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Concert Program Cover

Second Concert of the 31st Season

 

Sunday, February 15th, 1970
Manchester College Auditorium
David C. McCormick, Conductor

  A Short Overture Lawrence Widdoes  
       
  Oboe Concerto in F Major, F VII, No. 2 Antonio Vivaldi  
 

I. Allegro giusto
II. Grave
III. Allegro

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

I. Adagio molto - Allegro con brio
II. Andante cantabile con moto
III. Menuetto
IV. Adagio - Allegro molto e vivace

 
       
  Intermission  
       
  Carnival of the Animals Camille Saint-Saëns  
 

I. Introduction and Royal March of the Lion
II. Cocks and Hens
III. Hemiones (Wild Jackassese)
IV. Turtles
V. Elephant
VI. Kangaroos
VII. Aquarium
VIII. Characters with Long Ears
IX. The Cuckoo Deep in the Woods
X. Flying Creatures
XI. Pianists
XII. Fossils
XIII. The Swan
XIV. Finale

 
  Mary and Ruth Berkebile, piano
Dennis Bechtelheimer, narrator
 
       

Program Notes

  A Short Overture Lawrence Widdoes
(b. 1932)
 
 

After a slow introduction by trumpet alone, fast moving themes quickly carry the listener through the complete overture. The first part of the fast section returns at the end to frame contrasting material in the middle. Asymmetrical meters of five and seven pulsations create interest in comparison with symmetrical patterns of two, four and six pulsations.

Lawrence Widdoes is a graduate of the Juilliard School of Music and a student of Vincent Persichetti and William Bergsma. A Short Overture was written in 1962 while Widdoes was composer-in-residence in the Salem, Oregon, school system under a grant from the Contemporary Music Project of the Music Educators National Conference and the Ford Foundation.


 
       
  Oboe Concerto in F Major, F. VII, No. 2 Antonio Vivaldi
(1675-1741)
 
 

The Concerto in F Major is one of thirteen oboe concerti by Vivaldi. Inherent in concerto style is contrast between the solo instrument and the full ensemble, between loud and soft, and between tempi of movements. The first movement is fast, with uncomplicated rhythms providing constant forward motion. The opening theme in the tonic of F is repeated four times -- in D, A, and twice in F -- with other material between the repetitions. The slow second movement is an expressive arioso for oboe and unison violins. After the oboe begins alone, the violin section enters in contrapuntal imitation. As the oboe line becomes more complex with ornamentation, the violin line continually repeats the opening phrase. The second movement is unorthodox among works of its time in having only two voices with no bass line or keyboard accompaniment. The final movement is in the form of a gigue, a lively popular dance of the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries.


 
       
  Symphony No. 1 in C Major, Op. 21 Ludwig van Beethoven
(1770-1827)
 
 

Composed in 1800, Beethoven's first symphony is in many ways similar to works by his predecessors, but it also contains elements that his contemporaries criticized as shocking and revolutionary. Though in C major, the symphony opens with a chord that normally would precede the final tone of a piece in F. It is not until the slow introduction resolves into the Allegro con brio that the key of C is established, and when that resolution occurs the ear recognizes the introduction as having been an extended preparation for the tonal center C. The two main themes of the first movement are not unlike innumerable others of the time, though the first embodies unusual strength as it reiterates the tonal center C. The second theme provides contrast of a G tonal center and a lyrical style. The two themes are closely related by a broken-chord figure that appears melodically in the first theme and as accompaniment in the second.

The second movement provides contrast of tempo, style, and tonal center, in F. In sonata form, there are two contrasting themes, the first beginning simply in unison violins and then harmonized by contrapuntal entries of the same material and the second a graceful melody with a simpler accompaniment. The movement is unusual in combining delicate lyricism with rhythmic power that is most evident as the timpani repeats an insistent rhythm beneath thematic material.

The third movement was the most revolutionary aspect of this symphony. As was customary, Beethoven used the form of a dignified eighteenth-century dance -- minuet and trio -- but he set it to a tempo much too fast for dancing. The result was not a stylized dance, but rather a scherzo -- a light-hearted piece that became a standard form in subsequent symphonies. The movement is in three parts, with the opening and closing identical, and the middle a contrasting section in which primary interest is in dialogs between strings and wind instruments.

