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Concert Program Cover

Third Concert of the 37th Season

 

Sunday, May 9th, 1976
Manchester College Auditorium
Jack C. Laumer, Conductor

  Concerto Grosso in A Minor, Op. 3, No. 8 Antonio Vivaldi  
 

I. Allegro

   
  Elizabeth Kintner and Carolyn Snyder, violins  
       
  "Ein Mädchen oder Weibchen"
  from Die Zauberflöte
Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart  
  William White, baritone  
       
  Adele's "Laughing Song"
  from Die Fledermaus
Johann Strauss  
  Deborah Oberleas, soprano  
       
  Concertino for Piano and Orchestra John Alden Carpenter  
 

I. Allegro con moto

   
  Terry McRoberts, piano  
       
  Intermission  
       
  Concerto for 2 Pianos and Orchestra Francis Poulenc  
 

II. Larghetto
III. Finale (Allegro Molto)

   
  David Eicher and Lillian Miller, pianos  
       
  Capriccio Espagnol Nicolai Rimsky-Korsakov  
 

I. Vivo e strepitoso
II. Variazioni
III. Alborada
IV. Scena e canto gitano
V. Fandango asturiano

   
       

Program Notes
by Susan Favorite and Jean Norton

  Concerto Grosso in A Minor, Op. 3 No. 8 Antonio Vivaldi
(1678-1741)
 
 

Antonio Vivaldi, a late Baroque master, composed, conducted, and taught music in Venice, Italy. He is known as the greatest master of the Italian concerto and is especially noted for his use of the developing concerto grosso form. Following a modern trend, he composed idiomatically for the solo instruments, and his rhythmic precision and dynamic drive were unprecedented.

Opus 3, No. 8 in A Minor, composed ca. 1720, is a typical concerto grosso in its use of several soloists (2 violinists) contrasted with the orchestra. Today's selection, however, differs from the norm in that an important theme is initially presented by the solo group (concertino) rather than by the accompanimental orchestra (ripieno). This innovation occurs in teh violin's opening line of the first movement, Allegro.


 
       
  "Ein Mädchen oder Weibchen"
  from Die Zauberflöte
Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart
(1756-1791)
 
 

Amadeus Mozart, a child prodigy and prolific composer, wrote in all the contemporary art forms of the Classical period. His operas have enjoyed continuous popularity, among these Die Zauberflöte (The Magic Flute), a fairytale, composed in 1791, the year of his death. In The Magic Flute, Mozart adopted the Singspiel pattern of comic opera, in which spoken dialogue replaces recitatives.

An Egyptian prince and his companion set off into the woods in search of a princess whose mother, the Queen of the Night, has armed them with a magic flute and magic chimes, respectively. The prince, of course, finds teh imprisoned princess, falls in love with her, and must pass several tests in order to wed her. But his companion, Papagano, a birdcatcher and comical character, despairs, becoming suicidal in the last scene of the opera, because he still is without a wife. He describes his plight in today's song, rings the magic chimes (represented musically by the celeste), and his very own sweetheart suddenly appears.


 
       
  Adele's "Laughing Song"
  from Die Fledermaus
Johann Strauss, Jr.
(1825-1899)
 
 

Johann Strauss, Jr., best known as "The Waltz-King" of Vienna, followed a musical career in spite of his father's efforts that he enter business. Johann, Sr., "The Father of the Waltz," feared the potential rivalry of his son which was realized when Johann the younger conducted and performed with his own dance ensemble at the age of 19. He soon surpassed his father, composed for the imperial Habsburg family, and had written nearly 500 pieces of dance music before he died.

Die Fledermaus (The Bat) is considered to be Strauss' finest and best-loved operetta. In "Adele's Laughing Song," the singer is attending a masquerade ball. She mocks the "Marquis" who is actually her master, evading a prison sentence. He has recognized his maid, dressed as an actress in her mistress' finery. Adele laughs and deniees his accusation, knowing that he cannot prove it without disclosing his own identity.


 
       
  Concertino for Piano and Orchestra John Alden Carpenter
(1876-1951)
 
 

John Alden Carpenter, a native of Chicago, Illinois, began musical training under his mother and later composed ballets, orchestral works, string chamber music, works for chorus and orchestra, songs, and piano music. Music, however, was only his avocation: his primary occupation was with the family who ran a mill and railway and shipping supply business.

