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UMS Concert Program, November 17, 1991: University Musical Society -- Oslo Philharmonic Orchestra

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Season: 113th
Concert: Twelfth
Hill Auditorium, Ann Arbor, Michigan

MARISS JANSONS Music Director and Conductor
Sunday Evening, November 17, 1991, at 8:00 Hill Auditorium, Ann Arbor, Michigan
Concerto in E minor for Violin and Orchestra, Op. 64 Allegro molto appassionata Andante Allegretto non troppo, allegro molto vivace
Frank Peter Zimmermann, Violinist
. . Mendelssohn
Symphony No. 7 in C major, Op. 60 ("Leningrad").....Shostakovich
Adagio, moderato risoluto
Allegro non troppo
CCC Norsk Hydro is proud to be the exclusive worldwide sponsor teat of the Oslo Philharmonic Orchestra for the period 1990-93.
The Oslo Philharmonic and Frank Peter Zimmermann are represented by Columbia Artists
Management Inc., New York City.
The Philharmonic records for EMIAngel, Chandos, and Polygram.
The box office in the outer lobby is open during intermission for tickets to upcoming
Musical Society concerts.
Twelfth Concert of the 113th Season
113th Annual Choral Union Series
Program Notes
Violin Concerto in E minor, Op. 64 Felix Mendelssohn (1809-1847)
During his short life of 38 years, Mendelssohn dominated the musical world of Germany and exercised the same influence in England for more than a gener?ation after his death. The reason for this may very well have been the fact that he was one of the most naturally gifted musicians of the nineteenth century, having developed his talent to an unprecedented degree while still a young boy.
Mendelssohn conceived his famous Violin Concerto in E minor during the year 1838. He informed his friend Ferdinand David (whom he had appointed head of the violin department at the Gewandhaus) of his plan: "I should like to write a violin concerto for you next winter. One in E minor runs in my head, the beginning of which gives me no peace."
In the following year, Mendelssohn continued to work on the concerto, but his various duties prevented decisive progress. Five years later, during an idyllic summer in the Taunus, Mendelssohn finally completed work on the Violin Concerto. The first per?formance took place in Leipzig on March 3, 1845. Ferdinand David was the soloist; Niels Gade conducted.
Technical interest centers, before all, on the imaginative design of this concerto. In the mid-nineteenth century, the score was justifiably considered daringly modern: Men?delssohn revised here the typical ground plan of classical concertos. The three movements of the Mendelssohn Concerto are continuous. In the opening Allegro, the classical double exposition is abandoned. Instead, the soloist joins with the orchestra, from the very begin?ning, in a single exposition of the two main themes.
The solo violin introduces the Allegro molto appassionato. This fast and impassioned melody (E minor, 22) soars high over the sparse accompaniment. The evolving triplet rhythm plays a unifying role throughout the movement. Before long, the main theme is broadly stated by the full orchestra. A bridge leads to the contrasting lyric subject in the relative key of G major. In an ingenious detail of scoring, while the solo violin sustains the
root tone G on its lowest note, the flute and clarinets in pairs are entrusted with the gentle melody. On the opening G string, the solo violin becomes the fundament of this delicate passage. The two themes are worked out until their development reaches the cadenza, which Mendelssohn wrote out in full. The cadenza, in turn, serves as a transition to the reprise. This particularity -the place of the cadenza and its role as a formal bridge -has been successively adopted by other composers of concertos since then.
Without interruption, the slow move?ment follows the Allegro; a single note of the bassoon ties the first to the middle move?ment. We hear an Andante, designed as song form (C major, 68). Here is romantic music in Mendelssohn's most personal vein. The central section of the movement is more agitated; it turns to the minor mode. An Allegro non troppo, consisting of a few bars only, approaches the finale.
The third movement follows without a break. After a few initial figures of the solo, an Allegro moho vivace (44) launches into a spirited E major. A texture of fairy-like light?ness prevails, reminding us of the composer's own music for A Midsummer Night's Dream. The soloist is called to perform fireworks. The orchestra sings a warm counter-melody in G, which is combined with the principal subject.
After the thematic material has been thoroughly developed, the concerto con?cludes jubilantly.
