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UMS Concert Program, May 2, 1986: Ann Arbor May Festival -- Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra

UMS Concert Program, May 2, 1986: Ann Arbor May Festival -- Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra image UMS Concert Program, May 2, 1986: Ann Arbor May Festival -- Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra image UMS Concert Program, May 2, 1986: Ann Arbor May Festival -- Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra image UMS Concert Program, May 2, 1986: Ann Arbor May Festival -- Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra image
Day
2
Month
May
Year
1986
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University Musical Society
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Season: 107th
Concert: Seventy-ninth
Hill Auditorium, Ann Arbor, Michigan

THE UNIVERSITY MUSICAL SOCIETY OF THE UNIVERSITY OF MICHIGAN
Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra
Lorin Maazel, Music Consultant
JEAN-PIERRE RAMPAL
Conductor and Flutist
Friday Evening, May 2, 1986, at 8:00 Hill Auditorium, Ann Arbor, Michigan
PROGRAM Overture to The Silken Ladder...................................... Rossini
Concerto in C major, B. W. V. 1055, for Flute and Orchestra.............. Bach
Allegro Larghetco
Allegro ma non tanto
Jean-Pierre Rampal, Flutist
Concerto No. 1 in G major for Flute and Orchestra, K. 313............ Mozart
Allegro maestoso Adagio non troppo
Rondo: tempo di menuetto
Jean-Pierre Rampal INTERMISSION
Symphony No. 2 in D major, Op. 36........................... Beethoven
Adagio molto, allegro con brio Larghetto
Scherzo: allegro Allegro molto
Seventy-ninth Concert of the 107th Season 93rd Annual May Festival
PROGRAM NOTES
by Dr. Frederick Dorian in collaboration with Dr. Judith Meibach
Overture to The Silken Ladder...........................Gioacchino Rossini
(1792-1868)
Rossini's musical education began in Bologna, Italy, and by the time he was ten years old he was contributing to the upkeep of his family by singing and playing accompaniments in church. At 14 he completed his first opera score, Demetrio e Polibio, and thenceforth was launched on a meteoric career as an opera composer. Rossini wrote with incredible speed, and by age 23 he had 14 operas to his credit. Within 20 days he composed The Barber of Seville (1816), the opera buffa that fixed his name in the musical firmament.
On May 9, 1812, Rossini's new score, La scala di seta (The silken ladder), was given its premiere in Venice, a production characterized as a comic opera of lightest weight. The libretto was by Giuseppe Foppa, who already had collaborated with Rossini on L'ingannofelice (The happy mistake). But the subject of La scala di seta proved to be too reminiscent of Cimarosa's matrimonio segreto (The secret marriage), the ingenious opera which had taken Europe by storm and was familiar to every music lover. Only a true masterwork could have overcome the comparison. And so, Rossini blamed the failure of The Silken Ladder on the librettist and producer.
But it was decidedly not the inspired overture that contributed to the debacle of the opera, for this piece of considerable charm is ingratiating, from the introductory "scale" figure of the violins to Rossini's concluding stretto. The instrumentation of the 20-year-old maestro is piquant, sensitive, and colorful. Woodwinds and violins (which often play in unison or octaves) are assigned particu?larly fine passages. In the brief development, there is an unexpected dramatic turn. But the buffo spirit of the overture returns immediately and dominates to the end.
Flute Concerto in C major, B.W. V. 1055..............Johann Sebastian Bach
(1685-1750)
This flute concerto is transcribed from the keyboard concerto B. W. V. 1055, which is widely regarded as a transcription by Bach of his earlier (lost) concerto for oboe d'amore. The concerto in Milan Munclinger's edition is scored for solo flute, strings, and continuo.
This performance of the concerto B.W. V. 1055 for flute by Jean-Pierre Rampal represents the increasing acceptance of baroque masterpieces in various instrumental guises. To understand the somewhat complex background of these metamorphoses, we recall that Bach wrote seven concertos for the harpsichord (B.W.V. 1055 is the third), none of which seems to have been initially conceived for the keyboard. In essence, these concertos are transcriptions of compositions intended for other instruments; the concerto B.W.V. 1055 was planned for a melodic instrument that performed a single line of music.
