UMS Concert Program, October 17, 1978: Eugene Fodor -- Judith Olson
Complete Series: Debut and Encore
Rackham Auditorium, Ann Arbor, Michigan
THE UNIVERSITY MUSICAL SOCIETY OF THE UNIVERSITY OF MICHIGAN
JUDITH OLSON, Pianist
Tuesday Evening, October 17, 1978, at 8:30 Rackham Auditorium, Ann Arbor, Michigan
Sonata in G minor ("The Devil's Trill")........Tartini
Allegro energico Grave Allegro assai
Sonata No. 2 in D major, Op. 94a.........Prokofiev
Moderato Presto Andante
Allegro con brio
Serenade melancolique, Op 26.........Tchaikovsky
Three Caprices: Nos. 14, 9, and 24.........Paganini
La Clochette (The Bell)...........Paganini
RCA Rrcords. Centennial Season -Fourteenth Concert Debut and Encore Series
Sonata in G minor ("The Devil's Trill").....Giuseppe Tartini
"I dreamed one night that I made a pact with the devil. In return for my soul, the devil promised to be at my side whenever I needed him, anticipating my every wish. On a whim, I handed him my violin, to see what kind of musician he might be. To my astonishment, the music he made was exquisite--a sonata of such unearthly skill and beauty that I stood transfixed as he played. My pulse slopped, breath failed me--and I awoke. Snatching up a fiddle, I tried to recapture the sounds I'd heard. Feverishly, before I should forget, I noted down the music of a sonata. But though it's the best I ever composed, how poor, how far inferior it is to the music the devil played in my tantalizing dream!"
Sonata No. 2 in D major, Op. 94a.......Serge Prokofiev
Prokofiev was the last great Russian composer who lived and worked in the West as well as in the Soviet Union. He was born in a remote Ukrainian village, where his agronomist lather worked as manager of a large estate and his mother gave him his first music lessons. Later he studied at the Conservatory in Saint Petersburg and became a brilliant pianist. Alter the Revolution. Prokofiev came to America and then settled in Paris, where he was an influential figure until his return to Russia in 193.5.
In June 1942, Prokofiev was evacuated from Moscow, which was endangered by the advancing German army, to the city of Alma-Ata in the foothills of the Altai Mountains of Central Asia. In September he began to write a Sonata for Flute and Piano there, and in June 1943 he finished it in the Ural City of Molotov. Despite the difficulties and displacements of wartime life, it is a sunny and serene work. When the great violinist David Oistrakh heard the Sonata that December, he suggested that Prokofiev adapt it for violin and, in June 1944, he gave the first performance of the new version. Prokofiev said that he had made no changes in the piano part and few in the flute part, only enough to make it idiomatic for the violin.
The Sonata is one of Prokofiev's great works, lyrical in character and transparent in texture. The bright dancing first movement, Moderalo, is followed by a rhythmic Scherzo, Presto, with a quiet, contrasting central trio. The finale, Allegro con brio, is a rondo-sonata form, witty and exuberant, in the spirit of the composer's Classical Symphony.
Written in 1924 for a prominent Hungarian violinist, "Tzigane" is termed by the composer "a tribute to the gypsy in all fiddlers."
Serenade melancolique, Op. 26.....Peter Ilyitch Tchaikovsky
The Melancholy Serenade, written in 1975, was the composer's first work for violin solo.
Tambourin chinois...........Fritz Kreisler
Fritz Kreisler was one of the most eminent musicians of his time, a great violin virtuoso who had also studied medicine and art, and, in many ways, he was a world-citizen. He composed operettas, a string quartet, and a large number of delightful short pieces for violin and piano.
Grove's Dictionary of Music and Musicians said of him, during his lifetime, "His programs frequently include works of major importance . . . but the feature of his concerns lately has been his brilliant playing of his own works. . . . Kreisler may be said to be the world's most popular violinist."
"Tambourin chinois" is one of the most popular pieces that Kreisler used to play. Its simple, direct, eloquent melody disguises the high degree of technical control needed to play it well.
The word tambourin may be taken to mean a "drum" or a kind of dance accompanied by a drum. This one, which Kreisler called "Chinese" is based on a theme of the kind that Westerners take to be oriental.
Caprices for unaccompanied violin, Xos. 14, 9, and 24 . . Niccolo Paganini
Like the Etudes of such pianist-composers as Chopin, Liszt, and Debussy, the Twenty-Four Caprices for unaccompanied violin by Paganini combine training in the solving of technical and musical problems for the performer with artistic rewards lor the listener. Probably composed between 1801 and 1S07, these Caprices were published in 1820 as his Opus 1. Though the opus number would indicate that this was his first published work, it should be noted that since most of his compositions were intended exclusively for his own use, he allowed only a handful to be printed during his lifetime.
