Thursday Evening, April 25, 2019 at 7:30 Hill Auditorium
48th Performance of the 140th Annual Season 140th Annual Choral Union Series
This evening’s recital is supported by Mr. and Mrs. Donald L. Morelock, Mr. and Mrs. Robert O. and Darragh H. Weisman, Ann and Clayton Wilhite, and the children of David M. and Marian P. Gates.
Media partnership provided by WGTE 91.3 FM and WRCJ 90.9 FM.
The Steinway piano used in this evening’s recital is made possible by William and Mary Palmer.
Special thanks to Tom Thompson of Tom Thompson Flowers, Ann Arbor, for his generous contribution of oral art for this evening’s recital.
Paul Lewis appears by arrangement with Maestro Arts.
In consideration of the artist 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.
Franz Joseph Haydn
Sonata No. 53 in e minor, Hob XVI:34
Vivace molto innocentemente
Three Intermezzi, Op. 117
Intermezzo in E- at Major, No. 1 Intermezzo in b- at minor, No. 2 Intermezzo in c-sharp minor, No. 3
Ludwig van Beethoven
Thirty-Three Variations in C Major on a Waltz by Diabelli, Op. 120
Tema Var.1: Var.2: Var.3: Var.4: Var.5: Var.6: Var.7: Var.8: Var.9:
Var. 10: Var. 11: Var. 12: Var. 13: Var. 14: Var. 15: Var. 16: Var. 17: Var. 18: Var. 19: Var. 20: Var. 21: Var. 22: Var. 23: Var.24: Var. 25: Var. 26:
Var. 27: Var. 28: Var. 29: Var. 30: Var. 31: Var. 32: Var. 33:
Alla marcia maestosa
Un poco più vivace
Allegro ma non troppo e serioso Un poco più allegro
Allegro pesante e risoluto
Un poco più mosso
Grave e maestoso
Allegro con brio
Molto allegro (alla Notte e giorno faticar di Mozart) Allegro assai
Adagio ma non troppo
Andante sempre cantabile
Largo molto espressivo
Tempo di menuetto, moderato
SONATA NO. 53 IN E MINOR, HOB. XVI:34 (1783)
Franz Joseph Haydn
Born March 31, 1732 in Rohrau, Lower Austria Died May 31, 1809 in Vienna
UMS premiere: György Sandor; September 1963 in Hill Auditorium.
Snapshots of History...In 1783:
· Great Britain acknowledges the independence of the United States of America
· The rst Waterford crystal glassmaking business begins production in Ireland
· George Washington resigns as commander-in-chief of the Continental Army, retiring to his home in Mount Vernon
The Haydn with whom music lovers around the world are familiar is still, by and large, the composer of the London symphonies and the great oratorios, works written around and after the age of 60. Of his string quartets,
too, the later sets are much more frequently performed than the earlier ones. It is all too easy to come to the conclusion that Haydn was a late bloomer who didn’t really hit his stride until middle age. In his earlier music, he was supposedly too indebted to the music of the preceding generation to speak in a voice of his own.
The vast majority of the keyboard music of the Classical era is made
up of sonatas — compositions in
two or more movements where
each movement adheres to a
speci c type: sonata-allegro, slow movement, minuet, and nale. Within this framework, Haydn’s 55 extant keyboard sonatas contain an amazing variety of styles and approaches. Some of Haydn’s most profound musical utterances may be found among the piano works.
Haydn usually associated the minor mode with heightened emotions; works in minor are often more intense and more agitated than their major- mode counterparts. The Sonata
No. 53 in e minor is no exception.
Its tempos are extreme: the opening movement is faster than usual (presto instead of allegro) and its second movement slower than usual (adagio instead of andante). The range of harmonies is rather wide, and so is
the range of pianistic techniques employed. In the rst movement, Haydn exploits the contrast between staccato (separated) notes and
legato (connected) ones, and the second-movement “Adagio” is a lavishly ornamented instrumental aria, with plenty of brilliant passagework surrounding a relatively simple melody.
For all the individuality of Haydn’s musical language, the Sonata in
e minor retains strong links to
the past: the rst movement is reminiscent of Domenico Scarlatti’s sonatas, while the last movement has the formal outline of a rondeau by
François Couperin. Two themes — one in minor and the other in major — alternate in this nale, with variations on both themes at each repeat. One would expect the last word to belong to the brighter and more comforting major mode, but in this case the opposite happens: it is the dramatic minor that “wins” at the end.