Obviously, scholars have asked why Bach followed such a procedure with the harpsichord concertos, yet tended to leave many other works for specific solo instruments in their original setting. Guido Adler, professor of musicology at the University of Vienna from 1898 to 1927, concluded that the answer must be sought in Bach's overly demanding activities as director of the Collegium Musicum in Leipzig from 1729 to 1736. For his weekly performances with chamber orchestra, Bach needed a great deal of new music, particularly harpsichord concertos. As pressure of work and lack of time prevented him from composing new scores for each concert, he resorted to transcribing music he had already set for other instruments.
Flute Concerto No. 1 in G major, K. 313.........Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart
(1756-1791)
During his sojourn in Mannheim, Mozart wrote two concertos for flute and orchestra: K. 313 in G major and K. 314 in D major. Both works were commissioned by an affluent, amateur flute-playing Dutchman with the French name Dejean (or Dechamps) and were completed between January and the middle of February of 1778. The cadenzas in this performance are by Jean-Pierre Rampal.
While composing his two flute concertos, Mozart "relaxed" by writing a Mass, as we learn from the following quote of a letter to his father: "It is not surprising that I have not been able to finish them, for I never have a single quiet hour here. I can compose only at night, so that I cannot get up early as well; besides, one is not always in the mood for working . . . Moreover, you know that I become quite powerless whenever I am obliged to write for an instrument (the flute) which I cannot bear. Hence, as a diversion, I compose something else such as duets for clavier and piano, or I work at my Mass."
As Mozart wrote so beautifully for the flute, how can we account for his remark that he could not "bear" this instrument What Mozart disliked, however, was not the nature and sonority of the instrument, but the haphazard intonation of certain eighteenth-century flutes. To quote him again: "One has to be afraid of the intonation which may be now too low, now too high."
The opening allegro maestoso has a somewhat marchlike character, but form and details are worked out with delicacy. A subsidiary motive is more tranquil. The solo flute is generously endowed with passages suggested by this instrument's innermost nature. In addition, toward the close of the allegro the soloist has his cadenza in which he freely displays his virtuosity.
The adagio non troppo is a gem among Mozart's movements for the flute. The theme is replete with rococo embellishments. Still another cadenza displays additional ornamental passages. The muted main theme concludes this music, now ardent and troubled, now tender and passionate.
For the finale, Mozart created a tone play of decorum and courtly gesture in a design that blends rondo and minuet. The flute proposes the theme; the violins share its evolving episodes. A third cadenza is heard prior to the elegant curtain of the concerto.
Symphony No. 2 in D major, Op. 36 ................ Ludwig van Beethoven
(1770-1827)
Beethoven's Second Symphony, which is dedicated to Prince Karl won Lichnowsky, dates from 1802 and was first performed on April 5, 1803, at the Theater an der Wien, with the composer conducting.
During 1798 Beethoven first noticed difficulties in hearing, but interpreted these merely as passing symptoms. When his hearing continued to deteriorate, he consulted several physicians, but they could not help him. By 1801 he became greatly alarmed and retired temporarily to the tranquility of Heiligenstadt, a quaint village on the slope of the Vienna Woods on the northern outskirts of Vienna. In 1802, realizing that he was, beyond doubt, becoming deaf, Beethoven wrote his deeply-moving farewell message, known as the Heiligenstadt Testament, addressed to his brothers Caspar and Johann.
The Second Symphony, which Beethoven completed around this time of crisis, bears no evidence of the tragic state of his mind. Rather does it show his courage and the serene achievement of creative compensation. The Second is a happy symphony; it was in the Third, the Eroica, that thoughts of a struggle, of death and heroism, found direct musical expression. In the Second Symphony, the tradition of Mozart and Haydn is not yet entirely overthrown. But on numerous pages, Beethoven's striking originality transforms the symphonic style of the earlier classical masters into an orchestral language unmistakably his own.
