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Concert Program Cover

First Concert of the 30th Season

 

Sunday, November 24th, 1968
Manchester College Auditorium
David C. McCormick, Conductor

  Dance Overture Burrill Phillips  
       
  Bassoon Concerto in F Major, Op. 75 Carl Maria von Weber  
 

I. Allegro ma non troppo
II. Adagio
III. Rondo-Allegro

 
  Leonard Sharrow, bassoon  
       
  Fugue and Chorale on Yankee Doodle Virgil Thomson  
       
  Intermission  
       
  Symphony Concertante in E-flat Major, K. 297b Wolfgang A. Mozart  
 

I. Allegro
II. Adagio
III. Andantino con Variazioni

 
  Stephanie Jones, oboe
Robert Jones, clarinet
Leonard Sharrow, bassoon
Thomas Listenfelt, horn
 
       
  Slavonic Dance, Op. 46, No. 1 Antonin Dvořák  
       

Program Notes

  Dance Overture Burrill Phillips
(1907-1988)
 
 

Like much other music written in America during the second quarter of the twentieth century, the Dance Overture utilizes sounds that are commonly associated with "American" as contrasted with "European" music. Themes in the style of square dances and a cowboy ballad have been placed in a sophisticated setting by the use of bi-tonal harmonies and whole-tone scales. Structural unity is achieved through skillfully varied repetitions and continual recurrence of intervals that appear in upper voices in the opening measures.

Burrill Phillips was educated in the public schools of Denver, Colorado, and at the Eastman School of Music. He has taught at the Eastman School and the University of Illinois and in 1960-61 served as a Fullbright lecturer at the University of Barcelona.


 
       
  Bassoon Concerto in F Major, Op. 75 Carl Maria von Weber
(1786-1826)
 
 

Because wind instruments are quite prominent factors in twentieth-century musical life we tend to be unaware that such was not always the case. During most of the nineteenth century, despite improvements in instrument construction and performance techniques, wind instruments were not used as media for major solo works. However, the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries had been golden times for wind players, and Weber's Bassoon Concerto is one of the final essays in its genre. It was composed in 1811 for a bassoonist in the Munich court orchestra. Weber was a great admirer of Mozart (an admiration made more intense by family pride in a cousin's marriage to Mozart) and, even though Weber is considered to have been the first German romantic composer, this concerto is a logical successor to Mozart's concerted works.

The first movement has two main themes, the first in a martial style and the second more lyrical. Both themes are stated and developed in the traditional sonata-allegro form. The brief second movement is much like opera arias of the period, with a bel canto melody and florid ornamentation by the soloist. The middle section of the movement is particularly interesting, being played by only two horns and the solo bassoon. The rondo evokes a jolly feeling, though its expression of humor is sublime to a degree that raises it above the clown category frequently assigned to the bassoon.


 
       
  Fugue and Chorale on Yankee Doodle Virgil Thomson
(1896-1989)
 
 

The Fugue and Chorale on Yankee Doodle is an excerpt from the moving picture score Tuesday in November of 1947. The ostentatious tongue-in-cheek piece opens with an overly pompous introduction reminiscent of Tchaikovsky's solemn 1812 Overture. The fugue, usually considered a very academic musical form, begins in the manner of a four-voice treatment of the subject, but as it progresses it becomes a set of variations rather than the academic fugue. The chorale, based on the introductory theme which is related to "Yankee Doodle" only in the first five notes, is a broad melody with full block harmony. The simple chordal texture is laced with a rapidly ascending and descending scale continually repeated. The chorale and accompanying scale inexorably swell to a climactic ending.


 
       
  Symphony Concertante in E-Flat Major, K. 297b Virgil Thomson
(1896-1989)
 
 

The Symphony Concertante was composed in 1778 at the request of four virtuosi from the famous Mannheim musical center who were at the time performing in the Concerts Spirituels in Paris: Wendling, flute; Ramm, oboe; Ritter, bassoon, and Stich (known as "Punto," for whom horn concerti were written), horn. At a later date the work was revised to include clarinet instead of flute. It is this latter version which is to be heard today.

As a musical form, symphony concertante is a hybrid of the baroque concerto grosso and the eighteenth-century classical symphony -- large and small ensembles are juxtaposed, yet the structure is that of the fully developed symphony.

Guest soloist Leonard Sharrow is joined by three orchestra members. Clarinetist Robert Jones is assistant professor of music at Manchester College, having come here in September, 1968, after teaching at the University of Montana, MacPherson College, and the Halstead, Kansas, public schools. Oboist Stephanie Jones is Mrs. Robert Jones, and along with her husband has had extensive performing experience, including membership in American Symphony Orchestra League Conducting Institute orchestras in 1966 and 1967. Hornist Thomas Listenfelt is a senior music student at Manchester College.


 
       
  Slavonic Dance, Op. 46, No. 1 Antonin Dvořák
(1841-1904)
 
 

Dvořák wrote sixteen Slavonic Dances, Opus 46 in 1878, and Opus 72 in 1890. Because of their popularity and commercial success they were published in one version for two pianos and another for orchestra. The dances are artistic stylizations of Czech folk dances. Dvořák employed characteristic rhythms of specific folk dances -- Opus 46, Number 1 is a Furiant -- but created original melodies. The Slavonic Dances are among the most colorful and popular nationalistic music, a popularity that has received new impetus during the current political turmoil in Czechoslovakia.


 
       
 

Manchester Symphony Orchestra Personnel

 
  Violin I
Vernon Stinebaugh, Concertmaster
Ruth Berkebile
Pauline Cork
Loretta Wood +
Lucina Eshelman +
Ernest Zala

Violin II
Mary Berkebile *
Mary Hornett
Vera Wickline
Linda Baker
Abby Huffman +
Myrna Grove +
Becki Wilcox
Stephen Wilson
Louis Durflinger

Viola
Ethel Anderson *
Cora Shultz
Mac Marlow
Gordon Collins

Cello
Mack Whitmore *+
Jerry Lessig
Barbara Smith
Lenore Marlowe

Bass
Herbert Ingraham *
Allen Johnson +
Samuel Flueckiger
Randy Gratz

Flute
Patricia Brewer *+
Kathleen Metzger +
Oboe
Stephanie Jones *
Leta Cook +
Freda Clark +

Clarinet
Robert Jones *
Diana Wine +

Bass Clarinet
Donald Shilts

Bassoon
Deborah Maurer *+
Robert Leininger +

Horn
Thomas Listenfelt *+
Jerry Eller +
Jeff Blickenstaff +

Trumpet
Donald Cook *+
Keith Currie
Stephen Likens +

Trombone
George Schneider *
David Voelker
Daniel Garver

Percussion
Janice Long
Edward Davis +
David English +

* Denotes principal
+ Denotes MC student
       
 
Leonard SharrowIf one man could be selected as America's leading bassoonist it probably would be Leonard Sharrow. He was born in New York City, attended elementary and secondary school there, and studied at the Juilliard School of Music. He has served as solo bassoonist with the National Symphony Orchestra of Washington, D.C., Buffalo Philharmonic, Detroit Symphony, NBC symphony, and the Chicago Symphony Orchestra. Indicative of his stature among musicians was his selection to record the Mozart bassoon concerto for RCA Victor with Toscanini conducting the NBC Symphony. He has appeared as assisting artist with such chamber ensembles as the Budapest String Quartet, Hungarian Quartet, Kolisch Quartet, and the Fine Arts Quartet. Mr. Sharrow currently is professor of music at Indiana University and is a member of the American Woodwind Quintet. His summers are devoted to teaching and performing in Aspen, Colorado.