UMS Concert Program, February 7, 1990: International Presentations Of Music & Dance -- Warsaw Philharmonic Orchestra
Hill Auditorium, Ann Arbor, Michigan
THE UNIVERSITY MUSICAL SOCIETY OF THE UNIVERSITY OF MICHIGAN
Warsaw Philharmonic Orchestra
KAZIMIERZ KORD Music Director and Conductor
ZOLTAN KOCSIS, Pianist
Wednesday Evening, February 7, 1990, at 8:00 Hill Auditorium, Ann Arbor, Michigan
PROGRAM Scherzo Tarantella, Op. 28...................................Szymanowski
Concerto No. 2 in C minor for Piano and Orchestra, Op. 18 . . . Rachmaninoff Moderato Adagio sostenuto Allegro scherzando
Zoltan Kocsis, Pianist INTERMISSION
Symphony No. 4 in E minor, Op. 98.............................. Brahms
Allegro non troppo Andante moderato Allegro giocoso Allegro energico e passionato
For the convenience of our patrons, the box office in the outer lobby will be open during intermission for purchase of tickets to upcoming Musical Society concerts.
The Warsaw Philharmonic Orchestra and Zoltan Kocsis
appear by arrangement with ICM Artists, Ltd., New York City.
Zoltan Kocsis 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.
Twenty-second Concert of the 111th Season 111th Annual Choral Union Series
Scherzo Tarantella, Op. 28........................... Karol Szymanowski
Karol Szymanowski, whose life began near Kiev in the Ukraine and ended at Lausanne in Switzerland, was a Polish composer, the most important one between the time of Chopin and the advanced school of composers that came to maturity after the Second World War. He studied in Warsaw and Berlin, traveled extensively, and became head of the Warsaw Conservatory, where he reorganized the system of teaching along more liberal lines. Szymanowski's international renown was also considerable; his works were often performed in Europe and at festivals of the International Society for Contemporary Music. His body of composition includes two operas, Hagith and King Roger, the ballet-pantomime Hamasie, four symphonies, two violin concertos, two string quartets and other chamber music, solo vocal and choral works, and several works for the piano and the violin.
Szymanowski distilled his own style of composition out of his admiration for such modernists as Strauss in Germany, Debussy in France, and Scriabin in Russia. Around 1915, he began to abandon his early complex style for one simpler and more direct, in which he used material from folklore, medieval church music, and similar sources. This Scherzo Tarantella, originally written in 1915 for violin and piano, echoes the wild dance that takes its name from the Italian town of Taranto, or perhaps from the poisonous tarantula spider.
Piano Concerto No. 2 in C minor, Op. 18 ........... Sergei Rachmaninoff
Rachmaninoff was born in the gloomiest period Russia had experienced for over a century. All the sublime efforts of the generation that had entertained such high hopes in the 1870s had ended in defeat. The great social reforms (including the abolition of serfdom in 1861) brought about by Alexander II were looked upon as grave mistakes. The reactionary elements that rallied around Alexander III after the assassination in 1881 of his liberal-minded father tolerated no opposition. A feeling of hopeless despair was shared by the young "intellectuals" whose inability to solve problems of innovation or to break the inertia of the masses soon became tragically apparent. Their loss of faith in the future and the destruction of their illusions was impressively reflected in the nostalgic fiction and drama of Anton Chekhov.
The somber beauty and brooding melancholy that courses through Rachmaninoff's art marks him, as it did Gustav Mahler and Richard Strauss, as one of the last of the titans of musical romanticism, an artist who lived beyond the fulfillment of an era. He carried to an anti-climax the spirit of an epoch, filled with the gloom and despair of man's struggle against relentless destiny. Like the other late romanticists, he clung tenaciously to a dying tradition, regretful at its passing, nostalgic with its memories.
Rachmaninoff, like so many young men living in Moscow at the turn of the century, suffered from the contagion of his times. His melancholy turn of mind and pessimistic outlook offered little protection against the disappointments and frustrations he met at the outset of his career as a composer. His first symphony, written in 1895 and deemed a failure after one performance, threw the young composer into the depths of despair.
