UMS Concert Program, November 21, 1978: New Irish Chamber Orchestra --
Complete Series: Sixteenth
Rackham Auditorium, Ann Arbor, Michigan
THE UNIVERSITY MUSICAL SOCIETY OF THE UNIVERSITY OF MICHIGAN
New Irish Chamber Orchestra
ANDRE PRIEUR, Musical Director and Conductor Mary Gallagher, Leader JAMES GALWAY, Flutist
Tuesday Evening, November 21, 1978, at 8:30 Rackham Auditorium, Ann Arbor, Michigan
PROGRAM Symphony in D major, Op. 18, No. 4......
Allegro con spirito Andante
Music for Strings..........
Adagio non troppo Scherzo Rondo
Concerto No. 2 in D major for Flute and Orchestra, K. 314
Adagio ma non troppo Allegro
. J. C. Bach
Concerto in G major for Flute and Orchestra, Op. 29
Andante non troppo moderato Allegro
Symphony No. 68 in B-flat major......
Andante cantabile Minuet Presto
Mr. Galway: Nonesuch, Angel, and RCA Records.
New Irish Chamber Orchestra: New Irish Recording Company.
Centennial Season -Twenty-ninth Concert
Sixteenth Annual Chamber Arts Series
PROGRAM NOTES by Leonard Burkat
Symphony in D major, Op. 18, No. 4 .... Johann Christian Bach
Johann Christian Bach was the eleventh and last surviving son of Johann Sebastian Bach. His music is entirely unlike his father's, for it belongs to a new modern style that he learned in Italy and practiced in England. After his father's death in 17S0, Johann Christian Bach left Leipzig for Berlin, where he lived and studied with his famous older brother Karl Philipp Emanuel. From 1754 to 1762 he was in Italy, learning the new operatic style that was developing in Naples, studying the Italian instrumental forms of sonata and symphony, and even serving for two years as organist at the Milan Cathedral. In 1762, he saw opportunities in England and moved to London, where he soon launched a splendid career as a composer. His Italian operas were popular there, he gave concerts, and the Queen appointed him her Master of Music.
Christian Bach wrote about sixty symphonies, of which more than forty were published during his lifetime. Some of them were intended as opera overtures, some are symphonies con-certantes--concerto-like symphonies with soloists--and some are concert works. Bach's last published work was a mixed bag of six symphonies, issued around 1781 as Opus 18, but composed earlier. Three of them are written for two orchestras playing together; three are for conventional orchestra.
The fourth symphony in the set, in D major, is a compact work in three movements. It is scored for an orchestra that was a large one by the standards of the time: two oboes, bassoon, two horns, two trumpets, timpani and strings. To give stronger contrast to the slower middle movement, Bach omitted the brass and timpani, and had the oboists exchange their instruments for flutes. Although the practice of having musicians "double" on several woodwind instruments is still commonplace in jazz and popular music, oboe and flute parts in the symphonic repertoire now require different players. We may be sure, however, that in Bach's day, the symphony was often played without making the change, that is, by either oboes or flutes throughout.
Music for Strings...........Seoirse Bodley
Born in Dublin, Seoirse Bodley is active as a composer, conductor, and teacher. He first studied music at the Royal Irish Academy of Music and at University College in Dublin, and then in Germany under Johann Nepomuk David (composition) ; Alfred Kreutz (piano) ; and Hans Mueller-Kray (conducting). Since 19S9 he has been on the music faculty of University College, Dublin. His com?positions include orchestral, vocal, choral, and chamber works which have been performed widely in Ireland and abroad in America, France, Germany, Canada, Belgium, Holland, Australia, and Iceland. Also well-known as a conductor, he has given many first performances of modern works in Dublin.
"Music for Strings" was written when the composer was only nineteen and was first performed by the Dublin Orchestral Players. In the first movement, Alia ntarcia, the march theme, which is heard in the violins and later in the cellos and double basses, is interrupted by an Adagio rubalo section. This leads to a variation of the march theme, after which there is a return of the Adagio in an altered form. The movement ends with the return of the march theme in the cellos and finally in the violins.
The Adagio non troppo begins with a slow expressive theme on a solo violin which is later heard in the cellos. After a fugato section, the main theme is heard again, played by two solo violins with a pizzicato accompaniment. The music gets gradually softer and finally fades away.
The third movement, a virile Scherzo, has a fine main theme and there is a contrasting trio section. The final movement, Rondo, proceeds non-stop from the beginning until about sixteen measures from the end, where it appears to pause for breath. A violin solo, however, leads the music back to the original mood and the work ends with a flourish.
Concerto No. 2 in D major for Flute and . . . Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart
Orchestra, K. 314 (1756-1791)
Mozart's professed distaste for the flute is not evident in the music he wrote for it--flute
concertos, quartets for flute and strings, and ravishing flute solos in his late orchestral works. What
he really disliked, it appears, was the man who commissioned most of his flute music which was
written in Mannheim and Paris between Christmas of 1777 and the summer of 1778.
Dissatisfied with his position as staff composer to the Prince-Archbishop of Salzburg, the young man had sought and obtained leave for a concert tour that was to take him to Paris, where he secretly hoped to secure a more rewarding position. He spent the winter of 1777 in Mannheim where he heard the famous Mannheim court orchestra, the finest in Europe. It was a valuable experience for the young composer, and a wealthy amateur flutist, a Dutchman called M. de Jean, commissioned four concertos and six quartets. On February 14, 1778, Mozart wrote home to his father, "de Jean is leaving for Paris tomorrow and, because I have finished only two concertos and three quartets for him, has sent me 96 gulden (that is, 4 gulden too little, evidently supposing this to be half of 200), but he must pay me in full, for that was my agreement, and I can send him the other pieces later. Abridged 1." Mozart probably did not succeed in exacting the full amount of the commission out of de Jean, for he did not write the additional works. The young composer was not altogether frank with his father or with de Jean. It appears that he actually wrote only one new Flute Concerto, K. 313, in G major, and that this one is simply an adaptation of an Oboe Concerto he had composed in Salzburg. The Oboe Concerto was lost for many years, and when it was rediscovered, in 1920, it was found to be almost identical with the Second Flute Concerto.
