UMS Concert Program, April 22, 1990: International Presentations Of Music & Dance -- Concerto Soloists Chamber Orchestra
Rackham Auditorium, Ann Arbor, Michigan
THE UNIVERSITY MUSICAL SOCIETY OF THE UNIVERSITY OF MICHIGAN
Concerto Soloists Chamber Orchestra of Philadelphia
MARC MOSTOVOY, Music Director and Conductor
Sunday Afternoon, April 22, 1990, at 4:00 Rackham Auditorium, Ann Arbor, Michigan
Overture and "Arrival of the Queen of Sheba" from Solomon.............Handel
Overture; Fuga, allegro moderato; allegro Arrival of the Queen of Sheba: allegro
Six Dances for String Orchestra.........................................Klein
Frisch bewegt Recht lebhaft
Ruhig fliessend Im Siciliano tempo
Breit und kraftvoll Sehr Schnell
Serenade, Eine kleine Nachtmusik, K. 525 .............................. Mozart
Romance: andante Mcnuctto: allegretto Rondo: presto
Saint Paul's Suite..................................................... Holst
Intermezzo: andante con moto
Finale: allegro ("The Dargason," "Greensleeves")
Symphony No. 47 in G major, Hob. 1:47 .............................. Haydn
(Allegro) Un poco adagio, cantabile Menuct and Trio Finale: presto assai
The Concerto Soloists Chamber Orchestra is represented by Thea Dispeker, Inc.
Cameras and recording devices are not allowed in the auditorium. Halls Cough Tablets, courtesy of Warner Lambert Company, are available in the lobby.
Forty-second Concert of the 111th Season Twenty-seventh Annual Chamber Arts Series
PROGRAM NOTES by George K. Diehl
Overture and "Arrival of the Queen of Sheba"
from Solomon.................................. George Frideric Handel
For Handel, the decade 1738-48 was one of grand oratorios. From Israel in Egypt at the beginning of the decade to the one from which excerpts are being heard on this program, it was a period of renewed activity.
In April of 1743, Handel had suffered a second stroke. Intermittently in the following years, his health was cause for concern, but by 1747, he was coming around to his former self. He composed Solomon between May 5 and June 13 of 1748, and musically and dramatically, it was a superior achievement. Of it, Winton Dean (in Handel's Dramatic Oratorios and Masques) writes unreservedly that "he broke through the facade of the particular into the ideal and hymned the golden age." Clearly, Solomon represents a restoration of Handel's creative powers, which some contemporaries considered to have been on the wane.
The overtures to Handel's oratorios offer a remarkable variety and are in from one to four movements or divisions. Often, as in Solomon, they begin with a rather stately overture followed by a fugal Allegro and in this case, with a second Allegro. For Handel, the orchestral framework in Solomon is expansive -the Overture already shows the use of divided violas. Of course, with eight-part choruses, the instrumental forces cannot afford to be too slim. We have a report of a 1749 Foundling Hospital concert under Handel's direction that included excerpts from Solomon and engaged over 100 performers (voices and instruments). There is also the matter of Solomon's pageantry, which is better served by the expanded orchestration.
The "Arrival of the Queen of Sheba" (not Handel's title) is the Sinfonia that opens Act III of Solomon. When the Queen makes her appearance, she is given a tour of the temple and the palace and is overwhelmed by its splendor. In return for the grandiose reception and as a tribute to her host and the elegance of his court, she showers him with expensive gifts. The Sinfonia sounds not so much as "arrival" music than as a busy anticipation of the Queen's coming.
Handel conducted Solomon's first performance at Covent Garden on March 17, 1749.
Six Dances for String Orchestra .....................Richard Rudolf Klein
The distinguished German teacher and composer, Richard Rudolf Klein, commenced his advanced musical studies in Trossingen, studying piano and composition there from 1944 to 1946. An equal period of time was spent at the Musikhochschule in Stuttgart, and there, from 1946 to 1948, he studied composition with Philipp Mohler and conducting with Karl Munchingcr. Further studies in composition were pursued for an additional two years with one of Germany's foremost com?posers, Wolfgang Fortner. In 1949, Klein was appointed Dozent at the Northwest Music Academy in Detmold and since 1960 has been a professor at the renowned Musikhochschule in Frankfurt-am-Main. His impressive portfolio includes choral and orchestral works, stage works, keyboard and chamber music, as well as children's music and school music, in which he has had a particular interest.
Revealing a natural and thoroughgoing musical temperament, Klein's style shows a strong sense of expression and an apt handling of musical form. The entry for him in Die Musik in Geschichte und Gegenwart speaks of his "flexible modality and diaphanous sense of movement."
