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Concert Program Cover

Second Concert of the 39th Season

 

Sunday, April 16th, 1978
Manchester College Auditorium
James Baldwin, Conductor

  Concerto Grosso in D Minor, Op. 3, No. 11 Antonio Vivaldi  
 

I. Allegro
II. Largo e spiccato
III. Allegro

 
  Ervin Orban, violin
Terry Worman, violin
Lurene Ekwurtzel, cello
 
       
  Piano Concerto in A Major, K. 488 Wolfgang A. Mozart  
 

I. Allegro
II. Adagio
III. Allegro assai

 
  Diana Holthuis, piano  
       
  Intermission  
       
  "Seguidilla" from Carmen Georges Bizet  
  Sandra Miller, mezzo-soprano  
       
  "Si può?" (prologue) from Pagliacci Ruggiero Leoncavallo  
  William White, baritone  
       
  "Leise, leise" from Der Freischütz Carl Maria von Weber  
  Rebecca Heusel, soprano  
 

Miss Miller, Mr. White and Mrs. heusel are winners of this year's student soloist auditions. Miss Lila VanLue, clarinet, and Miss Amy Smith, bassoon, are also winners of this year's auditions. They will be presented on the first concert of the 1978-1979 season.

 
       
  Symphony No. 2 ("Romantic") Howard Hanson  
 

1. Adagio / Allegro moderato
2. Andante con tenerezza
3. Allegro con brio

 
       

Program Notes

 

This program represents a rescheduling of our second concert, which was to have been given on February 19. We were forced to postpone because of electrical energy restrictions.

We are combining that repertoire with a portion of our third concert repertoire in a single program to complete the season.


 
  Concerto Grosso in D Minor, Op. 3, No. 11 Antonio Vivaldi
(1678-1741)
 
 

Around 1700, Antonio Vivaldi composed a collection of twelve concerti grossi entitled L'Estro armonico, or "Harmonic Inspiration." Around 1712 it was published as Vivaldi's Opus 3. These concerti grossi contrast a small ensemble of strings with a larger ensemble. In ten concerti the solo instruments are one to four violins; in the remaining two concerti two violins and a cello are the soloists.

The Concerto Grosso in D Major, Number 11 has the traditional three movements in the sequence fast-slow-fast; Allegro, Largo e spiccato, and Allegro. The first movement consists of three sections: the first introduces the three soloists, who imitate each other's figuration over a constant D pedal; in the second section the full ensemble plays a slow, harmonic, non-imitative transition; the third section is fugal. The second movement is a Siciliano, a baroque dance characterized by compound duple meter, dotted rhythms, a slow tempo, and arpeggiated accompaniment, and frequent Neapolitan sixth-chords. The third movement contrasts the soloists with the full ensemble.

Johann Sebastian Bach arranged Vivaldi's Concerto Grosso in D Major for organ. Bach's eldest son, Wilhelm Friedemann Bach, inherited the manuscript from his father and plagiarized the work, by claiming the work as his own and by asserting that his father, Johann Sebastian, had merely copied his son's composition. In the nineteenth century the concerto was also arranged for piano.

A steady pulse, unbalanced or irregular phrases, and repeated notes and chords characterize much of Vivaldi's music. Fast movements often contain relatively little dissonance, whereas in slow movements the dissonances are deeply expressive. Vivaldi's music consists of independent melodic lines of equal importance which may or may not imitate each other. Short motives quickly define keys, and Vivaldi emphatically affirms tonal centers. For harmonic variety Vivaldi either moves sequentially around the circle of fifths or else builds his harmonies upon an ascending or descending melodic line in the bass. These characteristics impart both excitement and charm to Vivaldi's music.


