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Concert Program Cover

First Concert of the 36th Season

 

Sunday, November 3rd, 1974
Manchester College Auditorium
Jack Laumer, Conductor

  Roman Carnival Overture, Op. 9 Hector Berlioz  
       
  Carmen Suite No. 1 George Bizet  
       
  Intermission  
       
  Brandenburg Concerto No. 2 in F Major, BWV 1047 Johann Sebastian Bach  
 

I. Allegro
II. Andante
III. Allegro Assai

 
  Robert Jones, conductor
R. Gary Deavel, harpsichord
Stephanie Jones, oboe
Jack Laumer, piccolo trumpet
Thomas Owen, soprano recorder
Vernon Stinebaugh, violin
 
       
  New England Triptych William Schuman  
 

Be Glad Then America
When Jesus Wept
Chester

 
       

Program Notes by Teresa Metzger

  Roman Carnival Overture, Op. 9 Hector Berlioz
(1803-1869)
 
 

Hector Berlioz (1803-1869), a Romantic composer, was not accepted by his peers and the public during his lifetime because his music deviated so from the accepted patterns of composition. He developed 1) new harmonies, by free use of diminished sevenths and by mediant and submediant modulations, 2) new colors, by adding more players for a richer sonority, 3) new expression, by specifying details of dynamics and phrasing, and 4) new forms, by using a recurring theme to unify a multi-movement composition, a technique called cyclic form. He was also the first composer to use musical instruments, especially the French woodwinds and brass, improved by technological and metallurgical innovations of the Industrial Revolution. Because of these innovations, found mainly in his first three symphonies (programmatic works), all subsequent composers of program music were indebted to him.

Because his compositions were unpopular, he was forced to support his family through articles or books written about music. His Treatise on Instrumentation and Orchestration (1844) was the first textbook of importance on this subject to ever be published.

His Roman Carnival Overture, a familiar work, is a concert overture composed in 1843. It uses themes from his then-unsuccessful opera Benvenuto Cellini. A brief introduction leads to a slow theme introduced by the English horn. This theme was a duet in the first act of the opera. The violas play the theme with a countermelody in the wind section and with a more lively accompaniment. The full orchestra plays the next restatement, answered in canon by the upper winds and strings, and with a dancing rhythm by timpani, triangle, side drums, and brass. The tempo accelerates with the entrance of a new theme in first the strings, then the full orchestra. A shorter melody is introduced, played in 4½ bar intervals. These melodies are developed in different keys and rhythms. The andante theme is then reinstated but in altered lengths and keys. A crescendo builds to the coda, which ends the piece with a flourish.


 
       
  Carmen Suite No. 1 George Bizet
(1838-1875)
 
 

George Bizet (1838-1875) composed during the Romantic period which existed from 1800 to 1880. A subjective, emotional quality characterized the music of this period and composers used greater freedom of form. The plots of many Romantic operas were sentimental and mythical. Bizet's rejection of such a plot for Carmen participated in a small but significant anti-Romantic movement towards realism.

Carmen, Bizet's most famous work, is one of the most popular operas ever written. It was first performed in 1875. The opera has four main characters: Carmen, a worker in a cigarette factory; José, a corporal; Micaela, a girl from José's home town; and Escamillo, a famous toreador. Carmen seduces José, who leaves Micaela and the army to join Carmen and a gypsy band of smugglers. Carmen then jilts José for Escamillo. The opera ends as José kills Carmen in a jealous rage.

The Carmen Suite No. 1 consists of six selections from the opera. The first movement is the prelude to Act 1. The second movement of the suite is the prelude to Act IV, before Carmen sees Escamillo for the final time. Castanets and a 3/8 meter create a Spanish feeling. This "borrowing" of another country's national musical style is known as exoticism. The prelude to Act III, preceding the smuggler's scene, has a slow, simple, and lyrical melody played by the flute, then the clarinet, and finally the full orchestra. The fourth movement is a theme from Act I. The fifth movement is the prelude to Act II, before the first entrance of Escamillo. The bassoons announce a short, staccato subject. Then the higher-pitched woodwinds play it. The sixth movement, the introduction to the opera, served to plunge the audience immediately into the fast pace of Seville with its Spanish music and Escamillo's famous "Toreador Song."


 
       
  Brandenburg Concerto No. 2 in F Major, BWV 1047 Johann Sebastian Bach
(1685-1750)
 
 

Johann Sebastian Bach (1685-1750) came from a family of musicians spanning six generations -- 1580-1845. It produced many good musicians and some famous ones.

Bach held positions as church organist in Arnstadt and Mühlhausen, court organist and concertmaster for the Duke of Weimar, Musical Director at the court of a prince in Cöghen and finally, Canto of St. Thomas School of Leipzig. He is one of the most famous Baroque composers, writing in all mediums of the late Baroque except opera.

Typical characteristics of the Baroque period (1600-1750) are 1) contrapuntal texture (the simultaneous combination of two or more melodies of equal importance), 2) improvisation and ornamentation, 3) tonic and dominant as the principal chords of harmony, and 4) concerto grosso (the contrasting of a group of soloists against a larger ensemble).