THREE INTERMEZZI, OP. 117 (1892)
Born May 7, 1833 in Hamburg, Germany Died April 3, 1897 in Vienna
UMS premieres: No. 1: Olga Samaroff; December 1906 in University Hall. No. 2: Vladimir Horowitz; March 1933 in Hill Auditorium. No. 3: Misha Dichter; October 1969 in Hill Auditorium.
Snapshots of History...In 1892:
· Ellis Island begins accommodating immigrants to the US
· The Pledge of Allegiance is rst recited
· The rst basketball game is played at a YMCA in Spring eld,
In 1892 and 1893, Brahms published a total of 20 short piano pieces as Op. 116–119, 14 of which are called “intermezzi” — not because they are interludes between two larger works but because the name connotes something light, transient, and inde nite.
The rst intermezzo of Op. 117
is a delicate piece in E- at Major, whose simple melody is in the middle voice, surrounded by complementary voices both above and below. The slower middle section is introduced by a transition whose stark unison melody does seem, for a moment,
to recall “Edward.” When the opening melody returns, it receives a special aura thanks to the exquisite embellishments Brahms added to it.
The gentle arpeggios of the second intermezzo (b- at minor) are “spiced” with some delicious minor-seventh clashes, and the undulating main idea contrasts with a more “sober” second theme which shifts from minor to major. After the recapitulation of the
rst melody, the coda is derived from a varied restatement of the second theme.
The stark unisons of the rst intermezzo return in the third (c-sharp minor), whose melody is consistently articulated in phrases that are ve measures long (not four as usual). Following a middle section introducing some more complex textures (always in ve-measure phrases), the recapitulation adds some harmonies to the melody that was previously played in unison, ushering in a peaceful conclusion.
THIRTY-THREE VARIATIONS IN C MAJOR ON A WALTZ BY DIABELLI, OP. 120 (1823)
Ludwig van Beethoven
Born December 15, 1770 in Bonn, Germany Died March 26, 1827 in Vienna
UMS premiere: Charles Rosen; February 1992 in Rackham Auditorium.
Snapshots of History...In 1823:
· Russian author Alexander Pushkin begins work on his novel
· 11-year-old Franz Liszt gives a concert after which he is personally congratulated by Ludwig van Beethoven
· Simón Bolivar is named President of Peru
For Beethoven, writing variation
sets involved an ongoing quest to uncover hidden complexities behind apparently simple surfaces. That quest, to be sure, informs all his music, and variation procedures — constant modi cations of an initial theme or rhythmic pattern — are present everywhere in his oeuvre. Yet sometimes Beethoven chose to focus exclusively on the variation idea,
and when he did so, he transformed the somewhat mundane genre he inherited from his predecessors into a transcendent and deeply personal form of expression.
Beethoven wrote more than 60
sets of variations, if one counts movements in larger works as well as self-contained sets. His rst published composition, at age 11, was a theme and variations on a march melody. Some of the early works follow the established standards of the day, providing conventional embellishment and changes of character. Soon, however, Beethoven began to explore new approaches to the genre, and
revolutionized it completely with works such as the Eroica Variations (1802) and the Thirty-Two Variations
in c minor (1806), both for piano solo. By the time he received the publisher Anton Diabelli’s request to contribute one variation to a planned anthology, his vision of what could be possible within the framework of that form
had far surpassed anybody else’s. He would not let go of Diabelli’s simple waltz tune, or rather it would not let go of him, until he had completed no fewer than 33 variations, amounting to a veritable encyclopedia of pianistic techniques and ways of looking at the world through music.
Diabelli’s waltz reached Beethoven in the early months of 1819, at a time when the composer was completely deaf, and had to rely on conversation books to communicate with the outside world. The waltz melody
has generated a certain amount
of controversy in the Beethoven literature; some felt it to be trite
and banal, others, like the in uential Donald Francis Tovey, found it “rich
in solid musical facts.” In any case, the waltz ignited Beethoven’s imagination, and within a few months, he had composed more than half
of the variations. Then he set the project aside, and apparently didn’t touch it for about three and a half years. During that time, he wrote his monumental Missa Solemnis and the last three piano sonatas, two of which contain sublime sets of variations.
He returned to Diabelli’s waltz in
late 1822 or early 1823 and nished the work by the end of April. In the meantime, Diabelli collected some
50 variations on his waltz by as many composers, whose ranks included Franz Schubert and an 11-year-old Franz Liszt. Beethoven’s work lled a separate volume, published by Diabelli in June 1823.
