UMS Concert Program, March 6, 1983: Dresden Staatskapelle --
Hill Auditorium, Ann Arbor, Michigan
THE UNIVERSITY MUSICAL SOCIETY OF THE UNIVERSITY OF MICHIGAN
Music Director and Conductor
Sunday Evening, March 6, 1983, at 8:30 Hill Auditorium, Ann Armor, Michigan
Sinfonia come un grande lamcnto........................ Uno Zimmeumann
Aiuiphon I -Psalm -Antiphon II
Tod und Vcrklarung, Op. 24......................................Strauss
Allegro molto agitato Mono mosso, ma sempre alia breve Moderato
Symphony No. 7 in A major, Op. 92.......................... Beethoven
Poco sostenuto, vivace Allegretto
Presto, assai meno presto Allegro con brio
UMl, Deutsche Grammophon, Philips, Mid Angel Records.
Thirty-sixth Concert of the 104th Season 104th Annual Choral Union Series
Sinfonia conic un grande lamcnto (1977)................... Uio Zimmekmann
This composition was commissioned by the Dresden State Opera for the Staatskapelle and its conductor Herbert Blomstedt and was first performed during the first Dresden Music Festival in May 1978. The music is a reflection to familiarity with the work of the Spanish poet Fcderico Garcia Lorca whose verses from Divan del Tamoril precede the composition:
I have shut my balcony to hear the weeping no longer.
but behind the grey walls there is still the reminiscence of weeping.
There arc only few angels singing, few dogs barking, thousand violins have room in my hand.
But weeping is an enormous dog, weeping is an enormous angel. Wind is chained in tears, and weeping sounds on and on.
The music docs not intend to imitate the verses but should be understood as reflection on them. The words arc not a program to be illustrated; they are a stimulation resulting in conclusions which greatly exceed the thoughts formulated in words. The designations of the three movements are from the terminology of liturgy: Antiphon -I'salm -Antiphon. We find a correspondence to the requiem. The intonation of the lamentation passing through the symphony "quotes" the opening chorus of Bach's Passion According to Si. Matthew: "Come, ye maidens, help me mourn ..." This is an association referring to the milleniums of the history of humanistic pretension.
Antiphon I begins, like a recitative, with a cadence of kettledrums. A funeral march follows and initiates the mourning which begins very smoothly, in the deep strings. The I'salm repeats the theme of mourning which can be compared in the beginning with a suspended pastorale. However, the quietness of this gradually intensifying passage of wind instruments conies to an end; increasing compression of different sound layers changes the character of mourning. Excessive sound events begin to dominate and lead to a yelling dramatic outburst, comparable to a stretta which surges violently forward as if all alarm-bells of the world were ringing. But the development breaks otf in the midst of this culmination of sound and motion. There is dead silence. A general rest filled with a maximum of tension is followed by the Antiphon II which seems to be a compressed outcry and assigns the funeral march from Antiphon 1 into the full orchestra. The march is gradually "vanishing" but will not "die": it resounds like an organ point in the big drums, finally returning to the kettledrums which make it the accompaniment of the mourning theme in the strings. The strings at the end of the composition suddenly remain at one tone in the midst ot powerful sounds rearing up, and the music seems to force itself to silence, full of sympathy and mourning in Garcia Lorca's memory.
Bernarda's last words in Lorca's "Bernarda Alba's House" could represent the contents of this finale:
No mourning! One has to face death!
Quiet! Silence I ordered! Tears when you're alone!
We're all diving into an ocean of mourning . . .
Did you understand me Silence, silence I ordered. Silence!
