Rackham Auditorium, Ann Arbor, Michigan
THE UNIVERSITY MUSICAL SOCIETY OF THE UNIVERSITY OF MICHIGAN
Stuttgart Wind Quintet
WILLY FREIVOGEL, Flutist RAINER SCHUMACHER, Clarinetist
SIGURD MICHAEL, Oboist HERMANN HERDER, Bassoonist
FRIEDHELM PUTZ, Hornist
with DENNIS RUSSELL DAVIES, Pianist
Wednesday Evening, April 5, 1989, at 8:00 Rackham Auditorium, Ann Arbor, Michigan
Sextet for Piano and Winds, Op. 6............................ Ludwig Thuille
Andante quasi allegretto
Six Bagatelles for Wind Quintet (1953) ......................... Gyorgy Ligeti
Allegro con spirito
Molto vivace (Capriccioso)
FiveFoldFive (1987) ........................................ William Bolcom
Sextet for Piano and Winds ................................. Francis Poulenc
Allegro vivace Divertissement Finale: allegro vivace
The Stuttgart Wind Quintet is represented by Columbia Artists Management Inc. Halls Cough Tablets, courtesy of Warner-Lambert Company, are available in the lobby.
Thirty-ninth Concert of the 110th Season Twenty-sixth Annual Chamber Arts Series
Sextet for Piano and Winds, Op. 6 ........................ Ludwig Thuille
Ludwig Thuille's greatest distinction as a composer is his devotion to the cultivation of chamber music at a time when most composers were ignoring the medium. Although he composed several operas on whimsical subjects (Lobetanz, composed in 1896, was heard regularly in New York at the turn of the century), his instrumental and vocal chamber music remain part of the standard repertoire. As an educator, his music theory textbook Hannonielehre, written in 1907 with Rudolf Louis, remained the authoritative work on the subject long after Thuille's death.
The Sextet for Piano and Winds, Op. 6, was written in 1889 and was an immediate success. With its expert instrumental balance and sweeping lyricism, it is a most rewarding vehicle for both pianist and wind ensemble. Thuille was an ardent conservative in style, distinguishing him from his more famous contemporaries, Strauss and Mahler. However, the structural clarity of his writing and his ingratiating melodic invention turn his judicious moderation into a major asset, and the results are at once accessible and imaginative.
Six Bagatelles for Wind Quintet (1953) ........................Gyorgy Ligeti
Gyorgy Ligeti was born of Hungarian Jewish parents in Transylvania and currently resides in Austria. He first came to the attention of international audiences following the first perform?ance of his orchestral work Apparitions at the 1960 ISCM Festival in Cologne. In it and subsequent works, Ligeti abandons distinct pitch and rhythm as principal elements of composi?tion, replacing them with complex chromatic sounds of different volume, density, and timbre, often deviating from the tempered scale.
During the years 1951-53 while living in Hungary, Ligeti worked on eleven pieces for piano, which he entitled Musica ricercata. Due to the political changes of 1948, Ligeti had been forced to write mostly choral folksong arrangements in order to keep his position as a professional composer. With the influence of his friend Kodaly, however, and eventually with Stalin's death in 1953, Ligeti began to be more adventurous in his personal style. Musica ricercata was part of that transition period and remains unpublished. However, in 1953 the composer took Nos. 3, 5, 7, 8, 9, and 10 of the piano pieces and arranged them for wind quintet. It is these pieces that are now known as the Six Bagatelles. Although employing a free tonal language far from his more recent work, glimpses of his later style can be found in the formal solutions of his instrumental writing. It is interesting to note that in 1968 Ligeti returned to these same instrumental forces for his Ten Pieces for Wind Quintet. The later work is made up of brief virtuoso sketches with every other number featuring one of the players in a miniature concerto.
FiveFoldFive ........................................... William Bolcom
William Bolcom, born in Seattle in 1938, joined the University of Michigan School of Music faculty in 1973 and has served as professor of composition since 1983. At age eleven he entered the University of Washington to study composition privately with John Vcrrall. Later he studied extensively with Darius Milhaud, both in California and Paris. Among many honors, he has received two Guggenheim fellowships, a Koussevitzky Foundation grant, and an award from the American Academy of Arts and Letters. In 1988, he received the Pulitzer Prize in music for his "Twelve New Etudes" for piano, and he was recently commissioned to compose a song cycle to texts by American women, scheduled to be performed by mezzo-soprano Marilyn Home during Carnegie Hall's 1990-91 centennial season. As a solo pianist and concert artist with his wife, soprano Joan Morris, Bolcom has recorded and performed widely. His music, from ragtime to the theater and from chamber music to symphonic works, has gained worldwide prominence.
