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UMS Concert Program, September 29, 1988: Tokyo String Quartet --

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Season: 110th
Concert: Second
Rackham Auditorium, Ann Arbor, Michigan

Tokyo String Quartet
Thursday Evening, September 29, 1988, at 8:00 Rackham Auditorium, Ann Arbor, Michigan
A Program Celebrating Rackham's 50th Anniversary
Quartet in B-flat major, Op. 18, No. 6..........................Beethoven
Allegro con brio
Adagio ma non troppo
La Malinconia: adagio, allegretto quasi allegro
Quartet No. 3...................................................Bartok
Prima parte: moderato
Seconda parte: allegro
Ricapitulazione della prima parte: moderato
Coda: allegro molto
(in one continuous movement)
Quartet in D minor, D. 810 ("Death and the Maiden")..............Schubert
Andante con moto (variations)
Scherzo: allegro molto
John D Arms, Dean of the Graduate School, invites all concertgoers
to join him in the lobby after the concert for a champagne toast
to the 50th birthday of the Rackham Building.
The Tokyo String Quartet appears by arrangement with ICM Artists, Ltd., New York. Halls Cough Tablets, courtesy of Warner-Lambert Company, are available in the lobby.
Second Concert of the 110th Season Special Concert
Quartet in B-flat major, Op. 18, No. 6..............Ludwig van Beethoven
Beethoven's Opus 18 consists of six string quartets that were written mostly in 1799, though they were not published until 1801. This was a successful and contented period for the young composer, who was not yet troubled by any signs of his impending tragic deafness and was achieving a respected reputation as a pianist and composer in musical and aristocratic circles in Vienna.
A composer writing in this medium at that time could not fail to have been constantly aware of the great masterpieces of eighteenth-century quartet literature that had been produced by Mozart and Haydn. And yet, Beethoven was never a slavish imitator. The Opus 18 quartets are familiar in their formal and structural perfection, but the stamp of the young lion is on them. As John N. Burk, American biographer of Beethoven, writes so expressively: "Certainly no one, not even Beethoven, could have borrowed that elegant investiture of a closing century and worn it with the consummate grace of those two (Mozart and Haydn), who had made it so completely a part of their natures. The brocaded coat, already slightly outmoded, does not encase these broader shoulders quite so comfortably."
The first movement of the Op. 18, No. 6 quartet (1800) opens with a delightful operatic duet between the first violin and the cello. Later the texture thickens, but the elegant ambiance prevails. A fugal section and a transitional passage in thirds precede the return of the opening. The Adagio is another operatic movement, with a singing theme, a contrasting pathetic central section, and Italian-style ornamentation. A brilliant wit and deliberate eccentricity dazzle the listener in the Scherzo. The aim is to delight and to confuse. A comic trio section adds to the fun.
The slow introduction to the last movement is an unusual and remarkable piece of writing, especially for 1800. The composer evidently shared this view, for he entitled it "La Malinconia" and wrote in the score: "This piece must be played with the greatest delicacy." It opens with a hushed sense of suppressed significance and unlimited possibilities. It is the brief ornamental turn, however, that becomes the real germinal force of the piece. The unexpected modulations add mystery and a disturbed sense of direction. Alternating dynamics lead to a final fortissimo climax and a formal cadence. The finale itself is more conventional, expounding a graceful and charming rondo; but, before the end, the "Malinconia" music returns to stem the flow. Even the rondo theme itself is affected. But a prestissimo ending sweeps every shadow from view.
--Jeremy Yttdkin
Quartet No. 3 .............................................Bela Bartok
Bartok's string quartets have often been compared with Beethoven's -a comparison justified not only by their being among the highest achievements in twentieth-century music, but also by the fact that, like Beethoven's sixteen quartets, Bartok's six cover the whole span of his creative output. (A quartet written when he was eighteen was later suppressed, and he is known to have been planning a seventh quartet shortly before his death.)
For Bartok, as for Beethoven, the string quartet remained the vehicle for his deepest and most personal thoughts and feelings, a distillation of his art in its purest terms. Each of the six published quartets epitomizes, to some extent, a phase in the composer's development.
