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UMS Concert Program, February 13, 1994: University Musical Society --

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Season: 115th
Concert: Thirty-eighth
Hill Auditorium, Ann Arbor, Michigan

University Musical Society
James Galway, flutist Christopher O'Riley, pianist
Sunday Afternoon, February 13, 1994, at 4:00 Hill Auditorium, Ann Arbor, Michigan
Sonata in G minor, BWV 1020 Allegro Adagio Allegro
Sonata in A Major, Op. 13 Allegro molto Andante Allegro vivo Allegro quasi presto
Johann Sebastian Bach
......Gabriel Faure
(transcribed GalwayO'Riley)
Suite, Op. 34 ....................Charles-Marie Widor
Scherzo: Allegro vivace Romance: Andantino Finale: Vivace
En bateau........................Claude Debussy
La plus que lente
La fille aux cheveux de lin
Prelude a l'apres-midi d'un faune
Concertino, Op. 107 ..................Cecile Chaminade
Large print programs are available upon request from an usher.
Thank you to Penelope Fischer, President, National Flute Association and Director, Ann Arbor School for the Performing Arts, for this afternoon's Philips Educational Presentation.
The pre-concert carillon recital was performed by Tin-Shi Tarn, a U-M doctoral student in organ. Thirty-eighth concert of the 115th Season 115th Annual Choral Union Series
Program Notes
Sonata in G minor, BWV 1020
Johann Sebastian Bach
Born March 21, 1685, in Eisenach; died July 28, 1750, in Leipzig
The history of this beautiful sonata is shrouded in mystery. It first came to light in an early copy bearing Bach's name, in which it is called a violin sonata although the writing clearly shows that the composer of the music accepted certain limitations of the flute and used none of the violin's quite different capabilities. No documentation has been discovered to support the claim that Johann Sebastian Bach composed it, and it could have been written by some gifted contemporary, perhaps even by another member of the great musical clan of Bach's. No matter who wrote it, it is a fine work that has given great pleasure to many musicians and audiences.
Like Bach's sonatas for violin and for viola da gamba with harpsichord, it is, in a sense, a "trio-sonata," but a trio for only two instruments. It may be called a trio because the music is written in a three-part texture with one instrumental "voice" in the flute, another in the right hand at the keyboard, and a third in the left hand's bass line. Three movements of the Sonata follow what was then the modern Italian sequence, fast-slow-fast. In the opening Allegro there are solo passages accompanied by a bass line that could be filled out by the keyboard player, as it would have been in the old basso continuo style, but the central slow movement, Adagio, and the spirited Allegro finale are consistently set in trio texture.
Sonata in A Major, Op. 13
Gabriel Faure
Born May 12, 1845, in Pamier, France; died November 4, 1924, in Paris
Faure lived and worked in a great period in the history of French art, the true creative and cultural explosion of the early years of the Third Republic, after the Franco-Prussian War of 1870. Perhaps because he wrote so little for orchestra, his name is rarely heard now, yet this is the composer and teacher whom Ravel revered and to whom he dedicated his String Quartet, the man whom Honegger counted among France's greatest musicians.
Through his pupil Nadia Boulanger, who instilled Faure's principles into the minds and works of the many composers from the Americas who went to Paris to study with her during the fifty years following the First World War, his music has had a greater presence here than would be expected from the infrequency with which we hear his works. One of those artistic grandchildren, Aaron Copland, wrote that "to the superficial listener he probably sounds superficial. But those aware of musical refinements cannot help admire the transparent texture, the clarity of thought, the well-shaped proportions. Together they constitute a kind of Faure magic that is difficult to analyze but lovely to hear."
As a gifted child of ten, Faure was sent to Paris to study at a private music school. Ten years later, he began his long career as organist, which took him to some of the most famous churches in Paris. All the while, he worked at making his name known as a composer, which came about slowly and with great difficulty, but when he was about sixty years old, he had at last achieved eminence enough to be appointed Massenet's successor on the faculty of the Paris Conservatory. In 1905, he was named its Director, a post he held until deafness forced his retirement, in 1920.
When Faure was a young man, Saint-Saens gave him a great deal of encouragement in his work and introduced him to many of the great figures of the Romantic era. Among them was the singer and composer Pauline Viardot, whose daughter, Marianne, soon became Faure's finacee. He was happy and in love when he completed the original violin version
of this Sonata, in 1876, and he dedicate it to Pauline's son, Paul, a talented violinist who also had some success as a conductor in later years. In 1877 Marianne abruptly broke their engagement, and Faure chose to give the first public performance of the Sonata, in 1878, with another violinist, but he published the music with the original dedication to Paul Viardot. (This afternoon's performance was transcribed by Mr. Galway and Mr. O'Riley.)
