UMS Concert Program, October 25, 1992: University Musical Society -- Frankfurt Radio Symphony Orchestra
Hill Auditorium, Ann Arbor, Michigan
University Musical Society
Frankfurt Radio Symphony Orchestra
Dmitri Kitaenko, Music Director and Conductor Cho-Liang Lin, Violinist
Sunday Afternoon, October 25, 1992, at 4:00 Hill Auditorium, Ann Arbor, Michigan
Passacaglia for Orchestra, Op. 1 ..................................Webern
Violin Concerto in D major, Op. 77.............................Brahms
Allegro non troppo
Allegro giocoso, ma non troppo vivace
Symphony No. 5 in B-flat major, Op. 100.................Prokofiev
Andante Allegro marcato Adagio Allegro giocoso
The Frankfurt Radio Symphony Orchestra appears by arrangement with ICM Artists, Ltd., New York, Lee Lamont. President
All concertgoers are invited to remain for the Third Annual University Musical Society Benefit Auction
to take place in Hill Auditorium immediately following the concert.
EIGHTH CONCERT OF THE 1 1 4TH SEASON 1 1 4TH ANNUAL CHORAL UNION SERIES
Passacaglia, Op. 1
Anton Webern (1883-1945)
Anton Webern was a composer whose importance and worth are not measured by the number of his brief compositions. His opus numbers run only to 31 and they are all recorded on just four long-playing records, but his musical expression is so condensed, his craft so precise, his ideas so pure in conception, that his works affected the composers of Europe and America during the twenty-five years after the Second World War more than did any other single influence.
Webem's first music teacher was his mother, an amateur pianist. He had a classical education as a young man and then studied music history and theory at the University of Vienna, where he earned a doctorate in musicology in 1906. He studied composition with Arnold Schoenberg from 1904 to 1908, and before long, Webern, his fellow-pupil, Alban Berg, and their teacher came to be seen as a new, second Viennese school, historical successors of Haydn, Mozart and Beethoven, whose careers had been interlocked there more than a century earlier. Webern earned his living as a conductor until the arrival of the Nazis in Austria put an end to most of his professional work. He died, tragically, in an accidental shooting by an American soldier.
Most of Webem's mature works are tiny musical microcosms, miniatures in duration but so weighty, so highly condensed, that two generations of musicians have devoted whole lifetimes of study to them. This early Passacaglia is relatively large in scale. It was written in 1908, the year in which Webem completed his studies in Vienna with Schoenberg and left for his first important conducting engagement, at Bad lschl, a fashionable resort town where Brahms had spent many summers. In our time Webem's Op. 1 sounds almost Brahmsian. The themes and turns of phrase are modem in shape, but they recall Brahms, and the passacaglia form is the one that Brahms chose for the finales of his Fourth Symphony and his Haydn Variations.
Until 17th-century composers began to write them, passacaglias were Spanish street dances. As a musical form, the passacaglia is simply a set of continuous variations on a short subject, usually just eight measures in length. In earlier examples, it was always in triple meter. A passacaglia subject may be a big melody, as in Bach's great C-minor Passacaglia for organ, or just a succession of chords, as in the Brahms Symphony, or a mere wisp of a tune, as here.
Webern starts with a very simple, soft and slow statement of his subject in the strings, muted and plucked. There are 23 variations that fall into three groups. In the first, the music rises in speed, volume and intensity, and then falls back to the opening levels. The second group makes up a soft and slow central section for the whole piece, with only a slight rise and fall. The third group is freer, more mixed in character and less tightly tied to the opening subject. The music rises to a noble climax and fades away in a soft closing coda. --Note by Leonard Burkat
Violin Concerto in D major, Op. 77
Johannes Brahms (1833-1897)
Brahms' first concerto was for piano--the D-minor Concerto--and it was hissed at its second performance. Twenty years later, the composer was again at work on a concerto, this one for violin. The Violin Concerto turned out to be of a decidedly different character than the First Piano Concerto. It is franker, more exposed; it has more solo virtuosity; it is warmer and more lyrical. It returns to the classical custom of permitting a solo cadenza at the discretion (or lack of it) of the performer. It is gentler and lacks the dark brooding of the D-minor Piano Concerto. It sings in the manner of the Second Symphony, to which it is related most nearly in point of chronology (the symphony was written in 1877, the concerto in 1878), and the place of composition in both cases was the town of Portschach in the Austrian Alps, near the Italian frontier.
