Hill Auditorium, Ann Arbor, Michigan
University Musical Society
The Consulate of Italy in Detroit and the Consulate General of the Federal Republic of Germany in Detroit
Giuseppe Sinopoli Music Director and Conductor
Thursday Evening, April 21, 1994, at 8:00 Hill Auditorium, Ann Arbor, Michigan
PROGRAM Prelude to Lohengrin.........................Wagner
Symphony No. 4 in B-flat Major, Op. 60...............Beethoven
Adagio Allegro vivace
Allegro vivace Trio (Un poco meno allegro)
Allegro ma non toppo
Symphony No. 4 in D minor, Op. 120................Schumann
Ziemlich langsarn Lebhaft Romanze (Ziemlich langsam) Scherzo (Lebhaft) Finale (Langsam Lebhaft)
Columbia Artists Management Inc., Personal Direction: Ronald A. Wilford and Laurence E. Tucker Giuseppe Sinopoli and the Dresden Staatskapelle record for Deutschegram.
Large print program are available upon request from an usher. Special thanks to James Leonard, Manager, SKR Classical, for this evening's Philip's Educational Presentation.
The University Musical Society is grateful for the support of Giuseppe Mistretta, Consul of Italy in Detroit, and Dr. Marianne Wannow, Consulate General of the Federal Republic of Germany in Detroit..
The Dresden Staatskappellc is supported by the Dresdncr Bank.
Fifty-fifth Concert of the 115th Season 115th Annual Choral Union Series
Prelude to Lohengrin
Born May 22, 1813, in Leipzig. Died February 13, 1883, in Venice.
In the list of Wagnerian operas, Lohengrin provides a significant dividing line. The early operas up to Tannhduser adhere to the grand French tradition, while those starting with The Ring of Nibelungs tetralogy and culminating in Parsifal are cast as music dramas with long, uninterrupted melodies (Wagner's), eschewing clearly-defined arias and ensembles. In the middle of this catalogue stands the transitional Lohengrin. Massive ensembles, arias and duets along with the pomp and ceremony of the old-fashioned style are all present in Lohengrin; yet at the same time, the work contains elements that point to the music dramas to come in the high-minded seriousness of the plot, the almost-total lack of cadential repose between "numbers" and the elaborateness of the orchestration.
Wagner wrote the three acts of Lohengrin between September 9, 1846 and August 2, 1847; the Prelude completed on August 28. The instrumentation of the opera occupied him during the following winter and spring. The opera received its premiere performance at the Court Theatre in Weimar, on August 28, 1850; Franz Liszt was the conductor for the occasion. The first concert performance of the Prelude took place on January 17, 1853, at a concert of the Gewandhaus in Leipzig a concert for the benefit of the Orchestra Pension Fund.
The plot of the opera deals with the heaven-sent Knight of the Holy Grail, Lohengrin, who arrives to rescue the distressed Elsa. The story ends tragically when the all-too-human lady of the court fails to understand and obey her divine protector. As in Wagner's own The Flying Dutchman were Senta's Ballad forms the thematic kernel that propels the rest of the opera, "Lohengrin's Narrative" in the last act the first part of the opera to be written epitomizes the drama and is indeed paralleled by the famous Prelude.
The mystic music of the Prelude, is a development of a single theme that of the Holy Grail; the Prelude symbolizes the Grail's descent to earth. After the ethereal opening chords of the violins divided in four, and four solo violins, the Grail theme is first heard emerging from the very heights of the orchestra. As the Grail descends farther, more instruments join in the proceedings first the woodwinds, then the lower strings and horns, followed by the trombones and tubas. The single theme is developed in free polyphonic style, with counter-thematic elaborations added as the various successive groups of instruments enter in a gradually-mounting crescendo. An ecstatic fortissimo climax is reached when the trumpets and timpani finally add their voices. But the Grail is not meant for this earth and it soon begins its ascent back to the heavens. The texture begins to thin out, the dynamic level decreases slowly, and after one last abridged statement of the theme by the divided violins, the Prelude ends with the quiet, heaven-reaching chord of the four solo violins.
Liszt described the Prelude to Lohengrin as "a sort of magic formula which, like a mysterious initiation, prepares our souls for the sight of unaccustomed things, and of a higher signification than that of our terrestrial life."
Symphony No. 4 in B-flat Major, Op. 60
Ludwig van Beethoven
Born (ca) December 17, 1790 in Bonn. Died March 26, 1827, in Vienna.
