UMS Concert Program, March 25, 1990: International Presentations Of Music & Dance -- Baltimore Symphony Orchestra
Hill Auditorium, Ann Arbor, Michigan
THE UNIVERSITY MUSICAL SOCIETY OF THE UNIVERSITY OF MICHIGAN
Baltimore Symphony Orchestra
DAVID ZINMAN Music Director and Conductor
ISAAC STERN Violinist
Sunday Evening, March 25, 1990, at 8:00 Hill Auditorium, Ann Arbor, Michigan
PROGRAM Overture to Les Francs-juges, Op. 3 ................................ Berlioz
L'Arbre des sottges ("The Tree of Dreams"),
Concerto for Violin and Orchestra (1985)...................... Dutilleux
Interlude I Interlude III
Vif Large et anime
(played without pause) Isaac Stern
Symphony No. 5 in B-flat major, Op. 100 ...................... Prokofiev
Andante marcato Adagio Allegro giocoso
The pre-concert carillon recital was performed by Ray McLellan, doctoral student in organ and a carillon student ofMargo Halsted, University Carillonneur.
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 Baltimore Symphony Orchestra, David Zinman, and Isaac Stern appearby arrangement with ICM Artists, Ltd., New York City.
Cameras and recording devices are not allowed in the auditorium. Halls Cough Tablets, courtesy of Warner Lambert Company, are available in the lobby.
Thirty-seventh Concert of the 11 lth Season 11 lth Annual Choral Union Series
PROGRAM NOTES by Robert Markow
Overture to Les Francs-juges, Op. 3......................... Hector Berlioz
"Monstrous, colossal, horrible" were the words Berlioz used to describe the subject matter of his opera Les Francs-juges. He also claimed that the music was inspired by a vision of the "fires of hell." The Francs-juges were the judges of a secret court in Westphalia, Germany, during the thirteenth to fifteenth centuries. Important crimes were tried there, but the zealotry of thejudges and jurors eventually led to its demise, though elements of the Vehngerichte (Vehme-punishmcnt; Gerichtc-courts) persisted right down to some of the Nazi tribunals in our own century. Berlioz's literary friend Humbert Fcrrand chanced upon a book about the courts, and together in 1826 they decided it would make a splendid opera. Berlioz set to work, but Ferrand's libretto was rejected by the Paris Opera, and plans for performances in Germany came to nothing. Berlioz continued working on the opera intermittently for nearly a decade, but it was never completed, never performed, and only the Overture and six numbers survive.
The Overture alone was first heard in Paris on May 26, 1828. It is a remarkably bold and stirring work, especially for a 24-year-old composer. Berlioz himself always thought highly of it and performed it often, both in Paris and on his tours abroad. He also thought enough of certain portions of the opera to salvage them for later works: the "March to the Scaffold" from the Symphonie fatitastique (1830) and the second movement of the Symphonic fimebre el triomphale (1840) are derived from Francs-juges fragments.
The Overture begins with a solemn, portentous, slow introduction. A ponderous brass motive in unison octaves represents the terrifying vision of Olmerick, the villainous chiefjudge of the court. The fiery allegro section follows, laid out in sonata form. Both principal themes arc announced by the violins; the second of these (a sprightly, Mendclssohnian idea) Berlioz lifted from a quintet for flute and strings he had composed when only twelve. Driving urgency, startling and abrupt alterations of loud and soft dynamics, and brilliant orchestration (the characteristic Berlioz brass sound and pronounced use of the piccolo and percussion are already present in this early work) are among the hallmarks that identify this score as unmistakably Berlioz.
L'Abre des songes ("The Tree of Dreams"),
Concerto for Violin and Orchestra (1985)................ Henri Dutilleux
Henri Dutilleux, one of France's most distinguished living composers, was born in Angers in 1916. His principal musical training took place from 1933 to 1938 at the Paris Conservatory, where his teachers included Henri Busser and Noel Gallon. In 1938, he won the prestigious Prix de Rome. After his return to France, Dutilleux became director of musical services for the French National Radio and Television Orchestra (1945-1963). In 1961, he became professor of composition at the Ecolc normale de Musique in Paris, and in 1970, a professor at the Paris Conservatory. In his music, he has acquired over the years a reputation for artistic integrity unhampered by pedantry, tradition, or the vain quest for popular acclaim. Now in his 74th year, Dutilleux sits comfortably at the pinnacle of success, a success founded on barely a dozen compositions.
