UMS Concert Program, February 16, 1984: International Presentations Of Music & Dance -- Vienna Philharmonic Orchestra
Hill Auditorium, Ann Arbor, Michigan
THE UNIVERSITY MUSICAL SOCIETY OF THE UNIVERSITY OF MICHIGAN
Vienna Philharmonic Orchestra
LEONARD BERNSTEIN Conductor
JUSTUS FRANTZ, Pianist
Thursday Evening, February 16, 1984, at 8:30 Hill Auditorium, Ann Arbor, Michigan
Symphony No. 88 in G major......................................Haydn
Adagio, allegro Largo
Finale: allegro con spirito
Concerto in A minor for Piano and Orchestra, Op. 54 ............ Schumann
Intermezzo: andantino grazioso Allegro vivace
Justus Frantz INTERMISSION
Symphony No. 4 in D minor, Op. 120.......................... Schumann
Zicmlich langsam, lebhaft Romanze (Ziemlich langsam) Scherzo (Lebhaft)
Finale (Langsam, lebhaft)
London, Deutsche Grammophon, Vox, Angel, Arabesque, and Vanguard Records.
This tour has been made possible by a grant from the Ambassador International Cultural Foundation, Herbert W. Armstrong, President.
The Vienna Philharmonic Orchestra also gratefully acknowledges the generous financial sup?port of Crcditanstalt-Bankverein, Vienna.
Bosendorfer Imperial Grand, courtesty of Kimball International, Jasper, Indiana. Thirty-second Concert of the 105th Season Special Concert
Symphony No. 88 in G major........................ Franz Joseph Haydn
In 1784 Haydn was commissioned to write a group of symphonies to be performed in Paris at the concerts of a society affiliated with free masonry and known as "Concert dc la Logc Olympiquc." J. B. Viotti, the famous violinist, conducted the orchestra which was large, numbering some forty violins, twelve celli, and eight double basses. As Kappcllmeister at the estate of Prince Esterhazy, Haydn was also fortunate in having his music actually played by an excellent orchestra and wrote the dynamic contrasts for a good strong string section.
The Symphony in G major, numbered 88 in Haydn's own catalogue of his works, is the first of the second set of these Paris symphonies. As was the prevailing custom, symphonies were ordered by the half-dozen which was the usual number comprising a set. Haydn wrote two sets for Paris and later composed two sets for the impresario Salomon of London.
The quality of Haydn's inventiveness and its economy is nowhere more remarkable than in this symphony. Brahms is said to have played the glorious theme of the second movement and ex?claimed: "1 want my ninth symphony to be like this!" Scored for the standard classical orchestra of two flutes, two oboes, two bassoons, two horns, and two trumpets, a pair of kettledrums and the usual strings, Haydn omits the trumpets and drums in the first movement but uses them in the expressive second movement. After a short introduction, the first movement is on its merry way. Akin to it in spirit, the rondo of the Finale is based on a Polish dance tune. Note the quiet little joke on the drums in the Minuet, followed by the fine rustic dance music of the trio with hurdy-gurdy drones.
Concerto in A minor for Piano and Orchestra, Op. 54 .... Robert Schumann
Schumann composed the first movement of his Concerto in A minor in 1841, with the idea originally that it should be an independent work. He intended to call it a "Phantasie in A minor " and hoped to have it published as such. But despite the semi-public performance of it with Clara Wieck Schumann as soloist, publishers evidently did not want the piece.
The "Phantasie" seems to have followed earlier attempts, now lost, at concerto-writing. In 1839 Schumann had written to Clara (before their marriage) that he was working on a concerto. He remarked, "I see I cannot write a concerto for virtuosos, I must plan something else." His per?severance prevailed, however, and in 1845 he completed the work with an Intermezzo and Finale. Schumann dedicated his completed work to Ferdinand Hiller, who conducted the first performance at the Hotel de Saxe in Dresden in December 1845. Clara Schumann was the soloist. She played it again under Mendelssohn in Leipzig the following year, and again in London in May 1856, shortly before Robert's death.
The Concerto opens with a fanfare-like flourish. There is no introductory tutti; the lyrical main theme is announced by the oboe. The piano solo assumes sovereignty, but remains free from all traces of keyboard pyrotechnics. The scoring of the accompaniment is of a lucidity not always attained by Schumann in his other orchestral scores. An independent second theme that would correspond to classical concerto design is missing. Auxiliary motives are related to the main theme. With a tempo change to andante espressivo, the development comments on the principal subject. The recapitulation culminates in a passionate climax, from which grows the beautiful cadenza which Schumann has written out in full. Yet the feeling of poetic improvisation still prevails. A brief and fast coda completes the movement.
The slow movement, andantino grazioso, is an intimate, thoughtful intermezzo. It unfolds as a poetic dialogue between solo and orchestra. The theme is derived from the first movement. A tender melody blossoms in the cellos and subsides again. Instead of a gradual fade-out of the andantino, there is an ingenious link to the finale.
