Rackham Auditorium, Ann Arbor, Michigan
THE UNIVERSITY MUSICAL SOCIETY OF THE UNIVERSITY OF MICHIGAN
Monday Evening, October 15, 1979, at 8:30 Rackham Auditorium, Ann Arbor, Michigan
Preludio--Allegro and Ayre (c. 1732)
Suite in C major (1671).......
Caprice de Chacone Autre Chacone
From Platero and I, Op. 190 (1960)
La Arrulladora (Lullaby) La Primavera (Springtime)
From Etudes (1929) and Preludes (1940) Selections to be announced.
Santiago de Muecia Francisco Corbetta
Suite in D minor (1686).........Robert de Visee
(pause) Shadows (1977)...........William Albright
Open Tierra Nights Spirits
Lullaby Days Tarantas Close
World Premiere--a commission of the University Musical Society through a grant from the Michigan Council for the Arts.
101st Season -Twelfth Concert
Seventeenth Annual Chamber Arts Series
PROGRAM NOTES by Michael Lorimer
The Baroque Guitar
Tonight's concert begins with music performed on the instrument for which it was conceived, the baroque guitar. This instrument's relationship to the modern guitar is like that of the harp?sichord to the piano, and the baroque guitar shares with the harpsichord a more nasal sound than its modern counterpart.
An important feature of the baroque guitar technique is the mixture of strumming and plucking techniques. In the early 1600s the baroque guitar was an accompaniment instrument, one perfect for the new styles of music, and it was only strummed--much in the manner in which folk singers strum the guitar in our time. Later the method of plucking individual notes was added and by the end of the century the refined combination of techniques evolved, and are displayed in the selections I am playing.
My instrument is an exact copy by Nico van der Waals (1975) of a guitar by Jean Voboam, made in Paris in 1687 for Mile, de Nantes, Duchess of Bourbon, a daughter of Louis XIV.
The Classical Guitar
The baroque guitar was followed by a classical instrument with six single strings rather than five pairs. It appeared at the end of the eighteenth century at the same time musical style was changing, the classical era succeeding the baroque. Early classical guitar methods include instructions on how to make the guitar sound like other instruments--harp, oboe, trumpets, string quartet, almost anything but a guitar!--and for the most part the new composers dropped idiomatic effects such as the strums featured on the baroque instrument. Their conception of the guitar continues today and was well expressed by Segovia when he said "the guitar is an orchestra seen from the wrong end of the telescope" and was echoed when, searching for words to criticize a student's performance, he once exclaimed: "It sounds like . . . like a guitar!" Even so, twentieth century composers have increasingly included guitaristic materials in their works for our instrument, combining the aesthetics of the baroque guitarists with those of later players.
The repertoire for this recital is to me as special as it is varied. It is some of my favorite music, new and old, and reflects a spectrum of the guitar's many colors. The world premiere of a major guitar work, William Albright's Shadows, is one highlight to which I have long looked forward.
Classical guitar by Nico van der Waals (197S).
Preludio--Allegro and Ay re (c. 1732).....Santiago de Murcia
(c. 1680-c. 1740)
Santiago de Murcia was the guitar tutor to the first wife of Philip V of Spain, Queen Maria Luisa Gabriela de Savoy. In 1714, de Murcia published an important method on accompaniment. Later he brought together an eclectic collection of Spanish, Italian and French music called Passacalles y Obras from which the Preludio--Allegro and Ayre are drawn. The first two pieces are in the newer plucked style, the last demonstrates the older strummed style.
Suite in C major (1671)........Francisco Corbetto
Gambler, guitarist and courtier Francisco Corbetta was a fascinating man, and a look at his life touches on the whole history and spirit of 17th-century Europe. His music spans development of the baroque guitar in Italy and France and he was one of the first masters of the musical styles of both countries. He was the greatest baroque guitarist and was sought after as teacher as well as performer. His pupils included professional players and a vast number of blue-blooded amateurs-including Louis XIV, Charles II, Mme la Duchesse de'Orleans, the Duke of York (later King James II), and Princess Anne (later Queen).
