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UMS Concert Program, February 7, 1993: Faculty Artists Concert --

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Season: 114TH
Rackham Auditorium, Ann Arbor, Michigan

University Musical Society
Faculty Artists Concert
Sunday Afternoon, February 7, 1993, at 4:00 Rackham Auditorium, Ann Arbor, Michigan
On Wenlock Edge...............Ralph Vaughan Williams
On Wenlock Edge
From Far, from Eve and Morning
Is My Team Ploughing
Oh, When I Was in Love with You
Bredon Hill
George Shirley, tenor; Anton Nel, piano; Stephen Shipps, violin; Andrew Jennings, violin; Yizhak Schotten, viola; Jerome Jelinek, cello
Contrasts........................ Bela Bartok
I.Verbunkos (Recruiting Dance) Moderate ben ritmato Il.Piheno (Relaxation) Lento IILSebes (Fast Dance) Allegro vivace
Paul Kantor, violin; Fred Ormand, clarinet; Louis Nagel, piano
INTERMISSION Facade........................William Walton
1. Hornpipe
2. En Famille
3. Mariner Man
4Long Steel Grass
5. Through Gilded Trellises
6. Tango-Pasodoble
7. Lullaby for Jumbo
8. Black Mrs. Behemoth
9. Tarantella
10. A Man from a Far Countree
11. By the Lake
12. Country Dance
13. Polka
14Four in the Morning
15. Something Lies Beyond the Scene
16. Valse
17. Jodelling Song
18. Scotch Rhapsody
19. Popular Song
20. Fox-Trot, "Old Sir Faulk"
21. Sir Beelzebub
H. Robert Reynolds, conductor Leslie Guinn and Rosemary Russell, narrators
Keith Bryan, flute; Fred Ormand, clarinet;
Donald Sinta, saxophone; Michael Udow, percussion;
Jerome Jelinek, cello; Armando Ghitalla, trumpet
Program Notes
On Wenlock Edge
Ralph Vaughan Williams (1872-1958)
During the first half of the twentieth century, the most widely read book of English verse was probably A. E. Housman's, A Shropshire Lad, published in London in 1896. It is a collection of sixty-three short poems, the musings on life, love and death of a young man who has left his beloved native region of Shropshire, the County of Salop and its seat in Shrewsbury. The poems were found immensely appealing by the young people of that era, and they still speak directly to those at an age to face the world for the first time.
When Ralph Vaughan Williams set six of them to music, in 1908 and 1909, he was in his mid-thirties and no longer exactly young, but the poems were. He had spent three months of 1908 in Paris under the tutelage of Maurice Ravel, who taught him something about style and about the expression of heightened sensibility, which seems to have had a strong effect on his very next major work.
This was On Wenlock Edge, subtitled "A Cycle of Six Songs, for Tenor Voice with Accompaniment of Pianoforte, and String Quartet (ad libitum)." The first performance of the work was given on November 15, 1909, in London, by the distinguished English tenor Gervase Elwes. As late as 1924, it was still considered advanced enough to be performed at a festival of the International Society for Contemporary Music.
I. On Wenlock Edge {Allegro moderate)
On Wenlock Edge the wood's in trouble;
His forest fleece the Wrekin heaves; The gale, it plies the saplings double,
And thick on Severn snow the leaves.
'Twould blow like this through holt and hanger
When Uricon the city stood; Tis the old wind in the old anger,
But then it threshed another wood.
Then, 'twas before my time, the Roman At yonder heaving hill would stare;
The blood that warms an English yeoman, The thoughts that hurt him, they were there.
There, like the wind through the woods in riot, Through him the gale of life blew high;
The tree of man was never quiet: Then 'twas the Roman, now 'tis I.
The gale, it plies the saplings double, It blows so hard, 'twill soon be gone;
To-day the Roman and his trouble Are ashes under Uricon.
