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Concert Program Cover

Second Concert of the 50th Season

 

Sunday, December 4th, 1988
Cordier Auditorium
Robert Jones, Conductor

  Gloria Francis Poulenc  
 

Gloria
Laudamus Te
Domine Deus
Domine Fili Unigenite
Domine Deus, Agnus Dei
Qui Sedes Ad Dexteram Patris

 
  Janie L. Hornung, soprano
Patricia J. Cahalan, conductor
 
       
  Intermission  
       
  Nutcracker Suite No. 1, Op. 71a Pyotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky  
 

I. Overture Miniature
II. March
III. Danse of the Sugar-Plum Fairy
IV. Russian Trepak
V. Arabian Dance
VI. Chinese Dance
VII. Dance of the Mirlitons
VIII. Waltz of the Flowers

   
  Robert Jones, conductor  
       
  Te Deum for the Empress Marie Therese Franz Joseph Haydn  
 

I. Allegro
II. Adagio
III. Allegro moderato

   
  Patricia J. Cahalan, conductor  
       

Program Notes by James R. C. Adams

  Gloria for Soporano, Chorus and Orchestra Francis Poulenc
(1899-1963)
 
 

Poulenc was a member of the group of French composers known as "Les Six." It consisted of Poulenc, Georges Auric, Louis Durey, Germanie Tailleferre, Arthur Honegger, and Darius Milhaud, who were strongly supported by Eric Satie and Jean Cocteau. They were most active as a group in the twenties, about the same time the art movements of "Fauvism" and "Dadaism" were making news, and there is a strong connection with those movements. There was a desire in both French art and music to return to simple statements, stressing clarity of expression, wit, and gaiety, even at the expense of unity. The music of Les Six, and especially that of Poulenc, combined the color, gaiety and untutored quality of Fauvism with the irreverance, irony, and buffoonery of Dadaism.

Les Six took great pains to eliminate anything from their music that smacked of German influence. They, and Poulenc in particular, judged the Germans as taking the arts much too seriously. If the Germans thought of Art with a capital "A," then Les Six insisted on thinking of it as "after all, only art." Their music was consciously non-serious, a sort of twentieth-century Rococo, drawing inspiration from areas of musical life considered transient up until then: the circus, music hall, jazz.

Critics tend either to like Poulenc, or hate him. The British critic, David Drew, appears to admire Poulenc only for his candor. He says that "When he (Poulenc) has nothing to say, he says it." He goes on to accuse Poulenc of juxtaposing incongruous elements in such a way that they appear ironic, and then hoping this irony will act as a unifying factor. I take the view that Poulenc is revealing those traits of charm, wit, and gaiety we have (rightly or wrongly) come to think of as characteristically French. I do find the Poulenc, like Oscar Wilde, is so fearful that we will think he is taking himself seriously that he follows every profundity with a jeer, and any tenderness with a giggle. His music, therefore, veers wildly from mood to mood, major to minor, and with constant references to other composers, sometimes admiringly, as with Chopin, Stravinsky, Massenet or Chabrier, other times with malice, as with Richard Strauss, Wagner, and even Debussy. If you like playing "Name That Tune," Poulenc is a gold-mine.

The French critic Claude Rostand described Poulenc as "part monk, part guttersnipe." The "monk" part did not appear until he was in his mid-thirties. A close friend was killed in a car crash, and this made a profound impact on Poulenc. He repaired to a religious retreat and began that very night to write his first religious work, the Litanies a la Vierge Noire de Rocamadour.

Poulenc was a superb melodist, and his many songs have won much acclaim. His lyricism is so beguiling, and his religious fervor so sincere, that lovers of vocal music will accept, within a religious context, what they would consider frivolous in his secular works. In fact, some go so far as to argue that he composes almost as two different personalities, depending on whether his work is secular or religious. Others assert that he underwent a profound change upon the death of his friend, and that he left his youthful irreverence behind.

I see a gradual evolution in his work, but no great dichotomy. It's true that in his religious works he makes fewer references to the music of other composers, and more to his own, and that what references he does make are not for the sake of irony, but contribute to the artistic integrity of the work. But references, there are.

The Roman Catholic Mass is divided into two categories, the Proper, wherein the prayers vary daily throughout the church year, and the Ordinary, which includes prayers sung with almost every Mass. The Ordinary has five sections: Kyrie, Gloria, Credo, Sanctus, and Agnus Dei. Poulenc has selected the joyful Gloria as the subject of this work.