Not only is the Caprice No. 24 in A minor the most celebrated of Paganini's works in this form, it is, in a way. one ol the most influential pieces of music ever written, for its theme has served as the basis for variations by such masters as Schumann. Liszt, Brahms, and Rachmaninoff. Even Paganini himsell used the theme again lor a set of variations lor violin with an accompaniment lor either guitar or piano.
In its original form, this Caprice is a technical tour de force, made even more dazzling for concert audiences over the years through the editions of other violin virtuosi. More fascinating, how?ever, is the fact that this Caprice itself consists of a set of variations. Going into even more minute detail, the 24-measure theme of the Caprice is a miniature set of variations on its own first measure.
Capriccio Yalse...........Hknri Wieniawski
Although Wieniawski was one of the greatest violin virtuosos of the nineteenth century, his fame today rests mainly with the music he wrote lor the violin. "Capriccio" denotes a three-part com?position of humorous character; "Yalse," Vienna's most popular dance-convention.
La Clochette (The Bell).........Niccolo Paganini
Paganini wrote many violin compositions which demanded technical skills far above the ability of his contemporaries and which he alone played. La Clochette, certainly one of the most difficult of these, was a "hit tune" in its day and remains a model of brilliant construction in the Rondo form.
About the Artist
Eugene Fodor, young Colorado-born artist, achieved international fame when he became the first violinist from the Western world to win a top prize in Moscow's famed Tchaikovsky Inter?national Violin Competition in 1974. Although his success seemed to happen overnight, Mr. Fodor has been performing since the age of eight, winning four U.S. competitions by the time he was sixteen. Later, he studied at the University of Southern California, Juilliard, Meadowmount, and Indiana University. Just prior to winning first prize in the International Paganini Violin Competition in 1972, Mr. Fodor studied with the legendary Jascha Heifetz. Since his victory in Moscow, Mr. Fodor's career has grown rapidly, with performances in the music capitals of North America, South America, Europe, the Soviet Union, and Japan. During the 1977-78 season, he also toured Europe and made a coast-to-coast tour of the United States which included numerous recitals and appearances with leading orchestras.
We're pleased to present Mr. Fodor in his Ann Arbor debut, to open this season's "Debut & Encore" Series.
Debut & Encore "Bonus" Concert Barbara Nissman, Pianist
Thursday, February 1, at 8:30, in Rackham Auditorium
As part of the Musical Society's centennial celebration, series subscribers to the four concerts of the Debut & Encore Series are invited to attend this extra concert (free tickets upon request) in February. Remaining tickets will be available to other concertgoers one week prior to the concert,. $4 general admission.
Miss Xissman's career began on this campus, where she received her bachelor, master, and doctoral degrees from the University of Michigan School of Music, studying with Gyorgy Sandor. In 1971, she performed in the Musical Society's May Festival with Eugene Ormandy and the Philadelphia Orchestra, and since then has appeared numerous times with the Minnesota Orchestra and Stanislaw Skrowaczewski, the Boston Pops and Arthur Fiedler, and re-engagements with the Philadelphia Orchestra. Miss N'issman also performs regularly in Europe, on orchestral tours in Germany, England, Holland, Bulgaria, and Rumania. Recently, she made her London orchestral debut with the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra in the Royal Albert Hall, and this season will be performing with the London Philharmonic.
This concert is made possible through the generosity of The Power Foundation.
Julian Bream and John Williams, Guitarists.....October 21
Martha Graham Dance Company......October 23, 24, 25
Belgrade Chamber OrchestraLynn Harrell.....October 26
Viennese Gala.............October 27
Murray Perahia, Pianist...........October 30
Dimitri, Clown-Mime...........November 1
Nathan Milstein, Violinist..........November 5
Karyo Yamahiko, Japan..........November 6
II Divertimento.............November 7
Fred Waring Show............November 9
English Chamber OrchestraVladimir Ashkenazy . . . November 10
Barbara Strzelecka, Harpsichordist.......November 14
New Irish Chamber OrchestraPrieur, Galway .... November 21
Handel's Messiah...........December 1, 2, 3
Isaac Stern, Violinist...........December 7
Tchaikovsky's Nutcracker Ballet.....December 14, 15, 16, 17
Judith Blegen, Soprano...........January 12
Mozart's Marriage oj Figaro..........January 14
"Pirin," Bulgarian Folk Ensemble........January 16
Philidor Trio.............January 21
Paul Taylor Dance Company........January 26 & 27
Barbara Nissman, Pianist..........February 1
Moscow Philharmonic Dmitri Kitaienko......February 3
Paul Badura-Skoda, Pianist..........February 9
Les Menestrels.............February 11
Andres Segovia, Guitarist..........February 17
Aspects of Peking Opera..........February 20
UNIVERSITY MUSICAL SOCIETY
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