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UMS Concert Program, September 18, 1987: Guarneri String Quartet --

UMS Concert Program, September 18, 1987: Guarneri String Quartet --  image UMS Concert Program, September 18, 1987: Guarneri String Quartet --  image UMS Concert Program, September 18, 1987: Guarneri String Quartet --  image UMS Concert Program, September 18, 1987: Guarneri String Quartet --  image
Day
18
Month
September
Year
1987
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University Musical Society
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Season: 109th
Concert: First
Rackham Auditorium, Ann Arbor, Michigan

THE UNIVERSITY MUSICAL SOCIETY OF THE UNIVERSITY OF MICHIGAN
Guarneri String Quartet
ARNOLD STEINHARDT, Violinist MICHAEL TREE, Violist JOHN DALLEY, Violinist DAVID SOYER, Cellist
Friday Evening, September 18, 1987, at 8:00 Rackham Auditorium, Ann Arbor, Michigan
PROGRAM
Quartet in G major, K. 387 ...................................... Mozart
Allegro vivace assai Menuetto: allegretto Andante cantabilc Molto allegro
Quartet No. 4................................................... Bartok
Allegro
Prestissimo con sordino Non troppo lento Allegretto pizzicato Allegro molto
INTERMISSION
Quartet in F major................................................ Ravel
Allegro moderato Assez vif, trcs rhythme Tres lent Vif et agite
Philips and RCA Red Seal Records
This performance is made possible in part by a grant through the Music Program of the National Endowment for the Arts in support of American performing artists.
Halls Cough Tablets, courtesy of Warner-Lambert, are available in the lobby. First Concert of the 109th Season Twenty-fifth Annual Chamber Arts Series
PROGRAM NOTES by Jeremy Yudkin
Quartet in G major, K. 387..................Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart
(1756-1791)
Mozart's acquaintance with Franz Joseph Haydn ripened into a noble friendship, unique in the former's life, that proved a mutual boon to both composers. The direct result of this friendship was the set of six quartets, beginning with this one in G major dated December 31, 1782, and ending with the C major dated January 1785, which he dedicated to his venerable contemporary. In these works, Mozart is to be heard at the peak of his musical productivity; his chamber music style has matured to the point where the ensemble is comprised of four individual entities, each with its own idea to express in its own colorful way, while at the same time contributing to the overall unity of the entire work. That they represented, at the time of composition, a new approach to this form may be deduced from the remarks of a contemporary critic: "... it is a pity that in his truly artistic and beautiful compositions Mozart should carry his effort after originality too far, to the detriment of the sentiment and heart of his works. His new quartets, dedicated to Haydn, are much too highly spiced to be palatable for any length of time." The ingenious contrapuntal countcrplay between all the instruments cleverly woven into the standard forms and the adept use of chromaticism, novel for the time, no doubt called forth the general disapprobation of his fellow musicians.
Quartet No. 4............................................. Bela Bartok
(1881-1945)
Bartok wrote his Fourth Quartet in 1928, and it was first performed in 1930. The composer's formal and architectural concerns are reflected in the structure of the work. There are five move?ments, of which the first and fifth are related, as well as the second and fourth. The central slow movement stands as the keystone of this musical arch.
The first movement conveys a sense of continuous expansion and growth. The musical ideas are concise but their development proves to be extraordinarily rich. The movement has a balance and unity provided by the treatment of a single rhythmic six-note figure, heard near the beginning on the cello and soon (offset rhythmically) in all the instruments. This figure grows to dominate the whole movement and is heard powerfully at its close.
The second movement is a scurrying scherzo, capricious and wispy. Long glissandi and plucked notes are partly tense, partly lighthearted. The movement is quickly over, leaving a dreamlike aura in the air.
Bartok developed many new sounds and techniques in his string quartets to light up the far-flung boundaries of his musical imagination. In the central third movement -the only slow movement of the quartet -the composer asks his players to distinguish between chords held both with and without vibrato. The first part of the movement projects a sustained, rhapsodic cello melody with a florid, improvisatory character over these differently colored chords. Contrasted with this are passages of high birdlikc twitterings in the first violin. The two ideas affect each other and arc combined, before the fading ending.
The fourth movement parallels the second, but this Scherzo is played pizzicato throughout, with occasionally a special sound produced by snapping the string so hard that it hits the fingerboard. The overall effect is exotic and fascinating.