FiveFoldFive was written in the spring of 1987 and received its premiere at the Saratoga Performing Arts Center in August of that year by the Philadelphia Woodwind Quintet and Dennis Russell Davies. Of the peculiar title, the composer confesses: "I have no idea why I chose that as the title. It really was one of those things that came to me in a dream, and the piece goes through the same things that happen to you in a dream: you get bigger, you get smaller, you change shape, and suddenly you're you again. But it may turn out to be a nightmare in spots." Composed in one continuous movement, the work begins with slow clusters of sound in the piano, echoed by the winds. A unison phrase leads to a more lively section with alternating tempos in a fantasia style. Good humor abounds as a fast-paccd;jboogie-woogie leads to a contemplative coda.
Sextet for Piano and Winds ............................... Francis Poulenc
Francis Poulenc was the youngest of the French composers who in 1920 were dubbed "The Six," the not-so-vcry-united group that stood in open rebellion against the romanticism of Cesar Franck and the impressionism of Claude Debussy. The group, which also included Milhaud and Honegger, was greatly influenced by the example of composer Erik Satie and poet Jean Cocteau. They established simplicity of thought and expression as their program, and their music is distinguished by succinctness and a flair for popular idioms. Poulenc was known during his lifetime as a man of urbanity and wit, qualities that appeared conspicuously in his music even when, late in life, he turned with increasing frequency to religious subjects. The pleasing good humor of his instrumental music, the simple devotion of his sacred music, and the melodic charm and unerring fluency of both have combined to make his works the most durable of all "Les Six."
The Sextet for Piano and Winds remains one of Poulenc's most popular works. Written in 1932 and revised in 1939, it serves as a link between his early and mature periods. The first movement begins with an abundance of melodic material, all strictly controlled. A bassoon recitative interrupts the progress, leading to a recapitulation and an extroverted coda. The middle movement is more restrained, with the piano providing a gentle background for the melodies of the woodwinds. The Finale is exuberant in mood, opening with two distinctly different themes that give way to a broad development combining ideas from both. The short recapitulation leads to a wistful coda, ending on a C-major chord colored with a major seventh at the very top for texture.
About the Artists
The oldest ensemble of its kind, the Stuttgart Wind Quintet was formed in 1960 and is known as one of the most prestigious chamber music groups today. Three founding members, flutist Willy Freivogel, French hornist Friedhelm Putz, and bassoonist Hermann Herder, were joined by oboist Sigurd Michael in 1962 and clarinetist Rainer Schumacher in 1970 to form the present ensemble. Since then, the Quintet has performed some 60 to 70 concerts in Europe each season and earned international acclaim not only for artistic continuity, but also for a continuing interest in musical diversity. With a repertoire of more than 200 works, the Stuttgart Wind Quintet has presented 107 contemporary pieces, many of which were commissioned or premiered by the ensemble.
As part of its commitment to artistic growth, the Quintet has often included in its programs works for such parts as double bass, trumpet, guitar, and piano. Moreover, it was instrumental in the formation of two other chamber groups: the Stuttgart Nonet in 1974 and the Philharmonic Wind Ensemble in 1978.
In 1984, the Stuttgart Wind Quintet first collaborated with American pianistconductor Dennis Russell Da vies, both in concert and on a recording of the complete Danzi Quintets for Piano and Winds. Davies tours each season in Europe with the Quintet and joined them in the 1988-89 premiere of the sextet of Ralph Towner. The ensemble's performance with Davies on the sextets of Poulenc and Thuille is scheduled for future release on compact disc.
The recipient of a Colmar International Chamber Music Award, the Stuttgart Wind Quintet has performed successfully in the music capitals of Europe. It has become a welcome guest at the festivals in Ludwigsburg, Schwetzingen, Brcgenz, and Bratislava, as well as festivals in France and Spain. First introduced to television audiences in 1970, the ensemble has appeared extensively on both television and radio. In a 1985 celebration of its 25th anniversary, it was featured in performances of the Britten Sinfonietla with the Stuttgart Radio Orchestra (of which four of the Quintet arc members) under the baton of Sir Neville Marriner.