Bartok composed his Third Quartet in 1927, ten years after No. 2. Works composed during the intervening period include The Miraculous Mandarin, the two sonatas for violin and piano, and the first Piano Concerto. The Third Quartet, together with No. 4 (1928), marks the extreme point in his temporary abandonment of traditional tonality and formal design. It was submitted for a competi?tion organized by the Music Fund Society of Philadelphia and won joint first prize with a quartet by Alfred Casella. Bartok's quartet, which he dedicated to the Music Fund Society, did not receive its first performance until February 19, 1929, when it was played by the Waldbauer-Kerpely Quartet in London's Wigmore Hall.
The Quartet No. 3 is in one continuous movement, but there are three main sections to the work, so that the overall design is ternary, with a coda. The first 'part' is also in ternary form: a slow lyrical movement based on a variety of short motives that are treated in a predominantly canonic style. There is a somewhat rhapsodic middle section in slightly quicker tempo.
The second 'part,' a fast movement, is in sonata form and has two main themes: the first notable for its rhythmic complexity and introduced by the first violin after some preludial bars, and the second introduced by viola and cello beneath tremolando figures on the two violins. Elements of both themes are combined in the development section, which is largely fugal.
The 'recapitulation' of the first 'part' is both varied and severely condensed. It, in turn, leads into a fast coda based on the music of the second 'part.'
-Robin Golding
Quartet in D minor, D. 810 ("Death and the Maiden") .......Franz Schubert
The Quartet in D minor, known as "Death and the Maiden," was composed in the year 1826, just two years before Schubert's death. It was among a wealth of unpublished work left at his death! including manuscripts of songs, piano music, chamber works, operas, symphonies, and masses! Various publishers began the task of acquiring and publishing these manuscripts during the nine?teenth century. The first publication of a complete edition of Schubert's works appeared between 1884 and 1897, with the operas, early symphonies, over 200 songs, and the smaller unpublished and choral works appearing in print for the first time. It remained for Otto Erich Deutsch (1883-1967), the eminent Austrian scholar and specialist in Schubertian research, to devise the definitive chrono?logical cataloging as it appeared in his 1951 documentary publication, Schubert: Thematic Catalogue of All His Works in Chronological Order. In June 1967, the Internationale Schubert-Gesellschaft was founded in Tubingen, Germany, its chief object to prepare the Neue Schubert-Ausgabe, a complete and authentic edition of the composer's work. The first volumes appeared in the 1960s, the composi?tions identified with the new "D." designation.
Without question, the quartet heard this evening is one of the most beloved and most popular quartets in the entire chamber music literature and represents one of Schubert's greatest chamber music works as well. In structure it is more symphonic than a chamber music work, both in its melodic and harmonic material and in its mood.
The title of the D-minor Quartet, "Death and the Maiden," was taken from Schubert's song of the same name and appears as the theme of the second movement. The practice of borrowing themes from his other works was not uncommon with this genius; other examples are found in the C-major Fantasy known as "The Wanderer" and the A-major piano quintet known as "The Trout."
When employing one of these borrowed themes, Schubert did not ordinarily base all of the movements on the one motive -in other words, the theme was not made to function as a "motto." In the case of the quartet, the "Death and the Maiden" theme forms the basis for a set of variations in the second movement. The work as a whole, however, breathes the same ominous atmosphere as the song whose title it bears. As if to contribute to this same end, the composer cast all four movements in the minor mode (a unique practice indeed) and used a phrase from another of his songs, "The Erl King," as the motive of the second subject in the fourth movement. The baleful atmosphere of death with which Schubert undoubtedly wished to imbue the quartet prompted him to turn to these lieder for thematic material.
About the Artists
The Tokyo String Quartet, now in its eighteenth season, is internationally acclaimed as one of the world's great quartets. Its performances on five continents include concerts in music capitals throughout the world, among them New York, Washington, D.C., Vienna, Berlin, Amsterdam, Milan, Paris, London, Tokyo, Hong Kong, and Sydney, and its many recordings have earned numerous prizes and awards.