Tod und Vcrklarung, Op. 24.............................. Richard Stuauss
The third of Strauss's extraordinary tone poems was begun in 1888 and finished the following year. The composer, who managed a double career of conductor and composer during his entire life, directed the first performance in June 1890. As is true of almost all of Strauss's tone poems, there is a "program" involved; in this case, Strauss provided a detailed synopsis. The poem by Alexander Ritter printed in the score was not written until after the music. It follows:
A sick man lies upon his mattress in a poor and squalid garret, lit by the flickering glare of a candle burnt almost to its stump. Exhausted by a desperate fight with death, he has sunk into sleep; no sound breaks the silence of approaching dissolution, save the low, monotonous ticking ot a clock on the wall. A plaintive smile from time to time lights up the man's wan features; at life's last limit, dreams are telling him of childhood's golden days. But death will not long grant its victim sleep and dreams. Drcadly it plucks at him, and once again begins the strife; desire of life against might of death! A gruesome combat! Neither yet gains the victory; the dying man sinks back upon his couch, and silence reigns once more. Weary with struggling, reft of sleep, in the delirium of fever he sees his life, unrolled before him, stage by stage. First the dawn of childhood, radiant with pure innocence. Next, the youth who tests
and practices his forces for manhood's fight. And then the man in battle for life's greatest prize: to realize a high ideal, and make it all the higher by his act -this the proud aim that shapes his course. Cold and scornful, the world heaps obstacle after obstacle in his path; if he deems the goal at hand, a voice of thunder bids him. "Malt, ever higher mount!" And so he climbs, and so he urges, breathless with hallowed fire. All that his heart had ever longed for, he seeks it still in death's last sweat -seeks but never finds it! Though now he sees it more and more plainly; though now it looms before him, he yet can ne'er embrace it wholly, ne'er put the last touch to his endeavor. Then sounds the iron stroke of Death's chill hammer; breaks the earthly shell in twain, enshrouds the eye with the pall of night. But now from on high come sounds of triumph; what here on earth he sought in vain, from heaven it greets him: Deliverance, Transfiguration!
Symphony No. 7 in A major, Op. 92................. Ludwk; van Beethoven
The Symphony No. 7, completed in 1812, was first performed in 1813 at a concert for the benefit of soldiers defeated by Napoleon at the battle of Hanau. Beethoven himself conducted the per?formance, "hardly, perhaps," says Grove, "to its advantage, considering the symbolical gestures described by [ Ludwig Spohr, since he was then very deaf, and heard what was going on around him with great difficulty." Spohr's account ot the event is interesting:
At this concert I first saw Beethoven conduct. Often as I had heard of it, it surprised me extremely. He was accustomed to convey the marks of expression to the band by the most peculiar motions ot his body. Thus, at a sforzando he tore his arms, which were before crossed on his breast, violently apart. At a piano he crouched down, bending lower the softer the tone. At the crescendo he raised himself by degrees until at the forte he sprang up to his full height; and, without knowing it, would often at the time shout aloud.
Many have expressed their opinions about this work, including Schumann and Berlioz, who said it evoked the spirit of a "rustic wedding"; Wagner called it the "Apotheosis of the Dance. ' Evidently Isadora Duncan agreed: she danced to all but the last movement in 1908, and the Ballet Russe de Monte Carlo has presented a dance version ot the entire work. D'Indy, however, disagreed, saving, "Nothing less than a pastorale symphony! The rhythm of the piece has truly nothing of the dance about it." Beethoven himself said it was one of his best compositions.
About the Artists
During its triumphant United States debut tour in 1979, which included Ann Arbor, the Dresden State Orchestra captured American audiences with what The New Veil1 Times described .is us "genuine feeling of orchestral community and unanimity of artistic purpose." Now, during the 1982-83 season, the Dresden State Orchestra makes its second U.S. tour under Music Director Herbert Blomstedt.
In one of Beethoven's conversation notebooks for 1823 there is a note which reads: "It is generally said that the orchestra in Dresden is the best in Europe. ' Founded in 1548, the orchestra is the oldest and indeed one of the most distinguished in the world. It has given the premiere performances of many of the major works of Richard Strauss and Richard Wagner, including Tannhauser, Flying Dutchman, Salome, Elektra, and Der Rosenkavalier. Among the famed composers who have been closely associated with the Dresden State Orchestra are Mozart, Beethoven, Liszt, Schumann, Weber, Paganini, Berlioz, Brahms, and Stravinsky. The orchestra has been led by the world's most outstanding conductors including von Karajan, Boehm, Kempe, Reiner, Abbado, Ozawa, Temirkanov, Rozhdestvensky, and von Schuch, who conducted all the Strauss world premieres. The Dresden State Orchestra has played throughout Europe, the Soviet Union, and Japan to the highest critical and public acclaim.