The Sonata is very much in the manner of two friends of Pauline's youth, Chopin and Schumann, a style that was then still "modern music." The work was misunderstood and attacked when it was new, but Saint-Saens, who was an effective propagandist, rushed to its defense with a magazine article in which he praised the very qualities that we value so highly in it now, more than a hundred years later: its melodic charm, harmonic originality and rhythmic ingenuity, all gathered together into musical structures of great clarity and classical shape.
It opens with a passionately lyrical sonata-form movement, Allegro molto, and continues with a meditative, melancholy Andante that rises to a dramatic moment of climax. Next is a piquant scherzo, Allegro vivo, that seems to pass in a breathless rush, tripped by tricky rhythms that are stilled for a while in a calmer contrasting central section. The Sonata ends with a forceful finale, Allegro quasi presto.
Suite, Op. 34
Charles-Marie Widor
Born February 21, 1844, in Lyons; died March 12, 1937, in Paris
Charles-Marie Widor's long and productive life allowed him personally to know musical greats as widely separated in time and style as Rossini and Milhaud. His family members were organ builders, and he followed this path. At 11, he was the organist at the Lycee in Lyons. Later he studied in Brussels with J.N. Lemmens, who was himself taught by teachers in a line that stretched directly back to Bach himself.
By 1870, Widor was named organist at the famed Saint-Suplice in Paris where he stayed for an astonishing 64 years. About 1880 he became the music critic of a daily newspaper, L'Estafette, and in 1890 succeeded Cesar Franck as Professor of Organ at the Paris Conservatory. Six years later, he also became a Professor of Composition there, and over time taught an honor roll of students including Albert Schweitzer, Marcel Dupre, Arthur Honegger, and Darius Milhaud.
Widor performed regularly until the age of 90, and on April 19, 1934 he played his Piece mystique at Saint-Suplice.
The Suite for Flute and Piano, composed in 1898, was dedicated to the memory of the composer and flutist Paul Taffanel, one of the most influential musicians and prominent flutists of his time. The Suite gives nearly an orchestra timbre to the two instruments. There is much counterpoint and melody, often modulating, without warning into other, distant keys.
The first movement, Moderato, reminds the listener of Widor's connection to Bach. The Scherzo, never stops moving while the Romance, the third movement, sounds much like a song. The finale builds to a final explosion, closing in C-Major.
En bateau
Claude Debussy
Born August 22, 1862, in St. -Germain-en-Laye; died March 25, 1918, in Paris
En bateau (In the Boat) is a charming moment from Debussy's early Petite Suite. It was originally written around 1889 for four-handed piano. In this piece, Debussy cultivated a carefully set monotony and it ends quietly.
La plus que Iente
La plus que Iente was composed in 1910 as a little private joke. One of the popular tunes heard everywhere in Paris at the time was called La valse Iente, (The Slow Waltz), so Debussy gave this little piece the title "The More than Slow." He added the information that it is a waltz, and instructed the performer to play it freely and perhaps even frivolously. It is tea-party music, he said, and he even made an arrangement of it, two years later, in the style of the cafe orchestras then popular.
La fille aux cheveux de lin
La {die aux cheveux de lin is part of a sequence of short works by Debussy whose music reflects the aesthetic of the impressionist painters of his time. The piece is one of the composer's musical evocations, here a portrait of "the Girl with the Flaxen Hair" from his Preludes for Piano (1910).
Prelude a l'apres-midi d'un faune
In 1892, Debussy started to work on a composition inspired by VApres-midi d'un faune ("The Afternoon of a Faun"), a pastoral poem published sixteen years earlier by the great symbolist Stephane Mallarme. Inviting the poet to the premiere, the composer said that the faun's flute had dictated the music to him. The English poet and critic Sir Edmond Gosse called L'Apres-midi d'un faune "a miracle of unintelligibility" but told us what he read in it:
"A faun a simple, sensuous, passionate being wakens in the forest at daybreak
and tries to recapture his experiences of the previous afternoon. Was he the
fortunate recipient of an actual visit from nymphs, white and golden goddesses,
divinely tender and indulgent Or is the memory he seems to retain nothing but
the shadow of a vision He cannot tell. Experience or dream, he will never
know which it was. The sun is warm, and he curls up again, after worshipping
the star of wine, so that he may pursue the dubious ecstasy into sleep." [Abridged]
Years later, Debussy wrote to a friend that the poet had come to his wretched quarters
"like a prophet." After listening, he remained silent for a while and then said, "I did not
expect anything like that. The music stretches my poem's emotion and sets the scene more
vividly than paint could."
