Rackham Auditorium, Ann Arbor, Michigan
University Musical Society
University of Michigan School of Music Faculty Artists featuring the
Michigan Chamber Players
Sunday Afternoon, October 3, 1993 at 4:00 Rackham Auditorium, Ann Arbor, Michigan
String Quintet No. 5 in B-Flat Major..............John Frederick Peter
Paul Kantor, violinist; Stephen Shipps, violinist; Robert Culver, violist; Yizhak Schotten, violist; Jerome Jelinek, cellist
Trio for Clarinet, Cello, and Piano, in A Minor, Op. 114 ... Johannes Brahms Allegro Adagio
Andantino grazioso Allegro
Fred Ormand, clarinetist; Erling Blondal Bengtsson, cellist; Martin Katz, pianist
Quintet for Piano and Strings No. 1 in C Minor, Op. 1 .....Erno Donhanyi
Allegro Allegro vivace Adagio, quasi andante Allegro animato
Stephen Shipps, violinist; Paul Kantor, violinist; Yizhak Schotten, violist; Erling Blondal Bengtsson, cellist; Anton Nel, pianist
THIRD CONCERT OF THE 115TH SEASON SPECIAL CONCERT
String Quintet No. 5, in B-Flat Major
John Frederick Peter (Born May 19, 1746, in Heerendijk, the Netherlands; died July 19, 1813, in Bethlehem, Pennsylvania)
John Frederick Peter was born in Holland of German parents and came to America in 1770 with a little-known group of early seekers of religious freedom, the Moravian Brethren. The Moravians settled principally in Pennsylvania and North Carolina, and had a lively musical life that was completely overlooked by historians until the middle of the twentieth century.
The Moravian Church was a Protestant sect of very strict moral and ethical standards that was founded in Eastern Bohemia early in the fifteenth century, but later was subject to oppression in Germany. They were a people of great piety whose beliefs influenced Bach, Goethe, and the brothers John and Charles Wesley.
Wherever the Moravians settled, they brought with them the lively musical culture of Central Europe. They founded some of the earliest symphonic orchestras in North America and organized concert-giving societies like those in Germany. Their surviving music libraries contain some 6,000 compositions, including the earliest copy known to exist anywhere in the world of an important Haydn symphony. Benjamin Franklin and the Marquis de Lafayette visited the Moravians and left with high praise for the people and their music.
In such a musical society, some of the members naturally turned to composition and some of them were so gifted that their music was published in Europe. Peter was an outstanding figure among them. His 80 sacred works for voices and orchestra are among the most complex compositions written in America at the time. His only secular works are the six string quintets that he wrote in Salem, North Carolina, where he lived from 1779 to 1789.
Trio for Clarinet, Cello, and Piano, in A Minor, Op. 114
Johannes Brahms (Bom May 7, 1833, in Hamburg; died April 3, 1897, in Vienna)
In 1891, on his fifty-eighth birthday, Brahms drew up his will. He felt old, that it was time to prepare for the end of life, that his creative powers were leaving him, and that he would compose no more. Two months later he sent the score of a big new piece to a friend, a trio with clarinet that he said was "twin to an even greater folly." The "greater folly" was to be one of his most moving works, the Clarinet Quintet, Op. 115. The clarinet had never had an important place in his music before this final burst of inspiration, but his last four pieces of chamber music, the Trio, the Quintet and two sonatas, were all the outcome of his admiration for a clarinetist whom he met for the first time in 1891, Richard Miihlfeld (1856-1907).