Music Director Herbert Blomstedt has led the Dresden State Orchestra in concert tours of the United States, Japan, Austria, Italy, Sweden, Yugoslavia, Czechoslovakia, Belgium, and the Soviet Union. In 1976 he was conductor when the orchestra made its debut at the famed Salzburg Festival, and in 1979 appeared with the orchestra in Ann Arbor on its first U.S. tour.
Mr. Blomstedt made his conducting debut in 1954 with the Stockholm Philharmonic and shortly after became chief conductor of the Danish Radio Orchestra. He has guest conducted all over the world and has made numerous recordings with the Dresden State Orchestra.
Remaining Concerts of the 1982-83 Season
Ballet Folcl6rico Nacional nt Mexico.....................Tues. Mar. 8
Ali Akbar Kuan, Sarod....................................Thurs. Mar. 10
I Solisti Aquilani and
Gary Kauk, Double Bassist.................................. Sat. Mar. 12
Music of Corclli, Vivaldi, Rolla, Dragonctti, Zafrcd, and Bucchi
Faculty Artists Concert (free admission)................... Sun. Mar. 13
Boston Symphony OrchestraSeiji Ozawa.................. Wed. Mar. 16
Beethoven: Symphony No. 1; Stravinsky: "Firebird" (complete)
Nlw Irish Chamber Orchestra and
James Galway, FlutistDirector............................... Fri. Mar. 18
Telemann: Suite in A minor; Quantz; Flute Concerto in G major. Duff: Irish Suite for Strings; Vivaldi: Concerti, Op. 10, Nos. 1, 2, & 3
Murray Perahia, Pianist...................................Thurs. Mar. 24
Mozart: Fantasy in D minor. Rondo in D major; Beethoven: Sonata in E-flat, Op. 31, No. 3; Mendelssohn: Variations scrieuses; Chopin: Barcarolle in F-sharp minor; Schubert: "Wanderer" Fantasy
Michael Lorimer, Guitarist................................... Sat. Mar. 26
World premiere of a new work by Leslie Bassett
Fitzwilliam Strinc; Quartet...................................Fri. Apr. 8
Tchaikovsky: Quartet in B-flat major; Shostakovich: Quartet No. 11; Delius: "Swallows"; Beethoven: Grossc Fuge, Op. 133
Chicago Symphony OrchestraGeorc; Solii................Thurs. Apr. 14
Mozart: Magic Flute Overture; Bartok: Music for Strings, Percussion, and Celeste; Dvorak: Symphony No. 9 ("New World")
J ffrey II Dancers............................ Tues. & Wed. Apr. 19 & 20
90th Annual May Festival.......................... Wed.-Sat. Apr. 27-30
Faculty Artists Concert
Sunday Afternoon, March 13, at 4:00 Rackham Auditorium -free admission
Enjoy the music of C. P. E. Bach, Brahms, Poulenc, Debussy, and R. Strauss, performed by members of the outstanding faculty at the University School of Music:
Keith Bryan, flutist; Jacob Krachmalnick, violinist; Donald Mclnnes, uiolist; Beverley Rinaldi, soprano; Rosemary Russell, mezzo-soprano; Harry Sargous, oboist; William Albright, Richmond Browne, Benning Dexter, Louis Nagel, pianists; Marilyn Mason, harpsichordist
BOARD OF DIRECTORS
GAIL W. RECTOR, President WILBUR K. PIERPONT, Vice President
DOUGLAS D. CRARY, Secretary ALLEN P. BRITTON, Treasurer
PAUL W. McCRACKEN JOHN D. PAUL SARAH GODDARD POWER JOHN W. REED HAROLD T. SHAPIRO LOIS U. STEGEMAN E. THURSTON THIEME JERRY A. WEISBACH
UNIVERSITY MUSICAL SOCIETY
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University Musical Society