Concertino, Op. 107
Cecile Chaminade
Born August 8, 1857, in Paris; died April 18, 1944, in Monte Carlo
Cecile Chaminade was fated to be best remembered by a little piece that represents neither her highest aspirations nor her greatest accomplishments. The pretty Scarf Dance helped make her a popular pianist, but she played her much more serious Concert Piece when she made her American debut, in 1908, with the Philadelphia Orchestra. Subjects, today considered "feminist," interested her greatly, and among her major works is a big "lyric symphony" for chorus and orchestra entitled Les Amazones.
In 1902 Chaminade received one of the minor official honors that French composers enjoyed. She was asked to write a test piece for the annual competition at the Paris
Conservatory, and she responded with this Concertino for flute and piano or orchestra. It consists of a single fluently written movement whose extremely difficult solo part is designed to challenge not only final-year Conservatory students but the most experienced of flutists as well.
program notes by Leonard Burkat
About The Artists
Flutist James Galway is internationally regarded as both a matchless interpreter of the classical repertoire and a consummate entertainer whose charismatic appeal crosses all musical boundaries. His unique sound, superb musicianship, and dazzling virtuosity have made him one of the most respected and sought-after performing artists of our time. Through his extensive tours, numerous best-selling RCA Victor Red Seal and RCA Victor recordings and videos, and frequent television appearances he has reached vast and diverse audiences world-wide, creating enthusiastic new fans for classical music. Mr. Galway's diverse repertoire ranges from Bach, Vivaldi and Mozart to contemporary music, jazz and Irish folk melodies. In addition, he is continually broadening the flute literature through his many commissions of works by contemporary composers.
Mr. Galway has circled the globe many times, keeping his artistry fresh with a mixture of recitals, concert appearances, chamber music, and master classes. Highlights of his
1993-94 season include a series of performances with leading American orchestras that showcase contemporary flute concertos. He gives the world premiere of a concerto by U-M professor of composition William Bolcom with Leonard Slatkin and the Saint Louis Symphony, which they will perform in Saint Louis, at New York's Camegie Hall, and on a tour of European music capitals. Mr. Galway also performs the Flute Concerto by Jindfich Feld with the Pittsburgh Symphony, and the Flute Concerto by Lowell Liebermann with the symphonies of Baltimore, Cincinnati and Nashville, and with the Buffalo Philharmonic. Additional North American engagements include performances of a Mozart concerto with the New York Philharmonic and a series of recitals with pianist Christopher O'Riley.
European highlights for Mr. Galway this season include a recital tour with Christopher O'Riley to music capitals such as Berlin, Linz, Hamburg and London, and a tour of Great Britain and Northern Ireland with Ulster Orchestra. He also returns to the Far East, where he performs nearly every season.
James Galway has won numerous awards for his recordings, including a Grand Prix du Disque, Record of the Year Awards from both Cash Box and Billboard magazines, a platinum record and several gold records. Recordings released this past season include a Bach album with the Wurttemberg Chamber Orchestra, the complete Mozart flute quartets with the Tokyo String Quartet, Dances for Flute and Galway at the Movies, a collection of film favorites.
Mr. Galway has several new discs scheduled for release during the 1993-94 season. The first features Mozart's Concerto for Flute and Harp with Marisa Robles and the London Symphony Orchestra conducted by Michael Tilson Thomas, and is available on CD, VHS, and laserdisc; the CD also includes two Mozart sonatas with pianist Philipp Moll. This recording is a companion to the new Concerto! television series, hosted by Dudley Moore, which was telecast in August 1993 both in Europe and the United States. Also to be released this fall is The Seasons, featuring works by a wide variety of composers along with traditional Irish and Japanese music; and Italian Flute Concertos, which includes works by Pergolesi, Galuppi, Tartini and others with I Solisti Veneti led by Claudio Scimone. A Baroque album is scheduled for Spring 1994 release.
Mr. Galway has dazzled viewers with his virtuosity and engaging personality as host of his own holiday specials and as a regular guest on a variety of television programs including the Tonight Show, the Today Show, Good Morning America, CBS This Morning, Sesame Street, and PBS's Live from Lincoln Center.
