Orchestre Révolutionnaire et Romantique
John Eliot Gardiner
National Youth Choir of Scotland
Christopher Bell / Artistic Director
Michael Spyres / Tenor
Ashley Riches / Bass-Baritone Simon Callow / Narrator
Friday Evening, October 12, 2018 at 8:00 Hill Auditorium
Sixth Performance of the 140th Annual Season 140th Annual Choral Union Series
This evening’s performance is supported by the Ilene H. Forsyth Choral Union Endowment Fund.
Media partnership provided by WGTE 91.3 FM and Between the Lines.
The Steinway piano used in this evening’s performance is made possible by William and Mary Palmer.
Special thanks to Joel Howell and JooHee Suh for their participation in events surrounding this evening’s performance.
Special thanks to Tom Thompson of Tom Thompson Flowers, Ann Arbor, for his generous contribution of lobby oral art for this evening’s performance.
Orchestre Révolutionnaire et Romantique appears by arrangement with Opus 3 Artists. Mr. Spyres appears by arrangement with Helmut Fischer.
Mr. Callow appears by arrangement with Dalzell and Beresford Ltd.
Mr. Riches appears by arrangement with Askonas Holt, Ltd.
In consideration of the artists and the audience, please refrain from the use of electronic devices during the performance.
The photography, sound recording, or videotaping of this performance is prohibited.
Symphonie fantastique, Op. 14
Rêveries, Passions (Dreams, Passions)
Un Bal (A Ball)
Scène aux champs (Scene in the Country)
Marche au supplice (March to the Scaffold)
Songe d’une nuit du sabbat (Dream of a Witches’ Sabbath)
Lélio, ou Le retour à la vie, Op.14b
Le Pêcheur (The Fisherman)
Choeur d’ombres (Chorus of Shades)
Chanson de brigands (Brigands’ Song)
Chant de bonheur (Song of Happiness)
La Harpe éolienne — Souvenirs (The Aeolian Harp — Memories) Fantaisie sur la Tempête de Shakespeare (Fantasy on Shakespeare’s
Mr. Spyres, Mr. Riches, Mr. Callow, National Youth Choir of Scotland
NOW THAT YOU'RE IN YOUR SEAT...
Berlioz called Lélio or The Return to Life a “supplement” and “conclusion” to the Symphonie fantastique and insisted that the two works should be performed together. Yet while the Fantastique has become Berlioz’s most popular work and a staple of the repertoire, Lélio is hardly ever heard these days. This “sequel”
has long puzzled commentators who weren’t sure what to make of this loose assemblage of six movements, which required a narrator reciting long, hyper- Romantic monologues, plus an orchestra and a chorus, two pianists, and two vocal soloists. (Berlioz actually suggested that the two tenor arias should be sung by two different singers, which mean that there would be three soloists, although he himself did not follow that practice). Yet these huge forces are never used all at the same time; the rst movement is actually a song for voice and piano! And even though the famous idée xe of the Symphonie fantastique does occasionally appear in the 1855 revision of Lélio, is that suf cient to connect the symphony to the “lyric monodrama” (or mélologue, as Berlioz initially called it, borrowing the term from Irish poet Thomas Moore)?
The real connection between the two works lies in the fact that in Lélio, we get to know the Artist — the symphony’s protagonist — in person. It is this “supplement and conclusion” that forces us to take the revolutionary innovation of the Fantastique — its extra-musical program — entirely seriously. What we are dealing with here is no longer simply a vividly illustrated story about an artist who is desperately in love and has visions, in turn tender and terrifying, about his beloved. Rather, we hear from the artist directly, and there is no doubt that he is a dramatized version of Berlioz himself: some passages in the monologues appear verbatim in Berlioz’s private correspondence. After experiencing the horrors of the scaffold and the witches’ sabbath, the artist needs to “return to life” precisely in order to devote himself to his art, and the last movement, the “Tempest” fantasy, is presented as the fruit of his labors. Berlioz effectively blurred the line between “art” and “life”: the narration mixes lyrical meditation with the composer’s critical thoughts about Shakespeare and his critics, and even with instructions and feedback given to the musicians (a nod to Hamlet, who gures prominently in the monologues as Berlioz’s alter ego.)
SYMPHONIE FANTASTIQUE, OP. 14 "EPISODE IN THE LIFE OF AN ARTIST" (1830)
Born December 11, 1803 in La Côte-Saint-André, France Died March 8, 1869 in Paris
UMS premiere: Detroit Symphony Orchestra conducted by Rudolf Siegel; January 1932 in Hill Auditorium.
Snapshots of History...In 1830:
· Barthélemy Thimonnier is granted a patent for a sewing machine in France
· The Book of Mormon is published in New York
· The US Congress passes the Indian Removal Act, authorizing the
President to negotiate with Native Americans in the US for their removal from their ancestral homelands
1830 was an extraordinary year in
the political and cultural history of France. On February 25, the Comédie- Française premiered Hernani by the 28-year-old Victor Hugo, a drama that openly challenged the conventions
of classical drama, and it came
to an outright battle between the conservatives and the defenders
of the new work. Then, in July,
the ghting hit the streets as the revolution broke out. The Bourbon dynasty, overthrown in the Great Revolution of 1789 but restored to power in 1815, was nally ousted for good, and Louis-Philippe, the “Citizen King,” assumed the throne to preside over an era of modernization. On December 5, Berlioz’s Symphonie fantastique was performed for the rst time at the Conservatoire.
The premiere was somewhat overshadowed by the political events, but the 27-year-old Berlioz’s rst large orchestral work, written in the wake of the Hernani scandal and
shortly before the July Revolution, clearly exudes the revolutionary spirit of the time.
