UMS Concert Program, April 27, 1983: Ninetieth Ann Arbor May Festival 1983 -- The Philadelphia Orchestra
Hill Auditorium, Ann Arbor, Michigan
THE PHILADELPHIA ORCHESTRA
Riccardo Muti, Music Director
Eugene Ormandy, Conductor Laureate
William Smith, Associate Conductor
RICCARDO MUTI, Conducting KRYSTIAN ZIMERMAN, Pianist
Wednesday Evening, April 27, 1983, at 8:30 Hill Auditorium, Ann Arbor, Michigan
PROGRAM "Les Preludes"..................................................... Liszt
Concerto No. 2 in A major for Piano and Orchestra..................... Liszt
(in one movement)
KUYSTIAN ZlMERMAN INTERMISSION
Excerpts from Suites No. 1 and No. 2 from the ballet, Romeo and Juliet................................. Prokofiev
Montagues and Capulcts
The Young Juliet
Romeo and Juliet
The Death of Tybalt
Romeo andjuliet Before Parting
Romeo at the Tomb ofjuliet
Angel, RCA Red Seal Records.
Our special 90th May Festival Souvenir Book is available for only two dollars in the main floor and first balcony lobbies. Its more than 60pages contain complete program annotations and extensive artist biographies for all jour concerts, plus a pictorial section devoted to the May Festival from its inception in 1894 . . . on sale during intermission and before and after each concert.
49th Concert of the University Musical Society's 104th Season 90th Annual May Festival
PROGRAM NOTES by Richard Freed
Liszt's first serious involvement with the orchestra as a means of expressing his personal thought came in his mid-thirties, after ending his public career as a pianist in 1847. He is generally credited with the "invention" of the symphonic poem, the form of orchestral music that tells a story, paints a picture, probes a character, or simply evokes a specific mood corresponding to a literary, historical, or philosophical subject. He composed 13 works so designated (in addition to various others which qualify as symphonic poems without the label); a dozen were produced between 1848 and 1857, and the last came along a quarter-century later. Some were cast in as many as four different versions (not counting the various subsequent keyboard transcriptions), and most were entrusted to Liszt's associates Joachim Raff and August Conradi for the original orchestration. From about 1854 Liszt did his own orchestrating, and personally revised the compositions previously orchestrated by Raff and Conradi; the final versions of all the symphonic poems arc in his own scoring.
Les Quatre Elemens, a cantata on words by Joseph Autran which Liszt composed for male chorus and piano in 1844 and 1845, was orchestrated by Conradi in 1848, and the first version of the Les Preludes, composed then as an overture for that work, was probably scored by him at that time. When Liszt decided to use the material for an independent work two years later, he tailored it to correspond to a philosophical poetic work by his contemporary Auguste de Lamartine, the gist of which is: "What is life but a series of preludes to death" Under the title Les Preludes (d'apres Lamartine), this most famous of all his orchestral works was first performed in Weimar on February 28, 1854, under the composer's direction.
As in most of Liszt's tone poems, we have here a basic "germinal" theme which undergoes various transformations, a second theme of considerable importance, and a number of contrasting sections -in this case representing episodes of struggle and serenity -culminating in a final affirmation of something loosely described as "spiritual triumph." It may be noted that the initial theme in this work is related to the "Muss es sein" motif in Beethoven's String Quartet in F major, Op. 135, and "pre-echoes" the opening of Cesar Franck's Symphony in D minor.
Concerto No. 2 in A major for Piano and Orchestra...................... Liszt
It has always been customary for the virtuoso-composer to provide himself with concertos to make the grandest impression on the largest audience. As did Chopin, Liszt conceived two piano concertos when he was a young man, but Liszt did not complete or introduce either of them 'till he was in his mid-forties. With his First Concerto, 25 years passed between the first sketches and the premiere, partly due to his inexperience in writing for orchestra. The Second Concerto was sketched in 1839 and not completed until 1849, then revised two or three times before it was first heard on January 7, 1857. A fourth and final revision was made in 1861, and the score was finally published two years later.
This Concerto might be considered the most "symphonic" of Liszt's concerted works. Here the orchestra is given fuller parity than in any of his other works in this category, and the writing shows an imagination and assurance on the level of what Liszt achieved in the Faust Symphony and the finest of his symphonic poems. The piano is definitely the star, though, as we arc reminded in the overall brilliance of the solo part and, in particular, in the cadenza-like passages that link the sections of this work together. Like most one-movement symphonies and concertos, this one falls into divisions corresponding more or less to the respective movements of conventionally structured works. The big Lisztian difference is the rhapsodic sweep which renders analysis both problematical and gratuitous. The Concerto in A might be said to contain three normal movements plus an introduc?tion and a concluding apotheosis -or a miniature three-movement work followed by an expansive fantasy on its materials. Since it is built entirely on a single theme, the effect is virtually seamless.