"Concertino" (as well as referring to the soloist group in a Baroque concerto grosso) is a piece in concerto style, but in free form, usually a single movement with sections of various speed anc character. Carpenter's work, though a multi-movement  composition, contains in its first movement, Allegro con moto, may changes of tempo, meter, tonality, and dynamics. Syncopated and jazz rhythms are frequent. The movement has suggested to some a conversation between two friends.


 
       
  Concerto for 2 Pianos and Orchestra Francis Poulenc
(1899-1963)
 
 

Francis Poulenc, born of a wealthy Parisian family, received quality instruction in piano at an early age. Despite his young ambitions to become a composer, he obeyed his father's wish and first received an academic education. Still, he studied music theory on the side, and after only three years of it, composed well, relying on instinct and aural exposure. His efforts attracted the attention of a Parisian music critic who enumerated Poulenc among six young composers singularly rejecting the impressionism and romanticism of the previous generation: "The French Six."

Today's Concert in D Minor, one of Poulenc's most frequently played works, aptly displays his knowledge of the keyboard. These two movements are full of simple tunes which typify his satirical and whimsical style. The two pianos are peers, handing the melodies back and forth, as the orchestra remains predominantly accompanimental.


 
       
  Capriccio Espagnol Nicholas Rimsky-Korsakov
(1844-1908)
 
 

Nicholas Rimsky-Korsakov acted as dean of the Russian music school at St. Petersburg. As a member of "The Russian Five," he worked together with Mussorgsky, Borodin, Cui, and Balakirev to cast off the French and German influences which had always dominated  Russian music, to create an indigenous and truly national music. Rimsky-Korsakov himself is particularly famed for his orchestration, the subject of this treatise and the subject in which he instructed the young Stravinsky.

The composer's ties with "The Five" broke down; his writing slowed, and it was with the Capriccio Espagnol (Spanish Caprice) that his quiescent period ended. This work in particular exemplefies the brilliant orchestrating ability of its creator. The national flavor, however, is Spanish and not his usual Russian. Rimsky-Korsakov points out that "the change of timbres, the felicitous choice of melodic designs and figuration patterns ... brief virtuoso cadenzas for solo instruments, the rhythm of the percussion instruments, etc., constitute here the very essence of the composition and not its garb."

The first of the suite's five movements, Alborada (Morning Song) contains two themes which appear in the full orchestra. The song returns as the third movement after Variazioni (Variations), a series of five variations of a theme presented by the horn. Scena e canto gitano (Scene and Gypsy Song), the fourth movement, begins with a drumroll and five cadenzas followed by a violin gypsy tune. The song leads directly into the last movement, Fandango asturiano (a provincial dance) which grows in intensity and finally recollects the Alborado theme.


 
       
 

Manchester Symphony Orchestra Personnel

 
  Violin I
Cynthia Burger *
Carolyn Snyder +
Beth Kintner +
Esther Carpenter
Dorothy Blackstone
Eloise Guy

Violin II
Christine Shenk *+
Harold Davidson
Ernest Zala
Betsey Rupp

Viola
Rob Curry *+
Gordon Collins
Carol Fortmeyer

Cello
Susan Favorite *+
Norman Waggy +
Loren Waggy +
Nancy Owen

Bass
Mark Tomlonson *+
Kevin Ryan +
Herbert Ingraham

Piccolo
Cynthia Rotruck +
Virginia Grove +

Flute
Jane Snyder *+
Cynthia Rotruck +
Virginia Grove +

Oboe
Stephanie Jones *
Clarinet
Robert Jones *
Lila Van Lue +
Mark Huntington +

Bassoon
Thomas Owen
Lovena Miller +

Horn
Gary A. Greene
Andrea Warnke +
Janet Tomlonson
Mark Bechtel +

Trumpet
Leonard Webb *+
Steve Hammer +

Trombone
Larry Dockter *
Chris Garber +
Phil Howard +

Tuba
Tim Webb

Percussion
Diane Laumer
Kent Williams +
Glen Hampson +
Linda Ross +
Diane Leverenz +

Harp
Bridgett Stuckey

Harpsichord and Celeste
Nolan Long +

* Denotes principal
+ Denotes MC student