Hill Auditorium, Ann Arbor, Michigan
THE UNIVERSITY MUSICAL SOCIETY OF THE UNIVERSITY OF MICHIGAN
Violinist SAMUEL SANDERS, Pianist
Sunday Afternoon, September 25, 1988, at 4:00 Hill Auditorium, Ann Arbor, Michigan
Sonata No. 1 in E-flat major, Op. 11, No. 1.........................Hindemith
Im Zeitmass eines langsamen, feierlichen Tanzes
Four Pieces for Violin and Piano, Op. 7..............................Webern
Sonata No. 7 in C minor, Op. 30, No. 2...........................Beethoven
Allegro con brio Adagio cantabile Scherzo Finale
Sonata No. 2 (Poeme mystique)......................................Bloch
Works to be announced from the stage
Mr. Perlman is represented by IMC Artists, New York. Mr. Sanders plays the Steinway piano available through Hammell Music, Inc.
Cameras and recording devices are not allowed in the auditorium. Halls Cough Tablets, courtesy of Warner-Lambert Company, are available in the lobby.
First Concert of the 110th Season 110th Annual Choral Union Series
Sonata No. 1 in E-flat major, Op. 11, No. 1....................Paul Hinijemith
Born in Hanau (near Frankfurt), Hindemith was one of the leading masters of twentieth-century music, active as a composer, conductor, violist, and teacher. He studied violin and composi?tion at the Hoch Conservatory in Frankfurt and became concertmaster of the orchestra of the Frankfurt Opera House. As a composer, he joined the modern movement and was an active partici?pant in the contemporary music concerts at Donaueschingen, and later in Baden-Baden. In 1927, Hindemith was appointed instructor in composition at the Berlin Hochschule fur Musik, where he became acquainted with the conductors Wilhelm Furtwangler and Otto Klemperer, both of whom championed his music. With the advent of the Hitler regime in 1933, Hindemith began to experience increasing difficulties, both aristically and politically. Unwilling to compromise with the regime or to cease ensemble playing with his Jewish friends, he left Germany to settle eventually in the United States and became an American citizen in 1946.
Hindemith was a professor of theory and composition at Yale University from 1940 to 1953 and was also head of advanced composition at the Berkshire Music Center in Tanglewood, where his pupils in 1940 included Lukas Foss and Leonard Bernstein. He spent a year at Harvard University giving the Charles Eliot Norton Lectures that were later published as A Composer's World, and he was honored with election to membership in the National Institute of Arts and Sciences. In 1963, Hindemith visited the United States for the last time, then went to Italy, Vienna, and finally to Frankfurt, where he died.
Hindemith's early works show the influences of Strauss and Reger, succeeded by Stravinsky and Bartok, and, although he made free use of atonal melodies, he was never tempted to adopt an integral 12-tone method, which he opposed on esthetic grounds. Tonality formed the basis of all his compositions. Having made a thorough study of old music, he artfully assimilated its polyphony in his works; his masterpiece of this genre was the opera Matins der Maler.
An exceptionally prolific composer, Hindemith wrote music of all types for all instrumental combinations, including a series of sonatas for each orchestral instrument with piano. The Sonata heard this afternoon is the first in the set of six sonatas of Opus 11, written in 1918-19 -two for violin and piano, one for cello and piano, one for viola and piano, one for solo viola, and one for solo violin, in that order.
Four Pieces for Violin and Piano, Op. 7.....................Anton Webern
Born in Vienna, Wcbcrn received his first instruction in music from his mother, an amateur pianist. He continued studies in piano, cello, and theory before entering the University of Vienna, where he studied harmony, counterpoint, and musicology. In 1904, Webern began private studies in composition with Arnold Schoenbcrg, whose ardent disciple he became. Alban Berg also studied with Schocnberg, and these three -Schocnberg, Berg, and Wcbcrn -laid the foundations of what became known as the Second Viennese School of Composition, the unifying element being Schoen-berg's 12-tone method of composition. Webern was active as a conductor in Vienna and Germany but, for the most part, devoted himself to composition.
After Hitler came to power in 1933, Webern's music was banned as a manifestation of "cultural Bolshevism" and "degenerate art," and his position became even more difficult in 1938, for his works could no longer be published. After his son was killed in an air bombardment of a train in February 1945, he and his wife fled from Vienna to Mittersill (near Salzburg) to stay with their married daughters. Webern's life ended tragically on the evening of September 15, 1945, when he was accidentally shot and killed by an American soldier after stepping outside his son-in-law's residence.