Bach composed the Brandenburg Concert No. 2 in F Major in 1719. it is one of six concertos written from 1718-1721 and dedicated to the Duke of Brandenburg. It is a concerto grosso. The large group or tutti is the stringed instruments of the orchestra. Trumpet, recorder, oboe, and violin, all high-pitched instruments, form the solo or concertino group.

In the first movement, Allegro, the tutti play the first theme. The soloists present the second theme. These themes are then exchanged among the tutti and concertino groups.

The second movement, Andante, is orchestrated for recorder, oboe, violin, and violincello. It uses basically one phrase constantly being exchanged among the instruments, sometimes in an overlapping manner.

The third movement, Allegro assai, is a fugue with the subject first stated by the trumpet. The tutti primarily accompanies the soloists, playing the fugue subject infrequently. Various countermelodies are present. The high register of the trumpet and the fast tempo give a bright feeling to the movement.


 
       
  New England Triptych William Schuman
(b. 1910)
 
 

William Schuman, (1910- ) is an american composer who attended Columbia University and was a composition student of Roy Harris. He has held various positions in academic institutions in the United States. He was a member of a group of American composers in the 1920s-'40s, including Aaron Copland, Roger Sessions, and Virgil Thomson, who wrote tonal music with emphasis on our American heritage.

Schuman's characteristics include a big symphonic style with interest on melody and rhythm rather than harmony, and an intensity of style both dramatic and sombre.

The following paragraphs appear on the musical score of New England Triptych and are requested by the composer to be printed in the program notes.

William Billings (1746-1800) is a major figure in the history of American music. The works of this dynamic composer capture the spirit of sinewy ruggedness, deep religiosity, and patriotic fervor that we associate with the Revolutionary period. Despite the undeniable crudities and technical shortcomings of his music, its appeal, even today, is forceful and moving. I am not along among American composers who feel an identity with Billings and it is this sense of identity which accounts for my use of his music as a point of departure. These pieces to not constitute a "fantasy" on themes of Billings, nor "variations" on his themes, but rather a fusion of styles and musical language.

I. BE GLAD THEN AMERICA

Billings' text for this anthem includes the following lines:

"Yea, the Lord will answer
And say unto his people - behold!
I will send you corn and wine and oil.
And ye shall be satisfied therewith.

"Be glad then America,
Shout and rejoice.
Fear not O land
Be glad and rejoice.
Hallelujah!"

A timpani solo begins the short introduction which is developed predominantly in the strings. This music is suggestive of the "Hallelujah" heard at the end of the piece. Trombones and trumpets begin the main section, a free and varied setting of the words "Be Glad Then America, Shout and Rejoice." The timpani, again solo, leads to a middle fugal section stemming from the words "And Ye Shall Be Satisfied." The music gains momentum and combined themes lead to a climax. There follows a free adaptation of the "Hallelujah" music with which Billings concludes his original choral piece and a final reference to the "Shout and Rejoice" music.

II. WHEN JESUS WEPT

"When Jesus wept the falling tear
In mercy flowed beyond all bound;
When Jesus groaned, a trembling fear
Seized all the guilty world around."

The setting of the above text is in the form of a round. Here, Billings' music is used in its original form, as well as in new settings with contrapuntal embellishments and melodic extensions.

III. CHESTER

This music, composed as a church hymn, was subsequently adopted by the Continental Army as a marching song and enjoyed great popularity. The orchestral piece derives from the spirit both of the hymn and the marching song. The original words, with one of the verses especially written for its use by the Continental Army, follow:

"Let tyrants shake their iron rods,
And slavery clank her galling chains,
We fear them not, we trust in God,
New England's God forever reigns.

"The foe comes on with haughty stride,
Our troops advance with martial noise,
Their vet'rans flee before our youth,
And gen'rals yield to bearless boys."


 
       
 

Manchester Symphony Orchestra Personnel

 
  Violin I
Vernon Stinebaugh, Co-principal
Kay E. Miller, Co-principal +
Tim Smith +
Esther Carpenter
Harold Davidson
Betsey Rupp

Violin II
Wendy Myers *+
Frank Horner +
Annette Dawson +
Judy Myers
Vera Wickline
Ernest Zala

Viola
Deanna Brown *+
Robert Curry +
Jeanine Wine +

Cello
Susan Favorite *+
Norman Waggy +
John Mann

Bass
Mark Tomlonson *+
Randy Gratz +
Kevin Ryan +
Herbert Ingraham

Piccolo
Muriel Snider

Flute
Paula Coutz *+
Jane Snyder +

Oboe
Stephanie Jones *
George Blossom
Clarinet
Robert Jones *
Mark Huntington +
Michel Steck

Bass Clarinet
Judy Shultz

Bassoon
Thomas Owen *
Arlene Crist +
Lovena Miller +

Horn
Steve Farnsley *
Cindy Whaley
Barbara Derr +
Mark Bechtel +

Trumpet
Leonard Webb *+
Steve Hammer +
Steve Likens

Trombone
Rob Lowe *
Bruce Hughes +
Loren Hoyt

Tuba
Joseph Griffith +

Percussion
Diane Laumer
Diane Leverenz +
Linda Ross +
Jim Tyler

Harp
Bridgett Stuckey

* Denotes principal
+ Denotes MC student