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UMS Concert Program, May 4, 1973: The Ann Arbor May Festival -- The Philadelphia Orchestra

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University Musical Society
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Concert: Third
Complete Series: 3828
Hill Auditorium, Ann Arbor, Michigan

The University Musical Society
The University of Michigan
Eugene Ormandy, Music Director and Conductor William Smith, Assistant Conductor
Donald Bryant, Director
THOR JOHNSON, Conducting
Friday Evening, May 4, 1973, at 8:30 Hill Auditorium, Ann Arbor, Michigan
"Stabat Mater," from Four Sacred Pieces
University Choral Union
Songs of the Rose of Sharon
Jessye Norman
"Te Deum," from Four Sacred Pieces ....
University Choral Union
"Du bist der Lenz" from Die Walkiire .... "Dich, teure Halle" from Tannhduser ....
Miss Norman
Concerto No. 2 in C minor for Piano and Orchestra, Op. 18 Moderato Adagio
Allegro scherzando
Van Cliburn RCA Red Seal
John La Montaine Verdi
Wagner Wagner
Third Concert
SOth Annual May Festival
Complete Programs 3828
by Glenn D. McGeoch
"Stabat Mater"...............Verdi
The year 1813 was of tremendous importance in the political world, and it was no less so in the domain of music, for it brought into the world two epochmaking geniuses, Richard Wagner and Giuseppe Verdi. In these two masters climaxed the greatest artistic forces for the entire ninetenth century. In them, German and Italian opera established models that seemed to exhaust all conceivable possibilities within the two cultures. Representing two great musical nations, influenced as well by strong national tendencies, each assumed, in his own way, a novel and significant artistic attitude toward the lyric theater. Wagner, the German, full of the Teutonic spirit, revolutionized musicodramatic art by approximating it to the symphony; Verdi, the Italian, no less national in spirit and without losing either his individuality or nationality, developed a similar style in which the orchestra increased its potency of expression without sacrificing the beauty of the human voice.
Realizing that he might never again possess the physical and spiritual strength to produce another major work, Verdi composed, in the very last years of his life, some fragments known as the Quattro Pezzi Sacri, consisting of four independent pieces: an Ave Maria; a Laudi alia Vergine Maria to Canto XXXIII of Dante's Paradiso; and a Stabat Mater and the Te Deutn. In these, at the age of eightyfive, he again disclosed his exceptional powers and the most complete kind of mastery over his medium. "They represent," wrote Grieg, "Roman Catholic culture at its highest, and are full of the deepest and most beautiful inspirations by which the master was ever carried away." These wondrous works, unfortunately so neglected, were the last complete products of a creative life that spanned more than half a century, and in them there is to be found those same sensuously appealing and eloquent qualities that coursed through the pages of his earlier works.
As the last great figure of his period, he remained a lonely and solitary figure, writing an epilogue in these few fragments to an era that was becoming increasingly remote. In them, however, there were still to be heard strong echoes from a glorious past. Less than three years after their per?formance (1898) Verdi was dead at the beginning of his eightyeighth year.
The "Stabat Mater" ("The Mother Was Standing"), a thirteenthcentury hymn ascribed to a Franciscan Monk Jacopo Todi (12281306), describes the grief of the mother of Christ at the Cross. The pathetic beauty of the text reflects characteristic features of the new feeling which came into Western Christianity with the transforming Franciscan movement. In a world filled with a sense of impending doom, fear and terror were mitigated by pity, sorrow, and love.
Stabat mater dnlorosa
Ctljus animam gementem, 0 quam Iristis el afflicta, Quis est homo qui non fteret, Christi matrem si viderel . . . Pro peccatis suae gentis Yidit Jesum in tormentis
Eia Mater, jons amoris! . . . In amando Christum Deum Ut sibi complaceam.
Sancta Mater, . . . Crucifixi fige plagas, Cordi meo valide. Tut nati vulnerati,
Fac me vere tecum flere,
Virgo, virginum praeclara . . Mihi jam twit sis amara, Fac me tecum plangere.
Fac me plagis vulnerari Christe, cum sit hinc exire
Quando corpus morietur, Fac, . . .
Paradisi gloria. Amen.
At th" cross . . .
Stood the mournful Mother weeping
Through her heart His sorrows sharing
Oh, how sad and sore distressed
Is there one who would not weep . . .
Christ's dear Mother to behold
For the sins of His own nation
Saw Him hang in desolation
0 thou Mother! Fount of love! . . . Make my soul to glow and melt With the love of Christ my Lord.
Holy Mother! . . .
