UMS Concert Program, February 20, 1977: Guarneri String Quartet --
Complete Series: 4044
Rackham Auditorium, Ann Arbor, Michigan
The University Musical Society
The I iiivmil v of Michigan
Guarneri String Quartet
ARNOLD STEINHARDT, Violin JOHN DALLEY, Violin
MICHAEL TREE, Viola DAVID SOYER, Cello
Sunday Afternoon, February 20, 1977, at 2:30 Rackham Auditorium, Ann Arbor, Michigan
Quartet in F major, Op. 18, No. 1
Allegro con brio Adagio
Quartet in Eflat major, Op. 74 ("The Harp") Poco adagio; allegro
Adagio ma non troppo Presto
Allegretto con variazioni
Quartet in Csharp minor, Op. 131
Adagio ma non troppo e molto espressivo Allegro molto vivace Allegro moderato
Andante ma non troppo e molto cantabile Presto
Adagio quasi un poco andante Allegro
This concert is the third program of the complete Beethoven quartet cycle being performed by the Guarneri Quartet during this 197677 season
RCA Red Seal Records
Fourteenth Annual Chamber Arts Series
Complete Programs 4044
Ludwig van Beethoven
(Born December 16, 1770, in Bonn; died March 26, 1827, in Vienna)
Quartet in F major, Op. 18, No. 1
This Quartet in F major, the first in a series of six quartets written in 1800, was published in 1801 when the composer was in his thirtyfirst year. About this time Beethoven began noticing increasing symptoms of the deafness he had dis?covered three years before. Except for one movement of this quartet, however, there is no musical hint or foreboding of the tragedy gradually overtaking the composer.
Marked Allegro con brio the opening movement introduces one main theme which is passed from voice to voice in a broad variety of melodic forms. The second movement, marked Adagio "affetuoso ed appassionato" is one of "the great and tragic slow movements." It is interesting to know that on the notebook page of the sketch Beethoven had given this movement a title which read "Les dernier soupirs"or "the last sighs."
The third movement, a Scherzo, is written again in a lively, vibrant style which is at its best during the Trio section. The final movement, an Allegro, written in Rondo form, brings the quartet to a brilliant close.
Quartet in Eflat major, Op. 74
The socalled "Harp" Quartet is the tenth of seventeen works for string quartet by Beethoven, and was composed in 1809 immediately following the piano concerto in the same key. It may be the least well known of all the quartets, because it has the misfortune of being a "middle quartet."
The name "Harp" Quartet has been applied to this work because of the extensive use of pizzicato in the first movement. In the Allegro we already glimpse what is to come, but it is not until the retransition from development of theme groups to recapitulation that the really harplike phrases occur. The Adagio, with its songlike theme, reflects Beethoven's mature style, and is one of the most romantic movements he ever composed for string quartet. The scherzo, which follows, reveals the dotdotdotdash rhythm reminiscent of his earlier Fifth Symphony, but is developed in a much different way. The finale is a theme and six variations plus a short coda which brings the work to a rousing end.
Much of the beauty of this work is evidenced when the texture becomes almost as important as the melody. When each instrument is playing totally different music, the melody, although always present, must be drawn from a mass of figuration. Even the style of the figuration, while derived from Haydn, goes beyond the older composer in the diversity of its simultaneous employment of many kinds of figuration.
Quartet in Csharp minor, Op. 131 (c. 1826)
The Csharp minor Quartet is markedly outstanding due to its new concept and form, which no other composer before or after Beethoven has ever dared to attempt or invent. The total construction is in almost marvelous balance, although Beethoven's problems were multifold, as his masses of rejected sketches prove.
Splendid and brilliant composing was cast out as not good enough. There were six false starts on the fourth movement alone.
Finally, beginning with an almost classical theme, Beethoven proceeded to construct rather an historical survey of ancient forms; reviving the suite, moving on to a short recitative; then an andante theme stated in dialogue, engendering seven interesting variations, the fifth of which being little more than the theme simplified almost to silence. A long and joyous presto is written in pastoral style; and the glorious finale is ushered in by a Lied phrase, ending in a stirring recapitulation of all the various themes.
STRINGING ALONG by Charlks Michener
As in all successful marriages, the four men who are collectively known as the Guarneri (after the eighteenthcentury Italian violin maker) have achieved one of the most glittering, durable careers in music by directing their individual virtuosities to a common cause. In recent years, a remarkable number of topflight string players have taken up the same cause, forming such brilliant groups as the Cleveland Quartet, the Tokyo String Quartet and the Concord String Quartet. The sleek Juilliard Quartet, after almost 30 years, is still going strong, although with only one original member. But as charismatic proponents of the cause, the Guarneri is peerless.
