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UMS Concert Program, November 8, 1987: International Presentations Of Music & Dance -- Oslo Philharmonic Orchestra

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Season: 109th
Concert: Thirteenth
Hill Auditorium, Ann Arbor, Michigan

Oslo Philharmonic Orchestra
Sunday Evening, November 8, 1987, at 8:00 Hill Auditorium, Ann Arbor, Michigan
Roman Carnival Overture, Op. 9.................................... Berlioz
Romeo and Juliet, Fantasy-Overture in B minor...................Tchaikovsky
Selections from "A Hundred Folk Tunes of Hardanger" .......... Geirr Tveitt
No. 75 Domedag (Doomsday)
No. 46 Du (You)
No. 47 Friarfoter (Go Courting)
No. 9 Langcleiklat (Norwegian Zither Tune)
No. 70 Gars-voren Dansar (The Puck Dances)
No. 1 Vclkomne med aira (Welcome With Honor)
No. 60 Haringal (Hardanger Beer)
Symphony No. 2 in D major, Op. 43 ............................... Sibelius
Tempo andante, ma rubato Vivacissimo; lento e suave Finale: allegro moderato
Polygram, Chandos, and EMIAngel Records
The University Musical Society acknowledges with thanks the generosity of Ford Motor Company Fund for underwriting the production and printing costs of this program.
Cameras and recording devices are not allowed in the auditorium. Halls Cough Tablets, courtesy of Warner-Lambert Company, arc available in the lobby.
Thirteenth Concert of the 109th Season 109th Annual Choral Union Series
Roman Carnival Overture, Op. 9........................... Hector Berlioz
This Overture was originally the introduction to the second act of the ill-fated opera Benvenuto Cellini. Berlioz composed the opera between the years 1834-37, and it was premiered on September 10, 1838, at the Paris Opera. In his own estimation of the work, Berlioz stated that it "contains a variety of ideas, an energy and exuberance and a brilliance of color such that I may perhaps never find again." Nonetheless, the first production was a tremendous dis?appointment to all concerned. Apparently the singers for the production were less than adequate, the musicians apathetic, and the conductor, Habencck, was openly hostile to the composer. The end result was a dismal failure, and all that remains today of a prodigious effort is the Overture to the opera and the introduction to the second act, which Berlioz later renamed Roman Carnival.
The Roman Carnival Overture, in its new role as a concert overture, was premiered in the Salle Herz in Paris on February 3, 1844, with the composer conducting. Roman Carnival actually became one of the few successes Berlioz came to enjoy during his lifetime. As a traveling conductor and composer in Europe during the early 1840s, he found that this work could elicit immediate and enthusiastic responses from his audiences. "The Roman Carnival Overture exploded like a mass of fireworks and was encored with a noise of feet and hands never heard except in Vienna," Berlioz wrote. Then he added, "Scores have their destiny, like books and dramas, roses and thistles." Hence, the destiny of the Roman Carnival Overture has become legendary, while the opera from which it is taken has passed into the realm of virtual obscurity.
Berlioz quite often borrowed musical material of his own for use in other works. For example, the English horn melody heard in the Roman Carnival Overture is extracted from an aria found in the opera O Teresa, vous quej'aime; prior to its use in the aria, the melody had been used in a cantata, La Mort de Cleopatre, composed in 1829.
Romeo and Juliet, Fantasy-Overture in B minor .... Peter Ilyitch Tchaikovsky
Tchaikovsky began work on the Fantasy-Overture Romeo and Juliet in September 1869. By the end of November, he had completed the scoring, and arrangements were made for the work to be premiered in Moscow on March 16, 1870, Nicholas Rubinstein conducting. During the summer of 1870, Tchaikovsky revised the work, making considerable changes. The score is dedicated to Mily Balakircv (1837-1910), one of the leading figures of "The Five" (a group of nineteenth-century Russian composers including, in addition to Balakirev, Alexander Borodin, Cesar Cui, Modest Mussorgsky, and Nikolai Rimsky-Korsakov, all of whom were united in their aim to create a distinctive nationalist school of music). It was Balakirev who suggested the idea to Tchaikovsky for the Fantasy-Overture as well as its general outline. It is of interest that at a later date Tchaikovsky contemplated writing an opera on the Romeo and Juliet theme; a duet was sketched but left unfinished.