The Concerto for Violin and Orchestra was composed as a result of a commission from Radio France. The world premiere was given in Paris on November 5, 1985, by Lorin Maazcl and the Orchestrc National dc France with soloist Isaac Stern, to whom it is dedicated. Charles Dutoit and the Montreal Symphony Orchestra introduced the concerto to North American audiences in Montreal on February 24, 1986, with follow-up performances in Boston and New York; Isaac Stern was soloist on all these occasions.
Dutilleux's aim has not been to create in this concerto a bravura piece full of virtuosity. Rather, influenced by Isaac Stern, a violinist he calls capable of "varying his sonorities according to the moment, the colors of the orchestra and its sonority," he proceeded to approach the problem in a more "interior" fashion. In this esthetic, the soloist and orchestra become intimately bound together, and their emotional language can be released only in mutual interdependence.
The concerto was not generated by a literary idea or by an emotional reaction, as occurred in Timbres, Espace, Mouvement, a score inspired by Van Gogh's "The Starry Night" (a picture that profoundly affected the composer). The Violin Concerto develops in a different manner: a frame of reference asserts itself at the formal level -a reference to trees. Trees fascinate Dutilleux: "The work develops more or less along the pattern of a tree," he explains, "because trees have a lyricism whose ramifications keep multiplying and are constantly renewed. This symbolism, as well as the idea of the periodic return, was the inspiration for the title of my work, L'Arbredes songes." The composer also notes that, in view of the fact that the word "concerto" carries too imprecise a meaning, it was at the initial rehearsals and in the actual listening to the work that he sought the evocative substance that inspired him to find a title. (The concerto did not acquire its name until well after the initial performances.) This "can have a poetic character or it can express an idea of a certain form. Or again, it can simply specify certain moods contained in the score."
Dutilleux has never really liked the traditional division of a concerto into three or four move?ments that, according to him, can "destroy the impression of magic." To conserve the principle of linked movements, Dutilleux inserts interludes between the four "movements," which, by their character type, embellish the work with an additional musical mortar. The first interlude contains an embedded series (tone row) -a serial theme is blended with constant pointillistic inflections in this
interlude. The second movement follows, rising and dominated by the intense progression of dynamics from ppp to (([. The second interlude is essentially monodic; dynamically it proceeds in the opposite direction (from Jff to ppp). The third interlude begins in a static manner, then discourse provokes curiosity and wonder.
Aside from the presence of the soloist, the most obvious feature of the score is undoubtedly the large percussion section, which contributes a gleaming, tintinnabulating presence. But Dutilleux shies away from talking about his reputation for use of colors. He prefers instead for listeners to approach the concerto as ". . .a large trajectory. The colors people find in my music may be seductive in themselves, but there is more to music than this; they miss the forest for the trees." The kaleidoscopic whorls of color that infuse the concerto will nevertheless probably constitute the most lasting impression first-time listeners will retain. The score fairly crackles with exciting, fascinating timbral elements. This sensuality of sound can be traced most intimately to the influence of Debussy and Ravel, but stylistic traits of other composers have also found their way into Dutilleux's scores -Roussel's and Messiaen's sound-worlds, in particular. In addition, the pulsations of Bartok, the dry astringency of Stravinsky, the contrapuntal discipline of Bach, and the bright colors of Berlioz have all gone into Dutilleux's compositional matrix and coalesced into a musical mind that is nevertheless distinctly his own.