Webern left relatively few works, and most of them are of short duration. Writing in a free atonal style from 1908 to the early 1920s, he adopted the 12-tone method almost immediately after its definitive formulation by Schoenbcrg in 1924. The impact of his later works on the general public and the critics was disconcerting; however, his extraordinary skill and novelty of technique made his music endure beyond the fashions of the times. Performances of his works multiplied after his death and began to influence increasingly larger groups of modern musicians. Stravinsky acknowledged the use of Webern's methods in his latest works; jazz composers have professed to follow Webern's ideas of tone color; and analytical treatises have been published in several languages. The Interna?tional Webern Festival celebrated the centennial of his birth in December 1983 in" Vienna.
The Four Pieces for Violin and Piano, Op. 7, heard this afternoon, were written in 1910, revised by the composer in 1914.
Sonata No. 7 in C minor, Op. 30, No. 2...............Ludwig van Beethoven
Beethoven's working life coincided with unprecedented developments to keyboard and stringed instruments, and to woodwind and brass at a hardly less dramatic level. The French Revolution brought music out from the throne room and reception hall into the public auditorium. Public concerts attracted larger audiences and became more numerous. The cult of monumental sonority had already begun, and it suited the French Revolution ethic. So instruments had to make
more noise to fill the larger halls: the fortepiano acquired a stouter frame, more powerful strings and hammers; string players were supplied with new, more robust bows, and their old instruments were fortified, re-shaped, and re-strung.
As a master pianist, Beethoven had a professional interest in the development of the piano, as his music for the instrument testifies from year to year. In Bonn he had also learned the violin and earned his living as a viola player, musically a humble position; in Vienna he again took up the violin, and even played his own violin sonatas with his piano pupil, Ferdinand Ries. (Ries later remembered the experience as painful -Beethoven became so carried away that he did not notice his fingering mistakes and subsequent out-of-tunc playing.)
The first three Beethoven violin sonatas, published as Op. 12, were written in 1797-8, at about the same time as the three piano sonatas, Op. 10, and the three string trios, Op. 9. He composed the Op. 12 sonatas so that they would be bought and played by customers at home, and, although they were evidently found difficult, the printed editions sold well and had to be reprinted. Two more violin sonatas followed in 1800-1, Op. 23 and Op. 24 (the "Spring"), and only a year later, in 1801-2, Beethoven was at work on another set, the three sonatas of Op. 30.
The Op. 30 sonatas Beethoven dedicated, to all appearances gratuitously, to Tsar Alexander I of Russia. It is possible that, at a time when he was becoming disenchanted with life in Vienna and fancied stretching his wings elsewhere, he used the dedication to angle for a post in Imperial Russia. He was not given one, indeed, received no remuneration at all until 1814 when the Russian Empress, visiting Vienna, made good the old debt. As with the three Op. 12 sonatas, the three of Op. 30 form a remarkable triptych, as do the piano sonatas of Op. 31 that he was composing at the same time. Beethoven was on the verge of the Heroic Style associated with his Middle Period. As the Classical stylist which he remained to the end, despite suggestions to the contrary, Beethoven flanked the C-minor Sonata of Op. 30 with the decidedly thoughtful, restrained No. 1 in A major, and the vivacious, more extroverted No. 3 in G, so as to create a balanced set. By a similar impulse, surely, he gave the middle sonata four movements and the two outer ones only three, like his early chamber works.
The Sonata in C minor, Op. 30, No. 2, begins with a dour, rather forlorn gesture solto voce on the piano which the violin elevates into a melody. It is contrasted with a strutting, military second subject, the outward aspect of the Heroic Style, with dotted rhythms, rapid scales and leaps and trills until the first subject resumes its mantle of contemplation; the development has started, without double-bar or repeated exposition. It involves elements of both groups and new ideas and culminates in a truly fearsome reappearance of the first subject in its first state at the beginning of the reprise. The second subject is now in C major, but C minor is soon to follow. This was as big a sonata movement as Beethoven had composed, an impressive gateway to his so-called Middle Period.
The work continues with an Adagio cantabile in A-flat major that derives much of its tension from the second harmony in its theme, a poignant minor ninth chord on the supertonic; this noble meditation becomes more spirited in its middle section, and grandly florid in the reprise. The coda's dreams are twice interrupted by calls to action, rapid scales that sound curiously like a quotation from the Third Piano Concerto, by now in fairly finished state on Beethoven's desk, though not yet publicly performed. The meditation is hardly ruffled, though the piano part grows turbulently ornamental beneath it.