Count Franz von Oppersdorff, an amateur musician with the reputation of maintaining an excellent orchestra, once had the great opportunity of performing Beethoven's Second Symphony while the composer was in attendance. In 1806, when Beethoven had occasion
to visit Count von Oppersdorffs castle, the Count commissioned him to write a symphony and paid him in advance. Instead of a symphony, however, the Count received in 1808 a letter of apology from Beethoven stating that he had been forced, on account of circumstances, to sell his most recent symphony known today as the Fifth Symphony -but he promised the Count that the symphony intended for him would be forthcoming shortly. The symphony finally presented to the Count, which bears a dedication to him, was the Fourth Symphony, composed in the summer months of 1806. Count von Oppersdorff was particularly irked by this turn of events as this symphony had not only been performed already it received its first performance in March 10 1807 at the house of Prince Lobkowitz in Vienna but it had also been met with a less-than highly acclaimed reception. As one critic noted, the symphony contained a "wealth of ideas, bold originality and fullness of strength," but yet he went on to complain of the "neglect of noble simplicity" and the "excessive amassing of thoughts." As a result of this episode, the relationship between Beethoven and the Count terminated on unhappy terms.
The vast introduction to the first movement (Adagio) sets a mysterious atmosphere, somewhat dark in character. The lowering unison B flat, pianissimo in the winds and pizzicato in the strings, quietly unrolls, revealing the unusual tonality of B-flat minor, the minor mode of the symphony's official key. As the music develops, modulations to remoter keys occur until the tone A, with dynamics intensifying, is reached, thus serving the leading-tone function to the key of B-flat major. The rapid pulse of the Allegro vivace is established by a rushing string figure which, following a wide-ranging first subject and a witty, imitative second subject with the woodwinds predominant, returns as the main subject of the development section. The development, containing modulations to both related and unrelated tonalities suddenly shifts back to the tonic of B-flat. A drum roll wittily signals the transition to a regular recapitulation. The movement concludes with a brief Coda which makes use, once again, of the string figure which served as the main theme of the development section.
The second movement (Adagio), is marked by a pervasive, steady and unchanging pulse. The cantabile melody of the violins is of particular beauty, consummately lyrical. Beethoven combines the gently inflected turns of this theme with a harmonic texture of extraordinary intricacy and subtlety, while still providing forceful and dramatic climaxes. The second subject, played by the clarinet, is exceptionally tender and scored with a remarkable degree of finesse. The pulsing rhythmic figure, akin to a musical heart beat, is heard from the solo bassoon and echoed by the cellos and basses; then, re-echoed by the tympani. From this pulsing arises the flute which leads us back to the ornamented return of the main melody.
The Scherzo (Allegro vivace) presents the listener with jaunty rhythmic displacements and modulatory sequences. Beethoven leaves the tonic key almost immediately after its start as if to avoid a possible monotony of key. The entire Scherzo is repeated before moving on to the Trio (Un poco meno allegro). This section gracefully contrasts the woodwinds with the strings and continues an ambiguous treatment of tonality. The Trio, as well, repeats in its entirety.
The Finale (Allegro ma non troppo) is impeccably adroit in its construction and is spirited and playful in character. The first theme contains running 16th-note figures providing a feeling of perpetual motion. In contrast, the second theme acquires a dance-like quality, especially given its triplet accompaniment figures, before returning to the running 16th-note figure which persists until nearly the end of the movement. The entire Finale captures the flavor of the Finales of Haydn's last symphonies in its robustness and high spirits.
Symphony No. 4 in D minor, Op. 120
Born Zwickay, Saxony, June 8, 1810. Died Endenich, near Bonn, July 29, 1856.
Schumann wrote his Symphony in D minor during the happy year that followed his marriage to Clara Wieck. They were married in September 1840, and in January 1841 the
first of his symphonies, the "Spring" Symphony, was written, the Overture, Scherzo and Finale was composed in April and May, and the Symphony in D minor between June 7 and September 9. Unfortunately this symphony was not greeted with the same success that had attended the performance of the "Spring" Symphony, and Schumann laid it aside. He offered it to a publisher in 1843 as his "Second Symphony, Op. 50," but without result. Not until 1851 did he take the score up again (after composing and publishing the Second Symphony in 1846 and the Third in 1850), revising and reorchestrating it in response to urgent requests from his friends. Consequently, the Symphony in D minor became Symphony No. 4, Op. 120.
By the device of thematic relationship, Schumann sought to achieve a greater coherence and unity than in the conventional symphony of four movements. Moreover, he himself intended that the movements be played without pauses. Various editions nevertheless divide the work into three, four and even five sections, using the composer's subtitles.
The somberness and restraint of the introduction are expressed in the important first theme which is built up to a moment of anticipation for the movement proper, the basic ideas of which are expressed by a theme with a flashing figure. There is no formal treatment of the thematic material nor is there any other subject which can be considered as a conventional second theme. The movement is devoted to the development and free exploitation of the first subject except for a brief passage quickly followed by the original theme.
