This Season

arrowPast Seasonsarrow

Concert Program Cover

First Concert of the 18th Season


Sunday, November 14th, 1956
College Auditorium
Vernon H. Stinebaugh, Conductor

  Overture to Stradella Friederich von Flotow  
  Symphony No. 1 in C Major, Op. 21 Ludwig van Beethoven  

I. Adagio Molto -- Allegro con brio
III. Menuetto
IV. Finale

  Dances from The Bartered Bride Bedřich Smetana  

I. Polka
III. Dance of the Comedians

  Concerto in D Minor for Two Pianos and Orchestra Francis Poulenc  

II. Larghetto
III. Finale

  Genita Speicher and Max Allen, soloists  

Program Notes by Professor Paul Halladay

  Overture to Stradella Friederich von Flotow

Of Friederich von Flotow's many operas, two are well known; "Martha" and "Alessandro Stradella." The first is a great favorite among opera lovers but the latter lives chiefly through its famous overture. While originally intended as an introduction to the drama, it makes a superb concert overture.

Stradella was a real-life person, a musician of the 17th century. In the story he was in love with Leonora. Bassi, a wealthy Venetian nobleman and guardian of young Leonora, wants to marry her. Bassi hires men to murder Stradella, but overcome and softened by the glorious singing of Stradella, the assassins, and even Bassi, abandon the scheme. All is forgiven and each is reconciled.

The overture opens with a beautiful organ-like Andante, announced by the horns. Later the full orchestra bursts forth with the theme. The following section is an Allegro Vivace, in which the strings, in a jovial manner, provide accompaniment for the first theme. This leads to a broad passage for full orchestra concluding with several well-punctuated chords. The second theme follows with a gay tune rather operetta style. There are slight hints of the first theme again followed by a definite return to it. The overture is brought to a close with a dignified, majestic coda.

Von Flotow, born in 1812 into a wealthy nobleman's family, was educated for diplomatic service, but his strong inclinations toward music turned him toward Paris in 1827 and the "die was cast." The remainder of his seventy-one years were given to music for the theater.

  Symphony No. 1 in C Major, Op. 21 Ludwig van Beethoven

The Viennese audiences of the late seventeen hundreds were accustomed to the elegance, the "clear as crystal" tonal beauties of Mozart symphonies and the rustic good nature of Haydn's music. Into this setting came the young Beethoven with a new kind of musical message. To him, music was more than beautiful architecture in tone; it was a deep expression of the soul.

This was the time when our forefathers were arguing with Mother England about recognition and liberties; it was the day when the French were calling for "liberty, equality, fraternity." Beethoven's music, too, spoke up for the individual. His earlier audiences, even the orchestral players, were somewhat mystified by this new spirit, its restlessness, its new sonorities. Beethoven himself, conducted this, his first symphony, in Vienne, April 2, 1800.

The work is in the customary four movements; today we are hearing movements I, III, IV. The first movement is in sonata form. Following a 12-measure introduction the violins launch the first subject or theme; the second theme heard first by the oboe and flute is in the contrasting key of G major. After a discussion or development of these two, we hear again a brief restatement of each theme.

Movement III, while labeled Menuetto, or Minuet, is really a scherzo. Beethoven usually substituted the jovial or "joking" scherzo for the more stately minuet of earlier composers.

The Finale opens with a brief adagio, after which the violins rush off in a wild dance. Some of the underlying harmonies are reminiscent of the Menuetto. This movement maintains a brilliance throughout, bringing this entire work to a spirited close.

  Dances from The Bartered Bride Bedřich Smetana

Bohemian nationalism in music reaches its first milestone in The Bartered Bride, an opera by Smetana. The composer, born in 1824, contributed richly to the culture of his country, and the world, in the areas of composition, music education, pianism, and the theater. A lingering illness took him at the age of sixty.

These two dances occur in the opera and both give the rich color and flavor of the countryside and village life; the music is effervescent throughout. A polka is a lively dance in 2/4 time, originating in Bohemia about 1830. The Dance of the Comedians is another country dance called a galop; by description it is a hopping round dance also in 2/4 time. It is performed, in the opera, by a group of strolling players who came to town. There is a verve and exhilaration in both these dances, in fact in the entire opera.

  Concerto in D minor for 2 Pianos and Orchestra Francis Poulenc
(b. 1899)

The contemporary composer, Francis Poulenc, is one of a group of French composers who sought to give a new surge of vitality to French music. The ideal in common among this loosely knit group of six, and known as "The Six," was the overthrow of Teutonic domination in the arts and a turning away from the atmospheric and veiled symbolism of impressionism.

