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UMS Concert Program, October 10, 1984: International Presentations Of Music & Dance -- The Cleveland Orchestra

UMS Concert Program, October 10, 1984: International Presentations Of Music & Dance -- The Cleveland Orchestra image UMS Concert Program, October 10, 1984: International Presentations Of Music & Dance -- The Cleveland Orchestra image UMS Concert Program, October 10, 1984: International Presentations Of Music & Dance -- The Cleveland Orchestra image UMS Concert Program, October 10, 1984: International Presentations Of Music & Dance -- The Cleveland Orchestra image
Day
10
Month
October
Year
1984
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University Musical Society
OCR Text

Season: 106th
Concert: Twenty-second
Hill Auditorium, Ann Arbor, Michigan

THE UNIVERSITY MUSICAL SOCIETY OF THE UNIVERSITY OF MICHIGAN
The Cleveland Orchestra
CHRISTOPH VON DOHNANYI Music Director and Conductor
Wednesday Evening, October 10, 1984, at 8:30 Hill Auditorium, Ann Arbor, Michigan
PROGRAM
Symphony No. 38 in D major, K. 504 ("Prague").................. Mozart
Adagio, allegro Andante Presto
"Grosse Fuge," Op. 133...................................... Beethoven
Arranged for string orchestra by Felix Weingartner Ovcrtura: allegro, meno mosso e modcrato Allegro (First Fugue)
Mcno mosso e moderato (Second Fugue) Allegro molto c con brio (Third Fugue) Meno mosso, allegro molto (extensions) Allegro molto c con brio (Coda)
INTERMISSION
Symphony No. 2 in C major, Op. 61 .......................... Schumann
Sostcnuto assai, allegro ma non troppo Scherzo: allegro vivace. Trio I, Trio II Adagio csprcssivo Allegro molto vivace
London, Telarc, CBS Masterworks, Angel, and Deutsche Crammophon Records.
Twenty-second Concert of the 106th Season 106th Annual Choral Union Scries
PROGRAM NOTES by Klaus G. Roy
Symphony No. 38 in D, K. 504 ("Prague")___ Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart
(1756-1791)
Mozart completed this symphony in Vienna in 1786, and conducted it for the first time in January 1787 in Prague. Mozart visited Prague four times, the last only a few months before his death. He came first in 1787, arriving on January 11 with his wife and brother-in-law. The Bohemian premiere of his Le Nozze di Figaro had taken place on December 10, and the Czech musicians decided to invite the composer to witness the triumph of his opera. Four days before that Figaro premiere in Prague, Mozart had completed a new symphony. It is probable that Mozart had planned to take this symphony with him to London, a projected journey that never came to pass; it is doubtful that he wrote it with Prague in mind. But at this point arose the opportunity of making the best possible use of the new work: to surprise his Bohemian friends with it.
Greeted in Prague by a veritable "Figaro-madness" -everyone, as the composer wrote, talked about it, hummed it, whistled and danced it -Mozart conducted his new D major. Symphony at a "Grand Musical Academy" on January 19. The success of the piece was such that he was forced to improvise on the piano for a half-hour, and to continue with a set of twelve variations, produced on the spot and by request, on "Non piu andrai" from Figaro. The performance of the symphony must have been first-rate. "My orchestra is in Prague," Mozart wrote in a letter of thanks, "my Prague people understand me." Before he left the city at the end of January, he already had a commission for a new opera. It was to be Don Giovanni, first performed in Prague nine months later, on October 29, 1787. As the German scholar Arthur Schurig has observed, "actually it was in the Bohemian capital that Mozart was first really understood, valued and loved. If any place has the right to be called The City of Mozart, then it is not Salzburg -which Mozart hated; not Vienna -which let him starve and forgot him in a mass grave; but only his golden Prague."
The Cleveland Orchestra under George Szeli's direction has made numerous recordings of works by Mozart for Columbia Records. These include symphonies 28, 33, 35, 39, 40, and 41; violin concerti with Isaac Stern, piano concerti with Robert Casadesus, Rudolf Serkin, and Leon Fleisher; the "Sinfonia Concertante" with Rafael Druian and Abraham Skernick, "Exsultate Jubilate" with Judith Raskin, the clarinet concerto with Robert Marcellus; the Divertimento No. 2, and the Serenade, "Eine kleine Nachtmusic."
"Grosse Fuge" in B-flat major, Op. 133............ Ludwig van Beethoven
(1770-1827)
This work, completed in November 1825, was planned as the last movement for the String Quartet in B-flat, Op. 130, the second of Beethoven's "last quartets," and was first performed in that position on March 21, 1826. The difficulties of this Fugue were such, however, that the publisher requested an easier finale from the composer; the new finale (the last music Beethoven ever wrote) was completed in November 1826, but apparently not performed until a month after his death in 1827. The Fugue was published separately in May of 1827, and bears a dedication to Cardinal Archduke Rudolph, Beethoven's great patron, pupil, and friend. The Great Fugue has frequently been performed by the massed strings of orchestras, with the judicious addition of double basses; the first of these versions, by Felix Weingartner, is the one here used.