In 1900, he consulted a psychiatrist by the name of Dr. N. Dahl, whose specialty was treating such disorders as depression through auto-suggestion. Rachmaninoff wrote: "My relatives had told Dr. Dahl that he must at all costs cure me of my apathetic condition and achieve such results that I would again begin to compose. Dahl had asked what manner of composition they desired and had received the answer, 'A concerto for pianoforte.' Con?sequently I heard the same hypnotic formula repeated, day after day, while I lay half asleep in an armchair in Dahl's study. 'You will begin to write your concerto . . . You will work with great facility . . . The concerto will be of an excellent quality ..." Although it may sound incred?ible, his cure really helped me. Already at the beginning of the summer I began again to compose. By the autumn I had finished two movements -the Adagio and the Finale."
On November 9, 1901, Rachmaninoff played the work in full with the Moscow Philharmonic. The Second Piano Concerto was a huge success and needs no further explanation -it is among the most famous and familiar of all his compositions.
Symphony No. 4 in E minor, Op. 98....................Johannes Brahms
Brahms composed his Fourth Symphony during the summers of 1884 and 1885, and the first performance took place at Meiningen on October 25, 1885, the composer conducting. The Fourth Symphony was the last composition he was able to hear -he attended a performance of the work during March 1897 in Vienna and died just a few weeks later.
In referring to this symphony, Irving Kolodin wrote, "It has sometimes been said that the artist's greatest challenge is to see, in the beginning of his material, its ultimate end and destination. In this respect, the Fourth Symphony fulfills the challenge superbly, not only in the working out of the individual movements and their suitability to the place assigned to them in the sequence, but also in the subtle link that binds the all-important first and last movements together."
The opening theme of the Allegro non troppo has been associated with the "Behold and see if there be any sorrow" melody in Handel's Messiah. While there is undoubtedly a resemblance between the melodies, the treatment of the work is typically Brahmsian and a magnificent example of his ability to present themes, develop them, and then to combine them into a coda. The last section of the Allegro is crowned by a tragic climax. With a resounding fortissimo, the main theme storms forth in the basses, while the higher registers answer with brief canonic statements. The coda rushes to the grim cadence: a final chord, held by the full orchestra, its bass fatefully hammered by the timpani, resolves into the last prolongation much like the "Amen" of a prayer.
The Andante moderato is a ballad of tranquility, its dark hues intoned by horns and woodwinds. Notable is the severe flavor of the so-called Phrygian mode, which lends to the music its ancient and legendary tone. A subsidiary theme adds emotion and warmth, before the brief postlude closes the movement with an echo of the Phrygian melody from the Andante's beginning.
Of all the four symphonies of Brahms, only the Fourth has a true scherzo. The form of the Allegro giocoso displays thematic duality; the scherzo theme is stated fortissimo by the full orchestra and agrazioso of the strings provides the contrasting subsidiary theme. The Allegro giocoso is music of boisterous wit. The piccolo whistles happily along in the woodwind section, to which the contrabassoon now provides a marked, low bass. Among the percussion, the triangle rings in the frolic of the Allegro.
The last movement, marked Allegro energico epassionato, differs from other last movements of symphonies because of its use of the passacaglia, an ancient Spanish dance characterized by a recurring ostinato. On its fixed bass theme, Brahms built a series of variations that do not employ a single-like melody as its basis, but rather constructs itself on the harmonic structure of the opening measures. The variations are divided into four groups. The first group, succeeding the initial statement of the passacaglia, has the theme appearing prominently in the bass, with the development resulting from increasing animation. The second group features an augmented theme where the tonality brightens to major. The third group dims the light again to minor. The rhythmic play becomes altogether free and the dramatic character of the variations is heightened. The fourth and final group recalls the variations structurally.
About the Artists
The Warsaw Philharmonic Orchestra is ranked among the finest ensembles in Europe, recognized around the world through its more than sixty foreign tours. The ensemble per?formed its inaugural concert on November 5, 1901, under the renowned violinist and composer Emil Mlynarski, who led the orchestra to prominence as one of Poland's leading musical institutions by the time of World War I. Between the two World Wars, the Warsaw Philharmonic performed with many of the greatest conductors and soloists of the era, including Casals, Heifetz, Horowitz, Grieg, Rachmaninoff, Ravel, and Stravinsky. After the devastation of World War II, the orchestra was re-established during the 1947-48 season. Witold Rowicki became music director in 1950 and, with the exception of three years, maintained that post until 1977 when Kazimierz Kord took over the leadership. In February 1955, the orchestra was honored with the title "National Philharmonic Orchestra of Poland."