He has sub-divided it into six parts. They are named for the opening line.

I. Gloria. Maestoso (Majestic.)
The opening of the movement (which owes a lot to Stravinsky) is dramatic, rather than joyful. The introductory motif is repeated several times, at the end of which the trumpets sound a more optimistic note just before the entry of the male voices which begin a determined rhythmic pounding. Poulenc has written of "reading between the lines" of the poetry he sets, and stresses the need to respect the intent of the poet, making the music fit the text. In spite of this avowal, Poulenc has been criticized for subordinating the text to the exigencies of the music. A good example can be found in the first line of this text, where he changes the position of the accented syllables from the normal spoken Latin "in excelsis Deo" to the sung "in excelsis Deo."

II. Laudamus Te. Tres vif et joyeux (Very lively and joyful.)
this is lively and joyful, indeed, and opens with effective use of the brass. Here we have the old Poulenc of thirty years before, with his music-hall references, proof tha he does not change his style completely when he writes religious music. Some might protest the impropriety of the bawdy, dancelike rhythms for the setting of the text meaning "we praise Thee, we bless Thee..." There is, perhaps, an aura of atonement for this irreverence in his reference to Gregorian chant in the middle section, before the return of the dance rhythms.

III. Domine Deus. Tres lent et calme. (Very slow and calm.)
The soloist is first heard in this movement. The music is slow, and melodic, but with a downward character. This is another break from tradition. Text about the King of Heaven is usually set to loud and majestic music. Here, it is very quiet and reflective.

IV. Domine Fili Unigenite. Tres vite et joyeux. (Very lively and joyful.)
This is very familiar Poulenc, reminding us of some of his earliest music, the Concert Champetre, of 1929. Again, wh have unusual text stresses, and the playful and exciting character of the music is a departure from the traditionally gentle music earlier composers used for the text about Jesus, the Son. Note the dissonances on the almost shouted "Jesus Christe!"

V. Domine Deus, Agnus Dei. Tres lent; Plus allant. (Very slow and calm; more pace.)
This is the most operatic of the sections, reminding us of Poulenc's Dialogues of the Carmelites. It may well be the most moving part of the work. It begins with a doleful motif. When the soprano enters, her theme makes a wide leap uupwards. The piece begins in a melancholy mood, but repeatedly takes a more hopeful turn. The major seventh, usually conceived as a dissonance, is here so ubiquitous that our ears accept it as the harmonic basis for the movement.

VI. Qui Sedes ad Dexteram Patris. Maestoso. (Majestic.)
The final section begins with an outburst, and establishes a rising, even jaunty movement. Despite its reminders of medieval organum, it has a decidedly twentieth-century sound, with its sevenths lending an air of mystery to the work. The dramatic chords of the opening movement reappear as a structural closure before the final "Amens."

The Gloria was commissioned by the Serge Koussevitzky Music Foundation of the Library of Congress. It was first performed in 1961 by the Boston Symphony Orchestra with the Pro Musica Chorus.

*My thanks to Dr. Patricia Cahalan for her insights concerning vocal aspects of the Poulenc Gloria. J.R.C.A.


 
       
  Suite No. 1 from The Nutcracker Pyotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky
(1840-1893)
 
 

Tchaikovsky is the despair of writers of program notes, since he is perhaps the best known of "classical" composers. Even the casual concert-goer is familiar with his life through often lurid film treatments or romantic biographies. There is little new to be said without stooping to rumors about his supposedly forced suicide to avert a scandal, an assertion I neither believe nor intend to mention!

Of all his works, probably the most famous are the 1812 Overture and The Nutcracker Suite. One of his greatest strengths is his rich orchestration, and he is credited with the introduction of many unusual instruments to serious music. He used gun-shots in the Overture (though Beethoven beat him to it), and he used the celesta in The Nutcracker (Widor may have beat him to that!). At any rate, The Nutcracker was the first successful work to use the celesta, and thus introduced it to the public.

The ballet tells the story of a little girl who receives a nutcracker for Christmas. It is in the form of a soldier. She falls asleep and dreams that all the Christmas presents come alive and fight against the Mouse King and his minions. The Suite is a selection of pieces of the ballet, and includes the following: Overture Miniature is, of course, a short overture. "Overture" means manythings, depending on the context. In this case, it simply introduces us to the story, setting the mood: a delicate, light-hearted mood appropriate to the fancies of a child. The celesta can be heard near the end of this movement.

