Complete Series: 100th Annual Choral
Hill Auditorium, Ann Arbor, Michigan
THE UNIVERSITY MUSICAL SOCIETY OF THE UNIVERSITY OF MICHIG
The Cleveland Orchestra
Music Director and Conductor
Tuesday Evening, April 17, 1979, at 8:30 Hill Auditorium, Ann Arbor, Michigan
PROGRAM Suite No. 3 in G major, Op. 55.........Tchaikovsky
Valse melancoliquc Scherzo
Tema con variazioni (Finale: polacca)
Violin Solo: Daniel Majeske English Horn Solo: Pamela Woods
Symphony No. 5 in Bflat major, Op. 100.......Prokofiev
Allegro marcato Adagio
" am delighted to congratulate the. University Musical Society on its 100th anniversary season. This distinguished presenting organization, one of the oldest in the country, has become an integral part of the history of music in the United States. It has been my privilege to appear under these auspices on a previous occasion, and it is a special pleasure to be able to return to this stage with The Cleveland Orchestra."
London, Columbia, Angel, and Telarc Records. Centennial Season -Sixtyfifth Concert 100th Annual Choral Union Series
Suite No. 3 in G major, Op. 55......Peter Ilich Tchaikovsky
There are quite a few entries in Tchaikovsky's diary about this Suite in 1884. He began it on April 29th. "In the forest and indoors I have been trying to lay the foundation of a new symphony . . . but I am not at all satisfied . . . Walked in the garden and found the germ, not of a symphony, but of a future Suite." Perhaps we ought to seek the nature of this Suite, then, not in the forest or indoors, but in the garden. Many of the notes for the next week record work upon the Suite. He finished the Andante on May 8th and was well pleased with it. He worked on the first movement with difficulty and again felt himself growing old. Perhaps as a relief he sat at the piano and played Mozart. While seated there he had the idea for a Suite on Mozart, which later became his Mozartiana. The variations were composed about May 18th and went very well. Four of them were completed by the 21st, and the whole Suite finished two days later. Having done with it he enter?tained a very high opinion of the work and wrote of it on June 20th to Jurgenson: "A work of greater genius than the new Suite never was. My opinion of the newborn composition is so op?timistic; God knows what I shall think of it a year hence. At least it has cost me some pains."
The Suite was first performed at a symphony concert in Petersburg on January 24, 1885, under the direction of Hans von Biilow, and was a veritable triumph for the composer. The music was easily intelligible and very charming, and it took the fancy of the public at first hearing. Yon Biilow was a magnificent conductor and electrified audience and orchestra. He put into his inter?pretation of the Suite the great enthusiasm he then had for Russian music.
Tchaikovsky wrote to his friend, Nadejda von Meek: "Forgive me my indolence, and for so seldom writing. Today I returned from Petersburg where I spent a week of feverish excitement. The first few days were taken up by rehearsals for the concert at which my new Suite was to be performed. I had a secret presentiment that it would please the public. I experienced both pleasure and fear. But the reality far surpassed my expectations. I have never had such a triumph; I could see that the greater part of the audience was touched and grateful. Such moments are the best in an artist's life."
Symphony No. 5 in Bflat major, Op. 100.....Sergei Prokofiev
"When the Second World War broke out," the composer commented in an interview, "I felt that everyone must do his share, and began composing songs and marches for the front. But soon events assumed such gigantic and farreaching scope as to demand larger canvasses. . . ." He spoke of his Symphonic Suite 1941, his opera War and Peace, and the cantata Ballad of an Unknown Boy. "Finally," he continued, "I wrote my Fifth Symphony on which I had been working for several years, gathering themes in a special notebook. I always work that way, and that is probably why I write so fast. The entire score of the Fifth was written in one month in the summer of 1944. It took another month to orchestrate it, and in between I wrote the score for Eisenstein's film, Ivan the Terrible. . . . The Fifth Symphony was a very important composition to me, since it marked my return to the symphonic form after a long interval. I regard it as the culmination of a large period in my creative life." (The Fourth Symphony, Op. 47, dates from before 1930; it was revised in 1947, as Op. 112. The composer lived to write a Sixth and a Seventh Symphony. The "Classical" Symphony, Op. 25, his First, is dated 191617.)