Berlioz claimed to “take up music where Beethoven had left it off.” The Fantastique is certainly indebted
to Beethoven’s Sixth Symphony (“Pastorale”), in which a fth movement had been added to the usual four and each movement had a programmatic title. But Berlioz took the idea of program music much further than Beethoven had done.
In addition to providing titles for
the symphony as a whole (“Episode from the Life of an Artist”) and its individual movements, Berlioz wrote an extensive literary program that he insisted should be distributed to the audience in the concert hall.
EPISODE IN THE LIFE OF AN ARTIST
In the rst edition of 1845, the program read as follows:
The composer’s intention has
been to treat of various states
in the life of an artist, insofar as
they have musical quality. Since
this instrumental drama lacks the assistance of words, an advance explication of its plan is necessary. The following program, therefore, should be thought of as if it were the spoken text of an opera, serving to introduce the musical movements and to explain their character and expression.
First Movement: Daydreams, Passions
The composer imagines that a young musician, troubled by that spiritual sickness which a famous writer*
has called “le vague des passions,” sees for the rst time a woman who possesses all the charms of the ideal being he has dreamed of, and falls desperately in love with her. By some strange trick of fancy, the beloved vision never appears to the artist’s mind except in association with a musical idea, in which he perceives the same character — impassioned, yet re ned and dif dent — that he attributes to the object of his love.
This melodic image and its model pursue him unceasingly like a double idée xe. That is why the tune at
the beginning of the rst allegro constantly recurs in every movement of the symphony. The transition
from a state of dreamy melancholy, interrupted by several ts of aimless joy, to one of delirious passion, with its impulses of rage and jealousy, its returning moments of tenderness, its tears, and its religious solace, is the subject of the rst movement.
Second Movement: A Ball
The artist is placed in the most varied circumstances: amid the hubbub of
a carnival, in peaceful contemplation of the beauty of nature — but everywhere, in town, in the meadows, the beloved vision appears before him, bringing trouble to his soul.
Third Movement: Scene in the Country
One evening in the country, he hears in the distance two shepherds playing the ranz des vaches**; this pastoral duet, the effect of his surroundings, the slight rustle of the trees gently stirred by the wind, certain feelings
of hope which he has been recently entertaining — all combine to bring an unfamiliar peace to his heart, and
a more cheerful color to his thoughts. He thinks of his loneliness; he hopes soon to be alone no longer... But suppose she deceives him!... This mixture of hope and fear, these thoughts of happiness disturbed by
*The “famous writer” is François-René Chateaubriand (1768–1848), whose René was widely read at the time. In this book, Chateaubriand de ned “the vagueness of passion” as an emotional state that “precedes the development of great passions, when all the faculties, young, lively, and whole, but closed, have only acted on themselves, without aim and without object.”
**The ranz des vaches is “a type of Swiss mountain melody played on the alphorn by herdsmen to summon their cows.” (Harvard Dictionary of Music)
dark forebodings, form the subject of the adagio. At the end, one of the shepherds again takes up
the ranz des vaches; the other no longer answers... Sounds of distant thunder... solitude... silence...
March to the Scaffold
The artist, now knowing beyond doubt that his love is not returned, poisons himself with opium. The dose of the narcotic, too weak to
take his life, plunges him into a sleep accompanied by the most terrible visions. He dreams that he has killed the woman he loved, and that he
is condemned to death, brought
to the scaffold, and witnesses his own execution. The procession
is accompanied by a march that
is sometimes erce and somber, sometimes stately and brilliant; loud crashes are followed abruptly by the dull thud of heavy footfalls. At the end of the march, the rst four bars of the idée xe recur like a last thought of love interrupted by the fatal stroke.
Dream of a Witches’ Sabbath
He sees himself at the witches’ sabbath, in the midst of a ghastly crowd of spirits, sorcerers, and monsters of every kind, assembled for his funeral. Strange noises, groans, bursts of laughter, far-off shouts to which other shouts seem to reply. The beloved tune appears once more, but it has lost its character of re nement and dif dence; it has become nothing but a common dance tune, trivial and grotesque: it is she who has come to
the sabbath... A roar of joy greets her arrival... She mingles with the devilish orgy... Funeral knell, ludicrous parody of the “Dies irae,” sabbath dance. The sabbath dance and the “Dies irae” in combination.
Anyone having read this program is likely to remember the witches, the execution, and the ball, but it is easy
to forget the very rst sentence, according to which these gures
and events are represented “insofar
as they have musical quality” (dans
ce qu’elles ont de musical). In other words, the program isn’t entirely “extra-musical,” since it depends upon musical types such as dance, march, or plainchant, endowing them with concrete meanings. Music and program are strongly interdependent: the musical style of the symphony, with its many unusual features, would hardly make sense without the program, but the program itself is full of musical references.
Some of the dreams described
in the program were undoubtedly Berlioz’s own (and we know that he had tried opium shortly before writing the symphony). There was a woman
in real life who seemed to him to “possess all the charms of the ideal being”; this idée xe was named Harriet Smithson, an Irish-born actress playing Shakespearean roles in an English company in Paris. Berlioz fell madly in love with Smithson after seeing her on stage just once, and his passion was burning for several years even though he had never met her in person.
The Symphonie fantastique
re ects Berlioz’s intense feelings
at the time of his infatuation with Harriet Smithson; yet some of the work’s themes came from earlier compositions. The tune of the opening largo was taken from a song of Berlioz’s adolescence, and parts of the idée xe may be found in an early cantata. Most importantly, the fourth- movement march seems to have
come from Berlioz’s un nished opera Les Francs-Juges (The Self-Appointed Judges, 1826), a tale about a band of vigilantes in medieval Germany (we have only indirect knowledge of this connection since the march does
not survive in its original form). Some critics have argued that the presence of these self-borrowings diminishes the relevance of the program (after all, some of the music was originally composed with other ideas in mind), but in reality, the program and the new context effectively change the meaning of these borrowed themes which t in perfectly with the newly composed materials.
