Complete Series: 3944
Hill Auditorium, Ann Arbor, Michigan
The University Musical Society
The University of Michigan
THE PHILADELPHIA ORCHESTRA
Eugene Ormandy, Music Director and Conductor William Smith, Assistant Conductor
EUGENE ORMANDY, Conducting
Wednesday Evening, April 30, 1975, at 8:30 Hill Auditorium, Ann Arbor, Michigan
Come, Sweet Death...........Bach
A Moment of Silence in Memory of Thor Johnson
Symphony No. 1 in D major, "The Titan".......Mahler
Langsam; gemachlich Kraftig bewegt Feierlich und gemessen Sturmisch bewegt
f'An American in Paris"...........Gershwin
fSuite from The Firebird (1919 version).......Stravinsky
Introduction; the Firebird and Her Dance Dance of the Princesses Infernal Dance of Kastchei Berceuse
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First Concert Eightysecond May Festival Complete Concerts 3944
In Memoriam -Thor Johnson
Thor Johnson, 19131975, conductor of fiftyseven May Festival concerts between 1940 and 1973, began his University of Michigan affiliation as a student in 1934. After graduation, he was conductor of the UM orchestras and the Little Symphony. He served as a member of the Univer?sity Musical Society's Board of Directors from 19401968. He leaves a long legacy of service with orchestras throughout the United States, the first Americanborn, Americantrained conductor chosen to direct a major orchestra when he was appointed conductor of the Cincinnati Symphony Orchestra in 1947. At the time of his death, January 16, he was Music Director of the Nashville Symphony and conductor of the Interlochen Arts Academy Orchestra.
by Richard Freed
Symphony No. 1 in D major.........Gustav Mahler
Like many other symphonists, Mahler composed a number of youthful symphonies that were never published, and probably never performed. The "official" Symphony No. 1 was sketched in 1885, incorporating several themes from the Lieder eines fahrenden Gesellcn, songs Mahler had com?posed to his own verses the previous year. The Symphony was almost finished, except for the scoring, when he began his threeyear tenure as director of the Royal Opera in Budapest in the middle of 1888, but it was to wait till nearly the end of the following year for performance, and it was to undergo no fewer than four revisions before Mahler was finally satisfied with it.
On October 1, 1889, it was announced that Mahler would conduct the Budapest Philharmonic the following month in a new "symphonic poem" of his, and on November 20 the First Symphony was presented under the title "Symphonic Poem in Two Parts." It was then in five movements, Part I comprising the first two movements as we know them now, with an Andante between them, and Part II comprising the last two movements, played without pause. The premiere was not a success; there was even some booing, and the critic Viktor von Hcrzfeld, one of Mahler's close friends, summed up his tirade against the work by observing: "All of our great conductors . . . either have themselves eventually recognized, or have proved, that they were not composers. . . . This is true of Mahler also."
The movement that offended the most was the penultimate one, the Funeral March which begins with the double bass intoning a minorkey variant of Frere Jacques (or Bruder Martin, where German is spoken) and proceeds through a chain of exotic tunes, rhythms, and colors (said to reflect both Jewish and Gypsy influences) such as never heard or imagined in a symphony before. For the rest, Mahler's manner of expression was in many ways as new as it was intense, but the language was assimilable enough. Five years after the premiere, when Mahler revised the work for a per?formance in Hamburg, he sought to make it more accessible by giving descriptive titles to the Symphony as a whole ("Titan," evidently after the novel by Jean Paul, though Mahler said the music had no relationship to the book), to its two large divisions, and to each individual movement. Part I now bore the title "From the Days of Youth," and its component movements were headed "Spring without End," "Blumine" (or "A Chapter of Flowers") and "Under Full Sail"; in Part II, "Commcdia humana," the movements were headed "Funeral March after the Manner of Callot" and "Dall' Inferno al Paradise" The Funeral March was still puzzling to the audience, if no longer quite offensive; later in 1893 Mahler elaborated on the titles of the movements, heading this one "Stranded" and describing in some detail, in the printed program, the woodcut by Callot which had inspired the piece--"The Huntsman's Funeral," a representation of the hunter's coffin born through the woods by a cortege of animals of the field, with smaller animals and birds singing to the accompaniment of a band of Bohemian musicians.
Ultimately Mahler abandoned the notion of printing titles at all, discarded the "Blumine" movement and, from 1894 onward, headed the work simply "Symphony in D major (No. 1)." Just as the Funeral March gradually ceased to shock its listeners, so the verbal "programs" are no longer necessary: the "meaning" of this music is grasped at once by all who listen, and few in our time--the time for which, after all, Mahler may have been writing in the 1880s--have failed to respond. The real "message" of this work, and all of Mahler's music, is one he himself never wrote, but which Beethoven inscribed in the score of his Missa solemnis: "From the heart--may it also go to the heart."