 
       
  Piano Concerto in A Major, K. 488 Wolfgang A. Mozart
(1756-1791)
 
 

Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart completed his Piano Concerto in A Major, K. 488, in Vienna on march 2nd, 1786. It was Mozart's nineteenth piano concerto, but it often bears the number twenty-three because it was the twenty-third piano concerto to be published in the first, critical edition of Mozart's complete works. The year 1786 was productive, for Mozart also completed his Piano Concerto in C Minor, K. 491; the opera The Marriage of Figaro, K. 492; the comic opera Def Schauspieldirektor, K. 486; the String Quartet in D Major, K. 499; the Piano Concerto in C Major, K. 503; the "Prague" Symphony, Number 38, K. 504; and assorted trios, variations, concerted movements, songs, canons, rondos, and operatic scenes.

The Piano Concerto in A Major contains the traditional three movements: Allegro, Adagio, and Allegro assai, but the orchestra is small: strings, one flute, two clarinets, two French horns, and two bassoons. The clarinets replace the two oboes; trumpets and tympani are absent. The key of A major is not frequently found among Mozart's late works, as the English writer Cuthbert Girdlestone noted, but the String Quartet, K. 464 and the Clarine Concerto, K. 622, are both in that key. The first movement has a quadruple meter and is in the expected sonata form with a cadenza near the end. The second movement is ternary. The third movement is a lively rondo.

The term "concerto" comes from the Latin word concertar -- to contend or dispute. Descriptions of concerti often personify the contending instruments, as in Girdlestone's description of the third movement of Mozart's Piano Concerto in A Major.

The solo has asserted itself by capturing the refrain first; the orchestra has lost its primacy and has to make up for this loss by the length of its subsequent speech. It failed to put in the first word; at least, once its turn has come, it will speak lengthily. Hence the multiplicity of its themes, thanks to which it impresses as deeply as its rival. When the instruments open the debate, they feel less keenly the need of counterbalancing the solo and their prelude is nearly always short.

Piano concerti have especially vivid contrasts for the piano, a percussive stringed instrument which can accompany its own melodies, contends with a much larger force of bowed strings, woodwinds, and brass, which can sustain their notes easily. The composer balances this struggle by giving important melodies first to one group and then to the other, by making the piano accompany the orchestra and vice versa, by having the contenders alternate, or by allowing different instruments to ornament and develop the themes.

Mozart cannot compare with Haydn as an innovator. Haydn was far more daring in his experimentation with new forms, development of new media, creative arrangements of various numbers of movements, and his rhythmic and harmonic explorations. Mozart's genius lay in different areas. First, Mozart was a dramatist. His most important works feature either human conflicts, as in his operas, or dramatic contrasts between instruments. Tonal stability balances areas which are harmonically unstable; irregular motives are repeated and combined to form eight- or twelve-measure phrases. Haydn's music often is ucertain or surprising, but Mozart's music is dramatic. Second, Mozart's music is cerebral as well as sensual. he uses the conventions of the late eighteenth century, but often he teases the listener by prolonging the tensions and then either confirming or refuting the expectations; predictable, Mozart is not. Third, Mozart expanded the media and forms he had inherited. For example, he gave far more prominence to the woodwinds, added subsidiary themes to lengthen movements, and synthesized ideas and techniques of other composers, such as Bach. Thus the geniuses of Haydn and Mozart were profoundly different yet complimentary.

The Piano Concerto in A Major reveals Mozart's genius clearly. Yet whether the music is analyzed critically or enjoyed sensually, it is nonetheless elegant and yet sensitive, clear yet also subtle, beautiful yet profound.

John H. Planer


 
       
  "Seguidilla" from Carmen Georges Bizet
(1838-1875)
 
 

Carmen has stabbed a woman in a knife fight and has been arrested by Don José, a soldier on guard duty. In this aria, she hints that he should let her escape and suggests that they meet later at the tavern of Lillas Pastia.

Near the walls of Seville at the house of my friend Lillas Pastia, I will go to dance the Seguidilla and drink Manzanilla. I will go to my friend Lillas Pastia. yes, but i's boring to be all alone; the true pleasures are for two! So, to keep me company, I'll take my lover with me. My lover? he's gone to the devil. I threw him out yesterday! My poor heart is very consolable; my heart is free as air! I have escorts by the dozen, but they don't suit my fancy. It is the end of the week; who wants to love me? I will love him! Who wants my soul? It's there for the taking! You have come at a good time! I have no time to wait for with my new lover I will go near the walls of Seville to my friend Lillas Pastia's. We will dance the Seguidilla and drink Manzanilla -- tra-la-la!


