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Concert Program Cover

First Concert of the 38th Season


Sunday, November 7th, 1976
Manchester College Auditorium
Jack C. Laumer, Conductor

  Le Chasseur Maudit Cesar Franck  
  Suite from Romeo and Juliet Sergei Prokofieff  

1. Montagues and Capulets
2. The Child Juliet
3. Friar Laurence
4. Dance
5. Romeo at the Grave of Juliet

  Capriccio Italien Peter Tchaikovsky  

Program Notes

  Le Chasseur Maudit Cesar Franck

The symphonic poem Le Chasseur Maudit, composed in 1883, is a classic example of late romantic literature. Franck used a cyclic form: themes are transformed or motives recapitulated in subsequent movements. The cyclic form was his means of unifying an often loose, rhapsodic, rambling structure.

Le Chasseur Maudit (The Cursed Hunter) is based upon a ballad by German poet Gottfried August Burger. Franck's notes for the symphonic poem summarize the story of the Count of the Rhine, riding out to hunt, and provide a program for following the movements of the music:

I. "It was Sunday morning; in the distance there sounded the joyous ringing of the bells and the religious chants of the crowd - Sacrilege! The savage Count of the Rhine has sounded his horn."

II. "Hallo! Hallo! The hunt takes its course over grain fields, over meadow and moor ... Stop, Count, I beg you. Listen to the pious singing - No! - Hallo! Hallo! Stop, Count, I entreat you. Take care - No! - and the chase goes hurtling on its way like a whirlwind."

III. "All of a sudden the Count finds himself alone; his horse is loath to go further. The Count blows into his horn, but it will not sound again ... A voice dismal, implacable, curses him: 'Sacrilegious man,' it cries, 'be hunted forever by hell itself!'"

IV. "Then the flames leap up from all directions - The Count, seized by terror, flees, faster always faster, pursued by a pack of demons ... by daytime across abysses, at midnight through the air."

  Suite from Romeo and Juliet Serge Prokofieff

Prokofieff's ballet Romeo and Juliet was called the one truly great achievement of Soviet ballet of the 1930s. He finished the work in 1936, but the Bolshoi Ballet did not perform it until 1940, and the preparation for its performance was a struggle for all involved.

Prokofieff was commissioned to write the work, his first full-length ballet. The choreographer Lavrovsky and the dancers were critical of the work from the beginning: it was too lightly scored, the dances were too brief. They were not accustomed to such music, they were afraid of it. It was a striking contrast to previous ballets. There was some compromising by Prokofieff to add "weight and length" to the dances and gradually the ballet was realized. Ballerina Galina Ulanova, who danced Juliet, admitted: "The more we listened, the more we worked -- the more clearly emerged the images that the music created."

Prokofieff's powerful themes for solo dances dictated the pattern of the dance, and as Ulanova realized Prokofieff's pattern, her portrayal of Juliet growing from a mischievous girl into a tragic lover was considered one of the finest theatrical achievements of the age.

The two orchestral suites, drawn by the composer, were performed for several years before the full-length ballet made its premiere. Each suite has seven numbers, but the composer did not follow the order of the story in arranging sequence, trying to obtain more musical contrast and continuity. The suites are familiar to concert audiences -- strong, colorful and emotional. The numbers played today are from the second suite.

  Capriccio Italien Peter Ilyich Tchaikovsky

A trumpet fanfare, reminiscent of a nightly bugle call Tchaikovsky heard in Rome, opens this work based on dances and melodies of Italy. Tchaikovsky wrote this "caprice" following a trip to Italy from his native Russia in 1880. He has taken melodies, simple and folklike in character, to develop the central part of the work. The string of unrelated, contrasted movements is held together by the occasional recurrences of a passage from the opening. The final part of the work is a spirited tarantella, interrupted briefly by a tender melody for oboes.

Capriccio Italien has always beena  popular work, an excellent example of Tchaikovsky's spacious grand manner. Although it is based upon light-hearted Italian songs and dances, one can sense the characteristically Russian hand in its emotionalism.


Manchester Symphony Orchestra Personnel

  Violin I
Vincent Houser, Concertmaster
Carolyn Snyder +
Esther Carpenter
Eloise Guy
Jeremy Zank

Violin II
Christine Shenk *+
Carolyn Harlan +
Jean Dutton
Terry Worman
Andy Harper

Tim Beck *+
Denise Lutter
Naida Walker

David Kennedy *+
Sarah Kurtz +
Lowell Adams
Linda Moore

Mark Tomlonson *
Herb Ingraham
Cal Bisha

Jane Snyder *+
Becky Kinnie +
Jerilee Kinzie +

Stephanie Jones *
Carol Martin +

English Horn
George Blossom *

Lila Van Lue *+
Jane Grandstaff

Bass Clarinet
Bob Jones
Lovena Miller *+
Arlene Crist

Tenor Saxophone
Terry McKee

John Snyder *
Denise Reed +
Diane Daly +

Steve Hammer *+
Randy Replogle +
Bill White +
Rene Valencourt +

Larry Dockter *
Bruce Hughes +
John Reed +

Robin Crist *+
Jeff Courtright +

Diane Laumer

Diane Leverenz +
Linda Ross +
Kent Williams +
Glenn Hampson +

Piano and Celesta
Diana Holthius

* Denotes principal
+ Denotes MC student