In ray heart each wound renew
Of my Saviour crucified; Let me share with thee His pain.
Let me mingle tears with thee.
Virgin of all virgins blest! Listen to my fond request; Let me share thy grief divine.
Wounded with His every wound Chrst, when Thou shall call me hence
While my body here decays . . . May ray soul . . . be
safe in Paradise with Thee. Amen.
Songs of the Rose of Sharon.........La Montaine
Born in Oak Park, Illinois, in 1920, John La Montaine received his musical training in Chicago, the Eastman School of Music under Howard Hanson, and the Juilliard School of Music. In 1955, en?couraged by N'adia Boulanger, he gave up his career as a concert pianist and devoted himself to composition. The following year he produced The Songs of the Rose oj Sharon, with Leontyne Price as soloist. A piano concerto won him the Pulitzer Prize in 1959. He has held two Guggenheim fellowships, served as composerinresidence at the American Academy in Rome, and visiting pro?fessor at the Eastman School. He continues to produce works in various media, which attests to his distinguished talent.
The song cycle on tonight's program is drawn from Chapter II of the Song of Songs, in the Old Testament:
1. I am the rose of Sharon, and the lily of the valleys--
2. I sat down under his shadow with great delight--
.i. His left hand is under my head, and his right hand doth embrace me--
4. O, my dove that art in the clefts of the rock, let me see thy countenance, let me hear
thy voice--
5. My beloved is mine, and I am his--
6. The voice of my beloved--spake and said unto me:
7. "Rise up, my love, my fair one, and come away--The voice of the turtle is heard in our
land--arise my love, and come away--"
"Te Deum"................Verdi
In form, content, and expressive treatment of the chorus and orchestra the "Tc Deum" is the most important of the Pezzi Sacri. It reflects the characteristic qualities of the magnificent Requiem Mass in its melodic luxuriance, vivid and elaborate orchestral background, and dramatic, individual treatment of the text. All of this, however, is in a smaller, reduced framework, evidencing perhaps a greater directness and economy of means and a chastened and moderated style. In it Yerdi again, as in the Requiem, consciously sought to give to the text the most accurate musical interpretation possible.
The initial words of the "Te Deum" are announced by the basses in the first of the two choirs employed, and they are echoed by the tenors of the second choir. This introduction, which serves as the structural idea for the whole work, and which is treated with such great ingenuity and effect later, is of liturgical character and origin. In this opening section Yerdi seems to have found the traditional setting for the words comparable with the text. Following it, the male voices of both choirs have antiphonal, unaccompanied passages chiefly in repeated chords which are seldom changed. His purpose here is undoubtedly to throw into relief the loud ensemble proclaiming the "Sanctus," where, after this subdued and bare effect, all the voices and instruments, joined together, create an overpowering impression.
The brief theme that follows, announced by the first choir on the words "Pleni sunt coeli," like the Introduction theme, is of structural importance, for it returns repeatedly as the work progresses. In the course of its presentation, the second choir continues the exclamation "Sanctus," with both choirs joining finally in a climax of tremendous power. With hushed voices, they repeat the "Sanctus," the sopranos entering softly on the final chord, while the violins help to sustain the ethereal effect by playing harmonics. There follows a short orchestral interlude presenting an im?portant derivation from the first theme. It is extended by repetition and soon passes to the voices, which treat it polyphonically ("Te gloriosus apostolorum"). There is a sonorous announcement of the modified liturgical theme in the brass, forcefully continued by the choirs in unison ("Tu Rex gloriae"). So ends the section of praise to the glory of God.
At the words "Tu ad liberandum suscepturus hominem," there is, however, a distinct change of feeling. Christ born of the Yirgin opens to mankind the Kingdom of Heaven ("regna coelorum") ; man now believes in the Judge to come ("Judex venturus") and appeals to Him for salvation ("salvum fac"). After treating the words in eight parts he reverts to the theme of the interlude and treats it with wondrous new effects in the orchestra, while the voices sing independent phrases. The setting of the words "Salvum fac populum" is in massive choral harmonics unaccompanied-one of the most impressive parts of the work. The orchestra then presents the theme originally stated by the first choir to the words "Pleni sunt coeli" successively with that of the Interlude, and these themes, which have given to the work its compact structure, are worked out by both choirs simultaneously. An equally effective, though quite different, device is used in the "Dignare Domine, in die isto." Here the unison voices accompanied by the orchestra create a somber effect with the basses pulsating slowly below them "in pathos, darkness, mourning, and even terror." In the "Miserere nostri Domine" a lovely antiphonal effect is achieved with the simplest of means. To personalize the prayer at the end Yerdi turns briefly, and for the only time in the whole work, to the solo voice. To the words "In te Domine speravi" the soprano voice, in three short phrases, ends the work.