Miihlfeld was trained as a violinist and taught himself the clarinet. In 1873 he joined the violin section of the fine orchestra that the Duke of Meiningen maintained at his court, and in 1876 he became its first clarinetist. In March, 1891, Brahms went to Meiningen as an honored guest to hear von Bulow conduct some of his works, and on one of the programs Miihlfeld played a Concerto by Weber. "The clarinet cannot be played better," he wrote to Clara Schumann, and Brahms was a man known to be sparing of praise. That July, when the Trio and Quintet were both done, he wrote to her from Ischl, "I look forward to returning to Meiningen if only for the pleasure of hearing them. You have never heard a clarinet-player like the one they have there. He is absolutely the best I know of." In a later letter to her he added, "I have long wished that you might hear Miihlfeld. I know how sympathetic a man you would find him and how he would win your heart as an artist." Brahms, Miihlfeld, and Robert Haussman played the Trio in public for the first time on December 12, 1891, in Berlin.
with the distinguished English cellist Douglas Cameron. He is the recipient of a Fulbright Fellowship, the University of Michigan Stanley Medal, the Harriet Cohen International Award in Cello, and in 1968 was elected as Associate of the Royal Academy of Music. He has enjoyed outstanding success as cello soloist, chamber musician, and teacher. Many of his former students are presently or have been members of major orchestras, including Chicago, Houston, San Francisco, Dallas, and Detroit, while others hold important teaching positions throughout the country. A former member of the Detroit Symphony Orchestra and the University of Oregon Trio, Jelinek has performed both as recitalist and orchestral soloist in Europe, Canada, and the United States. He is presently performing with the JelinekGurt Duo, which has recorded for Composers Recordings Inc. and Opus One Recordings.
Paul Kantor, violinist, Chair of the String Department, has appeared as concerto soloist with a dozen symphony orchestras, has served as concertmaster of several orchestral ensembles, including the New Haven Symphony, the Aspen Chamber Symphony, the Lausanne Chamber Orchestra (Switzerland) and Great Lakes Festival Orchestra, and has been guest concertmaster of the New Japan Philharmonic and the Toledo Symphony Orchestra. He has been especially active as a chamber musician, with such groups as the New York String Quartet, the Berkshire Chamber Players, and the Lenox Quarter. His performances of Bartok, Pearle, and Zwilich may be heard on the CRI, Delos, and Mark Records labels. Recognized as one of the principal violin pedagogues of the younger generation, Kantor held concurrent appointments at Yale University (1981-88), the New England Conservatory (1984-88), andjuilliard (1985-88). Since 1980, he has spent summers as a member of the artist-faculty as Aspen, where he is concertmaster of the Festival Orchestra. A native New Yorker, Paul Kantor attended the Juilliard School, where he earned the Bachelor and Master of Music degrees, and studied during the summers at Aspen and Meadowmount. His principal teachers were Margaret Graves, Dorothy DeLay, and Robert Mann. Mr. Kantor is currently a member of the National Musical Arts chamber ensemble in Washington, D.C.
Martin Katz is one of the most eminent accompanists before the public today, regularly collaborating in recordings and recitals with such artists as Marilyn Home, Kiri Te Kanawa, Frederica von Stade, Kathleen Battle, Tatiana Troyanos, HSkan HagegSrd, Anna Tomowa-Sintow, Jose Carreras, and Cecilia Bartoli. His editions and ornamentations of Baroque and bel canto vocal music include editions of Handel's RinaMo, Vivaldi's Orlando Furisio, and Rossini's Tancredi and La Donna Del Lago. Highlights of Mr. Katz's more than 25 years of concertizing with the world's most celebrated vocal soloists include numerous recitals in Carnegie Hall, appearances at the Salzburg Festival, Australian and Japanese tours, concerts at La Scala, the Paris Opera, and several nationwide broadcasts in the United States and Canada. He has served as guest Musical Director for the School of Music's opera productions for the past two years. His recordings are on the Decca, Philips, Desto, BonGiovanni, RCA, and CBS labels.