The oft-remarked collaboration between Brahms and the great violinist Joachim came to almost nothing in the final version of the concerto. Brahms asked for help from the violinist because Brahms was a pianist. Joachim made many suggestions, most of them aimed at removing some of the more painful difficulties from the solo part. Brahms took the suggestions and then ignored them. Joachim did write out the first movement cadenza, perhaps the major concession made by Brahms, and the composer added the tempo designation non Lroppo vivace after the allegro giocoso of the third movement at the suggestion of Joachim. But even this is meaningless, because violinists now play the movement as fast as is humanly possible. In any case, the difficulties clearly limit the tempo within certain bounds.
The main theme of the first movement (Allegro non troppo) is announced by cellos, violas, bassoons, and homs. This subject and three contrasting song-like themes, together with an energetic dotted figure, marcalo, furnish the thematic material of the first movement. The violin is introduced, after almost a hundred measures for the orchestra alone, in an extended section, chiefly of passage-work, as a preamble to the exposition of the chief theme. The caressing and delicate weaving of the solo instrument about the melodic outlines of the song themes in the orchestra is most unforgettable.
This feature is even more pronounced in the second movement (Adagio) where the solo violin, having made its compliments to the chief subject, announces a second theme that it proceeds to embroider with captivating and tender beauty. The Finale (Allegro giocoso, ma non troppo vivace) is a virtuoso's paradise. The jocund chief theme, in thirds, is stated at once by the solo violin. There is many a hazard for the soloist--ticklish passage-work, double-stopping, arpeggios--but there is much spirited and fascinating music of rhythmical charm and gusto.
Symphony No. 5 in B-flat major, Op. 100
Sergei Prokofiev (1891-1953)
In an interview with Robert Magidoff, an account of which appeared in the New York Times in 1945, Prokofiev said of his Fifth Symphony that "It was a very important composition for me, since it marked my return to the symphonic form after a long interval-my Fourth Symphony was written in 1928.1 regard the Fifth Symphony as a culmination of a large period of my creative life. I conceived it as a symphony on the greatness of the human spirit. When war broke out, I felt that everyone must do his share and I began composing songs, marches for the front. But soon events assumed such gigantic and far-reaching scope as to demand larger canvases. 1 wrote the Symphonic Suite 1941, reflecting my first impressions of the war. Then I wrote War and Peace. This opera was conceived before the war, but the war made it compelling for me to complete it. ... Finally, I wrote my Fifth Symphony on which 1 had been working for several years, gathering themes for it in a special notebook. I always work that way and probably that is why I write so fast. The entire score of the Fifth was written in one month in the summer of 1944. It took another month to orchestrate it, and in between 1 wrote the score for Eisenstein's film, Ivan the Terrible."
Prokofiev composed the symphony at his summer home in a picturesque Russian village near Ivanov. The work was first performed at a concert of Prokofiev's music in the Grand Hall of the Moscow Conservatory. It was immediately acclaimed as one of the most important 20th-century Russian symphonic works. The Boston Symphony Orchestra, under conductor Serge Koussevitsky, gave the work's American premiere in November 1945.
During a long absence from his native land between 1918 and 1933, Prokofiev had won acclaim as an international composer. Such works as the Classical Symphony (1917), the Scythian Suite (1916), the opera The Love of Three Oranges (1921), which he composed for the Chicago Opera Association, and the ballet Chout (1921) had, with their driving energy, clear designs, and bright colors, carried his namp throuphoul the musical world For those
listeners who have heard only this composer's witty Classical Symphony--his first--the present symphony may come as something of a surprise, for here is a work cast in epic proportions.
The first movement is laid out in traditional sonata form with exposition, development, recapitulation, and coda. There are five well-defined themes or motives. The two principal ideas are presented by pairs of woodwinds an octave apart: the first for flute and bassoon, the second for flute and oboe. All five ideas are worked out in an extensive development section, which culminates in a grand restatement of the movement's opening theme, in brass. All themes return in the original sequence, and the slow 36-bar coda is one of the symphony's most memorable passages.
The second movement is a scherzo in 44 instead of the usual 34 meter. Because of the quick march it could be thought of as a march and trio. A buoyant theme played by the clarinets is immediately followed in other instruments in modified versions. Most of the trio is in 34, however, again with prominent woodwinds, and the scherzo return builds dynamically into a brusque conclusion.
The powerfully eloquent third movement is also cast in ternary form. The elegiac first theme, like several others in this symphony, is scored for a pair of instruments in parallel motion (here for clarinet and bass clarinet at a distance of two octaves, alternating with flute and bassoon). The second theme rises from the depths of the orchestra (bassoons, tuba, double basses) through a soaring line that spans three octaves. The large agitated middle section is followed by a quiet restatement that builds dynamically again before the coda and a new theme for piccolo and homs.