The final Allegro molto unleashes an indomitable, almost brutal energy. The clashing, strident chords are propelled by asymmetrical rhythms and a whirling dervish of a melody. A briefly graceful section intervenes, and then, just before the end, the six-note rhythmic figure from the first movement reappears to close the work.
Quartet in F major ....................................... Maurice Ravel
(1875-1937)
Ravel's String Quartet follows deliberately in the tradition of earlier French masters; and if it contains reminiscences of the style of Faure, who was Ravel's teacher, it is even more closely modeled upon the only string quartet of Debussy, written ten years earlier. The imitation is an homage to Debussy and reflects the way in which emulation can produce completely original works. The quartet was highly praised upon its first performance (in 1904), and when Ravel was considering revising the score, Debussy urged him passionately not to change a single note.
The first movement is broad and lyrical, with a sensuous lushncss of sound. The normal contrast of themes is lacking, and the coda is soft and dreamlike. The second movement is like a scherzo, with a witty interplay of different meters and the "Spanish" sound of plucked strings. The contrasting central section is slow and muted. An improvisatory atmosphere colors the slow movement, and there are quotations from the Allegro moderate Further quotations are woven into the finale, which is lively and energetic; abounding in rhythmic play, it brings the quartet to a brilliant close.
Twenty-five! for the Chamber Arts . . .
The University Musical Society is proud to present this 25th season of the Chamber Arts Series. Though a quarter of a century is an enviable record for any series, the Society's chamber music presentations actually reach back to 1941. With the completion of the new Rackham Building, the Musical Society recognized the beauty and fine acoustics of its auditorium as the perfect setting for chamber music. Thus, in January 1941 was born the Chamber Music Festival, the first organized and continuous series of chamber music concerts in Ann Arbor. Prominent ensembles came each winter for three to five concerts in as many days -most frequently the Budapest String Quartet -for a total of 28 consecutive seasons. Other eminent Festival participants included the Quartetto Italiano, the Roth, Paganini, andjuilliard Quartets, the Beaux Arts Trio, and the New York Pro Musica.
The 1963-64 season marked the inauguration of the present Chamber Arts Scries, featuring seven concerts annually until an eighth was added in 1973-74. This format permitted a larger variety of ensembles, such as chamber orchestras, all within the same comfortable, intimate atmosphere of Rackham Auditorium. An anniversary note: one of the performing groups booked that very first season will perform next month in this 25th season of the scries -the Zurich Chamber Orchestra with its same conductor, Edmond de Stoutz.
. . . and twenty-three for the Guarneri!
Vermont's venerable Marlboro Music Festival provided the setting for a momentous happening during the summer of 1964. Four string players who were making music together for pure enjoy?ment decided to form their own quartet, at the suggestion of the Budapest Quartet's second violinist, Alexander Schneider. The name tor the fledgling quartet was supplied by the Budapest's violist, Boris Kroyt, who had once played with a European quartet called the Guarneri (after the esteemed seventeenthand eighteenth-century family, makers of string instruments). Armed with this encouragement and a name, Arnold Stcinhardt, John Dallcy, Michael Tree, and David Soyer gave their first professional concert that summer on Nantucket Island, followed by their New York debut on February 28, 1965. Following the Guarneri Quartet's gala twentieth anniversary concert, the New York Times reviewer concluded: "It was another in a long string of splendid Guarneri concerts, proving that happy marriages do exist, even among string quartets."
Tonight's performance marks the Guamcri's 23rd Ann Arbor concert under Musical Society auspices. Since their debut here in 1971, these musicians have given conccrtgocrs a representative sampling from all periods of the string quartet literature, including two complete performances of the entire Beethoven string quartet cycle.
In addition to innumerable transcontinental tours of the United States, the Guarneri Quartet concertizes regularly in other parts of the world -Europe, Australia, New Zealand, Japan, Canada, and at the major international music festivals. In New York, the Quartet continues its annual series at Alice Tully Hall, the Metropolitan Museum of Art, and at the 92nd Street YM-YWHA. It has been featured on television and radio specials, documentaries, and educational presentations, both in North America and abroad. It is the subject of three books: Quartel by Helen Drees Ruttcncutter (1980), String Quartet Playing by Fink & Merriell (1985), and The Art of Quartet Playing: The Guameri in Conversation with David Blum (1986). In 1982 Mayor Edward Koch presented the Quartet with the New York City Seal of Recognition, an honor awarded for the first time. As educators, the Quartet serves on the faculties of the Curtis Institute of Music and University of Maryland and is in residence annually at the University of South Florida. Among the Quartet's recordings, many of which have won international awards, arc collaborations with such artists as Arthur Rubinstein, Pinchas Zukerman, and Boris Kroyt and Mischa Schneider of the Budapest Quartet. All members of the Guarneri have had major solo careers and continue to appear as soloists or in musical collaborations with others, and each has recorded as soloist on a variety of labels.