The Fantasy-Overture consists of an introduction followed by a movement in sonata-allegro form. The introduction begins with the stately Friar Lawrence theme, marked Andante non tanto quasi moderato. It commences in the key of F-sharp minor and then proceeds to move through a variety of keys before settling into the "home" key of B minor. The first theme, with its evocation of the Montaguc-Capulct conflict, builds up to a tremendous climax before subsiding quietly into the second theme. The following section, depicting the love motive, is in the key of D-flat major; the melody is heard first in the muted violas and doubled by the English horn. The reflective love music is suddenly interrupted by a return of the principal theme which is highly developed and ingeniously combined with the Friar Lawrence motive of the introduc?tion. In the recapitulation section which follows, the second theme (love motive) appears in D major. To conclude the work, the principal B minor theme is combined for full orchestra with the Friar Lawrence theme and, as the music subsides, there are motives from the second theme section. The work concludes in the key of B major.
Tchaikovsky revised the work yet once again in 1880, this time, however, making only minor alterations in the scoring. Because Romeo and Juliet was belatedly published, it is the only important orchestral work of Tchaikovsky not to have a designated opus number.
Selections from "A Hundred Folk Tunes From Hardanger" .......Geirr Tveitt
Geirr Tveitt was born on October 19, 1908, in Kvam in Hardanger. His family's interest in music encouraged him to learn both the piano and the violin as a child, and he was greatly influenced from an early age by the rich folk traditions of the district.
Although Tveitt planned to be an architect, he became interested in music while studying at Voss Junior College. This resulted in his going to Leipzig in 1928 to study music for four
years. From 1932 until 1935, he lived in Paris and Vienna, studying with such notable musicians as Arthur Honegger and Heitor Villa-Lobos.
Geirr Tveitt was an ardent supporter of the nationalist movement in the 1930s and, even after many other composers had considered its possibilities exhausted, Tveitt remained one of its most extreme enthusiasts. During this time, he attempted to construct a new theory of music and composition based on modal scales, which he believed to be a particularly Norse founda?tion. As early as 1929, he had written twelve two-part inventions, all of which were in modal keys and, although his later style is largely less polyphonic than his early work, most of his compositions are based on modal scales.
As a composer, Geirr Tveitt was very productive. He wrote approximately 300 works, although a number of them have not yet been performed and very few have been published. His output includes five operas, three symphonies, three ballets, six piano concertos, one violin and two "Hardangcr Fiddle" concertos, 29 piano sonatas, some smaller orchestral pieces, and a large number of songs.
Hundrad Hardingtotiar (A Hundred Folk Tunes From Hardangcr) for orchestra holds a unique position in Tveitt's output. From 1942 until 1945, he lived in Hardangcr, where he collected over a thousand folk melodies. He chose one hundred of these, which he arranged for piano, and likewise, for orchestra. The imaginatively employed melodies are partially developed and the orchestration is excellent. As so often in Tveitt's music, small pronounced rhythmic motives are set up against the melodies, usually as an osliuato accompaniment. Furthermore, the orchestration reveals the composer's expert knowledge of the different instruments and his ability to use this knowledge to great advantage, creating what is con?sidered by many to be some of the most colorful orchestral pieces to be composed in Norway in recent years.
Symphony No. 2 in D major, Op. 43 ..........................Jean Sibelius
The world of symphonic music was dominated by Johannes Brahms at the time when Jean Sibelius began to seriously compose, and the great German composer exerted a profound influence on the young Sibelius. The two met each other in Vienna in 1890, at which time Sibelius paid reverent tribute to the great master. In the following year, Sibelius penned his first two orchestral works -two overtures -and both works imitate the post-Romantic style of Brahms's music. Shortly thereafter, Sibelius returned from his travels to Germany and Austria to his native Finland, and he became impassioned with patriotic zeal. Due largely to his study of the epic Finnish poem, the Kalevala, Sibelius' heightened sense of nationalism began to precipitate changes in his own approach to composition. He began to write music of a distinct Finnish character, gradually supplanting his post-Romantic tendencies and turning to Finnish folk music as a source of inspiration. Throughout the next decade, for example, he sought to express through his works the essence of his native land and its people. Programmatic titles are found often among his works during this time, as in the tone poems Kullervo, Op. 7 (1892), En Saga, Op. 9 (1892), and Finlandia, Op. 26 (1899), all of which are based on national myths.