Anton Nel's remarkable and versatile career has taken him to many parts of the world since making his auspicious debut at the age of 12 with Beethoven's C Major concerto after only two years of study. He has appeared with orchestras and as a recitalist throughout North America, Europe, and Africa. Summer festival highlights include performances at Lincoln Center's Mostly Mozart Festival, with the Chicago Symphony at the Ravinia Festival, and numerous engagements at the Aspen Music Festival. Equally gifted as a collaborative pianist, he appears regularly with the distinguished artists such as members of the Cleveland Quartet, cellist Zara Nelsova, baritone William Sharp, and many others. His acclaimed recordings include Saint-Saens' Carnival of the Animals for Virgin Classics (one of Gramophone Magazine's "Critics' Choices"), solo albums on the Musicmasters label with music by Haydn and Saint-Saens, as well as the complete music for four hands by Rodrigo and two albums of 20th-century American chamber music on Bridge Records. Among his many prizes and
If Brahms had not encountered Miihlfeld when he did, perhaps something else might have caught his interest and sparked the fire of invention in him again. There is no way to know, but posterity is grateful to Miihlfeld, whom Brahms called "my nightingale" and "my prima donna," for these last glorious works. The Trio is somewhat smaller in scale and lighter in tone than the Quintet, and not quite as ingratiating. Nevertheless it is no lightweight piece. One of Brahms's students said that its opening theme had originally been intended for a fifth symphony, which he never wrote, and some of his friends preferred the Trio to the Quintet. The instruments are so intertwined, one of them wrote to the composer, "it is as though they were in love with one another."
The first two movements of the Trio are somewhat larger and heavier than the last two, but the first and last have certain similarities. Both are cast in sonata-form with compact developments, and the second-subject sections of both movements use the same contrapuntal procedure of inverted canon, a kind of round in which the second voice plays the tune upside-down. The broad and full first movement, Allegro, is followed by a beautiful and profound slow movement, Adagio. The third is a charming minuet, Andantino grazioso, with two contrasting trio sections, and the Finale is a rhythmic Allegro.
Quintet for Piano and Strings No. 1, in C Minor, Op. 1
Erno Donhanyi (Born July 27, 1877, in Pozsony, Hungary; died February 9, I960, in New York)
The leading figures in Hungary's rich musical life during the first half of the twentieth century were three composers who were born just five years apart, Bela Bart6k, Zoltan Kodaly and Erno Donhanyi. They were friends and colleagues in many artistic projects, but they were also rivals who took very different positions on important issues in politics and esthetics. Paradoxically, the intense nationalism in the music of Bartok and Kodaly has made their works better known now in the rest of the world than Dohnanyi's cosmopolitan classicism.
All three young men studied at the Budapest Academy of Music with Hans Koessler, a conservative German composer who was then a well-known figure and was a close personal friend of Brahms. It was a time when Hungary was growing restless about its situation under the Austrian Emperor, and Koessler had no sympathy for the patriotism that Bartok and Kodaly sought to express in their music a matter that was then of little interest to Dohnanyi. Taking Brahms as a model, he decided that one Hungarian-flavored movement was enough in a long work. Brahms, however, was of course not Hungarian, but a north German from Hamburg who simply liked Vienna and liked what he learned there of Hungarian and Gypsy music.
Dohnanyi's professional life began brilliantly in 1895, when he was still an eighteen-year-old student. That summer Koessler showed Brahms a piano quintet his pupil had written, which so impressed the great master that Dohnanyi was summoned by telegram to come see him at the resort where he was staying. Brahms organized a private reading of the work by the famous Kneisel Quartet, with the great conductor Arthur Nikisch as pianist, and he also arranged for the first public performance, which was given in Vienna during the following season. This was Dohnanyi's Piano Quintet No. 1 and it was published as his Op. 1, in 1902, in Vienna, with a dedication to Koessler, "in admiration and friendship."