Symphony No. 5 in B-flat major, Op. 100..................Sergei Prokofiev
Prokofiev spent the summer of 1944 at an estate outside Moscow especially allocated to members ot the Soviet Composers' Union. Here, amid nature, peace, and tranquility, undisturbed by the harsh realities of war elsewhere, he wrote the entire score of the longest (nearly 50 minutes) and best of his seven symphonies. It was written in just one month and orchestrated in an equally short time.
Prokofiev had not produced a symphony since 1930, possibly because none of them except the atypical "Classical" Symphony (No. 1) was really successful. Having voluntarily returned to Russia permanently in 1933 after years of living abroad, Prokofiev appeared willing to comply with governmental pressures to write patriotic, ideological music. Hence, we find him explaining the purpose of the Fifth Symphony, written amidst the horrors and suffering of World War II, as "a hymn to free and happy Man, to his mighty powers, his pure and noble spirit." We also find a softening of the raw dissonances, the biting sarcasms, and the bizarre features that so vividly characterized his music pre-1933. Themes are now predominantly of a lyrical cast, large-scale works bear close resemblance to traditional forms, harmony is more diatonic, the moods arc gentler. Among the works written in the 14-year period since the Fourth Symphony are the ballet Romeo and Juliet, the cantata Alexander Neisky, Lieutenant Kije, Peter and the Wolf, and the Second Violin Concerto. The Fifth Symphony's premiere took place in Moscow on January 13, 1945.
Prokofiev's Fifth Symphony shares a number of features in common with the Fifth of another great Russian symphonist, Dmitri Shostakovich. Both works conform to the traditional nineteenth-century concept of a symphony as containing four movements, lasting about three-quarters of an hour, and offering a wide range of emotional expressiveness cohesively arranged in an accessible style. Both symphonies ostensibly toe the party-line in praising the human spirit and its triumphs over adversity (though of course each can be enjoyed as a purely abstract work as well). Each was an instant success at its Russian premiere and quickly secured itself a place in the pantheon of the most popular twentieth-century symphonies both in Russia and elsewhere. Both are brilliantly scored for almost exactly the same orchestral resources, which include harp and piano.
The first movement is laid out in traditional form with exposition, development, recapitulation, and coda. There are no fewer than five well-defined themes or motives. The two principal ideas arc both presented initially by a pair of woodwinds an octave apart: the first for flute and bassoon, the second for flute and oboe. Both are in a decidedly lyrical vein. Alternating with these arc more rhythmically sturdy and more heavily scored ideas. Finally comes a skittish little gesture in the violins. All five ideas are worked out in the extensive development section, which culminates in a gradiose re-statement of the movement's opening theme. All subsequent themes then return in original sequence. The movement's coda is one of the symphony's most memorable passages. Lasting 36 bars in slow tempo and at the upper end of the dynamic range nearly throughout, the texture is of extreme density and crushing weight.
The second movement -playful, teasing, and sardonic by turns -presents a theme that flits about from instrument to instrument 36 times, each time modified in some way. The calmer, central portion has its own theme.
The powerfully eloquent third movement, too, is cast in ternary form and, like the first, reveals Prokofiev's lyricism in full bloom. The clcgaic first theme is, like many others in this symphony, scored for a pair of instruments in parallel writing (here for clarinet and bass clarinet at a distance of two octaves). The second theme rises from the depths of the orchestra (bassoons, tuba, double basses) through a soaring line that spans three octaves. The coda quietly presents a new theme for the unlikely combination of piccolo and horns.
After a slow prelude that contains reminiscences of the first movement, the Finale's swaggering principal theme is heard in the clarinet accompanied by an ostinato patter of horns. Fun, satire, wit, and energy infuse this movement, which is, for the most part, merry and capricious, though not without its moments of menace and even brutality. This movement, too, concludes with a coda, a high-powered affair with electrifying effects from the trumpets, trombones, high woodwinds, and percussion departments.