To start at the beginning —
the slow introduction to the rst movement — there is so much more to it than that tune taken from a childhood essay. It contains some highly agitated passages where the conventional melody is suddenly swept away by utterly new sounds. The allegro agitato has been said to be a fairly regular sonata movement; yet the exposition is extremely brief and consists merely of the rst appearance of the idée xe, followed by what could be described as transition material (containing some truly hair-raising modulations). The development section is interrupted by a passage in which all thematic relationships are suspended: all we hear is ascending and descending chromatic scales in the strings,
with frightening interjections from woodwinds and horns. Then, a three- measure general rest follows, after which all the rules of the sonata form are thrown overboard. It is at this point that we hear the only complete recapitulation of the idée xe (but not
in the home key), followed by more development, including a wonderful counterpoint to the idée xe played by the solo oboe (we are told that it was a compositional afterthought). The idée xe, in varied form, is soon taken up by the whole orchestra, but by this time we are clearly in the coda of the movement. The rst segment of the idée xe and a series of C-Major and F-Major chords end the movement,
to be played, according to Berlioz’s instructions, “as soft as possible.”
The second movement (“A Ball”) had originally stood in third place,
but Berlioz soon reversed the two movements, so that a central slow movement is now anked by a
dance and a march. The ball scene starts with a transition from the rst movement’s C Major to A Major, the key of the waltz that follows. The dance is twice interrupted by the idée xe that appears in foreign keys to “disturb the artist’s peace of mind.”
The ranz des vaches that opens the third movement (“Scene in the Country”) is a dialogue between
the English horn and the oboe (the latter positioned, according to the instructions, behind the scene). It is not an actual quote from an alpine folksong; yet Robert Schumann found it so convincing that he wrote in
his famous review of the symphony: “Just wander about the Alps and other shepherds’ haunts and listen to the shawms and alphorns; that’s exactly the way they sound.” The movement’s main theme is introduced by the
ute and the rst violins (the same combination that played the idée xe for the rst time!) and brought to a climax by the full orchestra. The idée xe is then heard again in the ute and
the oboe. The meadow scene has a symmetrical structure; after the idée xe, the main theme returns, followed by a coda in which we hear the ranz des vaches again.
The fourth movement, “March to
the Scaffold,” is one of the wonders
of orchestration, with effects such
as the pizzicatos (plucked strings) of the divided double basses and the innovative tremolos of the timpani. The movement’s rst idea is a seven-note descending scale gure superimposed on a six-note rhythmic pattern. Because of this discrepancy, the
music never repeats itself exactly. The second idea is a regular march theme dominated by the distinctive sonority of the brass, especially the trombones and ophicleide (the ancestor of the tuba Berlioz used). At the end of this movement, the solo clarinet intones the idée xe, as the artist’s last thought before the guillotine comes down on him with a fatal blow.
It is perhaps in the last movement that Berlioz went the farthest in his innovations of both sound and musical form. The slow introduction to this movement with its special uses of percussion and novel wind effects creates an eerie suspense, into which bursts a cruel parody of the idée xe, rst scored for C clarinet, and then for the shrill-sounding small E- at clarinet. It is the image of the artist’s beloved turned into a witch and showing up at the sabbath! The “devilish orgy” begins with the Gregorian melody of the “Dies irae,” the sequence from the Mass of the Dead, presented in slow notes by the bassoons and tubas, repeated in a faster tempo by the horns, and nally transformed into a dance tune by the woodwind. The witches begin a round
dance which is eventually combined with the “Dies irae” and brings the symphony to a truly blood-curdling close.
Many listeners in the 1830s were completely taken aback by the novelties of Berlioz’s symphony. The musicologist François-Joseph Fétis wrote a scathing review, but even as great a musician as Mendelssohn found it “utterly loathsome” and depressing, even though he had
met Berlioz and found him a thoroughly likable person. It is all
the more surprising that Schumann devoted one of the longest and
most analytical of his critical essays to the Fantastique. Schumann had not heard the piece and knew it
only from Liszt’s published piano transcription. His admiring review, written in response to Fétis’s attack and published in 1835, went a long way toward making the French composer’s name known in German musical circles and toward launching Berlioz’s international career.
LÉLIO, OU LE RETOUR À LA VIE, OP.14B (THE RETURN TO LIFE) (1831, REV. 1855)
UMS premiere: This piece has never been performed on a UMS concert.
Snapshots of History...In 1885:
· Michigan State University is established
· The Panama Railway becomes the rst railroad to connect the Atlantic
and Paci c Oceans
· Walt Whitman’s Leaves of Grass is published
By the time the Symphonie fantastique was premiered, Berlioz was engaged, though not to Harriet Smithson, who refused to have anything to do with him at that point. His new idée xe was named Camille Moke, a 19-year- old piano virtuoso. But Berlioz had had the bad luck of winning the
Rome Prize, which required him to leave Paris and reside at the Villa Medici in the Eternal City. (In one of his letters, he referred to this sojourn as an “exile.”) It was there that he received the letter in which Camille (or, rather, her mother) broke off
the engagement; the young woman was to marry the wealthy piano manufacturer Camille Pleyel. The story of how Berlioz left Rome in a fury, ready to murder both Camilles, has been told frequently. Abandoning his savage plans halfway through the long trip to Paris, the composer channeled his feelings into his art instead, just
as “Lélio” did, and composed an overture after Shakespeare’s King Lear before embarking on what eventually became The Return to Life. It would not be entirely correct to say that he wrote this work during the summer of 1831, because all the
music was recycled, with revisions, from earlier compositions. Yet their juxtaposition, with the newly added connecting recitation, uni es these disparate movements in an original sequence, consisting of a ballad about a mysterious encounter; a spooky evocation of ghosts; a forceful expression of coarse masculinity;
an outpouring of romantic love; a brief moment of introspection — all followed by the concluding Big Work, once again inspired by Shakespeare: the Fantasy on The Tempest. (The original title of the entire piece was simply Le retour à la vie [The Return to Life]; the name “Lélio,” taken
from a novel by George Sand, was not added until 1855, when the work was published, following a repeat performance under Liszt in Weimar.) According to Berlioz’s instructions in the score, the orchestra, chorus, and soloists are supposed to be hidden, with only the actor-reciter standing onstage; but the work was never performed that way, not even during the composer’s lifetime.