The noblest and most inspiring of all sacred hymns, the great canticle "Te Deum laudamus,"' was composed about the beginning of the fifth century a.d., by Bishop Nicetas of Dacia (c. 335414). Research of Professor Peter Wagner, Dom Paul Cagin, O.S.B., and Clemens Blume, places the time of its composition at a much earlier date. Its passages were drawn from the Old and Xew Testa?ments, the Psalms, Prophets, Gospels, and Epistles--a remarkable fusion of scattered Biblical elements. It is little wonder that the early Christians found in its allcomprehensive verses, appealing to man's will to strive and endure, an expression of their unconquerable faith and resolution, or that composers have, throughout the history of music, met the challenge of its glorious text, of necessity condensed here:
Te Deum laudamus te Deum confitemur....
Te gloriosus, apostolorum chorus,
Tu Rex gloriae, Christe.. . .
Saivum far populum tuum Domine, . . .
Fiat miscricordia tua Domine super nos, . . .
We praise Thee, O God: we acknowledge Thee to be the Lord. . . .
Thee, the glorious choir of the Apostles, . . .
Thou, O Christ, art the King of Glory.
Save Thy people, O Lord, and bless Thine inheritance.. ..
Let Thy mercy, O Lord, be upon us, . .
"Du bist der Lenz" from Die Walkiire.........Wagner
This excerpt is taken from the end of Act I of Die Walkiire. Siegmund, a warrior in flight, takes refuge one stormy evening in the house of Hunding, his enemy, whose wife, Sieglinde, arouses his love. Siegmund, alone, reflects upon the beauty of Sieglinde, who now enters. The large door at the back opens suddenly, revealing a lovely spring night, with the full moon shining in on the pair of lovers. Siegmund first sings a passionate song of love, to which Sieglinde answers:
"Thou art the spring . . . 'ncnth the frost fettered winter, friendless and forsaken, for thee I have waited."
"Dich, teure Halle" from Tannhduscr........Wagner
"Into this work," wrote Wagner, "I precipitated myself with my whole soul . . . This opera must be good, or else I never shall be able to do anything that is good. It acted upon me like real magic; whenever and wherever I took up the work I was all aglow and trembling with excitement. After the various long interruptions from labor, the first breath always transported me back into the fragant atmosphere that had intoxicated me at its first conception."
Tannhiiuser, the minstrel, has returned to Eisenach from the Yenusberg, where he had been held by the seductive charms of the Goddess of Love. During his absence, the Hall of Song in the Wartburg Castle, the scene of the minstrels' song contests, has not rung with their voices. Elizabeth, whom he had loved, joyful at Tannhauser's return, enters the empty Hall, and, as an apostrophe to it, sings:
"Dear hall of song, I give thee greeting!
All hail to thee, thou hallowed place! . . . All hail to thee, Thou hall of glory, dear to my heart!"
Concerto for Piano No. 2, in C minor, Op. 18.....Rachmaninoff
Rachmaninoff (18731943) was born in the gloomiest period Russia had experienced for over a century. All the sublime efforts of the generation that had entertained such high hopes in the seventies, had ended in defeat. The great social reforms (including the abolition of serfdom in 1861) brought about by Alexander II, were looked upon as grave mistakes. The reactionary elements that rallied around Alexander III after the assassination of his liberalminded father in 1881 tolerated no opposition. The new emperor counteracted the excessive liberalism of his father's reign by indicating he had no intention of limiting or weakening the aristocratic power inherited from his ancestors. A feeling of hopeless despair was shared by the young "intellectuals" whose inability to solve problems of innovation or to break the inertia of the masses soon became tragically apparent. Their loss of faith in the future, the destruction of their illusions, was impressively reflected in the nostalgic fiction and drama of Anton Chekhov.
The somber beauty and brooding melancholy that courses through Rachmaninoff's art marks him. as it did Gustav Mahler and Richard Strauss, as one of the last of the Titans of musical
romanticism, an artist who lived beyond the fulfillment of an era. He carried to an anticlimax the spirit of an epoch, filled with the gloom and despair of man's struggle against relentless destiny. Like the other late romanticists, he clung tenaciously to a dying tradition, regretful at its passing, nostalgic with its memories.
Rachmaninoff, like so many young men living in Moscow at the turn of the century, suffered from the contagion of his times. His melancholy turn of mind and pessimistic outlook offered little protection against the disappointments and frustrations he met at the outset of his career as a composer. His first symphony, written in 1S95 and produced in St. Petersburg, was a complete failure, receiving one performance and never heard again. This threw the young composer into the depths of despair.