After a prelude that quotes the first theme of the Andante, the clarinet plays the finale's principal theme over a repeated (ostinato) pattern in the horns. The music is mostly witty, optimistic, and energetic, and makes some references to earlier material. Woodwinds monopolize the lyric statements and the orchestra is used brilliantly, especially in the peroration. --Note by Benning Dexter
ABOUT THE ARTISTS
Frankfurt Radio Symphony Orchestra
Pounded in 1929, the Frankfurt Radio Symphony Orchestra has been affiliated with diverse broadcasting institutions and systems throughout its history. Its first conductor (until 1937), Hans Rosbaud, was committed to fostering both traditional and contemporary music. Following the Second World War, Kurt Schroder and Winfried Zillig were engaged to rebuild the orchestra, now the "studio" orchestra of the Hessischer Rundfunk (Hesse Radio Broadcasting). During this period, Karl Bohm was a frequent guest conductor. Dean Dixon and Eliahu Inbal led the ensemble over three decades, from 1961-1990, a period during which the orchestra achieved international renown through its collaborations with many of the world's most distinguished artists and its extensive recording activity. Under Inbal's baton, the orchestra was repeatedly honored for its work on record, earning the Grand Prix du Disque for its recordings of the first editions of Bruckner's Symphonies No. 3,4 and 8. It also won the French Diapson d'Or and the 1988 Deutsche Schallplattenpreis for the first digital cycle of Mahler symphonies. This afternoon, the orchestra makes its Ann Arbor debut.
Dmitri Kitaenko has been Music Director of the Frankfurt Radio Symphony Orchestra since the beginning of the 1990-91 season. He also serves as Music Director of the Bergen Philharmonic and as Permanent Guest Conductor of the Danish Radio Orchestra in Copenhagen. He is also a frequent guest conductor with such ensembles as the Berlin Philharmonic, the Vienna Philharmonic, the Philadelphia Orchestra, the London Symphony, the Pittsburgh Symphony, the Bavarian Radio Orchestra and the Munich Philharmonic and at such renowned opera houses as the Bolshoi Theatre in Moscow, the Staatsoper in Vienna, and the Staatsoper in Munich.
Maestro Kitaenko was born in 1940 in Leningrad (now St. Petersburg) and began his musical studies at the choral school of the Leningrad Choir. In 1958 he entered the Leningrad Conservatory, where he studied choral conducting, and later pursued graduate studies at the Moscow Conservatory. He then attended the Vienna Academy of Music, where he studied with
Swarowsky and Oesterreicher and received a diploma with honors. In Vienna he also participated in several conducting seminars with Herbert von Karajan. After receiving first prize at von Karajan's first International Competition for Conductors in 1969, Kitaenko rose to international prominence.
In 1970 the conductor returned to Moscow where he was invited to join the Stanislavsky Theater. He was soon named Chief Conductor of the Theater orchestra and his successes there included an acclaimed new production of Carmen, staged by the German director Walter Felsenstein, as well as productions of La Boheme and Kateiina Ismailova.
In 1976 Kitaenko became Music Director of the Moscow Philharmonic, a position he held for 14 years. Under his leadership, the orchestra achieved great success both in the Soviet Union and on several tours abroad. It was with that orchestra that Kitaenko has previously appeared in Ann Arbor.
At the age of five, enraptured by the sound of a violin coming from a neighbor's window in his native Taiwan, Cho-Liang Lin persuaded his parents to buy him a small instrument. He gave his first public performance two years later and, when he was 12, was sent to Australia to study at the Sydney Conservatorium. Inspired by a master class given there by Itzhak Perlman, Mr. Lin became determined to study with Mr. Perlman's teacher, Dorothy DeLay. He arrived in New York in 1975 and enrolled in The Juilliard School immediately following his audition. He is now a member of the Juilliard faculty. He became a United States citizen in 1987.
Today, the violinist is acclaimed throughout the world for his distinctive artistry. Mr. Lin's 1992-93 season began with European engagements as guest artist with the Halle Orchestra and the Danish Radio Symphony. In the United States he tours with the Frankfurt Radio Symphony Orchestra under Dmitri Kitaenko, performing at Carnegie Hall in New York, the Kennedy Center in Washington, D.C., and Orchestra Hall in Chicago, among other cities. He will also join Esa-Pekka Salonen and the Los Angeles Philharmonic to play and record Prokofiev's Violin Concertos Nos. 1 and 2. He will then make his first tour of Israel with Leonard Slatkin and the Israel Philharmonic. His 1993 itinerary includes a tour of Australia, where he will appear with that country's major orchestras.