The Quartet's Instruments
Arnold Stcinhardt violin Lorenzo Storioni (Cremona)
John Dallcy violin Nicolas Lupot (Paris, 1810)
Michael Tree viola Dominicus Busan (Venice, 1750)
David Soyer cello Andrea Guarneri (Cremona, 1669)
Coming Concerts -1987-88 Season
Vienna PhilharmonicLeonard Bernstein .................. Mon. Sept. 21
Vienna PhilharmonicLeonard Bernstein .................. Tues. Sept. 22
Christa Ludwig, Mezzo-soprano
Royal Philharmonic OrchestraAndre Previn ............. Mon. Sept. 28
Norwegian Chamber OrchestraIona Brown .............. Thurs. Oct. 8
Chinese Children's Palace of Hangzhou ..................... Fri. Oct. 9
Leningrad State Symphony of the U.S.S.R................. Sun. Oct. 11
Alexander Dmitriev, Conductor; Pavel Kogan, Violinist
Erick Hawkins Dance Company ..................... Fri., Sat. Oct. 16, 17
Zurich Chamber OrchestraEdmond de Stoutz ............ Sun. Oct. 18
The Warsaw Ballet, "Giselle" .............................. Wed. Oct. 28
Western Opera Theater, "Don Pasquale" .................. Thurs. Oct. 29
Oslo Philharmonic OrchestraMariss Jansons...............Sun. Nov. 8
Vienna String Trio ........................................ Wed. Nov. 11
Elena Obraztsova, Mezzo-soprano ............................ Fri. Nov. 20
Vienna Choir Boys ......................................... Sun. Nov. 22
Handel's "Messiah'VDoNALD Bryant, Conductor ............ Fri.-Sun. Dec. 4-6
The Swingle Singers ....................................... Thurs. Dec. 10
Pittsburgh Ballet, Tchaikovsky's "Nutcracker" ........ Fri.-Sun. Dec. 11-13
Horacio Gutierrez, Pianist ................................... Wed. Jan. 13
Kodo (Japanese "taiko" drummers) ...............................Fri. Jan. 15
Empire Brass Quintet ....................................... Mon. Jan. 25
Empire Brass & Douglas Major, Organist .................... Tues. Jan. 26
New York City Opera National Company ................ Thurs. Feb. 4
Rossini's "The Barber of Seville"
Camerata Musica ............................................Mon. Feb. 8
Lynn Harrell, Cellist; Igor Kipnis, Harpsichordist .............. Sun. Feb. 14
Bayanihan Philippine Dance Company ..................... Mon. Feb. 29
English Chamber OrchestraJeffrey Tate................... Mon. Mar. 7
Frank Peter Zimmermann, Violinist
Hubbard Street Dance Company .................. Sat., Sun. Mar. 12, 13
Belgrade State Folk Ensemble ............................. Sun. Mar. 13
Christopher Parkening, Guitarist .............................. Fri. Mar. 18
Faculty Artists Concert (free admission) .................... Sun. Mar. 20
Andre Watts, Pianist ........................................... Sat. Apr. 2
Bonn Woodwind Quintet ..................................... Fri. Apr. 8
Steven Masi, Pianist Monte Carlo PhilharmonicLawrence Foster ............... Fri. Apr. 22
Katia & Marielle Labeque, Duo-pianists
95th Annual May Festival .......................... Wed.-Sat. Apr. 27-30
Complete Festival information available in December.
Please note change of date since last spring's announcement.
Write or call for free brochure with all details and ticket information.
University Musical Society Board of Directors
JOHN W. REED, President LOIS U. STEGEMAN, Vice-President
JOHN D. PAUL, Treasurer DOUGLAS D. CRARY, Secretary
NORMAN G. HERBERT HOWARD S. HOLMES DAVID B. KENNEDY
RICHARD L. KENNEDY PATRICK B. LONG ANN S. SCHRIBER
HAROLD T. SHAPIRO HERBERT E. SLOAN JERRY A. WEISBACH
KENNETH C. FISCHER, Executive Director
UNIVERSITY MUSICAL SOCIETY
Burton Memorial Tower, Ann Arbor, Michigan 48109-1270 Telephone: (313) 764-2538

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