Symphony No. 7 in C major,
Op. 60 ("Leningrad")
Dmitri Shostakovich (1906-1975)
One of history's most dramatic events led Shostakovich to write the Symphony No. 7 in C major, subtitled "Lenin?grad"; this catalyst was World War II and, in particular, the occasion in which the Nazi armies besieged Shostakovich's native city of Leningrad, where he still lived at the time. Ill health and poor eyesight prevented Shostakovich from joining the armed forces as he desired to do. In compensation, he decided to put his mu?sical talents once again in the service of his
country. The composer once stated: "That was the least I could do. The war was raging all around. 1 had to be together with the people and wanted to picture our country at war, to give it musical expression. On the very first days of the war, I sat down at the piano and began working. I worked at high pressure, for I was eager to compose a work about our times, about my contemporaries who spared no efforts, not even their lives, for the sake of our victory over the foe. When not working, 1 would go into the streets and watch my beloved city with pain and pride . . . Neither savage raids, German planes, nor the grim atmosphere of the beleaguered city could hinder the flow of ideas. I worked with an inhuman intensity I have never before reached ... By the end of 1941, I completed the symphony, written as it were at a single stroke of the pen."
However, in the controversial Testi?mony, the composer's much disputed autobi?ography, he stated that the Symphony had been planned even before the war. He further elaborated: "I have not forgotten the terrible pre-war years. That is what all my symphonies beginning with the Fourth are about, includ?ing the Seventh and the Eighth ... I have nothing against calling the Seventh the 'Len?ingrad,' but it is not about Leningrad under siege; it is about the Leningrad that Stalin destroyed and that Hitler merely finished off." So it appears that the Symphony may serve two different programmatic ideas.
The Seventh Symphony was first per?formed in March 1942 in the city of Kuibyshev, where the authorities had insisted that the composer relocate with his family for their own safety; soon the Symphony was being performed throughout the Soviet Union. At the time, Western countries were very interested in Soviet music, particularly that of Shostakovich, so the score was trans?ferred to microfilm, flown from Moscow to Teheran, taken by land to Cairo and then flown to the United States. The Western premiere took place in New York City with Toscanini conducting the NBC Symphony Orchestra. That ensuing season saw over 60 performances of the work in this country, led by such distinguished conductors as Stokowski, Ormandy, Koussevitzky, Rod-zinski, and Mitropoulos; the work was heard in nearly every western country soon there?after.
In keeping with the "war program," Shostakovich described the opening Allegretto thus: "The first and longest movement bears a dramatic and, I would say, tragic character. Our peace?ful life has been broken up by a threatening event -war -and everything has to be subordinated to its laws. The music also has another theme: a requiem expressing the people's sorrow over their dead heroes." This movement begins with an energetic theme in C major, said to portray "the Leningrad citizen," and punctuated by rhythmic brass and percussion interjections. Soon the tonal?ity acquires a darker color, the dynamics decrease, and a moment of lyrical lassitude is reached. So far, the movement has been cast in a modified sonata form. Suddenly, where the development would have normally taken place, a march-like theme -variously asso?ciated with tyranny and the invading Nazis -is introduced by strings pizzicato and col legno (striking the strings with the back of the bow) against a steady drum beat. This melody is repeated no less than 12 times -taking up more than 40 pages of the score; inexora?bly the melody grows in intensity and dynam?ics with each repetition, as it passes through the orchestra in various instrumental combi?nations. A Soviet commentator has described this passage as a "psychological portrait of the enemy." At the end of this section, the melody is violently disrupted while the march rhythm persists. The recapitulation as such, acquires the form of a funeral march, suggest?ing a memorial for the victims of war and tyranny with its sad bassoon melody. Before the movement closes, the march-like melody makes a last brief appearance.
In Shostakovich's words, "The next two movements were intended as a lyrical intermezzo . . . [containing] no program and fewer 'concrete facts' than the first move?ment. They confirm life in opposition to war. 1 tried to express the thought that art, liter?ature, and science must advance in spite of war. It is, if you like, a polemic against the statement that 'when cannons roar the muse is silent.' " The Moderate provides emotional respite from what has transpired so far. It begins quietly, as the first theme is heard immediately, a simple modal subject played by the second violins. The second theme is then presented by the oboe with rhythmic accompaniment and is characterized by its irregular and unexpected inflections. In the
middle of this movement is found what may be considered the Scherbo proper; it is a more vigorous, almost martial, at times even vio?lent section, which, in the composer's words, exhibits "a little humor -I cannot do without it." Prominent here is the E-flat piccolo clarinet as it plays against a counter subject played by lower woodwinds. The movement concludes quietly, as it began.
Shostakovich called the next move?ment "a pathetic Adagio, the dramatic center of the whole work." Most notable at the beginning is a chorale-like introduction, in which ritualized sonorities are produced by Stravinsky-like wind chords interspersed with declamatory and impassioned string recita?tives, creating an almost religious atmos?phere. This is followed by a simple theme played by the flute. At the center of this movement is a faster-paced, violently dra?matic section marked Moderato risoluto. After a carefree gypsy-like dance melody, the move?ment concludes in an optimistic vein, leading directly into the finale without a pause.