March shows the full power of the orchestra with brass and percussion resounding, underpinned by the pizzicato strings, a typical Tchaikovsky touch.

It is in the Dance of the Sugar-plum Fairy that the celesta makes its most impressive appearance with an orchestra. Tchaikovsky had heard the instrument, played by its inventor, Mustel, shortly before he wrote The Nutcracker. Widor had written for the instrument before, but this was the first time it was combined with a full orchestra.

Of all the sections of the ballet, the Trepak is the most Russian. Even in a purely concert performance, one can imagine the spectacular leaping of the leather-booted Cossacks. The full orchestra is heard here in all its richness.

The Arabian Dance is scored mainly for the woodwinds and muted strings, though the tambourine is occasionally heard. The plaintive cry of the oboe, particularly, recalls the sound of the Middle-Eastern shawm. Here, Tchaikovsky reveals the Romantic obsession with the exotic.

The exoticism of the Arabian Dance is echoed in the Chinese Dance, with the use of the glockenspiel and the triangle.

Mirlitons are a musical instrument rather like "kazoos," played by children. In the full ballet version, the score calls for these "toy flutes," but in the Suite, real flutes are used.

The Waltz of the Flowers may well be the most popular part of the Nutcracter Suite. It needs little comment.


 
       
  Te Deum for the Empress Marie Therese Franz Joseph Haydn
(1732-1809)
 
 

Franz Joseph Haydn is known to the public mostly for his enormous symphonic output, having produced no fewer than one hundred and four symphonies. He also wrote much chamber music, and may quartets, in particular. In fact, he is known as the father of the symphonic form, sharing with Mozart the credit for developing one of our most versatile and expressive musical structures.

This emphasis on Vienna as the capital of instrumental music has resulted in the neglect of Haydn's choral music. During the so-called classical period of Viennese music (except for the occasional Lenten Oratorios), there was very little in the way of public performance of choral music. In fact, Haydn was the first well-known composer to offer public performances of choral music (in Austria) when he gave The Creation, and The Seasons in Vienna around the turn of the century.

Viennese Masses had very little in common with their German counterparts, showing a marked Italian influence. They seemed quite operatic at times. The Vatican did not approve of this Austrian exuberance, and especially the practice of orchestra accompaniment. In 1738, the Emperor Joseph II bowed to the Pope's wishes and banned the use of orchestras in church. This sharply reduced the number of new choral compositions until the Emperor's successor, Francis II, repealed the ban.

Haydn wrote two Te Deum's, one before the ban, and one after. The two have much in common, though they were written some forty years apart. In the first Te Deum, unlike the later one, uses soloists. Haydn was able to provide some excitement by moving from a trio of solo voices to the full chorus at Per singulos dies. In this, the second, he accomplishes much the same thing by adding brass (around measure 111). This contrast of solo with tutti, begun in the early Te Deum, became a feature of his later church music.

Both Te Deums are in the key of C, but the similarities do not stop there. For instance, about two thirds of the way through both of them (where the fugue begins at measure 140 in this version), there is an interesting counterpoint made between the melodies expressing the words In te Domine speravi, sung by the sopranos, and Non confundar in aeternum, sung by the altos, with a nice trailing overlap of the same phrases by tenors and basses. This is an excellent example of the relationship of form to content, as it emphasizes the point that hope in the Almighty is the same as certainty of salvation.


 
       
 

Manchester Symphony Orchestra Personnel

 
  Violin
Ervin Orban, Concertmaster
Rosemary Manifold *
Stephanie Beery
Carolyn Caldwell
Jodi Goble
Amy Grush
Linda Hare
Angela Rogers
Dan Seibert
Vernon Stinebaugh
Jon Thomas
Roxanne Thomas
Michael Wurzburger +^

Viola
Annette Martin *
Peter Collins
Kristina M. Lange +
Delpha Laycock
Naida Walker

Cello
Waverly Berry Conlan *
Valerie Goetz Boud
Christina Palmer +^
Tim Spahr
Rebecca B. Waas

