far beyond. "We have lately had few orchestral works of consequence," wrote Schumann, "many have been absolute reflections of him." In the 1S30S much of German music was superficial and vulgar "salon" music; criticism, too, seemed suspended in a limbo of leniency and insipidity. "It was a day," as Schumann described it, "of reciprocal compli?ments. A critic who dares not attack what is bad," he once wrote, "is but a halfhearted supporter of what is good." In his writings, Schumann waged war against the philistine taste and boorish mediocrity around him. As one of the founders, and for a decade editor of the periodical Note Zeitschrijt jiir Mtisik, he voiced the protest of disenchanted youth. Had he composed little, his critical writings would have qualified him as the most powerful promoter of the new German Romantic school. In them, he upheld the dignity of his art, saluted the genius of Chopin and Men?delssohn, and prophesied a distinguished career for his youthful pupil, Johannes Brahms. The period of his own most vigorous productiveness as a composer, strangely enough, coincides with his literary activity. From the age of twentyfour, Schumann suffered from a nervous disorder. After an attempted suicide, by throwing himself from a bridge into the Rhein, he was placed in an asylum for the insane, where he died at the age of fortysix, leaving to the world a wealth of lyricism in four symphonies; chamber music; within a single year over one hundred and twenty songs (among them the cycles Liederkreis, Frauenliebe und Leben, and Diclerliebe) that opened his mind to the
charm of pure lyricism, which became the hallmark of his style in all media;many short pieces for the piano; overtures; choral works; and the one piano concerto, heard this evening, perhaps his most beautiful and mature creation. His songs and works in larger forms date almost exclusively from the year 1840, when he married the distinguished pianist, Clara Wieck, the true source of his imperishable genius, who not only premiered his works but, after his death, performed them throughout Europe. In his compositions for the piano, he established a romantic idiom marked by impetuous rhythms, syncopations, combinations of different rhythms, sudden changes of harmony and dynamics, and fusions in the use of the pedal.
Schumann was not an epic romanticist who carried the movement to its climax. He lacked the architectural skill of his predecessor, Beethoven, and was not inspired by the forces that drove Tchaikovsky to excessive emotionalism, Berlioz to sensationalism, or Brahms and Wagner often to turgid opulence. His was essentially a sensitive and lyrical gift not without its moments, however, of surging intensity. In 1841 Schumann wrote a Fantasie in A minor for piano and orchestra for his wife Clara. It got no further than a private rehearsal and was rejected by the publisher. Four years later he recast it into a concerto by adding two more movements and, in this extended form, it was first performed from manuscript by Clara, in Dresden, at the end of 1845. The critics and the public were appalled at the fact that the piano did not dominate, as in the traditional concerto but, in the manner of Mozart, intertwined in subtle balance with the orchestra. In this conception, Schumann not only presaged subsequent ones written in this manner, notably by his pupil Brahms, but created what we consider today one of the most ingratiating masterworks in the entire concerto literature. Its popularity and familiarity with the public today warrants no musical analysis.
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 Kenneth Aptekar Owen Cathey Timothy Dombrowski Marshall Franke Marshall Grimm Carl Jech Michael Kaplan Paul Lowry Frederick Merchant David Reynolds Jess Wright
Mary Ann Sincock Karen Smith
Second Sopranos Margaret Babineau Lael Cappaert Doris Datsko Donna Folk Xancy Graser Alice Horning Frances Lyman Cindy Maher Laurel Beth Ronis Jo Ann Staebler Patricia Tompkins Sandra Winzenz Kathy Wirstrom
Second Tenors Martin Barrett John Burgess Michael Chateau Alan Cochrane Donald Couckc Merle Galbraith Donald Haworth Thomas Hmay Robert MacGregor Jonathan Miller Michael Snabes Alan Weamer William Webb
First Altos Judith Adams Marion Brown Sally Carpenter Beth Dover Nancy Karp Andrea Kelly Lois Nelson Lydia Polacek Mary Reid Christine Swartz Carol Wargelin Charlotte Wolfe Linda Wolpert
First Basses Thomas Folk. David Gitterman Thomas Hagerty Edgar Hamilton Jeffrey Haynes Thomas Hochstettler Orville Kimball Klair Kissel James McDonald William Magretta Michael Xowak Teiril Tompkins Donald Williams
Elaine Adler Sandra Anderson Marjorie Baird Mary Davidson 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 Schonschack Thomas Sommerfeld Robert Strozier
Available for purchase in the lobby--a recording featuring the Festival Chorus in Smetana's "Czech Song," Dvorak's Symphony No. S in F major, and three of Dvorak's Slavonic Dances, as performed in the Prague Symphony concert in the Choral Union Series this season.
University Musical Society