Complete Series: 4017
Rackham Auditorium, Ann Arbor, Michigan
The University Musical Society
The University of Michigan
Guarneri String Quartet
ARNOLD STEINHARDT, Violin MICHAEL TREE, Viola
JOHN DALLEY, Violin DAVID SOYER, Cello
Saturday Evening, November 6, 1976, at 8:30 Rackham Auditorium, Ann Arbor, Michigan
Quartet in A major, Op. 18, No. S.........Beethoven
Andante cantabile Allegro
Quartet in F major, Op. 59, No. 1.........Beethoven
Allegretto vivace e sempre scherzando Adagio molto e mesto Theme russe--allegro
Quartet in Bflat major, Op. 130, with Grosse Fuge.....Beethoven
Adagio, ma non troppo, allegro Presto
Andante con moto, ma non troppo Allegro assai, alia danza tedesca Cavatina, adagio molto espressivo Finale: Grosse Fuge
This concert is the second program of the complete Beethoven quartet cycle being performed by the Guarneri Quartet during this 197677 season.
RCA Red Seal Records Added Concert Complete Programs 4017
Ludwig van Beethoven
(Born December 16, 1770, in Bonn; died March 26, 1827, in Vienna)
Quartet in A major, Op. 18, No. 5
In 1795 the Count Apponyi asked Beethoven to write a string quartet, promising him an excellent fee, but Beethoven refused for he felt that as yet he was unfitted for this form of composition. In 1798 Beethoven began writing the six quartets in Opus 18, finishing them by 1801. Up to this time the best examples of quartet com?position were the Mozart quartets; Beethoven by the writing of these in Opus 18 placed himself in Mozart's rank. All six have the eighteenthcentury charm of melody in addition to the intellectual organization of Beethoven. The entire A Major is in brilliant style.
The Allegro is full of pure delicate melody. The first subject, after a short flight of ascending quavers, breaks into a dainty tripping tune with holding notes for the inner strings and an interesting harmonic figure for the cello. A transition passage follows in which there is a violin phrase with tapping chords, then the second subject enters in the dominant minor and, soon changing into the major, proceeds with a cheerful little canon. The development section begins with the last melodic phrase of the second subject. Toward the end of the movement the first violin rises and scatters like a rocket. The recapitulation begins with the first theme. The movement ends in a few bars of ascending quavers.
In the Minuetto there is a gossamerlike melody which enters in the violin and is answered by the viola. There is a contrasting passage in the first violin which leads to a graver melody.
The Andante cantabile is an air with five variations which are successive em?broideries on the main theme, the last of which leads into the Coda. There is pure comedy in the construction of this movement.
The first theme of the Finale (Allegro) has an opening figure of which great use is made throughout the movement. After a transition passage, the second theme enters (Beethoven had already used this as the Finale in the Sonata Pathctiquc). The development section is taken up with the first subject. After the recapitulation and Coda, the quartet comes to an end.
Quartet in F major, Op. 59, No. 1
The three "Rasoumovsky Quartets," Opus 59, are representative of Beethoven's maturity as a quartet composer, as is the preceding "Eroica" symphony of his fully developed power as a symphonist. Although written on an intimate scale, they show the same inventiveness, diversity, and scope as does the symphony. They are, in other words "symphonic quartets" and nothing quite like them had ever been heard before in chamber music repertoire. Audiences found them puzzling and hard to understand, and Beethoven's friends considered them to be intended as "jokes" or "nonsense." Critics used such words as "very long and difficult," "deep and wellworked," but also "generally incomprehensible." Composed in 1806 they were first performed in Vienna a year later.
The first quartet, which features all four movements written in sonata form, seems to suggest that Beethoven intended it to be the introduction to the whole set. The entire first movement may be said to grow out of the first four bars which are used as a text, as it were, to be discussed. The allegretto . . . and sempre scherzando which follows provides a playful and whimsical humor which is the keynote of the movement. The whole form of the second movement is unusual in that it combines scherzo and sonata form, as does the second movement of the Ninth Symphony.
The third movement opens with two bars which have a definite drooping shape, and the sad appoggiatura of the main theme and minor mode of the second underline
the profound sense of grief conveyed in this Adagio. The last movement introduces a Russian tune from Prach's collection of Russian Folk Songs published in 1790. Marked molto andante in the edition, although sung by a soldier to his mother, Beethoven turns it into a lively allegro dance, in his effort to satisfy Count Rasoumovsky's expressed wish that he incorporate "Russian melodies, real or imitated" into Opus 59.
Quartet in Bflat major, Op. 130, with Grosse Fuge
Beethoven's last five string quartets inhabit a sphere of their own which has very little in common with the world of all his previous quartets. In them he becomes an almost wholly inward artist, with just an occasional burst of gruff, robust humor which was perhaps his only link with the conditions of his outer life. The music suggests an all but total withdrawal into his self, the projection of a solitude of the spirit which his advancing age, combined with his tragic affliction of deafness, may well have been the principal cause.
The Grosse Fuge was written as the last movement of Quartet Opus 130, and is one of the most powerful of his works. The Fuge opens with an introduction that concisely sets out several aspects of the principal subject. The body of the movement, which follows, is a kind of gigantic sonataform that is based not on two themes but on two figures. The first fuge follows immediately after the introduction. The second, using variants of the same subject, begins at a more moderate tempo. The fuges are developed and recapitulated, and, in a closing section, extended and recalled.
About the Quartet
Since its New York City debut in 1965, the Guarneri Quartet has become one of the most popular and praised quartets of the era, acclaimed worldwide for its abso?lute mastery of the ensemble form. The Quartet was founded at Vermont's Marlboro Music Festival at the suggestion of the Budapest Quartet's own second violinist, Alexander Schneider; its name was supplied by Budapest violist, Boris Kroyt, who had once played with a European Quartet called the Guarneri (after the 18thcentury violin maker).