In 1900, he consulted a psychiatrist by the name of Dr. N. Dahl:
"My relatives had told Dr. Dahl that he must at all costs cure me of my apathetic condition and achieve such results that I would again begin to compose. Dahl had asked what manner of composition they desired and had received the answer, 'A concerto for pianoforte,' for this I had promised to the people in London and had given it up in despair. Consequently I heard the same hypnotic formula repeated, day after day while I lay half asleep in an armchair in Dahl's study. 'You will begin to write your concerto . . . You will work with great facility. . . . The concerto will be of an excellent quality . . .' It was always the same, without interruption. Although it may sound incredible, his cure really helped me. Already at the beginning of the summer I began again to compose. By the autumn I had finished two movements of the concerto--the Adagio and the Finale."
The Second Concerto needs no further explanation. It is among the most famous and familiar of all Rachmaninoff's compositions. Its facile melodies have already found their way into the popular music of our day. The performance tonight commemorates the hundredth anniversary of Rach?maninoff's birth.
Third Annual Alumni Night
Jessye Norman has become a worldcelebrated singer in the few short years since she attended The University of Michigan. Tonight she makes her Ann Arbor debut as a topranking artist in the first years of her exciting career. This climaxes a year begun in Europe at the major opera houses of Munich and Berlin (where she now resides), in Rome, Milan (La Scala), and in America, from the opening of Hollywood Bowl to appearances at the great summer music festivals. We wish Miss Norman continued success and many future returns to her alma mater, The University of Michigan.
TUor Johnson, alumnus and former conductor of the University Symphony Orchestras of The University of Michigan, marks his 57th concert in these May Festivals. Since his debut in 1940 he has introduced, fortyfive major choral works to the repertoire, in addition to conducting over thirty guest instrumental soloists. Mr. Johnson's conducting appearances are international in scope: with the NBC Orchestra and the Japan Philharmonic Orchestra in the Far East, in Scandinavia, Roumania, and Italy. As a member of this nation's Advisory Committee on the Arts he was sent to Iceland, Czechoslovakia, Korea, the Philippines and Japan for guestconducting and surveys. Nationally he has received honorary degrees from ten universities, has been conductor of the Cin?cinnati and Nashville Symphony Orchestras, guestconductor of the New York Philharmonic and Boston Symphony Orchestra, among others. He is principal guestconductor of the Interlochen Arts Academy Orchestra, and founder and director of the Moravian Festival in WinstonSalem and the Peninsula Music Festival in Wisconsin.
The University Choral Union, in continuous existence since 1879, is comprised of singers from University students, staff, and faculty, and many townspeople from southeastern Michigan. Since 1S94 it has been an integral part of the annual May Festivals, first conducted by Albert A. Stanley, followed by Earl V. Moore and Thor Johnson. For twentytwo years (19461968) Lester McCoy served as chorusmastcr, succeeded by Donald Bryant, who is now director of the Choral Union and its smaller section The Festival Chorus.
THE UNIVERSITY CHORAL UNION Donald Bryant, Conductor Nancy Hodge, Accompanist
First Sopranos Albright, Christine Bradstrect, Lola Bryant, Lcla Cox, Elaine Denner, Phyllis Dworkin, Anita Kenelon, Linda Fox, EsteMe Celstein, Deborah Ciockcl. Barbara Cioodyear. Cynthia Hanson, Gladys Hesselbart, Susan Hirth, Dana Hoover, Joanne Humes, Diane Keeler. Ann Lahodney, Lillian Luccke, Doris Martinez, Leslie Mather, Diaiinc McDonald. Ruth McRoberts, Nancy Newman, Judith Xorris. Margaret Pack. Beth Pearson, Agnes Phillips. Margaret Pickett, Jo Rnbsky. Edith Rottenberg, Lori Schneider. Alice Schulcr, Ann Smith, Karen Stockhorst, Eva Teichert, Janice Ware, Norma
Second Sopranos Ayers. Meta Black. Joanne Burr. Virginia ("arr. N'ancy Christmas. Kathleen Dalsko. Dnris Enzmann. Jill Fawcett. Janis Fox. Lynda Fromm, Elizabeth Greig. Laurie Hiraga, Mary Horning, Alice (ngley. Mary Kosarin. Stephanie Lacey. Elizabeth Lawrence. Christina Lehmann. Judith I.yman. Frances McCann, Lorraine Oxendine. Janet Passias. Katherine Petcoff. Susan Prins. Barbara Reese. Virginia Ronis. Laurel Sauchak. Jane StewartRobinson.
