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Concert Program Cover

Fourth Concert of the 51st Season

 

Sunday, May 13th, 1990
Cordier Auditorium
Robert Jones, Conductor

  Overture to Russlan and Ludmilla Mikhail Glinka  
       
  Poem for Flute and Orchestra Charles Thomlinson Griffes  
  Maryanne Beery, flute  
       
  "Les oiseaux dans la charmille"
from Tales of Hoffman
Jacques Offenbach  
  Suzanne Beard, soprano  
       
  Peer Gynt Suite No. 1, Op. 45 Edvard Grieg  
 

Morning Mood
The Death of Ase
In the Hall of the Mountain King

   
       
  Intermission  
       
  Rumanian Folk Dances Béla Bartók  
 

Joc cu Bata
Braul
Pe Loc
Buciumeana
Poarga Romaneasca
Maruntel

   
       
  "Ach, ich fuhl's" from Die Zauberflöte Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart  
  Maryanne Beery, soprano  
       
  Piano Concerto No. 27 in B-Flat Major, K. 595 Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart  
 

III. Allegro

   
  Deanna Beth Myers, piano  
       
  Five Mystical Songs Ralph Vaughan Williams  
 

III. Love Bade Me Welcome

   
  Shawn Kirchner, baritone  
       
  Selections from Porgy and Bess Goerge Gershwin  
 

I Got Plenty O' Nuttin'
It Ain't Necessarily So
Bess You Is My Woman
Summertime

 
       

Program Notes by James R. C. Adams

  Overture to Russlan and Ludmilla Mikhail Glinka
(1804-1857)
 
 

Glinka was born into a well-to-do family near Smolensk. His musical education was spotty, and did not turn really serious until he was in his thirties. He had heard much folk music as a child, and had been exposed to chamber music at the home of an uncle. In St. Petersburg he studied piano for a short time with the Irishman John Field, traveled in Italy, where he met Donizetti and Bellini and was strongly impressed by Italian opera. He settled in Germany for a time to study with Siegfried Walter Dehn.

He returned to Russia, determined to write a "Russian" opera, and produced A Life for the Tsar, based on the Polish invasion of Russia. Although it had many Slavic touches, it still showed many Italiante characteristics. This work was so popular that he gained an imperial appointment. His next important work was Russlan and Ludmilla, which is considered one of the earliest really Russian works. It was the beginning of the "oriental" vein in Russian music.

The opera, based on a poem by Pushkin, was not a great success, but its overture is one of the most popular works Glinka ever produced. Its themes are derived mostly from the last act of the opera (one of a few with a happy ending!), and are consequently of a cheerful nature. The brilliant orchestration is characteristic of Glinka.


 
       
  Poem for Flute and Orchestra Charles Thomlinson Griffes
(1884-1920)
 
 

Griffes was born in Elvira, N.Y., and died in New York City at the age of thirty-five. He had studied with Ingelbert Humperdinck, (The Real), in Berlin, but the most notable influence on his work is that of Debussy and the other Impressionists.

The fact that Griffes was a talented artist may have contributed to his understanding of Debussy, who has been described as "rendering music a spatial rather than a temporal art." Debussy is quoted as having recommended viewing a sunrise over listening to Beethoven's "Pastoral" Symphony.

Without being strictly programmatic, Griffes' music is quite visual, evoking images as well as moods. In Poem, one of his last works, he evokes a pastoral mood.

After a short orchestral introduction of a pensive quality, the flute enters in a minor key which quickly turns "oriental." This oriental quality in Griffes' music is characteristic, and can be found in another major work, The Pleasure Dome of Kubla Khan, and in Shojo, a Japanese mime-play. About halfway through, there is a rollicking tune which might even be taken for an Irish jig, then the opening mood is restored.


 
       
  "Les oiseaux dans la charmille"
from The Tales of Hoffman
Jacques Offenbach
(1819-1880)
 
 

Offenbach, whose real name was Wiener, took his professional name from his birthplace, Offenbach, Germany. He was the son of a cantor. As a boy, he took up residence in Paris where he died at the age of sixty-one. He earned his living as a cellist in the Opéra Comique, and eventually became conductor of the Théatre Français. His light operas became very popular, and one of the best-known is Tales of Hoffmann.

The opera consists of episodes detailing the amorous conquests of the hero, who is usually duped one way or the other. In the first tale, he falls in love with the beautiful Ophelia, not realizing that she is an automaton. She sings a beautiful aria about a bird flying high, but begins to run down, and the inventor, Dr. Coppelius, has to wind her up again. Hoffmann is so smitten that he doesn't notice this! (This story is also the basis for the ballet Copelia by Adam.) When Coppelius discovers that he has been paid for his creation in counterfeit money, he destroys the doll, and only then does Hoffman realize "she" is a mechanism.