In North America, the ensemble appears each season on distinguished chamber music series and at colleges and universities. It regularly concertizes in New York's major halls, with engagements on Lincoln Center's "Great Performers" series, at the Mostly Mozart Festival, the 92nd Street Y's "Distinguished Artists" series, Carnegie Hall's "Great Quartets" series, and at the Metropolitan-Museum of Art. The quartet also appears annually at Yale University where the members are artists-in-residence. Highlights of the new 1988-89 season include three European tours, with per?formances in London, Paris, Vienna, Munich, Stockholm, Oslo, at La Scala in Milan, and at summer music festivals during June and July of 1989. It also tours Japan for a series of concerts in Tokyo, Osaka, and Nagoya.
RCA Victor Red Seal recently signed the Tokyo Quartet to an exclusive, long-term contract that includes recording the complete quartets of Schubert as part of this association. The first issue in the series -the Quartets No. 9, D. 173, and No. 13, D. 804 -is now in release, joining the Tokyo Quartet's recent recording of the Brahms Piano Quintet, Op. 34, with pianist Barry Douglas, also on the RCA label. The quartet's many other recordings of works by Bartok, Brahms, Debussy, Haydn, Mozart, Ravel, and Schubert have earned the Grand Prix du Disque du Montreux, Best Chamber Music Recording of the Year awards from both Stereo Review and Gramophone, and three Grammy nominations.
The Tokyo Quartet has just completed a series of performances of the complete quartets of Beethoven, and gave its first performance of the Beethoven cycle during the summer of 1986 at the Norfolk Chamber Music Festival in Norfolk, Connecticut, a setting where the ensemble has concer-tized and taught for twelve summers. It repeated the cycle at the Ravinia and Israel Festivals, among others, and at New York's 92nd Street Y
The quartet has been featured on National Public Televisions "Great Performances," CBS's "Sunday Morning" program, and on a nationally broadcast performance taped at the Corcoran Gallery of Art in Washington, D.C.
Formed in 1969 at thejuilliard School of Music, the Tokyo String Quartet's beginning actually occurred some years earlier. Several of the founding members had already been profoundly influ?enced by Professor Hideo Saito when they were students at the Toho School of Music in Tokyo. The
original members of what would become the Tokyo String Quartet, including violist Kazuhide Isomura and cellist Sadao Harada, eventually came to America for further study with Robert Mann, Raphael Hillyer, and Claus Adam. Soon after the ensemble's official creation in 1969, it gained worldwide attention by winning First Prize at the Coleman Auditions in Pasadena, the Munich Competition, and the Young Concert Artists International Auditions. Kikuei Ikeda joined the quartet as second violinist in 1974, and Peter Oundjian became first violinist in 1981.
This special concert marks the quartet's fourth Ann Arbor performance, with previous concerts in 1975 (two) and 1982.
Peter Oundjian, a native of Toronto, began his studies at the age of seven in London. Winner of the Gold Medal at the Royal College of Music in London, he came to Juilliard in 1975 to study with Ivan Galamian. He has also worked with Itzhak Perlman, Dorothy DeLay, and members of the Juilliard Quartet. In 1980, Mr. Oundjian won First Prize in the International Violin Competition in Vina del Mar, Chile. He has performed as recitalist under the sponsorship of the Pro Musicis Foundation throughout North America, including his New York recital debut in 1981. He continues to be active as a soloist, particularly in Canada, and has appeared with the National Arts Centre Orchestra, the Calgary Philharmonic, and with the symphonies of Toronto, Montreal, and Winnipeg.
Kikuei Ikeda, award-winning soloist, was born in Tokyo and studied violin at the Toho Academy of Music with Saburo Sumi and Josef Gingold and chamber music with Hideo Saito. While still living in Japan, he performed as soloist with the Yomiuri Symphony, the Tokyo Metro?politan and Tokyo Symphony Orchestras, and toured Europe as concertmaster of the Toho String Orchestra. Mr. Ikeda came to the United States in 1971 to study with Dorothy DeLay and with members of the Juilliard String Quartet at Juilliard, where he was a scholarship student. Prize winner in the Mainichi NHK and Haken Competitions in Japan, the Washington International Competition for Strings in Washington, D.C., and the Vienna da Motta in Portugal, Mr. Ikeda has also performed with numerous other ensembles.