Regarding the fourth movement, the composer indicated that it "is dedicated to our victory ... It is the victory of light over darkness, wisdom over frenzy, lofty humanism over monstrous tyranny ... I speak of a beautiful life in the future, when the enemy has been routed." The Allegro non troppo is built upon a sonata structure, based on a profusion of themes; it begins quietly with a broad, descriptive melody supported by a low held G in the strings and timpani. Soon the music starts to build up, gradually gathering momentum, rhythmic vitality, and dynamic intensity. All this activity is eventually re?duced until we are left with a single string line, at which point there is a change to Moclerato, and a new triple meter, changing the mood of the proceedings. This slower chordal section, exhibiting a feeling of mass mourning, slowly builds to a great climax employing the entire orchestral resources. With a statement in the brass of the Symphony's opening theme, the work finally reaches its triumphant conclusion. -Program note by Edgar Colon-Hemdndez
About the Artists
Awarded the Norwegian Peer Gynt Prize for its international performances, the Oslo Phil?harmonic, under the inspira?tional leadership of its music director Mariss Jansons, has garnered interna?tional praise for its worldwide tours. Its re?cordings have been recognized with many prestigious awards, including four Norwegian Grammy awards, the Norwegian Critics Award, and the French Grand Prix du Dis-que. This world-class Norwegian orchestra enjoyed great success during its first tour of the United States in 1987 and now returns to perform in major cities across North Amer?ica. The orchestra made its Ann Arbor debut with Mariss Jansons on the 1987 tour and this evening makes its second appearance.
The Oslo Philharmonic traces its roots back to the late nineteenth century, a period of great cultural growth and activity in Nor?way. On the scene were composers Edvard Grieg and Johan Svendsen, authors Henrik Ibsen and Bj0rnstjerne Bj0rnson, painters Adolph Tidemann and Hans Gude, and the first connections of Norwegian folk music were published, which helped to promote an interest in the national musical idiom.
It was in this milieu that the orchestra was established in 1871, with Edvard Grieg as a co-founder and one of its first conductors. It was not until 1919, however, that the orchestra was established as a fully indepen?dent and permanent organization. The con?ductor at that time was Georg Schneevoigt, and Richard Burgin the concertmaster.
Over the last 25 years, the Oslo Phil?harmonic has enjoyed tremendous artistic growth and attained a reputation for its rich sound and virtuoso interpretations. As music director of the Philharmonic since 1979, Mariss Jansons has continued the work of prior outstanding music directors Herbert Blomstedt (1962-68), Miltiades Carides (1969-75), and Okko Kamu (1975-79). Working facilities also improved in 1977 with the completion of the Oslo Concert Hall, a multi-million dollar complex that is now the home of the orchestra.
For many years, Esa-Pekka Salonen was the Principal Guest Conductor. Other guest conductors to work with the orchestra include Paavo Berglund, Gary Bertini, John Eliot Gardiner, Eduardo Mata, Kent Nagano, Kurt Sanderling, Walter Weller, and Franz Welser-Most. Among the soloists for this
season are Radu Lupu, Shlomo Mintz, Cristina Ortiz, Krystian Zimerman and Frank Peter Zimmermann. The Oslo Philharmonic gives more than 60 concerts annually at the Oslo Concert Hall, and most of them are broadcast by Norwegian radio or television.
Since 1982, the Oslo Philharmonic has toured Great Britain, Central Europe, the United States, and Japan. Future engage?ments include performances in Great Britain, North America, Germany, Switzerland, Aus?tria, Spain, and Japan. The orchestra has also performed at such prestigious festivals as the Salzburg International Festival, the Edin?burgh Festival, and the London Proms.
An award-winning recording ensem?ble, the Oslo Philharmonic has previously made numerous records for RCA Victor, Mercury, and Philips, including orchestral works by Grieg and music by contemporary Norwegian composers. From 1984 to 1987, the orchestra received outstanding worldwide reviews for its full cycle of the Tchaikovsky symphonies on the Chandos label. In 1986, the orchestra and Mariss Jansons signed a contract with EMI for the completion of fourteen recordings by 1992. The most recent EMI releases by the Oslo Philharmonic are Bartok's Concerto for Orchestra and Music for Strings, Percussion and Celesta, as well as Sibelius'Symphony No. 1, Karelia Suite, and Finlandia.
