Complete Series: 3845
Hill Auditorium, Ann Arbor, Michigan
The University Musical Society
The University of Michigan
EVGENY MRAVINSKY, Music Director NEEME JARVI, Conductor
JOY DAVIDSON, MezzoSoprano
THE FESTIVAL CHORUS OF THE UNIVERSITY CHORAL UNION Donald Bryant, Director
Sunday Afternoon, November 4, 1973, at 2:30 Hill Auditorium, Ann Arbor, Michigan
Symphony No. 3 in A minor, Op. 44.......Rachmaninoff
Adagio ma non troppo
Allegro (Commemorating the 100th anniversary of the composer's birth)
A cantata for MezzoSoprano, Chorus, and Orchestra, Op. 78
Russia Under the Mongolian Yoke Song About Alexander Nevsky The Crusaders in Pskov Arise, Ye Russian People The Battle on the Ice The Field of the Dead Alexanders' Entry into Pskov
Joy Davidson The Festival Chorus
Vanguard, DGG, Everest, Monitor, and Parliament Records
Special Concert Complete Programs 3846
Symphony No. 3 in A minor, Op. 44.....Sergei Rachmaninoff
Rachmaninoff began his Third Symphony in the spring of 1935, completing the first two movements that year. He wrote the final movement in June, 1936. At the end of the score is written: "Finished. I thank God! 630 June 1936, Senar."
After appearing as piano soloist with the London Symphony Orchestra and at the Sheffield Festival, Rachmaninoff arrived in Philadelphia in time for the premiere of the Third Symphony, which took place on November 6, 1936. A New York Times reporter watched the composer during the performance:
"During the playing of the symphony, Mr. Rachmaninoff sat in a box near the back of the auditorium, following the music intently and several times smiling at companions when the orchestra seemingly reproduced passages just as he had intended them to be interpreted."
The symphony begins (Lento) with four introductory bars in which a rather melancholy strain is played in unison by muted solo cello, horn, and clarinets. There is a pause; then an upward rush of strings and woodwinds above brass and percussion chords launches the movement proper (Allegro moderalo, A minor). The principal subject is stated by oboes and bassoons in thirds, with an accompaniment in the second violins. The second subject, in E major (Dolce cantabile), is intro?duced by the cellos with an accompaniment of syncopated woodwind chords. A cantilena passage in F major for the strings rounds out the exposition.
In the development section, the theme of the movement's slow introduction is recalled, and the secondviolin figure that accompanied the principal subject at its first appearance is prominent. The recapitulation is followed by a coda in which the Lento theme again recurs, this time in the brass.
The second movement (Adagio ma non troppo, C sharp major) opens with an introductory horn theme above chords for harp. The chief theme of the movement is introduced by the solo violin against a background of woodwind chords. The theme is taken up by all the violins in unison. Another theme is introduced by the solo flute, with string accompaniment. The tempo quickens to Allegro vivace as a leaping triplet figure is introduced by the violins. The section cul?minates in a scries of fortissimo ascending and descending chromatic passages. A sustained C sharp sounds in the horn, above harp chords and muted violins tremolandi. The slow tempo of the opening is reestablished and the movement ends Adagio.
The Finale (Allegro, A major), shows that Rachmaninoff, like Verdi, could be a fluent contrapuntalist if it suited the occasion. The movement opens with an impetuous upward figure for violins and woodwinds. Violins and violas in unison introduce the chief theme. The tempo slows to Andante con moto as another songlike melody is heard in the strings. The tempo quickens to Allegro, then to Allegro vivace, for a very energetic fugal treatment of a subject derived from the opening violinviola theme. Toward the end of the movement, the lyrical mood returns, but the ending is a fullvoiced Allegro vivace.
?Program note by George K. Diehl for The Philadelphia Orchestra. Used by permission.