The third movement is a buoyant allegro vivace. A contrasting episode produces a cross meter whose novelty appeared extremely bewildering to the contemporary audiences. Rhythm, indeed, radiates from the entire finale. But it is remarkable how Schumann indulged in metric adventures without ever sacrificing melodic continuity.
Symphony No. 4 in D minor, Op. 120.......................... Sc
Schumann wrote his Symphony in D minor during the happy year that followed his marriage to Clara Wieck. They were married in September 1840, and in January 1841 the first of his symphonies, the Spring Symphony, was written. The Overture, Scherzo and Finale was composed in April and May, and the Symphony in D minor between June 7 and September 9. Unfortunately this Sym?phony was not greeted with the same success that had attended the performance of the Spring Symphony, and Schumann laid it aside. He offered it to a publisher in 1843 as his "Second Symphony, Op. 50," but without result. Not until 1851 did he take the score up again (after composing and publishing the Second Symphony in 1846 and the Third in 1850), revising and reorchestrating it in response to urgent requests from his friends. Consequently, the Symphony in 1) minor became the Symphony No. 4, Op. 120.
By the device of thematic relationship, Schumann sought to achieve a greater coherence and unity than in the conventional symphony of four movements. Moreover, he himself intended that the movements be played without pause. Various editions nevertheless divide the work into three, four, and even five sections, using the composer's subtitles.
The somberness and restraint of the introduction are expressed in the important first theme which is built up to a moment of anticipation for the movement proper, the basic idea of which is expressed by a theme with a flashing figure. There is no formal treatment of the thematic material nor is there any other subject which can be considered as a conventional second theme. The movement is devoted to the development and free exploitation of the first subject except for a brief passage quickly followed by the original theme.
The grave sentiment and romantic melancholy so often found in Schumann's music is evident in the Romanze. Suddenly and surprisingly, the more passionate theme of the introduction appears, richly harmonized, but the plaintive song returns at the end.
The spirit of the Scherzo, the only conventional movement, is not as playful as the title would imply. The trio, however, has a definitely cheerful spirit and a bright touch of lyric grace in contrast to the heavy humor of the first part. After a return to the main portion of the movement, a long passage of declining power leads directly to the fourth section.
The Finale recalls the fact that Schumann first conceived this music as a kind of fantasia, unified and coherent. The extensive use of the themes and material from the first movement is significant. Here they are transformed and even glorified with a vitality and abandon that leave no question of the joy and exultation that brought forth this music.
About the Artists
Ann Arbor is the beginning of a three-week, eight-city American tour by the legendary Vienna Philharmonic Orchestra and world-renowned conductor Leonard Bernstein. Their other concerts will be in Los Angeles, San Francisco, Salt Lake City, Chicago, Pittsburgh, Washington, D.C., and New York. It is the Philharmonic's second visit to our city (the first was in 1956 under Andre Cluytens); Maestro Bernstein has previously appeared here in concert with the New York Philharmonic in 1963 and 1967. In September 1964 he took part in a special honors convocation program at the dedication of the University's new School of Music building on North Campus. At that time, he received an honorary Doctor of Music degree from the University of Michigan.
The Vienna Philharmonic was founded in 1842 and, at first, concerts of the new group were intermittent. Then, in 1860, a regular season of eight concerts was launched, and in 1877 the Philharmonic's first tour took place -to neighboring Salzburg, the city which has since become the orchestra's second home.
Over the years, the Vienna Philharmonic has had three permanent conductors: Otto Dcssoff (1860-1875), Hans Richter (1875-1898), and Gustav Mahler (1898-1901), who led the orchestra on its first tour abroad -to the Paris Exposition of 1900. Since then it has toured extensively throughout the world under musicians such as Sir Georg Solti, Claudio Abbado, Lorin Maazel, and Karl Bohm. Leonard Bernstein first conducted it in 1968, leading it on a 1979 tour to the United States with the Vienna State Opera.
Since its inception, the Philharmonic has grown from a group of 64 musicians to 140 today. From the beginning it has been known for the unique nature of its administration. It is one of the world's few orchestral collectives: all the administrative tasks -from press releases and ticket distribution, to answering office phones and decorating for the annual New Year's Ball -are performed by orchestral musicians elected by their colleagues. All decisions concerning repertoire and conductors (it currently has no resident conductor) arc made by plebiscite, and all performance fees are divided evenly among the musicians.
The Vienna Philharmonic is the principal orchestra of the famous Vienna Staatsoper from September 1 tojunc 20 each year, and gives ten subscription concerts a year. Since 1920 it has been the principal orchestra at the Salzburg Music Festival, and its annual New Year's Eve concert is broadcast to 700 million people throughout the world. Its recordings with Leonard Bernstein include Beethoven's nine symphonies and his opera, Fidelia, and the four symphonies ofjohanncs Brahms.