 
       
  "Si Può?" (Prologue from Pagliacci) Ruggiero Leoncavallo
(1857-1919)
 
 

Tonio, costumed as a clown in the old Italian commedia dell'arte, comes before the curtain to present the central message of the play that is about to begin.

May I? Ladies and gentlemen, excuse me if I present myself alone. I am the Prologue. The author wishes to put the old characters on  the stage again and to take, in part, the old customs. So he sends me to you, but not to tell you as in the old days, "The tears we shed are false; do not be alarmed by our torments and suffering!" No, the author has chosen instead to paint a slice of life for you. His only theme is that the artist is a man and he must write for men. Truth was his inspiration. A nest of memories in the depth of his soul sang one day, and he wrote with real tears and sobs beat the time for him. Now then, you will see love, the wretched fruits of hate, and spasms of sadness; you will hear howls of rage and cynical laughter! And you, consider our souls rather than our actors' costumes, for we are men of flesh and bone. We breathe the air of this orphan world the same as you. I have told you the theme; now listen to how it is unfolded. Let's go! Begin the play!


 
       
  "Leise, leise" (from Der Freischütz) Carl Maria von Weber
(1786-1826)
 
 

Agathe is waiting for Max, the man she loves, to return from a shooting match. She hopes he has won for on the following day there will be another contest and the man who is the best shot will win Agathe's hand in marriage. She is worried because it is late and there is no sign of Max. Annchen, her friend, tries to get her to go to bed, but she insists on seeing Max.

How can I sleep before I have seen him? Yes, love always seems to go hand in hand with care. (She opens the window.) Is the moon out? Ah, what a beautiful night! Softly, softly, gentle melody, float up to the circle of stars. Song, ring out! Let my song rise in praise to the halls of Heaven. Oh, how bright the golden stars! With what pure radiance they glow! But in the distant mountains it seems that bad weather is brewing; and above the forest, too, a host of clouds hangs close and heavy. I raise my hands to Thee, oh Lord, without beginning and without end! Send down Thy angels to protect us from all danger! Everything has gone to sleep. Beloved friend, where are you? However I strain my ear, only the tops of the pine trees rustle, only the leaves of the birch trees in the forest whisper in the stillness, only the nightingale and the cricket seem to enjoy the night air. But what is that? Is my ear playing tricks on me? It sounds like a step over there! Something is coming through the pines over there. It is he! It is he! Let love's flag wave! Your sweetheart is still watching in the night! ... He doesn't see me yet -- Heavens, if the moonlight doesn't deceive me, a bunch of flowers adorns his hat! Certainly he was the best shot! That foretells luck for tomorrow! Oh, sweet hope! Fresh courage! All my pulses hammer and my heart is beating wildly, sweetly filled with delight! Do I dare to hope? Yes, good luck has favored my dear one once again! Will it hold faithfully tomorrow? Is it not delusion? Is it not folly? Heaven, receive my tears of gratitude for this pledge of hope. All my pulses hammer, and my heart is beating wildly, sweetly filled with delight!

Carol McAmis


 
  Symphony No. 2 ("Romantic") Howard Hanson
(b. 1896)
 
 

Howard Hanson's Symphony No. 2, the "Romantic" Symphony, Opus 30, was first performed on November 28, 1930. The boston Symphony commissioned and premiered the work in honor of its fiftieth anniversary; Serge Koussevitzky was the conductor. Hanson himself subtitled the work "Romantic" to acknowledge its emphatic romantic character. For the premier performance, Hanson prepared his own program notes. Perhaps they are the best introduction to the symphony.