Bass
Adrian Mann *
Randy Gratz
George W. Scheerer

Piccolo
Amy Hodson +^

Flute
Maryanne C. Beery *+
Suzy Oaks +

Oboe
James Nagano *
Lisa Kinsey *+^ (co-)
Susan Turnquist

English Horn
James Nagano
Clarinet
Lila D. Hammer *
Jane Granstaff

Bass Clarinet
Margaret Beery

Bassoon
Takashi Yamano *
Mike Trentacosti

Horn
Nancy A. Bremer *
Katherine Benninghoff
Lois Geible
Nicole Hine

Trumpet
Mike Clark * (co-)
Steven Hammer * (co-)
Stan Beery

Trombone
Larry Dockter *
William Benninghoff
Bill Anders

Tuba
Mike Harkness +

Timpani
David Mendenhall

Percussion
Dale E. Reynolds +

Harp
Anne Preucil

Celesta
R. Gary Deavel

* Denotes principal
+ Denotes MC student
^ Denotes MSS Scholarship recipient
       
 

Manchester Choral Society

 
  Patricia J. Cahalan, conductor
R. Gary Deavel, rehearsal accompanist
 
  Soprano
Suzanne Beard
Christine Beery
Maryanne Beery
Amy Eberly
Carissa Fralin
Beth Hartley
Jane hartman
Leta Hanks
Lisa Kinsey
Bev Koenemann
Kathleen Macklin
Stephanie Macklin
Shannon Pearson
Trenna Rautenkranz
Cheri Sauber
Carol Streator
Jennifer Swift
Kelly Verbeck
Jane Willmert
Kelli Yaussy
Christine Young
Lori Zimmerman

Tenor
Jim Bowyer
Keith Crider
Shawn Miles
Dale Reynolds
Paul Stocksdale
Todd Tijerina
Butch Weaver
Brian Weimer
Tim Wenger
Alto
Karen Bull
Penny Cain
Laurie Charles
Ruth Craig
Gina Eckert
Pennie Hoover
Cassy Johnson
Bonnie Kieffaber
Laurie Kieffaber
Laura Kitchel
Cynthia Kunzman
Diana Martin
Joy McFadden
Wray Nye
Tanya Roop
Jennifer Schmidt
Karen Shively
Meva Weaver
Mary Weimer
Brenda willoughby
Michelle Winters
Marilyn Yoder

Bass
Matt Doudt
Robin Gratz
Jon Hartman
Shawn Kirchner
Scott Lewis
Dean Pontius
Kenneth Rieman
Matt Smucker
Eric Snyder
Mark Snyder
Matt Somsel
Eric Switzer
       
 
Janie L. HornungJanie L. Hornung, soprano, has been guest soloist with the Indianapolis Symphony Orchestra in opera arias, with the Marion Philharmonic in Haydn's Creation and with the Indiana University-Kokomo Orchestra in Haydn's Lord Nelson Mass. She was winner of the district Metropolitan Opera Auditions 1976-78, the Society of American Musicians Competition, and semi-finalist in the WGN Auditions of the Air. With the Minus The Top Hat Opera Company she portrayed Susannah in Floyd's Susannah. A member of the Lafayette Bach Chorale, she has served as soloist in the Brahms Ein Deutsches Requiem, the Beethoven Mass in C, the Bach Christmas Oratorio, the Mozart Mass in C on their European tour, as well as in various songs, lieder and opera arias. In Logansport on January 15, Miss Hornung will perform American opera and operetta arias with the Ft. Wayne Philharmonic Orchestra. She currently is completing her eighteenth year of teaching vocal/choral music in the Logansport Community School Corporation. She received her B.M.E. from Indiana University and M.M. from Ball State University. Miss Hornung studied voice at Indiana University with Virginia MacWatters.
Dr. Patricia J. CahalanAs Director of Choral Activities, Dr. Patricia J. Cahalan conducts all of the college choral ensembles, including the A Cappella Choir, the Manchester Singers, and the Choral Society. She also teaches voice lessons and courses in conducting and music education. She holds the Doctor of Musical Arts degree in choral conducting from the University of Iowa, the Master of Music from Indiana University, and the Bachelor of Music degree in music education from St. Mary's College.

Prior to coming to Manchester College, Dr. Cahalan served as interim director of choral activities at the University of Northern Iowa, Cedar Falls, conducted the Metropolitan Chorale of Cedar Falls/Waterloo; and taught at Frankfort and Pioneer High Schools in Indiana. She has also been a guest clinician/adjudicator for choral festivals and the Iowa All-State Music Camp. During the summer of 1988 she participated in the conducting master-class with Helmuth Rilling at the Oregon Bach Festival in Eugene.

The Manchester Choral Society is a college/community chorus sponsored by Manchester College to perform major works. Membership is open to any adult singer without audition. Rehearsals are held on Wednesday night throughout the fall semester, beginning in early September.