II. From Far, from Even and Morning (Andantino)
From far, from eve and morning
And yon twelve-winded sky, The stuff of life to knit me
Blew hither: here am I.
Now for a breath I tarry
Nor yet disperse apart-Take my hand quick and tell me,
What have you in your heart.
Speak now, and I will answer;
How shall 1 help you, say; Ere to the wind's twelve quarters
1 take my endless way.
III. Is My Team Ploughing (Andante sostenuto ma non troppo lento) "Is my team ploughing,
That I used to drive And hear the harness jingle
When 1 was man alive"
Ay, the horses trample,
The harness jingles now; No change though you lie under
The land you used to plough.
"Is football playing
Along the river shore, With lads to chase the leather,
Now 1 stand up no more"
Ay, the ball is flying,
The lads play heart and soul; The goal stands up, the keeper
Stands up to keep the goal.
"Is my girl happy,
That I thought hard to leave, And has she tired of weeping
As she lies down at eve"
Ay, she lies down lightly,
She lies not down to weep; Your girl is well contented,
Be still, my lad, and sleep.
"Is my friend hearty,
Now 1 am thin and pine, And has he found to sleep in
A better bed than mine!"
Yes, lad, I lie easy,
I lie as lads would choose; 1 cheer a dead man's sweetheart,
Never ask me whose.
IV. Oh, When 1 Was in Love with You (Allegretto) Oh, when I was in love with you,
Then I was clean and brave, And miles around the wonder grew How well did I behave.
And now the fancy passes by,
And nothing will remain, And miles around they'll say that I
Am quite myself again.
V. Bredon Hill (Moderato tranquillo)
In summertime on Bredon
The bells they sound so clear; Round both the shires they ring them
In steeples far and near,
A happy noise to hear.
Here of a Sunday morning
My love and I would lie, And see the coloured counties,
And hear the larks so high
About us in the sky.
The bells would ring to call her
In valleys miles away: "Come all to church, good people;
Good people, come and pray."
But here my love would stay.
And I would turn and answer
Among the springing thyme, "Oh, peal upon our wedding,
And we will hear the chime,
And come to church in time."
But when the snows at Christmas On Bredon top were strown,
My love rose up so early And stole out unbeknown And went to church alone.
They tolled the one bell only, Groom there was none to see,
The mourners followed after, And so to church went she, And would not wait for me.
The bells they sound on Bredon,
And still the steeples hum. "Come all to church, good people,"-
Oh, noisy bells, be dumb;
I hear you, I will come.
VI. Clun (Andante tranquillo) In valleys of springs of rivers,
By Ony and Teme and Clun, The country for easy livers, The quietest under the sun.
We still had sorrows to lighten, One could not be always glad,
And lads knew trouble at Knighton When I was a Knighton lad.
By bridges that Thames runs under, In London, the town built ill,
Tis sure small matter for wonder If sorrow is with one still.
And if as a lad grows older
The troubles he bears are more,
He carries his griefs on a shoulder That handselled them long before.
Where shall one halt to deliver This luggage I'd lief set down
Not Thames, nor Teme is the river, Nor London nor Knighton the town.
'Tis a long way further than Knighton,
A quieter place than Clun, Where doomsday may thunder and lighten
And little 'twill matter to one.
Ma Bartdk (1881-1945)
In 1938, when Benny Goodman was twenty-nine years old and approaching the height of his early career as a jazz clarinetist and big-band leader, he became interested in "classical" concert music, old and new. He developed many warm friendships with distinguished musicians in this new-old field, and he even recorded the Mozart Clarinet Quintet with the great Budapest String Quartet. Among his friends was the eminent Hungarian violinist Joseph Szigeti, with whom he discussed commissioning a work from Bela Bartok. That August, Szigeti wrote to the composer, sending him some Goodman records and asking him for a "six-seven minute clarinet-violin duo with piano accompaniment." He said that Goodman and he would be pleased if they were given brilliant cadenzas, and he suggested that the work be in two parts, each of which could be played separately. Szigeti evidently had in mind something like the Rhapsody that Bartok had written for him ten years earlier,
in the traditional Hungarian slow-fast pairing. The suggested duration was intended to make each part fit on one side of a 78 r.p.m. phonograph record.
