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UMS Concert Program, April 30, 1977: The Ann Arbor May Festival -- The Philadelphia Orchestra

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Concert: Fourth
Complete Series: 4063
Hill Auditorium, Ann Arbor, Michigan

The University Musical Society
The University of Michigan
Eugene Ormandy, 'Music Director and Conductor William Smith, Associate Conductor
Soloist MARTINA ARROYO, Soprano
Saturday Evening, April 30, 1977, at 8:30 Hill Auditorium, Ann Arbor, Michigan
?Symphony No. 2 in D major, Op. 36........Beethoven
Adagio molto; allegro con brio Larghetto
Scherzo: allegro Allegro molto
Andromache's Farewell, Op. 39...........Barber
Martina Arroyo
"Pace, pace, mio Dio" from La Forza del destino......Verdi
"Vieni, t'affretta" from Macbeth..........Verdi
Miss Arroyo
fSuite No. 2 from the Ballet, "Daphnis and Chloe".....Ravel
Daybreak Pantomime General Dance
Available on Columbia Records Available on RCA Red Seal
Fourth Concert Eightyfourth Annual May Festival Complete Programs 4063
Symphony No. 2 in D major, Op. 36.....Ludwig van Beethoven
It was in October 1802, shortly after the completion of the Second Symphony, that Beethoven wrote the socalled "Heiligenstadt Testament" in which he lamented his growing deafness and declared to his two brothers: "With joy I hasten to meet death." That the farewell proved to be premature by a quarter of a century in no way lessens its poignancy as one of the most tragic and touching documents in musical lore. No less striking, though, is the contrast between the words of the Testament and the music Beethoven had composed in Heiligenstadt during the summer, for the Second Symphony discloses not only the serenity of the Classical mold but the unmistakable vigor of a young creative genius exulting in his power: the image projected in this work is one of bottomless energy and vast selfconfidence.
It took both of those qualities, it would appear, for Beethoven to persevere through the prepa?ration and execution of the concert in which the Second Symphony was introduced, under his own direction, at the Theater an der Wien on April 5, 1803. The program was one of those endless sequences of long works that were common at the time; the single rehearsal was held on the morning of the same day as the evening concert. Beethoven worked through the previous night, until 5:00 a.m., on the trombone parts for his oratorio Christ on the Mount of Olives, also receiving its premiere on that occasion, and then, somehow, made it to the rehearsal at 8:00. That went on till 2:30 in the afternoon, when refreshments sent in by Prince Lichnowsky were seized upon by the exhausted and disgruntled musicians; then the concert itself began at 6:00 and ran till quite late. Some of the works that had been announced and rehearsed had to be omitted, but among those performed as scheduled were the First Symphony, several short pieces, and three premieres: the aforementioned oratorio, the Third Piano Concerto (Beethoven, as soloist, playing from pages covered only with baffling scrawls), and the Second Symphony.
Of these new works, the Second Symphony was the least well received by the critics, who were discomfited by the eruptive rumblings--now subtle and elegant, as in the exquisite Larghetto, now bold and even mischievous, as in Beethoven's first symphonic scherzo--of the shatteringly new dimensions the form was to assume in the hands of this master. A year after the premiere one Viennese critic unintentionally made a deathless contribution to the fund of musicoriented humor by describing the Second as "a crass monster, a hideously writhing dragon which refuses to expire and, though bleeding to death, furiously beats about with its tail erect in the finale." Even as those words reached print, Beethoven had drawn the last doublebar in the score of the Eroica.
--Richard Freed
Andromache's Farewell..........Samuel Barber
(b. 1910)
A scene of overwhelming and dramatic impact, the climax of one of the greatest Greek tragedies, was Samuel Barber's choice for the subject of his dramatic scena, commissioned by the New York Philharmonic in celebration of its opening season in the Lincoln Center for the Performing Arts. Chosen to sing that premiere performance in 1963 was Martina Arroyo, who performs it tonmht for the first time in Ann Arbor.
The action takes place in an open space before Troy. The city has been captured by the Greeks. It is just before dawn and in the background the half destroyed city still smolders. All the men have been killed or have fled. Hecuba, the widowed queen, is overwhelmed by the fall of Troy; the slaughter of her husband, King Priam; the death of her son Hector in battle, and the slavery to which she herself is doomed. Her daughter, Cassandra, crazed with grief, her wits wandering, is taken away to be Agamemnon's concubine. Last of all Andromache, Hector's widow, is brought in with her son, Astyanax. Hecuba begs Andromache to control her tears, to forget Hector, and be docile to her new Greek husband and master so that her son, Hector's son, may be brought up and thus perhaps "On some far day the children of your children might come home, and build. There still may be another Troy."
