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Concert Program Cover

Second Concert of the 39th Season

 

Sunday, October 30th, 1977
Manchester College Auditorium
James Baldwin, Conductor

  Overture to Die Entführung aus dem Serial, K. 384 Wolfgang A. Mozart  
       
  Symphony No. 104 in D Major ("London") Joseph Haydn  
 

I. Adagio/Allegro
II. Andante
III. Menuetto: Allegro
IV. Finale: Spiritoso

 
       
  Intermission  
       
  Symphony No. 8, Op. 88 Antonín Dvořák  
 

I. Allegro con brio
II. Adagio
III. Allegretto grazioso
IV. Allegro ma non troppo

 
       

Program Notes by John H. Planer

  Overture to Die Entführung aus dem Serial, K. 384 Wolfgang A. Mozart
(1756-1791)
 
 

Mozart composed his three-act operetta Die Entführung aus dem Serial -- The Abduction from the Seraglio in English -- between July of 1781 and May of 1782 in Vienna. The term "seraglio" refers to the palace of a sultan or to his harem. Technically Mozart's work is a Singspiel rather than a comic opera (opera buffa) or serious opera (opera seria) because the text is in German rather than Italian, because some of the dialogue is spoken rather than sung, and because the dramatic conflict resolves happily. Mozart derived the plot from his earlier Singspiel Zaide, K. 344.

The libretto of Die Entführung aus dem Serial is an intriguing combination of romantic and classical elements. romantic features include exoticism and a dramatic, "rescue plot" -- escape, capture, and release from a Turkish harem. this subject was popular throughout Europe in the 1770s. Perhaps Dryden's play Don Sebastian (1690) was the progenitor. In England a comic opera based upon Dryden's play and entitled The Captive was produced in 1769; six years later Bickerstaffe entitled his version The Sulutan; or a Peep into the Seralgio. In European art of the 1770s, Near Eastern exoticism, dramatic rescues, and captives or prisoners were all popular subjects. Among the elements derived from classical French comedy are the two pairs of lovers, the eventual triumph of their love, and the magnanimous tyrant -- the sultan.

Mozart reflected the sounds of the Near Eastern Janissary band by his orchestration, which included a piccolo, trumpets, clarinets, triangle, cymbals, tympani, and bass drum. Mozart's fascination with music of the Near East also appears in his incidental music to Thamos, King of Egypt (K. 345) and various rondos labelled "Alla Turca." Nevertheless the clear forms of Mozart's overture to Die Entführung aus dem Serial, the balanced phrases composed of short motives, and the functional harmonies are classical ideals.

The over to Die Entführung is not independent: the opening aria is necessary to return to the tonic key and to conclude the movement. However, Johann Andre, or possibly his son Johann Anton Andre, composed a concert ending, which made the overture autonomous. Material from the opening section returns in the tonic key, resulting in a sonata form with a mid-section whose key, meter, tempo, and melodic material contrast with the framing sections. Numerous fermatas in this mid-section frequently disrupt the pulse and thereby provide additional contrast with the other sections. If the overture lacks the complexities or profundities of some of Mozart's later works, the lightness and clarity of the music well suits the Singspiel which follows.


 
       
  Symphony No. 104 in D Major ("London") Joseph Haydn
(1730-1809)
 
 

Haydn's Symphony No. 104 in D Major, called the "London" symphony, is one of twelve "London Symphonies" commissioned by the impressario Johann Peter Salomon for trips which Haydn made to London in 1791-92 and 1794-95. For each trip Salomon commissioned six new symphonies and planned several series of subscription concerts. The score of the D major symphony, preserved in the German State Library in Berlin, contains the date 1795 and the English superscript, "The 12th which I have composed in England." Perhaps English influence is most evident in the fourth movement, where Haydn used the popular English street song "Red Hot Buns" as the primary theme. According to the numbering system established by Eusebius Mandyczewski in 1907, this is number 104 -- Haydn's last symphony. Despite some errors in chronology, Mandyczewski's list is relatively reliable and hence remains in use.

The "London" symphony displays many characteristics of Haydn's late style. Perhaps the most intriguing is Haydn's delight in rhythmic, formal and harmonic surprise. Although the pulse is regular, unexpected measures of silence, fermatas, sections of regularly-spaced cross-accents, abrupt shifts from short note-values to long ones, and unexpected shifts of tempo tend to negate that underlying regularity. Thus while the rhythmic drive is fundamentally classical, the desire for greater variation or subjectivity in the pulse makes Haydn's late works somewhat romantic.

Haydn's forms and harmonies also furnish surprises. In the minuet and tri, for example, Haydn extends the trio unexpectedly before repeating the minuet. Concerning that movement, the Haydn scholar H.C. Robbins Landon notes that the tempo of the minuet is unusual for the marking allegro is considerably faster than a minuet yet hardly a scherzo. Haydn, like Bach and Beethoven, often combines effectively several different formal principles in one movement. For example, the Andante of the "London" symphony uses elements of ternary design, theme and variations, and even occasional development. Unexpected harmonic shifts also add color. For example, the minuet is in D major, but the trio is in the remote key of B-flat major.