The current season brings the Stuttgart Quintet to North America for its first tour; it will appear in several major cities, New York and Chicago among them.
Dennis Russell Davies has been heralded for his versatility as a conductor of both symphonic and operatic literature and as an accomplished pianist. Currently, he is general music director of the City of Bonn, West Germany, and is principal conductor of the American Composers Orchestra (of which he is co-founder) in New York City. As music director of California's Cabrillo Music Festival, Mr. Davies has created innovative programs that have won ASCAP's Award for Adventuresome Programming for the last seven years. His former posts have included general music director of the Stuttgart Opera, principal conductor and classical music program director of the Saratoga Performing Arts Center (summer home of The Philadelphia Orchestra), and music director of the St. Paul Chamber Orchestra.
As pianist, Dennis Russell Davies has performed extensively with orchestras and chamber music ensembles and in recital with such artists as cellist Janos Starker. He has recorded as a piano soloist (Ritual by Keith Jarrctt), with the Stuttgart Wind Ensemble, and with the late
tenor Charles Holland. As a conductor, his recordings include a Grammy Award-winning recording of Copland's Appalachian Spring with the St. Paul Chamber Orchestra, and his recent recording of Philip Glass's opera Akhnaten has received much acclaim.
Mr. Davies was born in Toledo, Ohio, in 1944 and later studied piano and conducting at Thejuilliard School. In 1987, he was honored with Columbia University's Ditson Conductor's Award. This evening's concert marks his first Ann Arbor appearance.
Munich Philharmonic Sergiu Celibidache................Thurs. Apr. 13
Bruckner: Symphony No. 4 ("Romantic") Note: This will be
the only work on the program, performed without intermission. St. Louis Symphony Orchestra Leonard Slatkin .........Thurs. Apr. 20
Steven Stucky: Dreamwaltzes; Haydn: Symphony No. 85;
Shostakovich: Symphony No. 10
In the Rackham Amphitheater -free and open to the public.
Thursday, Apr. 20 at 7:00, preceding St. Louis Symphony Orchestra
Speakers: Robert Alexander and Judy Dow Alexander, Producers and Arts Consultants Topic: Performing With and Managing American Orchestras
96th Annual May Festival -April 26-29, 1989 Hill Auditorium, Ann Arbor, 8:00 p.m.
Gcwandhaus Orchestra of Leipzig
Kurt Masur, Music Director and Conductor
The Festival Chorus, Donald Bryant, Director
Annerose Schmidt, Pianist
Anne-Sophie Mutter, Violinist
Gail Dubinbaum, Mezzo-soprano
Vinson Cole, Tenor
Hermann Baumann, Horn
Jessye Norman, Soprano
Stephen Bryant, Bass-baritone
J. Patrick Raftery, Baritone
Wednesday -Mendelssohn: "Ruy Bias" Overture; Beethoven: Piano Concerto No. 4;
Schubert: Symphony No. 9 ("The Great") Thursday -Beethoven: "Leonore" Overture No. 3; Strauss: Horn Concerto No. 1;
Tchaikovsky: Symphony No. 4 in F minor Friday -Brahms: Violin Concerto in D major; Mendelssohn: "Die crstc Walpurgisnacht'
(Festival Chorus, Dubinbaum, Cole, Raftery, Bryant) Saturday -Strauss: "Four Last Songs" (Norman); Bruckner: Symphony No. 7
Single tickets now on sale.
UNIVERSITY MUSICAL SOCIETY Board of Directors
John W. Reed, President
David B. Kennedy, Vice President
Thomas E. Kaupcr, Secretary Norman G. Herbert, Treasurer
Robert G. Aldrich James J. Dudcrstadt Richard L. Kennedy
Patrick B. Long Judythc R. Maugh John D. Paul
John Psarouthakis Ann S. Schriber Herbert E. Sloan
Kenneth C. Fischer, Executive Director
UNIVERSITY MUSICAL SOCIETY Burton Memorial Tower, Ann Arbor, Michigan 48109-1270 Telephone: (313) 764-2538