Bartok set to work on it immediately, and on September 24 it was finished. While he was about it, he wrote three pieces, but he sent only two to America, where they were performed for the first time as "Rhapsody: Two Dances" at Carnegie Hall in New York, on January 9, 1939, by Goodman, Szigeti and the pianist Endre Petri. Bartok liked Szigeti's suggestion that he orchestrate the piano part, though he never got around to doing it, but he disliked "Rhapsody" as the title. He expected a Rhapsody's two movements to be based at least in part on folk tunes, but he used only original themes, and he was soon to insert the additional movement between the two that they had played. The complete three-move?ment version was performed for the first time at a recording session in the Columbia Records studios in New York, in April 1940, by Szigeti, Goodman, and Bartok. The title, Contrasts, was devised for the recording, a precious historical document that is still available. The score is dedicated to Goodman and Szigeti.
William Walton (1902-1983)
While he was still at Oxford, Walton became friendly with Sacheverell Sitwell, and with the other members of his gifted, literary family, Osbert and Edith Sitwell. In 1920, Edith began to work on a group of poems she described as "technical experiments studies in the effect that texture has on rhythm, and the effect that varying and elaborate patterns of rhymes have upon rhythm." She completed the poems the next year, and the three Sitwells, with the eighteen-year-old Walton, came up with the idea of putting them together as Fagade, "an entertainment for reciting voice and instruments." There is much in the poems of Fagade that, taken literally, makes little sense, but underneath them runs a vein of brilliant satire on the society of the time.
As time went by, Fagade acquired a life and a meaning that its creators had not intended. They considered it a kind of musical abstract expressionism (to borrow a term that came into use a generation later), but it was reinterpreted as a satirical treatment of art's abstraction from society. It was intended to stimulate, perhaps even to outrage, and it ended up amusing, as a kind of funny Pierrot lunaire.
As perceptions of Fagade changed, in fact the work did, too, for it was subjected to several revisions during the twenty years following its creation, so we are not always certain that the work we read about in early reports is the same one we hear now. As the years went by, almost fifty poems with music found their way into the piece. The present canon of twenty-one was established in the early 1940s. In the 1970s, eight others were brought back as Fagade 2.
The first version was performed as home entertainment for friends at the Sitwells' on January 24, 1922. The first public performance was given on June 12, 1924, at Aeolian Hall in London. The performers were hidden by a screen on which a huge face was painted. From its mouth, Edith Sitwell read her poetry through a megaphone.
That first audience was outraged by Fagade, its content and presentation. Its aims were not understood, or if they were, they were not accepted. Listeners were shocked by the idea that words might be pronounced for sound rather than for sense. The music was not easy to apprehend then, and much less easy to comprehend. Eventually performers stressed its satiric and parodic qualities, turning it into a new kind of comedy, with comic music, and the public took it to heart. Walton went along with that decision and even made little orchestral suites of the music that became the stuff of pops concerts. Performers of Fagade now have the choice of playing it, as they say in the theater, straight or for laughs. The complete Fagade consists of an introductory Fanfare and 21 poems with music.
1. Hornpipe. To the accompaniment of a familiar "Sailor's Hornpipe," "Sailors come To the drum Out of Babylon."
2. En Famille. "Jemina, Jocasta, Dinah, and Deb Walked with their father Sir Joshua Jebb."
3. Mariner Man. A spirited sea chantey punctuates the lines of a sailor, who worries that "Those trains will run over their tails, if they can."
4. Long Steel Grass. This Spanish-flavored cortege matches the stiffness of the words and their rhythm, all of it suggesting a bit of anti-war sentiment. The poem was originally entitled Trio for Two Cats and a Trombone.