The University Musical Society
The development of the program for annual gifts to the University Musical Society has, in recent years, proved to be the added support needed to sustain our concert presentations. This support has been through the generosity of benefactors, individuals, and business firms who have responded to our need. Attendance, though good, is not enough to generate all the revenue required to meet rising costs. The persons named in this program are not yet enough in number to cover the margin between costs and revenue. A broader base is essential and herewith solicited of the many others who have enjoyed our concert presentations throughout the year. We ask you to join the persons named herein.
All contributors recorded since January 1, 1974, are listed. The asterisks indicate those who have contributed both in 1974 and in 1975 (to April 1). Our next con?tributor listing will appear at the opening Choral Union concert in the fall.
Mr. and Mrs. Richard S. Berger Mr. and Mrs. William L. Brittain Mr. and Mrs. Douglas D. Crary
Mr. and Mrs. Lou M. Dexter Mr. and Mrs. Robben W. Fleming Mr. Clarence R. Haas (from the estate of)
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Since our Gift Program begin, several thoughtful persons have wished to make their gifts in memory of family members or friends. Some bequests have also been formalized. For these generous contributors we owe our thanks, and list below the names in whose memory their gifts were made.
Wyeth Allen Chase Baromeo Gordon C. Brown Elizabeth Falk Eberbach Florence P. Griffin Thor Johnson Walter Laubengayer Frederic Matthaei Lester McCoy Eunice Mead
Francis F. McKinney Vaden W. Miles Gwendolyn Powrie Herbert E. Schlesinger Richard Schneidewind Charles A. Sink Elizabeth Schieck Soop Grace Vaughan George Vlisides
Contributor categories are: Sustaining Member--Gift of $25; Patron--Gift of $100; Sponsor--Gift of $500; Guarantor--Gift of $1,000 or more. Your gift to the University Musical Society is now deductible from your Federal and State of Michigan income taxes. All gifts are processed through the University of Michigan's Develop?ment Office, designated for the Musical Society. If you wish to help maintain the scope and artistic quality of these programs, detach the form below and mail to: University Musical Society, Burton Memorial Tower, Ann Arbor, Michigan 48104.
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An American in Paris..........George Gershwin
The music of George Gershwin has the virtue of individuality to identify it, not only as a personal expression but as a recognizable American expression as well. That is to say that if one were to hear it in no matter what surroundings, it would at once be known as a product of this land and this culture.
It is not entirely a matter of melody, of which he had an inexhaustible store. Harmonically he was just as important. His death at an early age prevented the entire development of his genius, but the music he left us, faulty as it might be from a textbook point of view, is one of the world's treasures. There is a verve and lift to his music that endows it with eternal youth and makes his early melodies as fresh today as when they were introduced.
Gershwin's tone poem, "An American in Paris," resulted from a visit he made to the French capital in 1928, on vacation from a life of social and artistic drive. His intention was to devote himself to the study of serious music, or was it the serious study of music Whatever the case, he fell at once under the spell of the city's witchcraft and never did settle down to studying. The trip, though, was not wasted artistically, for Gershwin brought back from it one of his most important orchestral works. Sketches for the composition were completed in Paris; the orchestration begun in Vienna, and the work in final form completed on a second visit to Paris. It was introduced by Walter Damrosch in December, 1928, at a concert by the New York PhilharmonicSymphony Orchestra.
The opening of the composition brings forth a brisk theme which evokes the feeling of a walk through the Paris streets. There is a noise of typical Parisian taxicab horns, and the brief sound of a trombone as doors open and close briefly on a music hall.
There is a second "walking theme" in clarinets which is then developed with the first theme. There is a graceful melody, quite brief, by solo violin, which can be nothing other than the passing of a young woman. Suddenly the touring American becomes homesick, and his nostalgia finds expression in a blues song which turns out to be the principal material of the work. The exhilaration of a beautiful day in Paris is not to be denied, however, and the music ends with a feeling of wellbeing.
--J. DORSF.Y CaLLAGHAN
Suite from "The Firebird" (1919 version).....Igor Stravinsky
Had Anatol Liadov been less dilatory in acting on a commission from the ballet impresario Serge Diaghilev, Stravinsky's career would have had a different beginning. It was to Liadov, his former teacher, that Diaghilev originally offered the commission for a balletscore on the Russian fairytale of the Firebird, but Liadov procrastinated so long that the commission ultimately went to Stravinsky, who was then twentyseven years old and had misgivings about taking on such an assignment as his first major work of any kind in the international arena. But he did take it on, and the success of the premiere, conducted by Gabriel Pierne at the Paris Opera on June 25, 1910, established him literally overnight as one of the most important composers in Europe. Pctnishka was to follow in less than a year, and two years after that The Rite of Spring.