But even as she speaks a Greek messenger arrives with news so monstrous he begs Andromache not to hate him for it: her son is to be killed, thrown down from the topmost walls of Troy. Andromache clings to Astyanax, but the messenger begs her to submit in silence lest the Greeks deny the child a decent burial. It is at this point that Mr. Barber's text begins, in a new translation prepared especially for him by the American poet, John Patrick Creagh.
There is an orchestral introduction based on two of the principal themes of the scene: "So you must die, my son," and another associated with Andromache's words: "He cannot come from the grave, nor any of his princes." After an anguished start referring to the news that Astyanax must be killed, the music calms to a mood of desolation and memories of the battle with moments of tenderness as Andromache thinks of her son.
The vocal part of Andromache's scene is in three main sections of moderate tempo with two agitated interruptions. This freely symmetrical form and the carrying through of one dominating musical idea contribute to its impact.
Andromache's first words, "So you must die, my son," are also the basic musical theme. At crucial moments this reappears as a vocal melody, but it also permeates the orchestral score as a symphonic theme underlying most of Andromache's words like an obsessive thought.
The first agitated interruption, "Instead, from the heights flung down," is Andromache's vision of the high walls from which Astyanax is to be thrown, suggested in the upward sweep of the
orchestra and her voice and then by the sinking line of the fall: "Oh pitiless! head foremost! falling! falling!"
The central section brings a new theme, a twisting, turning, circling phrase, heard first in the orchestra and then in Andromache's voice. It rises to a great orchestral climax at her words, "Put your arms around me . . ."
The second agitated outburst is a denunciation of Helen. The orchestra repeats, "So you must die, . . ." as she lets the child be taken from her.
The final section, "Hide my head in shame," begins as a free recapitulation of the opening section. Its basic theme returns once more in a powerful orchestral peroration.
"Pace, pace, mio Dio," from La Forza del destino . . . Guisseppe Verdi
The characters in traditional Italian opera preceding Verdi were, in general, onedimensional, their emotional gamut limited to basic feelings of grief and joy. Their music, fundamentally in the same style, irrespective of composer or text, seldom transformed them into identifiable human beings. Verdi, early in his career (Xabucco in 1842 and Macbeth in 1847), revealed a greater depth of purpose as he substituted passion for mere sentiment, and unique characterizations began to emerge in his soaring vocal melodic lines. His orchestral accompaniment, no longer a mere pedestal for the voice, became more apposite to the text, more darkly hued, and his harmonies richer and more varied.
The two arias heard on tonight's program are surcharged with a new dramatic intensity and tragic foreboding. The music of La Forza del destino atones for the intense gloom of the atmosphere and the incredibility of the story that tells of Don Carlos' revenge wrought upon his sister Leonora, and her lover Don Alvaro, for the accidental death of his father. In the last scene Don Carlos mortally wounds Don Alvaro, stabs his sister to death, and throws himself from a cliff upon the rocks below. The aria, "Pace, pace, mio Dio," is sung by Leonora in this last scene as she prays to God for peace and release from "The Force of Destiny."
"Vieni, t'affretta" from Macbeth..........Verdi
Over a.period of eighteen or more years, Verdi repeatedly revised Macbeth. Even with these revisions it remains an uneven score, relieved by passages of gripping power and dramatic intensity. The arias of Lady Macbeth from the original version (1847) remained unchanged--a testimony to his genius during a period of supposed "immaturity"--and represent his highest achievement up to this time. Her role is profusely annotated with directions and expression marks by Verdi, attesting to the fact that he was, for the first time, consciously working for a penetrating delineation of character.
The aria, "Vieni, t'affretta," is preceded by a powerful recitative (omitted tonight) in which Lady Macbeth reads a letter from Macbeth relating his meeting with the witches and their prophecy that one day he will wear the crown of Scotland. In the aria which follows, she expresses her impatience for his quick return that she might inflame him to boldness, "accept the gift, arise to reign." Informed by a servant that Duncan, the King, will arrive that night at her castle, she bursts into a fury of rage as she calls upon the infernal powers to incite her to murder. "Ah night enshroud us, that the dagger may not see the heart it strikes."