Although in age they are one of the youngest chamber groups, each player has won prestigious international awards. Collectively their reputation for excellence is such that nearly all concerts are sold out in advance. Their tours have taken them to cities and colleges throughout the United States and Canada, to the major music festivals, and to Europe, Australia, and New Zealand. This season's appearances include twentytwo New York concerts (eight of these in the Lincoln Center's Great Performers Series), as well as debut concerts in Bermuda and Mexico. The entire season will include over one hundred recitals and orchestral appearances, eighteen days of recording in New York, and twenty days of teaching in Philadelphia's Curtis Institute of Music. Because of their heavy schedule, invitations to tour Japan and South America have been postponed to a later date.
Violinists Arnold Steinhardt and John Dalley, and violist Michael Tree, received their training at the Curtis Institute of Music--Dalley and Tree under Efrem Zimbalist, and Steinhardt under Ivan Galamian. Cellist David Soyer studied with Diran Alexanian and Emanuel Feuermann.
The Guarneri Quartet has appeared in Ann Arbor on three previous occasions--in 1971, 1972, and in 1975 with pianist Gary Graffman. This season the Quartet presents a total of eight concerts while performing the complete Beethoven cycle of sixteen quartets.
Arnold Steinhardt plays a violin made by Joseph Guarneri about 1728: John Dalley's instrument was made by Nicholas Lupot in 1819. The viola of Michael Tree was made by Dominicus Busan about 1785 and David Soyer's cello was made by Andrea Guarneri in 1669.
Ruth Laredo, Pianist........(aft.) Sunday, November 7
Beethoven: Sonata in Eflat, Op. 81a; Scriabin; Poeme, Op. 32, Sonata No. 9; Rachmaninoff: Three Etudes Tableaux; Ravel: Valses nobles et sentimentales, La Valse.
Victor Herbert s Naughty Marietta......Friday & Saturday,
November 12 & 13
London Philharmonic OrchestraHaitink . . . Sunday, November 14 Arnold: The Philharmonic Concerto; Elgar: Introduction and Allegro for Strings; Mahler: Symphony No. 5.
Elly Ameling, Soprano........Tuesday, November 16
Mozart: Six Songs; Schubert: Five Songs; Martin: Drey Minnelieder; Faure: Mandoline, Au bord de I'eau, Arpege, Les Roses d'Ispahan, La Rose; Satie: Ludions, La Diva de l'Empire.
Aeolian Chamber Players........Saturday, November 20
Haydn: Trio in G, No. 31; Bolcom: "Whisper Moon"; Bartok: "Contrasts"; Brahms: Trio in C minor, Op. 101.
Handel's "Messiah".....Friday & Saturday, December 3 & 4,
(aft.) Sunday, December 5
University Choral Union, Interlochen Orchestra, Kathryn Bouleyn, soprano, Lili Chookasian, contralto, Vinson Cole, tenor, Simon Estes, bass, Donald Bryant, conductor.
Tchaikovsky's Nutcracker Ballet . . (sold out) Thursday, Friday, Saturday,
The Pittsburgh Ballet December 16, 17, 18
Verdi's La Traviata--Canadian Opera Company .... Sunday, January 9
JeanPierre Rampal, Flutist.....(sold out) Friday, January 14
Prague Chamber Orchestra........Saturday, January 15
Michael Ponti, Pianist.........Tuesday, January 25
Beethoven: Eroica Variations, Op. 35; Chopin: Sonata in Bflat minor; Scriabin: Three Preludes, Op. 35, Satanic Poem, Op. 36; Rachmaninoff: Sonata in Bflat minor, Op. 36.
Royal Winnipeg Ballet.........Saturday & Sunday,
January 29 & 30
Danzas Venezuela.........Wednesday, February 2
Warsaw Quintet (piano and strings).....Thursday, February 3
Jorge Bolet, Pianist..........Saturday, February 5
Haydn: Sonata in Efiat major; Schumann: Carnaval, Op. 9; Brahms: Sonata in F minor, Op. 5.
Rajko--Gypsy Orchestra and Dancers.....Sunday, February 6
Leningrad Symphony OrchestraTemirkanov . . . Thursday, February 10
Guarneri String Quartet........Saturday, February 19
Beethoven: Op. 18, No. 1 in F major; Op. 74 in Eflat major; Op. 131 in Csharp minor.
Guarneri String Quartet.....(sold out) Sunday, February 20
Alvin Ailey Dance Theater.....Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday,
February 21, 22, 23
JeanPierre Rampal, Flutist.....(sold out) Friday, February 25
Yamini Krishnamurti, South Indian Dancer .... Monday, February 28 Czech Philharmonic OrchestraNeumann .... Thursday, March 3 Smetana: Overture to The Bartered Bride; Martinu: Symphony No. 6; Dvorak: Symphony No. 7.
Janos Starker, Cellist..........Monday, March 14
Masked DanceDrama of Korea......Wednesday, March 16
Detroit Symphony OrchestraChoral UnionSoloists . . Sunday, March 20
Ceccato conducts Beethoven's "Missa Solemnis" Frans Brueggen, Flute & Recorder .... (sold out) Tuesday, March 22
Yugoslav National Folk Ballet.......Thursday, March 24
Osipov Balalaika Orchestra........Saturday, March 26
Third Annual Benefit Concert........Friday, April 15
Guarneri String Quartet........Saturday & Sunday,
April 16 & 17
May Festival.........Wednesday through Saturday,
April 27, 28, 29, 30
UNIVERSITY MUSICAL SOCIETY
Burton Memorial Tower, Ann Arbor, Michigan 48109 Phones: 6653717, 7642538