The introduction, an adagio mollo, is, in its scope, an almost independent movement. In key and gesture, unison strokes forecast the dramatic opening of the Ninth Symphony. Yet the adagio of the Second returns to ornamental figuration and flows on, without pausing, into the main stream of the allegro con brio. Now the music rises with irresistible vitality, the confidently-ascending theme bespeaking the equilibrium, the power, and the self-possession of the young Beethoven. The dynamic contrasts with the subsidiary subject become typical of Beethoven's mature style: the volume of tone willfully breaks into the melodic line. Intensive contrapuntal treatment and in?strumental variation mark the development of this thematic material, and the recapitulation is marked by a certain condensation of statement. Yet the coda is promoted to the stature of a final development.
In the lyrical larghetto, the bright and strong colors of trumpet and timpani are eliminated. Grace and beauty of its constituting motives characterize the design. From a tender beginning in the strings, a long movement unfolds, rich in themes and still richer in their ingenious combination. Such a wealth of melody need not altogether be an advance in the development of the music. It might have been the embarrassment of riches to a lesser composer, but Beethoven's genius casts this tuneful variety into the oneness of classical form.
For the first time, Beethoven assigns the title "scherzo" to the dance movement within the symphonic cycle. Three notes -D, E, F-sharp -form the motivic cell of the allegro. It is relatively brief, characterized by rapidly changing dynamics. The trio continues the play of tonal surprises and carries it into the domain of harmony. Opening calmly with oboes and bassoons, the trio un?expectedly turns to a boisterous section in the strings. But, as though nothing had happened, the gentle strains of the winds return. The scherzo section is repeated in traditional manner.
The last movement is a rondo, based on a theme of good humor. The subject leaps from the treble down to the lower tone space, setting the rondo off to a most cheerful motion. Presently we hear the leisurely mood of the subsidiary theme, with quiet whole and half notes interrupted by the run of the violins. Merry pranks continue in the working-out section, and the end of the rondo is quick and spontaneous.
Reproduction of the program notes requires the permission of the author and of the Pittsburgh Symphony Society.
About the Artist
Acknowledged internationally as one of the great virtuosos of history, Jean-Pierre Rampal returns to Ann Arbor for his fifth appearance as soloist and the first as conductor. In his dual role of conductor and soloist, he has appeared this season with the Pittsburgh Symphony, in Pittsburgh, and in two weeks of performances with the National Symphony in Washington, D.C. His North American tour also includes recitals in New York, Boston, Chicago, Toronto, Milwaukee, and other cities, and guest soloist performances with the Minnesota Orchestra and the symphonies of San Francisco, St. Louis, and Detroit, among others. Last summer he returned to New York's Mostly Mozart Festival (where he made his American conducting debut several seasons ago) and appeared at the Blossom, Meadow Brook, and various other festivals throughout the United States. In the 1984-85 season, many of Mr. Rampal's recital programs shared a common theme as he joined in the many Bach and Handel tricentennial celebrations. His Carnegie Hall recitals presented Bach and Handel programs, as did recitals with harpsichordist Trevor Pinnock at New York's Metropolitan Museum of Art and at the Bach 300 Festival in Toronto.
Jean-Pierre Rampal was born in Marseilles, where his father was first flutist with the symphony and taught at the local conservatory. Rampal pere gave his son flute lessons from an early age, but he intended Jean-Pierre for the medical profession. In his third year of medical school Jean-Pierre was called up for military labor service under the German occupation; learning that his unit was destined for Germany, he went underground and headed for Paris. Once there, he attended a few classes at the National Conservatory, and five months later he was graduated with first prize in flute playing. After
the liberation of Paris, Rampal became first flutist with the Paris Opera, gave solo recitals on the radio, and, joining forces with harpsichordist Robert Veyron-Lacroix, toured first the music capitals of Europe and then on a global scale for many years. (The RampalVeyron-Lacroix duo performed three times in Ann Arbor.)