The Warsaw Philharmonic Orchestra has performed over 5,000 concerts on five con?tinents, including several tours in the United States. It performs at many of the world's greatest music festivals, appears regularly at the International Contemporary Music Festival's "Warsaw Autumn," and also accompanies the participants of the International Frederic Chopin Piano
Competition held in the Philharmonic Hall in Warsaw. The Warsaw Philharmonic is one of the few orchestras in Poland to have its own choir. Founded in 1952, the choir numbers over 100 oratorios in its repertoire, ranging from medieval to contemporary styles.
The Warsaw Philharmonic records for the Polskic Nagrania Record Company and also for Polish radio and television. In addition, it has been heard on the soundtracks of numerous Polish films.
Kazitnierz Kord, music director of the Warsaw Philharmonic Orchestra since 1977, was born in 1930 in Silesia, Poland. He began musical studies at an early age and graduated from the Leningrad Conservatory in 1955, where he studied piano. His training continued with compo?sition and conducting studies at the School of Music in Cracow. While studying in Cracow, he was engaged as conductor and chorus master at the Warsaw Opera and, in 1962, was appointed artistic and music director of the Cracow Opera, making him the youngest director of a major European opera house. From 1968 to 1973, he was music director of the Polish National Radio and Television Orchestra. His international career began in the late 1960s with guest appear?ances before many of the world's finest orchestras and opera companies. His career has since included guest appearances with such orchestras as Cleveland, Chicago, Cincinnati, Baltimore, Atlanta, Pittsburgh, Detroit, New York, Moscow, Leningrad, Berlin, and Munich, among others.
Kazimierz Kord made his American debut in December 1972, conducting the first Metro?politan Opera Russian language version of Tchaikovsky's Queen of Spades. The next year saw his debut with the San Francisco Opera, conducting Boris Godunov and Rigoletto. He has since returned to both companies on several occasions. His operatic career has also included pre?mieres in Warsaw, Copenhagen, Amsterdam, Covent Garden, Diisscldorf, and Munich.
Concurrent with his Warsaw Philharmonic duties, Maestro Kord has held the positions of music director of the Siidwestdeutscher Rundfunk Orchestra in Baden-Baden and principal conductor of the Cincinnati Symphony Orchestra from 1980 to 1982. During the current season, he is serving as principal guest conductor and music advisor of the Pacific Symphony Orchestra in Orange County, California. Among his many recordings are Tchaikovsky's Pathetique Symphony with London's Royal Philharmonic Orchestra and Massenet's Don Quichotte with Nicolai Ghiaurov and L'Orchestre de la Suisse Romande. In 1980, he served as the Chairman of the Jury for the 10th International Chopin Piano Competition, held only every five years in Warsaw.
Hungarian pianist Zoltan Kocsis began his international career at age eighteen, when he won his country's prestigious Hungarian Radio Beethoven Competition and, shortly there?after, its equally distinguished Franz Liszt Prize. Since then, he has performed with most of the world's foremost symphony orchestras and, as recitalist, has appeared on the concert stages of the major music centers and festivals of Europe, North and South America, and the Far East. In the United States, he has been greeted with accolades during his debut appearances in recital at Carnegie Hall and Washington's Kennedy Center, and with the symphony orchestras of Chicago, Los Angeles, New York, and San Francisco.
Last fall, he toured in England, performing in London with the BBC Philharmonic and at the Barbican Centre with the Budapest Festival Orchestra. Following these appearances, he concertized in Germany, Holland, Switzerland, and France, before joining the Warsaw Philharmonic as guest soloist in the current tour. His 1988-89 season included recitals through?out Germany and in Amsterdam, a tour of France with the Montpellier Orchestra, recitals and performances in Hungary with the Budapest Festival Orchestra and the Liszt Chamber Orches?tra, as well as at Bulgaria's Sofia Music Festival.
