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UMS Concert Program, January 27, 1974: Warsaw National Philharmonic --

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Concert: Seventh
Complete Series: 3861
Hill Auditorium, Ann Arbor, Michigan

Warsaw National Philharmonic
Sunday Afternoon, January 27, 1974, at 2:30 Hill Auditorium, Ann Arbor, Michigan
Concert Overture, Op. 12.........Karol Szymanowski
Les Illuminations, Song Cycle for High Voice and String
Orchestra, Op. 18..........Benjamin Britten
Stefania Woytowicz, Soprano
Capriccioso Notturno..........Edward Boguslawski
Suite from the Ballet Petrouchka........Igor Stravinsky
Philips and Deutsche Grammophon Records
Seventh Concert Ninetyfifth Annual Choral Union Series Complete Programs 3861
PROGRAM NOTES by Paul Affelder
Concert Overture, Op. 12.........Karol Szymanowski
The Concert Overture, Op. 12, belongs to Szymanowski's Berlin period, and shows a strong Straussian influence. It received a successful first performance in Warsaw by the Warsaw Philhar?monic on February 2, 1906, but the work was reorchestrated in 1912.
The Overture begins with a big, energetic Straussian theme, allegramente, con brio. Several thematic ideas are worked over, then there follows a slower, more lyrical middle section, andante dolce amoroso. A return to the faster tempo brings a recapitulation of the opening material and of the more lyrical theme from the slow section, now played at a more rapid pace. There is a brilliant, animated ending.
Les Illuminations, Song Cycle for High Voice and String
Orchestra, Op. 18..........Benjamin Britten
Les Illuminations is one of the very few of the many vocal works by one of England's foremost contemporary composers, Benjamin Britten, that does not employ an English text. It is a setting of nine prosepoems by the French symbolist poet, Arthur Rimbaud (1S541891), published after his death by his friend and colleague, Paul Verlaine, who also gave the work its title. Between the sixth and seventh poems Britten has inserted an instrumental interlude.
Max de Schauensee, a longtime keen observer of the international vocal scene, provided the following sensitive analysis of Les Illuminations for a performance several years ago by the Phila?delphia Orchestra:
"The composer's choice of Rimbaud's poems and the sequence in which they have been placed, would suggest his complete awareness of the poet's interpretation of life as a varied parade.
"The score of Les Illuminations reflects Rimbaud's 'motto' phrase--'a transition from one phase of life to another'--as it summons a restless and elegant pageantry, completely Gallic in its decor?ative symbolism, music that traverses ten varied sections with astounding smoothness of effect.
"A brilliant opening Fanfare prepares us for the busy, highly descriptive Villes, which follows. The atmosphere then subtly changes with the eight expressive bars of Phrase, this magically con?ceived passage leading us into the nostalgic and insinuating Antique, which in graceful manner ful?fills the preceding phrase, 'et je danse.' Voice and solo violin intertwine, until the violin dies away as though lost in space. Royaute and Marine offer us excellent examples of Rimbaud's wild, unre?strained imagery, and Britten here rises to the challenge, as he sustains this 'backward glance' into a lost era. In Royaute we find a blend of pathos and comedy, offered with jaunty formality and sly pompousness, while Marine with its alternating syncopated staccato passages and picturesque coloratura displays, brings Rimbaud's flamboyance within the borders of musical sound in one of the work's most fascinating moments.
"Interlude opens with a subtly conceived orchestra passage, slowly unwinding itself, until the voice restates the 'motto' phrase. This sets the stage for the next consideration, Being Beauteous, a philosophical meditation of considerable length, treated in a properly sophisticated manner. Parade is dramatic in character, triplet figurations leading into a march of grotesque tread, which seems to disintegrate, as we once more hear the 'motto,' for the third and last time.
"Depart comes almost like a sad and resigned afterthought. It appears to sum up all the many farewells man knows as he treads life's highway. 'Assez vue . . . assez eu . . . assez connu,' and the music dies away into a soft, ever deepening twilight."
Capriccioso Notturno..........Edward Boguslawski
Information concerning the young Polish composer Edward Boguslawski is scant. He studied theory and composition with Boleslav Szabelski at the State College of Music in Katowice, where he earned two diplomas, one in 1964, the other in 1966. At present, he is professor of composition at the same institution.
In addition to the Capriccioso Notlurno, Boguslawski's compositions include Signals for Sym?phony Orchestra, awarded first prize in the second Malawski Competition for Composers in Cracow in 1966; Intonazioni for nine instruments (1963); Inlonazioni II for orchestra (1967); Apocalypse for speaker, mixed choir, and instrumental ensemble (1965); Metamorphoses for oboe, clarinet, two violins, viola, and cello (1967); Canti for soprano and orchestra (1967); Concerto for Oboe, Oboe d'Amore, English Horn, Musette and Orchestra (1968), and Miisica per Ensemble
Suite from the Ballet Petrouchka........Igor Stravinsky
In 1910, Stravinsky made his triumphant entry into the world of the dance with his music for the ballet The Firebird. Immediately, the producer of that work, Sergei Diaghilev, asked for another. This, according to Stravinsky's original plan, was to center around a pagan rite of spring, with a young maiden dancing herself to death. As we know, this ultimately became the famous and provocative Le Sacre du printemps.