The attractively scored Six Dances for String Orchestra date from the mid-1950s. Brief first and second violin concertant elements (one player to a part) in the first, fourth, fifth, and sixth dances lend a varied texture to the scoring of these movements. A lively first dance, an expressive and quietly moving second, a vigorous, broadly based third, a spirited fourth, a siciliano fifth in 68 time, and a rapid and robust concluding dance round out a suite of immediate appeal.
Serenade, Eine kleine Nachtmusik, K. 525........Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart
Mozart composed numerous divcrtimenti and serenades in his youth, as was the custom of those days and the requirements of those who commissioned his music. This musical form was one that was in demand to raise the spirits of those attending private holiday parties, weddings, or fashionable balls. The serenade Eine kleine Nachtmusik was composed in 1787 and is different in many respects from Mozart's earlier works.
Mozart had just finished composing Don Giovanni in the same year, and he was in full command of his mature creative power. While Don Giovanni was most probably commissioned, it is not known what circumstance led Mozart to write Eine kleine Nachtmusik. He probably did not mean for the title, which in English is "A Little Night Music," to be taken literally. The term Nachtmusik was likely meant as a German equivalent to the French nocturne. Like all the serenades of Mozart, this piece originally had more than four movements, two of which were minuets, but one of them was lost.
This small masterpiece of outstanding creativity shows a Mozart far more mature than in many of his other works. The opening Allegro is a model of textbook sonata form with an Italian-like main theme. The serene melody of the Romanze movement is interrupted by a dialogue between the bass and treble voices. The elegant Menuet is followed by a Rondo, the fourth movement, that is based on a popular Viennese song of the day.
Saint Paul's Suite.......................................... Gustav Holst
Saint Paul's School for Girls in Hammersmith, London, figured prominently in Gustav Hoist's life. He became director of music there in 1905 and retained that post until he died. At Saint Paul's, Hoist fulfilled a lifelong interest in writing for amateurs. His catalog of works abounds in vocal and instrumental music that he composed for his pupils there. The incidental music to the masque The Vision of Dame Christian, the Brook Green Suite, and the Saint Paul's Suite were all written for performance at Saint Paul's.
Saint Paul's Suite was written in 1912-13 for the orchestra at the school. Hoist's daughter, Imogen, reports that a large soundproof room for teaching was added to Saint Paul's around that time, and that Hoist would spend Sundays there when the school was closed, working in quiet isolation. Thirty-one days of such creative privacy were available to him every August when, says Imogen, he would "write and write and write." It was in this room that Saint Paul's Suite was born. Written for string instruments, Hoist did add some wind parts when a few wind players were admitted to the school at the time he was composing it, but the published score does not include them.
The suite opens with a heartyjg. Its energetic themes, playful demeanor, and edgy tempo make it an attractive first movement. The second movement, Ostinato, is based on a pattern of four descending notes with a spinning figure (also revolving around four notes) that shimmers above the ostinato. The Intermezzo sounds an attractive melody in its first slow part, first by solo violin, then joined by viola. The melody derives from an Arab tune that Hoist had jotted down in a sketchbook while on vacation in Algeria. The Finale -an invigorating perpetual motion -contrasts two English folk elements, one a dance melody ("The Dargason") popular in Renaissance England, the other, the familiar "Greensleeves." The two are artfully blended together.
Symphony No. 47 in G major, Hob. 1:47 ...............Franz Joseph Haydn
As a modern composer might look back on it, Haydn's position with the Esterhazy family, beginning in 1761 and lasting for three decades, was an enviable one. One wonders what today's composer wouldn't give to hear the next morning the symphony that he composed the night before. This was one of the advantages that the Esterhazy's kapellmeister had. As time went on, there were some frustrations and occasions for disgruntlement, but for a post to last as long as this one did, the pluses must always have overcome the minuses, and the relative immediacy of the written page becoming audible was surely a plus.
Symphonies were a basic staple among the wide variety of music required of Haydn for use at court functions, and it comes as no surprise that in the more than one hundred symphonies that he composed, he became the principal establisher of its classical form and content. That's not to take anything away from the legion of pre-classical and classical composers who are responsible for the thousands of symphonies that helped shape the form's future.
In the early years of Haydn's employ, orchestra concerts were held on Tuesdays and Saturdays from two to four in the afternoon. He would conduct from the harpsichord or occasionally play the violin in the music that was performed at these concerts, much of it symphonic and a good bit of that newly composed. As the first decade passed, Haydn's works increased substantially, and by the early 1770s the signs of career growth and style evolution were clearly evident. His symphonies of this period contained departures from the more or less established, elegant pieces of entertainment for a noble audience; he had the courage to write with passionate expression, a strong rhythmic drive, a new stressing of harmonic tension, and even in minor keys for several of his symphonies, in contrast to those before and after this relatively short period.
