Hill Auditorium, Ann Arbor, Michigan
THE UNIVERSITY MUSICAL SOCIETY OF THE UNIVERSITY OF MICHIGAN
Leningrad State Symphony oftheU.S.S.R.
ALEXANDER DMITRIEV Conductor
PAVEL KOGAN, Violinist
Sunday Afternoon, October 11, 1987, at 4:00 Hill Auditorium, Ann Arbor, Michigan
PROGRAM Overture to Euryanthe ............................................. Webeu
Concerto in D major for Violin and Orchestra, Op. 61........... Beethoven
Allegro ma non troppo
Pavel Kogan, Violinist INTERMISSION
Symphony No. 10 in E minor, Op 93 ....................... Shostakovich
Moderato Allegro Allegretto Andante, allegro
The University Musical Society expresses thanks to Ford Motor Company Fund for its generosity in underwriting the production and printing costs of this program.
Cameras and recording devices arc not allowed in the auditorium. Halls Cough Tablets, courtesy of Warner-Lambert Company, are available in the lobby.
Seventh Concert of the 109th Season 109th Annual Choral Union Series
Overture to Euryanthe.............................. Carl Maria von Weber
Euryanthe, an opera in three acts, was first produced in Vienna in 1823. Its libretto, by Hermine von Chezy after a thirteenth-century romance, is generally cited as the reason for the opera's relative obscurity. Various attempts to revise the libretto in an effort to give Euryanthe the position it deserves in the operatic repertoire have been to no avail. The plot turns on the virtue of Euryanthe, the betrothed of Count Adolar, which is challenged by Count Lysiart, and the two noblemen stake their possessions upon the result. Shakespeare's Cymbeline is derived from the same source. Posterity has, however, awarded Euryanthe's overture a solid place in the orchestral repertoire. Using materials from within the opera, Weber constructed a flowing symphonic movement. The beginning, Allegro marcato, con moltojuoco, is based on an aria from the first act in which the hero, Adolar, declares his trust in God. The contrasting strain is the love theme from the second act, triumphantly stated at the close of the overture. Just prior to the development of this subject matter, Weber interposes a quiet largo episode for muted violins, which, in the opera, is associated with a ghostly apparition.
Violin Concerto in D major, Op. 61 ................. Ludwig van Beethoven
Beethoven's life and works have been categorized into three periods by various scholars as early as 1828. The first period, termed as "formative" or "early Vienna," lasted until 1802; the second period lasted until approximately 1812; and the third, or "late," period lasted until his death in 1827. While some modern musicologists have contested this three-period approach as being a gross oversimplification, it does, nonetheless, accommodate the most obvious stylistic distinctions of his compositions as well as correspond to the major turning-points in his lite. The Violin Concerto, composed in 1806, belongs to the so-called middle period. It is con?temporaneous with the Leonore Overture, the Fourth and Fifth Symphonies, the Fourth Piano Concerto, the Opus 59 string quartets, and the "Appassionata" Sonata, to name but a few. This was an incredibly prolific time for Beethoven.
The Violin Concerto was first performed on December 23, 1806, in Vienna, Franz Clement the soloist. Despite an admirable performance by Clement, the premiere of Beethoven's only concerto for violin was met with an icy reception from the critics. It was not until many years later -after a performance of the work by the thirteen-year-old prodigy Joseph Joachim, in London in 1844 with Mendelssohn conducting -that the Concerto came to receive the recognition and acceptance it so richly deserves.
The first movement, Allegro ma non Iroppo, is noteworthy due to Beethoven's use of the kettledrums. Its rhythmic figure endures throughout the entire movement, which is cast in sonata form with a double exposition section peculiar to the concern of the earlier masters. The second exposition ushers in the solo violin in an ascending octave figure, introducing its presentation of the principal theme. While clarinets and bassoons present the second theme, the violin performs trills which lead on into triplet figures. After a fortissimo tutti, the violin develops the second theme, the kettledrums' persistent rhythmic motto ever present. Follow?ing the violin's cadenza in the development section, a brief reappearance of the second theme closes the movement.
The Larghetto is scored for a diminished woodwind section with strings. It is, in essence, a theme and variations with the orchestra carrying the melody and the violin gently hovering over in a detached and almost improvisatory manner.
The final movement is a forceful and frolicking contrast to the prior movement. The violin presents the principal theme, which is then taken up by the full orchestra. This movement is worthy of particular note, in that Beethoven ascribed solo passages to instruments that had not formerly had such privileges. The horns, for example, are freed from their customary role of accompaniment to take a place in the spotlight, as they make the transitions to the second theme in the nature of a hunting call. The Concerto ends brilliantly in a burst of energy and splendor.
