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Concert Program Cover

Fourth Concert of the 52nd Season

 

Sunday, May 12th, 1991
Cordier Auditorium
Robert G. Jones, Conductor

  Overture to L'Italiana in Algeri Gioacchino Rossini  
       
  Trumpet Concerto in E-flat Major Franz Joseph Haydn  
 

I. Allegro

   
  Michael Kerns, trumpet  
       
  Scherzo - Tarantelle, Op. 16 Henri Wieniawski  
  Stephanie Beery, violin  
       
  Concertino for Clarinet, Op. 26 Carl Maria von Weber  
  Robyn Jones, clarinet  
       
  Intermission  
       
  Petite Suite Claude Debussy  
 

En Beateau
Cortege
Minuet
Ballet

   
       
  Remembering the Beatles arr. Bob Lowden  
 

Eleanor Rigby
Yesterday
A Hard Day's Night
The Fool on the Hill
Something
Please Please Me

 
       

Program Notes by James R. C. Adams

  Overture to L'Italiana in Algeri
(The Italian Girl in Algiers)
Gioacchino Rossini
(1792-1868)
 
 

L'Italiana in Algeri is a typical opera buffa (comic opera), replete with improbable coincidences, sly deceptions and virtue defended... all leading to a happy ending.

Mustafa is the arrogant Bey of Algeria, who, tired of his faithful wife, Elvira, decides to marry her off to his Italian slave Lindoro. Thus disencumbered, he would pay suit to one of the beautiful Italian girls of which Lindoro had spoken. He sends his pirate chief Haly off to find a suitable Italiana, on pain of death for failure to find one.

Luckily for Mustafa, and certainly for Haly, an Italian vessel chances to founder on the Algerian shore, debarking the beautiful Isabella and her middle-aged suitor, Taddeo, who poses as her uncle(!). She has come looking for her lover, Lindoro (!!), who had been lost at sea in those waters.

Mustafa is enchanted by Isabella, who, quite aware of her charms, devises a means of gaining freedom for herself, Lindoro, and Taddeo. Mustafa is throughly outwitted, and as Isabella, Lindoro and Taddeo sail away to Italy, the Bey admits his folly, and magnanimously takes back his adoring wife Elvira. (This was written, remember, in 1813.)

The Overture opens very slowly with a six note motif, pizzicato. After a loud chord, the oboe picks up the theme to the background of plucked strings. The low strings suggest the (comically) menacing Mustafa, just before two loud chords announce the allegro section... a jaunty, and very Rossinian theme of military character, complete with trumpet fanfares.

This is immediately followed by the overture's best remembered theme, taken up first by the oboe, then by other woodwinds. There is a short portion of scurrying violins chased by woodwinds, (perhaps meant to suggest the amorous pursuits of Mustafa) leading to the typical Rossinian crescendo.

After a brief, languid interlude, another theme appears, closely related to the first. It if followed by the well-loved theme mentioned above, succeeded again by the scurrying of violins, leading to the final crescendo.


 
       
  Trumpet Concerto in E-Flat Major
(First Movement)
Franz Josef Haydn
(1732-1809)
 
 

Haydn is correctly considered a Classical composer, having developed the sonata-allegro form to the fullest. However, there are many touches of Sturm und Drang in his symphonies, strong hints of what later became known as Romanticism. This trumpet concerto has touches, especially in the latter movements, of the chromaticism usually associated with Romanticism. Haydn wrote this concerto for a new invention, the keyed trumpet, which allowed him greater melodic freedom. The instrument can respond to the direction taken by the orchestra regardless of the key.

The trumpet was designed with holes along the tubing, which were stopped by saxophone-like pads. This permitted much more virtuoso playing. The instrument is not used today, because the tone was somewhat damaged by the perforations, and the invention of the valved trumpet accomplished the same ends without the undesireable side-effects.

Some find premonitions of Schubert in the second movement.


 
       
  Scherzo - Tarantelle, Op. 16 Henri Wieniaswki
(1835-1880)
 
 

Wieniawski's music is more likely to be recognized than Wieniawski, himself. Music lovers will remember having heard the Scherzo - Tarantelle before, but may not remember who wrote it.

Wieniawski was a child prodigy who entered the Paris Conservatory at the age of eight. He was a virtuoso violinist often compared to Paganini. He wrote two violin concerti, numerous polonaises and mazurkas, and other short pieces, but was known more for his spectaular performances than for his compositions themselves.

he tourned widely, and spent the years 1874 to 1877 in the United States, touring with the pianist Anton Rubinstein. He argued with Rubinstein over who was to have top billing, and played over seventy concerts with him without exchanging a word.

The Scherzo is frenetic from the start, as a Tarantelle should be. The term Scherzo means "joke" and initially had a lively, humorous quality. From Beethoven's time on, it refered to the lively or dynamic section of a symphoy or other work based on the sonata form, and substituting for the minuet of earlier times. In the Romantic period, it was a name used to describe a short instrumental piece of playful nature.

