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UMS Concert Program, March 12, 2019 - Philharmonia Orchestra

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 Philharmonia Orchestra
Esa-Pekka Salonen
Principal Conductor and Artistic Advisor
March 12–13, 2019 Hill Auditorium Ann Arbor
Tuesday, March 12, 7:30 pm 3 Wednesday, March 13, 7:30 pm 13 Artists 24
Philharmonia Orchestra
Esa-Pekka Salonen
Principal Conductor and Artistic Advisor Truls Mørk / Cello
Tuesday Evening, March 12, 2019 at 7:30
Hill Auditorium Ann Arbor
36th Performance of the 140th Annual Season 140th Annual Choral Union Series
 Work-in-Progress Workshop:
Dreamers by Jimmy López and Nilo Cruz Wednesday, March 13 // 4:30 pm // Hill Auditorium
This special preview event will focus on the creative process behind Dreamers, a new oratorio written for the Philharmonia Orchestra by composer Jimmy López and librettist Nilo Cruz that focuses on the experience of young undocumented immigrants in the United States. NPR Arts Desk Reporter Neda Ulaby will interview Mr. López, Mr. Salonen, soprano Ana María Martínez, and local immigration experts about the creation of the work and its implications in our current political climate. The Philharmonia will offer excerpts from the work in advance of its world premiere in California later this week.
The world premiere of Jimmy López’s work Dreamers will be livestreamed on Sunday, March 17 at 6:00 pm ET. The program also includes Stravinsky’s Firebird. You may access this livestream at Please note that this stream will only be available at 6:00 pm on Sunday and will not be archived for on-demand listening.
This evening’s performance is supported by the Menakka and Essel Bailey Endowment Fund for International Artistic Brilliance, Peter and Julie Cummings, and Bank of Ann Arbor.
This evening’s performance is funded in part by The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation.
Media partnership provided by WRCJ 90.9 FM and WGTE 91.3 FM.
The Steinway piano used in this evening’s performance is made possible by William and Mary Palmer.
Special thanks to Teagan Faran, Daniel Lopez, William Lopez, Yvonne Navarrete, Neda Ulaby, Stephen West, and the U-M Department of Vocal Performance for their participation in events surrounding this week’s performances.
Special thanks to Tom Thompson of Tom Thompson Flowers, Ann Arbor, for his generous contribution of lobby  oral art for this evening’s performance.
The Philharmonia Orchestra appears by arrangement with Opus 3 Artists.
The Philharmonia Orchestra’s tour is supported by the Philharmonia Foundation and the generous donors to the Philharmonia’s Future 75 Campaign.
Truls Mørk appears by arrangement with Harrison/Parrott 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.
Esa-Pekka Salonen
Cello Concerto
(In three movements)
Mr. Mørk
Sound Design by Ella Wahlström
Igor Stravinsky
The Firebird (Complete Ballet)
Kastchei’s Enchanted Garden
The Firebird Enters, Pursued by Ivan Tsarevich
The Firebird’s Dance
Ivan Tsarevich Captures the Firebird
The Firebird Begs to Be Released
Entrance of the Thirteen Enchanted Princesses
The Princesses Play with the Golden Apples (Scherzo)
Ivan Tsarevich Appears
The Princesses’ Khorovod (Round Dance)
Ivan Tsarevich Enters Kastchei’s Palace
Entrance of Kastchei the Immortal
Dialogue between Kastchei and Ivan Tsarevich
The Princesses Plead for Mercy
The Firebird Enters
Dance of Kastchei’s Retinue under the Firebird’s Magic Spell Infernal Dance of Kastchei and His Subjects
The Firebird’s Lullaby
Kastchei Awakens
Kastchei’s Death
Kastchei’s Spell Is Broken
Esa-Pekka Salonen
Born June 30, 1958 in Helsinki, Finland
UMS premiere: This piece has never been performed on a UMS concert.
 Snapshots of History...In 2016:
• The Chicago Cubs win the World Series for the  rst time since 1908
• The Summer Olympics are held in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, the  rst time in a
South American nation
• The United Kingdom votes in a referendum to leave the European Union
Some of the ideas for my cello concerto can be traced back by at least three decades, but the actual material for the piece was mostly developed in the summer of 2015, when I decided to spend a few months researching for new kinds of textures without a concrete plan of how to use them. I decided to use some phrases from my 2010 solo cello work ...knock, breathe, shine... in the second and third movements, as I always felt that the music of the solo piece was almost orchestral in its scope and character, and would function well within an orchestral environment.
I have never — not even during the quite dogmatic and rigid modernist days of my youth — felt that the very idea of writing a solo concerto would in itself be burdened with some
kind of dusty bourgeois tradition. A concerto is simply an orchestral work where one or several instruments have a more prominent role than the others. A concerto does not suggest a formal design the same way a symphony does. I also happen to like the concept of a virtuoso operating at the very limits of what is physically (and sometimes mentally) possible.
In Nietzsche’s words: “You have made danger your vocation; there
is nothing contemptible in that.” (No program note feels complete without a quotation from Thus Spake Zarathustra.)
I have learnt, however, that virtuosity doesn’t limit itself to the mechanics of playing an instrument. A true virtuoso can also capture the beauty and expression in the quietest moments, to  ll near-stasis with life through a musician’s imagination and ability
to communicate. In my other life as
a performer I witness that almost every day: how musicians can create meaning from a single note. The composer-me is humbled by it, but also deeply grateful. After all, all those symbols on paper mean nothing until somebody gives them life.
The  rst movement opens with what in my sketchbook had the title “Chaos to line.” Chaos here must
be understood metaphorically, as a stylized version of the idea. I like the concept of a simple thought emerging out of a complex landscape. Almost like consciousness developing from clouds of dust.
This leads to the second semi- cosmological metaphor: a comet.
I imagined the solo cello line as a trajectory of a moving object in space being followed and emulated by other lines/instruments/moving objects. A bit like a comet’s tail. In musical terms it could be described as a canon,
but not quite, as the imitation is not always literal or precise. The gestus remains, however, almost identical every time. Sometimes the imitating cloud  ies above the cello, sometimes in the very same register. It thins out to two lines and  nally to one.