Called to task one day by a violinist for writing a passage of excessive technical difficulty, Beethoven is said to have exploded: "Do you presume to think that I consider your miserable fiddle when the spirit seizes me" Something of this arch-romantic attitude suffuses the Grosse Fuge, one of the most eccentric and grandiloquently conceived pieces in existence. It can hardly be played, so difficult, at times unidiomatic, is it; some feel that it can hardly be heard, so grating, fantastic, obsessive docs it become at moments. Condemnation from one side ("monstrosity!") is balanced by adulation from the other ("revelation!"). Perhaps the work is both: a superhuman, almost perverse, blasphemous wrestling ofjacob with the Angel, yet an astonishing, blinding vision of power.
Beethoven titled it "Grande Fugue -tantol recherchee" (sometimes free, sometimes artful). As Roger Fiske has put it in his study of the Beethoven quartets, "in trying to out-fugue all the fugues that ever were, he hewed out ideas too colossal even for this medium; he was straining at the impossible . . . one of the grandest attempts ever made to express depths that never have been, and perhaps never can be, expressed in music."
If" architecture is frozen music, as some philosophers have felt, then this piece is something of a Gothic cathedral in motion, with its heaven-storming spires, graceful central arches, and numberless details of ornamentation. The gigantic design is compressed into about 16 to 18 minutes: A slow introduction, labeled Overtura, in which the basic fugue theme appears, an Allegro, a slow movement, a Scherzo, and a Finale. Seen this way, the work can be considered a sort of one-movement symphony: Introduction and First Fugue (Allegko), Second Fugue (Meno mosso e moderato), Third Fugue (Allegro molto e con brio), and Coda-Finale. The opening fugue theme occurs in all sections, in various transformations, but due to its wide-ranging outline it always remains recognizable. There is little sense in describing the technical events: one would have to offer a graph or blueprint analysis, which makes exasperating reading.
Beethoven was never, to be sure, the "smoothest" of contrapuntists, and least of all here. What concerned him in the technique ofjuxtaposing lines was the idea of contra, of conflict and opposition. Charles Ives, the American composer, once inveighed against those who were burdened with "sissy ears." There is no doubt that Beethoven, who was limited (the word seems quite wrong for him) by fate with inner hearing only, would have been equally intolerant of those who demand mellifluous sound above all else. The Grosse Fuge came at the end of his life; Op. 134 is an arrangement for piano duet of the same work, and Op. 135 is the Last Quartet in F major, his ultimate complete composition. There were other visions to pursue beyond those of pleasing a public. And it is ironic that the master's last single composition should have been a new finale to the Quartet Op. 130, a light and charming piece whose purpose it was to take the place -for the easier enjoyment of performers and hearers -of the Great Fugue itself.
Symphony No. 2 in C major, Op. 61 ................... Robert Schumann
(1810-1856)
The relationship of art and life is an enormously complicated matter to analyze, and there are no simple solutions to the problem. But we have learned to comprehend that no true artist simply sets his personal feelings of the moment to music, and with a more extended work such an attempt would be an impossibility. What he does, rather, is to reflect the world of feeling in which he moves, to shape the images of his inner world into comprehensible and meaningful patterns. The American philosopher Suzanne Langcr has written that "self-expression" is never the true artist's aim: "What he is really engaged in is the search for significant form." Thus Schumann's Second Symphony, written at age 35 in a period of great mental stress, should be as forthright and joyful a composition, on the whole, as Beethoven's Second, composed at 32 when he had just discovered that his deafness was getting worse.
Schumann himself was fully aware that the act of creation had for him a therapeutic, curative value. In July 1845, ncaring the end of a period of extreme depression, he wrote to Mendelssohn: "I am very much behind, and have little to show you. But I have an inward confidence that 1 have not been standing quite still in music, and sometimes a rosy glow seems to foretell the return of my old strength, and a fresh hold upon my art. Drums and trumpets have been sounding in my head for several days. I do not know what will come of it. . ."
And as these trumpets and drums began to shape themselves into the "significant form" of the Second Symphony, his personal disorientation became less and less pronounced. Later, Schumann wrote: "1 sketched the work while still very ill. Indeed I might say that is was figuratively the resistance of the spirit which visibly exerted influence here, and through which I sought to struggle against my condition. The first movement is full of this combat, and very capriciously obstinate in character." Yet the symphony is by no means a programmatic description of this "overcoming"; it is an independent, autonomous creation, whose strength and fundamental health was without question a factor in the artist's physical and mental recovery. If then, art was for Schumann an "escape," it was a flight not into instability and emptiness, but their exact opposite: the stability and fullness -and enduring power -of the artistic structure. We hear it now as such -for what it docs to our benefit, not that of its creator.
Schumann sketched his Second Symphony between December 12 and 28, 1845, and com?pleted the scoring in October 1846. It was first performed at a Gcwandhaus concert in Leipzig, Mendelssohn conducting, on November 5, 1846.