The grave sentiment and romantic melancholy so often found in Schumann' s music is evidently in the "Romanze" (Ziemlich langsam). Suddenly and surprisingly, the more passionate theme of the introduction appears, richly harmonized, but the plaintive song returns at the end.
The spirit of the "Scherzo", the only conventional movement, is not as playful as the title would imply. The trio, however, has a definitively cheerful spirit and a bright touch of lyric grace in contrast to the heavy humor of the first part. After a return to the main portion of the movement, a long passage of declining power leads directly to the fourth section.
The "Finale" recalls the fact that Schumann first conceived this music as a kind of Fantasia, unified and coherent. The extensive use of the themes and material from the first movement is significant. Here they are transformed and even glorified with a vitality and abandon that leave no question of the joy and exultation that brought forth this music.
About The Artists
One of the oldest and most highly regarded orchestras in the world, the Sachsische Staatskapelle Dresden (Saxon State Orchestra, Dresden) carries a tradition as proud as that of Dresden itself, one of the great cultural centers of Europe for the past three centuries. As a symphonic orchestra and the orchestra of the Dresden State Opera, the Dresden Staatskapelle is renowned for it interpretations of both the standard and contemporary repertoire. The orchestra's rich history includes world premiere performances of major operas by Richard Wagner and Richard Strauss, as well as premieres by Paul Hindemith, Ferruccio Busoni, Kurt Weill and Udo Zimmermann. Its development has been guided by such legendary conductors as Michael Praetorius, Carl Maria von Weber, Richard Wagner, Karl Bohm, Rudolf Kemp, Fritz Reiner, Fritz Busch, Herbert von Karajan, and now Giuseppe Sinopoli, who assumed the post of music director at the start of the 1992-93 season. The orchestra's reputation has been furthered by its tours throughout Europe, the USSR, Japan, and the United States, where it made its debut in 1979.
Founded in 1548 as an ensemble of court choristers, the Dresden Staatskapelle originally provided music for such functions as banquets, church services, court festivals, masked balls, weddings, and funeral processions. Its first authenticated concert tour occurred in 1575,
with a visit to the Reichstag in Regensburg. In the seventeenth-century, the orchestra's performances and touring activities under the leadership of Heinrich Schiitz, the orchestra's sixth maestro and one of the leading composers of his time, brought the ensemble fame throughout Europe. Under his baton the orchestra introduced the first German opera, Schiitz's Dafne, beginning a long tradition of operatic premieres that includes more Wagner and Richard Strauss operas than any other ensemble. It was during this century that the city of Dresden was also developing into an increasingly important literary, musical and visual arts center.
This evening's concert by the Dresden Staatskapelle marks the orchestra's fourth Ann Arbor appearance.
Giuseppe Sinopoli, Music Director of the Dresden Staatskapelle (Dresden State Orchestra) since the 1992-93 season, is know for his emotionally captivating performances that also convey his deep understanding of the music's underlying structure. Mr. Sinopoli's progression from Doctor of Medicine and Psychology, to composer, to conductor reflects his belief in music as the ultimate mode of personal expression and communication. The multi-faceted conductor has received considerable attention and praise for his dra?matic and compelling performances with the Dresden Staatskapelle at home in Germany, on their first European tour together in April 1993 and for their recordings on the Deutsche Grammophon label.
Giuseppe Sinopoli began his conducting career in 1975
when he founded a contemporary music ensemble in Venice and led the group in performances of his own works. His first major success as a conductor came one year later when he was asked to lead a performance of Verdi's Aida in Venice. That was quickly followed by performances of Verdi's Simon Boccanegra and Puccini's Tosca in Venice and two highly acclaimed productions at the Vienna State Opera of Verdi's Attila and Macbeth.
Virtually overnight, Mr. Sinopoli's career as a conductor was launched, and he was engaged to appear in Hamburg, Berlin, Munich, Paris and London. He made his American debut with the Los Angeles Philharmonic in 1982, followed by appearances with the New York Philharmonic, Boston Symphony and the Chicago Symphony all to critical acclaim. In 1985 he made his debut with the Metropolitan Opera in performances of Tosca. His successful debut in Bayreuth that same year, with a production of Tannhauser, led to his engagement with the company on a tour to Japan, its first tour outside Bayreuth. His trips to Japan with the Vienna State Opera and the Philharmonia Orchestra, performances on tour with the Vienna Philharmonic during its 150th anniversary in 1992, and his many tours to the United States have contributed to his stature in the international music world.