If Shakespeare was one of Berlioz’s greatest heroes, the other was Goethe. (It is no coincidence that two
of Berlioz’s greatest works from the 1830s and 1840s, Roméo et Juliette and La damnation de Faust, would pay tribute to these two giants.) So
it is tting that Lélio should begin — after the opening narration — with the setting of a Goethe ballad (in a French version by Albert du Boys, disguised in the monologues as Hamlet’s friend Horatio). Surprisingly, the ballad — “The Fisherman” — is scored for tenor voice and piano alone (at one point, the rst violins enter with the idée xe from the Fantastique). Even though Berlioz chose not to orchestrate the song, the style of the music is rather theatrical: the vocal line, with its many high notes and elaborate melismas (groups of notes sung
to the same syllable), is de nitely operatic, and the nal words (“he disappears”), almost whispered, create a powerful dramatic effect. (Compare the chamber-like intimacy of Schubert’s Der Fischer, a setting of the same poem.)
The texts for the remaining
musical movements, like those of the monologues, are by Berlioz himself. The “Chorus of Shades” came
from Berlioz’s Mort de Cléopâtre, a cantata written for the Rome Prize in 1829. This gloomy chorus abounds
in startling harmonies and its orchestration, with soft brass chords, plucked strings, and eerie percussion sounds, was as radically modern as any music written at the time.
The “brigands” of the third movement (which may be based on an earlier “Pirate Song,” now lost) seem to be related to the men we will encounter in the (purely instrumental) nale of Harold in Italy, and perhaps
to the soldiers and students in The Damnation of Faust as well. The rough pleasures of a swashbuckling life
are rendered musically by powerful rhythms, harmonies that refuse to bend to the rules, and a group of high-energy male voices.
Two gentle lyrical movements follow, adapted from Berlioz’s
cantata La Mort d’Orphée (1827).
In “Song of Happiness,” for tenor solo (“the imaginary voice of Lélio,” Berlioz noted), it is once again the orchestration that demands our attention. The harp and the English horn play prominent solos against the lush sound of the strings, divided into 10 parts instead of the usual four. To lighten up the sonority, Berlioz omitted the double basses here.
The brief “Aeolian Harp” movement that comes next echoes the melody of the “Song of Happiness,” as a distant memory of that bliss. The aeolian harp, an instrument whose strings vibrate in the wind, played
an important role in the Romantic imagination, carrying associations
of love as in a famous poem by Samuel T. Coleridge that Berlioz may have known in the French translation by Charles-Augustin Sainte-Beuve.
The main event of Lélio, the work for which the artist has returned
to life, is his musical response
to Shakespeare’s Tempest, an adaptation of an earlier “Ouverture” on the same subject. Unsurprisingly in the present context, the movement is essentially a paean to Miranda
and her pure love by a chorus of “airy spirits” (without bass voices) to a luminous accompaniment by piccolo, utes, and a piano duet playing in a high register. Perhaps
to underscore the switch from brief, introductory character sketches
to the actual work, the language changes from French to Italian here, a choice also in uenced by Berlioz’s sojourn in Rome. (Berlioz’s Italian,
by the way, was rather rudimentary). Caliban’s dark shadow is evoked as Ariel’s airy passages alternate with more “earthy,” and occasionally menacing, sections. The movement ends with extended, ecstatic fanfares celebrating Miranda’s wedding to
the (unnamed) Ferdinand, but this is by no means the conclusion of the entire work. After the joyous sounds die down, the Artist dismisses the musicians to be left alone with his reveries as the violins play the idée xe motif one last time.
When The Return to Life received its premiere at the Paris Conservatoire on December 9, 1832, it actually
overshadowed the Symphonie fantastique in terms of critical response. There was an abundance of positive reviews in the papers, and it was this concert that de nitively established Berlioz as a composer to be reckoned with.
In the audience that night was Harriet Smithson, for whom Berlioz had reserved a box seat. As the composer related in his Memoirs, when Smithson realized that she was the “Juliet” and “Ophelia” the narrator was speaking about, she nally agreed to meet the composer face
to face. Less than a year later, they were married; their only son, Louis, was born in August 1834. Unhappy ever after, they separated in 1843. Smithson died in 1854, a year before Lélio was published with a dedication to Louis Berlioz.
Program notes by Peter Laki.
TEXTS AND TRANSLATIONS
I. Le Pêcheur
L’onde frémit, l’onde
Au bord est un jeune pêcheur. De ce beau lac le charme excite Dans l’âme une molle langueur. A peine il voit, à peine il guide Sa ligne errante sur les ots, Tout à coup sur le lac limpide S’élève la nymphe des eaux.
Elle lui dit: Vois la lumière Descendre dans mes ots d’azur, Vois dans mes ots Phœbé se plaire Et briller d’un éclat plus pur!
Vois comme le ciel sans nuage Dans les vagues paraît
Vois en n, vois ta propre image
Qui te sourit du fond
L’onde frémit, l’onde
Vient mouiller les pieds du pêcheur. Il entend la voix qui l’invite,
Il cède à son charme trompeur.