There are faster, more playful episodes alternating with the cloud, and  nally the movement gains enough speed for the balance to
tilt towards fast music. At the end a variation of the cloud returns.
The second movement is very simple in form, more complex in texture. It starts with a wedge-formed cloud [>] and ends with another [<], if one can imagine such a thing. The slow cello arches are looped to create harmony from single lines. Sometimes the loops are dispersed in space. The middle section is a playful duet between the solo cello and the alto  ute.
The third movement starts with a slow, brooding cello solo under the residue of the second wedge-cloud. The expression quickly becomes more extroverted through a series
of accelerandi. A rhythmic mantra starts to develop in the congas and bongos. It will appear often later in the course of the movement, mostly in the timpani. This music is often dance-like; sometimes gesticulating wildly, perhaps from the sheer joy of no longer having anything to do with clouds and processes.
An acrobatic solo episode leads to
a fast tutti section where I imagined the orchestra as some kind of gigantic lung, expanding and contracting  rst slowly, but accelerating to a point of mild hyperventilation which leads back to the dance-like material. Quixotic solo cello episodes lead to
a joyful coda based on the “lung” music, but now with a solo cello line. Finally, the kinetic energy burns itself out gently, the rapid movement slows down, and the cello line climbs slowly up to a stratospherically high ‘B- at,’ two centimeters to the left from the highest note of the piano.
Program note by Esa-Pekka Salonen.
Igor Stravinsky
Born June 17, 1882 in Lomonosov, Russia Died April 6, 1971 in New York City
UMS premiere: Philadelphia Orchestra conducted by Leopold Stokowski; May 1936 in Hill Auditorium.
 Snapshots of History...In 1910:
• African-American boxer Jack Johnson defeats American boxer James J. Jeffries in a heavyweight boxing match, sparking race riots across the US
• The  rst air  ight for the purpose of delivering commercial freight takes
place in the US, between Dayton and Columbus, Ohio, made by Wright
brothers pilot Philip Parmalee
• Henry Ford sells 10,000 automobiles
Sergei Diaghilev’s Paris-based Ballets Russes was one of the greatest ballet companies in history that united many of the best dancers of its time. Diaghilev, the director, combined the soul of a brilliant artist with the mind and skills of a shrewd businessman. He was committed to exciting and innovative productions, and he sought out the best modern artists and composers available. Among musicians alone, he worked over
the years with Debussy, Ravel, Falla, Proko ev, and others. However, he never made a more sensational nor a more fruitful musical discovery than when he engaged the 27-year-old Igor Stravinsky to write the music
for Michel Fokine’s new ballet, The Firebird. It was the start of a long collaboration that was to give the world Petrushka, The Rite of Spring, Les Noces, Mavra, and Apollon Musagète, and which ended only shortly before Diaghilev’s death
in 1929.
Since the end of the 19th century, there had been a great af nity between Russia and France. The political alliance between the two countries had brought Russia closer to France (France had always been close to Russia, where French had long been the language of the educated classes). At the same time, the geographical distance and the difference in culture endowed things Russian with an exotic  avor in the eyes of the French. Both Debussy and Ravel admired, and were in uenced by, the music of the 19th-century Russian masters Mussorgsky and Rimsky-Korsakov.
To create a story of an appropriately exotic  avor, Fokine used several Russian fairy tales in the scenario
of The Firebird. The stories of the bene cent Firebird and the evil ogre Kastchei the Immortal are combined in an ingenious plot, which Eric Walter White summarized in his standard book on Stravinsky as follows:
A young Prince, Ivan Tsarevich, wanders into Kastchei’s magic garden at night
in pursuit of the Firebird, whom he  nds  uttering round a tree bearing golden apples. He captures it and extracts a feather as forfeit before agreeing to let it go. He then meets a group of 13 maidens and falls in love with one of them, only to  nd that she and the other 12 maidens are princesses under the spell of Kastchei. When dawn comes and the princesses have to return to Kastchei’s palace, he breaks open the gates to follow them inside; but he is captured by Kastchei’s guardian monsters and is about to suffer the usual penalty of petrifaction, when he remembers the magic feather. He waves it; and at his summons the Firebird appears and reveals to him the secret of Kastchei’s immortality [his soul, in the form of an
egg, is preserved in a casket]. Opening the casket, Ivan smashes the vital egg, and the ogre immediately expires. His enchantments dissolve, all the captives are freed, and Ivan and his Tsarevna are betrothed with due solemnity.
According to the original plans,
the music for The Firebird was to be written by Nikolai Tcherepnin and,
after Tcherepnin’s withdrawal, by Anatoli Lyadov or Alexander Glazunov. However, none of these more experienced composers delivered the score on time, so Diaghilev approached Stravinsky, who had already worked
for him as an orchestrator, and whose orchestral piece Fireworks had greatly impressed him. The young composer, honored by the commission, put aside the opera The Nightingale, whose  rst act he had just completed, and began work on the ballet.
The complete ballet consists of 19 musical numbers. Eighteen of these
belong to the  rst tableau, and the last number alone constitutes the second tableau. The music had to follow the plot very closely, in a strict descriptive style we don’t often  nd in Stravinsky’s works.
To describe the magic world
of fairy-birds and evil sorcerers, Stravinsky had a whole tradition to build on, a tradition he had inherited from his teacher Rimsky-Korsakov.
In the last years before his death in 1908, Rimsky had written three operas on fantastic subjects, one of which was titled Kastchei the Immortal (the two others were The Legend of the Invisible City of Kitezh and The Golden Cockerel). In his fantastic operas, as elsewhere, Rimsky-Korsakov made ample use of a special scale Russian musicians knew as the “Rimsky scale,” which was also adopted by the master’s most famous pupil. (The “Rimsky” scale, also known as the “octatonic” scale, consists of the regular alternation of half-steps and whole steps: C–C-sharp–D-sharp–E– F-sharp–G–A–B- at). This particular grouping of tones, lying outside
the major-minor system, is always associated with the evil Kastchei.
The music of the magical Firebird
is also chromatic in nature, related
in part to the Kastchei music. The motifs of the Tsarevich, on the other hand, are purely diatonic (using a traditional seven-note scale) and are derived from a central type of Russian folksong known as the “long-drawn- out” song (protyazhnaya pesnya). Both the story and the musical style of the ballet seemed highly original
in the West, where the Russian traditions that had nourished it
were largely unknown.