5. Through Gilded Trellises. "Through gilded trellises Of the heat, Dolores, Inez, Manuccia, Isabel, Lucia, Mock Time that flies." This calls for a languorous waltz; but when Seville is mentioned in the poem, Walton quotes briefly from No. 9, the Tarantella.
6. Tango-Pasodoble. The air of the music-hall hangs over this amusing number, a parody of the old English popular song "1 Do Like to Be Beside the Seaside."
7. Lullaby for Jumbo. The title itself explains this dark-toned, elephantine cradle song.
8. Black Mrs. Behemoth. "In a room of the palace Black Mrs. Behemoth Gave way to wroth And the wildest malice." The heavy, measured tread of the music matches the sharply defined accents of the words.
9. Tarantella. A fast-moving nonsense patter song, supported by a high-spirited tarantella with some interesting rhythmic counterpoint in its middle section.
10. A Man from a Far Countree. The longing of one who is "black and not comely" is expressed in poetry and music of the utmost sensitivity.
11. B;y the Lake. In wintertime, two people recall past joys on shores now cold and barren. Even the music has a certain icy coldness about it.
12. Country Dance. A charming pastoral poem and dance, the latter with an ending that leaves the listener hanging in midair.
13. Polka. " 'See me dance the polka,' Said Mr. Wagg like a bear." A brittle satire in words and music on a popular dance.
14Four in the Morning. The somewhat spooky late-night adventure with "the navy-blue ghost Of Mr. Belaker The allegro negro cocktail-shaker."
15. Something Lies Beyond the Scene. Though what lies beyond the scene is "nothing but the Princess Cockatrice Lean Dancing a caprice To the wind's tambourine," the music seems to evoke the sounds and rhythm of a Dixieland band.
16. Valse. An old-fashioned waltz with modern overtones accompanies the idle conversation of "Daisy and Lily, Lazy and silly."
17. JodeUing Song. A mock Alpine pastorale. "Man must say farewell To parents now, And to William Tell And Mrs. Cow," runs one stanza of the poem, while the music gives us sly snatches of Rossini's overture.
18. Scotch Rhapsody. This is a lively Highland reel, designed to lend appropriate color to the poem, which begins '"Do not take a bath in Jordan, Gordon, On the holy Sabbath, on the peaceful day!' Said the huntsman, playing on his old bagpipe, Boring to death the pheasant and the snipe."
19. Popular Song. Here we meet "Lily O'Grady, Silly and shady, Longing to be A lazy lady," a delicious sly burlesque of a typical soft-shoe dance.
20. Fox-Trot, "Old Sir Faulk." An English idea, circa 1922, of how the new American fox-trot sounded.
21. Sir Beelzebub. "When Sir Beelzebub called for his syllabub in the hotel in Hell." William Walton has a bit of musical fun with an entr'acte from Tchaikovsky's ballet The Sleeping Beauty.
Notes by Leonard Burkat
About The Artists
For the thirteenth consecutive year, the University Musical Society presents faculty members of the U-M School of Music in concert.
Flutist Keith Bryan has appeared in recital and with orchestra in the major music centers of Europe, Asia and the U.S. His recordings include compact discs of concertos and of the flutepiano repertory with pianist Karen Keys.
During 28 years in Boston, Armando Ghitalla played in the Boston Symphony Orchestra and the Boston Pops, much of the time as first trumpet. His career as a soloist and clinician has taken him to Canada, England, Italy, China, Japan, and throughout the U.S.
Leslie Guinn, bass-baritone, has performed with most of the major symphonies, festivals, and musical organizations throughout the U.S. He has premiered many new works, and has received several honors for his recordings of American music, including a Grammy nomination and Record of the Year (Stereo Review). He recently enjoyed a return engagement in Germany as Wotan in Wagner's Ring cycle.