Mr. Lin records exclusively for the Sony Classical label. His latest discs are the Brahms Sextets Opp. 18 and 36, with Isaac Stern, Jaime Laredo, Michael Tree, Yo-Yo Ma and Sharon Robinson, and Mozart's Sinfonia Concertante and Concertone for Two Violins and Orchestra with Mr. Laredo and the English Chamber Orchestra directed by Raymond Leppard. His recording of Stravinsky's Violin Concerto with Esa-Pekka Salonen and the Los Angeles Philharmonic will be released in 1993. Also in 1993, Mr. Lin will record Schubert and Brahms string quintets with Messrs. Stern, Laredo, Tree, and Ma.
Many of Mr. Lin's albums have garnered awards and critical acclaim. The British magazine Gramophone named his recording of the Sibelius and Nielsen concertos "Record of the Year." The same magazine has also placed several of Mr. Lin's recordings among its "Critic's Choice of the Year." In the United States, Stereo Review has named two of his other albums as "Record of the Year." This afternoon marks his Ann Arbor debut.
Frankfurt Radio Symphony Orchestra
(Hessischer Rundfunk) Dmitri Kitaenko, Music Director and Conductor
FIRST VIOLINS Ulrich Edelmann Concerimaster Guenther Salber' Michael Wild" Melina Keller Hcli Kerzismk Hans-Alfred Helm Annelte Mainzer Uwe Vogel Harm Otlen Hiroko Kondo Tamas Paul Henryka Trzonek Marat Dickermann Sorin lonescu Petru Agosion Thomas Mehlin Alfred Oppelcz Bemd von Scheel
SECOND VIOLINS Paul Hartwein Gerhard Miesen Wolfgang Ludwig Peter Seebach Egbert Rheker Klaus Schwamm Uwe Fieikau Alois Niessner Gunter Simon Bngitte Robiller Stojan Radanov Michael Hahn Kann Hendel Elisabeth Krause-Stephan Arndt Heyer
VIOLAS Bodo Hersen Gerd Groetzschel Michael Meyer Walter Mueller Alfred Meusel Manfred Liebert Ami Martin Joerg Heyer Gotthard Kloehn lngrid Alben Victoria Hill Martin Jaenecke Wolfgang Geese
CELLOS Viclor Yoran Peter Wolf Kaamel Salah Eldin Imke Searcy Sonja Winter Wolfram vom Slain Veil Kynast Ulrich Waller Hans-Rudolf Kahl Joerg Wiederhold Chrisiiane Peiers WolfTormann
BASSES Alfred Sapper Kai von Goeize Rudolf Neudoerfer Heinz Peus Ulrich Franck Timm-Johannes Trappe Manfred Boening Matthias Espitalier Johannes Slaehle
Waller Buechsel Vladislav Brunner Thaddcus Waison Sebastian Witliber Jeryl Burnene
Fabian Menzel Liviu Varcol Michael Sieg Thomas Gimnich-Anial Konrad Zeller
CLARINETS Ulrich Mehlhart Armin Ziegler Ulrich Buesing Sven van der Kuip Raincr Mueller van Recum
BASSOONS Carsten Wilkening Ralph Sabow Wolfgang Butller Matthias Roscher Bernhard Straub
FRENCH HORNS John MacDonald Wolfgang Wipfler John Stobart Peter Steidle Gerda Sperlich Ursula Kepser
TRUMPETS Reinhold Friedrich' Wolfgang Bauer-Wuestehube Bernhard Schmid Norbert Haas Klemens Kerkhoff
TROMBONES Klaus Bruschke Oliver Siefen' Hans Ruekert Hans Kuhner Loihar Schmitt
HARP Charlotte Yoran
PIANOCELESTEORGAN Fritz Wallher-Undqvisi
TIMPANI Peter Wirweitzki
PERCUSSION Knut Weinstock Burkhardt Lange Konrad Graf Hans-Joerg Bayer Gunter Moeller
Siegfried Barnikow, Manager
Ingeborg Hacuser, Secretary
Sven Winkler, Technician
Jurgen Lange, Tour Director
Michael Lehmann, Tour Director
Dieter Hannemann, PR Manager
ICM ARTISTS TOURING DIVISION: Byron Gustafson, Vice President and Director; Leonard Stein, General Manager; Richmond Davis, Stage Manager
'Assistant Concertmaster Principal