Elle disait d’une voix tendre,
D’une voix tendre elle chantait. Sans le vouloir,
sans se défendre,
Il suit la nymphe, il disparaît.
I. The Fisherman
The waves are trembling, the waves are stirring,
A young sherman is on the shore; The charm of this beautiful lake Arouses a soft languor in his soul. He barely sees, he barely guides His errant rod on the ripples. Suddenly from the limpid lake
the water nymph emerges.
She spoke to him: “See the light
As it descends into my azure waves, See how Phoebe enjoys herself here And shines with the purest glow! See how the cloudless sky
Appears even more beautiful among the waves!
See your own image
Smiling at you from the bottom of the water!”
The waves are trembling, the waves are stirring,
They wet the sherman’s feet.
He hears the voice inviting him,
He yields to its deceitful charm.
She spoke in a tender voice,
In a tender voice she sang.
Without wanting it, without defending himself,
He follows the nymph, and disappears.
Text: Albert du Boys, after Johann Wolfgang von Goethe
II. Chœur d’ombres
Froid de la mort, nuit de la tombe, Bruit éternel des pas du temps, Noir chaos où l’espoir succombe, Quand donc nirez-vous? Vivants!
Toujours, toujours la mort vorace Fait de vous un nouveau festin, Sans que sur la terre on se lasse De donner pâture à sa faim.
III. Chanson de brigands
J’aurais cent ans à vivre encore, Cent ans et plus, riche et content, J’aimerais mieux être brigand Que pape ou roi que
Franchissons rochers et torrents! Ce jour est un jour de largesses, Nous allons boire à nos maîtresses Dans le crâne de leurs amants.
Allons, ces belles éplorées Demandent des consolateurs,
En pleurs d’amour changeons ces pleurs,
Formons de joyeux hyménées!
A la montagne, au vieux couvent Chacun doit aller à confesse Avant de boire à sa maîtresse Dans le crâne de son amant.
Zora ne voulait pas survivre
A son brave et beau défenseur. “Le Prince est mort, percez mon cœur!
Au tombeau laissez-moi le suivre!” Nous l’emportons au roc ardent! Le lendemain, folle d’ivresse,
Elle avait noyé sa tristesse
Dans le crâne de son amant.
II. Chorus of Shades
Coldness of death, night of the grave, Eternal stomping of the steps of time, Black chaos where hope succumbs, When, o when will you end? You, the living!
Voracious death will always Make a new feast of you, And the earth will never tire Of feeding its hunger.
Text: Hector Berlioz
III. Brigands’ Song
Even if I had a hundred years to live, A hundred and more, rich and happy, I would rather be a brigand
Than a Pope or a King whom one adores.
Let’s go over rocks and torrents! This is a day of generosity!
We shall drink to our mistresses From the skulls of their lovers!
Why, these beautiful weepers
Need someone to console them:
Let’s turn their tears into tears of love, Let’s form some happy unions! Everyone should go to confession
On the mountain, at the old monastery,
Before drinking to their mistresses From the skulls of their lovers!
Zora did not want to outlive
Her brave and handsome protector. “The Prince is dead, pierce my heart!
Let me follow him to the grave!” We will take her to the ardent rock, The next day, mad with ecstasy, She has drowned her sorrows
In the skull of her lover!
Fidèles et tendres colombes,
Vos chevaliers sont morts. Eh bien! Mourir pour vous fut leur destin. D’un pied léger foulez leur tombes! Pour vous plus de tristes moments! Gloire au hasard qui nous rassemble!
Oui, oui, nous allons boire ensemble Dans le crâne de vos amants.
Quittons la campagne!
Le vieil ermite nous attend. Au couvent!
Capitaine, nous te suivons, Nous sommes prêts. Allons à la montagne!
IV. Chant de bonheur
Ô mon bonheur, ma vie, mon être tout entier, mon Dieu, mon univers!
Est-il auprès de toi quelque bien que j’envie?
Je te vois, tu souris,
les cieux me sont ouverts!
L’ivresse de l’amour pour nous est trop brûlante,
Ce tendre abattement est plus délicieux.
Repose dans mes bras, repose cette tête charmante.
Viens! Viens! Ô ma rêveuse amante, sur mon cœur éperdu, viens clore tes beaux yeux!
You faithful and tender little doves, Your knights are dead—ah well!
It was their fate to die for you, Trample their graves with a light foot! No more sad moments for you!
Glory to the stroke of luck that brought us together!
Yes, yes, we are going to drink From the skulls of your lovers!
Let’s leave the countryside! The old hermit is waiting. To the monastery!
Captain, we follow you.
We are ready.
Let’s go to the mountains!
Text: Hector Berlioz
IV. Song of Happiness
O my joy, my life, my whole being,
my God, my universe!
Is it some happiness at your side that I desire?
I see you, you smile,
the skies are open to me!
For us, love’s passion is
this tender drowsiness brings more delight.
Rest in my arms, rest your charming head.
Come, come, my dreamy love,
to my anxious heart. Come, close your lovely eyes.
VI. Fantaisie sur la Tempête de Shakespeare
Vien chi t’è destinato sposo, conoscerai l’amore.
D’un novello viver
l’aurora va spuntando per te. Miranda, addio!
Miranda, è desso, è tuo sposo, sii felice!
Caliban, orrido mostro, temi lo sdegno d’Ariello!
O Miranda, ei t’adduce,
tu parti, o Miranda,
non ti vedrem ormai
delle piaggie dell’aura nostra sede, noi cercarem invano
lo splendente e dolce ore che sulla terra miravan. Addio, Miranda!
VI. Fantasy on Shakespeare’s The Tempest
Your betrothed is coming, you shall know love.
The dawn of a new life will break for you. Miranda, farewell!