For all the Rimsky in uence, Stravinky’s  rst ballet shows a remarkable degree of individuality. The handling of rhythm in particular (with already quite a few typical Stravinskyan ostinatos, or “stubbornly” repeated  gures) is quite innovative, and the orchestration reveals the hand of a true master. Even at this early age, Stravinsky knew how to draw the most spectacular effects from his enormous orchestra. One may cite special items like the famous harmonic arpeggios (broken chords) for strings in the introduction or the solos for the small D-clarinet at several points. But even more important are the many new combinations of instrumental colors appearing on virtually every page of the score.
The score contains numerous section titles that correspond to the stage action, though there
are no actual pauses in the music. The sections, with a brief musical description of each, are as follows:
The Introduction begins with the rumble of low strings, trombones, and bassoons, with the higher-pitched instruments entering gradually as the curtain rises on the  rst tableau.
Kastchei’s Enchanted Garden. The motif of the introduction is taken over by the violins, punctuated by short  gures in the woodwind, harp, and celesta.
The Firebird Enters, Pursued by
Ivan Tsarevich. For the  rst time, the music becomes more agitated as the anguished  uttering of the bird is contrasted with a simple, Russian-  avored theme representing the
prince. After a measure of general rest, the...
The Firebird’s Dance begins. The melody in this brilliantly orchestrated dance is derived entirely from sound color, with the piccolo  ute and piccolo clarinet taking the lead; the harp and the strings accompany with trills and broken chords. The pizzicati (plucked strings) in the cello provide the rhythmic support.
Ivan Tsarevich Captures the Firebird. The  ourishes in the woodwinds come to a sudden standstill, and the repeated chords in the four horns indicate that the bird is no longer free to move.
The Firebird Begs to Be Released. A slow, expressive melody is played by solo viola, oboe, and English horn, later taken over by the violins. The tempo speeds up as the Firebird’s plea becomes more insistent ( ute and oboe solos). After a return of the slower theme, the prince (solo horn) lets the bird go, and the  aps of its wings can be heard in the woodwind.
Entrance of the Thirteen Enchanted Princesses is announced by a magical chord progression in the violins. A series of expressive solos create a tender, lyrical mood.
The Princesses Play with the Golden Apples (Scherzo). Dominated by fast- moving 16th-notes in the strings, the scherzo is brie y interrupted by a lyrical middle section with a clarinet solo.
Ivan Tsarevich Appears. As before, the prince is represented by the solo horn
and a simple Russian melody in the minor mode.
The Princesses’ Khorovod (Round Dance). One of the ballet’s great melodies is introduced by the solo oboe in a slow tempo. The actual dance is slightly faster; the strings and woodwind are joined, after a while, by the  rst horn.
Daybreak. A trumpet call heralds the arrival of the dawn. A brief and forward-thrusting theme indicates that Prince Ivan is approaching the place where he will meet his great challenge.
Three measures of energetic string scales: Ivan Tsarevich Enters Kastchei’s Palace. The distinctive melodic style of the evil sorcerer appears here for the  rst time. The monsters charge Prince Ivan as we hear a massive orchestral buildup; the motion stops abruptly as he is captured (not unlike what happened to the Firebird earlier).
The Entrance of Kastchei the Immortal is proclaimed by austere brass chords and frightening tremolos in strings and percussion.
Dialogue between Kastchei and Ivan Tsarevich. It seems that the poor prince can hardly get a word in edgewise in this dialog, for the short section is entirely dominated by the music of the sorcerer.
The Princesses Plead for Mercy.
The solo violin plays the princesses’ theme from earlier in the ballet, but the melody is cut short by Kastchei’s
wild brass and percussion sounds.
The Firebird Enters. This brief allegro section, in which the  rebird’s familiar musical style is in evidence throughout, leads directly into the...
Dance of Kastchei’s Retinue under the Firebird’s Magic Spell. More and more of Kastchei’s minions are swept up
in the ecstatic dance, with a gradual crescendo leading to a tutti climax.
Infernal Dance of Kastchei and His Subjects. A fast timpani roll introduces a syncopated motif arising from the lower registers (bassoons, horn,
tuba) and gradually taken over by the entire orchestra. There is a lyrical countersubject symbolizing the plight of Kastchei’s prisoners.
As a total contrast, The Firebird’s Lullaby is a delicate song for solo bassoon, accompanied by harps and muted strings.
A dissonant fanfare accompanies
as Kastchei Awakens. But the
evil sorcerer’s end is imminent:
a powerful tutti downbeat and a rapidly descending orchestral  gure accompanied by a decrescendo on the bass drum depict...
Kastchei’s Death — a short interlude of divided string tremolos. The scene changes.
Kastchei’s Spell Is Broken. The  nale, in which everyone celebrates the wedding of Prince Ivan and the princess, contains what is probably the most famous Russian folksong in in the ballet. This beautiful melody,
 rst played by the  rst horn (Ivan’s instrument), grows in volume and orchestration until the full orchestra plays it. Here a signi cant rhythmic change is introduced: the symmetrical triple meter (3/2) is transformed into an asymmetrical 7/4, bringing the music to its  nal culmination point.
Program note by Peter Laki.
Please turn to page 24 for complete artist biographies and an orchestra roster.
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Philharmonia Orchestra
Esa-Pekka Salonen
Principal Conductor and Artistic Advisor
Wednesday Evening, March 13, 2019 at 7:30
Hill Auditorium Ann Arbor
37th Performance of the 140th Annual Season 140th Annual Choral Union Series
 World-premiere Livestream:
Dreamers by Jimmy López and Nilo Cruz
The world premiere of composer Jimmy López’s work Dreamers, as
offered by Esa-Pekka Salonen and the Philharmonia Orchestra in Berkeley, California, will be livestreamed on Sunday, March 17 at 6:00 pm ET. The program also includes Stravinsky’s Firebird. You may access this livestream at Please note that this stream will only be available at
6:00 pm on Sunday and will not be archived for on-demand listening.
This evening’s performance is supported by the Menakka and Essel Bailey Endowment Fund for International Artistic Brilliance, Peter and Julie Cummings, and Conlin Travel.