Kazuhide Isomura, also a graduate of the Toho Academy, studied there with Jeanne Isnard and Kenji Kobayashi, and chamber music with Hideo Saito. Upon arrival in this country, he became assistant concertmaster of the Nashville Symphony, but his love for chamber music and violin led him to Juilliard where, on full scholarship, he studied violin with Ivan Galamian and Paul Makanowitzky, chamber music with Robert Mann and Raphael Hillyer, and viola with Walter Trampler. Mr. Isomura is a founding member of the Tokyo String Quartet.
Sadao Harada, also a founding member of the quartet, began studies with his father and continued with Hideo Saito when he was eleven. A graduate of the Toho Academy, Mr. Harada won First Prize at the prestigious Mainichi Music Concourse. Following a year as principal cellist with the Tokyo Symphony, he became first cellist with the Nashville Symphony and appeared with numerous orchestras as soloist before making the decision to pursue a career in chamber music. As a full scholarship student at Juilliard, Mr. Harada studied with Claus Adam, Robert Mann, and Raphael Hillyer.
The instruments played by the quartet are a matched set made by Nicolo Amati in Cremona between 1656 and 1677, on loan indefinitely to the ensemble by the Corcoran Gallery of Art in Washington, D.C.
Happy Birthday, Rackham
Tonight's concert launches the 50th anniversary of the Horace H. Rackham School of Graduate Studies, a celebration honoring its benefactors, Horace H. Rackham and Mary A. Rackham. This weekend, U-M alumni, friends, faculty, students, and staff will celebrate not only the magnificent physical structure of the building, but more significantly, the University's continuing leadership in graduate education, made possible by its largest endowment. The University's share of the Horace H. Rackham and Mary A. Rackham Fund marks one of the most ambitious and liberal gifts ever given to higher education, and the two-day symposium tomorrow and Saturday will focus on the past, present, and future of graduate education at Michigan. The symposium -"The Intellectual History and Academic Culture at The University of Michigan: Fresh Explorations" -will mark this golden anniversary with multidisciplinary lectures and discussions open to the University community and the public. Topics will include University history, intellectual history, the role of public universities, trends in academic research, and the future of graduate and professional educa?tion. Further information may be obtained by calling 764-4405.
The art-deco styling throughout the interior of the building presents a vivid contrast to the dignified exterior walls of white Indiana limestone. After passing through the bronze and glass doors into the spacious entrance hall, three pairs of blue-green, bronze-studded leather doors lead to a second lobby and then to the semicircular auditorium, considered "acoustically perfect" at the time of construction. As we sit in this hall tonight, we can reflect on the many visiting dignitaries who have appeared here to bring enrichment to our community; among them are presidents, poets, philosophers, scientists, playwrights, authors, and performing artists.
Recognizing the beauty, intimacy, and fine acoustics of this auditorium as the ideal setting for chamber music, the University Musical Society organized its first Chamber Music Festival in 1941. The Festival evolved into an annual event featuring prominent ensembles for three to five concerts in
as many days, for a total of 28 consecutive seasons. The Budapest String Quartet most frequently formed the core of the Festival; among the other participants were the Quartetto Italiano, the Roth, Paganini, and Juilliard Quartets, and the Beaux Arts Trio.
The Musical Society's present Chamber Arts Series was launched in the 1963-64 season, with seven concerts annually until 1973-74 when an eighth was added. This expanded format has per?mitted a larger variety of chamber ensembles, all within the comfortable, serene setting of Rackham Auditorium.
We are pleased to present the world renowned Tokyo String Quartet as the opening event in this prestigious golden anniversary celebration.
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 Jelinek
Shirley Kauper Howard King Lynn Luckenbach Carl Lutkehaus Alan Mandel Ingrid Martin Charlotte McGeoch Joan Olsen
Agnes Reading Dorothy Reed Sally Rogers Alice Vining Raven Wallace Mary White Sally White Shelly Williams
Ex-qfficio: Kenneth C. Fischer, Nancy Cordiner 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. Teeple Carol G. Wargelin LornaJ. Young
U-M Interns: Clare Stollak, Trevor Young University Choral Union and Festival Chorus
Donald T. Bryant
Stephen L. Bryant
Nancy Hodge
Coming Concerts --1988-89 Season
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 colorbrochure, available upon request.
Burton Memorial Tower, Ann Arbor, Michigan 48109-1270 Telephone: (313) 764-2538

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