Miranda! It is him, your ancé. Be happy!
Caliban, horrid monster, fear Ariel’s wrath!
Oh, Miranda, he is taking you away, you are leaving, oh Miranda,
we shall never see you again
on the shores of our golden country, we shall look in vain
for the resplendent, sweet ower that was so admired on earth. Farewell, Miranda!
Text: Hector Berlioz Translations by Peter Laki.
Sir John Eliot Gardiner (conductor)
is founder and artistic director of
the Monteverdi Choir (MC), English Baroque Soloists (EBS), and Orchestre Révolutionnaire et Romantique (ORR), and a key gure both in the early music revival and as a pioneer of historically informed performances. He is a regular guest of the world’s leading symphony orchestras and conducts repertoire from the 17th to the 20th century.
The extent of Maestro Gardiner’s repertoire is illustrated in the extensive catalogue of award-winning recordings with his own ensembles and leading orchestras. Since 2005 the Monteverdi ensembles have recorded on their independent label, Soli Deo Gloria, established to release the live recordings made during Maestro Gardiner’s Bach Cantata Pilgrimage in 2000. His many recording accolades include two Grammy Awards and he has received more Gramophone Awards than any other living artist.
Maestro Gardiner has also conducted opera productions at the Royal Opera House, Covent Garden; at the Vienna State Opera; and at Teatro alla Scala, Milan. From 1983–1988 he was artistic director of Opéra de Lyon, where he founded its new orchestra. Following the success in 2008 of Verdi’s Simon Boccanegra at the Royal Opera House, Maestro Gardiner returned there in 2012 to conduct Verdi’s Rigoletto, and in 2013 Mozart’s Le nozze di Figaro, to coincide with the 40th anniversary since his Royal Opera House (ROH) debut. In 2015, he returned to ROH to conduct Gluck’s Orphée et Eurydice, with the MC and EBS, co-directed by Hofesh Shechter and John Fulljames.
An authority on the music of J. S. Bach,
Maestro Gardiner’s book, Music in the Castle of Heaven: A Portrait of Johann Sebastian Bach, was published in October 2013 by Allen Lane, leading to the Prix des Muses award (Singer-Polignac). Among numerous awards in recognition of his work, including the Concertgebouw Prize in 2016, Maestro Gardiner holds several honorary doctorates and was awarded a knighthood for his services to music in the 1998 Queen’s Birthday Honours List.
Maestro Gardiner and the Monteverdi ensembles recently celebrated the
450th anniversary of Monteverdi’s birth with staged performances of his three surviving operas across Europe and in the US. Recordings in 2017 included two Bach releases with Soli Deo Gloria: Magni cat in E-Flat and St. Matthew Passion, along with a London Symphony Orchestra recording of Mendelssohn’s Symphony No. 2.
Founded in 1989 by Sir John Eliot Gardiner, the Orchestre Révolutionnaire
et Romantique (ORR) aims to bring the stylistic delity and intensity of expression of the renowned English Baroque Soloists to the music of the 19th and early-20th centuries.
From its inception, the ORR has won plaudits internationally, notably for its interpretation of the works of Beethoven, which it performed extensively and recorded for Deutsche Grammophon in the 1990s. The Orchestra has recently returned to this repertoire with successful tours of Beethoven symphonies and Missa Solemnis in Europe and the US, including a live recording of Missa Solemnis by the company’s own record label, Soli Deo Gloria.
The Orchestra has also been acclaimed for its interpretations of all the major early
Romantic composers, starting with Hector Berlioz. The Orchestra performed and recorded his Symphonie fantastique in
the hall of the old Paris Conservatoire, where the very rst performance took place in 1830. In 1993, together with the Monteverdi Choir, the Orchestra gave the rst modern performances of the newly rediscovered Messe Solennelle. They
later joined forces to perform L’Enfance
du Christ at the Proms as well as the rst complete staged performances in France of Berlioz’s masterpiece Les Troyens, given at the Théâtre du Châtelet in Paris.
Other critically acclaimed initiatives have included a project entitled Schumann Revealed, performed at the Barbican and including recordings of the complete Schumann symphonies and Das Paradies und die Peri. In 2007–08, Brahms: Roots and Memory was performed at the Salle Pleyel and the Royal Festival Hall, setting Brahms’s four symphonies in the context of his most signi cant choral works
and music of the 16th to 19th centuries that Brahms himself transcribed and conducted. Operas by Weber (Oberon and Le Freyschütz), Bizet (Carmen), Chabrier (L’Etoile), Verdi (Falstaff), and Debussy (Pelléas et Mélisande) have also been performed in new productions in France, Italy, and London.
Most recently, the ORR has been focusing again on Berlioz, performing Berlioz’s Symphonie fantastique and Beethoven’s Symphony No. 5 at the BBC Proms in 2015, followed by performances at the Edinburgh International Festival and Festival Berlioz of Berlioz’s Lélio
and Symphonie fantastique. In 2016 the Orchestra returned to the Proms with Berlioz’s Roméo et Juliette as part of Shakespeare 400. More recently, the Orchestra toured a program of Beethoven, Schubert, and Brahms with acclaimed
concert pianist Kristian Bezuidenhout. In 2017, the Orchestra focused on Berlioz with performances of La Damnation de Faust at the BBC Proms and Festival Berlioz.
Formed in 1996 by its artistic director and conductor Christopher Bell, the National Youth Choir of Scotland is an outstanding choir for young people aged 16–25. Membership is granted by annual auditions to singers born, residing, or studying in Scotland.
The National Youth Choir of Scotland has performed at events all over the
UK and internationally, including the Edinburgh International Festival, BBC Proms, XX Commonwealth Games Opening Ceremony, Festival Berlioz, the Grant
Park Music Festival, and Grand Teton Music Festival. The Choir has also toured internationally to Ireland (2000), Sweden (2001), the US (2004 and 2016), Hungary (2007), Germany (2010), and Central Europe (2013).