Elizabeth Taylor. Susan
Thurman, Eunice Tompkins. Patricia Weil, Judith Wickens, Linda Williams, Susan Wineman, Judith Winzenz, Sandra Wirstrom. Kathy Zalman. Rachelle
First Altos Abrams, Ciloria Adams, Judith Ause, Martha Barker, Kathy Beam, Eleanor Iiirchett, Colleen Bobbitt, Cara Brace, Virginia Bramer, Kathryn Brown, Marion Cappaert, Lael Carpenter, Sally Dick. Carol F.vans. Daisy Feldkamp, Lucy Finkbeiner. Marilyn Fisher. Joanne Gewanter, Ruth Gonczewski, Arlyn (ioslee, Jeanne Hall. Christine Haviland. Naomi Hoexter. Margaret Hollinshead. Betsy Hovey. Wendy Hurdle, (llori.i Karp, Nancy Kelly. Andrea Kulenkamp. Nancy Landon, Joyce Mann. Julie McEwen, Gloria Mclntire. Joan Mead. Kathleen Miller. Florence Murray. Virginia Nelson, Lois Perlow, Ellen Petoskey, Barbara Reid. Mary Schneider. Grctchen Slee. Beth Swartz, Christine Vlisides. Elena Wargelin. Carol Watson. Heather Weurding. Sharon Whelan. Katie White, Myra Wiedmann, Louise Wolfe. Charlotte Woodra. Sandra
Second Altos Anderson. Sandra Bedell. Carolyn Clayton. Caroline Frank, Anne Gere. Anne
Gibiser, (iail Gibiser, Martha Haab, Mary HaKerty, Joan Kaylc, Hilary Lidgard, Ruth
I.uvrlacc. Mlsif Maymnn, Rosemary McKnight, Judith Mertaugh, Clemence Miller, Rene N'isbett. Susan Oliver. Cathy Olson, Constance Richardson, (iloria Rider. Hazel Roeger, Beverly Stebbins, Katie Thompson, Margaret Tull, Theresa Wightman, Stephanie Williams. Nancy Wilson. Johanna Wolpert, Linda
First Tenors Maker. HuKh Cathey, Owen Cochrane. Alan Donibrowski. Timothy Krause, Thomas Lowry, Paul Merchant. Frederick Miller, Gerald Mitchell. Dennis N'orris, David Rohde. Reinhard Sauser, Robert Thurman. Russell
Second Tenors Barrett. Martin Berry, Thomas Blackford. William Burgess. John Chancey, Mark Chateau. Michael Clark. Harold DeLong, Michael Etsweiler. John Galbraith, Merle Girod. Albert Glover. Roy Golden. N'eal Haworth. Donald Hmay, Thomas Klettke, Duight Kodner. David Kruzich. Michael Legros. William I.uker. Calvin MacGregor, Robert Melcher. Philip Miller. Jonathan Slotnick, Dennis Snabes, Michael I'nnewehr. David Verschaeve. Michael Warren. James Weamer. Alan Wiers. Ted
First Basses Atkins, Anthony Ballard, Gary Beam, Marion Becvar, Thomas lk'nbow, Douglas Bohde, Matthew Brueger, John Budday, Jefferey Burr, Charles Damashek, Robert Emley, Warren Englander, Jeffrey Feldstein, Bruce Ferris. Robert Hagerty, Thomas Hamilton, Edgar Haviland, Robert Haynes Jeffrey Heller, Leland Herren, Donald Holly. Thomas Howard, Timothy Jarrett. K. John K;iys. Warren Kissel. Klair Lam, Samuel Lew, Dennis Magretta, William Martinez. Douglas McCreery, Lawrence Muntz, Richard Olson. Steven Pate. Michael Pearson. Raymond Powell. Steven Regier. Steven Render. Juergen Reutter. John Roth, Michael Schill. Thomas Shalwitz, Robert Smith. Lawrence Spence. David Sutton. Wade Tepker, Paul Tompkins. Terril Weadon. Mark Wendt. Timothy Williams. Riley Zoerhof. William
Second Basses Allen, Neville Anderson, Robert Haskerville. AndrewChin. Gabriel Hubert, Timothy Hunsche. David I.arrouy, David Lehmann. Charles McMurtrie, James Pickard. Wayne Powell. GreKK Reineck, Roman Schonschack. Wallace Shaver, Xeal Slee. Vergil Sommerfeld. Thomas Weiner. Stuart Wickens. Christopher

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