Symphony No. 10 in E minor, Op. 93.................. Dmitri Shostakovich
Born in St. Petersburg, now Leningrad, on September 25, 1906, Shostakovich is consid?ered by many to be the twentieth century's greatest composer, certainly widely regarded as the greatest symphonist of the mid-twentieth century. His symphonies range from the precocious First, written at the age of eighteen as a conservatory graduation piece; through the epic utterances of the war years, including the powerful and poignant Seventh Leningrad Sym?phony, its first three movements written while he was in the besieged city; to the personal anguish of his later works. A similar range of more private emotion is contained in his fifteen
string quartets. He also composed some "official" works, and his relationship to Soviet officialdom, though on the surface sometimes uneasy, rested on his view of the Soviet composer as, first and foremost, a citizen with a moral duty to his fellow citizens. Living by this maxim, Shostakovich maintained his integrity as an artist of the widest scope.
Shostakovich belonged to the first generation of Russian composers educated entirely under the Soviet system. His loyalty to his country and its government was unquestioned. Even at times of disfavor--both personal as in 1936 when his opera Lady Macbeth was forced off the stage, and collective as in 1948 when he and a group of distinguished fellow composers were denounced in a party resolution -Shostakovich was willing to represent the U.S.S.R. at the Peace Congress in New York in 1949 and at similar congresses in Warsaw in 1950 and Vienna in 1952. With a high sense of civic duty, he served as a deputy member of the Supreme Soviet and was a member of the Union of Soviet Composers, later serving as first secretary of the Russian chapter of that union. He received many high honors, both in the Soviet Union and abroad, and honorary doctorates of music were conferred upon him by the University of Oxford (1958), Trinity College, Dublin (1972), and Northwestern University (1973). Throughout most of his life he was a dedicated teacher, most of it done at the Leningrad Conservatory. He settled in Moscow in 1943 and taught at the Moscow Conservatory until 1948, then resuming the post in 1960. Though his total output of works shows an astounding variety, Shostakovich will be remembered primarily as a composer of symphonies. With Stravinsky and Prokofiev, he represents the culmination of twentieth-century Russian music but, unlike his two older contemporaries, Shostakovich is alone in having composed his entire oevre within the framework of Soviet aesthetics.
In 1953, when the death of Stalin brought about a relatively more liberal political and cultural climate, Shostakovich returned to the symphony with his Tenth, eight years interven?ing since the Ninth. The Symphony No. 10 inaugurated the great final period of his career -22 years in which he composed the 10th to 15th symphonies, the 6th to 15th string quartets, two cello concertos, the Second Violin Concerto, the violin and viola sonatas, The Execution of Stepan Razin to a text by the poet Ycvtushenko, and the Suite on Verses of Michelangelo. Shostakovich visited England in 1958 and 1974, where he became a close friend and admirer of Benjamin Britten. A serious heart ailment developed in 1966, from which he never fully recovered, and his health was further weakened by severe arthritis. He continued, however, to produce a number of important works; his 14th symphony (1969) in particular is a work of striking novelty and fierce intensity, with the composer commenting in 1973: "The entire symphony is my protest against death." Shostakovich paid a last visit to the United States in 1973 and died in Moscow on August 9, 1975, six weeks before his 69th birthday.
The Tenth Symphony was introduced in Leningrad on December 17, 1953. Its American premiere was by the New York Philharmonic under Dimitri Mitropoulos on December 14, 1954; the work subsequently received the New York Music Critics' Circle Award. Although the composer did not provide a specific program, he did explain that he hoped to make his music express the "thoughts and aspirations of our contemporaries" and, in particular, those in relation to the cause for peace.
The symphony begins with a slow introduction in which a six-note theme is prominent in low strings; this subject returns throughout the work. The pace quickens 50 measures later, and a theme of a lyrical nature is introduced in the clarinets. An equally lyrical but more rhythmic passage for the flutes, also equally important to that of the clarinets, arises at this point. The brisk second movement is a brief scherzo, rhythmic and full of energy. The slow movement opens with a folksong-like melody in the strings in imitation; a solo horn is later answered by the strings in a new version of the opening six-note theme. There follows a nocturne of a poetic nature; a horn solo over pizzicato strings predominates. The English horn then gives important treatment to the opening material of the movement. The Finale has a leisurely, meditative beginning; its oboe solo is of oriental character. This is followed by the main theme of martial melody. A brief recall of material from the scherzo and slow movements follows and, after final repetition of the six-note motive, the work rushes to its exciting conclusion.