In 2012, the Choir became the rst youth company to win a Royal Philharmonic Society Music Award in the Ensemble category, which was given in celebration of outstanding achievement over the previous year, including a critically acclaimed performance at the Edinburgh International Festival of Duru é’s Requiem with the Scottish Chamber Orchestra and Robin Ticciati, and a ve-star Gala Concert performance of Walton’s Belshazzar’s Feast with the Royal Scottish National Orchestra.
In 2017, the Choir returned to the BBC Proms under Sir John Eliot Gardiner
to perform Berlioz’s The Damnation of Faust, and to the Lammermuir Festival in Scotland under Christopher Bell. The Choir also performed at the Passchendaele Centenary Commemorations in Ypres,
Belgium, broadcast live on the BBC. This year has seen the Choir in residence
at the Edinburgh International Festival performing at the opening concert in Haydn’s Creation and a special matinee concert conducted by Christopher Bell.
Michael Spyres (tenor) was born in Mans eld, Missouri where he grew up
in a family of musicians. He began his studies in the US and continued them at the Vienna Conservatory. He rst sprang to international attention in 2008 in the title role of Rossini’s Otello at the Rossini in Wildbad Festival and as an ensemble member of Deutsche Oper Berlin where he made his debut as Tamino in Die Zauber öte.
Since then he has appeared at many
of the world’s most prestigious opera theatres, concert halls, and festivals
such as the Teatro alla Scala (Bel ore in Il viaggio a Reims and Rodrigo in La donna del lago), the Salzburg Festival (Betulia Liberata), the Royal Opera House Covent Garden (La donna del lago), the Liceu Barcelona (Les Contes d’Hoffmann), the Lyric Opera of Chicago (Die Fledermaus and The Merry Widow), La Monnaie Bruxelles (Arnold in Guillaume Tell, and Mitridate, re di Ponto), the Dutch National Opera (Libenskoff in Il viaggio a Reims), the Semperoper Dresden (Gianetto in La gazza ladra), the Théâtre des Champs- Elysées of Paris (Mitridate, Pirro in Ermione), Carnegie Hall (Beatrice di Tenda and Missa solemnis), Leipzig Gewandhaus (Mendelssohn’s Lobgesang), the Bunka Kaikan Hall in Tokyo (La damnation de Faust), the Aix-en-Provence Festival (Tempo in Il trionfo del tempo e del disinganno), the Rossini Opera Festival Pesaro (Baldassare in Ciro in Babilonia, a solo recital, Rodrigo in La donna del lago, and the title role of Aureliano in Palmira),
the London Proms (Missa Solemnis conducted by Gardiner), and the Théâtre des Champs-Elysées Paris (Mitridate, re di Ponto).
Future seasons will see his debuts
at the Metropolitan Opera, the Vienna State Opera, and Opera Philadelphia, as well as his return to the Opéra National
of Paris and to the Zurich Opera House. Mr. Spyres has worked with conductors including Riccardo Muti, Sir John Eliot Gardiner, Sir Andrew Davis, Sir Mark Elder, Valery Gergiev, Fabio Luisi, Alberto Zedda, Michele Mariotti, Emmanuelle Haïm, Christophe Rousset, and Evelino Pidò.
Ashley Riches (bass-baritone) studied English at King’s College, Cambridge where he sang in the Chapel Choir under Stephen Cleobury. From 2012–14 he was a member of the Jette Parker Young Artist Program at the Royal Opera House, where he made his debut in a duet with Robert Alagna and represented the house at a gala celebrating young artist programs at the Bolshoi Theatre. He is currently a BBC New Generation Artist.
Highlights of this season include Creon in Stravinsky’s Oedipus Rex with Sir John Eliot Gardiner and the Berlin Philharmonic, Purcell’s The Fairy Queen with Richard Egarr and the Academy of Ancient Music, a European tour of Bach’s Christmas Oratorio with Masaaki Suzuki and the Orchestra
of the Age of Enlightenment, Ferryman
in Britten’s Curlew River with the Britten Sinfonia at the new Elbphilharmonie in Hamburg, the Pirate King in Mike Leigh’s production of The Pirates of Penzance
at English National Opera, the title role
in Mozart’s Don Giovanni for Opera
Holland Park, and with song recitals and recordings with Simon Lepper, Sholto Kynoch, Anna Tilbrook, and Joseph Middleton.
His song discography includes Poulenc’s Chansons Gaillardes with Graham Johnson (Hyperion), the songs of Arthur Sullivan with David Owen Norris (Chandos), and a world-premiere recording of Shakespeare’s Sonnets of Mario Castelnuovo-Tedesco with Emma Abbate (Resonus). He has also recorded Handel’s L’Allegro, il Penseroso ed il Moderato with the Gabrieli Consort and Paul McCreesh (Gabrieli), Bach’s St. Matthew Passion (bass arias, Pilate) with the Monteverdi Choir (Soli Deo Gloria), and Bach’s St. John Passion (Jesus) with Crouch End Festival Chorus, the rst recording in English for over 50 years.
