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Concert Program Cover

Fourth Concert of the 47th Season

 

Sunday, May 18th, 1986
Cordier Auditorium
Robert Jones, Conductor

  Overture to Banditenstreiche Franz von Suppé  
       
  Harp Concerto in E minor, Op. 182 Carl Reinecke  
 

I. Allegro moderato
II. Adagio
III. Scherzo

   
  Bridgett Stuckey, harp  
       
  Intermission  
       
  Buckaroo Holiday from Rodeo Aaron Copland  
       
  Selections from West Side Story Leonard Bernstein  
 

I Feel Pretty
Maria
Something's Coming
Tonight
One Hand, One Heart
Cool
America

   
       
  Suite on Fiddler's Tunes George Frederick McKay  
 

Calico Jane
Sandy Land
Sail Away Lady
Leather Britches

   
       
  Toccatina Michael M. Horvit  
       

Program Notes by James R. C. Adams

  Overture to Banditenstreiche
(Jolly Robbers)
Franz von Suppé
(1819-1895)
 
 

Von Suppé, one of the most Viennese of composers, was born in Dalmatia with the marvelously Italo-Gothic name of Francesco Ezecchiele Ermenegildo Cabaliere Suppé-Demelli; but he was taken to Vienna at an early age, and was certainly Viennese by upbringing.

He is one of those composers who is very well known, but for only a very small proportion of his output. Although he has over 150 works to his credit, over sixty of them operas, he is known almost entirely for two or three overtures. Best known are the Poet and Peasant, and the Light Cavalry.

This work begins with a fanfare, then some very soft, almost funereal music, with a repeat of the fanfare, in a higher register. This is followed by a march, with bugle-like sounds. Soon, the music becomes dramatic, only to be followed by a lyrical midsection. There then appears a "trotting" rhythm, turning sprightly, and reminding us of a horse parade. The work ends with the usual rousing finale characteristic of Suppé.


 
       
  Harp Concerto in E minor, Op. 182 Carl Reinecke
(1824-1910)
 
 

Carl Reinecke is one of a host of Late Romantic composers who have almost been eclipsed by the twentieth-century passion for novelty. He was a younger contemporary of Brahms, Mendelssohn and Schumann, and like them, had a healthy respect for Classical principles. He was not a particularly innovative composer, striving instead to uphold the standards of the past. As teacher and long-time conductor of the Leipzig Gewandhaus Orchestra, he stressed excellence of performance, and careful formal construction. he did not resent, but on the contrary, was proud of being "accused" of following in the footsteps of the masters.

He was a prolific composer, publishing some 288 works in all the musical forms of the time. He was an admirer of Brahms, and a close friend of both Mendelssohn and Schumann. He became the teacher of Liszt's daughter, and also taught such people as Grieg, Sinding, and Sullivan.

His concerti, this one included, remind one of Mendelssohn. The Harp Concerto is in the traditional (that is, "classical") three movements, and requires an orchestra of only Classical proportions. The first movement is (loosely) in the form of a sonata.

The second movement, Adagio, opens with a long passage for harp and horn, and has the same rhythm, and almost the same theme as the slow movement of Beethoven's Seventh Symphony.

The third movement, Scherzo-Finale, begins in E minor, but switches to E major for an upbeat ending.


 
       
  Buckaroo Holiday from Rodeo Aaron Copland
(b. 1900)
 
 

Few composers have been able to sounds as "American" as Aaron Copland. What Gershwin did for the sophisticated urban side of American life, Copland did for "the wide open spaces." His early life was spent in Brooklyn, where he was born. At the age of twenty-one, he was able to go to Paris, where he studied with the legendary Nadia Boulanger. He was her first American student, and she was sufficiently impressed to commission him to write an organ concerto for her to perform during her American tour.

In spite of his urban background, he is most famous for his ability to evoke images of rural America, especially in his film-scores such as The Red Pony, and ballets such as Billy the Kid, and Rodeo.

Rodeo was written in 1942, for dancer Agnes De Mille. It was premiered by the Ballet Russe de Monte Carlo, and was a great success on a continent in love with Le Wild West. The music is typically Copland, with its use of folk songs (Sis Joe), and syncopated hoedown rhythms. It is interesting to speculate as to what its reception would be in those days of the feminist movement. The plot concerns a "cowgirl" who can rope a steer as well as any man, but goes unnoticed, despite her expertise, until she dons a frilly dress and puts on makeup, whereupon the cow-pokes fall all over themselves in admiration.

The piece we hear today is the first of a suite of four dances taken from the ballet. A familiar Copland device is the descending major scale, heard repeatedly in this movement.


 
       
  Selections from West Side Story Leonard Bernstein
(b. 1918)
(arr. Jack Mason)
 
 

By this time, everyone knows that West Side Story is an updated version of Romeo and Juliet. The idea came from the choreographer Jerome Robbins in 1949, and originally was to have involved feuding between the Catholics and the Jews of New York around the time of Easter-Passover. The plan "marinated" for several years while Bernstein worked on other projects like Candide. By 1955, the Jewish-Catholic conflict had given way to the Puerto Rican-American rivalry, for a more contemporary theme.