 
       
  Selections from Peer Gynt, Suite No. 1, Op. 46 Edvard Grieg
(1843-1907)
 
 

Grieg was an avowed nationalist. He was very specific about it. He did not write Scandinavian music; he wrote Norwegian music! Those pieces which do not attest to their Norwegianness by their names, Norwegian Peasant March, Norwegian Bridal Procession, do so by their tunes.

He was a friend of writers such as Björnson and Ibsen, and wrote incidental music to the latter's Peer Gynt. He wrote some twenty-three separate numbers for Peer Gynt, and the music was so popular, he was persuaded to select some for a suite. Then, he selected more for a second suite. the charming rogue, or anti-hero, has been a common inspiration for the Romantic composer, from Ruy Blas to Till Eulenspiegel to Háry János. Peer Gynt was such a one.

Grieg has been praised as a composer capable of evoking through music precisely the image desired... a composer who vindicated the principles of Smetana, champion of "program music." Program notes concerning the first movement, Morning Mood, from an old RCA Victor recording read as follows:

"Morning" brings into the concert hall the pine-scented freshness of Northern woods and lakes and fields. While not precisely programmatic or imitative of nature, there are power suggestions of bird-song and of dawning, the pale and then intensifying colors of early morn, the clear airs and skies of the day's hours waking across a Scandinavian landscape.

This illustrates the risk of an annotator's wading through a poetic swamp without a map. Grieg had intended the piece to evoke the sunrise over the Moroccan desert!

The second selection, The Death of Ase, refers to the death of Peer's mother, who waited many years for her sone to return from his wanderings.

The third selection does refer to an event in Scandinavia when Peer is beset by mountain trolls, and makes such a clamor that the mountain comes tumbling down on the trolls and saves him.


 
       
  Rumanian Folk Dances Béla Bartók
(1881-1945)
 
 

Bartók is a twentieth century composer of nationalist sympathies. He was a great collector of folk songs in his native Hungary and adjacent Roumania. Politics being what it is, he was born in Hungary, but his birthplace is now in Roumania! He took pains to distinguish Magyar music from Slavic music. Some Hungarian musicologists trace the origins of Magyar music back to China, and Bartók himself was interested in an Arab connection. He carried a wire recorded to remote villages to learn first hand of his musical heritage, and the result is unmistakably Hungarian-Roumanian music.

The six dances are:

Joccubata (Dance with Sticks), from Moroszobad, Transylvania, merry, energetic, and syncopated.
Braul (from Egres, Yugoslavia), gay and quick in duple measure.
Pe Loc (A stamping dance, also from Yugoslavia), rather slow, with a steady step and a melody notable for small intervals, like bagpipe music.
Buciumeana (a dance from Butschum from a district in Transylvania), graceful, three-quarter time, with a haunting melody.
Porga Romaneasca (Roumanian polka, from Transylvania), quick and lively, with a broken-chord melody, marked into groups of three beats, three beats, and two beats.
Maruntel (quick dance from Belenyes), a fast dance using very small steps and movements.


 
       
  "Ach, ich fuhl's" from Die Zauberflöte
(The Magic Flute)
Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart
(1756-1791)
 
 

The Magic Flute was one of the last pieces Mozart wrote. Mozart was a freemason, and much has been written about the symbolism found in the opera. The number 3 is highly significant to freemasons, and 3's abound in The Magic Flute: the Three Ladies, the Three Genii or Boys, the Three Slaves, the Three Priests, the three temples, and even the three flats of the key signature of E-flat. In spite of the mysterious symbols and the lofty philosophy of Man's search for internal harmony, the opera is light, humorous, and tuneful.

The Queen of the Night persuades the hero, Tamino, to rescue her daughter held by the "evil" Sarastro. He and his comic sidekick Papageno are given a magic flute and bells to help them on their quest. Sarastro turns out to be noble and is saving the daughter, Pamina, for Tamino, against the wishes of the evil Queen. Before the lovers can unite, Tamino must pass a test, part of which consists of not talking for any reason. When Pamina comes upon him with love on her mind, he keeps his pledge, and refuses to speak. This devastates Pamina who sings of her longing and her disappointment. She hints at suicide. Her aria begins: "Oh, I sense that all is gone..." Her despair is temporary; things work out at the end.


 
       
  Piano Concerto No. 27 in B-Flat, K. 595
(Third Movement)
Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart  
,

This concerto, like The Magic Flute, was written in Mozart's last year of life, therefore many have heard in it signs of "smiles beneath tears," or have described it as "Autumnal," that it "breathes an air of valedictory resignation." These must be the same writers who sensed "the freshness of Northern woods and lakes," when Grieg's music was intended to suggest the North African desert.

This third, and final, movement to the concerto is in rondo form, quite normal for a concerto of this period... even conservative, since some composers were using the sonata form in their last movements. Perhaps there is in that conservatism a hint of returning to one's roots, if one insists upon the notion that Mozart was conscious of his imminent death when he wrote it.

