UMS Concert Program, November 24, 1975: Stockholm Philharmonic Orchestra --
Complete Series: 3972
Hill Auditorium, Ann Arbor, Michigan
The University Musical Society
The University of iicmgan
Stockholm Philharmonic Orchestra
GENNADY ROZHDESTVENSKY, Conductor VIKTORIA POSTNIKOVA, Pianist
Monday Evening, November 24, 1975, at 8:30 Hill Auditorium, Ann Arbor, Michigan
Symphony No. 3 ("Facetter")
Largamente, tranquillo ma fluente Prestissimo
Allegro molto, deciso e ritmico Largamente
Concerto No. 3 in C major for Piano and Orchestra, Op. 26
Andantino (theme and variations) Allegro ma non troppo
Symphony No. 5 in E minor, Op. 64
Andante, allegro con anima Andante cantabile con alcuna licenza Valse: allegro modcrato
Finale: allegro maestoso, allegro vivace
London, Angel, Nonesuch, and RCA Records.
Ninetyseventh Annual Choral Union Series
Complete Programs 3972
Symphony No. 3 ("Facetter")......KarlBirger Blomdahl
Blomdahl was born in Vaxjo, Sweden, on October 19, 1916. His principal music study took place in Stockholm, privately with Hilding Rosenberg (counterpart, composition, orchestration) and with Tor Mann at the Royal High School of Music (conducting). His training was completed on the Continent. He first attracted interest in Sweden with several largescale works in a neoclassic idiom. With his Third Symphony in 1950, he gained an international stature for the first time. Beginning with this symphony Blomdahl veered away from neoclassidsm toward expressionism. The world of Schonberg, Berg, and particularly Webern opened up for him, as Bo Wallner noted, "the rich resources of the new expressionism with its immense possibilities of serial technique as a shaping force." From atonality, Blomdahl progressed to the twelvetone row, and from the twelvetone row to serialism. At the same time, he began exploring the artistic possibilities of concrete music and electronics.
"The basis of everything which Blomdahl has created," wrote Ingemar von Heijne, "is a striking rhythmic pulsation, overgrown with imaginative syncopated patterns. His rhythm is seldom neutral, sometimes it is playful, but mostly it is hard and driving. Equally striking is Blomdahl's ability to think architecturally and in large forms and a determination to set up broad bridges with long arches ... In his scores there is seldom any luxuriance of tone color, the orchestral texture is first and foremost harsh, while laying open the nerve fibers of the music right into the angry climaxes."
Here is how Halsey Stevens described the symphony in Notes: "The opening is especially touching, with solo flute over a tympani roll, gradually drawing in all the winds to reach a great climax and recede before the violins and violas are called upon. These first fifty bars symbolize the form of the whole work, whose inner sections--prestissimo, the other allegro molto deciso e ritmico--generate a furious energy which is only slightly tempered by the quieter pages that connect them. The Symphony comes full circle and closes with the quiet music of the opening."
Concerto No. 3 in C major for Piano and Orchestra, Op. 26 . Sergei Prokofiev
Xot many contemporary composers write music which has such an unmistakable identity as that of Prokofiev. What is particularly interesting is that Prokofiev's music, stylistically, changed little over the decades; the same qualities and mannerisms by which his later works are recognized can be found in many of his earlier productions. A saucy, infectious impudence is the attitude usually associated with his music. The mocking reeds, the mischievous leaps in the melody, the tart and often disjointed harmonies, the sudden fluctuation from the naive and the simple to the un?expected and the complex--these are a few of the fingerprints that can be found in most of Prokofiev's works.
For many years, Prokofiev had been accumulating the themes he was to develop in this con?certo: the principal theme of the second movement came to him in 1913, while an episode in the first movement dates from 1911. He began to work with concentration on the concerto in the summer of 1921, completing it on September 28. The composer's own analysis, as published in the score, follows:
"The first movement opens quietly with a short introduction. The theme is announced by an unaccompanied clarinet, and is continued by the violins for a few bars. Soon the tempo changes which leads to the statement of the principal subject by the piano ... A passage in chords for the piano alone leads to the more expresive second subject, heard in the oboe with a pizzicato accom?paniment. This is taken up by the piano and developed at length ... At the climax of this section,
the tempo reverts to Andante, and the orchestra gives out the first theme, ff. The piano joins in, and the theme is subjected to an impressively broad treatment. On resuming the Allegro, the chief theme and the second subject arc developed with increased brilliance, and the movement ends with an exciting crescendo.
"The second movement consists of a theme with five variations. The theme is announced by the orchestra alone. In the first variation the piano treats the opening of thS theme in quasisentimental fashion . . . The tempo changes to Allegro for the second and third variations ... In variation four, the tempo is once again Andante, and the piano and orchestra discourse on the theme in a quiet and meditative fashion. Variation five is energetic (Allegro giusto). It leads without pause into a restatement of the theme by the orchestra, with delicate embroidery in the piano.