BALTIMORE SYMPHONY ORCHESTRA
David Zinman, Music Director, Harvey M. and Lyn P. Meycrhoff Chair
First violins Herbert Grccnberg
Conccrtmastcr, Ruth Blaustein
Rosenberg Chair Adrian Semo
Assoc. Concertmasler Joseph Bykov
Asst. Concertmaster Yasuoki Tanaka James Boehm Kenneth Goldstein Edward Gorin Gregory Kuperstein Mari Matsumoto John Merrill Olga Myerovich Ellen Orner E. Craig Richmond Paul Roby Andrew Wasyluszko
Second violins George Orner
Principal, E. Kirkbride and
Ann H. Miller Chair Melissa Zaraya
Asst. Principal Kevin Cardiff Wayne C. Taylor Julie Parcells Barney Leonid Berkovich Leonid Briskin Hiromi Ito Wonju Kim Edward Patey Christina Scroggins Leri Slutsky Charles Underwood Bruce L. Wade Linda Lcanza Lisa Matricardi Nelson Stewart
Violas Richard Field
Principal, Peggy Meycrhoff
Pearlstone Chair Noah Chaves
Asst. Principal Kristin Braly Peter Minkler Julia Barker Joseph Clodfelter Sharon Pineo Myer Gcnia Slutsky Delmar Stewart Jeffrey Stewart Mary Wochr Mary Zinman
Mihaly Virizlay Principal, Joseph and Rebecca Meyerhoff Chair
Chang Woo Lee Asst. Principal
Kenneth Willaman Gita Roche
Principal, Willard and Lillian Hackertnan Chair
W. Hampton Childress III Asst. Principal
Emily Controulis Principal, Dr. Clyde Alvin Clapp Chair
Mark Sparks Assoc. Principal
Principal, Robert H. and Ryda H. Levi Chair
James Ostryniec Asst. Principal
Kenneth S. Battye and Lety; Mason Chair
Clarinets Steven Barta
Principal, Anne Adalman
Goodwin Chair Christopher Wolfe
Asst. Principal Gordon Miller
Bass Clarinet Edward Palankcr
E-jlat Clarinet Christopher Wolfe
Saxophone Gordon Miller
Phillip A. M. Kolker
Principal Julie Green
Asst. Principal Brent Rickman
David P. Coombs
Foundation Chair Peter Landgrcn
Asst. Principal William Kendall Mary Bisson Bruce Moore
Principal, Harvey M. and Lyn P. Meyerhojf Chair
Edward Hoffman Asst. Principal
LangstonJ. Fitzgerald III
Trombones James Olin
Principal, Alex. Brown
& Sons Chair Chriscopher Dudley
Asst. Principal John Vance
Bass Trombone Randall S. Campora
Principal David Zcrkel
Timpani Dennis Kain
Principal Christopher Williams
Percussion Christopher Williams
Schwilck Chair Leo LePage John Locke David DcPcters
Principal Alyce Rideout
James Earl Barnes
Personnel Manager George Aranow
Stage Personnel William Seibcrt Stage Manager Ennis Seibert
Principal Librarian Mary Carroll Plaine
Associate Librarian David E. Grucnder
Assistant Librarian Kenneth Willaman
About the Artists
The Baltimore Symphony Orchestra, now in its fifth season under music director David Zinman, has moved rapidly into the front ranks of American orchestras. The orchestra's expanded touring activities began in 1987 with a triumphant month-long European tour that included four concerts in the Soviet Union, the first performances by an American orchestra in the U.S.S.R. in over a decade. Less than a year later, the orchestra's two-week United States tour with cellist Yo-Yo Ma earned virtually unanimous critical acclaim, as did the 1989 East Coast tour with flutist James Galway. Now in the midst of a twelve-city tour of the Midwest and several Northeastern cities, the Baltimore Symphony returns to Ann Arbor for its first concert under David Zinman's direction. The orchestra's previous appearances were in 1978 and 1980 under Sergiu Comissiona.
The 1989-90 season features the release of three new recordings, including works by Chris?topher Rouse, who served as the Baltimore Symphony's composer-in-residence from 1986 to 1989 and won the Kennedy Center's Fricdhcim Award for his Symphony No. 1, which can be heard on a new Nonesuch release. Telarc is releasing recordings by Zinman and the Baltimore Symphony of Schumann's Symphonies Nos. 2 and 3 and of works by Elgar. Additional recording plans for Telarc this season include the completion of the Schumann symphony cycle and the start of a major project to record Tchaikovsky's orchestral works.