This work is so well established that we tend to overlook its innovations. The movie version was a real landmark, containing almost twice as much music as the standard Hollywood musical. Also, unlike typical Hollywood musicals, it was filmed on location on West 68th Street in New York. Interestingly, that street no longer exists, the buildings have been razed to provide space for Lincoln Center, home of the New York Philharmonic, conducted for years by Leonard Bernstein, and the Metropolitan Opera, where the work has recently been resurrected as a full-fledged opera . . . conducted by Leonard Bernstein.


 
       
  Suite on Fiddler's Tunes George Frederick McKay
(1889-1968)
 
 

Not much of McKay's music is available on record. The Concerto for Cello is the only one that comes to mind. References can be found to other works, like the Evocation Symphony, the Symphonie Miniature, No. 2, and the Tlingit Suite. Mr McKay has written a popular text on "Creative Orchestration," and a reading of this book provides insights into his compositional principles.

He stresses clarity. He believes that the listener can follow only two clear ideas at a time. Any third element would have to be clearly subordinate to the other two. "Doubling" should not be done unless the composer can clearly state its purpose in a given situation. Interesting tonal effects can be achieved through the mixing of dissimilar timbres, but only if the combination is kept to two, or "at most, the timbres of contrasting melodic instruments combined with one dryer, percussive sound such as the snare drum or pizzicato strings." The logic behind this statement goes back to his comments on "doubling," where he says there are only two good reasons: for more power, or for more subtlety. He argues that if three contrasting melodic instruments are used together, the effect is "to merge into the general sound usually identified with reinforcement rather than subtlety."

One would expect his orchestrational ideas to be reflected in his compositions. Comments in his writings suggest that he favors tunes, but that he might jump from instrument to instrument, with no melodic strain carried on very long by one particular instrument. Will we notice this in the Suite on Fiddler's Tunes?


 
       
 

Manchester Symphony Orchestra Personnel

 
  Violin
Ervin Orban, Concertmaster
Rosemary Manifold *
Mary Berkebile
Ruth Berkebile
Marcella Bogert-Tourkow
Carolyn Caldwell
Eloise Guy
Linda Hare
Jonathan Hess +
Vernon Stinebaugh
Roxanne Thomas

Viola
Annette Martin *
Ethel Anderson
Dessie Arnold
Peter Collins

Cello
Waverly Berry Conlan *
Valerie Goetz Doud
Janice Ritchie +
Rebecca B. Waas

Bass
Christopher Bowser *
Calvin Bisha
Bradley Kuhns

Piccolo
Nancy Bloom +^

Flute
Kathy Urbani *
Nancy Bloom +^

Oboe
Stephanie Jones
Michael Beery +

English Horn
Susan Turnquist
Clarinet
Riley Greider *
Jane Grandstaff

Bass Clarinet
Margaret Beery

Bassoon
Takashi Yamano * (co-)
Vickie Ball * (co-)

Horn
Eric Jones *+
Brenda Willoughby +^
Lois Geible
G. Kent Teeters

Trumpet
Steven Hammer * (co-)
Ray Goelz *+ (co-)
Jeff West +

Trombone
David Schultz *+^
D. Larry Dockter
Pat Dennis

Tuba
Sam Gnagy

Timpani
Dale Largent +

Percussion
Tom Littlefield *+
Tana Tinkey +
Terry McKee

Piano
Robin Gratz

* Denotes principal
+ Denotes MC student
^ Denotes MSS Scholarship recipient
       
 
Bridgett StuckeyBridgett Stuckey, harp, is a native of Ft. Wayne. She attended Ball State University, Baldwin Wallace College, Cleveland Institute of Music, and received her Bachelor of Science degree in Music Performance and Music Education from Ball State University in 1980.

Miss Stuckey studied with Alice Chalifoux of the Cleveland Orchestra, and Lillian Phillips at Ball State University, and coached with Lucy Lewis from Oberlin College and Edward Druzinsky of the Chicago Symphony.

In 1973 she was a finalist in the American Harp Society International Competition. From 1976 to the present Miss Stuckey has participated in such summer festivals as Salzedo School in Camden, Maine, the Northern Indiana Opera Association, the Colorado Philharmonic, the Michigan State Opera Festival, and was harp and piano instructor at Blue Lake Fine Arts Camp in 1984. In 1982 she was a recipient of the Philharmonic Women's Committee's summer study scholarship.

Miss Stuckey has played with the Grand Rapids Symphony, the Midwest Pops Orchestra and South Bend Symphony, and is in her tenth season as Principal Harp with the Fort Wayne Philharmonic. She also plays weekly at the Marriott and teaches privately.