This evening’s performance is funded in part by The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation.
Media partnership provided by WRCJ 90.9 FM and WGTE 91.3 FM.
Special thanks to Teagan Faran, Daniel Lopez, William Lopez, Yvonne Navarrete, Neda Ulaby, Stephen West, and the U-M Department of Vocal Performance for their participation in events surrounding this week’s performances.
Special thanks to Tom Thompson of Tom Thompson Flowers, Ann Arbor, for his generous contribution of lobby  oral art for this evening’s performance.
The Philharmonia Orchestra appears by arrangement with Opus 3 Artists.
The Philharmonia Orchestra’s tour is supported by the Philharmonia Foundation and the generous donors to the Philharmonia’s Future 75 Campaign.
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.
Arnold Schoenberg
Verklärte Nacht, Op. 4
Anton Bruckner
Symphony No. 7 in E Major
Allegro moderato
Adagio: Sehr feierlich und sehr langsam Scherzo: Sehr schnell
Finale: Bewegt, doch nicht schnell
Arnold Schoenberg
Born September 13, 1874 in Vienna
Died July 13, 1951 in Los Angeles, California
UMS premiere: Chicago Symphony Orchestra conducted by Frederick Stock; May 1926 in Hill Auditorium.
 Snapshots of History...In 1899:
• A peace treaty is rati ed to end the Spanish-American War; the Philippine-American War begins
• Anton Chekhov writes Uncle Vanya
• Sigmund Freud publishes The Interpretation of Dreams
Arnold Schoenberg was alone among the great European composers in being almost entirely self-taught.
He did not have the bene t of a musical family or a good teacher
early in life. He taught himself to play the violin, later the cello, and played an enormous amount of chamber music with his friends, most notably Oskar Adler, a physician who was
also a professional-level violinist. Additional advice came from another friend named David Josef Bach and, most importantly, from the composer Alexander von Zemlinsky, who later became Schoenberg’s brother-in-law. But none of this guidance amounted to a full-scale course of study in composition: Schoenberg was really his own teacher. (Maybe that is
why he could become such a great and dedicated teacher himself.) He diligently worked his way through the entire classical tradition and absorbed it so completely that by 1897 (at the age of 23) he was able to write a string quartet in D Major that not only demonstrated a  awless technique
but showed unmistakable signs of originality and even genius.
Two years later, Schoenberg wrote the string sextet Verklärte Nacht, the work that made him  rst infamous and, soon afterwards, famous. Growing up in Vienna, the young Schoenberg was naturally a follower of Brahms, who dominated musical life in the
city. Later, through Zemlinsky, he discovered the music of Wagner,
who was considered to be Brahms’s antithesis. With Verklärte Nacht, then, Schoenberg managed to infuriate both the Brahms and the Wagner camps, transferring as he did the
idea of program music, associated with Wagner and the “New German School,” to the chamber medium, which was Brahms’s bailiwick and traditionally devoted to “absolute” music only. To add insult to injury, Schoenberg used a particular dissonance that could not be found
in the existing harmony textbooks, and this gave the Vienna Composers’ Association the excuse they needed to turn the piece down.
The title Verklärte Nacht comes from a poem by Richard Dehmel (1863–1920), a German poet very highly regarded at the time. Dehmel’s success rested on his individual combination of naturalism and political consciousness with an expressionistic, visionary passion. The poem in question, printed in Dehmel’s 1896 collection Weib
und Welt (Woman and World), is
a good example: its central event
(a woman’s admission to her lover that she is bearing another man’s child) is a declaration of war on conventional bourgeois morality. (It has to be stressed, though, that she conceived the child before meeting the love of her life.) This shockingly frank confession, which represents the naturalistic layer of the poem, is, however, immediately “trans gured,” partly by the man’s words of comfort and partly by the background of the magical, moon-lit landscape which elevates the lurid story to a completely different, almost cosmic plane.
Schoenberg closely followed the outline of Dehmel’s poem. There are  ve sections: introduction — the woman speaks — interlude — the man speaks — postlude.
The introduction, interlude, and postlude share the same thematic material, a descending scale motif with a dotted rhythm, suggestive of the two people walking in the night. At the beginning, this theme is soft and almost neutral. In the middle,
it becomes loud and impassioned, with each note heavily emphasized. At the end, it is soft again, but surrounded by sensuous chromatic countersubjects and special devices such as arpeggios (broken chords),
tremolos (“trembling” note repeats), and pizzicatos (plucked strings).
The woman’s speech, with d minor as its central tonality, is  lled with dramatic passion. Its tension-laden main theme rises from a subdued pianissimo to a desperate outburst. The in uences of Wagner and Richard Strauss are evident, though Schoenberg goes beyond both in his bold handling of dissonances.
In total contrast, the man’s speech begins in a calm and peaceful D Major with an entirely classical cadence. While the continuation is more adventurous, the lyrical element always prevails. The tenderness of the music is underscored by special playing techniques (harmonics, and sul ponticello, or playing near the bridge). The tempo, slow at  rst, gradually speeds up, but returns to its initial state at the end of the section.
Although rejected at  rst, Verklärte Nacht soon became accepted as
one of the greatest chamber works of the decade. Richard Dehmel attended a performance in 1912, and subsequently wrote to the composer:
Dear Mr. Schönberg!
Yesterday I heard Verklärte Nacht, and
I should consider it a sin of omission if I failed to say a word of thanks to you for your wonderful sextet. I had intended to follow the motives of my text in your composition, but I soon forgot to do so, I was so enthralled by the music ....
With cordial greetings, your
And Dehmel added four lines of poetry in which he expressed his gratitude (and did not hesitate to compare himself to God in the process):
A word of thanks — o beauteous tones! The echo of the creator’s word.
We all can sense no loftier joy:
The world now answers God in sound.
If Dehmel lost the thread of his own poetry while listening to the music, it
is maybe advisable that we, too, hear it as an independent work of art, without referring to the program. On the other hand, the piece would not have been written in the  rst place had it not
been for that program. Yet Schoenberg, with unerring instinct, concentrated not on the concrete but on the transcendent aspects of the poem (the main characters, faced with a critical situation, rise above the obstacles that stand in their way). Dehmel’s work, taken in itself, verges on the banal;
it is only through the music that we realize how close the story is to Tristan, where another man (King Mark) casts a transient shadow on the love of the two protagonists. In Schoenberg’s music, the particulars of the story all disappear and only timeless feelings remain, leaving us all a little bit “trans gured” when it is over.