The Symphony in G major, No. 47, comes from this period, bearing the date 1772, the same year as the familiar Farewell Symphony (No. 45). Found in the G major is the stressing of harmonic tension and his use of contrapuntal procedures, a technique more conspicuous in his quartets of the same years.
Concerto Soloists Chamber Orchestra
Marc Mostovoy, Music Director Max Rudolf, Conductor Laureate
Hector Corpus Mei-Chen Liao Cope Harvey DeSouza Yumi Hwang Rudy Perrault Paul Pesthy Dcsirec Ruhstrat Vesna Stankovic Igor Szwec
Zvi Carmelli Richard Fleischman Michelle LaCourse
Double Bass Miles B. Davis
Lucinda Fisher Jennifer Kuhns
Theodore Peters Richard Swartz
Harpsichord Temple Painter
About the Artists
The Concerto Soloists Chamber Orchestra, Philadelphia's highly regarded chamber ensem?ble, first performed in 1964 under Marc Mostovoy, who still heads the group as music director and conductor. Comprised of 15 string players and harpsichord, with the addition of brass, woodwind, and percussion when required, the musicians excel in both solo and ensemble performance. Players stand while performing and alternate their positions during each concert, as members of a repertory company alternate starring and supporting roles. Modeled after the orchestras of Bach and Mozart, the orchestra specializes in a wide range of baroque and classical music, but also seeks out lesser-known compositions of the nineteenth century and each year performs contemporary works, several of them commissioned from American composers.
World class artists have performed with the Concerto Soloists Chamber Orchestra on its "Six Mondays of Masterworks" series at Philadelphia's Academy of Music. They include cellist Leslie Parnas, oboist John deLancie, and pianists Paul Badura-Skoda, Mieczyslaw Horszowski, and Grant Johannesen. The ensemble has also performed in Carnegie Hall as part of the "Celebration of Chamber Orchestras" series. In addition to the Academy of Music series and Sunday afternoon "Basically Baroque" concerts, the orchestra tours nationally and internationally, and appears at many colleges and universities, where the members often conduct seminars and master classes.
In recent years, the ensemble has initiated innovative programs directed to the needs of the community. These include the widely acclaimed Senior Artists Showcase, the Young Artists Competition, and the young people's concert series "Learning Through Listening."
Marc Mostovoy is widely respected as an authority in the historical performance practice of baroque and classical music and personally researches and edits all scores and parts used by the orchestra. His thoroughness extends to the use of specially made bows designed to achieve the clean, articulate sound of eighteenth-century music. In order to maintain his close relationship with the orchestra, the maestro devotes most of his time and energy to its players and activities. He does, however, serve as artistic director of the Mozart on the Square Festival, is a member of the advisory committee of the Arts and Culture Council of the Philadelphia Chamber of Commerce, and is on the board of directors of Citizens for the Arts in Pennsylvania.
Marc Mostovoy and the Concerto Soloists Chamber Orchestra of Philadelphia now return for a second Ann Arbor concert after their debuts here in 1981.
The King's Singers .......................................... Sat. Apr. 28
Underwritten by Parke Davis Research Division of 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 Hei-Kyung Hong, Soprano Richard Stilwell, Baritone
Pre-concert Presentations -free admission
Saturday, Apr. 28, before The King's Singers, "Adventures with Six Smashing Brits" Kenneth Fischer, Executive Director, University Musical Society; Rackham Bldg. 7 p.m. Thursday, May 10, before May Festival concert with Harbison's new Brass Concerto John Harbison, composer-in-residence, Los Angeles Philharmonic; 7 p.m. (location tba)
Starting Time: Every attempt is made to begin concerts on time. Latecomers are asked to wait in the lobby until seated by ushers at a predetermined time in the program.
Children: Children not able to sit quietly during the performance may be asked by an usher, along with the accompanying adult, to leave the auditorium.
Coughing: From London's Royal Festival Hall: "During a test in the hall, a note played mezzo forte on the horn measured approx. 65 decibels; a single 'uncovered' cough gave the same reading. A handkerchief placed over the mouth assists in obtaining a pianissimo."
Watches: Electronic beeping and chiming digital watches should be turned off during performances. In case of emergency, advise your paging service of auditorium and seat location and ask them to call University Security at 763-1131.
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.
UNIVERSITY MUSICAL SOCIETY
Burton Memorial Tower, Ann Arbor, MI 48109-1270 Telephones: (313) 764-2538, 763-TKTS