Alexander Nevsky, Op. 78...........Prokofiev
This cantata was originally written by Prokofiev as the score for Sergei Eisenstein's epic motion picture Alexander Nevsky. The story of the movie centers on the Russian defense of Novgorod in 1242 against the invading Knights of the Teutonic Order. Alexander Nevsky (whose last name was given to him because his first great victory took place at the River Neva where he defeated the Swedes) led the fighting force which repelled the Germanic invaders in a fight on the frozen waters of Lake Chud. Since the film was made in 1938, one year before the SovietNazi pact, it is easy to see the propagandistic aspects of the film. AntiGerman feeling was intense, and the Russians suspected that they might soon be called upon again to rise in defense of their land.
Prokofiev was impressed with the scope of the movie and his score, and extracted seven of the strongest scenes to rework into cantata form. As a cantata, it was first presented in Moscow in 1939.
Russia Under the Mongolian Yoke depicts the feeling of desolation and oppression that seized Russia following the Tartar invasion in the middle of the thirteenth century.
Song of Nevsky glorifies, with its ringing, soaring lines, the hero on whom the hopes of the people are resting. Nevsky had retired to a simple country life, but, at the insistence of his admirers that he is the only man who can rouse Russia from its depression and apathy, he agrees to gather and lead a defense army.
Crusaders in Pskov shows the hypocritical Teutonic Knights who masquerade as religious crusaders, by means of a score that is a combination of a Latin ecclesiastical text and Gregorian cadences with savage, modern harmonies and sonorities.
Arise, Ye Russian People is an intense call to the people of Russia to rise against the invaders, the melodies seem to have their basis in spirited Russian folk song.
The Battle on the Ice describes graphically the savage battle on the frozen lake. The swords and spears can be clearly heard, and at several points the chant of the crusaders is presented in a symbolic counterpoint to the music of the Russian defenders.
Field of the Dead is a haunting and poignant aria for mezzosoprano, sung by a Russian girl who expresses grief for those who died, mingled with pride in their patriotism. She expresses love for whoever has died nobly, and will weep even for those she did not know.
Alexander's Entry into Pskov is a hymn of triumph, sung by the rejoicing people as Nevsky victoriously enters the no longer threatened city of Pskov. "And so to all who threaten our Russian land."
Abreu Brothers, Guitarists......Wednesday, 8:30, November 7
First concert of Guitar Series, followed by Narciso Ycpes, November 28, Carlos BarbosaLima, February 2; Romero Quartet, March 20. Limited series tickets still available.
Budapest Symphony Orchestra.....Saturday, 8:30, November 10
Gyorgy Lehel, Conductor; Gyorcy Sandor, Pianist
Debussy: Two Nocturnes; Beethoven: Symphony No. 1; Szbllbsy: Musica per Orchestra;
Bartok: Piano Concerto No. 3
The Little Angels........Sunday, 3:00, November 11
National Folk Ballet of Korea
Tel Aviv String Quartet......Wednesday, 8:30, November 14
with Yona Ettlin'Ger, Clarinetist
Bartok: Quartet No. 3; Mozart: Clarinet Quintet; Schubert: Quartet in G major, Op. 161
Modern Jazz Quartet.......Thursday, 8:00, November 15
(piano, vibraharp, bass, drums)
Martina Arroyo, Soprano......Monday, 8:30, November 19
Songs by Stradella, Gluck, Handel, Faure, de Falla
Narciso Yepes, Guitarist......Wednesday, 8:30, November 28
Handel's "Messiah"........Friday, 8:30, November 30;
Saturday, 8:30, December 1; Sunday, 2:30, December 2
For over ninety years, the University Choral Union has presented the "Messiah" in celebration of the Christmas season. Donald Bryant conducts the 350voice chorus, members of the Intcrlochen Arts Acdcmy Orchestra, and soloists Ruth Falcon, soprano, Muriel Greenspon, contralto, John Sandor, tenor, and Saverio Barbieri, bass.
Krasnayarsk Siberian Dancers . . . Saturday, 3:00 and 8:00, December 1 Tickets on sale at Burton Memorial Tower--telephone 6653717
The University Musical Society relies on public support in order to maintain the scope and artistic quality of these programs. Taxdeductible contributions to our Gift Program are welcome.