Anton Bruckner
Born September 4, 1824 in Ansfelden, Upper Austria Died October 11, 1896 in Vienna
UMS premiere: The Cleveland Orchestra conducted by Erich Leinsdorf; November 1945 in Hill Auditorium.
 Snapshots of History...In 1881:
• The American Red Cross is established by Clara Barton
• The Thumb Fire in Michigan destroys over a million acres and kills 282
• US President James A. Gar eld is assassinated in Washington, DC
Who was Anton Bruckner? This question is harder to answer than would be similar questions about Beethoven, Wagner, Brahms, or Mahler, to name only composers who, as ancestors, contemporaries, or successors of Bruckner, are part of the same stream of Austro-German music history. Most 19th-century composers left personal documents such as correspondence and other prose,
in which they disclosed something about themselves and about the way they viewed their art. They wrote vocal music with texts that re ected their literary tastes and the ideas that preoccupied them. Bruckner, on the other hand, was never particularly good with words. His surviving letters, with a few rare exceptions, reveal very little about his inner world; nor did he often respond to poetry with musical compositions. There are many anecdotes about Bruckner’s life, his country upbringing, his devoutness, his odd Upper Austrian dialect, his dif culties in adjusting to life in Vienna, and his tragic lack of success with the numerous young girls to
whom he proposed. All of this has led many people to see Bruckner as some kind of idiot savant, hopelessly out of sync with his environment, who removed himself from the
world in order to spend his life stubbornly building (and rebuilding) his symphonies, those majestic cathedrals of sound.
There is no doubt that Bruckner marched to his own drummer. He didn’t conform to other people’s expectations as to what a composer should be like or how he should behave, and he did not articulate his artistic ideas verbally. That doesn’t mean, however, that those ideas were necessarily any less cogent or, for that matter, any less “timely” (whatever we mean by that word). In fact, in an era obsessed with innovation versus traditionalism (which is what the respective champions of Wagner and Brahms were endlessly debating), Bruckner created a unique synthesis between those two concepts. He
was considered part of the Wagner “camp,” and there was probably no one in his generation who felt
Wagner’s music more deeply and responded to it with more originality than he. Yet if he stood with one foot in the world of Zukunftsmusik (music of the future), his other foot was planted  rmly in the conservative Austrian Catholic tradition into which he was born. He was marked for life by the monumental monastery of St. Florian, a masterpiece of Baroque architecture whose origins go back into the Middle Ages. In addition, this great organist and church composer who was deeply touched by the sensuality of Tristan und Isolde had acquired some of his earliest musical experiences as a  ddle player at village weddings, gaining an intimate knowledge of Austrian folk music
— a knowledge manifest in several
of the scherzo movements in those large “cathedrals of sound.” It took many components to bring about the Bruckner phenomenon, and those components didn’t combine in anyone else in quite the same way.
Bruckner began work on his Seventh Symphony on September 23, 1881, exactly 20 days after completing his Sixth. At 57, he had just enjoyed the  rst truly important success of his career earlier that year when,
in February, Hans Richter gave a highly acclaimed performance of the Fourth Symphony with the Vienna Philharmonic. (The Philharmonic had earlier rejected the Second and Third Symphonies.) At this point he had been teaching organ, counterpoint, and harmony in Vienna for 13 years; among the many young musicians he had inspired was a teenage Gustav Mahler. The previous year (summer of 1880) Bruckner had undertaken a trip to Switzerland, where he gave many
organ recitals, and he also took a train from Geneva to Chamonix, near the Mont Blanc. The view of the highest peak of the Alps must have been
on his mind as he was embarking on his next monumental symphony — although Bruckner, who wasn’t particularly good with words, never said so explicitly.
Bruckner interrupted the composition of the symphony to attend the premiere of Wagner’s Parsifal in Bayreuth. It is, then, hardly a coincidence that the work is full of Wagnerian quotations, some veiled, some more overt. Commentators have detected echoes from Tristan, Parsifal, and Tannhäuser. Music analyst Graham Phipps sees the whole
 rst movement as “Bruckner’s free application of strict Sechterian theory with stimulation from Wagnerian sources” — Simon Sechter being the professor who had taught Bruckner counterpoint. The synthesis between traditional church style and “the music of the future” was complete.
The  rst movement rests on three mighty pillars, three distinct thematic groups. The  rst is a soaring cello melody against some quintessentially Brucknerian tremolos in the violins. The second is a singing theme marked ruhig (calm), introduced by the woodwinds with accompanying horns and trumpets. Finally, the
third, appearing after the  rst of many powerful crescendo surges,
is a predominantly rhythmic idea, presented by strings and woodwinds. These three different characters start to interact in a development section that doesn’t really “develop” in the classical sense at all. Instead of the increasing level of activity
one  nds in classical developments, the music actually becomes slower and more fragmented, but then it suddenly erupts in a molto animato section. The ascending motive of the opening is here turned upside down, its serene E Major becomes
a dramatic c minor, and instead of being played in the warm singing tone of the cellos, it is blasted forth by the entire orchestra. Here and in the recapitulation, Bruckner ampli ed his thematic material by adding rich contrapuntal voices. It is during the solemn concluding section that the kettledrum is heard for the  rst time in the symphony. The tremolo of the timpani lasts a full 52 measures, increasing, decreasing, and rising again in volume as the rest of the orchestra brings the movement to its stunning conclusion.