The last movement frequently is interpreted to be musical humorous. The slow introduction opens with a unison G folowed by violins sounding three notes of a scale; then four, then five, six, and a pause after seven scale notes. One famous conductor of Beethoven's day always omitted the introduction because he was certain that audiences would laugh at the playful scale. The full scale is heard as the opening of the first allegro theme, which is characterized by constant motion. The second theme, on the dominant G, is more relaxed. After a development dominated by scale passages the two themes are restated, though the second is not in the expected tonic of C. Instead, Beethoven achieved symmetry by restating this second theme in F, a fifth below the first, whereas it was initially heard in G, a fifth above the first theme. The subsequent coda section, rather extensive for its day, brings the listener back to the tonic C and reiterates that tonal center as it closes with hammered chords.


 
       
  Carnival of the Animals Camile Saint-Saëns
(1835-1921)
 
 

Carnival of the Animals was composed in 1886 to be performed by a small chamber ensemble of Saint-Saëns' friends. It is fine music, humorous, and a showpiece for duo-pianists. The humor is heightened by Ogden Nash's poetry, written in the latter 1940s, though certain of the poetic references -- Harry Truman's piano performance, the Andre Sisters' singing, hepcats, and others -- may require explanation for young listeners.

Some movements incorporate melodies from other well-known works. "Turtles" is based on a torturedly slow version of the "Can-Can" from Offenbach's Orpheus and the Underworld. "Elephant" uses motives from "Ballet of the Sylphes" of Berlioz' Damnation of Faust, and Mendelssohn's "Song of the Summer Night." "Fossils" includes the folk songs J'ai du bon Tabac, Ah! vous Dirai -- Je Maman, and Partant pour la Syrie; and air from Rossini's Barber of Seville, and a motive from Saint-Saëns' Danse Macabre.

Ogden Nash's verses will be read by Dennis Bechtelheimer, Manchester College sophomore and the some of Mr. and Mrs. John Bechtelheimer of Fort Wayne. Young Mr. Bechtelheimer has attracted considerable campus attention as a theatrical performer and director.


 
       
 

Manchester Symphony Orchestra Personnel

 
  Violin I
Vernon Stinebaugh, Concertmaster
Mary Berkebile
Ruth Berkebile
Pauline Cork
Gordon Collins
Harold Davidson

Violin II
Janet Mitchell *+
Vera Wickline
Becki Wilcox
Janis Eiler +
Ernest Zala
Leslie Bentley

Viola
Cora Shultz *
Edward Davis +
Mac Marlow

Cello
Mack Whitmore *+
Lenore Marlowe

Bass
Herbert Ingraham *
Samuel Flueckiger
Randy Gratz

Piccolo
Rayna Lubbs +

Flute
Patricia Brewer *+
Rayna Lubbs +
Oboe
Stephanie Jones *
Leta Cook

Clarinet
Robert Jones *
Evelyn Snyder

Bassoon
Thomas Owen *
Deborah Maurer +
Robert Leininger +

Horn
Jerry Eller *+
Janice Smith +

Trumpet
Donald Cook *+
John Albright +

Trombone
George Schneider *
Dan Garver +

Percussion
Paul Ingraham
Rachel Jamieson +

Piano/Harpsichord
Diana Eberly +

Irish Harp
Paul Ingraham

* Denotes principal
+ Denotes MC student
       
 
Mary and Ruth BerkebileMary and Ruth Berkebile play in the first violin section of the Civic Symphony Orchestra and in the Butler University Symphony Orchestra in addition to their piano performances. At the age of six they began the study of piano under Sisters of Providence, and continued their education with that order through college. After graduation from Saint Mary-of-the-Woods College the Berkebile sisters studied with Adele Marcus at Aspen, Colorado, and completed Master of Music degrees under David Berfield and harpsichordist Madam Alice Ehlers at the University of Southern California. They currently are being coached in piano performance by Frank Cooper of Butler University. Misses Berkebile reside with their parents, Dr. and Mrs. J. B. Berkebile, in Peru, Indiana, and commute to North Manchester and Indianapolis for their varied music activities.
Stephanie JonesStephanie Jones is principal oboist in the Civic Symphony Orchestra and the wife of Professor Robert Jones, principal clarinetist. Professor and Mrs. Jones were heard as soloists in the Mozart Sinfonia Concertante with the Civic Symphony Orchestra in November, 1968. A graduate of Wichita State University, Mrs. Jones has played in the Wichita Symphony Orchestra League conductors workshop orchestra; and she has taught in the public schools of Kansas and in the University of Montana summer music clinic. She currently is studying with Ray Still, principal oboist of the Chicago Symphony Orchestra.