Sibelius composed his first symphonyjust prior to writing Finlandia and began work on his second symphony in the spring of 1901 while in Italy. He completed the work later in the same year in Finland. While both of these works remain basically true to the Germanic post-Romantic traditions (the first symphony, as well, echoing Tchaikovsky in its lyricism and traditional approach to form), they are imbued with a Finnish character. Moreover, some have contended that the second symphony had an explicit patriotic program. Georg Schnecvoigt, the eminent Finnish conductor and close friend of the composer, claimed that Sibelius' inten?tion for the second symphony was to depict the pastorale life of the Finns (first movement), nationalistic fervor interrupted by "the thought of a brutal role over the people bringing with it timidity of soul" (second movement), the awakening of rebellious sentiment (third move?ment), and the promise of deliverance and freedom (the Finale). It should be pointed out, however, that Sibelius denied any such explicit programmatic intent for the work. Further?more, in the course of a meeting with Gustav Mahler in 1908, the composer remarked: "I am not a literary musician. For me, music begins where words cease. A scene can be expressed in painting, a drama in words; a symphony should be, first and last, music . . . the germ and fertilization of my symphonies have been solely musical." The Symphony No. 2 in D major, Op. 43 was premiered on March 8, 1902, in Helsinki, with Sibelius conducting. The work was such an immediate and tremendous success that Sibelius presented it again on March 10, 14, and 16, with each concert sold out, an unparalleled achievement in Finland.
In the first movement, marked Allegretto, one encounters a gradually rising chord in the strings which is built on a series of three-note motives which, after being answered by a falling chordal motive in the woodwinds, coalesce into the principal theme. Sibelius also presents two subsidiary themes in the exposition. The development section features these three thematic ideas ingeniously embellished and combined by Sibelius. In the somewhat truncated recapitula?tion section, Sibelius contrasts the various motives contrapuntally, further highlighting the innate dynamics of the musical texture.
The dramatic second movement is cast in the form of a sonatina (similar in its structure to sonata-allegro form except for the absence of a development section) and features a tension between its two subjects. Commencing with a flicker from the timpani which leads directly into a long pizzicato passage in the lower strings, the first subject, a morose-sounding theme in Aeolian D minor, is presented by the bassoons. The music becomes more agitated, involving the entire orchestra, and reaches an intensity, the momentum of which hardly abates for the remainder of the work. The second subject, in Lydian F-sharp major, is heard as if from a distance, played by muted strings and offering a slight glimmer of hope from the heavy and ponderous seriousness of the first subject. The preponderance of the first subject in the recapitulation section, however, confirms the overall solemn mood of the movement.
The vitally vibrant third movement, marked Vivacissimo, is a whirlwind of excited anticipation, is briefly subdued by the Trio, marked Lento e suave, which is heralded by five beats of the timpani with a pronounced diminuendo. The music then swells, Sibelius building a bridge out of the oboe theme's chordal motive and a contrapuntal descending theme which serves to directly link this movement to the Finale.
The first subject of the Finale, derived from the chordal motive of the transitional bridge, is of a festive character. The trombone fanfares and fiery trumpet passages telescope the heroic character of the entire movement. In contrast to the first theme, the second theme is presented by the woodwinds over a flowing ostinato passage in the cellos and violas. The third subject returns to the fanfare quality of the first subject. In the development section, Sibelius treats the themes contrapuntally and finishes the section with a climax similar to the bridge passage which links the last two movements. In the recapitulation section, the second theme's ostinato back?ground assumes far greater musical prominence. Suddenly, the melody modulates from the minor to D major, and the final theme thunders forth triumphantly. The coda presents music derived from the first subject, which is developed into a chorale-like conclusion of much grandeur and majesty.
About the Artists
The Oslo Philharmonic Orchestra, under the leadership of chief conductor Mariss Jansons, has won international recognition as a world-class ensemble. In 1982 the orchestra and Jansons received the Norwegian "Grammy" award for their recording of works by Edvard Grieg and, in 1984, received the same award for their interpretation of Tchaikovsky's Sym?phony No. 5. They have since completed their recordings of the complete cycle ofTchaikovsky symphonies for Chandos Records. Now they are involved in a major recording project with EMIAngel, in which they will complete ten albums for international release during the next four years. Two are being released during the current tour: the first, an all-Tchaikovsky disc, and the second featuring Shostakovich's Symphony No. 5.
The Oslo Philharmonic traces its roots back to the late nineteenth century, a period of great cultural growth and activity in Norway: on the scene were composers Edvard Grieg and Johan Svendsen, authors Hcnrik Ibsen and Bjornstjcrne Bjornson, and painters Adolph Tidemann and Hans Gude. Edvard Grieg was one of the founders and first conductors of the orchestra, which was established in 1871. The orchestra was permanently established as an independent organization in 1919, under conductor Gcorg Schnecvoigt. Over the last twenty years the Philharmonic has experienced tremendous artistic growth with a number of conductors who have been instrumental in its development: Herbert Blomstedt (1962-68), Miltiades Caridis (1969-75), Okko Kamu (1975-79), and Marissjansons since 1979. The orchestra makes its home at the Oslo Concert Hall, a multi-million dollar complex completed in 1977, where it gives over sixty concerts annually.
