UMS Concert Program, April 4, 1993: University Musical Society -- Chicago Symphony Winds
Rackham Auditorium, Ann Arbor, Michigan
University Musical Society
Chicago Symphony Winds
Grover Schiltz, Oboe Richard Kanter, Oboe Larry Combs, Clarinet John Bruce Yeh, Clarinet
Daniel Gingrich, Horn Norman Schweikert, Horn Burl Lane, Bassoon William Buchman, Bassoon
Sunday Afternoon, April 4, 1993, at 4 p.m. Rackham Auditorium, Ann Arbor, Michigan
Serenade No. 12 in C minor, K. 388..................Mozart
Eine vergniigliche Musik .....................Alfred Uhl
Overture, ziemlich lebhaft, frisch Lustiger Marsch, ruhig bewegt Dudelsack Trepak,sehrrasch
Serenade No. 11 in E-flat major, K. 375 ................Mozart
The Chicago Symphony Winds are represented by Mariedi Anders Artists Management Inc., San Francisco.
U-M freshman Brandon Blazo performed the pre-concert carillon recital.
Fortieth Concert of the 114th Season
Thirtieth Annual Chamber Arts Series
Serenade No. 12 in E-flat major, K. 375
Mozart wrote this Serenade in Vienna, in October 1781, for six instruments pairs of clarinets, horns, and bassoons. A few months later he added parts for a pair of oboes and tightened up the form considerably. On November 3, 1781, he wrote to his father that the piece had so pleased the players (of the first version) that to celebrate his name day, "at eleven o'clock at night I was treated to a serenade of my own composition. The six men who played it are poor beggars, but they play very well together. They came to the center of my courtyard, and just as I was about to undress they surprised me most pleasantly with the E-flat chord. [Abridged]"
These "social" works are not unlike his symphonies, except that they are usually looser in form and lighter in tone, and they may have extra slow movements or minuets or both. Mozart began to write at least one march to go with this Serenade, but none was completed, probably because its opening and closing movements are such as to make it unnecessary. The music is richly textured and beautifully written for the instruments.
The wonderful repeated opening E-flat chord is carefully varied and graded in dynamic level, and makes a solemn introduction to a beautiful movement, Allegro maestoso a variant of the symphonic sonata-form appropriately condensed for the informal occasion at which it was to be played. Next is a stately Minuet with a contrasting trio section in a minor key. The Adagio is an operatic ensemble, with the first of each pair of instruments as soloists and the other accompanying. Short phrases, like questions and answers, fall together in a pattern that expands the conventional, simple three-part song form. A second Minuet follows, this one more like a folk dance. The final Allegro is a fleet, almost breathless rondo, assembled with all kinds of merry episodes of fanfare and fugue.
Eine vergniigliche Musik
Alfred.Uhl (b. 1909)
The Austrian composer Alfred Uhl is known primarily for the sixty some scores he wrote for films. Since 1945 he has taught music theory and composition at the Vienna State Academy of Music. He came from a musical family and completed his studies at the Vienna Academy in 1932. There, Uhl was a pupil of Franz Schmidt, who in turn had studied with Bruckner and admired the Romantic tradition. Uhl has been honored with many awards, including the Austrian State Prize, the Music Prize of the City of Vienna, and the gold medal of the Biennale at Venice.
Uhl has been described as a "moderate modern" composer who leans toward the neoclassical style. His works include the Konzertante Sinfonie for clarinet and orchestra (1944), the Sonata graziosa for orchestra (1947), a Trio for violin, viola, and guitar, and the vergniigliche Musik.
Composed in 1943, Eine vergniigliche Music ("music for fun," or for pleasure; a "divertimento") is dedicated to the Wind Instrument Society of the Vienna Philharmonic. It has four movements, each designed to entertain or amuse. The first is an Overture, ziemlich lebhaft, jrisch (rather lively, brisk). The second is Lustiger Marsch (Merry March) marked ruhig bewegt (quietly moving), with a parody trio. The third is called Dudelsack (Bagpipes), and the last is a Trepak, or a Cossack dance, in a quick (sehr rasch) duple time.
Serenade No. 11 in C minor, K. 388
Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart (1756-1791)
As a young musician in his hometown of Salzburg, Mozart wrote almost three dozen serenades, divertimentos and similar works. They were not played at formal concerts, to audiences sitting in solemn attention, but were simply the background music at festive evenings in the homes of the town's wealthy citizens, while people ate, drank, talked, and perhaps even danced. After he moved to Vienna in 1781, other work occupied much of his time, and he composed few serenades there.
