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UMS Concert Program, April 26, 1979: The Ann Arbor May Festival -- The Philadelphia Orchestra

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Concert: Sixtyeighth
Complete Series: Eightysixth Annual
Hill Auditorium, Ann Arbor, Michigan

Eugene Ormandy, Music Director
Riccardo Muti, Principal Guest Conductor
William Smith, Associate Conductor
Thursday Evening, April 26, 1979, at 8:30 Hill Auditorium, Ann Arbor, Michigan
Symphony No. 3 in A minor, Op. 56 ("Scotch") .... Mendelssohn
Introduction and allegro agitato Scherzo assai vivace Adagio cantabile
Allegro guerriero and finale maestoso
?Symphony No. 5 in E minor, Op. 64.......Tchaikovsky
Andante; allegro con anima
Andante cantabile, con alcuna licenza Valse: allegro moderato
Andante maestoso; allegro vivace
Available on RCA Red Seal and Columbia Records.
This evening's concert marks the Ann Arbor debut of Riccardo Muti who, as Principal Guest Conductor for this season and 19791980, is conducting the Orchestra for a total of eight weeks each season. Born in Naples, Mr. Muti studied at the Conservatory in Milan and launched his conducting career when he won the coveted Guido Cantelli International Contest in 1967. In 1969 he became Principal Conductor of the Orchestra of the Maggio Musicale Fiorentino in Florence, a position he continues to hold. Since then he has guestconducted major orchestras in Europe and the United States, and in 1973 was appointed Principal Conductor of the Philharmonia Orchestra in London. He has to his credit many opera engagements in Vienna, Florence, Munich and, most recently, at London's Covent Garden, and has conducted opera and orchestra performances at major inter?national festivals including those of Salzburg, Montreux, Prague, and Bath.
Mr. Muti was introduced to American audiences when he conducted The Philadelphia Orchestra in 1972, and has returned every season since to conduct the Philadclphians in Washington, Baltimore, and New York, as well as their own city.
Centennial Season -Sixtyeighth Concert
Eightysixth Annual May Festival
PROGRAM NOTES by Richard Freed
Symphony No. 3 in A minor, Op. 56 ("Scotch") . . . Felix Mendelssohn
In his boyhood Mendelssohn composed a full dozen symphonies for strings or for chamber orchestra; the first of his mature symphonies for full orchestra--No. 1 in C minor, Op. 11--was the only one he had behind him when he wrote to his sister Fanny from Edinburgh in July 1829 to describe his visit to the castle known as Holy Rood:
"In the evening twilight we went today to the palace where Queen Mary lived and loved; a little room is shown there with a winding staircase leading up to the door; up this way they came and found Rizzio in the little room, pulled him out, and three rooms off there is the dark corner where they murdered him. The chapel close to it is roofless now; grass and ivy grow there, and broken is the altar at which Mary was crowned Queen of Scotland. Everything around is broken and mouldering, and the bright sky shines in. I believe I found today in that old chapel the beginning of my Scotch Symphony."
In the same letter the young composer sketched out 16 measures which were to open the Symphony, but, although the Fingal's Cave Overture inspired by further sightseeing activity the following month was composed almost at once, a dozen years were to pass before work was begun on the Scotch Symphony. During those years Mendelssohn produced three other symphonies, two of which were assigned later numbers than this because they were revised and first published after the Scotch was completed.
The Symphony, which Mendelssohn dedicated to Queen Victoria following its English premiere on June 23, 1842 (both Victoria and Prince Albert sang songs by Mendelssohn and themselves when he visited them that summer), is, like his mature concertos, to be played without a break between movements. A certain melancholy solemnity prevails in the first and third movements, with the intervening scherzo (one of the most brilliant specimens of a genre in which Mendelssohn especially distinguished himself) providing a stunning contrast; the scherzo's main theme, introduced by the clarinet, is decidedly Scottish in character.
In the Adagio Philip Radcliffe has noted "several obvious reminiscences of Beethoven: the main theme looks back to the central section of the Allegretto of the Seventh Symphony and a cadential passage that appears a little later to a similar phrase in the Adagio of the 'Harp' Quartet." After the expressive sentiment of the slow movement the finale comes in briskly: its particular kind of animation well suits the marking Allegro guerriero (though the exquisite second subject is anything but warlike), and the majestic coda is in the nature of a victory celebration--or, in this context, a ritual solemnizing the gathering of the clans.