In his first book on Prokofiev (translated from the Russian by Rose Prokofieva and published 1946 by Alfred A. Knopf, New York), the Soviet critic Israel V. Nestyev comments at length about the Fifth Symphony. He sees it, understandably, as "more than music": "In the clear optimistic tone of the Fifth Symphony are embraced a firm faith in life and an elemental hymning of life's great joys. Prokofiev's inherent 'feeling of a healthy country and the energies and forces hidden in it' are expressed in the thoughts and moods of the symphony. Here in these images is hidden a living
prescience of the hardwon morrow of the Soviet Union. ... As the composer's Opus 100, it was a sort of jubilee composition in his career. . . . For the first time he declared his right to evolve a symphonic concept that had not been forced in pictorially descriptive problems. . . . Approaching in manner the objectiveepic symphonism of the BorodinGlazunov line rather than the lyrical dramaticsymphonism of Tchaikovsky and Shostakovich, it captured the auditors with its healthy mood of affirmation."
The opening Andante is a largescale statement in which narrative, serene, jocular, and rhetorical elements are juxtaposed rather than dramatically contrasted and developed. The Scherzo, Allegro marcato, begins as a quickmarch with that quality of irony or satire so characteristic of Prokofiev in virtually all his music. A central section combines wit with poignancy and grows to festive exuberance; the return to the scherzo material is drawn with particular incisiveness and charm. There is, in all of the composer's output, perhaps no other music more expressive and nostalgic than the following Adagio, an expression of deeply personal longing for beauties so seriously threat?ened in lime of cataclysmic war. Brimming with lyricism and opulence of harmony, this is surely one of Prokofiev's most affecting creations. The Finale, beginning Allegro giocoso, propels us into a carnival scene of irresistible joy and vigor, yet never for a moment vulgar or blatant. Lively dance themes alternate with almost vocal Russian song tunes, and near the close it is the head of the first movement's main theme which provides the necessary weight and power. The end is a masterstroke of suspense and inevitable culmination.
Prokofiev conducted the first performance of this work at a concert of the Moscow Philharmonic Orchestra in the Grand Hall of the Moscow Conservatory on January 13, 1945. The Symphony was first performed in America by the Boston Symphony Orchestra, Serge Koussevitzky conducting, on November 9, 1945. It is now available in a new recording by The Cleveland Orchestra and Lorin Maazel.
About the Artists
The Cleveland Orehestra, celebrating its 60th anniversary this year, first appeared on this stage in 19.55 under the baton of Artur Rodzinski and has performed since then under all succeeding music directors of the orchestra: Erich Leinsdorf, George Szell, and Pierre Boulez. Tonight's concert, the Cleveland's twentyfifth in Ann Arbor, is conducted by Lorin Maazel, now in his seventh season as Music Director of the orchestra. Born in 1930, Maazel began to appear on the podiums of leading orchestras while still a child (and, indeed, did conduct The Cleveland Orchestra for the first time in 1943 in a special concert). He dates his career as a mature artist, however, from December 24, 1953, when he made his debut in Italy. A few months prior to that, Maazel made his Ann Arbor debut on March 2, 1953, with the Gershwin Concert Orchestra. In the succeeding years, Mr. Maazel has become one of the most internationally celebrated conductors of our time. It is with pride that we present these distinguished artists as the last concert in this 100th Annual Choral Union Series.