The Scherzo -there had to be one in this grandiose work (though Beethoven was soon to show that an even bigger violin sonata, the "Kreutzer," did not have to include a fourth movement) -begins boyishly in C, but soon turns truculent; in the Trio section (same key), the violin and pianist's left hand share the tune in canon and bring it from, as it were, peasant jollity to something rather grand.
The Finale, back in C minor, is a big movement like the first, an Allegro sonata-rondo, and it, too, has a first subject with a menacing gesture before a forlorn melody, and a second group in the military manner. By the first return the forlorn melody has become cheerful C major, but after a fugato it reappears even more forlorn in B-flat minor. The first episode is recapitulated, and the Rondo theme returns only to move away for a Presto coda that involves both principal subjects in new and thrilling activity.
Sonata No. 2 (Poeme mystique)...............................Ernest Bloch
The violin was Ernest Bloch's own instrument. At the age often he showed so great a talent for it that his family later took him to Brussels to study with no less than Ysaye, the most famous violinist of the day. He developed a command of the instrument in more than virtuoso studies, but technique alone did not satisfy him. It wasn't long before Ysaye realized that Bloch's greater ability lay in composition. At this period he was studying composition with Frangois Rasse, a student of Cesar Franck. Later, he went to Leipzig to study with Iwan Knorr, but it must have been in Brussels that his fondness for the cyclic style was instilled, for that compositional trait was to remain with him. He wrote a number of compositions for the violin during this early period, all reflecting the prevailing influence of the French School. The violin works that bear his real stamp were to come after his migration to the United States in July 1916.
Bloch's mature violin works revolve around three of the best-known virtuosi of the twentieth century -Joseph Szigeti, Yehudi Menuhin, and Jascha Heifetz. Szigeti met Bloch early after his
arrival in the United States and was impressed by his forceful personality and his music; he per?formed and recorded Bal Shem, the first work of Bloch to be recorded. Later, in 1928, Szigeti gave the first performance of the Violin Concerto, a regrettably under-performed work today.
Ychudi Menuhin, in his wunderkind days, was introduced to Bloch, who was so taken with him that he wanted to write something for him immediately. This was Avodah, for violin and piano, an arrangement of the Jewish prayer, and the first of many compositions that were to be dedicated to him. The very last compositions of Bloch, the two Suites for Unaccompanied Violin, were also dedicated to Menuhin.
Bloch wrote his first violin sonata in 1920 while teaching at the Cleveland Institute. In 1955, after hearing Heifetz's recording of this sonata, Bloch wrote the violinist asking if he would like to see the score of the second sonata, Poeme mystique. It had been out of print for years (printed in Germany and destroyed in the Nazi years). With the violinist's assent, Bloch sent him a photostat of the score, and Heifetz soon recorded it.
The second sonata, Poeme mystique, was composed in 1924, the period of the popular first Concerto Grosso. It is in one movement, opening and closing on a serpentine theme of mysterious character that undoubtedly leads to the title of the work. While not in traditional sonata form (Bloch was sensitive to the term "rhapsodic"), the sonata does overflow its structure into that realm. There are recollections of Hebraic character, quotes from the Gregorian Credo and Gloria, meditative interludes, and dramatic outbursts that are all superbly unified into a satisfying whole. This unity expresses for Bloch the "pure serenity" he found in looking back at the work, and indeed, it is a distillation of that composer.
About the Artists
Itzhak Perlman's ranking among today's performing artists stems from more than his su?preme artistic credentials. Audiences the world over respond not only to his flawless technique, but to the combination of talent, charm, humanity, and the irrepressible joy of making music which he communicates. President Reagan recognized these qualities when he honored this Israeli-born violinist with a "Medal of Liberty" in 1986.
Itzhak Perlman has appeared with every major orchestra in the world, on most of the great concert stages alone or in close collaboration with great artists, on countless national television shows, and in recording studios here and abroad. His presence on stage, on camera, and in personal appearances of all kinds speaks eloquently on behalf of the handicapped and disabled, and his devotion to their cause is an integral part of his life.