In recent years, numerous outstanding Soloists have performed with the Oslo Philhar?monic, among them Maurice Andre, Gidon Kremcr, Alicia dc Larrocha, Christa Ludwig, Igor Oistrakh, Alexis Weissenbcrg, and Krystian Zimerman. The ensemble's distinguished guest conductors have included Sixten Ehrling, Rafael Friihbcck dc Burgos, Esa-Pekka Salonen, Kurt Sandcrling, and Jukka-Pckka Saraste. Soloists engaged for upcoming concerts include Vladimir Ashkcnazy, Ivo Pogorclich, and Hcnryk Szeryng, and guest conductors Kazuyoshi Akiyama, Krzysztof Penderecki, and Leonard Slatkin.
The Oslo Philharmonic has toured in Europe, Britain, and the United States to critical acclaim. Their recent appearances include the Edinburgh Festival, Rouen Saint Maritime, and the BBC Proms.
Mariss Jansons is recognized as the motivating force behind the Oslo Philharmonic Orchestra's rise to international artistic stature. Under his leadership, the orchestra has earned high critical praise for both its concerts and recordings. In addition to the two Norwegian "Grammy" awards they received in 1982 and 1984, Mr. Jansons received the Norwegian music critics' award in 1983 for his interpretation of Shostakovich's Symphony No. 7 ("Leningrad").
Mr. Jansons has conducted the major orchestras of 22 countries, including those in the United States, Canada, Mexico, Japan, Italy, Austria, and West Germany. He is also a conductor of the Leningrad Philharmonic and has conccrtizcd widely in the Soviet Union. In 1983 he also led the Moscow State Orchestra on its tour of England and Northern Ireland. The
maestro has conducted extensively in Great Britain and is principal guest conductor of the BBC Welsh Symphony Orchestra. Since 1979 he has been chief conductor of the Oslo Philharmonic. In upcoming seasons, Mr. Jansons will be leading the Olso Philharmonic in tours through the United States, Japan, Italy, and Spain, and will also conduct the BBC Welsh Symphony Orchestra in a series of nationally televised broadcasts of Tchaikovsky symphonies.
Born in Riga, Latvia, in 1943, Mariss Jansons studied violin, viola, piano, and conducting at Leningrad's Conservatory of Music. He continued his studies at the Vienna Academy of Music under Hans Swarovsky and in Salzburg under Herbert von Karajan. In 1971 he was among the prize winners in the Herbert von Karajan competition in Berlin and later that year was appointed assistant to Evgeny Mravinsky of the Leningrad Philharmonic.
Mr. Jansons and the Oslo Philharmonic Orchestra are making their Ann Arbor debut appearances this evening.
Oslo Philharmonic Orchestra
Mariss Jansons, Conductor
First Violins
Magnus Ericsson Pauls Ezergailis Zygmunt Sprus Noralf Glein Wanda Beck Jorn Halbakkcn Arild Solum Helgc Stang Aas Kristina Kiss Tora Dugstad Odd Hannisdal Andre Orvik Klemcns Bortcl Ragnar Heyerdahl Helga Nctland Tuomas Ollila Richard Kontra Sharon Harman
Second Violins
Amejorgen 0ian Dagny Bakken Bernard Wilt Signy Hauge Larsen Zygmunt Marciuch Tove Halbakken Resell Ann Charlotte Ohlsson Niels Aschehoug Agnes Hoffart Willy Aase Tone Elden Pal Jacobsen Ingrid Jostad Kari-Pekka Immonen Daniel Dalnoki Kirsti Andersen
Otto Berg
Oddbjorn Bauer
Rolf Ulfrstad
Geoffrey Gotch
Inger Slattebrekk Orestad
Roger Olstad
Birgitta Jason Halbakkcn
Torris Bakkc
Karin Dungel Stig Ove Ose Tormod Gangflot Marja-Liisa Rissanen John Westbye Nora Taksdal
Anne Britt Sx'vig Ardal Hans Chr. Hauge 0rnulf Jemtland Zbigiew Subocz Ania Szaniawska Tove Sinding-Larsen Ole Morten Gimle Kari Rensvik Tormod Knapp Jukka Tyrvainen Paivi Mykra Lars Inge Bjarlcstam Gudmund Sevag