Giuseppe Sinopoli began his musical training at the age of 12. After receiving his higher school certificate he began studies in medicine and music, simultaneously. It was only after he had completed a Doctorate of Medicine and Doctorate of Psychology that he dedicated himself solely to music. In 1972 the young Sinopoli became Professor for Contemporary and Electronic Music at the Venice Conservatory and soon after he took on additional teaching assignments in Siena, Darmstadt and at the Paris Conservatory. Mr. Sinnopoli had already begun his conducting studies with Hans Swarowsky, with the intention of being able to conduct his own music. Thus he became known in the 1970s primarily as a composer and received commissions for festivals in France, the Netherlands and Germany. His opera Lou Salome had its premiere at the Bavarian State Opera in Munich in 1981, and the New York Philharmonic performed the opera's second suite four years later.
Giuseppe Sinopoli has held posts with important musical institutions throughout his conducting career. In addition to the Dresden Staatskapelle, Mr. Sinopoli is music director
of the London Philharmonia, having served as principal conductor there from 1984 to 1987. He was Chief Conductor of the Accademia di Santa Cecilia in Rome from 1983 to 1987, and since 1990, he has been music director of Sicily's Festival Taormina Arte.
An exclusive artist with Deutsche Grammophon for the past decade, Giuseppe Sinopoli's extensive discography of more than 30 recordings includes performances with the Dresden Staatskapelle of Bruckner's Symphony No. 3 and Symphony No. 4, as well as Richard Strauss' Ein Heldenleben and Don ]uan. His first recording for Deutsche Grammophon, of music by Bruno Maderna, was awarded the Grand Prix International du Disque and the Premio della Critica Discografica Italiana in 1981. He also received a Grand Prix du Disque, a Premio Puccini and the 1985 International Record Critics Award for his recording of Puccini's Manon Lescaut, as well as a Gramophone Award in 1987 for Verdi's La Forza del Destino.
Tonight marks Maestro Sinopoli's second appearance under LJMS auspices.
Supported by the Michigan Council for Arts and Cultural Affairs. ft;
Dresden Staatskapelle Giuseppe Sinopoli, Music Director and Conductor
Just, Worfram Meining, Thomas Uhlig, Christian Sandner, Gustav Muck, Johannes Biilow, Wolfgang Biichel, Siegfried Sattler, Wilma Diet2sch, Volker Krauss, Reinhard Gabsch, Brigitte Kettmann, Jorg Scholz, Susanne Fritzsch, Barbara Dressier, Rudolf
Violin II Titscher, Horst Richter, Heinz-Dieter Other, Frank Meissner, Matthias Pfeiffer, Siegfried Zimmer, Horst Goldammer, Christian Roth, Wolfgang Friedrich, Gunter Drechsel, Stehpan Metzner, Jens Thiem, Annette Witzgall, Hans-Joachim Spies, Olaf-Torsten
Ulbricht, Joachiim Zingler, Joachim
Schikora, Peter Hartung, Willfried Jahn, Gunter Heinze, Klaus Berger, Winfried Schone, Michael Jahn, Uwe Schreiber, Andreas Patzoid, Stephan Milatz, Ulrich
Violincello Vogler, Jan Dittmann, Friedwart-
Christian Milatz, Friedrich Schneider, Linhardt Priebst, Andreas Gruner, Bernward Jungnickel, Martin Hohnerbach, Tom Dillner, Clemens Kalesse, Siegfried
Doublebass Barchmann, Reiner Wylexol, Andreas Haubold, Bernd Rolle, Christian Schmidt, Jurgen Weiche, Fred Piischel, Reimond Grosche, Thomas
Schone, Arndt Haupt, Eckart Brauer, Cordula Phillip, Ulrich
Holzhauser, Wolfgang Schober, Bernd Klier, Wolfgang Thieme, Peter
Weise, Manfred Hedrich, Dietmar Esterl, Egbert Scherel, Gunther
Liebscher, Wolfgang Reike, Erik Berndt, Thomas Bortitz, Andreas
Damm, Peter Vincze, Istvan Pietzonnka, Klaus Pansa, Dieter Yengue, Dante Kaiser, Eberhard
Lohse, Peter Steginann, Volker Schneider, Siegfried Graner, Gord
Trombone Zeumer, Manfred Voight, Uwe Umbreit, Jurgen Hombsch, Hans
Schmidt, Bemhard Kappler, Thomas
Stage Technicians Muller, Frank Prochnow, Peter Tietz, Steffen
Orchestra Director Burkmiiller, Wolfgang
Concert Manager Steindorf, Eberhard
Orchestra Supervisor Sonntag Ria