Symphony No. 5 in E minor, Op. 64 .... Peter Ilyich Tchaikovsky
Tchaikovsky allowed a longer interval to pass between the composition of his Fourth and Fifth symphonies than between any other two successive works in his symphonic cycle--some eleven years, during which period he experimented with various forms he had not used earlier and to which he did not return. The most striking of these experiments is Manfred (Op. 58), a fourmove?ment work in the style of Berlioz which Tchaikovsky chose to label a "symphonic poem in four tableaux" instead of giving it a place among his numbered symphonies. All four of the orchestral suites were written during this interval, as were the solitary Piano Trio in A minor (Op. SO), the Concert Fantasy for piano and orchestra (Op. 56) and the Serenade in C major for string orchestra (Op. 48). When Tchaikovsky got 'round to the Fifth Symphony, in 1888, he was writing in a some?what different idiom from that of the Fourth (and under far more pleasant circumstances in his personal life) ; in terms of "philosophical" or "programmatic" content he was dealing with more or less the same problem, but in a conspicuously different manner.
While Tchaikovsky furnished a detailed program for the Fourth Symphony, it is the Fifth that is the most obviously programmatic of all his symphonies, introduced with a less stern but no less ominous motif which appears in all the succeeding movements in one form or another. Surely Tchaikovsky had something fairly definite in mind, but he never verbalized it, as he had done in the case of the Fourth; it is only in recent years that the little he did commit to paper on
the subject of the Fifth was discovered among his notebooks by the intrepid Nicolas Slonimsky, who has rendered these notes in English as follows:
"Introduction. Complete resignation before Fate, or, which is the same, before the inscrutable predestination of Providence. Allegro. (I) Murmurs, doubts, plaints, reproaches against XXX. . . . (II) Shall I throw myself in the embrace of faith"
There is, of course, no need for a verbal program. One is reminded in much of Tchaikovsky's music, but especially in this Symphony, of Haydn's reply to Mozart when, on the eve of the older composer's departure for London, Mozart warned him: "But, Papa, you have never traveled so far, and you know so few languages"--to which Haydn answered simply: "My language is understood all over the world."
The first movement opens with a clarinet statement of the motto which is to be heard in all four movements. The allegro is ushered in by a slowmarch theme given out by the woodwinds over string accompaniment; the strings take up this theme and build it to a pitch of considerable intensity, setting the stage, as it were, for the entrance of a simple motif (in B minor) with a sweet, "yearning" quality. The development is concise, the coda based on a more energetic statement of the slowmarch theme; the movement ends in the same murky abyss of irresolution in which it began.
The second movement contains two celebrated themes whose emotional burden is unmistakable. The first is the famous tune sung by the solo horn; the second, first heard from the oboe as counter?point to the first, is subsequently taken over by the full orchestra and built to a powerful climax. Two further motifs are heard: a fanciful connective interlude for clarinet and bassoon, and the "Fate" motto from the opening of the work, which appears abruptly as the emotional buildup reaches its crest. The movement ends quietly, on a note of bittersweet resignation.
In place of a scherzo we have what is perhaps the finest of Tchaikovsky's grand waltzes. If the mood is never really gay, neither is it really sad; we are on rather neutral ground, and when the "Fate" motto makes its inevitable appearance it is no longer fierce and foreboding, but casual, subdued, almost mocked.
The majestic opening of the Finale presents the "Fate" motto in an altogether new light, trans?ferred into the major for a solemn but by no means gloomy processional. In the movement proper (allegro vivace) a more startling metamorphosis is revealed: in a kaleidoscopic sequence of in?credible melodic abundance, the motto shows a wholly different character--exultant, jubilant, ringing with selfconfidence. Following a false ending, a long, triumphant coda--the "Fate" motto as a march, with the slowmarch theme from the first movement similarly transformed as a final embellishment--sets the seal of affirmation on the Symphony.