The treatment of that theme is not a series of variations, but rather a chain of metamorphoses in which it is always clearly recognizable -a stunning illustration of the principle Liszt called "transformation of themes." The transformations assume so many varied characters -yearning, solemn, martial, sensuous, serene, heroic -that the Boston critic William Foster Apthorp sug?gested, nearly a hundred years ago, that the Concerto might have been titled "The Life and Adventures of a Melody." Apthorp, who frequently attacked Tchaikovsky and Liszt in the matter of form, was fascinated by this work and responded with writing almost as colorful as the music itself:
"It is as if some magician in some huge cave, the walls of which were covered with glistening stalactites flashing jewels, were reveling his fill of all the wonders of color, brilliancy, and dazzling light his wand could command. Never has even Liszt rioted more unreservedly in fitful orgies of flashing color. It is monstrous, formless, whimsical, and fantastic, if you will; but it is also magical and gorgeous as anything in the Arabian Nights. It is its very daring and audacity that save it."
Virtuosity is never absent in this work, but it is sustained by an abundance of substance uncommon in virtuoso display pieces. Perhaps part of Liszt's purpose was to remind his con?temporaries that he himself was, after all, not merely a virtuoso, but a composer.
Excerpts from Suites No. 1 and No. 2
from the ballet, Romeo and Juliet............................Sergei Prokofiev
When Prokofiev left his homeland in 1918, at the age of 27, he had a reputation as an enfant terrible, earned with the "barbaric" rhythms and colors of such works as the Scythian Suite and his first two piano concertos. When he returned to settle in Moscow after his 15 years in the West, his decision to do so was accompanied by another decision on the artistic level, to compose in a style that would be more accessible to his Soviet audiences, to be more directly communicative without lowering his professional standards or abandoning his individuality. The spiky irony and grotesque imagery of his earlier works were replaced now by a more expansively lyrical style and a treatment of dramatic subjects more directly rooted in Russia's musical past. Because he had not fared well as a symphonist (his magnificent Fifth Symphony would not appear till January, 1945), he felt he could establish contact with his new audience most effectively through virtuoso works for soloists and works for the stage and films. His first film score, for Feinzimmer's Lieutenant Kizheh, dealt with satire in the manner of an affectionate fairy-talc; the warm-hearted Violin Concerto No. 2 (G minor, Op. 63), introduced in 1935, was the first of the great works of his maturity. Even before the Concerto was conceived, however, the seeds had been planted for Romeo and Juliet, the ballet score which many consider Prokofiev's true masterpiece for the orchestra.
Romeo and Juliet is unquestionably the most successful "full evening" ballet created in this century, but, like numerous other similarly successful works, it had a hard time getting off the ground. It was a request from the Kirov Theatre in Leningrad, toward the end of 1934, that initiated the project. The Kirov changed its mind, but Prokofiev persuaded the Bolshoi to sign a contract. That contract was voided in 1936 when Prokofiev's score was rejected as "undanceable." He then extracted two concert suites and also arranged ten numbers for piano. Later the Kirov decided to produce it after all, and the Soviet premiere took place in Leningrad in 1940 with Galina Ulanova as Juliet. After Prokofiev made several additions to the score and enlarged the orchestra, the Bolshoi presented the work in 1946. Overall, Prokofiev worked on and revised this score nearly as long as Beethoven did on Fidelio. "I have taken special pains," Prokofiev declared, "to achieve a simplicity which will, I hope, reach the hearts of all listeners. If people find no melody and no emotion in this work, I shall be very sorry -but I feel sure that sooner or later they will."
And of course they did, sooner rather than later. For the present performance, Riccardo Muti has selected five sections from each suite, framing those from Suite No. 1 with those from Suite No. 2 in such a way as to provide for dramatic continuity. The sequence is as follows:
Montagues and Capulets (Suite II, No. 1). The Dance of the Knights at the Capulets' ball (Act I, Scene 4), prefaced by the music from Scene 1 which accompanies the entrance of the Duke of Verona as he orders the warring families to lay down their arms.
The Young Juliet (Suite II, No. 2). Juliet playfully resists the Nurse's efforts to help her dress for the ball (Act I, Scene 2).
Madrigal (Suite I, No. 3). Romeo and Juliet meet at the Capulets' ball (Act I, Scene 4), a gathering Romeo, Mercutio and Bcnvolio have "crashed" wearing masks; they arc by turn playful and tender, till at last Juliet runs off.
Minuet (Suite I, No. 4). The arrival of the guests at the ball, Act I, Scene 3.
Masks (Suite I, No. 5). Usually -and mislcadingly -listed as "Masques," this number follows the preceding one in the ballet, accompanying the arrival of the three masked Montagues.
Romeo andJuliet (Suite I, No. 6). The Balcony Scene, from the end of Act I.