The four symphonies of Schumann, as recorded in 1960 for Epic by The Cleveland Orchestra under George Szell, are now available in a three-disc album on Odyssey.
Christoph von Dohnanyi began his tenure as The Cleveland Orchestra's sixth music director last month, leading the opening concerts of the season on September 20, 21, 22, 1984. A special telecast on September 23 transmitted the program worldwide. Born in Berlin in 1929, Mr. Dohnanyi considers himself a German of half-Hungarian background. His father, Hans, was the son of the famous composer, pianist, conductor, and teacher Ernst von Dohnanyi, and his mother was the sister of the German theologian and author Dietrich Bonhocffer -who, like Hans von Dohnanyi, a distinguished jurist, lost his life under the Nazi regime.
After World War II, Christoph von Dohnanyi first studied law at the University of Munich, but in 1948 entered the Musikhochschule there, where he won the Richard Strauss Prize for composition and conducting. He accepted the position of coach and conductor for opera and ballet at the Frankfurt Opera under Georg Solti, and eventually became its artistic and musical director. In 1978 he was appointed Artistic Director and Principal Conductor of the Hamburg State Opera. He has won recognition and renown in numerous guest engagements throughout Europe, and in the United States has conducted the orchestras of Chicago, New York, Cleveland, Detroit, and Pittsburgh with immense success.
Prior to the Cleveland's opening concerts this season, Mr. Dohnanyi conducted the Berlin Philharmonic with Gidon Krcmer as soloist. During this current tour with the Cleveland Orchestra, he is conducting eleven concerts in a two-week period. In November he will conduct Strauss' Die Frau ohne Schatten at the Vienna State Opera, and in late November will appear on the podium of the Stockholm Philharmonic.
Mr. Dohnanyi makes his Ann Arbor debut this evening, as the Cleveland Orchestra performs its 25th Ann Arbor concert.
1984-85 Concert Season
Guarneri String Quartet................................. Wed. Oct. 17
James Galway, Flutist....................................... Sat. Oct. 20
Atlanta Symphony Robert Shaw.........................Sun. Oct. 21
Royal Winnipeg Ballet............................ Sat., Sun. Oct. 27, 28
Ivo Pogorelich, Pianist.................................... Tues. Oct. 30
?Nexus...................................................... Fri. Nov. 2
The Masterplayers of Lugano............................. Sun. Nov. 4
Leipzig Gewandhaus Kuirr Masur....................... Thurs. Nov. 8
?Leipzig Gewandhaus Kurt Masur.......................... Fri. Nov. 9
Viktoria Mullova, Violinist.................................Sat. Nov. 10
Kuijken Quartet (early music)............................ Tues. Nov. 13
Judith Blegen, Soprano, and
HAkan HagegArd, Baritone................................Sat. Nov. 17
Romanian National Choir........................... (aft.) Sun. Nov. 18
American Ballet Theatre II......................... (eve.) Sun. Nov. 18
Handel's Messiah I Donald Bryant............Fri.-Sun. Nov. 30, Dec. 1, 2
?Vienna Choir Boys.........................................Sun. Dec. 9
Pittsburgh Ballet, Tchaikovsky's Nutcracker........... Fri.-Sun. Dec. 14-16
Vladimir Ashkenazy, Pianist................................Tues. Jan. 15
Music from Marlboro..................................... Wed. Jan. 23
Balletap USA............................................. Sun. Jan. 27
Prague Symphony Jiri Belohlavek..........................Sat. Feb. 2
Festival Chorus and soloists
Feld Ballet.......................................... Fri., Sat. Feb. 8, 9
Guarneri String Quartet.................................. Sun. Feb. 10
Katia & Marielle Labeque, Duo-pianists...................... Sun. Feb. 17
Royal Philharmonic Yehudi Menuhin................... Tues. Feb. 19
New York City Opera National Company.................Tues. Mar. 5
Verdi's Rigoletto
Kodo.....................................................Thurs. Mar. 7
tST. Luke's Chamber Ensemble............................... Fri. Mar. 8
Paul Badura-Skoda, Pianist................................ Sun. Mar. 10
?Academy of Ancient Music..............................Thurs. Mar. 14
National Symphony Mstislav Rostropovich.............Wed. Mar. 20
?Faculty Artists Concert................................. Sun. Mar. 24
Sherrill Milnes, Baritone.................................... Fri. Mar. 29
Polish Chamber Orchestra.............................. Thurs. Apr. 18
May Festival........................................ Wed.-Sat. May 1-4
?Concerts added since first announcement last spring.
tRcplacing I Fiamminghi in the Chamber Arts Scries -same date, time, and place.
For free brochure with complete information, contact the Musical Society (see below).
UNIVERSITY MUSICAL SOCIETY
Burton Memorial Tower, Ann Arbor, Michigan 48109 Phones: (313) 665-3717, 764-2538

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