Tarantelle, or Tarantella, is a lively dance from the area around Taranto, Italy. Tarantella simply means a woman, or dance, or music, or anything else feminine (in Italian) from Taranto, just as Habanera fevers to Havana, or Malagueña refers to Malága. Coincidentally, there is a spider from the area known as a tarantula. A folk belief has it that the spider's bite produces a malady which can be cured only through dancing wildly, and the Tarantella is reputed to be this dance. So many people believed this, that at harvest time, troupes of fiddlers "patrolled" the fields to play for anyone bitten (for a fee, of course)

This Tarantelle has all the characteristics of the dance: non-stop bowing from the start, and wild speed except for a couple of short, lyrical interludes for contrast.


 
       
  Concertino for Clarinet, Op. 26 Carl Maria von Weber
(1786-1826)
 
 

Weber was born sixteen years after Beethoven, and died one year before him. He had a very successful career, and produced an enormous number of works considering the short time he lived, including many lieder with guitar accompaniment, chamber works, concerti, and, of course, a number of Singspiele, a kind of light operas with spoken dialogue interspersed with songs. In fact, although purists would say he wrote only one true opera, Euryanthe, that is fully sung, Weber advanced the art to the point that his best-known Singspiele such as Der Freischütz, are thought of as operas.

In fact, Weber is known primarily for his opera Der Freischütz, a Romantic "opera" in the grand manner. He is credited with the invention of Romantic opera in general, and Geman nationalistic opera in particular. He had a great impact on Richard Wagner. He had the Romantic's preoccupation with the idea of painting tonal pictures, together with a nostalgia for by-gone times and the mythology of his country. The writer Harry Halbreich suggests that Weber was the first to use the horn and the clarinet to express the voices of nature.

His Romantic tendencies were, however, tempered by a love of classical order. He idolized Mozart, and he was strongly influenced by his teacher, Michael Haydn (Joseph's brother). He even criticized Beethoven for a lack of classical restraint. One might, therefore, expect Weber's music to be an admirable blend of innovation and tradition. It is, indeed, surprising that it has not gained a wider audience.

Weber was a child prodigy, his huge hands contributing to his piano virtuosity. He wrote his first Singspiel when he was twelve, successfully staged his Das Waldmädchen when he was fourteen, and became music director of the Breslau town theater when he was seventeen. No doubt he acquired a great deal of stage experience as he accompanied his father on theatrical tours throughout Germany.

His interest in the clarinet began in 1811, when he met Heinrich Baermann, the greatest clarnietist in Germany. He wrote the Concertino for Baermann, which met with immediate success and spawned a series of commissions for the clarinet and other wind instruments.

Concertino has two meanings: In the days of Corelli and Bach, it was the smaller part of the orchestra playing rather as a solo instrument against the larger, or ripieno part, in a Concerto Grosso. In the Romantic period, it was simply a shorter and lighter type of concerto. Weber's Concertino lasts about nine minutes. It begins dramatically, with full orchestra, but then alternates between pastoral and energetic episodes. The final portion has an unexpected repeat two-note motif on the horns, a reminder of the love Weber had for the brass in general and horns in particular ... a characteristic further developed by Weber's greatest champion, Richard Wagner.


 
       
  Petite Suite Claude Debussy
(1862-1918)
 
 

Debussy was the founder of what became known as the Impressionist School in music. The term was in reference to the Impressionist painters of the latter half of the nineteenth century. The groups were seen to be both anti-Classical, because they seemed soft on structure, and anti-Romantic, because they avoided dramatic subjects or great deeds. The Impressionist composers dealt with tone for its own sake as the painters had dealt with light for its. Monet, founder of Impressionism, said that light was the "chief personage in the picture."

There is also a strong connection between Debussy and the Symbolist poets like Verlaine and Mallarmé, who wrote vaguely, leaving as much as possible to the imagination. The Romantics tried to show; the Symbolists tried to suggest.

Debussy's music frequently suggests a plot ... that is, it is programmatic. But usually, it suggests moods, or even moments. Critics found it too disorderly. Even a modernlist like Eric Satie ridiculed Debussy, writing a slanderous satirical poem even referring to his marital problems (both his mistress and his wife attempted suicide). Students at the conservatory were forbidden to have his music in their possession, and one was expelled for breaking that rule.

Petite Suite poses no difficulties for today's listener. It includes four separate movements. The first, En Bateau (In the Boat), suggests the gentle swaying of a boat, and is cast in three-part form. The second movement, Cortege (Procession), is a bright march in moderate temp with quick dotted rhythms heard throughout. The third movement is a Menuet in moderate triple meter. Oboe, English horn, and bassoon are prominent. The fourth movement is in fast duple meter, and with accented, dance-liek rhythms is aptly titled Ballet.

The work was originally written for piano alone, and later orchestrated by Henri Busser.


 
       
  Remembering the Beatles arr. Bob Lowden  
 

This medley includes Eleanor Rigby, Yesterday, A Hard Day's Night, The Fool on the Hill, Something, and Please Please Me, all of which were written by John Lennon and Paul McCartney, except for Something, which was by George Harrison. McCartney and Lennon had a pact that required both names to go on any song written by either one of them, which makes for a nice guessing game as to who really wrote what. I think it's an easy game: McCartney wrote Eleanor Rigby and Yesterday, for example; Lennon wrote Yellow Submarine. We may never know for sure.