On one of the rare occasions he revealed something of his feelings in verbal form, Bruckner told his former student, the conductor Felix Mottl, about the impulse that led to the composition of the sublime “Adagio” of the Seventh Symphony: “One day
I came home and felt very sad. The thought had crossed my mind that before long the Master [Wagner] would die, and then the c-sharp minor theme of the ‘Adagio’ came to me.” For this solemn theme, Bruckner used a quartet of Wagner tubas, the special instruments Wagner had devised for his Ring cycle. It was
the  rst time another composer had employed these tubas, created to evoke the gods of Valhalla and to portray many dramatic moments involving death. Structurally, the movement was in uenced by the “Adagio” of Beethoven’s Ninth, in
which a slow thematic group in 4/4 time alternates with a slightly faster one in 3/4. After a sensual second theme, the Wagner-tuba theme returns in a more elaborate form than before, with new countersubjects, varied and expanded, culminating
in a glorious outburst in the bright key of G Major. The second theme, a half-step higher (A- at Major), also gains in coloristic detail on second hearing. Yet the high point of the entire movement comes when the Wagner tubas begin their theme for the third time. This time, a crescendo more astonishing than anything that has gone before brings us to the
full radiance of C Major, a moment
of arrival marked by the work’s only cymbal crash, appearing exactly at midpoint in the hour-long symphony.
The composer had progressed
this far when he received news of Wagner’s death on February 13, 1883. During the “unwinding” that follows the climax, a horn motive  lled with extreme pain expresses Bruckner’s sadness more clearly than words could ever do.
As with the Fifth and Sixth Symphonies, the “Scherzo” of the Seventh is in a minor key, which immediately undermines the humorous character one habitually expects of scherzos, despite the
fast tempo and the dance rhythms. Contrary to the norm, which demands that the minor mode be softened by major at the end of the  rst formal unit, Bruckner modulates from one minor key (a minor) to another (c minor). A mysterious timpani solo serves as link between the various sections of the scherzo proper, as well as between the scherzo and the
slower, more genial trio. The latter, which  nally brings major-mode relief, begins with a singing violin melody over a long-held pedal note
in the bass. Fleeting memories of the scherzo’s trumpet motive ruf e the smooth surface of the music, as some intensely Wagnerian modulations complicate the initially simple and folk-like melody. The a-minor scherzo is then repeated in its entirety.
Bruckner’s “Finale” perplexed even some of his most enthusiastic supporters. Both the composer
Hugo Wolf and the conductor Hermann Levi found certain parts of it “incomprehensible,” though both eventually came around to appreciate its unique beauty. Even though the Seventh has its share of fanfares
at the end, many commentators have felt the triumph to be less than complete. At 13 minutes against the  rst movement’s 22, it is also much smaller in size.
Yet the  nale of the Seventh is unusual for reasons other than
its length. Its structure is not the usual sonata form, but something called Bogenform (arch form) in German, which means that in the recapitulation, the three thematic groups return in reverse order: A-B-C becomes C-B-A. The character of Bruckner’s three thematic groups are as follows: “A” is resolute but understated, like a biblical “still small voice.” “B” is a religious chorale with Tristan-like chromatic harmonies, while “C” is a variant of “A” where
the voice becomes powerful and triumphant as the Wagner tubas are heard again. Both “A” and “C” are,
by the way, closely related to the opening motive of the  rst movement. By reversing “A” and “C” in the recapitulation, Bruckner allows the more subdued form of the theme to have the last word, and even though the theme gains a lot of power, especially in the coda, the tempo remains emphatically bewegt, doch nicht schnell (animated but not fast). The coda of the  nale brings back the opening motive of the  rst movement in its original form, in addition to its transformations which are present simultaneously. Like at the end of the  rst movement, the timpani enters after a long silence with an extended tremolo over which the concluding measures of the symphony unfold.
Bruckner  nished his Seventh during the  rst days of September 1883. After playing through the score, Arthur Nikisch, one of the great conductors of the time, immediately decided to perform it with the Gewandhaus Orchestra in Leipzig. This performance was followed by numerous others in many cities of Europe as well as the US, where it was introduced only a year and a
half after the world premiere. The Seventh became, without a doubt, the greatest success of Bruckner’s life. King Ludwig of Bavaria, who had been Wagner’s great benefactor, allowed Bruckner to dedicate the work to
him. As the composer reported to
a friend, Hermann Levi had called
the symphony “the most important symphonic work since 1827” [the year of Beethoven’s death] — a Wunderwerk (wonderful work) that
was the “crowning event” of his career as a conductor. (This is no small praise from the man who had conducted the  rst performance of Parsifal in Bayreuth!)
After these triumphs, Bruckner’s home city of Vienna  nally gave him his due as well: in 1886, he received
a high decoration from the Imperial Court, and, on September 23 of that year, he was received by Emperor Franz Joseph I in person. The monarch asked the composer if there was anything he could do for him. Bruckner, who was de nitely not good with words, replied in his  avorful Upper Austrian dialect: “Your Majesty, will you graciously forbid [music critic Eduard] Hanslick to write so badly about me.”
Program notes by Peter Laki.
Esa-Pekka Salonen’s (principal conductor and artistic advisor) restless innovation drives him constantly to reposition classical music in the 21st century.
He is known as both a composer and conductor and is currently the principal conductor and artistic advisor for the Philharmonia Orchestra and the conductor laureate for both the Swedish Radio Symphony Orchestra and the Los Angeles Philharmonic, where he was music director from 1992–2009. In 2020, he will become the music director of the San Francisco Symphony. He is the artist in association
at the Finnish National Opera and Ballet, where he will conduct Pelléas et Mélisande this season. Mr. Salonen co-founded
the annual Baltic Sea festival, serving as artistic director from 2003–2018.
This season, 13 of Mr. Salonen’s works are programmed around the world, from playful early pieces to his melodically
and rhythmically complex new works. He also conducts his own Pollux at Maggio Fiorentino, and his cello concerto on tour with the Philharmonia Orchestra with Truls Mørk as soloist. Last year the New York Philharmonic and the Barbican Centre shaped their programming around Mr. Salonen’s music as part of his composer- in-residence in New York and a season- long focus in London.
The current season sees Mr. Salonen conducting the Philharmonia Orchestra on tour across Europe, the US, and Asia. In spring 2019 he brings a series that
he created at the Philharmonia to the
Los Angeles Philharmonic, presenting programs of Stravinsky’s “Myths,” “Rituals,” and “Faith.” Mr. Salonen will also direct a new Ivo Van Hove production of Weill’s Rise and Fall of the City of Mahagonny at the Aix-en-Provence
Festival in summer 2019. Recent years have seen Mr. Salonen experiment
with groundbreaking ways to present music, with the  rst major virtual-reality production from a UK symphony orchestra; the award-winning RE-RITE and Universe of Sound installations; and the much- hailed iPad app, The Orchestra.