When, however, Diaghilev went to visit Stravinsky in Switzerland, where he was supposedly working on the new ballet, the composer showed him instead a Konzerstiick (concert piece) for piano and orchestra. In this work, the piano was intended to represent a mischievous puppet, exasperating the orchestra with what Stravinsky described as "diabolical cascades of arpeggios," to which the orchestra responded with vicious thrusts from the brasses.
Diaghilev was not the least bit disappointed with this new departure on the part of Stravinsky, only instead of a concert piece he envisioned the music as the basis for a ballet. After a considerable struggle, the composer finally hit upon a title for the work. He called it Pelrouchka (Punch), "the immortal and unhappy hero of every fair in all countries," as he described him.
In the music for the complete ballet, the original concert piece became the music for the second scene. Throughout the rich and brilliant score may be heard quotations from a number of Russian folk songs, plus two works by the nineteenthcentury Viennese waltz composer, Joseph Lanner. In addition, Stravinsky made use of a French musichall ditty, Elle avail un' jambe en bois (She had a wooden leg), which he had heard an organgrinder playing every afternoon beneath the window of his hotel in Beaulicu when he was working on the score of Petrouchka in the late fall of 1910.
Petrouchka is the Russian counterpart of the old Italian commedia dell' arte and our own PunchandJudy show. In place of the traditional tragic hero, Pierrot, his cynical and successful rival, Harlequin, and the flirtatious object of their affections, Columbine, we have in this ballet the parallel characters Petrouchka, the Moor, and the Ballerina.
The scene of Petrouchka is laid in the Admiralty Square in St. Petersburg about 1830. A lively Shrovetide fair is in progress. A cruel old Showman exhibits his three puppets--Petrouchka, the Moor, and the Ballerina--whom, unbeknownst to the audience, he has magically infused with human feelings. Petrouchka, who is the most nearly human of the three, is also the most sensitive. But he is ugly and grotesque, and when he makes advances to the beautiful Ballerina she repulses him, becoming attracted instead to the brutish and dullwitted but gaudilyattired Moor. The merrymaking at the fair reaches its height with dances by a trained bear and a group of coachmen, grooms, and nursemaids. Suddenly, Petrouchka emerges from his cell, pursued by the jealous Moor, who strikes him dead with his scimitar. Though the Showman demonstrates to the horrified on?lookers that Petrouchka is only a puppet made of wood and sawdust, he looks up in terror to see Petrouchka's ghost jeering at him and threatening him from above his booth.
As had been the case with The Firebird, Stravinsky scored Petrouchka for a large orchestra, consisting of four flutes, two piccolos, four oboes, English horn, four clarinets, bass clarinet, four bassoons, contrabassoon, four horns, two trumpets, two cornets, three trombones, tuba, kettledrums, bass drum, snare drum, tambour dc Provence, cymbals, triangle, tambourine, tamtam, xylophone, glockenspiel, celesta, piano, two harps and strings. In 1919, however, he rescored The Firebird for a somewhat smaller orchestra, then made a further revision in 1945. It was 1946 before he got around to making changes in the score of Petrouchka, only in this instance he merely reduced the size of the orchestra without making nearly as many musical alterations as he had in The Firebird. As in the case of The Firebird, however, these revisions were carried out more in the interest of performance in concert than as an accompaniment to the dance. In some presentations today, the original version is retained, while other conductors prefer the revised edition. Published the year following the composer's work on it, the latter is generally known as the 1947 version.
The present performance utilizes excerpts from the 1947 edition.
Carlos BarbosaLima, Guitarist.....Saturday, 8:30, February 2
Awaji Puppet Theatre, Japan.....Tuesday, 8:30, February 19
Roumanian Trio.........Friday, 8:30, February 22
(Piano, Violin, Cello)
AllBeethoven: Trios, Op. 1, No. 3 in C minor; Op. 70, No. 1 in D major; Op. 97 ("The Archduke") in Bflat major
Goldovsky Opera Theater (double bill) . . . Saturday, 8:00, February 23
and Sunday, 3:00, February 24 Mozart: "The Impresario" Menotti: "The Old Maid and The Thief"
Luciano Pavarotti, Tenor.....Wednesday, 8:30, February 27
Netherlands Wind Ensemble.......Thursday, 8:30, February 28
Gounod: Petite symphonie; Mozart: Serenade, K. 388; D'Indy: Chanson et dances, Op. 50; Dvorak: Serenade, Op. 44
An Evening of Viennese Operetta.....Friday, 8:30, March 1
Franz Lchar Orchestra, singers and dancers of the Vienna State Opera and Vienna Volksoper, present "Forever Yours."
Vienna Choir Boys.........Monday, 8:00, March 11
Yehudi Menuhin, Violinist, and
Hephzibah Menuhin, Pianist .... Wednesday, 8:30, March 13
Norwegian National Ballet......Saturday, 8:00, March 16
and Sunday, 3:00 and 8:00, March 17 Romero Quartet, Guitarists......Wednesday, 8:30, March 20
A Benefit Concert given by
Sunday afternoon, March 24, at 3:00 in Hill Auditorium
Tickets: Main floor, $3; 1st balcony, S2 ; 2nd balcony, $1. Proceeds to be shared by the Musical Society and the Arts Academy.
This is the first appearance in Ann Arbor of the full 100piece symphony orchestra. Members of the Interlochen Orchestra have for eight years participated in the traditional Messiah concerts with the University Choral Union.
81st Ann Arbor May Festival
Four concerts--May 1, 2, 3, and 4
THE PHILADELPHIA ORCHESTRA, Eugene Ormandy, Conductor THE UNIVERSITY CHORAL UNION, Jindrich Rohan, Guest Conductor
Yehudi Menuhin, Violinist; Beverly Sills, Soprano; Byron Janis, Pianist;
Janice Harsanyi, Soprano; Joanna Simon, Mezzosoprano;
Kenneth Riegel, Tenor; Michael Devlin, Bass.
Burton Memorial Tower, Ann Arbor, Michigan Phone 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.

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