Mr. Rampal is credited with bringing about a worldwide renaissance of flute playing, not only by shedding a vibrant new light on familiar music, but also through the revival of many long-forgotten works and his flute adaptations of music written originally for other instruments. Among contemporary composers who have dedicated works to him are Jean Francaix, Andre Jolivet, Jean Martinon, Francis Poulenc, and Pierre Boulez.
Rampal's gargantuan output of recordings encompasses virtually the entire repertoire for the flute -as soloist with orchestras and chamber groups and in the literature for solo flute. Several of his records have been awarded the Grand prix du Disque, and all of them are best-sellers around the world.
International Presentations, 1986-87 Season Choral Union Series
Philharmonia Orchestra, LondonGiuseppe Sinopoli....... Thurs. Sept. 11
Detroit Symphony Orchestra .............................. Sun. Sept. 28
Gunther Herbig, Conductor; Henryk Szeryng, Violinist Moscow State SymphonyYevgeny Svetlanov............. Thurs. Oct. 16
Oleg Kagan, Violinist; Natalya Gutman, Cellist Cologne Radio Orchestra................................... Sat. Nov. 1
Gary Bertini, Conductor; Andre-Michel Schub, Pianist L'Orchestre National de Lyon ............................Tues. Nov. 11
Serge Baudo, Conductor; Gerard Poulet, Violinist
Murray Perahia, Pianist ..................................... Sun. Dec. 14
Warsaw SinfoniaYehudi Menuhin ...........................Tues. Feb. 3
Kiri Te Kanawa, Soprano.....................................Tues. Feb. 10
Vienna PhilharmonicClaudio Abbado...................... Tues. Mar. 3
Chamber Orchestra of Europe................................ Fri. Apr. 3
Lorin Maazel, Conductor; Frank Peter Zimmermann, Violinist
Bonus Concert: Jean Guillou, Organist ........................ Sun. Apr. 12
In Hill Auditorium -Sunday concerts at 4p.m., all others at 8p.m.
Chamber Arts Series
Chamber Music Society of Lincoln Center ................... Sun. Oct. 5
Guarneri String Quartet ................................. Tues. Oct. 14
Andrea Lucchesini, Pianist...................................Wed. Oct. 22
New Arts Trio ............................................Tues. Nov. 18
Ridge String Quartet ....................................... Sun. Jan. 25
Guarneri String Quartet ................................... Fri. Feb. 13
Vienna Symphony Virtuosi ................................... Fri. Mar. 6
Gary Karr, Double Bass; Eliot Fisk, Guitar ...................... Sun. Apr. 5
Bonus Concert: The Cambridge Buskers ...................... Sun. Mar. 29
In Rackham Auditorium -Sunday concerts at 4p.m., all others at 8p.m.
Choice Series
(Any three or more comprise a series)
Woody Herman and his Thundering Herd ..................... Fri. Oct. 3
Guest star, Richard Stoltzman, Clarinetist
Festival of India............................................. Sat. Oct. 11
The King's Singers........................................... Sat. Nov. 8
The Canadian Brass ......................................... Sat. Dec. 13
Peter Nero, Jazz Pianist .......................................Sat. Jan. 17
Mummenschanz, Mime-mask ..................... Mon. & Tues. Jan. 26 & 27
Martha Graham Dance Company ....................... Fri.-Sun. Feb. 6-8
Maurice Andre, Trumpet .....................................Sat. Mar. 14
Hungarian State Folk Ensemble ........................... Tues. Mar. 17
New York City Opera National Company ................. Thurs. Mar. 19
Puccini's Madama Butterfly
James Galway, Flutist ......................................... Fri. Mar. 27
In Hill Auditorium and Power Center -all at 8p.m. except Sunday at 3 p.m.
UNIVERSITY MUSICAL SOCIETY
Burton Memorial Tower, Ann Arbor, Michigan 48109-1270 Telephone: (313) 764-2538

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