Hill Auditorium, Ann Arbor, Michigan
THE UNIVERSITY MUSICAL SOCIETY OF THE UNIVERSITY OF MICHIGAN
Sunday Afternoon, April 12, 1987, at 4:00 Hill Auditorium, Ann Arbor, Michigan
Prelude and Fugue in A minor, BWV 543 ..........Johann Sebastian Bach
(b. Mar. 21, 1685; d. July 28, 1750)
Concerto in D major...................................... BachGuillou
Allegro Largo Allegro
Chorale No. 2 in B minor ................................. Cesar Franck
(b. Dec. 10, 1822; d. Nov. 8, 1890)
First Movement (Allegro vivace)
from Organ Symphony No. 5 ....................Charles-Marie Widor
(b. Feb. 26, 1844; d. Mar. 12, 1937)
Organ Symphony No. 2 ................................... Louis Vierne
(b. Oct. 8, 1870; d. June 2, 1937) Allegro resolutto ma non troppo vivo Chorale: largo
Scherzo: quasi presto Finale: maestoso
Improvisation by Jean Guillou on a submitted theme Philips, CBS, and Festivo Records.
Cameras and recording devices are not allowed in the auditorium. Smoking is prohibited in Hill Auditorium. Your cooperation is appreciated.
Forty-second Concert of the 108th Season Choral Union Series, Bonus Concert
The great tradition of virtuoso composer-performers for the organ as established by Franck, Widor, and Dupre continues with Jean Guillou, who maintains an active career as performer, composer, teacher, and recording artist. As a performing artist, he has concertized throughout Europe, England, Canada, Japan, Hong Kong, the Soviet Union, and the United States, proclaimed by critics and audiences as an unparalleled interpreter of Bach's organ works and of romantic and contemporary music. As a composer of distinction, his compositions have been performed in the major music capitals of Europe. For instance, in 1972 the Leningrad Philharmonic Orchestra celebrated the inauguration of"its new Philharmonic Hall by giving the premier performance of Jean Guillou's Second Concerto for Organ and Orchestra. In addition to his own compositions for organ, he has enriched the repertoire through a series of transcrip?tions of orchestral works by composers as diverse as Bach, Handel, Liszt, and Stravinsky. He has also composed scores for several films and for a number of pantomimes by Marcel Marceau.
During 1985 Jean Guillou observed the tricentennial of Bach's birth by giving six complete series of performances of Bach's organ works. Each of the six series often recitals was given in a different European city. In Lyon, France, he performed the complete set often Bach recitals in an unprecedented twelve-day period. A number of special events were added to the artist's distinguished career in 1986: a second successful tour of Japan, two return visits to the United States, the North American premiere of his Second Concerto for Organ and Orchestra, and the world premiere in Pasadena of a commissioned Second Piano Concerto.
In 1982 Jean Guillou was voted "International Performer of the Year" by the New York City Chapter of the American Guild of Organists. That same year he received the Grand Prix du Disque Liszt for his recording of his own transcriptions of Liszt's tone poems. He has made more than 25 recordings and has been featured on European and North American radio broadcasts. With the recent publication of his book "L'Orgue, Souvenir et Avenir," Guillou has emerged as a leading voice in the field of organ theory and design. He is responsible for the design of several of Europe's most daring and innovative pipe organs.
Guillou is recognized as one of the greatest living exponents of the art of improvisation and generally concludes his performances by improvising on themes proposed by audience mem?bers. His unique, imaginative improvisations are very much in the manner of the giants of France's golden age of organ music: Cesar Franck, Charles-Marie Widor, Louis Vierne, and Marcel Dupre.
Born in Angers, France, in 1930, Jean Guillou demonstrated exceptional musical talents at an early age, and before his thirteenth birthday had been appointed organist of the Cathedral of St. Serge in Angers. He was later accepted as a student by Marcel Dupre at the Paris Con?servatory. This was followed by a professorship at the Instituto de Alta Cultura in Lisbon. In 1963 he was appointed titular organist of the historic church of St. Eustache in Paris, a post he has held ever since.
The Frieze Memorial Organ in Hill Auditorium had its origins at the World's Col?umbian Exposition held in Chicago from May through October of 1893. The Exposition, built on a 600-acre site at Jackson Park on Lake Michigan, marked the 400th anniversary of the discovery of America by Columbus and, in size, eclipsed all previous international exhibitions. A large organ was built especially for the Exposition by William R. Farrand and Edwin S. Votey of Detroit, for use in an extensive series of musical programs throughout the six-month celebration.
At the conclusion of the Exposition, the Columbian organ was purchased by the Univer?sity Musical Society, brought to Ann Arbor in 1894, and presented to The University of Michigan. It was installed in the auditorium of University Hall, a building in the center of campus where concerts and musical events were held. (University Hall was razed in 1951.) The dedicatory recital on December 14, 1894, was played by Professor Albert A. Stanley, music director of the Musical Society and founder of the May Festival earlier that year.
After its acquisition, the Columbian organ was renamed the Frieze Memorial Organ in tribute to Henry Simmons Frieze, for forty years a professor of Latin Language and Literature and a prime figure in the founding of the Choral Union and the University Musical Society in 1879. Frieze served as the first President of the University Musical Society, and twice as Acting President of the University; he died in 1889.
The organ was rebuilt in 1913 when it was moved to the newly-completed Hill Audi?torium, again in 1928 by Ernest M. Skinner, and still again in 1955 by Aeolian-Skinner. It has recently undergone a restoration project, returning the organ's layout and facade to its former splendor. Through research, meticulous paint scrapings, and modern craftsmanship, the pipes have regained their original gilding, stenciling, and coloring. The project also included a thorough cleaning and renovation of the mechanism.
The Frieze Memorial Organ remains one of the most important in the state of Michigan. It has given faithful service to countless students for practice and degree recitals, and many distinguished artists have performed on it over the past 93 years. They include Alexandre Guilmant, Leopold Stokowski, E. Power Biggs, Anthony Newman, and, of course, the University's own organists through the decades -Albert A. Stanley, Earl V. Moore, Palmer Christian, Robert Noehren, and current University organist Marilyn Mason.