Since David Zinman's appointment as music director in 1985, the orchestra has expanded its subscription season offerings, introduced a "Discovery" series focusing on new music, created a summer music festival in the Joseph Meyerhoff Symphony Hall, and inaugurated the Saturday morning "Casual Concerts," which feature informal commentary by the conductor. In addition, the orchestra is now in its fourth consecutive season of nationwide broadcasts on American Public Radio.
Organized in 1916, the Baltimore Symphony is the only major American orchestra originally founded as a branch of municipal government. Reorganized as a private institution in 1942, its modern history dates from 1965, when Joseph Meyerhoff became president of the orchestra, a position he would hold for eighteen years. In 1967, Rumanian-born conductor Sergiu Comissiona was appointed music director, and together, they gave the Baltimore Symphony international status, initiating regular recordings, annual commissioning of new works, and undertaking a highly successful tour of the two Germanys in 1981. In 1982, the orchestra gained a permanent home, the Joseph Meyerhoff Symphony Hall, widely acclaimed for its acoustics and beauty.
David Zinman's tenure with the Baltimore Symphony --just extended through the 1993-94 season -is distinguished by his programming of an extraordinarily broad repertoire, his commit?ment to the performance of new music, and his introduction of historically informed performance practice for music of the eighteenth and early nineteenth centuries. His recordings with the Baltimore Symphony include a CBS Mastcrworks disc with Yo-Yo Ma in cello works by Britten and Barber, the Nonesuch recording of works by Christopher Rouse, and the Elgar and Schumann discs for Telarc, with whom Zinman and the Symphony have entered into a long-term agreement.
The maestro has an extensive discography of nearly forty albums, for which he has earned two Grand Prix du Disquc Awards, an Edison Prize, and very recently -last month -three Grammy Awards at the February 21 presentations, the only classical artist to earn that many. The Grammy Awards were for his recording with the Baltimore Symphony and Yo-Yo Ma; 20th-century songs with soprano Dawn Upshaw and the Orchestra of St. Luke's; and the third, in the category of "Best Comedy Recording, Spoken or Musical," for "P.D.Q. Bach: 1712 Overture and Other Musical Assaults" under the pseudonym "Walter Bruno."
Since his American conducting debut with The Philadelphia Orchestra in 1967, David Zinman has served as music director of the Rochester and Rotterdam Philharmonics and the Netherlands Chamber Orchestra. He has conducted all the major North American ensembles, including those of Boston, Chicago, Cleveland, Dallas, Los Angeles, Montreal, New York, Pittsburgh, San Francisco, and Washington's National Symphony. He frequently conducts and records with major European orchestras, including the Conccrtgebouw, Dresden Staatskapelle, London Symphony, Royal Philharmonic, as well as the Israel Philharmonic.
Born in 1936, David Zinman graduated from Oberlin Conservatory and pursued advanced work in composition at the University of Minnesota. While studying conducting at Boston's Tanglewood Music Center, Zinman was guided by the great Pierre Monteux, who gave him his first important conducting opportunities at the 1963 Holland Festival and with the London Symphony Orchestra. In 1982, Time magazine selected him as one of five young American conductors to become great maestros of the late twentieth century.
Now making his eleventh appearance in Ann Arbor (the first was in 1947), Isaac Stern has performed on concert stages around the world, guided the careers of countless young musicians, and devoted himself to the advancement and recognition of the arts nationally and internationally. He is one of the most recorded musical artists of our time with over 100 releases, including many best-sellers that have won numerous Grammy awards. To recognize his recording artistry, CBS Masterworks honored him as their first "Artist Laureate" in 1985 and signed him to what is, in effect, a lifetime contract. In addition to the standard repertoire, the violinist is an avowed champion of contemporary music and has given premieres and recorded violin works by Bernstein, Hindcmith, Penderecki, Rochberg, Schuman, Dutilleux, and Peter Maxwell Davics.