Leonard Bernstein's achievements and resultant world-wide reputation are unparalleled by any other American musician. He is known everywhere, as conductor, composer, pianist, author, and teacher. As composer, Bernstein has created works over a very wide range of forms and styles: three symphonies and other orchestral works, ballets, operas, choral works, a film score, and Broadway scores which established a new level of excellence and daring for the American musical theater. The first retrospective of his compositions was presented in Israel in April 1977, others following in August 1977 at the Carinthian Summer Festival in Austria, in 1978 at the University of Massachusetts at Amherst, in 1979 in Kansas City, Missouri, and in 1982 with Lorin Maazel and the Cleveland Orchestra.
As conductor, Bernstein made his remarkable, now historic, debut with the New York Philharmonic in 1943, at age 25, replacing Bruno Walter. In the years following he was Music Director of the New York City Symphony, head of the conducting faculty at the Berkshire Music Center, Professor of Music at Brandeis University, and made regular appearances as guest conductor with the New York and Israel Philharmonics and most of the world's major orchestras. In 1958 he became Music Director of the New York Philharmonic, the first American-born and -trained musician to hold a position of such importance. He has conducted opera at such houses as the Metropolitan, La Scala (the first American to ever conduct there), and the Vienna Staatsoper.
As author and educator, he has written a number of books and was named Charles Eliot Norton Professor of Poetry at Harvard University. He delivered six lectures at Harvard, collectively entitled The Unanswered Question, which were recorded, televised, and later published in book form. Several of his books have been translated and published in ten different languages. His latest book, Findings, was published in November 1982.
A ten-time Emmy Award winner, Bernstein's "Young People's Concerts" extended over fourteen seasons; he introduced great music to television audiences with his "Omnibus" programs; and he has been seen regularly on PBS's "Great Performances" scries. His 11-part series, "Bernstein Beethoven," was shown on both network and cable television and repeated the following season.
Leonard Bernstein was born in 1918 and grew up in Boston, where he attended Boston Latin School and studied piano with Heinrich Gebhard and Helen Coates. After earning a degree from Harvard in 1939, he studied conducting with Fritz Reiner and piano with Isabella Vengerova at The Curtis Institute, and spent summers at Tanglewood as a student of, and assistant to, Serge Koussc-vitzky. He was made Assistant Conductor of the New York Philharmonic in 1943 and named Musical Director in 1958. Of his many honors and awards, the most recent came in 1983 when he was named an honorary member of the Vienna Philharmonic, the only living musician to be so honored.
Internationally acclaimed pianist Justus Frantz, making his Ann Arbor debut this evening, is a frequent guest with the world's leading conductors and orchestras and appears at major music festivals. He made his United States debut in 1975 with Bernstein and the New York Philharmonic. A regular duo-piano partner with Christoph Eschcnbach, the two have recorded Mozart and Schubert two-piano works on the Deutsche Grammophon label. Mr. Frantz is currently recording the Scarlatti sonatas and the 48 Preludes and Fugues of Bach, as well as the Mozart Piano Concerto for Three Pianos with Eschenbach and Helmut Schmidt.
The pianist was born in Hohcnslaza and studied with Eliza Hanscn in Hamburg and later with Wilhelm Kempff. A prize-winner in the 1967 Munich Competition, he has since concertized throughout the world. He will perform in recital at New York City's 92nd Street "Y" on April 24.
Takacs String Quartet.................................... Tucs. Feb. 28
Peter Zazofsky, Violinist .................................... Sun. Mar. 4
Oakland Ballet.................................... Mon.-Wed. Mar. 5-7
Ouchestre National de France Lorin Maazel............Thurs. Mar. 8
Faculty Artists Concert (free admission)................... Sun. Mar. 11
Jury's Irish Cabaret........................................ Fri. Mar. 16
Czech Philharmonic Vaclav Neumann................... Sun. Mar. 25
Hungarian National Folk Ensemble....................... Wed. Mar. 28
Northwood Orchestra Don Jaeger .....................Thurs. Mar. 29
Karen Emons Smith, Soprano
The Canadian Brass........................................ Fri. Mar. 30
Yo-Yo Ma, Cellist........................................... Wed. Apr. 4
Orpheus Chamber Ensemble.................................. Fri. Apr. 13
1984 Ann Arbor May Festival
Four concerts in Hill Auditorium, Wednesday-Saturday, April 25-28 ending the Philadelphians' long reign in Ann Arbor
The Philadelphia Orchestra
Eugene Ormandy, Conductor Laureate
Aldo Ceccato, Guest Conductor
The Festival Chorus
Eugene Istomin, Pianist Louise Russell, Soprano Uto Ughi, Violinist Lorna Myers, Mezzo-soprano
May Festival single tickets, fiom 9 to S21, on sale March 1.
UNIVERSITY MUSICAL SOCIETY
Burton Memorial Tower, Ann Arbor, Michigan 48109-1270 Phones: (313) 665-3717, 764-2538