The tale on which The Firebird is based was tailormade for the lavish treatment Diaghilev gave it (decor by Bakst and Benois in addition to Stravinsky's score, Fokine's choreography, and Nijinsky in the leading role). The Crown Prince Ivan, lost while hunting, is led by an enchanted bird to the castle of Kastchei the Deathless, who holds captive thirteen beautiful princesses and numerous valiant knights he has turned to stone. With the Firebird's help, Ivan slays Kastchei and his minions; the castle vanishes, the knights are restored to life, and the most beautiful of the princesses becomes the bride of the royal hero as the forest fills with sunlight.
While traces of RimskyKorsakoff (Stravinsky's teacher) and Debussy may be discernible, The Firebird nevertheless represented one of the most thoroughly original scores by any "new" composer since Debussy's "Afternoon of a Faun" (1894). Stravinsky prepared his first concert suite from The Firebird shortly after the premiere; its five movements arc: I--Introduction--The Firebird and Her Dance; II--The Firebird's Entreaties; III--The Game of the Princesses with the Golden Apples; IV--Dance of the Princesses (Khorovod); and V--Infernal Dance of Kastchei and His Subjects. While the Infernal Dance makes a rousing conclusion, it is a less satisfying one than the luminous and majestic Finale itself, as Stravinsky recognized in 1919, when he brought out a revised suite in which he eliminated movements II and III of the earlier one and added the "Berceuse" and Finale. Still later, in 1947, he produced a "New Orchestral Suite" combining all the components of its two predecessors and scored for a somewhat smaller orchestra, but it is the 1919 sequence that has remained the most favored in performance, its appeal based on its superbly balanced con?tents and more sumptuous scoring.
THE PHILADELPHIA ORCHESTRA
Eugene Ormandy, Music Director and Conductor
William Smith, Assistant Conductor
Boris Sokoloff, Manager Joseph H. Santarlasci, Assistant Manager
Violins Xorman Carol
Concertmaster William dc Pasquale
Associate Concertmaster David Arben
Assistant Concertmaster Morris Shulik Owen Lusak David Grunschlag Frank E. Saam Frank Costanzo Barbara dc Pasquale Herbert Light Max Miller Ernest L. Goldstein Luis Biava Vera Tarnowsky Larry Grika Cathleen Dalschaert Herold Klein
Irvin Rosen Robert de Pasquale Armand Di Camillo Joseph Lanza Julia Janson Irving Ludwig Jerome Wigler Virginia Halfmann George Dreyfus Arnold Grossi Louis Lanza Stephane Dalschaert Isadore Schwartz Booker Rowe Charles Rex Davyd Booth
Joseph de Pasquale James Fawcett Leonard Mogill Sidney Curtiss Gactano Molieri Irving Segall Leonard Bogdanoff Charles Griffin Wolfgang Granat Donald R. Clauser Albert Filosa Renard Edwards
Violoncellos William Stokking Winifred Mayes Harry Gorodetzer Lloyd Smith
Joseph Druian Bert Phillips Deborah Rceder Christopher Rex George Harpham William Saputelli Marcel Farago Santo Caserta
Roger M. Scott Michael Shahan N'eil Courtney Ferdinand Maresh Wilfred Batchelder Carl Torello Samuel Gorodetzer Emilio Gravagno Curtis Burris Henry G. Scott
Murray VV. Panitz Kenneth E. Scutt Loren N. Lind John C. Krell Piccolo
John de Lancic Stevens Hewitt Charles M. Morris Louis Rosenblatt English Horn
Anthony M. Gigliotti Donald Montanaro Raoul Querze Ronald Reuben Bass Clarinet
Bernard Garfield John Shamlian Adelchi Louis Angelucci Robert J. Pfeuffer Contra Bassoon
Mason Jones Nolan Miller Glenn Janson Kendall Betts John Simonelli Martha Glaze
Gilbert Johnson Donald E. McComas Seymour Rosenfeld Roger Blackburn
Glenn Dodson Tyrone Breuninger M. Dee Stewart Robert S. Harper Bass Trombone
Timpani Gerald Carlyss Michael Bookspan
Michael Bookspan Alan Abel Anthony Orlando William Saputelli
Celesta, Piano and Organ
William Smith Marcel Farago
Marilyn Costello Margarita Csonka
Jesse C. Taynton Anthony Ciccarelli
Personnel Manager Mason Jones
Stage Personnel Edward Barnes, Manager Theodore Hauptle James Sweeney
Photo Publicity Adrian Siegel
Broadcast Recording Director
Albert L. Borkow, Jr.