Holding the dual posts of Music Director of the Oslo Philhar?monic Orchestra and Associ?ate Music Director of the Leningrad Philharmonic, Ma?riss Jansons is recognized as one of the most distinguished musicians of his generation and has become known to a considerable world?wide audience through his acclaimed record?ings, concert performances and extensive tours, and his work for radio and television. Mr. Jansons was born in Riga, Latvia, in 1943, into a family of professional musi?cians, his father, Arvid Jansons, a renowned conductor, and his mother, a former opera singer. He studied violin, viola, piano, and conducting at the Leningrad Conservatory and graduated with honors. He continued his training in Vienna with Hans Swarovsky and in Salzburg with Herbert von Karajan, win?ning the International Herbert von Karajan Foundation Competition in 1971.
Under Mariss Jansons since 1979, the Oslo Philharmonic Orchestra has been hailed as one of the most important ensembles in Europe. Together, they have received out?standing reviews for their complete series of the Tchaikovsky Symphonies on the Chandos label and a Grammy Award for their recording of Shostakovich's Seventh Sym?phony. In 1986, they began a long-term exclusive recording relationship with EMI, and their first two recordings, released in 1987, coincided with their first American tour in nine years. Since then, Jansons and the Oslo Philharmonic have also toured in Italy, France, Spain, and Japan, and have participated in the Edinburgh and Salzburg Festivals and the BBC Proms.
In Great Britain, Jansons was, until recently, the Principal Guest Conductor of the BBC Welsh Symphony, with which he recorded all of the Tchiakovsky Symphonies for BBC Television. Also for the BBC, he participated in the three-part series "Jansons Conducts" with the BBC Welsh Symphony, the Oslo Philharmonic, and the Leningrad Philharmonic. The Tchaikovsky Symphonies were followed by a BeethovenSchubert cycle for BBC Wales Television.
In 1973, Evgeny Mravinsky, the leg?endary music director of the Leningrad Phil?harmonic, invited Mariss Jansons to assist him at that post. That was the beginning of a long relationship that culminated in Jansons' recent appointment as Associate Music Director of the Leningrad Philhar-
monic. He has led these musicians on many successful tours to Europe, America, and Japan, and in 1989, their recordings of Shostakovich's Seventh Symphony won the Edison Prize in Holland.
Mariss Jansons is fast becoming one of the most prominent, most sought-after con?ductors of our time. In recent years, he made hugely successful appearances with many leading orchestras of America and Europe, among them The Cleveland Orchestra, Los Angeles Philharmonic, Toronto Symphony, . Montreal Symphony, Berlin Philharmonic, Royal Concertgebouw, London Symphony, London Philharmonic, and the London Philharmonia. This past summer, the maestro enjoyed successes at the Ravinia, Tangle-wood, Blossom, and Mann Music Festivals. In forthcoming seasons, he'll continue his long-term commitments with the Oslo Phil?harmonic and Leningrad Philharmonic Or?chestras and his regular appearances with the Berlin Philharmonic, Royal Concertgebouw, and the three London orchestras. He will also appear with the Munich Bayerischer Rundfunk, the Hamburg NDR, the Israel Philharmonic, and the orchestras of Chicago, Philadelphia, Cleveland, Boston and Pitts?burgh.
Maestro Jansons first appeared in Ann Arbor in November 1987 with the Oslo Philharmonic, returning in October 1990 with the Leningrad Philharmonic.
Frank Peter Zimmermann's much ac?claimed 1984 debut in North Amer?ica with the Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra and Lorin Maazel was quickly followed by a tour of this country in 1986. In addition to appearing at Avery Fisher Hall, New York City, he has performed with the Cincinnati, Detroit, and Toronto Orchestras. The following season he toured the United States with the Chamber Orchestra of Europe conducted by Lorin Maazel.
In addition to his North American performances, Zimmermann has toured Eu?rope with both the English Chamber Orches?tra and the Bamberg Symphony and has made individual appearances with the Berlin Phil?harmonic and the Academia Santa Cecilia Orchestra. He was also featured soloist on a grand tour of Japan with the Rundfunk Sym-phonie Orchestra Koln and subsequently made a second tour of Japan in 1990 with the Bamberg Symphony.
Now a regular guest at festivals, Mr. Zimmermann has performed at the following European festivals: Lucerne Festival, Mozart-Festspiele Salzburg, Summer Festival of the Munich Philharmonic, Prague Spring Festi?val, and the following American festivals: Mostly Mozart, New York City, with conduc?tor Gerard Schwarz, Tanglewood with the Boston Symphony Orchestra conducted by Gennady Rozhdestvensky, and the Ravinia Festival with the Chicago Symphony Orches?tra and Rozhdestvensky.
