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Concert Program Cover

First Concert of the 35th Season

 

Sunday, November 11th, 1973
Manchester College Auditorium
Jack C. Laumer, Conductor

  Suite from The Water Music George Frideric Handel  
 

I. Allegro
II. Air
III. Bourree
IV. Hornpipe
V. Andante espressivo
VI. Allegro deciso

 
       
  Tuba Concerto in F minor Ralph Vaughan Williams  
 

I. Prelude
II. Romance
III. Rondo alla Tedesca

 
  Carleton Greene, tuba  
       
  Intermission  
       
  Symphony No. 8 in B Minor ("The Unfinished") Franz Schubert  
 

I. Allegro moderato
II. Andante con moto

 
       
  On the Trail from Grand Canyon Suite Ferde GrofĂ©  
       

Program Notes

  The Water Music George Frideric Handel
(1685-1759)
 
 

George Frideric Handel was born in Halle, Germany, in 1685, just a few weeks before Bach's birthdate. Handel's great musical talent became evident at an early age. He traveled as a prodigy to Hamburg, the musical center of Germany. He went from there to Italy, where he studied and composed opera. At the age of twenty-one, he was already a triumphant success. Upon his return to Germany, he became Kapellmeister at the Court of the Elector George of Hanover. He soon left Germany for a visit to London, however. During that visit he achieved great success at the London opera and, though he was playing truant from his appointed post in Hanover, he remained in England. When George of Hanover became George I of England, he forgave Handel his truancy and appointed him music master to the two German princesses.

There are many legends concerning the composition of the Water Music. The most popular and probably the most accurate version states that the Water Music was written as "occasional music" for a water party given by the king. The king floated down the Thames on the royal barge followed by Handel and the musicians playing on a second barge. The king is said to have been so pleased by the composition that he requested the performance to be repeated that evening. That was no small request since the original work consisted of twenty-one movements.

Sir Hamilton Harty has chosen what he considers to be the six best movements of the Water Music and rescored those movements for the modern orchestra. The first movement, the Allegro, is antiphonal in character with musical phrases echoing from one section of the orchestra to another. It is cheerful music, abounding in trills and flourishes. The Air is a melodic movement, a song without words. The Bourree is a dance in a quick duple meter. This delightfully scored movement has an energy from within, and needs no artificial accents or dynamic changes. The Horn-pipe is a sailor's dance, done with folded arms and characteristic gestures and steps. In Handel's Horn-pipe an untiring melody is perpetuated by many sections of the orchestra. The Andante espressivo is an adaption of Handel's own Oboe Sonata. The expressive melody is especially well-suited to the higher woodwinds and strings and in the center of the movement we find the flute, oboe and clarinet echoing the melody exactly two beats behind the strings. The final movement of this suite, the Allegro deciso, is a Menuet. It is characterized by graceful dignity, a noble tribute to a king.


 
       
  Tuba Concerto in F minor Ralph Vaughan Williams
(1892-1958)
 
 

Ralph Vaughan Williams, born in 1892, was an advocate of national music. He believed not in "art for art's sake," but in art in a direct relationship to life. The composer must live with his fellow human beings and his art must express the whole life of the community, he said. Therefore, Vaughan Williams searched through the ancient folktunes of his country to find the expression of English music. Capturing the spirit of these folk tunes in his original works, he created a national music, clearly recognizable as English. He wrote melodies which are strong and lyrical, yet characteristically reserved in emotional expression. He lived to the age of 86 and was an active and prolific composer to the end. Vaughan Williams wrote The Tuba Concerto when he was 82 years old, at a time when he was also working on a choral work for Christmas and a violin sonata. His humility concerning his work is strikingly exemplified by Haydn's statement: "I have only just in my old age learned how to use the wind instruments, and now that I understand them, I must leave the world."

The Tuba Concerto certainly illustrates his understanding. Vaughan Williams has taken the tuba out of its traditional role as the bottom of the orchestra and displays it as a versatile, exciting instrument, capable of tremendous dynamic and tonal range and striking conrasting moods.