Poulenc, born in 1899, has composed in a variety of areas -- chamber music, ballet, concertos, songs, and others. There is a spirit of exuberance and excitement in Poulenc's works and this concerto is no exception.

The term, concerto, indicates a composition for a solo instrument and full orchestra, each speaking on even terms. Here we have the delight of hearing two pianos, each with its own separate part, and the orchestra. The first movement is in brisk character with hints of Parisian cafés. The second, more songlike, suggests the simplicity of nursery rhymes and folk tunes. The final movement bounds with uninhibited gaiety, yet with the solid character of serious work. Poulenc is a capable craftsman in fusing these two differing qualities.


Manchester Symphony Orchestra Personnel

  Violin I
Marilyn Whitmore, Concertmistress +
Carol Stout +
Anita Bollinger +
Clara Buchanan +
Madonna Persons
Rosemary Manifold
Sue Weaver
Louis Durflinger

Violin II
Clara Logan *+
Dorothy Baer
John Barr +
Rosemary Bolinger
Dorothy Rautenkranz
Aletha Rautenkranz
Darlene Gall
Margaret Gable
Beverly Shull
Miriam McCleary
Judith Gottmann
Jeannie Trestrail
John Watson +
Kenneth Cripe +

Don Godlevski *+
Lloyd Hoff
Carol Arnold +
Betty Royer +
Verna Trestrail
Elaine Shilts
Cora Shultz

Vera Rink *
Guy Rumsey +
Janet Arnold +
Priscilla Lyman
Shirley Ash

Clyde Holsinger *
David McCormick
Raymond Stokes +
Earl Kelham +

Margery Martin *+
Alice Royer +
Betty Krieger +
Mary Lou Smith *
Susan Fox
Elaine Wear +

Jerry Royer *+
Richard Berg +
Larry Thompson +

Hugo Fox *
Gloria Samuelson +

Phil Shellhaas *+
Joan Whitacre +
Pat Leckrone
Albert Trestrail

Howard Royer *+
Jan Melvin +

Gerald Miller *
Bobb Keaffaber +
Joel Haney (Bass)

David Eberly

Louella Rasor

Kenneth Bush +
John Sprinkle +
Sally Johnson

Piano (Harp)
Marlene Brenneman +

* Denotes principal
+ Denotes MC student
Genita Speicer and Max AllenMrs. Paul Speicher and Mr. Max I. Allen, duo-pianists who are appearing in today's concert, have been working together as a team for the past seven years, both as duo-pianists and piano-organ performers.

Mrs. Speicher has studied piano and organ with several of the mid-west's outstanding teachers, including Charles Marsh, A.G.O., now of LaJolla, California, and Glen Dillard Gunn of the Chicago Musical College from which school she received her Bachelor of Music degree. Continuing her education, she was granted her Master of Music degree from the Chicago Conservatory of Music and has since studied with Hugh Price and Dr. Leo Podolsky of the Sherwood Music School, as well as Charles Demorest and Gordon Wedertz of the Chicago Music College.

Mr. Allen first studied piano under the late Murl Barnhart, teacher at Manchester College, and after having received his Bachelor of Science in Music Education degree, continued musical training under Esther Oehlrigh, formerly organ professor of Wittenburg College. While working on his Bachelor of Fine Arts degree at the Art Institute of Chicago, he played weekly recitals in Blackstone Hall and studied organ with Prof. Porter Heaps, organist for Northwestern's Thorne Chapel. At Indiana University, where he received his Masters of Fine Arts degree, Mr. Allen also studied organ with Prof. George Y. Wilson.

Mrs. Speicher and Mr. Allen have been faculty members of Manchester College since 1947 and 1939, respectively, and in the past seven years have appeared many times locally and in the mid-west area in both duo-piano and piano-organ recitals and dedication programs.
Congratulations are extended to Mrs. Leigh B. Freed who is President this year of the Indiana Federation of Music Clubs.

A special vote of thanks is due the students of the Chester Township High School Art Class who, with their teacher Mrs. Max Allen, constructed the orchestra exhibit in the window of the Public Service Company.

The second concert of the season will be on Sunday, February 4, at our usual auditorium in Central High School. Plans are being made for a symphonic selection featuring demonstration solos by each type of instrument in the orchestra. It is hoped this will be of particular interest to the young people of the area, to whom our second concert is traditionally directed.