The Death of Tybalt (Suite I, No. 7). From the end of Act II, Scene 3: After Mercutio is killed in a duel by Tybalt, Romeo challenges the latter and kills him in a furious fight.
Friar Laurence (Suite II, No. 3). The first visit to the Friar's chapel, from the opening of Act II, Scene 2.
Romeo and Juliet Before Parting (Suite II, No. 5). The farewell pas de deux after the bridal night (Act III, Scene 1).
Romeo at the Tomb of Juliet (Suite II, No. 7). Having failed to receive Friar Laurence's message explaining the sleeping potion given to Juliet, Romeo enters the Capulct family crypt, kills Paris, whom he finds mourning at Juliet's bier, and then, after a final reminiscence of their short-lived happiness, takes poison and dies (Act IV, the Epilogue).
Krystian Zimerman was born in Zabrzc, Poland, in 1956 and began playing the piano at the age of five. He won seven first prizes, both at home and abroad, before entering -and winning -the prestigious Chopin International Piano Competition in Warsaw in 1975. Since his first inter?national successes as a teenager, Mr. Zimerman has performed throughout Europe -in Paris, London, Rome, Vienna, at the Salzburg and Lucerne Festivals, and appeared as a regular guest soloist of the Berlin Philharmonic under Herbert von Karajan and other conductors both in Berlin and abroad. In North America he has made orchestral appearances in Minneapolis, Pittsburgh, Toronto, Houston, and with the Los Angeles Philharmonic under Carlo Maria Giulini, and the New York Philharmonic under Zubin Mchta.
Mr. Zimerman records exclusively for Deutsche Grammophon. His releases include orchestral recordings with the Berlin Philharmonic under von Karajan, the Los Angeles Philharmonic under Giulini, and the English Bach Festival Orchestra under Leonard Bernstein. His recital discs include sonatas by Mozart and Brahms, and various Chopin works.
Mr. Zimerman makes his first Ann Arbor appearance this evening, following his debut with The Philadelphia Orchestra earlier this month.
The Philadelphia Orchestra
Norman Carol Concerlmaster
William dc Pasquale Associate Concertmaster
David Arben Associate Concertmaster
Morris Shulik Owen Lusak David Grunschlag Frank E. Saam Barbara Sorlicn Herbert Light Luis Biava Larry Grika Cathleen Dalschaert Herold Klein Julia de Pasquale Vladimir Shapiro Jonathan Beiler Arnold Grossi
Irvin Rosen Robert de Pasquale Joseph Lanza Philip Kates Irving Ludwig Jerome Wigler Virginia Halfmann George Dreyfus Louis Lanza Stephanc Dalschaert Booker Rowe Davyd Booth Isadore Schwartz Cynthia Williams Barbara Govatos Hirono Oka
Joseph dc Pasquale James Fawcett Sidney Curtiss Charles Griffin Gaetano Molieri Irving Scgall Leonard Bogdanoff Albert Filosa Wolfgang Granat Donald R. Clauser Renard Edwards Patrick Connolly
William Stokking George Harpham Harry Gorodetzcr Lloyd Smith Joseph Druian Bert Phillips Richard Harlow Gloria Johns William Saputelli Patricia Weimer Marcel Farago Kathryn Picht
Roger M. Scott Michael Shahan Neil Courtney Ferdinand Marcsh Samuel Gorodetzer Emilio Gravagno Henry G. Scott Peter Lloyd John Hood
Some members of the siring sections voluntarily rotate seating on a periodic basis.
Murray W. Panitz David Cramer Lorcn N. Lind Kazuo Tokito Piccolo
Richard Woodhams Stevens Hewitt Charles M. Morris Louis Rosenblatt English Horn
Anthony M. Gigliotti Donald Montanaro Raoul Qucrzc Ronald Reuben Bass Clarinet
Bernard Garfield Mark Gigliotti Adelchi Louis Angelucci RobertJ. Pfeuffer Contra Bassoon
Nolan Miller David Wcthcrill
Associate Randy Gardner Daniel Williams Howard Wall Martha Glaze
Frank Kadcrabek Donald E. McComas Seymour Roscnfcld Roger Blackburn
Glenn Dodson Tyrone Brcuningcr Joseph Alessi Charles Vernon Bass Trombone
Gerald Carlyss Michael Bookspan
Michael Bookspan Alan Abel Anthony Orlando William Saputclli
Celesta, Piano and Organ
William Smith Marcel Farago Davyd Booth
Marilyn Costello Margarita Csonka
Clinton F. Nieweg Robert M. Grossman
Edward Barnes, Manager Theodore Hauptlc James Sweeney
Stephen Sell, Executive Director
Joseph H. Santarlasci, Manager
John H. Orr, Assistant Manager
This concert by The Philadelphia Orchestra has been underwritten, in part, by the Bell Telephone Company of Michigan in association with the Bell System's "American Orchestras on Tour" program.
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