Mr. Perlman's recordings arc with EMIAngel, Deutsche Grammophon, CBS Masterworks, LondonDecca, and RCA. They appear regularly on the best-seller charts and have won numerous Grammy Awards. Most recently, his recording with Samuel Sanders -"My Favorite Kreisler" -won a Grammy nomination in March. His vast repertoire encompasses all the standard violin literature, as well as many works by new composers, whose efforts he has championed. He has also taught aspiring young musicians in numerous violin master classes.
On television, Itzhak Perlman has entertained and enlightened millions of viewers of all ages, on shows as diverse as "Sesame Street," several "Live from Lincoln Center" broadcasts, and the PBS special "A Musical Toast," which he hosted.
Born in Israel in 1945, Itzhak Perlman completed his initial training at the Academy of Music in Tel Aviv. Following his studies at The Juilliard School in New York under Ivan Galamian and Dorothy DeLay, he won the prestigious Leventritt Competition, and his world career ensued. After his return to Israel, which Time magazine hailed as "the return of the prodigy," Mr. Perlman joined the ranks of superstar performers known throughout the world.
In April 1980, Newsweek magazine featured Mr. Perlman with a cover story, and in 1981 Musical America pictured him as "Musician of the Year" on the cover of its Directory of Music and Musi?cians. Harvard University, Yale University, Brandeis University, and Hebrew University in Jerusa?lem are among the many institutions which have awarded him honorary doctorate degrees.
This afternoon's recital marks Mr. Perlman's fifth Ann Arbor appearance. His previous perfor?mances were in the May Festivals of 1970 and 1985, and in recital in 1972 and 1982, both with pianist Samuel Sanders.
Samuel Sanders, one of America's leading collaborative artists, is making his seventh Ann Arbor appearance this afternoon -a third recital with Itzhak Perlman and one recital each with cellists Ko Iwasaki and Mstislav Rostropovich, violinist Kung-Wha Chung, and hornist Hermann Baumann. His association with these and other eminent musicians -including Pinchas Zukerman, Lynn Harrell, Yo-Yo Ma, Leonard Rose, Jean-Pierre Rampal, Maureen Forrester, Hikan Hagegard, Jessye Norman, and Beverly Sills -has taken him around the globe ... to Europe, the Soviet Union, the Philippines, and the Far East, in addition to performances in North and South America. He has played at the White House six times during the administrations of Presidents Johnson, Nixon, Carter, and Reagan.
Mr. Sanders has made more than three dozen recordings, winning two Grammy Awards in 1980 and a Grammy nomination in March 1988 for his recording with Perlman of music by Fritz Kreisler. His recording with violinist Joshua Bell, released in the spring of 1988 by LondonDecca, has received critical international acclaim, and most recently he has recorded with the Austrian
cellist Heinrich Schiff on the Philips label, to be released in the spring of 1989. He has appeared as a guest artist with the Chamber Music Society of Lincoln Center, Chamber Music at the Y, and the New School Concerts, and is also founder and director of the thriving Cape and Islands Chamber Music Festival in Massachusetts.
A native of Manhattan, Mr. Sanders began piano studies at the age of eight and showed an immediate and remarkable affinity for the instrument. After graduating from New York City's Hunter College, he went to The Juilliard School, where he formed the first significant musical partnership of his career, with cellist Leonard Rose. He has been on the faculty of The Juilliard School since 1963 and of Peabody Conservatory since 1985, at both schools establishing specifically designed programs for students training to be accompanists. In tribute to his accomplishments in the field of education, he was awarded an honorary doctorate by St. Louis Conservatory in 1984. Mr. Sanders is a board member of the Lehman Center for the Performing Arts in New York City and also serves on the Advisory Council for Chamber Music America and on the Advisory Board of the National Foundation of Advancement in the Arts (Miami).