"The finale begins with a staccato theme for bassoons and pizzicato strings, which is interrupted by the blustering entry of the piano . . . Eventually, the piano takes up the first theme and develops it into a climax. With a reduction of tone and slackening of tempo, an alternate theme is introduced in the woodwinds. The piano replies with a theme that is more in keeping with the caustic humor of the work. The material is developed and there is a brilliant coda."
Symphony No. S in E minor, Op. 64 .... Peter Ilyitch Tchaikovsky
The conjectures of a program for the Fifth Symphony have been legion. If there was one in the composer's mind he did not communicate it to any close friends. Tchaikovsky's style, which is highly dramatic and intensely personal, lends itself easily to the thought of a program whether or not the composer intended there to be one.
The Fifth Symphony contains a motif which appears in all four movements of the work. It is a theme of sadness and questioning and is first played by the clarinets. After the short Andante introduction the movement proper, Allegro con anima begins. The principal theme has a folksong origin, probably Polish. The clarinets and bassoon announce the theme, which is elaborately developed. The second theme is heard in the string section. The movement is in the regular sonataform with a development and full reprise of the material of the exposition. The beginning of the recapitulation may be recognized by the main theme, played by the bassoon. There is a lengthy coda, ending the movement quietly.
The second movement is wellconstructed and tightlyknit, yet there is a sense of enormous freedom in it. After a brief introduction in the lower strings, the beautiful chief melody of the movement is sung by the horn. The oboe then introduces a new theme which is in turn taken up by the violins and violas. Again, the haunting chief melody is heard in the cellos. There are several additional themes until the full orchestra thunders out the theme of the beginning of the work, which Philip Hale calls the "theme of bodement." This is heard twice during the movement.
The third movement is a waltz, ingratiating and simple. Toward the very end of the waltz, as the sounds of gaiety fade away, the original "bodement" theme is heard, but this time as if in the distance.
The Finale, like the first movement, begins with an introduction. The theme is based upon the sad motto theme of the other three movements. The Allegro vivace begins with the principal theme in the strings and later the woodwinds enter with another theme which is afterward given to the violins. In the development of the second theme are heard allusions to the motto theme. The movement progresses ever faster to a stormy finish, with one final, reminiscent hearing of the "bodement" theme.
The Program Notes are by David Ewen from The World oj Twentieth Century Music.
Handel's "Messiah"........Friday, Saturday, Sunday,
December S, 6, and 7 The University Choral Union Interlochen Arts Academy Orchestra
Shigemi Matsumoto, Soprano Elizabeth Patches, Contralto
John Stewart, Tenor Adib Fazah, Baritone
Donald Bryant, Conductor Puccini's La Bohtme, Canadian Opera Company . . Saturday, January 10
Detroit Symphony Orchestra.......Sunday, January 11
Aldo Ceccato, Conductor; Gina Bachauer, Pianist
Beethoven: Piano Concerto No. 3; and Symphony No. 3 ("The Eroica")
Beaux Arts Trio...........Friday, January 16
Haydn: Trio in C major; Shostakovich: Trio, Op. 67; Dvorak: Trio in F minor, Op. 65
Prague Madrigal Antiqua........Sunday, January 25
Christopher Parkening, Guitarist......Friday, January 30
The Romeros, Guitarists.........Monday, February 9
Luciano Pavarotti, Tenor........Sunday, February 15
Ljubljana Dancers, Yugoslavia......Sunday, February 22
P.D.Q. Bach...........Thursday, February 26
Special Benefit Concert........Saturday, February 28
Royal Tahitian Dancers .... .... Monday, March 1
Ensemble Nipponia..........Thursday, March 4
Prague Chamber Orchestra........Friday, March 19
Preservation Hall Jazz Band.......Saturday, March 20
Berlin String Quartet.........Monday, March 22
Beethoven: Quartet in Eflat, Op. 74 ("The Harp"); Schubert: Quartet in A minor, Op. 29
Detroit Symphony Orchestra........Friday, March 26
Aldo Ceccato, Conductor; The University Choral Union; Karen Altman, soprano; Beverly Wolff, contralto; Seth McCoy, tenor; Simon Estes, bass Beethoven: Symphony No. 9 in D minor ("Choral")
Pennsylvania Ballet.......Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday,
March 29, 30, and 31
Waverly Consort, "Las Cantigas de Santa Maria" . . Thursday, April 1
Don Cossacks of Rostov.........Sunday, April 4
Sitara, Kathak Dancer..........Tuesday, April 6
April 28, 29, 30, May 1
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