 
       
  Symphony in B minor ("The Unfinished") Franz Schubert
(1797-1828)
 
 

Schubert was born in Vienna in 1797. He showed great musical talent as a young man, and though he was plagued by poverty, illness and lack of recognition, he composed many beautiful and lyrical works, characteristic of the musical romantics. He died at the age of thirty-one in 1828.

The Symphony in B minor was written in gratitude to the town of Graz, Austria, which had elected him to its musical society. It later became known as the "Unfinished Symphony," since for an unknown reason, Schubert never wrote a third and concluding movement for the work. The manuscript for the Symphony was passed through several hands from a resident of Graz to the Society of the Friends of Music, but it was never performed during Schubert's lifetime.


 
       
  On the Trail from Grand Canyon Suite Ferde GrofĂ©
(1892-1972)
 
 

Ferde Grofe loved the outdoors and nature, and made many trips to the Grand Canyon in the early Twenties of this century. He became obsessed with the idea of composing music about the Canyon. He wrote the orchestral sketches, "Sunrise," in 1921, and "Sunset" in 1922. Ten years later he completed his suite about the Grand Canyon, adding three movements, "Painted Desert," "On the Trail," and "Cloudburst."

On the Trail describes a traveler and his burro descending the trail. Sharp hoof beats of the animal form the rhythmic background for the cowboy's song. They pass a waterfall oasis and approach a lone cabin, from which the sound of a music box is heard. The travelers stop to rest at the cabin and then go on at a livelier pace. This movement is the most popular of the suite. The orchestra begins by simulating the loud braying of the burro followed by a violin cadenza. The first theme is a graceful melody which gives the feeling of a burro walking. The second theme is a western style melody. Then the celeste plays the music box theme. We hear next the opening theme at a faster tempo and the movement ends as it began, with the braying of the burro.


 
       
 

Manchester Symphony Orchestra Personnel

 
  Violin I
Kay E. Miller, Concertmistress +
Tim Smith +
Vernon Stinebaugh
Carol Barr +
Gordon Collins

Violin II
Deb Wolf *
Annette Dawson +
Kathy Barnum
Louis Durflinger
Diane Ramsbey +
Vera Wickline

Viola
Deanna Brown *+
Mac Marlow

Cello
Susan Favorite *+
Norman Waggy +

Bass
Mark Tomlonson *+
Herbert Ingraham

Piccolo
Paula Coutz +

Flute
Bev Moore *
Muriel Snider +

Oboe
Stephanie Jones *
Eric Burkhardt +
Clarinet
Mark Huntington *+
Jamie Van Buskirk +

Bassoon
Thomas Owen *
Arlene Crist +
Lovena Miller +

Horn
Mark Bechtel *+
Jean Norton +
Lucy Wilson +
Becki Swantner +

Trumpet
Tom Molinaro *+
Carla Griebel +
Steve Hammer +

Trombone
Larry Dockter
Mary Yost +
Steve Wiser +

Tuba
Joseph Griffith +

Percussion
Diane Laumer
Steve Ditto +

Piano
Teresa Metzger +

* Denotes principal
+ Denotes MC student
       
 
Our guest soloist is a very talented young tuba player from New York City. Carleton Greene is currently a senior at the High School of Music and Art, a specialized school in the New York Public School System. He is studying tuba with Joseph Novotny of the New York Philharmonic.

Although very young, Mr. Greene has had wide experience as an orchestra member and solo performer. He has played in the High School of Music and Art Senior Orchestra, the New York All-City High School Orchestra, the American Youth Performer's National High School Orchestra, and the Cosmopolitan Young People's Symphony Orchestra. He recently became a member of the National Orchestra Association Orchestra, under the direction of Leon Barzin.

During the past summer, Mr. Greene performed as soloist with the Goldman Band at Lincoln Center and played under Eugene Ormandy in the Philadelphia Orchestra. Jack Laumer first became acquainted with this impressive young tubist at the High School of Music and Art, and he has followed his development and career for several years. Mr. Laumer believes that Carleton Greene will step into one of the great orchestras of our country to become a leading concert and solo tubist.