Tchaikovsky was far less pleased with his Fifth Symphony than with its predecessor. A few weeks after the Petersburg premiere (November 17, 1888) he wrote: "After each performance I become more and more convinced that my new Symphony is a failure, and the consciousness of this--and also of what it may indicate regarding the weakening of my creative powers--depresses me greatly. It seems the Symphony is too garish, too massive, too patchy and insincere, too long, and generally of very little appeal. Except for Taneyev, who insists the Fifth is my best work, all my friends have a low opinion of it. Is it possible I have already written myself out"
Some time later, Tchaikovsky thought better of the Fifth, and suggested that it had been his own conducting that had made such a poor case for the work. In any event, it has become the most beloved of his symphonies, and the reasons are not far to seek: the music is extravagantly beautiful. Few scores by Tchaikovsky or anyone else are so rich in superb melodies, or so opulently colored, or scale so many emotional peaks.
Gallery of 100
Uniquely exhibited in the main floor lobby are enlarged photographs of many famous artists who have performed in Ann Arbor during the Musical Society's onehundredyear history. This exhibit, a project of the Advisory Committee of the Musical Society, was first displayed for the Founders Day Concert of February 24 and will remain in the lobby throughout this Festival week. The majority of photographs are from the autographed collection of Charles A. Sink, who served as President of the Society from 1927 to 1968. The flags of forty nations which hang overhead in the lobby represent the homelands of visiting artists and underscore the international scope of cultural presentations to this community.
Eugene Ormandy, Music Director and Conductor
Riccardo Muti, Principal Guest Conductor
William Smith, Associate Conductor
Seymour L. Rosen, Executive Director
Joseph H. Santarlasci, Manager
Norman Carol Concertmaster
William de Pasquale Associate Concertmaster
David Arben Assistant Concertmaster
Morris Shulik Owen Lusak David Grunschlag Frank E. Saam Frank Costanzo Barbara Sorlien Herbert Light Charles Rex Ernest L. Goldstein Luis Biava Larry Grika Cathleen Dalschaert Herold Klein Julia Janson
Irvin Rosen Robert de Pasquale Armand Di Camillo Joseph Lanza Irving Ludwig Jerome Wigler Virginia Halfmann Arnold Grossi George Dreyfus Louis Lanza Stephane Dalschaert Isadore Schwartz Booker Rowe Davyd Booth Jonathan Beiler Vladimir Shapiro
Joseph de Pasquale James Fawcett Leonard Mogill Sidney Curtiss Gaetano Molieri Irving Segall Leonard Bogdanoff Charles Griffin Wolfgang Granat Donald R. Clauser Albert Filosa Renard Edwards
Violoncellos William Stokking George Harpham Harry Gorodetzer Lloyd Smith Joseph Druian Bert Phillips Deborah Reeder Christopher Rex Richard Harlow Gloria Johns William Saputelli Marcel Farago
Roger M. Scott Michael Shahan Neil Courtney Ferdinand Maresh Carl Torello Samuel Gorodetzer Emilio Gravagno Henry G. Scott Peter Lloyd
Murray W. Panitz Kenneth E. Scutt Loren N. Lind John C. Krell Piccolo
Richard Woodhams Stevens Hewitt Charles M. Morris Louis Rosenblatt English Horn
Anthony M. Gigliotti Donald Montanaro Raoul Querze Ronald Reuben Bass Clarinet
Bassoons Bernard Garfield John Shamlian Adelchi Louis Angelucci Robert J. Pfeuffer Contra Bassoon
Nolan Miller David Wetherill
Associate Randy Gardner Martha Glaze Howard Wall Daniel Williams
Frank Kaderabek Donald E. McComas Seymour Rosenfeld Roger Blackburn
Glenn Dodson Tyrone Breuninger M. Dee Stewart
Bass TrumpetTenor Tuba Robert S. Harper
Bass Trombone
Paul Krzywicki
Gerald Carlyss Michael Bookspan
Michael Bookspan Alan Abel Anthony Orlando William Saputelli
Celesta, Piano and Organ
William Smith Marcel Farago Davyd Booth
Marilyn Costello Margarita Csonka
Jesse C. Taynton Clint Nieweg
Personnel Manager Mason Jones
Stage Personnel
Edward Barnes, Manager Theodore Hauptle James Sweeney
Burton Memorial Tower, Ann Arbor, Michigan 48109 Phones: 6653717, 7642538

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