Mr. Kocsis records extensively for Philips and last year received the Edison Award for his recordings of Bartok's works for piano and orchestra. Critically lauded as the outstanding interpreter of that composer's oeuvre, he has also recorded most of Bartok's solo piano pieces for Denon and Hungaroton. Also highly praised are his recordings of the complete Rachmaninoff Piano Concertos with Edo de Waart and the San Francisco Symphony Orchestra.
Born in 1952, Zoltan Kocsis studied at the Bela Bartok Conservatory, the Ferenc Liszt Conservatory, and the Liszt Academy, where he graduated with distinction and two years later was appointed to a professorship in the piano department. He was honored in 1975 by the celebrated Russian pianist Sviatoslav Richter, who invited him to perform at his festival in Tours. Not long after, both artists shared the stage in several duo recitals in France.
In Ann Arbor, the Warsaw Philharmonic has given four previous concerts, iflt1961, '64, '74,andin 1983 under Kazimierz Kord, who now makes his second appearance here. Zoltan Kocsis is heard in his Ann Arbor debut.
WARSAW PHILHARMONIC ORCHESTRA
Kazimierz Kord, Music Director and Conductor
Second Violins Edmund Komosinski Zofia Muszynska Kalina Statkiewicz Piotr Sekowski Anna Bednarczyk Krzysztof Trzcionkowski Feliks Szczepanowski Krystyna Jasionowska Jan Lewtak Grzegorz Zarzycki Izabella Dufaniec-Zebura Roman Wojtowicz Waldemar Dzwigaj Wieslaw Bakowski Witold Pilewski Jozef Wegrzyn Ireneusz Izdebski
Marek Marczyk Jozef Rosner Grzegorz Lewicki Malgorzata Wysocka Maria Paciorkiewicz Magdalena Brzozowska Marek Iwanski Maciej Kucharek Barbara Duda-Szproch Piotr Bertling Barbara Gruszczynska Wieslawa Duszak Robert Pajewski Krzysztof Szczepanski Jacek Toczyski
Kazimierz Koslacz Andrzej Wiltos Alina Kwiatkowska
Henryk Ostenda Aleksander Dlugajczyk Jerzy Kwiecien Krystyna Szyngwelska Mariusz Tondera Boguslaw Tomkow Eugeniusz Wiszniowski Maria Sarap Kazimicrz Gruszczynski Pawel Glombik Jadwiga Traczyk-Pazdrowska
Alfred Wieczorek Wojciech Gorecki Wladyslaw Kusnierz Zygmunt Cyb Andrzej Jekielek Jcrzy Cembrzynski Marck Sobicniak Bernard Chmielarz Stanislaw Glinka Tomasz Haduch
Jcrzy Chudyba Grzegorz Cimoszko Agnieszka Golebiowska Tomasz Bielski Jadwiga Laskowska Krzysztof Malicki
Stanislaw Malikowski Jcrzy Szafranski Andrzej Cieslewicz Bogdan Liszka
Eugeniusz Skubis Hanna Wolczedska Jan Przcstrzclski Miroslaw Pokrzywinski Dariusz Elbe
Bassoons Grzegorz Golab Andrzej Budejko Eugeniusz Stola Tadeusz Kusnierz Mariusz Oczachowski Jaroslaw Augustyniak
Jan Jezewski Tadeusz Boniecki Stanislaw Selmaj Krzysztof Specjal Aleksander Szebesczyk Robert Duda Urszula Trzeciak
Trumpets Leszek Zebura Krzysztof Bednarczyk Mariusz Niepieklo Kazimierz Adamski Tomasz Chmiclarz Antoni Adamus
Trombones Roman Siwek Leon Piwkowski Zbigniew Pedraszewski Kazimierz Palkowski Krzysztof Wojtyniak Andrzej Sienkiewicz
Timpani Jerzy Wozniak Percussion Wieslaw Wilhelm Kazimierz Szczudlowski Bogdan Lauks Hubert Rutkowski Grzegorz Wisnicwski
Malikowska Alina Baranowska
Jerzy Witkowski Maria Rzepecka
Technical Staff Kazimierz Baran Krzysztof Michalek Franciszek Rutka Zbigniew Jablonski Dariusz Adamas Stanislaw Kolodziejczyk
Pagart Representatives Jerzy Salzman Wojciech Nowak
ICM Artists Touring Division Byron Gustafson, Vice-President and
Leonard Stein, General Manager Marshall Smith, Tour Manager Jerry Breault, Stage Manager
This activity is supported by the Michigan Council for the Arts. The University Musical Society is an Equal Opportunity Employer and provides programs and services without regard to race, color, religion, national origin, age, sex, or handicap.