About the Artists
The Leningrad State Symphony of the U.S.S.R. is one of the most prestigious orchestras in the Soviet Union, performing throughout the U.S.S.R. and in other countries, including Poland, Hungary, Bulgaria, Sweden, Finland, Italy, Japan, and the United States. Founded in 1931 as the Leningrad Radio Orchestra, the ensemble is distinguished for its numerous premieres of works by Soviet composers during the 1930s and 1940s. During World War II, the orchestra remained in the enemy-surrounded Leningrad, but did not cease its activities. While the city was defending itself, the sound of symphonic music could be heard over the radio, not only in Leningrad but in other Soviet cities and in foreign countries as well. On August 9, 1942, the orchestra performed Shostakovich's Leningrad Symphony, which became a musical symbol of the Russian struggle against the Nazi war machine. In 1953 the orchestra was established as the Leningrad State Symphony of the U.S.S.R., attracting many
well-known Soviet and foreign conductors and soloists. Among them are Emil Gilcls, David Oistrakh, Sviatoslav Richter, Yehudi Menuhin, Van Cliburn, and the twentieth-century com?posers Dmitri Shostakovich, Igor Stravinsky, and Benjamin Britten.
Alexander Dmitriev has held the position of chief conductor of the Leningrad State Symphony of the U.S.S.R. since 1977. Born in Leningrad in 1935, he received his musical training at the Leningrad Conservatory and studied conducting under Professor N. Rabino-vich. He then headed the Karelsky Radio and Television Symphony Orchestra in Petrozavodsk for ten years and, at the same time, served as assistant to Evgeny Mravinski of the Leningrad Philharmonic. Since 1970, he has been the leading conductor of the Mali Academic Theatre of Opera and Ballet in Leningrad, performing both classical and modern operatic repertoire.
Mr. Dmitriev has received worldwide critical acclaim as one of the Soviet Union's leading conductors. In addition to his concerts with the Leningrad State Symphony and other Soviet orchestras, he has appeared extensively as a guest conductor throughout Europe, England, and Japan. In recognition of his achievements, Mr. Dmitriev has been honored with one of his country's highest titles -People's Artist of the Russian Soviet Federative Socialist Republic.
Pavel Kogan has won acclaim by critics and audiences in Europe and America as a violin virtuoso and as a conductor, touring in the Soviet Union and in Bulgaria, Czechoslovakia, East Germany, Yugoslavia, Italy, France, Sweden, Austria, Belgium, and the United States.
Mr. Kogan was born in Moscow in June 1952, the son of acclaimed Soviet violinists Leonid Kogan and Elizabeth Gilels, sister of pianist Emil Gilcls. He attended the Moscow State Conservatory and, while still a student, won early fame in a legendary concert that marked the centenary of the Moscow Conservatory of Music -in that performance, David Oistrakh and Leonid Kogan played with their sons, Igor Oistrakh and Pavel Kogan, Vivaldi's Concerto in B minor for Four Violins. At age 18, Pavel Kogan's international career was launched when he won the Sibelius Competition in Helsinki. This was followed by his debut with The Philadelphia Orchestra and Eugene Ormandy in 1975, earning him the distinction as "one ot the first among the best young violinists of our time" by the Philadelphia Evening Bulletin. Mr. Kogan returned to the Moscow Conservatory to study conducting and subsequently made his conducting debut with the Leningrad Philharmonic Society Symphony. Since then, he has appeared on the podium with the many important Soviet ensembles.
The Leningrad State Symphony performed in Ann Arbor on its debut American tour in 1977 and returns this afternoon during its second visit to this country. Alexander Dmitriev previously appeared here with the Moscow State Symphony in 1975, and Pavel Kogan now makes his Ann Arbor debut.
In the belief that increased understanding brings increased pleasure, the University Musical Society is pleased to offer these Pre-concert Presentations to our conccrtgoers through December -all will be held in the Rackham Building on East Washington Street.
Friday, Oct. 16 at 7:00, preceding Erick Hawkins Dance Company Speaker: Ross Lee Finney Topic: Composing Music for Dance
ProfessorComposcr-in-Residencc Emeritus, U-M. Three HawkinsFinncy works will be performed in Ann Arbor: Ahab, Hey oka, and The Joshua Tree.
Wednesday, Nov. 11 at 7:00, preceding Vienna String Trio
Speaker: Norman Fischer Topic: Chamber Music: A Listener's Feast
Associate Professor of Music, Obcrlin College; former cellist of Concord String Quartet
Friday, Nov. 20 at 7:00, preceding Elena Obraztsova, mezzo-soprano
Speaker: Leslie Guinn Topic: Between Studio and Stage: Exploring the Singer's World Professor of Voice, Director of the Division of Vocal Arts, U-M
Thursday, Dec. 10 at 7:00, preceding The Swingle Singers Speaker: Donald Bryant Topic: Humor in Music Choral Union Conductor, Musical Society; Director of Music, First Presbyterian Church
These presentations are open to the public at S3 per person, with tickets available at the door; complimentary admission to Encore and Cheers! members and students with valid I.D. cards. (For information about joining Cheers! or Encore, call 764-8489.)
Watch for announcement of 1988 Pre-concert Presentations.
UNIVERSITY MUSICAL SOCIETY
Burton Memorial Tower, Ann Arbor, Michigan 48109-1270 Telephone: (313) 764-2538