An accomplished chamber music player as well, Zimmermann has performed with many internationally respected musi?cians, including Rudolf Buchbinder, Alexan?der Lonquich, and Mstislav Rostropovich.
Mr. Zimmermann, who celebrates his 26th birthday this year, was born in 1965 in Duisburg, West Germany. Taught the violin from the age of five by his mother, he made his debut performing a Mozart Concerto in Duisburg at age ten. Subsequent studies have been with Saschko Gawriloff at the Staatliche Hochschule der Kunste Berlin and from 1980 with Herman Krebbers in Amsterdam.
Frank Peter Zimmermann now makes his third Ann Arbor appearance. The first was in April 1987 with the Chamber Orches?tra of Europe conducted by Lorin Maazel, followed by a 1988 performance with the English Chamber Orchestra under Jeffrey Tate.
Mariss Jansons, Music Director
First Violins Stig Nilsson,
Leader Magnus Ericsson,
Leader Pauls Ezergailis,
Assistant Leader John Arne Hirding,
Sub-Leader Eileen Siegel,
Sub-Principal Trond 0yen Arne Monn-Iversen Zygmunt Sprus Wanda Beck Jorn Halbakken Arild Solum Helge Stang Aas NoralfGlein Sharon Harman Sidsel Scheen Keunah Park Nora Skreien Miranda Playfair Jon Gjesme
Second Violins ' Arne Jorgen 0ian '' Dagny Bakken '' 'Vegardjohnsen Bernard Wilt Signy Hauge Larsen Zygmunt Marciuch Tove Halbakken
Niels Aschehoug Marit Egenes Ragnar Heyerdahl Tore Hovland Inyrid Jostad Elizabeth Storm Agnes Hoffart Harald Grimsrud Carol Harris
Violas 'Otto Berg ' 'Oddbj0m Bauer Morten Carlsen Oddvar Mordal Geoffrey Gorch
Inger Slattebrekk
Orestad Roger Olstad Eirik S0rensen Angelika Faber
Marja Liisa Rissanen Tormod Gangfltft Stig Ove Ose John Westbye 0ivind Plassen
'Anne Britt Saevig
Ardal Bj0rn Solum
Hans Chr. Hauge 0rnulf Jemtland Geir Tore Larsen Zbigniew Subocz Ania Szaniawska Tove Sinding-Larsen Ole Morten Gimle Gudmund Sevag Tormod Dalen Kari Ravnan
Double Basses 'Svein Haugen '' Dan Styffe
Erik Zeppezauer Odd Hansen Johnny Folde Einar Sch0yen Karel Netolicka Erling Sunnarvik Tor Balsvik
Flutes 'Torkil Bye
Per Flcmstrom Karl Th. Enge Andrew
Piccolos 'Andrew
Cunningham Karl Th. Enge
'ErikNiord Larsen ' 'Simon Ernes Matz Pettersen -Havard Norang
English Horns ' Havard Norang Matz Pettersen
"Leif A.T. Pedersen '' Hans Chr. Braein Terje Nymark Ole J0rgen Str0mberg
E-flat Clainet Terje Nymark
Bass Clarinet Ole Jorgen Str0mberg
Bassoons "Per Hannisdal ' "Eirik Birkeland Knut Bjaerke Frode Carlsen
Contra Bassoons Knut Bjaerke Frode Carlsen
'Inger Besse-rudhagen
" 'Kjell Erik Arnesen Odd Ulleberg Aksel Str0m Inge H. Eriksen Jan Olav Martinsen Anne Holt Hasle Ann Kunish
' Principal
'' Co-Principal
'' 'Sub-Principal
'Jan Fr. Christiansen
"Arnulf Naur
Knut Aarsand Jonas Haltia Erlend Tunestveit Kare Skylv
Arnulf Naur Nilsen
Knut Aarsand
Trombones 'Aline Nistad ' 'Terje Midtgard Thorbj0rn Lonmo Geir Arne Haugsrud Grethe Tonheim
Boss Trombone Ola R.0nnow
'Marcus Knight
"Andrew Simco Trygve Wefring
Percussion "Christian Berg ' "Trygve Wefring Per Erik Thorsen Bj0rn L0ken Morten Belstad Einar Fjaervoll
Harps 'Elisabeth
S0nstevold Ellen B0dtker
'Gonzalo Moreno

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