James Galway was born in Belfast, Northern Ireland, and after mastering the pennywhistle, began serious musical training on the flute, winning three top prizes at a local competition at age 12. He continued his studies at London's Royal College of Music and Guildhall School, the Paris Conservatory and with famed flutist Marcel Moyse. A series of positions with leading British orchestras culminated in his appointment as Principal Flute of the Berlin Philharmonic under Herbert von Karajan in 1969. After six years, Mr. Galway decided to establish a solo career, and within a year, had recorded his first four RCA LPs, played more than 120 concerts, and appeared as a soloist with London's four major orchestras. In 1979, he was awarded the Order of the British Empire by Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II for his musical contribution to society.
Mr. Galway makes his eighth appearance under UMS auspices in today's concert.
An artist whose poetic and interpretive gifts have made him one of the most important young pianists performing before the public today, Christopher O'Riley enjoys a thriving concert career. His broad and constantly expanding repertoire ranges from music of the English Renaissance and French Baroque periods to the new works of today's leading composers, and includes many of his won arrangements and transcriptions.
Recognition of this talent has been widespread. His honors include top prizes at the Van Cliburn, Leeds, Busoni and Montreal competitions, as well as an Avery Fisher Career
Grant and the Andrew Wolf Memorial Chamber Music Prize. As an emerging young pianist, he enjoyed the sponsorship of Young Concert Artists, the XeroxAffiliate Artists Program and the Pro Musicis Foundation.
His performances as a recitalist have taken him to most of the major American cities and have been highlighted by frequent engagements at both Lincoln Center and the Kennedy Center. Internationally, he has performed in such cities as London, Paris, Amsterdam, Dublin, Belfast, Venice, Frankfurt, Cologne, Vienna and Melbourne, Australia.
Even as he explores new stylistic territory, Mr. O'Riley remains in demand for his thoughtful interpretations of the standard piano literature. He has been a popular guest with the foremost orchestras in Boston, Los Angelos, San Francisco, Philadelphia, Cincinnati, Minnesota, Kansas City, Atlanta, Pittsburgh and St. Louis, among others. He was also the featured soloist with the Ulster Orchestra on its first American tour in 1992. The illustrious group of conductors with whom he has collaborated includes David Zinman, Leonard Slatkin, John Williams, Edo de Waart, Yoel Levi, Hugh Wolff and Andrew Litton. He made his successful Carnegie Hall debut playing Schumann's Piano Concerto with Catherine Comet leading the American Symphony Orchestra and, in the summer of 1993, made his New York Philharmonic debut, with Kurt Masur conducting, in Gershwin's Rhapsody in Blue at the orchestra's Fourth of July concert in Central Park.
Christopher O'Riley's love of chamber music has made him a respected figure at the most important music festivals. He has played at Aspen, Vail, Boulder, Santa Fe, Sommerfest (Minnesota), Spoleto, Caramoor (New York), Monadnock (New Hampshire) and the Library of Congress. He has also performed with the Chamber Music Society of Lincoln Center, the Boston Chamber Music Society and the Muir, Manhattan, New World, Gabrielli, Vermeer and Mendelssohn string quartets.
Mr. O'Riley is noted for his annual duo recitals with James Galway and the cellist Carter Brey. In November 1993, he and Mr. Brey were joined by violinist Pamela Frank and violist Paul Neubauer for a series of piano quartet concerts, featuring the world premiere of a work by Aaron Jay Kernis, commissioned especially for them by American Public Radio. Mr. O'Riley's other forthcoming engagements for the 1993-94 season include concerts in England with the Bournemouth Symphony, a New York recital at the 92nd Street Y and return appearances with the Cincinntati Symphony and at the Absolut Concerto concert in Avery Fisher Hall. Already scheduled for the fall of 1994 is a major European tour with the Moscow Philharmonic Orchestra.
As a recording artist, Mr. O'Riley has received rave reviews for the originality of his programming and his superb performances. His debut disc, for Centaur Record, features characteristically unusual repertoire by Busoni the rarely-heard Fantasia Contrappuntistica and transcriptions of works by Bach and Liszt. His two recent Albany releases are a Ravel recital, including Gaspard de la Nuit, and a compact disc of American repertoire including compositions of Robert Helps, John Adams, Todd Brief and Roger Sessions. His latest release is a premiere recording of solo and chamber works by the young American composer Richard Danielpour for Koch International. This month will see the release of an all-Stravinsky disc on the Nonesuch label.
Christopher O'Riley is the recipient of an Artist's Diploma from the New England Conservatory of Music, where he studied with Russell Sherman.
This afternoon's concert marks Mr. O'Riley's UMS debut. Supported by the Michigan Council for Arts and Cultural Affairs. f s

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