Mr. Salonen has an extensive and
varied recording career. An album of Henri Dutilleux’s Correspondances, recorded
in the presence of the composer, was released in 2013 on the composer’s 97th birthday. Also that year, Sony completed a project that began with Mr. Salonen and the LA Phil nearly 30 years before: a two- disc set of the orchestral works of Witold Lutosławski. Mr. Salonen’s most recent recordings include a disc of Stravinsky’s Persephone, released by Pentatone Music; and a 61-disc box set of all Mr. Salonen’s recordings for Sony. 2019 sees a much- anticipated release of Mr. Salonen’s cello concerto.
Truls Mørk’s (cello) compelling performances, combining  erce intensity, integrity, and grace, have established
him as one of the preeminent cellists of our time. He is a celebrated artist who performs with the most distinguished orchestras, including the New York Philharmonic, the Philadelphia and Cleveland orchestras, Boston Symphony Orchestra, and Los Angeles Philharmonic. In Europe he has appeared with Orchestre de Paris, Berliner Philharmoniker, Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra, Münchner Philharmoniker, Philharmonia Orchestra, and Leipzig Gewandhaus Orchestra.
He has collaborated with conductors including Mariss Jansons, David Zinman, Manfred Honeck, Esa-Pekka Salonen,
Gustavo Dudamel, Sir Simon Rattle, Kent Nagano, Yannick Nézet-Séguin, and Christoph Eschenbach.
Following his appearance at the 2018 Baltic Sea Festival performing Esa-Pekka Salonen’s Cello Concerto (2016), also conducted by the composer, Mr. Mørk will play the work again with the Philharmonia Orchestra under Mr. Salonen in London, and on tour to the US, including Lincoln Center in New York, Hill Auditorium in Ann Arbor, and Cal Performances in Berkeley. He continues to give regular recitals at major venues and festivals throughout the world. He has recently developed a collaboration with Behzod Abduraimov, which will see them perform on tour in the US and Europe.
A great champion of contemporary music, Mr. Mørk has given over 30 premieres, including Rautavaara’s Towards the Horizon with the BBC Symphony Orchestra and John Storgårds, Pavel Haas’ Cello Concerto with Wiener Philharmoniker and Jonathan Nott, Krzysztof Penderecki’s Concerto for Three Cellos with the
NHK Symphony Orchestra and Charles Dutoit, and Ha iði Hallgrímsson’s Cello Concerto, co-commissioned by the Oslo Philharmonic, Iceland Symphony, and Scottish Chamber orchestras.
With an impressive recording output, Mr. Mørk has recorded many of the great cello concertos for labels such as Virgin Classics, EMI, Deutsche Grammophon, Ondine, Arte Nova, and Chandos, many of which have won international awards, including Gramophone, Grammy, Midem, and ECHOKlassik awards.
Founded in 1945, the Philharmonia Orchestra is a world-class symphony orchestra for the 21st century. The Orchestra’s home is Southbank Centre’s
Royal Festival Hall, in the heart of London, where the Philharmonia has been resident since 1995 and presents a season of around 50 performances each year. Under principal conductor and artistic advisor Esa-Pekka Salonen, the Philharmonia has created a series of critically acclaimed visionary projects, distinctive for both their artistic scope and supporting live and digital content. Recent series include Stravinsky: Myths & Rituals (2016), which won a South Bank Sky Arts Award. In 2019, Maestro Salonen presents his newest series with the Orchestra, Weimar Berlin: Bittersweet Metropolis.
The Philharmonia is resident orchestra at Bedford Corn Exchange, De Montfort Hall in Leicester, The Marlowe in Canterbury, The Anvil in Basingstoke,
the Three Choirs Festival in the West of England, and Garsington Opera. At the heart of these residencies is an education program that empowers people in every community to engage with and participate in orchestral music.
Internationally, the Philharmonia is active across Europe, Asia, and the US. This season, the Orchestra performs extensively in Europe and undertakes three major international tours, to China and South Korea (October 2018); to Cartagena in Colombia, in a joint digital installation-live concert tour (January 2019); and to the US (March 2019).
The Philharmonia’s international reputation in part derives from its extraordinary recording legacy, which in the last 10 years has been built on by its pioneering work with digital technology, most recently blazing a trail for classical music in virtual reality. VR experiences featuring music by Sibelius, Mahler, and Beethoven, placing the viewer at the heart
of the orchestra, have been presented at Southbank Centre and internationally.
The Philharmonia records and releases music across multiple channels and media. An app for iPad, The Orchestra,
has sold tens of thousands of copies; Hollywood composers choose to record their scores for  lms, video games, and television series with the Orchestra; the Philharmonia is Classic FM’s “Orchestra on Tour” and broadcasts extensively on BBC Radio 3; and the Philharmonia releases live recordings of signature concerts with Signum Records.
Finnish conductor and composer Esa-Pekka Salonen has been principal conductor and artistic advisor since 2008. Jakub Hrůša and Santtu-Matias Rouvali
are principal guest conductors. Christoph von Dohnányi is honorary conductor for life, and Vladimir Ashkenazy is conductor laureate. Composer Unsuk Chin is artistic director of the Music of Today series. The Philharmonia’s principal international partner is Wuliangye. For more information, please visit
Ella Wahlström (sound designer) is an international sound designer. She was born in Finland, where she studied violin and moved to London in 2010 to train at Rose Bruford College. She is the sound designer of Esa-Pekka Salonen’s Cello Concerto, which had its world premiere
in Chicago in 2017 with Yo-Yo Ma as the soloist. She is an original sound operator of the multi-award-winning The Encounter by Simon McBurney of Complicite, which toured internationally, including in Ann Arbor, London, and Broadway. She is also the co-sound designer of Robert Wilson and Mikhail Baryshnikov’s Letter to a Man. Other sound design credits include Peter Pan Goes Wrong (London West End, UK and international tour); Black & White
(SJACC, Kuwait); Trying It On (UK tour,
RSC, Royal Court); End of the Pier (Park Theatre); Jelly sh (The Bush); This Restless State (The Oval House); Of Kith and Kin (Shef eld Crucible/The Bush); The Life (English Theatre Frankfurt); The Ballad of Robin Hood, A Study in Scarlet, Klippies, and In Lambeth (Southwark Playhouse); The Bunker Trilogy, The Frontier Trilogy,
The Capone Trilogy, and Sirenia (Edinburgh Fringe/International Tour); Chicken Dust (Finborough Theatre); Titus Andronicus (Arcola); Theatre Uncut (Theatre Uncut, Young Vic); and The Revenger’s Tragedy and Henry V (Old Red Lion Theatre). She was associate sound designer for Othello (Frantic Assembly), JOHN (DV8), and The Cripple of Inishmaan (Michael Grandage Company).