The Beatles are a phenomenon so familiar as to require little in the way of explanation. There have been popular groups before, and since, who have prompted adulation and condemnation, but usually from different social groups. The Beatles have been praised and pummeled by serious music critics, not just by the public. The normally staid critic Richard Buckle, writing in the Sunday Times, declared them "the greatest composers since Beethoven." One of America's most respected writers of art songs, Ned Roram, said about "She's Leaving Home," from Sergeant Pepper, that it was "equal to any song Schubert wrote."

On the other hand, Newsweek, commenting on the omnipresence of Beatles music, described it as "a sound that is one of the most persistent noises heard over England since the air-raid sirens were dismantled."

The Beatles were certainly inventive, and at least the McCartney andHarrison inspired songs are richer in orhcestration, dynamic range, and lyricism than most rock music. The Beatles made use of foreign languages, harmonium, sitar, kazoos and combos and a number of other exotic instruments. Harrison, particularly, was interested in the music of India, and was largely responsible for the sudden interest in Raga music that swept the U.S. in the sixties.

They were innovative not simply through their exploitation of a wider range of instruments than most groups, but for producing the first rock "song cycle" in Sergeant Pepper, which prompted the aforementioned reference to Schubert, by Ned Rorem. Their themes offered much material for development, as is witnessed by a delightful album meant as a spoof, but enjoyable in its own right, The Baroque Beatles Book. All the songs were written by Lennon and McCartney, orchestrated in the style of Handel and Bach, and played by members of the Liverpool Philharmonic.


 
       
 

Manchester Symphony Orchestra Personnel

 
  Violin
Linda Kanzawa Hare, Concertmaster
Rosemary Manifold *
Dessie Arnold
Stephanie Beery
Joyce Dubach
Amy Grush
William Klickman
Ilona Orban
Angela Rogers
Daniel A. Seibert
Vernon Stinebaugh
Michael Wurzburger +^

Viola
Annette Martin *
Joyce Gouwens
Naida Walker MacDermid
Deb Steiner +

Cello
Waverly Berry Conlan *
Jennifer Barnhart +
Betty Bueker
Tim Spahr
Lisa White +

Bass
Randy Gratz *
Darrel Fiene
George W. Scheerer

Piccolo
Amy Hodson +

Flute
Amy Hodson *+
Suzy Oaks +
Jennifer Wallace +

Oboe
Lisa Kinsey *+^
Monty Bedford
Clarinet
Robyn Jones *
Jane Grandstaff
LeAnn Compton +

Bassoon
Donna Russell *
Ric Lynn

Horn
Nancy A. Bremer * (co-)
Bryan L. Gibson * (co-)

Trumpet
Steven Hammer * (co-)
Stan Storey * (co-)
Stan Beery

Trombone
Larry Dockter *
Jaime Shoup +
Scott Hippensteel

Tuba
John Beery

Timpani
David Mendenhall

Percussion
Jim Bowyer +
Tana Tinkey

Piano
R. Gary Deavel

* Denotes principal
+ Denotes MC student
^ Denotes MSS Scholarship recipient
       
 
Michael KernsMichael Kerns is a junior at Northwood High School. His honors in music include selection to the Indiana All-State Band, the Indiana All-State Honor Band, and the Indiana All-State Jazz Band in which he played lead trumpet. At Northwood he has beena member of the Wind Ensemble, Marching Band, Jazz Band, and the Scarlet Guard. Michael is also a member of the Phantom Regiment Drum and Bugle Corps. In 1990 and 1991 he was awarded second place in the Indiana Trumpet Competition. Michael's parents are Mike and Leigh Kerns of Nappanee.



Stephanie BeeryStephanie Beery is a senior at Manchester High School. She has played violin thirteen years and studies privately with Linda Hare. She was selected to the Indiana All-State Orchestra for four consecutive years and in 1990 was chosen to perform in the Manhattan All-American Youth Orchestra in Carnegie Hall. She is concertmaster of the Kokomo Youth Symphony and is a member of the Manchester Symphony Orchestra, the Kokomo Symphony Orchestra and the Grace Symphony Orchestra. She will attend Manchester College this fall as a Presidential Scholar, and pursue her interests in science and music. Stephanie is the daughter of Dwight and Helen Beery of North Manchester.
Robyn JonesRobyn Jones is a junior at Manchester High School. In 1989 she was first-chair clarinet with the Wabash County Honor Band. She was selected for the Indiana All-State Honor Band in 1990 and the Indiana All-State Orchestra in 1991. She recently performed as soloist with the Fort Wayne Philharmonic as the winner of the Philharmonic's Young Artist Competition. She studies clarinet with her father Robert Jones, and is principal clarinetist with the Manchester Symphony Orchestra. Robyn's parents are Stephanie and Robert Jones of North Manchester.