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UMS Concert Program, February 7, 1982: Orpheus Chamber Ensemble --

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Season: 103rd
Concert: Forty-fifth
Rackham Auditorium, Ann Arbor, Michigan

Orpheus Chamber Ensemble
Sunday Afternoon, February 7, 1982, at 4:00 Rackham Auditorium, Ann Arbor, Michigan
Concerto in C major ("For the Feast of San Lorenzo") .... Vivaldi
Largo, allegro molto Largo e cantabile Allegro
Sinfonietta, Op. 1............Britten
Poco presto e agitato Variations: andante lento Tarantella: presto vivace
"Crisantemi" (Chrysanthemums).........Puccini
Andante mesto
Symphony No. 49 in F minor ("La Passione")......Haydn
Allegro di molto Menuet
Finale: presto
Nonesuch Records. Previous concerts in Ann Arbor by the Orpheus Ensemble were in 1978 and 1980.
Forty-fifth Concert of the 103rd Season Nineteenth Annual Chamber Arts Series
PROGRAM NOTES by William Purvis
Concerto in C major ("For the Feast of San Lorenzo") . . Antonio Vivaldi
(c. 1675-1741)
Vivaldi's prodigious compositional output was quite varied, including music for the church, about fifty operas, and about 450 concertos. About two thirds of the concertos are for a single solo instrument (with the majority of these for violin, but a surprising number for cello, flute, and bassoon, also), while the rest are for solo groups of various sizes, ranging from a pair of solo instruments to the rather large solo complement of the Concerto in C, scored for solo pairs of violins, flutes, oboes, and clarinets, and solo bassoon. Vivaldi's instrumental writing is characterized by infectious rhythmic drive and a sophisticated exploitation of solo and ensemble textures. The unusual inclusion of clarinets in the Concerto in C, one of their first appearances in orchestral music, makes for a uniquely colorful instrumental sound.
Sinfonietta, Op. 1.........Benjamin Britten
Benjamin Britten began to compose at the age of five and, according to his own reckoning, by age fourteen his remarkable output included ten piano sonatas, six string quartets, three suites for piano, an oratorio, and numerous songs. Therefore, that the Sinfonietta, which Britten com?posed in the summer of 1932 when he was eighteen, is listed as Op. 1 is rather misleading. The refinement of thematic development, sophisticated structure, and subtle use of the solo instru?mental colors evidenced in the work speak of a far greater maturity than one would expect from a primary opus. Perhaps what is most unique about the music of Benjamin Britten is that it consistently speaks with expressive power in a voice that is at once recognizable yet totally fresh, and that this quality is achieved with such disarming ease. The Sinfonietta is in three movements, with the second movement Variations flowing without pause into the closing Tarantella.
"Crisantemi" (Chrysanthemums)......Giacomo Puccini
Puccini was born into a long family line of distinguished musicians, and it was decided from his birth that he would become a musician. He himself has credited his first experience of live opera, Verdi's Aida, as the catalyst that determined his career as a composer of opera. "Crisantemi" was composed while Puccini was still in his teens, sometime after his Aida experience at seventeen, but before he continued his studies in Milan. Composed as an elegy in memory of Amado di Savoia, "Crisantemi" already evidences the genius for poignant melodic line and coloristic harmony that would prove to be the musical culmination of the Puccini line.
Symphony No. 49 in F minor ("La Passione") . . Franz Joseph Haydn
Composed for performance during Holy Week of 1768, this work is considered the first and perhaps the greatest of a series of powerfully expressive symphonies in minor keys which includes the Symphonies No. 44 (Trauer, or Mourning), 45 (Abschied, or Farewell), 47, and 52. The Symphony No. 49 (the numbering is misleading--actually No. 49 was composed about the same time as No. 39) is set apart from the other Sturm und Drang symphonies by its ground?ing in the religious; clearly "La Passione" refers to the Passion of Christ. This is reinforced by the work's unusual movement structure, in which the opening Adagio (in place of the usual opening fast movement) recalls the earlier church sonata form.
Founders Day Concert, Sunday, February 14 at 4:00, Hill Auditorium
The Festival Chorus, Donald Bryant, conductor, presents works by (.Julius. Palestrina, Handel, Rossini, Schubert, and three new choral pieces by conductor Bryant. Free admission.
Versailles Chamber Orchestra, Thursday, February 18, 8:30, Rackham Auditorium
Aubert: Suite of Symphonies; Rameau: Concerto No. 1; Bach: Violin Concerto in E major; Mozart: Divertimento in C, K. 157; Roussel: Sinfonietta. Tickets from $5.50 to $8.50.
Burton Memorial Tower, Ann Arbor, Michigan 48109 Phone: 665-3717, 764-2538

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