This week’s performances mark the Philharmonia Orchestra’s third and fourth performances under UMS auspices, following the Orchestra’s November 1955 debut in Hill Auditorium, conducted by Herbert von Karajan. The Orchestra most recently appeared in September 1986 under the baton of Giuseppe Sinopoli. UMS welcomes Esa-Pekka Salonen and cellist Truls Mørk as they make their UMS debuts this week.
Esa-Pekka Salonen / Principal Conductor and Artistic Advisor
Violin I
Zsolt-Tihamér Visontay Sarah Oates
Fabrizio Falasca Eugene Lee
Soong Choo Minhee Lee Eleanor Wilkinson Victoria Irish Adrián Varela Karin Tilch
Lulu Fuller
Erzsebet Racz Charlotte Reid Cassandra Hamilton Alessandro Cannizzaro Caroline Frenkel
Violin II
Tamás Sándor Emily Davis
Fiona Cornall Samantha Reagan Gideon Robinson Nuno Carapina Sophie Cameron Julian Milone
Jan Regulski Susan Hedger Helen Cochrane Marina Gillam Teresa Pople Emma Old eld
Yukiko Ogura
Nicholas Bootiman Sylvain Séailles Cheremie Hamilton-Miller Carol Hultmark
Michael Turner
Gijs Kramers
Linda Kidwell
Stephanie Edmundson Ellen Blythe
Rebecca Carrington Lucia Ortiz Sauco
Timothy Walden Karen Stephenson Richard Birchall Eric Villeminey Anne Baker
Ella Rundle Alexander Rolton Yaroslava Trofymchuk Miwa Rosso
Tessa Seymour
Tim Gibbs †† Christian Geldsetzer Michael Fuller Gareth Sheppard Simon Oliver
Josie Ellis
Philip Nelson
Mark O’Leary
Samuel Coles † June Scott
Kristin Hammerseth
Alto Flute
June Scott
Keith Bragg † Kristin Hammerseth
Tom Blom eld † Timothy Rundle †† Katherine Bryer
English Horn
Jill Crowther †
Mark van de Wiel † Jennifer McLaren Jordan Black
E- at Clarinet
Jennifer McLaren
Bass Clarinet
Laurent Ben Slimane †
Contrabass Clarinet
Laurent Ben Slimane †
Robin O’Neill † Shelly Organ Fraser Gordon
Luke Whitehead Fraser Gordon
Nigel Black *
Diego Incertis Sanchez Kira Doherty
Alex Wide
Carsten Williams Jonathan Maloney
Jason Evans * Mark Calder * Alistair Mackie *
Offstage Trumpet
Robert Farley †
Byron Fulcher * Philip White
Bass Trombone
James Buckle
Peter Smith
Wagner Tuba
Diego Incertis Sanchez Richard Berry Jonathan Maloney Carsten Williams
Antoine Siguré Elsa Bradley
Emmanuel Curt Paul Stoneman Peter Fry
Kevin Hathway Elsa Bradley
Heidi Krutzen Stephanie Beck
Alison Procter
Janet Simpson Alison Procter
†† Professor at the Guildhall School of Music and Drama
† Professor at the Royal Academy of Music
* Professor at the Royal College of Music
For Opus 3 Artists
David V. Foster / President and CEO Leonard Stein / Senior Vice President,
Director, Touring Division
William Bowler / Manager, Artists &
Tania Leong / Associate, Touring Division Irene Lönnblad / Tour Manager
Thomas F. Eirman / Stage Manager
  Volunteer for UMS as a UMS Ambassador
UMS is recruiting new volunteers! If you are passionate about the arts and looking for ways to be an advocate for UMS, we hope you will consider joining us.
UMS Ambassadors advance the goals of UMS, champion the organization’s mission through community engagement, provide and secure  nancial support, and assist in countless other ways. If you are passionate about arts advocacy and have a desire to connect with UMS on a deep level, the UMS Ambassadors may be a great match for you.
A few of our activities include:
• Hosting UMS events
• Greeting and ushering K-12 students at School Day Performances
• Producing fundraising events to raise money for UMS Education &
Community Engagement programs
• Assisting UMS on a project-by-project basis
For further information or to volunteer, please contact Cindy Straub at 734.647.8009 or via email at
3/15–16 Triptych (Eyes of One on Another) (world premiere) 4/7 Takács Quartet with Anthony McGill
4/12 The English Concert: Handel’s Semele
Tickets available at
3/14 Penny Stamps Distinguished Speaker Series:
The Creative Team of Triptych (Eyes of One on Another) (Michigan Theater, 603 E. Liberty Street, 5:10 pm)
3/15 U-M Master Class with Eric Owens
(Britton Recital Hall, Earl V. Moore Building,1100 Baits Drive, 2:30 pm)
3/15 Detroit Master Class with Lawrence Brownlee
(Carr Center at Detroit School of the Arts, 123 Selden St., Detroit, 2:30 pm)
3/15 Triptych (Eyes of One on Another) Pre-Show Talk: Richard Meyer on Robert Mapplethorpe
(U-M Institute for the Humanities, 202 S. Thayer Street, 6:00 pm)
Educational events are free and open to the public unless otherwise noted.
Menakka and Essel Bailey Endowment Fund
for International Artistic Brilliance
Supporter of this week’s performances by Esa-Pekka Salonen.
Peter and Julie Cummings

Bank of Ann Arbor

Conlin Travel

The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation
Supporters of this week’s performances by the Philharmonia Orchestra.

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