Jerome Jelinek joined the faculty in 1961 as cellist of the Stanley Quartet. A former member of the Detroit Symphony Orchestra, he has appeared both as recitalist and orchestral soloist in Europe, Canada, and the U.S. He also performs with the JelinekGurt Duo, which has recorded for Composers Recordings Inc. and Opus One Recordings.
Andrew Jennings, violinist, was a founding member of the Concord String Quartet, which played over 1200 concerts, gave more than 50 premieres and commissions of new work, and received three Grammy nominations for its recordings before disbanding in 1987. He teaches chamber music at the Tangle wood (Mass.) Music Center in the summers.
Before joining the U-M faculty, violinist Paul Kantor held concurrent appointments at Yale University, New England Conservatory, and Juilliard. He has performed widely as concerto soloist, guest concertmaster, and chamber musician and has recorded for CRI, Delos, and Mark Records.
In recent years, pianist Louis Nagel has concertized in Scotland, the Netherlands, London, Vienna, and Berlin. He has performed and adjudicated competitions throughout the United States. He joined the Michigan faculty in 1969 after studies at the Juilliard School.
Anton Nel, pianist, has performed throughout the U.S. and abroad as a soloist with orchestras, as a chamber musician, and as a solo recitalist. One of his six recordings won a "Critic's Choice" Award from Gramophone Magazine.
Clarinetist Fred Ormand has performed numerous solo and chamber music recitals. In addition to several faculty appointments in the U.S., he was visiting professor of clarinet at the Shanghai Conservatory of Music and soloist with the Shanghai Symphony Orchestra in 1988. He recently received a grant to research 19th-century clarinet music.
H. Robert Reynolds, conductor, is a frequent guest conductor in the U.S. and Europe. In addition to serving as U-M Director of Instrumental Studies and Director of University Bands, he conducts the Detroit Chamber Winds, an ensemble made up primarily of members of the Detroit Symphony. He recently conducted the premiere of an opera by Karlheinz Stockhausen for La Scala Opera in Milan, Italy.
Mezzo-soprano Rosemary Russell has appeared as soloist with orchestras throughout the country and in Europe, including the Detroit Symphony, Mozarteum Orchestra of Salzburg, and the Aspen Festival Orchestra. Among various opera roles, she sang the lead in the American premiere of The Bear by William Walton.
Known worldwide for his performances and recording of American saxophone music, Donald Sinta has premiered more than forty works by American composers. He is Director of the All-State Program at Interlochen and the Michigan Youth Ensembles Program and remains active as a soloist and clinician throughout the U.S. and Canada.
Tenor George Shirley joined the U-M faculty in 1987, having established a solid reputation in many of the world's great opera houses and concert halls. For eleven years, he was a leading artist at the Metropolitan Opera. He has also appeared at Covent Garden, Chicago Lyric Opera, and San Francisco Opera among others. Among his many recordings, he received a Grammy Award for his performance as Fernando in Mozart's Cosi Fan Tutte.
A native of Israel, violist Yizhak Schotten has concertized throughout the U.S. and in Israel, Japan, Mexico, Canada, England, Austria, Taiwan and the Netherlands. He was a member of the Boston Symphony, an exchange member of the Japan Philharmonic, and principal violist of the Cincinnati and Houston Symphonies. His CRI recording was chosen as "Critic's Choice" in High Fidelity.
Stephen Shipps, violinist, is a founding member of the Amadeus Trio. He played with the Cleveland Orchestra for two years, and currently serves as concertmaster of the Ann Arbor Symphony Orchestra. A voting member for Grammy Awards of the National Academy of Recording Arts and Sciences, he has been awarded two platinum and three gold records for his recording work for American Gramophone Records.
Michael Udow, percussionist, is presently principal percussionist with the Santa Fe Opera and performs with the Santa Fe Chamber Music Festival. Extremely active as a soloist and chamber musician, he has performed widely in the U.S., Canada, Europe, and Japan.

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