Program notes by Peter Laki.
This evening’s performance marks Paul Lewis’s second appearance under UMS auspices, following his UMS debut in November 2015 in Hill Auditorium in a performance of Beethoven sonatas.
Paul Lewis (piano) is internationally regarded as one of the leading musicians of his generation. His cycles of core piano works by Beethoven and Schubert have received unanimous critical and public acclaim worldwide, and consolidated his reputation as one of the world’s foremost interpreters of the central European classical repertoire. His numerous awards have included the Royal Philharmonic Society’s “Instrumentalist of the Year,” two Edison awards, three Gramophone awards, the Diapason D’or de l’Année, the Preis Der Deutschen Schallplattenkritik, the Premio Internazionale Accademia Musicale Chigiana, and the South Bank Show Classical Music award. He holds honorary degrees from Liverpool, Edge Hill, and Southampton universities, and was appointed Commander of the Order of the British Empire (CBE) in the 2016 Queen’s Birthday Honours.
He appears regularly as soloist with
the world’s great orchestras, including
the Boston Symphony, Chicago
Symphony, London Symphony, London Philharmonic, Bavarian Radio Symphony, NHK Symphony, New York Philharmonic, Los Angeles Philharmonic, and the Royal Concertgebouw, Cleveland, Tonhalle Zurich, Leipzig Gewandhaus, Philharmonia, and Mahler Chamber orchestras.
The 2016–17 season included Beethoven concerto cycles with the Melbourne Symphony Orchestra, the São Paulo State Symphony Orchestra, and the Royal Flemish Philharmonic Orchestra; appearances with the Orchestre de Paris and Daniel Harding, the Philharmonia with Andris Nelsons, Chicago Symphony with Manfred Honeck, and the Bavarian Radio Symphony Orchestra with Bernard Haitink. The current season sees the continuation
of a two-year recital series exploring connections between the sonatas of Haydn, the late piano works of Brahms, and Beethoven’s Bagatelles and Diabelli Variations.
Mr. Lewis’s recital career takes him
to venues such as London’s Royal
Festival Hall, Alice Tully Hall and Carnegie Hall in New York, the Musikverein and Konzerthaus in Vienna, the Théâtre
des Champs Elysées in Paris, the Concertgebouw in Amsterdam, and the Berlin Philharmonie and Konzerthaus.
He is also a frequent guest at the
some of the world’s most prestigious festivals, including Tanglewood, Ravinia, Schubertiade, Edinburgh, Salzburg, Lucerne, and the BBC Proms, where in 2010 he became the rst person to play a complete Beethoven piano concerto cycle in a single season.
His multi-award-winning discography
for Harmonia Mundi includes the complete Beethoven piano sonatas, concertos, and the Diabelli Variations; Liszt’s b-minor Sonata and other late works; all of Schubert’s major piano works from the
last six years of his life, including the three song cycles with tenor Mark Padmore; solo works by Schumann and Mussorgsky; and the Brahms d-minor Piano Concerto with the Swedish Radio Symphony Orchestra and Daniel Harding. Future recording plans include a multi-CD series of Haydn sonatas, Beethoven’s Bagatelles, and works by Bach.
Mr. Lewis studied with Joan Havill at the Guildhall School of Music and Drama in London before going on to study privately with Alfred Brendel. He is co- artistic director of Midsummer Music, an annual chamber music festival held in Buckinghamshire, United Kingdom.
TONIGHT’S VICTORS FOR UMS:
Mr. and Mrs. Donald L. Morelock
—Mr. and Mrs. Robert O. and Darragh H. Weisman
—Ann and Clayton Wilhite
—The Children of David M. and
Marian P. Gates
Supporters of this evening’s recital by Paul Lewis.
MAY WE ALSO RECOMMEND...
4/26–27 Martha Graham Dance Company
Tickets available at www.ums.org.
ON THE EDUCATION HORIZON...
4/26 Post-Performance Q&A: Martha Graham Dance Company (Power Center)
Must have a ticket to that evening’s performance by the Martha Graham Dance Company to attend.
4/27 You Can Dance: Martha Graham Dance Company (Ann Arbor Y, 400 W. Washington Street, 1:30 pm)
Educational events are free and open to the public unless otherwise noted.
Explore the 2019-20 UMS season online at www.ums.org.