The gay Suite in C major is found at the end of Corbetta's most important book, La Guitarre Royale (1671). The book is dedicated to the King of England (Charles II) and for the most part consists of French dance suites like the one I am playing after intermission, the Suite in D minor by Robert de Visee (who was Corbetta's pupil). However, the Suite in C major is a unique concoction and includes two long improvisatory chacones, a gigue with rhythms unlike others in the book, and a menuel. The customary prelude I've added, transposing it from another suite. The chacones display the gamut of baroque guitar techniques including extended strummed passages with remark?able harmonies, and give us a glimpse of how Corbetta sounded when he improvised.
Soleares (1935) and Rafaga (1930).......JoAQuiN Turina
Joaquin Turina, noted Spanish composer of character pieces for piano and zarzuelas (Spanish light comic operas), also composed many works for the guitar. The works played tonight were all conceived in the 1920s for Andres Segovia, and are brilliant showpieces which demonstrate Turina's charming impressionistic, flamenco-influenced style. Because it is flamenco-influenced, this music includes guitaristic effects that are so much a part of baroque guitar music but which are usually
absent from classical guitar music--such as strums. At the same time Turina's music wonderfully contrasts the warm, full sonorities of our modern instrument to the ethereal, crystalline and rich sound of the baroque guitar.
Soleares is very loosely based on the flamenco music of the same name. The original music has been called the "Mother Song" of flamenco and features a twelve beat metrical unit which is repeated over and over.
Rdjaga means a gust of wind, a flash of light, or a little cloudburst which comes and leaves quickly.
Mario Castelnuovo-Tedesco (1895-1968)
From Platero and I, Op. 190 (1960) . .
La Arrulladora (Lullaby) La Primavera (Springtime)
Of the many guitar works by the Italian composer Mario Castelnuovo-Tedesco, none are more beautiful than his settings of twenty-eight poems from Juan Ramon Jimenez' Nobel Prize winning Platero y Yo (Platero and I). All of the poems concern Platero, a small silver-grey donkey who is the poet's confidant.
From Etudes (1929) and Preludes (1940) .... Heitor Villa-Lobos
A guitarist himself, the Brazilian composer Villa-Lobos lovingly dedicated himself to writing for our instrument and his Etudes and Preludes have become mainstays of the repertoire. When they were written their idiomatic style was so rare in classical guitar music that one would have had to go all the way back to baroque guitar music to best find parallels. Each piece demonstrates Villa-Lobos' seemingly unending ability to discover new exotic and colorful guitaristic resources.
"Has anyone ever written more sublimely for the guitar" asked one critic about Villa-Lobos' music. Certainly it is among the most engaging work for this century, exploiting as it does the open strings and natural harmonics, as well as the left hand slur and glissando, the resonance of arpeggios, and the mellow timbre of the bass strings sounded in the upper registers.
Music of the evening is called serenade, a word which calls to mind the image of a lady being musically wooed by her admirer (who usually plays guitar or lute) standing below her window. Evocation of the mysteries and moods of the night, love song, and entertainment are all elements of serenades such as Mozart's Eine kleine nachlmusik and Chopin's nocturnes, and I find a like diversity in tonight's selections of evening music.
Suite in D minor (1686)
........ Robert de Visee
(c. 1660-c. 1720)
Robert de Visee was a highly esteemed musician in the court of Louis XIV. He was a theorbo (lute) player, singer, composer, gambist, and guitarist. The diary of the Comte de Dangeau from the same year (1686) as the Suite in D minor says that de Visee often entertained Louis XIV by playing the guitar for him at his bedside in the evenings.
Shadows (1977)...........William Albright
(b. 1944) Eight serenades for solo guitar
About this composition, the composer writes: "Shadows is dedicated to Michael Lorimer and was written for premiere during 1979. Consisting of eight symmetrically arranged movements (paired by title and texture, Open, Close; Tierra, Taranla, etc.), the piece deals with the varied expressive capabilities of the solo guitar. Several movements exploit the tenderest and most intimate aspects of the instrument; others exploit its contrary ability to lead an aggressive dance. The move?ment called Taranla falls in this last category: it is based loosely on Spanish flamenco techniques, particularly rolled rasgeado, a type of continuous strumming effect. In other regards, the work is very much like most of my recent compositions in that it attempts a direct emotional impact while maintaining tight musical control."
Asturias (transcribed by Michael Lorimer)
The compositions of Spain's great composer Isaac Albeniz were influenced to a high degree by both the guitar and flamenco music, and thus speak quite naturally on the classical guitar. The legendary Spanish guitarist Francisco Tarrega made transcriptions of Albeniz's works, and an appealing (though undocumented) tale says that Albeniz, upon hearing Tarrega's rendering of some of his piano compositions, declared the music had found its rightful home. Tarrega's practice of performing Albeniz's music has been enthusiastically followed by guitarists to this day.