We can hear at the very start of the Allegro first movement, what attracted Brahms to this music. The broad opening theme in the piano, with its firmly based harmony that lets the listener know where he stands musically and gives a sense of direction for everything that is to follow, conforms with Brahms's ideas of a good opening. Soon the instrumental texture and the sonority are enriched by the very Brahmsian use of different rhythms in the several parts, and by thickening the web of woven counterpoint. For good contrast, the second theme is clearly set for strings alone, in the new key of E-flat. With the enthusiasm of youth Dohndnyi sometimes presses his subjects too hard and stays with one idea longer than a more experienced composer would, but we must forgive him for it, as Brahms did, and admire the fertility of his imagination.
The second movement is a charming Scherzo, Allegro vivace, that is full of rhythmic ingenuity. A contrasting central trio section is followed by an altered reprise of the opening music. The slow movement, Adagio, quasi andante, is a lovely expression of the composer's romantic lyricism, in a three-part form. In the Gypsy finale, Allegro animato (following the models of Brahms and of Schubert, Mozart, and Haydn too), the form is that of a rondo. A principal subject, of irregular meter, recurs in alternation with contrasting ideas, the first lyrical, the second fugal and the last a restatement of the grand theme with which the Quintet began.
Notes by Leonard Burkat
About The Artists
Erling Blondal Bengtsson, cellist, came to Michigan following a distinguished teaching and performing career in Europe. He began cello studies at age three with his father in Copenhagen and subsequently became a student of Gregor Piatigorsky at the Curtis Institute of Music, where he joined the faculty immediately upon graduation. He later returned to his native Denmark as professor at the Royal Danish Conservatory of Music, serving for 37 years. Concurrently, he was teacher of cello at the Swedish Radio Music School of Advanced Instrumental Studies in Stockholm and at the Hochschule fur Musik in Cologne. He has given countless master classes throughout Scandinavia, England, and the United States, and at the Tibor Varga Festival in Sion, Switzerland. Mr. Bengtsson made his first concert appearance at age four, and debuted as orchestral soloist at 10. Since then he has enjoyed a busy schedule as recitalist and soloist with ensembles including the Royal Philharmonic in London, the BBC, the English Chamber Orchestra, the Gulbenkian Orchestra in Lisbon, and the Czech Philharmonic, and the orchestras of Baden-Baden, Brussels, Cologne, Copenhagen, the Hague, Hamburg, Helsinki, Leningrad, Oslo, and Stockholm. Beginning with 78rpm and continuing into compact discs, Mr. Bengtsson has made more than 30 recordings including highly-praised performances of the complete Bach Cello Suites, Beethoven Sonatas, and Concertos by Schumann, DvoMk , Haydn, and Boccherini.
Robert Culver, Chair of the Music Education Department, is a performing violist, conductor and strings specialist. A graduate of the University of Oregon and the Eastman School of Music, he has been violist with the Rochester Philharmonic, Detroit Symphony, and Hughes Quartet of Ohio State University. Mr. Culver has been a key figure in the development of school orchestra programs throughout the United States. One of the most sought-after consultants, clinicians, and conductors in the field of music education today, he has been invited to 44 states and 9 countries in the last 6 years. In 1982, with grants from the Australian String Teachers Association and the ministry of education, he began the direction of a series of far-reaching programs to upgrade instrumental music teaching from university to elementary levels throughout Australia, and in 1989 he presented a conducting workshop at the International Workshops in Graz, Austria. His video and manual, The Master Teacher Profile, are used widely in schools districts and teacher training institutes. As a conductor, he has been active in 20 all-state orchestra festivals and many more regional activities. He has served on the faculties of the National String Workshop, Madison, Wisconsin since 1984 and the International String Workshop since 1980. Prior to joining the Michigan faculty, Mr. Culver was string specialist in the Corvallis, Oregon public schools; orchestra director in the Springfield and Salem, Oregon public schools; and a member of the Ohio State University faculty and conductor of youth orchestras in conjunction with the Columbus (Ohio) Symphony. Mr. Culver is president of the American String Teachers Association.