Celebrated for the interpretations of the traditional chamber pieces--though their programs include twentiethcentury works of Bartok, Sessions and others-they broke with custom by deciding to operate without a leader. "If you follow one person," says Tree, "you tend to play cautiously as if you're following a stick." "Each of us tried to play more beautifully than the others," puts in Steinhardt. Adds Tree: "One way we keep fresh is to throw unexpected curves at each other during a performance."
In keeping with that philosophy, they frequently switch parts. Secondfiddler Dalley plays the single violin parts in trios and piano quartets. Tree sometimes exchanges instruments with Steinhardt or Dalley. So free is their verbal exchange in rehearsals that visitors have left convinced they were on the verge of splitting up. "We start with the idea that we can all take criticism," says Soyer. "We never say to each other, 'You played beautifully, but . . .' " "Chamber music," says Tree, "is as much an exercise in personal maturity as it is in music."
Offstage, individualism reigns. Seldom do they take the same planes or stay in the same hotels. They are all family men, and they rigorously allot eight to ten weeks each summer to spend with their wives and children--and away from each other. "We definitely," says Steinhardt, "dislike the communal approach."
But on the subject of their common cause they are fiercely united--in com?plete agreement with Steinhardt, who says: "For the fiddler, the chamber repertoire is infinitely larger and more rewarding than the solo repertoire. Playing the great pieces over and over again gets better, not worse--like the memories that accumulate on a friend's face." "There's never been a time when we almost broke up," insists Soyer. But he nods when Tree adds: "We also know string quartets were not made in heaven." Excerpted from Newsweek,
March 10, 1975
Alvin Ailey Dance Theater.....Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday,
(sold out) February 21, 22, 23
JeanPierre Rampal, Flutist.....(sold out) Friday, February 25
Yamini Krishnamurti, South Indian Dancer .... Monday, February 28
Czech State Orchestra, Brno........Friday, March 4
(replacing Czech Philharmonic) Janos Starker, Cellist..........Monday, March 14
Boccherini: Adagio and Allegro from Sonata in A major; Brahms: Sonata in D major,
Op. 78; Kodaly: Sonata for unaccompanied cello, Op. 8.
Masked DanceDrama of Korea......Wednesday, March 16
Detroit Symphony OrchestraChoral UnionSoloists . . Sunday, March 20
Aldo Ceccato conducts Beethoven's "Missa Solemnis"; Benita Valente, Soprano; Elaine
Bonazzi, Contralto; Seth McCoy, Tenor; Ara Berberian, Bass. 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
Third Annual Benefit Concert
for the University Musical Society and School of Music
Eugene Ormandy, Guest Artist
The University Symphony Orchestra Friday, April IS, at 8:30, in Hill Auditorium
Continuing the precedent set in 1975 by Mstislav Rostropovich and continued last year by Yehudi Menuhin and Gyorgy Sandor, Maestro Ormandy most generously donates his artistry as he conducts this exceptional 100member student orchestra in the following program.
Beethoven: Leonore Overture No. 3
Beethoven: Symphony No. 5 in C minor
Debussy: Two Nocturnes -"Nuages" and "Fetes"
Respighi: "The Pines of Rome"
Tickets arc available at Burton Tower, or by mail: Main floor, $8; first balcony, $7; second balcony, S6 and S4
$25 includes a main floor seat and a reception ticket to meet Mr. and Mrs. Ormandy after the performance. An added feature of this year's reception to be held in the Michigan League will be dancing to the music of a 3piece combo.
Four concerts -April 27, 28, 29, 30
The Philadelphia Orchestra Eugene Ormandy, Conductor The Festival Chorus Jindrich Rohan, Conductor Gary Graffman, Pianist Norman Carol, Violinist
Jerome Hines, Basso Martina Arroyo, Soprano
Wednesday: AllRachmaninoff: "The Isle of the Dead"; Piano Concerto No. 2 (Graffman) ; Sym?phonic Dances.
Thursday: Wagner: Overture to Die Meistersinger von Niirnberg; Bruch: Violin Concerto No. 1 in G minor (Carol) ; Shostakovich: Symphony No. 5.
Friday: Smetana: "From Bohemia's Meadows and Groves"; Mussorgsky: Excerpts from Boris Godunov; Boito: Prologue to Mefistofele (Hines and Festival Chorus).
Saturday: Beethoven: Symphony No. 2 in D major; Barber: Andromache's Farewell; Verdi: "Pace, pace, mio Dio" from La Forza del deslino (Arroyo) ; Ravel: "Daphnis et Chloe" Suite No. 2. Series of four concerts: $38, $28, $20, $16, and $12; orders now being accepted.
UNIVERSITY MUSICAL SOCIETY
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University Musical Society