The Concerto's three movements are a bright Allegro aperto, an expressive Adagio non Iroppo and a lively rondo, Allegro, whose main theme reappears in his works three years later as a joyous aria in the opera, The Abduction from the Seraglio. The orchestral score calls for two oboes, two horns and strings.
Concerto for Flute and Orchestra in G major, Op. 29 ... Karl Stamitz
Stamitz is no longer a name known to every music lover, but in Central Europe in their time, the Stamitzes were a powerful and influential family of musicians. Karl's father, Johann, was a composer who made important contributions to the establishment of the new "modern" form of the symphony that was carried to such great heights by Haydn and Mozart, and as leader of the court orchestra at Mannheim, he made it the greatest in Europe. They were influential teachers who greatly advanced the level of virtuosity in string playing and wrote brilliantly for the wind instruments.
Karl Stamitz, son of the pioneering Johann, was a prolific composer and a brilliant violinist who worked everywhere from London and Paris to Saint Petersburg. Among his works are seventy symphonies, a great number of concertos and a huge quantity of chamber music that was widely circulated throughout Europe during his lifetime and has been revived in the twentieth century as the importance of the Stamitzes has been rediscovered.
Symphony No. 68 in B-flat major........Joseph Haydn
For years Haydn lived in isolation from the mainstream of the musical life of his time. In the lonely and protected society of the remote country estates of his employers, the Esterhazy princes, he had neither models to follow nor competitors to trouble him (he told his first biographer), so he became a fearless experimenter. The end result was a series of masterpieces, his last twenty-three symphonies, written between 1785 and 1795, mostly for the great, distant capitals of London and Paris, to which his fame had spread.
These symphonies, from No. 82 to No. 104, are the ones that have been most played during the last hundred years, for two interrelated reasons. The first is that they are more like later music and were therefore more appealing to nineteenthand twentieth-century audiences. The second is that the music of few others was available for performance. Even the most dedicated scholars, in whole lifetimes of work, could hardly thread their way through the bibliographical maze in old archives and libraries all over Europe (and even in America) where the other symphonies were hidden.
After the Second World War, enough information had been accumulated in the century-long search for Haydn's earlier symphonies for thorough studies of the music to begin. It is only in recent years that conductors' scores and orchestral musicians' parts have become easily available for all of them. Many more are heard in concert these days, and now that all of them are recorded and available to any music lover, the difficulty that scholars had in finding the music just a generation ago is almost unimaginable. The Symphony No. 68, written around 1778, was very popular in its day and then more or less disappeared until the recent Haydn revival.
About the Artists
The New Irish Chamber Orchestra is a hand-picked ensemble of Ireland's most gifted musicians who specialize in music originally written for small orchestra. Since its highly acclaimed inaugural concerts in 1970, the Orchestra has performed throughout Ireland, England, and France, and is currently on its first North American tour. The ensemble's repertoire combines the standard literature for chamber orchestra with works of Ireland's most distinguished composers, many of them commissioned.
Andre Prieur has a long and distinguished musical career. Upon graduation from the Paris Conservatory, he quickly established himself as a brilliant flutist, and in 1950 went to Dublin as principal flute and soloist with the Radio Telefis Symphony Orchestra. In Eire, he founded and directed the Prieur Ensemble, prior to his current position with the New Irish Chamber Orchestra. In addition to directing the Orchestra in its highly successful tours, Mr. Prieur led the Orchestra in a television film of Handel's "Messiah" in Rome's Church of San Ignazio. This film has been broad?cast many times in Italy, Eire, and soon, the United States and Canada.
Belfast's James Galwny wins highest praise from the most discerning critics, at the same time winning new enthusiasts for classical music. A student of Jean-Pierre Rampal, Mr. Galway began his public career at the age of twelve, playing for the BBC's North Ireland service by the time he was thirteen. He has held the position of principal flutist with the London Symphony and Royal Philharmonic Orchestras, and from 1969 to 197S was first solo flutist with the Berlin Philharmonic. He is currently Professor of Flute at the Eastman School of Music in Rochester, New York. Mr. Galway's concert engagements take him regularly to the important music centers in Europe, North America, Japan, Australia, and South Africa.
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 of 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 PhilharmonicDmitri Kitaienko......February 3
Paul Badura-Skoda, Pianist..........February 9
Les Menestrels.............February 11
Andres Segovia, Guitarist..........February 17
Aspects of Peking Opera..........February 20
Founders Day Concert..........February 24
NDR Symphony of HamburgZdenek Macal.....February 28
Los Angeles Ballet..........March 12, 13, 14
Guarneri String Quartet...........March 21
Festival of Russian Dance..........March 24
Df.troit Symphony OrchestraDorati, von Alpenheim . . . March 25
Fifth Annual Benefit Concert.........March 30
Netherlands Wind Ensemble..........April 1
Yakshagana, South India...........April 9
Marilyn Horne, Soprano...........April 12
Cleveland OrchestraLorin Maazel........April 17
86th Annual May Festival........April 25, 26, 27, 28
UNIVERSITY MUSICAL SOCIETY
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University Musical Society