Faculty Artists Concert (free admission) ........................ Sun. Feb. 11
Malcolm Arnold: Three English Madrigals (1598), Faculty Brass Quintet; Leslie Bassett: World premiere -"Illuminations" for Flute and Piano (1989); Brahms: Quintet for Clarinet and Strings in F minor, Op. 115
Stuttgart Chamber Orchestra................................... Fri. Feb. 16
Leon Fleisher, conductor; John O'Conor, pianist
New York City Opera National Company ............. Sat., Sun. Feb. 17, 18
Puccini's "La Boheme"
Borodin String Quartet....................................... Sun. Feb. 25
Maurizio Pollini, pianist ....................................... Fri. Mar. 9
Contemporary American Dance Festival................Mon.-Fri. Mar. 12-16
Moscow Philharmonic Orchestra .............................. Sat. Mar. 17
Dmitri Kitaenko, conductor; Vladimir Krainev, pianist
Thomas Allen, baritone ...................................... Wed. Mar. 21
All presentations free of charge, in the Rackham Building one hour before the concert.
Sunday, Feb. 25, preceding Borodin String Quartet
Natalie Challis, Lecturer in Slavic Languages and Literatures, U-M Friday, Mar. 16, preceding American Contemporary Dance Festival Final Concert
Debra Cash, Dance Critic, The Boston Globe Saturday, Mar. 17, preceding Moscow Philharmonic Orchestra
Roland Wiley, Assoc. Prof, of Music, U-M Wednesday, Mar. 21, preceding Thomas Allen, baritone
Martin Katz, Prof, of Music in Accompanying, U-M
97th Annual May Festival -May 9-12,1990 Hill Auditorium, Ann Arbor, 8:00 p.m.
Los Angeles Philharmonic Orchestra Andre Previn, Guest Conductor and Pianist
The Festival Chorus
Hei-Kyung Hong, Soprano Richard Stilwell, Baritone Wednesday -Gershwin: Piano Concerto in F; Rachmaninoff: Symphony No. 2 Thursday --John Harbison: Concerto for Brass Choir and Orchestra; Mahler: Symphony No. 4,
with Hei-Kyung Hong
Friday -Beethoven: Symphony No. 4; Shostakovich: Symphony No. 4 Saturday -All-Brahms: "Tragic" Overture; "A German Requiem," for Chorus, Orchestra, and Soloists
"Desert Island Discs" -A New Program on Michigan Radio
Co-produced by the University Musical Society and Michigan Radio, "Desert Island Discs" is heard every Saturday morning from 8:00 a.m. to 10 a.m., each program featuring a distinguished local "castaway" guest who is asked, "If you were stranded on a desert island, which five recordings would you like to have with you and (perhaps most revealingly) why" Feb. 10--James Dapogny, Jazz Pianist and U-M Professor of Music Feb. 17 -Philip H. Power, U-M Regent WUOM-FM (91.7, Ann Arbor), WFUM-FM (91.1, Flint), WVGR-FM (104.1, Grand Rapids)
University Musical Society Board of Directors
David B. Kennedy, President, Ann S. Schriber, Vice President, Thomas Kauper, Secretary Norman G. Herbert, Treasurer, Gail W. Rector, President Emeritus
Robert G. Aldrich, Carl A. Brauer,Jr.,JamesJ. Duderstadt, Richard L. Kennedy, Patrick B. Long.Judythe R. Maugh, Rebecca McGowan, John D. Paul, John Psarouthakis, Herbert E. Sloan, Lois U. Stegeman, Gilbert R. Whitaker, Jr., Kenneth C. Fischer, Executive Director
UNIVERSITY MUSICAL SOCIETY
Burton Memorial Tower, Ann Arbor, MI 48109-1270 Phones: (313) 764-2538; 763-TKTS