UNIVERSITY MUSICAL SOCIETY Board of Directors
John W. Reed, President
David B. Kennedy, Vice President
John D. Paul, Treasurer Norman G. Herbert, Secretary
Robert G. Aldrich James J. Duderstadt Thomas E. Kauper
Richard L. Kennedy Patrick B. Long Judythe R. Maugh
Ann S. Schriber Herbert E. Sloan Jerry A. Weisbach
Kenneth C. Fischer, Executive Director Advisory Committee
Ann S. Schriber, Chair
Catherine Arcure Charles Borgsdorf Barbara Bryant Bradley Canale Sandra Connellan Katharine Cosovich Elena Delbanco Anne Duderstadt
Judy Fry Joann Gargaro Joyce Ginsberg Anne Glendon Charles Hills Stuart Isaac Janet Jeffries Frances lelinek
Shirley Kauper Howard King Lynn Luckenbach Carl Lutkehaus Alan Mandel Ingrid Martin Charlotte McGeoch Joan Olscn
Agnes Reading Dorothy Reed Sally Rogers Alice Vining Raven Wallace Mary White Sally White Shellv Williams
Ex-officio: Kenneth C. Fischer, Nancy Cordincr Judge, Rebecca Liss Kott
Sally A. Cushing Leilani Denison Barbara L. Ferguson Michael L. Gowing Nancy Cordiner Judge
Michael Kondziolka Rebecca Liss Kott William Orr Laura Rosenberg
Robin Stephenson Drent Pamela S. Teeplc Carol G. Wargelin LornaJ. Young
U-M Interns: Clare Stollak, Trevor Young University Choral Union and Festival Chorus
Donald T. Bryant
Stephen L. Bryant
Coming Concerts --1988-89 Season
Tokyo String Quartet...................................Thurs. Sept. 29
Opening event for Rackham's 50th birthday celebration.
Ballet West, Prokofiev's "Romeo and Juliet" ...........Mon., Tues. Oct. 10, 11
Paillard Chamber Orchestra Jean-Francois Paillard.......Sat. Oct. 15
Moscow State Symphony Yevgeny Svetlanov..............Sun. Oct. 23
Royal Ballet of Flanders ........................Wed., Thurs. Oct. 26, 27
Special Fundraising Gala, Saturday, October 29
"Our Night of Celebration" with Leonard Bernstein and the Vienna Philharmonic
Musica Antiqua Koln Reinhold Goebel....................Tues. Nov. 1
Vienna Symphony Orchestra Georges Pretre...............Fri. Nov. 11
Messiaen Birthday Salute: "Quartet for the End of Time"...........Tues. Nov. 29
Robert McDuffie, violinist; Gervase de Peyer, clarinetist; Santiago Rodriguez, pianist; Nathaniel Rosen, cellist
Handel's "Messiah" Donald Bryant, conductor.............Fri.-Sun. Dec. 2-4
Ashley Putnam, soprano; Kathleen Segar, alto; Richard Fracker, tenor; Stephen Bryant, bass; members of the Ann Arbor Symphony
Yo-Yo Ma, cellist.............................................Mon. Dec. 5
I Solisti Veneti Claudio Scimone...........................Tues. Dec. 6
Vienna Choir Boys..........................................Sat. Dec. 10
Kathleen Battle, soprano.....................................Mon. Jan. 9
Klezmer Conservatory Band.................................Sat. Jan. 14
Montreal Symphony Orchestra Charles Dutoit...........Wed. Jan. 25
Radu Lupu, pianist
Mazowsze, Polish Folk Company..............................Mon. Jan. 30
Canadian Brass............................................Thurs. Feb. 2
Beaux Arts Trio..............................................Sat. Feb. 4
Osipov Balalaika Orchestra...............................Thurs. Feb. 9
with stars of the Bolshoi Opera
Mummenschanz.....................................Sat., Sun. Feb. 11, 12
New York City Opera National Company ............Sat., Sun. Feb. 18,19
Verdi's "La Traviata"
Richard Stoltzman and Friends............................Wed. Feb. 22
"New York Counterpoint"
Folger Consort & Western Wind...........................Mon. Mar. 6
Paul Taylor Dance Company.........................Tues., Wed. Mar. 7, 8
Israel Philharmonic Zubin Mehta.........................Tues. Mar. 14
Faculty Artists Concert (free admission) .....................Sun. Mar. 19
The Chieftains.............................................Wed. Mar. 22
Emerson String Quartet ..................................Wed. Mar. 29
Alicia de Larrocha, pianist.................................Thurs. Mar. 30
Stuttgart Wind Quintet ...................................Wed. Apr. 5
Dennis Russell Davies, pianist
Munich Philharmonic Sergiu Celibidache ................Thurs. Apr. 13
St. Louis Symphony Orchestra Leonard Slatkin .........Thurs. Apr. 20
96th Annual May Festival...........................Wed.-Sat. Apr. 26-29
Leipzig Gewandhaus Orchestra and Kurt Masur Artists and programs to be announced in December.
Complete information in free color brochure, available upon request.
UNIVERSITY MUSICAL SOCIETY
Burton Memorial Tower, Ann Arbor, Michigan 48109-1270 Telephone: (313) 764-2538