Svein Haugcn Dan Styffe Odd Hansen Johnny Folde Einar Schayen Karcl Netolicka Erling Sunnarvik Erik Zeppezauer Bjern Ianke
Torkil Bye Per Flemstrem Karl Th. Engc Andrew Cunningham
Erik Niord Larsen Simon Ernes Matz Pcttersen Havard Norang
Erik Andresen Terje Nymark
Lee Morgan Rolf Malm
Per Hannisdal Eirik Birkeland Torleiv Nedberg Knut Bjaerke
French horns
Odd Ullcberg Freydis Ree Wckre Kjcll Erik Arnesen Akscl Strom Inger Besserudhagen
Jan Fr. Christiansen Ole Edv. Antonsen Knut Aarsand Nils Harry Bjcrk
Aline Nistad
Jonas Bylund
Tcrjc Midtgard
Ola Rennow (Bass-trombone)
Marcus Knight
Trygve Wcfring Per Erik Thorsen Bjorn Loken Einar Fjairvold Morten Belstad
Andrew Simco
Elisabeth Sonstcvold
Helge Myhren
In the belief that increased understanding brings increased pleasure, the University Musical Society is pleased to offer these Pre-concert Presentations to our concertgoers through December -all will be held in the Rackham Building on East Washington Street.
Wednesday, Nov. 11 at 7:00, preceding Vienna String Trio
Speaker: Norman Fischer Topic: Chamber Music: A Listener's Feast
Associate Professor of Music, Oberlin 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.)
Coming Concerts
Vienna String Trio ........................................ Wed. Nov. 11
Haydn: Trio, Op. 53; Dohnanyi: Serenade, Op. 10; Beethoven: Trio,
Op. 9, No. 1 Elena Obraztsova, Mezzo-soprano ............................ Fri. Nov. 20
Songs of Tchaikovsky and Rachmaninoff Vienna Choir Boys ........................................ Sun. Nov. 22
Johann Schenk: Comic Operetta, "Dorfbarbicr" (Cure for Quacks);
and music of Buxtehude, Verdi, Schubert, Kodaly, and Johann
Handel's "Messiah'VDoNALn Bryant, Conductor ........... Fri.-Sun. Dec. 4-6
The Swingle Singers ...................................... Thurs. Dec. 10
Pittsburgh Ballet, Tchaikovsky's "Nutcracker" ........ Fri.-Sun. Dec. 11-13
Houacio Gutierrez, Pianist................................... Wed. Jan. 13
Koixi (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
Music of Corelli, Marcello, Tclcmann, Vivaldi, Torclli, and
Respighi's Ancient Airs and Dances III Lynn Harrell, Cellist; Igor Kipnis, Harpsichordist .............. Sun. Feb. 14
All-Bach: Sonatas, Nos. 1, 2, and 3; Chromatic Fantasy and Fugue
(harpsichord alone); Suite No. 3 (cello alone)
Bayanihan Philippine Dance Company ..................... Mon. Feb. 29
English Chamber OrchestraJeffrey Tate .................. Mon. Mar. 7
Frank Peter Zimmermann, Violinist
Mozart: "Marriage of Figaro" Overture; Mozart: Violin Concerto in
A major, K. 216; Gordon Jacob: Mini-Concerto for Clarinet; Haydn:
Symphony No. 101 ("Clock")
Hubbard Street Dance Company .................. Sat., Sun. Mar. 12, 13
Belgrade State Folk Ensemble ............................. Sun. Mar. 13
Christopher Parkening, Guitarist ..............................Fri. Mar. 18
Music of Bach, Mozart, Granados, Albeniz, Torroba, Sanz,
Villa-Lobos, Rodrigo, and Falla Faculty Artists Concert (free admission) .................... Sun. Mar. 20
Schumann: Song cycle, "Dichterliebc," Leslie Guinn, baritone,
Martin Katz, pianist; Schubert: "Trout" Quintet, D. 667 Andre Watts, Pianist ..........................................Sat. Apr. 2
Haydn: Sonata No. 58, Hob. XVI48; Mozart: Sonata in F, K. 332;
Brahms: Piano Pieces, Op. 119; Schubert: Sonata, D. 784 (Op. 143),
and "Wanderer" Fantasy
Write or call for free brochure with all details and ticket information.
Burton Memorial Tower, Ann Arbor, Michigan 48109-1270 Telephone: (313) 764-2538

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