--Glenn D. McGeoch
Suite No. 2 from the Ballet, "Daphnis and Chloe" . . . Maurice Ravel
The composition of "Daphnis and Chloe," which he designated "a vast choreographic symphony in three parts," occupied Ravel from 1909 to 1912. "My intention," he stated, "was to compose a vast musical fresca, less scrupulous as to archaism than faithful to the Greece of my dreams, which inclined readily enough to what French artists of the late eighteenth century have imagined and depicted." The scenario was adapted from a pastoral tale ascribed to an early Greek writer named Longus, which was translated into both English and French in the sixteenth century. The plot is simple: Daphnis and Chloe, both abandoned in infancy on the island of Lesbos, have been brought up by benevolent shepherd folk; Daphnis teaches Chloe to play the Panpipes; they fall in love; Chloe is abducted by pirates, rescued by the great god Pan himself and restored to Daphnis, amid general rejoicing.
The two concert suites correspond to the second and third parts of the ballet, including the wordless chorus from the full score; the Second Suite is the third of the three parts, which follows the rescue of Chloe. The Suite is in three sections, proceeding from each other without pause:
Daybreak. -Daphnis is awakened by the herdsmen who find him in the grotto of the nymphs. Chloe enters, accompanied by shepherdesses; she and Daphnis embrace. The old shepherd Lammon recounts the rescue of Chloe by Pan in remembrance of the nymph Syrinx, whom the god loved.
Pantomime. -Daphnis and Chloe enact the tale of Pan and Syrinx, the god pursuing the nymph across the meadow until she disappears among the reeds, whereupon he plays a melancholy tune on a flute he fashions from some stalks and she comes from her hiding place to dance to it.
General Dance. -The lovers resume their own identities and their dance grows more animated. Chloe falls into Daphnis's arms, and before the altar of the nymphs he swears his fidelity. Young girls appear, dressed as bacchantes and shaking tambourines, to be joined, after the lovers embrace, by a group of young men in a tumultuous dance of general celebration.
--Rtcitard Freed
International Presentations -1977--78
Choral Union Series Hill Auditorium
Beverly Sills, Soprano.........Friday, September 23
Philharmonia HungaricaPeters.......Sunday, October 23
Lazar Berman, Pianist.........Thursday, November 3
Rotterdam Philharmonic Orchestrade Waart . . Friday, November 11 National Orchestra of BrazilKarabtchewsky . . Sunday, November 20
Rudolf Serkin, Pianist........Wednesday, January 18
Leontyne Price, Soprano........Wednesday, January 25
Moscow Philharmonic OrchestraKitaienko . . . Monday, February 27 Baltimore Symphony OrchestraCommissiona .... Sunday, March 19 Bavarian Symphony OrchestraKubelik.....Saturday, April 8
Choice Series Power Center
Murray Louis Dance Company.......Monday & Tuesday,
October 17 & 18
George Shearing Quintet.......Wednesday, October 19
The Hoofers--A Jazz Tap Happening.....Saturday, October 22
The Pennsylvania Ballet.....Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday,
November 14, IS, 16
Ballet Folklorico Mexicano.......Saturday, November 19
Tchaikovsky's "Nutcracker" Ballet . . . Thursday, Friday, Saturday, The Pittsburgh Ballet December 15, 16, 17
Jose Molina Bailes Espanoles......Wednesday, January 11
Rossini's Barber oj Seville--Canadian Opera Company . . Sunday, January 15 Hungarian Folk Ballet & Gypsy Orchestra . . . Tuesday, January 17
Eliot Feld Ballet........Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday,
February 20, 21, 22
Nikolais Dance Theatre........Tuesday & Wednesday,
March 21 & 22
Chamber Arts Series Rackham Auditorium
Beaux Arts Trio..........Wednesday, October 12
Suk Trio.............Tuesday, October 25
Concord String Quartet........Sunday, November 6
Freiburg Baroque Soloists.......Thursday, November 17
Camerata Orchestra of SalzburgJanigro .... Friday, January 20 French String Trio & Michel Debost, Flutist . . . Friday, February 3 Orpheus Chamber Ensemble & The Festival Chorus . . Saturday, March 25 Amadeus String Quartet.........Thursday, April 6
Debut Recital Series Rackham Auditorium
Murray Perahia, Pianist........Thursday, October 27
Mirella Freni, Soprano.........Tuesday, November 8
Aleksandf.r Slobodyanik, Pianist......Saturday, February 25
KyungWha Chung, Violinist........Thursday, March 23
Asian Series Rackham Auditorium
Penca (The Art of SelfDefense) and Topeng Babakan (Masked Dance), West Java . . Saturday, November 12
Thovil, Sri Lanka..........Wednesday, March 1
Okinawan Folk Dancers.........Tuesday, March 28
New brochure available; series ticket orders for above now being accepted and filled in sequence.
May Festival 1978
The Philadelphia Orchestra (four concerts).....April 2629
Burton Memorial Tower, Ann Arbor, Michigan 48109 Phone: 6653717, 7642538

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