Asturias conjures the sounds of nature--the winds blowing through the trees and the streams gurgling through rapids in the Northern province for which the music is named. The middle section depicts a musical encounter--the participants are a singer, a guitarist, a dancer and a tambourine player.
About the Artists
As a favorite protege of Andres Segovia, Michael Lorimer came to the attention of American audiences in the early 1970s. His popularity soon extended farther--he was the first American guitarist to perform in the Soviet Union and in 1975 toured major cities. So positive was his recep?tion that he was immediately re-engaged and returned there in 1977. He has just returned from an extensive tour of Israel.
Mr. Lorimer's extensive repertoire is matched by very few, and he often features new works as well as baroque guitar music. He has given numerous American premieres of guitar concerti as well as solo works and pieces dedicated to him, including William Bolcom's Seasons, Alan Hovhaness' Sonata, Op. 329, and tonight's premiere, Shadows, by William Albright. In addition to his crowded concert schedule, he also finds time for master classes at universities and conservatories and is in demand as a spokesman for experimental programs in arts presentation. In television the PBS network has presented a special about him, "The Artistry of Michael Lorimer," and in publishing Charles Hansen has issued a special series, "The Michael Lorimer Edition." His widely praised classical guitar column is seen monthly by the 400,000 readers of Guitar Player magazine.
Mr. Lorimer has given two recitals in this auditorium prior to tonight's concert--the first in 1973 and another in 1975.
William Albright is the recipient of numerous important awards and grants for composition. His teachers have included Ross Lee Finney, Olivier Messiaen, and George Rochberg in composition, and Marilyn Mason in organ. As a performer he has played new music for organ and piano throughout Europe, Canada, and the United States in concerts in which he has premiered over thirty new works by composers from both sides of the Atlantic. His famous interpretations of classic ragtime and early jazz styles are yet other dimensions of his versatility. He may be heard as composer or performer on recordings by Nonesuch, Jazzology, CRI, Triology, and Opus One. Presently Associate Professor of Music Composition at the University of Michigan, he was honored in 1973 with the School's Distinguished Service Award.
Mr. Albright recently returned to Ann Arbor from Rome where he spent six months as com-poser-in-residence at The American Academy. And even more recently, just last month, his composition entitled Stipendium peccati for organ, piano and percussion was selected as one of the six winning compositions in the National Composers Competition of the League of Composers-International Society for Contemporary Music. These six works, all by American composers, will be performed at the League's 1980 World Music Days in Tel Aviv.
The Moscow Pops............Wed. Oct. 17
Youri Egorov, Pianist...........Thurs. Oct. 18
Bach: Partita No. 6; Chopin: Fantasy, Op. 49; Prokofiev: Sonata No. 8 The Waverly Consort..........Mon. Oct. 22
Fully staged and costumed production of "Le Roman de Fauvel."
Paul Gaulin Mime Company.........Tues. Oct. 23
Solomons CompanyDance.........Wed. Oct. 24
James Galway, Flutist..........Thurs. Oct. 25
with Marisa Robles, Harpist; Milton Thomas, Violist
Boston Camerata............Sun. Oct. 28
Chinese Acrobats and Magicians........Sat. Nov. 3
Cloud Gate Dance Theatre, Taiwan.......Sun. Nov. 4
Martha Graham Dance Company......Mon.-Wed. Nov. 5-7
Dresden Staatskapelle Herbert Blomstedt .... Sun. Nov. 11
Wagner: Overture to Die Meistersinger; Beethoven: Symphony No. 8;
Strauss: "Ein Heldenlebcn." New World String Quartet.........Wed. Nov. 14
("Bonus" concert for Chamber Arts Series subscribers)
Fred Waring Show............Fri. Nov. 16
Syntagma Musicum...........Tues. Nov. 20
Handel's "Messiah"...........Fri. Sat. Sun.
Nov. 30, Dec. 1 & 2 Nina Beilina, Violinist...........Tues. Dec. 4
UNIVERSITY MUSICAL SOCIETY
Burton Memorial Tower, Ann Arbor, Michigan 48109 Phones: 665-3717, 764-2538