Isaac Stern's other career highlights include his work for film and television. I-rom Mao to Mozart: Isaac Stern in China won the Academy Award for best full-length documentary of 1981 and received a Special Mention at the Cannes Film Festival. Following the Six Day War in 1967, he performed the Mendelssohn Concerto atop Mount Scopus with the Israel Philharmonic and Leonard Bernstein, resulting in the film A Journey to Jerusalem. As president of Carnegie Hall and the driving force to save it from demolition, he was featured on the CBS telecast Carnegie Hall: The Grand Reopening, which received a 1987 Emmy Award.
The long association between Stern and the Baltimore Symphony began in 1945 with the Mendelssohn Concerto; prior to the current tour, his most recent Baltimore appearances featured works of Bach and Berg in 1985 with David Zinman. Stern and Zinman are also frequent col?laborators with other orchestras, most recently performing the Dutilleux L'Arbre des songes in 1987 throughout Europe and the Brahms Violin Concerto with The Philadelphia Orchestra last summer. In addition to this Baltimore tour, the violinist's current season includes chamber performances of the Brahms quartets in the United States and the Far East with Yo-Yo Ma, Emanuel Ax, and Young-Uck Kim, culminating in a recording of those works for CBS Mastcrworks.
Isaac Stern began his career in San Francisco and made his orchestral debut in 1936, playing the Brahms Concerto with the San Francisco Symphony. His New York debut followed in 1943. Throughout his career, he has been awarded honorary degrees from many institutions and has received the highest honors from numerous foreign countries, among them France, Denmark, and Israel. He was a founding member of the National Endowment for the Arts, the first recipient of the Albert Schweitzer Music Award, a Kennedy Center Honorec, Musical America's Musician of the Year (1986), and among the select few to receive a Grammy Lifetime Achievement Award.
Major support for the Baltimore Symphony Orchestra's United States tour
is provided by United States Fidelity and Guaranty Company.
The Baltimore Symphony Orchestra and USF&G dedicate this tour to William Donald Schaefer, Governor, State of Maryland, in recognition of his exceptional support of the Baltimore Symphony and the arts in Maryland. Broadcasts of the Baltimore Symphony's concerts are produced for national syndication by WJHU-FM. The orchestra records for Telarc, Sony Classical, and Nonesuch.
Academy of St. Martin-in-the-Fields Iona Brown ...............Sun. Apr. 1
The Feld Ballet .................................... Wed., Thurs. Apr. 4, 5
Jim Cullum Jazz Band......................................... Sat. Apr. 7
William Warfield, narrator; Gershwin's "Porgy and Bess"
Murray Perahia, pianist ....................................... Sat. Apr. 14
Concerto Soloists of Philadelphia Marc Mostovoy..............Sun. Apr. 22
The King's Singers .......................................... Sat. Apr. 28
Underwritten by Parkc Davis Research Division oj Warner Lambert.
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
Hci-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
l-riday -Beethoven: Symphony No. 4; Shostakovich: Symphony No. 4 Saturday --All-Brahms: "Tragic" Overture; "A German Requiem," for Chorus, Orchestra, and Soloists
All presentations free of charge, in the Rackham Building one hour before the concert.
Sunday, Apr. 1, preceding Academy of St. Martin-in-the-Fields
Glenn Watkins, Prof, of Music HistoryMusicology, U-M Saturday, Apr. 14, preceding Murray Perahia, pianist
Dcanna Rclyea, Director, Kerrytown Concert House
Topic: "Problems Peculiar to Pianists: Their Instruments, Their Careers" Saturday, Apr. 28, preceding The King's Singers
Kenneth Fischer, Executive Director, University Musical Society
Topic: "Adventures with Six Smashing Brits"
This activity is supported by the Michigan Council far 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.
UNIVERSITY MUSICAL SOCIETY
Burton Memorial Tower, Ann Arbor, MI 48109-1270 Telephones: (313) 764-2538, 763-TKTS