In the next summer, 1782, when his father wrote from home asking him for one to be played at the party celebrating the elevation to the nobility of his Salzburg friends, the Haffners, he sent only a single movement to begin with, and said, "It has been altogether impossible to do more for you because I have had to compose a serenade quickly, but only for wind instruments (or else I could have used it for you too)." The serenade he was rushing to completion was this one, in C minor, K. 388.
History does not record who needed the Serenade in such a hurry. The little wind band of pairs of oboes, clarinets, bassoons, and horns was a fixture of many noble Austrian households at the time, and there were about fifteen of them in Vienna alone. Earlier in the year he had mentioned that a young prince might want some works from him for a new band that he was organizing, and at around the same time he also arranged some music for Prince Schwarzenberg's band, which was probably one of the best. Schwarzenberg was a serious music-lover who was later involved in the careers of Haydn and Beethoven, and his interest might possibly explain why Mozart wrote this extraordinary work.
In its outline and character the work is more like a symphony than a serenade. It has only four movements, and it has firm structures and fully developed ideas. It is by no means light in tone, and it was obviously meant to do more than just pass time or entertain. Five years later, Mozart even made an arrangement of it for string quintet, the medium of some of his most serious chamber music. In effect, this extraordinary Serenade is really a symphony for wind instruments.
Whatever the immediate occasion for the piece may have been, the source of the new depth is clear: Mozart's discovery that spring of the music of Bach and Handel. At the time, their music was little known and generally dismissed as skillfully written but obsolete. The music was a revelation to the young musician, for it showed him that counterpoint and fugue were not just the hammer and nails of musical architecture, or exercises or puzzles or parlor tricks, but that they could greatly expand his musical vocabulary and the rhetorical skill with which he used it. No other single factor was as important in bringing about the sudden maturation of his style in his first years in Vienna.
The Serenade's intensely developed first movement, Allegro, opens with a huge main theme, more than twenty measures long. Its first four notes are a simple but powerful statement of the C-minor chord played by all the instruments, and the rest of the theme supplies several motives that are fully developed in the course of the dark-toned, gloomy music-drama that follows. The Andante is a compact sonata-like piece with a plaintive hymn as its main subject. The Minuet and Trio are both written in the style of canons, a procedure made popular by Haydn. The Trio is a reverse or inverse canon, in which the melody is turned upside-down in successive entrances. The final Allegro is a set of eight variations that continually increase in intensity until, after a momentary relaxation, the key changes from minor to major, to bring the Serenade to an optimistic conclusion.
About The Artists
The Chicago Symphony Winds was founded in 1978 by the orchestra's principal oboist at the time, Ray Still. The players are all members of the Chicago Symphony. Since their first performance at the University of Chicago, they have played at New York's Mostly Mozart Festival, in Washington, D.C., San Francisco, Los Angeles, and many series in the Chicago area (where they have performed the complete wind music of Mozart). They have recorded works by Mozart and Grieg on the Sheffield Lab label and the CBS Masterworks label. In 1987, the members of the Chicago Symphony Winds received a Grammy Award nomination for their album entitled "Mozart: Music for Basset Horns."
This afternoon the group makes its Ann Arbor debut. The orchestra from which they come, of course, has a long and hallowed history of performances under Musical Society auspices, going back to 1892 and including over thirty May Festival appearances from 1905 to 1935, and some two dozen performances since then. Most recently, the Chicago Symphony Orchestra appeared here with Music Director Daniel Barenboim in March 1992.
Grover Schiltz, oboe, attended the University of Michigan School of Music, where he studied with Lare Wardrop of the Detroit Symphony. During the summers of 1951 and 1952 he attended Tanglewood. In 1952 he joined the Army, and during his tour of duty he studied at the School of Music in Washington, D.C., with Marcel Tabuteau. After moving to Chicago and studying with Ray Still, he joined the Chicago Civic Orchestra, the Chicago Lyric Opera Orchestra, the Grant Park Symphony Orhcestra, and also played with the Boston Pops Touring Orchestra under Arthur Fiedler. From 1956 to 1959 he was first oboist with the Kansas City Philharmonic. He then returned to Chicago and joined the Symphony Orchestra as assistant principal oboe. In 1964 he assumed the English Horn position, which he still holds today.
Richard Kanter, oboe, is a native Chicagoan who joined the Chicago Symphony Orchestra in 1961. He began to study the oboe in 1949 with Robert Mayer. He received a scholarship to attend the Curtis Institute of Music in Philadelphia, where his teachers included Marcel Tabuteau and John De Lancie. He also studied with Ray Still and Robert
Bloom. Graduating from Curtis Institute, he spent four years as first oboist of the United States Navy Band in Washington, D.C.