"American Orchestras on Tour"
This evening's concert by The Cleveland Orchestra is presented in cooperation with Michigan Bell and is funded, in part, by the Bell System as part of its "American Orchestras on Tour" program. Launched last month, it is a commitment to support crosscountry tours to some one hundred cities over the next several years by a number of America's finest symphony orchestras. Joining The Cleveland Orchestra in this tour program during 1979 will be the New York Philharmonic, the Los Angeles Philharmonic, and the symphony orchestras of Philadelphia, Boston, and Chicago. "Ameri?can Orchestras on Tour" continues a long Bell System tradition of sponsorship of the arts which began in 1940 with "The Bell Telephone Hour."
A New Season of International Presentations 19791980
Summer Fare Series
Carlos BarbosaLima, Guitarist......... Mon. July 9
Scottish Chamber Orchestra........ Thurs. July 19
Gustav Leonhardt, Harpsichordist....... Mon. July 23
Peter Williams, Organist.......... Fri. July 27
Philippe Entremont, Pianist......... Mon. July 30
Ruggiero Ricci, Violinist.......... Mon. Aug. 6
Choral Union Series
Joan Sutherland, Soprano; Richard Bonynge, Pianist . . Thurs. Oct. 4
Prague Chamber Orchestra..........Sun. Oct. 7
Moscow State Symphony..........Sat. Oct. 13
I Solisti di Zagreb; James Galway, Flutist.....Thurs. Oct. 25
Dresden Staatskapelle Orchestra.......Sun. Nov. 11
Alfred Brendel, Pianist..........Tues. Jan. 22
Leontyne Price, Soprano..........Sat. Feb. 9
Yehudi and Hephzibah Menuhin, Violinist & Pianist . . . Wed. Mar. 19
Baltimore Symphony OrchestraComissiona.....Wed. Apr. 2
Sherrill Milnes, Baritone.........Mon. Apr. 14
New York City Opera Theatre......Tues. Wed. Oct. 2 & 3
Bohemian Folk Ballet of Prague.......Thurs. Oct. 4
Waverly Consort............Mon. Oct. 22
Paul Gaulin Mime Company.........Tues. Oct. 23
Solomons CompanyDance.........Wed. Oct. 24
Western Opera Theatre..........Fri. Nov. 2
Cloud Gate Dance Theatre, Taiwan..... . Sun. Nov. 4
Martha Graham Dance Company......Mon.Wed. Nov. 57
"Nutcracker," Pittsburgh Ballet.....Thurs.Sun. Dec. 1316
Les Grands Ballets Canadiens........Sun. Jan. 20
Glinka Chorus of Leningrad.........Tues. Jan. 29
Eliot Feld Ballet..........Fri.Sun. Feb. 13
Cuban National Folk Ensemble........Tues. Feb. 26
Krasnayarsk Dance Company, Siberia.......Fri. Feb. 29
Kingdom of Bhutan, Music & Dance.......Sat. Mar. 15
Jury's Irish Cabaret of Dublin........Tues. Mar. 18
Chamber Arts Series
Juilliard String Quartet.........Mon. Sept. 24
ACCADEMIA MONTEVERDIANA..........Mon. Oct. 15
Boston Camerata............Sun Oct. 28
Syntagma Musicum...........Tues. Nov. 20
Concord String Quartet..........Sun. Jan. 27
Orpheus Chamber Ensemble.........Fri. Feb. 8
Zurich Chamber Orchestra ?.........Fri. Feb. 15
Quartetto Italiano...........Thur. Apr. 17
Debut & Encore Series
Youri Egorov, Pianist........... Thurs. Oct. 18
Nina Beilina, Violinist........... Tues. Dec. 4
Aldo Ciccolini, Pianist.......... Thurs. Feb. 21
Elly Ameling, Soprano.......... Wed. Mar. 12
New brochure with complete information available upon request; series orders now being accepted.
UNIVERSITY MUSICAL SOCIETY
Burton Memorial Tower, Ann Arbor, MichiRan 48109 Phones: 6653717, 76425.8