My aim, in this symphony, has been to create a work young in spirit, Romantic in temperament, and simple and direct in expression. The work is in three movements. The first, Adagio-Allegro moderato, begins with an atmospheric introduction in the woodwinds, joined first by the horns, then the strings, and finally the brass choir, and then subsiding. The principal theme is announced . . . by four horns, with an accompaniment of strings and woodwinds, and is imitated in turn by the trumpets, woodwinds, and strings. An episodic theme appears quietly in the oboe and then in the solo horn. A transition leads into the subordinate theme, Lento, with the theme itself in the strings and a counter subject in the solo horn. The development section now follows, with the principal theme announced in a changed mood by the English horn and developed through the orchestra. The episodic theme, influenced by the principal theme, also takes an important part in this section. The climax of the development section leads directly to the return of the principal theme in the original key by the trumpets. This is followed in turn by the episodic theme, now in the clarinets and then in the first horn, with canonic imitation in the oboe. The subordinate theme then follows, and the movement concludes quietly in a short coda.

The second movement, Andante con tenerezza, begins with its principal theme announced by the woodwinds with a sustained string accompaniment. An interlude in the brass, taken from the introduction of the first movement and interrupted by florid passages in the woodwinds, develops into the subordinate theme which is taken from the horn solo in the first movement. A transition, again interrupted by a florid woodwind passage, leads into a restatment of the principal theme of the movement.

The third movement, Allegro con brio, begins with a vigorous accompaniment figure in strings and woodwinds, the principal theme of the movement -- reminiscent of the first movement -- entering in the four horns and later repeated in the brasses. The subordinate theme, Molto meno mosso, is announced first by the violoncellos and then taken up by the English horn. The development of this leads into the middle section, Piu mosso. This section begins with a pizzicato accompaniment in the violas, violoncellos, and basses, over which is announced a horn call. This call is taken up by the trombones and leads into a fanfare first in the trumpets, then in the horns and woodwinds, and then again in the trumpets and woodwinds. The climax of this fanfare comes with the announcement of the principal theme of the first movement by the trumpets, against the fanfare rhythm in the woodwinds. The development of this theme leads into a final statement of the subordinate theme of the first movement fortissimo. A brief coda of this material leads to a final fanfare and the end of the symphony.

From 1924 until 1965, Howard Hanson served as Director of the Eastman School of Music in Rochester, New York.

John H. Planer


 
       
 

Orchestra Personnel

 
  Violin I
Ervin Orban, Concertmaster
Carolyn Snyder +
Venona Detrick
Esther Carpenter
Samuel Martin
Ernest Zala

Violin II
Terry Worman *
Jean Dutton
Marcy Bogert

Viola
David Taggart *
Cynthia Orban
Annette Martin

Cello
Lurene Ekwurtzel *
Loren Waggy +
Carol Oberhausen
Sam Smith

Bass
Mark Tomlonson *
Jerry Whipkey +
Adrian Mann

Piccolo
Kay Spangler +

Flute
Ann Donner *
Becki Kinne +
Myra Brubaker

Oboe
Stephanie Jones *
Laura Swantner +

English Horn
Cynthia Curless

Clarinet
Robert Jones
Lila Van Lue +
Bass Clarinet
Tim Clark +

Bassoon
Thomas Owen *
Amy J. Smith +

Contrabassoon
Thomas Hoczyk

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

Trumpet
Alan Severs *
Bill White +
Randy Replogle +
Jerry Stoner

Trombone
Larry Dockter *
Bruce Hughes +
Bill Anders

Tuba
Sam Gnagey

Timpani
Ken Jordan

Percussion
Julie Garber +
Larry Ford

Harp
Bridgett Stuckey
Harriet Hamer +

Harpsichord
Carol McAmis

* Denotes principal
+ Denotes MC student
       
 
Diana HolthuisDiana Holthuis holds a Bachelor of Music degree from Hope College in Holland, Michigan, and a Master of Music degree from the University of Michigan. Her teachers have included Anthony Kooiker and Louis Nagel.

Miss Holthuis performs frequently in solo and chamber music recitals and has appeared as a soloist with orchestras on several occasions. She has performed in master classes for artists such as Lili Kraus, Theodore Lettvin, and Leon Fleisher. Since 1976 she has served on the music faculty of Manchester College.