Simon Callow (narrator) is an actor, author, and director. He studied at Queen’s University in Belfast and then trained as an actor at the Drama Centre in London. He joined the National Theatre in 1979, where he created the role of Mozart
in Peter Shaffer’s Amadeus. His many one-man shows include The Mystery of Charles Dickens, Being Shakespeare, A
Christmas Carol, Inside Wagner’s Head, Juvenalia, The Man Jesus, and Tuesday
at Tesco’s. He has appeared in many
lms including A Room with a View, Four Weddings and a Funeral, Shakespeare in Love, Phantom of the Opera, The Man Who Invented Christmas, and Victoria & Abdul. He directed Shirley Valentine in the West End and on Broadway, Single Spies at
the National Theatre, and Carmen Jones at the Old Vic, as well as the lm of The Ballad of the Sad Café. He has written biographies of Oscar Wilde, Charles Laughton, and Charles Dickens, and
three autobiographical books: Being An Actor, Love Is Where It Falls, and My Life in Pieces. The third volume of his massive Orson Welles biography, One Man Band, appeared in 2016; Being Wagner: The Triumph of the Will, a short biography of Wagner, was published last year. Music
is his great passion, and he has made many appearances with the London Philharmonic Orchestra, the London Symphony Orchestra, and the London Mozart Players.
This evening’s concert marks the third performances under UMS auspices by Sir John Eliot Gardiner and Orchestre Révolutionnaire et Romantique, following their UMS debuts in January 2004 as part of Hill Auditorium’s Re-Opening Weekend. They most recently appeared under UMS auspices in January 2006 in Hill Auditorium with the Monteverdi Choir in a performance of Mozart’s Requiem and Mass in c minor. UMS welcomes the National Youth Choir of Scotland, Michael Spyres, Ashley Riches, and Simon Callow as they make their UMS debuts this evening.
ORCHESTRE RÉVOLUTIONNAIRE ET ROMANTIQUE
Sir John Eliot Gardiner / Conductor
Peter Hanson / Leader Madeleine Easton Miranda Playfair Martin Gwilym-Jones Beatrice Philips
Roy Mowatt Rachel Rowntree Clare Hoffman Emil Chakalov Davina Clarke Fiona Stevens Gabrielle Maas
Jayne Spencer Julia Hanson
Anne Schumann Håkan Wikström Nancy Elan Gaëlle-Anne Michel Alice Evans
Oliver Wilson Alexandru-Mihai Bota Monika Grimm Catherine Musker Lisa Cochrane Sophie Renshaw
Robin Michael Catherine Rimer Olaf Reimers Ruth Alford Filipe Quaresma Lucile Perrin Daisy Vatalaro
Valerie Botwright Cecelia Bruggemeyer Markus Van Horn Elizabeth Bradley Jean Ané
Marten Root Lina Leon
Michael Niesemann Rachel Chaplin
Nicola Boud Fiona Mitchell
E- at and Bass Clarinet
Thomas Quinquenel Antoine Pecquer Nathaniel Harrison
Gwyneth Wentink Anne Denholm Elizabeth Bass Rachel Wick
Anneke Scott Joseph Walters Jeroen Billiet Martin Lawrence
Neil Brough Robert Vanryne Michael Harrison Paul Sharp
Miguel Tantos Sevillano James Buckle
Marc Girardot Jeffrey Miller
Robert Kendell Tim Palmer Nigel Bates Steve Gibson Tony Lucas
Mathieu Pordoy Nathalie Steinberg
For Opus 3 Artists
David V. Foster / President & CEO
Leonard Stein / Senior Vice President, Director,
Bill Bowler / Manager, Artists & Attractions Tania Leong / Associate, Touring Division Kay McCavic / Tour Manager
NATIONAL YOUTH CHOIR OF SCOTLAND
Christopher Bell / Artistic Director
Carey Andrews Christina Callion Alison Croal Hannah Miller Beth Mitchell Lorna Murray Rosie Pudney
Rhona Christie Lauren McKinney Rachel McLean Alison Ross Kirsty Stirling
Amy Bilsborough Ava Dinwoodie Karla Grant
Kirsty Hobkirk Hannah Leggatt Melissa McDonald Abby McKinlay Rebecca Pennykid Ellen Smith
Eilidh Bremner Anna MacLeod Carla Page
Lewis Gilchrist Andrew Gough Robert Guthrie Matthew McKinney Rory McLatchie David Norris Michael Scanlon David Walsh
Daniel Doolan Sonny Fielding Archie Inns Brandon Low Fraser Macdonald Scott McClure Euan McDonald Dmitri Olayzola Sandy Rowland Marcus Swietlicki
Christopher Brighty Ross Cumming Nicol Halcrow
Cyro Logan Cameron Nixon Alan Rowland
Peter Saunders Steven Warnock
Paul Ersfeld Mandujano Gavin Findlay
Nicholas Springthorpe Kenneth Thomson-Duncan Conrad Watt
TONIGHT'S VICTOR FOR UMS:
Ilene H. Forsyth Choral Union Endowment Fund
Supporter of this evening’s performance by Orchestre Révolutionnaire et Romantique.
MAY WE ALSO RECOMMEND...
10/24 Yuja Wang and Martin Grubinger, Jr. 11/1 Czech Philharmonic Orchestra
2/9 Israel Philharmonic
Tickets available at www.ums.org.
ON THE EDUCATION HORIZON...
10/19–20 Post-Performance Artist Q&A: Hubbard Street Dance Chicago (Power Center Auditorium)
Must have a ticket to that evening’s performance to attend.
10/20 You Can Dance: Hubbard Street Dance Chicago
(Ann Arbor Y, 400 W. Washington Street, 1:30 pm) Registration opens 45 minutes prior to the start of the event.
10/22 Master Class: Yuja Wang and Martin Grubinger, Jr.
(Hankinson Rehearsal Hall, Earl V. Moore Building, 1100 Baits Drive, 7:00 pm)
10/24 Pre-Show Lobby Takeover Performances: Rite of Spring (Hill Auditorium Mezzanine Lobby, 6:30 and 7:00 pm)
Must have a ticket to the Yuja Wang and Martin Grubinger, Jr. performance to attend.
Educational events are free and open to the public unless otherwise noted.
Orchestre Révolutionnaire et Romantique