Larry Combs, clarinet, has been the principal clarinetist with the Chicago Symphony since 1978 and joined the Orchestra in 1974 as assistant principal and E-flat clarinet. Mr. Combs studied at the Eastman School of Music and his orchestral positions include principal clarinet of the Montreal Symphony from 1969 to 1974 and first clarinet of the Santa Fe Opera Company. He was a participant at the Marlboro Festival from 1968 to 1970, and was a member of the Music from Marlboro Ensemble in 1970. He has performed on many occasions as soloist with the Chicago Symphony Orchestra and is a faculty member at De Paul University in Chicago. He performs frequently with the Chicago Chamber Musicians, of which he is co-director. His recent recording with pianist Deborah Sobol features sonatas of Brahms, Prokofiev, and Scriabin.
John Bruce Yeh, clarinet, joined Chicago Symphony Orchestra in 1977 as solo bass clarinetist, and in 1979 was appointed assistant principal clarinet by Sir Georg Solti. A graduate of the Juilliard School, Mr. Yeh made his New York Carnegie Recital Hall debut in 1978 and was a 1976 Fromm Fellow at Tanglewood, where he studied with Harold Wright and received the Delson Memorial Award as Outstanding Instrumentalist. A founding member of the Chicago Symphony Winds and the Director of the Chicago Pro Musica, he performs frequently at festivals and chamber music series, and is currently a faculty member at De Paul University. He has been a participant at the Marlboro Festival and toured with Music from Marlboro in 1981. As soloist he has performed with the Chicago Symphony and the orchestras in Aspen, Miami, and Los Angeles.
Daniel Gingrich, French horn, joined the Chicago Symphony Orchestra in 1975 as assistant principal horn. He subsequently held the position of fourth horn and recently was appointed third horn by Daniel Barenboim. Previously he had played with the National Symphony Orchestra and the Rochester Philharmonic, which he joined at the age of 19. Mr. Gingrich was a founding member of the Chicago Symphony Winds and the Grammy Award-winning Chicago Pro Musica, with whom he has made four recordings on the Reference Recordings and Newport Classic labels.
Norman Schweikert, French horn, studied the piano and violin before turning to the French horn at the age of 13, studying with Odolindo Perissi and Sinclair Lott. While in high school, he received a scholarship to the Aspen Institute where he studied with Joseph Eger and played in the Aspen Festival Orchestra. In 1955, he was hired by Erich Leinsdorf for a postition with the Rochester Philharmonic, becoming its youngest member. He received his Bachelor of Music degree from Eastman in 1961, having studied horn with Morris Secon and Verne Reynolds. He joined the Chicago Symphony as assistant principal horn in 1971, and in 1975 became second horn. He is associate professor of horn and conductor of the University Horn Ensemble at Northwestern University.
Burl Lane, bassoon, began his formal music studies at the University of Tulsa with Dwight Dailey on saxophone. He studied the bassoon for one semester there and then became contrabassoonist of the Tulsa Philharmonic. Mr. Lane continued his bassoon education at the Juilliard School in New York City with Harold Goltzer. He also studied saxophone and clarinet with Joseph Allard. Mr. Lane graduated from Juilliard with a professional diploma in bassoon and a master's degree. In addition, he earned a professional diploma in music education from Columbia University. Mr. Lane joined the Chicago Symphony in 1965. Recently, he was a saxophone soloist with Sir Georg Solti and the Orchestra for Ibert's Concertino da Camera.
William Buchman, bassoon, joined the Chicago Symphony Orchestra this season as second bassoon, having held the same position for two seasons with the Dallas Symphony Orchestra. While at Brown University, he studied bassoon with Judy Bedford and Rebecca Eldredge. After earning a B.S. degree in physics, magna cum laude with honors in 1987, Mr. Buchman was accepted at the Yale School of Music where he studied with Arthur Weisburg. After one year, he transferred to the University of Southern California School of Music, where he was a student of Norman Herzberg.
Guarneri String Quartet
Sunday, April 25
A celebration of the Musical Society's 30th Chamber Arts Series would only be fitting if it included a concert by the esteemed Guarneri String Quartet. Returning for their 26th concert in Ann Arbor, the Guarneri is hailed as the world's premier quartet. Half of the proceeds of this special concert will be donated to Chamber Music America, the national chamber music service organization of which the Musical Society is a member. The program in Ann Arbor consists entirely of all-Beethoven Quartets: G-major, Op. 18, No. 2; E-flat major, Op. 74 ("The Harp"); and F major, Op. 135. Rackham Auditorium, 4:00 p.m.
Presented in association with Curtin & Alf and Michigan National Bank
Philips Pre-concert Presentation: Chamber Music: A Vital Part of American Cultural Life. Moderator: Mr. Dean J. Stein, Executive Director, Chamber Music America. Rackham Fourth Floor Amphitheatre, 2:30 p.m.
Call 764-2538 for tickets or visit The University Musical Society box office in Burton Tower.
University Musical Society