Haydn's Symphony in D Major, written when the composer was sixty-three, is a vigorous work. Not only had Haydn helped establish the style of music we now call "classical," but many of his lat works also helped inaugurate the romantic period.


 
  Symphony No. 8 in G Major, Op. 88 Antonín Dvořák
(1841-1904)
 
 

Dvorak's Symphony No. 8 in G Major was formerly known as Dvorak's fourth symphony. Because the composer's first two symphonies were not published and because two others were published posthumously, the revision in numbering became necessary. Thus the "New World Symphony," formerly number five, is now number nine.

Antonin Dvorak began the eighth symphony in late August, 1889, and completed it in early November -- in less than two and one-half months. It is sometimes called his "English" symphony because the London firm of Novello & Co. was the first to publish it. The claim of Sir Donald Tovey, the English musicologist, that Dvorak tried to accomodate his symphony to English taste seems unlikely. The first performance occurred on February 2, 1890, in Prague with Dvorak conducting. The symphony was received warmly. After the premier in Vienna, the conductor, Hans Richter, wrote to Dvorak, "All of us felt that it is a magnificent work, and so we were all enthusiastic. Brahms dined with me after the performance and we drank to the health of the unfortunately-absent father of No. 4."

Dvorak dedicated the symphony "To the Bohemian Academy of Emperor Franz Joseph for the Encouragement of Art and Literature" after he had been elected a member. That, however, did not prevent him from offering the same work to the University of Cambridge, when it awarded Dvorak an honorary doctorate in 1891 -- exactly one hundred years after Haydn had received an honorary doctorate from Oxford University, for which he had submitted his "Oxford" Symphony, No. 92, also in G major.

Dvorak's G Major Symphony has the traditional four movements of a classical symphony: allegro, adagio, an allegretto in triple meter, and allegro. For 1889 the orchestra is fairly small: paired flutes, oboes, clarinets, bassoons, trumpets, and trombones, plus piccolo, English horn, four French horns, bass trombone, tuba, tympani, and strings. In this respect Dvorak's symphony is a direct descendent from the tradition of Haydn, Mozart, Beethoven, Schubert, and Brahms rather than Liszt, Berlioz, or Wagner. Perhaps comparison of Dvorak's G Major Symphony with the symphonies of Brahms is most apt for the works are similar and the men were personal friends. Early in Dvorak's career, Brahms had helped him arrange for the firm of Simrock in Berlin to publish his works.  Simrock became Dvorak's primary publisher and helped establish his reputation in Germany, England, and the United States.

The symphonies of Dvorak, like those of Brahms, are primarily absolute rather than programmatic. Many of the conventions of the classical symphony are retained, albeit expanded greatly. New sections are clearly delineated; much of the melodic material is motivic and thus capable of dramatic development. Although the expanded harmonic vocabulary is that of the nineteenth century, Dvorak, like Brahms, was more interested in affirming and preserving clearly-defined tonal centers rather than negating them. Thus chromaticism occurs with in tonal contexts.

Yet Dvorak was no slavish imitator of Brahms. Dvorak's melodies have fewer wide leaps; he prefers thinner textures; he seldom interrupts his melodic material as abruptly as Brahms does; he generally prefers pure tone colors rather than doubling the same melody with different instrumental timbres. Whereas some hav criticized Brahms' orchestration as being "thick" or "muddy," the horn trills and pizzicato effects in Dvorak's work are vivid and effective. Finally, Dvorak's music often incorporates elements of Czechoslovakian folk melodies and harmonies.

The first movement is in sonata form. The second movement is a sonata-rondo design in which the string and wind choirs alternate. It features lovely solos for the woodwinds and first violin. The third movement is in ternary form with a coda; its mid-section features the winds, as did many of the classical minuets and trios. The fourth movement combines elements of both ternary and variation forms.


 
       
 

Orchestra Personnel

 
  Violin I
Ervin Orban, Concertmaster
Carolyn Snyder +
Esther Carpenter
Martha Geissler
Ernest Zala

Violin II
Terry Worman *
Jean Dutton
Marcy Bogert
David Hagy
Beth Devereaux

Viola
David Taggart *
Cynthia Orban
Denise Lutter

Cello
Carol Oberhausen *
Loren Waggy +
Lurene Ekwurtzel

Bass
Adrian Mann *
Mark Tomlonson
Jerry Whipkey +
Kevin Ryan +

Piccolo
Kay Spangler +

Flute
Myra Brubaker *
Becki Kinne +
Kay Spangler +

Oboe
Stephanie Jones *
Laura Swantner +
Clarinet
Lila Van Lue +
Tim Clark +

Bassoon
Thomas Owen *
Amy J. Smith +

Horn
Jonathan Snyder *+
Philip Landis +
Teresa Rice +
Sharon West +

Trumpet
Randy Replogle *+
Bill White +

Trombone
Larry Dockter *
Bruce Hughes +
Bill Anders

Tuba
Sam Gnagey

Timpani
Kenneth Jordan

Percussion
Mary Baldwin +
Julie Garber +
Harriet Hamer +

* Denotes principal
+ Denotes MC student