Jerome Jelinek joined the faculty in 1961 as cellist of the Stanley Quartet. A graduate of the University of Michigan, where he studied with Oliver Edel, Jelinek continued his studies with Luigi Silva in New York City and at the Royal Academy of Music, London,
awards are First Prizes in the 1986 Naumburg and 1986 Joanna Hodges International Piano Competitions, as well as prizes in the 1982 Pretoria and 1984 Leeds International Piano Competitions, and most recently a Distinguished Alumni Award from his alma mater, the University of Cincinnati.
Fred Ormand, clarinetist, is a leading performer, educator and scholar. Mr. Ormand has played with the Chicago, Cleveland, and Detroit symphony orchestras and has performed as a soloist with distinguished orchestras in United States and abroad. Hailed by the New York Times as "an excellent clarinetist" and by Mstislav Rostropovich as "a genius teacher." Mr. Ormand founded and has toured extensively with the Interlochen Arts Quintet and the Dusha Quartet. In addition to his duties at the School of Music, he is a member of the summer faculty at the Music Academy of the West. Mr. Ormand has taught at several leading American universities and was visiting professor at the Shanghai Conservatory in 1988, where he attracted students from across China. His students have filled positions in major symphony orchestras and service bands, and on the faculties of major universities. Mr. Ormand served as president of the International Clarinet Association from 1990-1992. He is currently editing the clarinet works of Amilcare Ponchielle for publication in a new edition.
Yizhak Schotten, violist, was born in Israel and brought to the United States by the renowned violist William Primrose, with whom he studied at Indiana University and the University of Southern California. Mr. Schotten has concertized throughout the United States and in Israel, Japan, Mexico, Canada, England, Malaysia, Austria, Taiwan, and the Netherlands. He was a member of the Boston Symphony, an exchange member of the Japan Philharmonic, and principal violist of both the Cincinnati and Houston symphonies. He has been a soloist with numerous orchestras under such conductors as Seiji Ozawa, Thomas Schippers, Sergiu Comissiona, and Arthur Fiedler. He was the chairman of the 1987 International Viola Congress and has been a featured artist at four others. As a member of the Trio D'Accordo, Mr. Schotten won the Concert Artists Guild International Competition in New York and performed on prestigious concert series around the country. He has participated in many festivals including Tanglewood, Aspen, Banff, Interlochen, and Meadowmount, and is the founder and director of the Kapalua Music Festival in Hawaii. His CRI recording was chosen as "Critic's Choice" in High Fidelity, and he has also recorded two albums and a compact disc for Crystal Records.
Stephen Shipps, violinist, studied with Josef Gingold at Indiana University where he received a B.M. degree, an M.M. degree with Honors and a Performer's Certificate. He also studied with Ivan Galamian and Sally Thomas at the Meadowmount School and with Franco Gulli at the Accademia Chigiana in Siena, Italy. Mr. Shipps, a member of the Meadowmount Trio, is a past member of the Fine Arts Quartet and the Amadeus Trio, and has appeared as soloist with the symphony orchestras of Indianapolis, Dallas, Omaha, Seattle, and Ann Arbor, as well as the Piedmont Chamber Orchestra and the Madeira Bach Festival. He has been a member of the Cleveland Orchestra; concertmaster of the Dallas Symphony and Dallas Opera; concertmaster and associate conductor of both the Omaha Symphony and the Nebraska Sinfonia; and has served as guest concertmaster for both the Seattle and Toledo symphony orchestras. Mr. Shipps has recorded for American Grama-phone, Bay Cities, NPR, RIAS Berlin, Heissiche Rundfunk of Frankfurt, MelodiyaRussian Disc and Moscow Radio, and was recently awarded four gold records and two platinum records of his solo work on the Mannheim Steamroller Christmas Albums. He has published with E.C. Schirmer of Boston and the American String Teachers Association Press. Mr. Shipps has adjudicated major national and competitions for almost two decades and is director of the American String Teachers Association National Solo Competition. He served on the faculties of Indiana University, the North Carolina School of the Arts, and Banff Centre in Canada prior to joining the School of Music.