This movement has a lilting gaiety about it -- a dance quality characteristic of the eighteenth century rondo.


 
       
  Five Mystical Songs
III. Love Bade Me Welcome
Ralph Vaughan Williams
(1872-1958)
 
 

Many consider Vaughan Williams to be England's greatest composer of the twentieth century. His last name, by the way, is Vaughan Williams, not Williams, and his first name rhymes with "save."

Vaughan Williams is known to most as a great symphonist, wich nine symphonies to his credit. He wrote in many forms, including film scores (i.e. Scott of the Antarctic, a work he rescored and published as the Sinfonia Antarctica).

Vaughan Williams, like Bartók, was a great collector of folk songs. He absorbed the idion and wrote much original music with an English folksong flavor. (A characteristic of his symphonis music is his frequent use of the mixolydian mode.)

Five Mystical Songs, written in 1911, is based on a text by George Herbert.


 
       
  Selections from Porgy and Bess George Gershwin
(1898-1937)
 
 

Little needs to be said about George Gershwin, an American composer who became very popular for his "Tin Pan Alley" music, and leaned toward the "Classical" with his Concerto in F, Rhapsody in Blue, and his folk opera, Porgy and Bess. Some of his most memorable songs have come from that opera.


 
       
 

Manchester Symphony Orchestra Personnel

 
  Violin
Linda Kanzawa Hare, Concertmaster
Rosemary Manifold *
Stephanie Beery
Amy Grush
Chin Me Kim
Byron Plexico
Angela Rogers
Daniel A. Seibert
Vernon Stinebaugh
Patrick Weybright +
Michael Wurzburger +^

Viola
Annette Martin *
Julia Anne Lindower +
Naida Walker MacDermid
Deb Steiner +

Cello
Waverly Berry Conlan *
Betty Bueker
Tim Spahr
Rebecca B. Waas
Lisa White +

Bass
Ed Golightly *
Randy Gratz
Alan Niezabitowski

Piccolo
Amy Hodson +^

Flute
Maryanne C. Beery *+
Suzy Oaks +

Oboe
Susan Turnquist * (co-)
Lisa Kinsey *+^ (co-)
Clarinet
Lila D. Hammer *
Robyn Jones

Bassoon
Takashi Yamano *
Thomas Owen

Horn
Nancy A. Bremer *
Bryan L. Gibson
Eric Jones
Lois Geible
Sally Jones

Trumpet
Steven Hammer *
Stan Storey
Stan Beery

Trombone
Larry Dockter *
Jaime Shoup +
David Jones

Tuba
Mike Harkness +

Timpani
David Mendenhall

Percussion
Matthew Doudt +
Tana Tinkey

Harp
Melanie Richeson

* Denotes principal
+ Denotes MC student
^ Denotes MSS Scholarship recipient
       
 
Suzanne C. Beard is a senior at Manchester College with a major in music education. Scholarships which she has received include the Halladay Memorial Scholarship and Summer Service Scholarship. She has performed as soloist with the Manchester Choral Society and Manchester Symphony Orchestra, and participated in A Cappella Choir, Entertainers, and Concert Band. Her private voice study has been with Dr. Patricia Cahalan. Suzanne attended Columbia City Joint High School. Her parents are Steven and Sally Beard of Columbia City.

Maryanne C. Beery is a senior at Manchester College with a major in applied music. She is a graduate of the Interlochen Arts Academy. During her four years at Manchester she has been a member of A Cappella Choir, Concert Band, Entertainers, Jazz Ensemble, and Manchester Symphony Orchestra. Maryanne has been a four-year recipient of a Manchester Symphony Society Scholarship and has performed previously as student soloist with the MSO. She studies flute with Robert Jones and voice with Dr. Patricia Cahalan. Maryanne's parents are John and Margaret Beery of North Manchester.
Shawn Kirchner is a Manchester College sophomore with majors in peace studies and English. During his high school studies at Cedar Falls, Iowa, he was a winner of young artist competitions and appeared as piano soloist with the Wartburg Symphony Orchestra and the Waterloo/Cedar Falls Symphony Orchestra. At Manchester he has been a member of the A Cappella Choir, is the leader of the Peace Choir, and studies voice with Dr. Patricia Cahalan. Shawn's parents are Carol and David Kirchner of Cedar Falls, Iowa.
Deanna Beth Myers is a freshman at Manchester College, majoring in music education. Sher is from New Paris, Indiana, and graduated from Fairfield High School. Deanna Beth is a member of A Cappella Choir, Concert Band, and is active as an accompanist with Manchester Singers and Entertainers. She is the recipient of the Stefan Kaufmann Memorial Scholarship. Deanna Beth's parents are Kary and Joan Myers of New Paris.