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Concert Program Cover

Fourth Concert of the 59th Season

Young Artist Competition Winners

Sunday, May 10th, 1998
Cordier Auditorium
Robert Jones, Conductor

  Overture to "Candide" Leonard Bernstein  
       
  Zigeunerweisen Pablo Sarasate  
  Anita Thomas, violin  
       
  Piano Concerto No. 12 in A Major, K. 414 Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart  
 

I. Allegro

 
  Mary Rose Jordan, piano  
       
  Dance Rhythms, Op. 58 Wallingford Riegger  
       
  Intermission  
       
  Fantaisie Georges Hüe  
  Kristin Durham, flute  
       
  Violin Concerto in G minor, Op. 26 Max Bruch  
 

I. Allegro moderato

   
  Rohan Patel, violin  
       
  Selections from Oklahoma Richard Rogers
(arr. R.R.Bennett)
 
       
 

Program Notes by James R. C. Adams

 
  Overture to Candide Leonard Bernstein
(1918-1990)
 
 

In 1759, Voltaire wrote a philosophical satire called Candide. It was a funny, bawdy, preposterous story about a naive young man who had been taught that "everything was for the best." Hopelessly optimistic, Candide suffered all manner of disasters, from shipwreck to volcanic eruptions and earthquakes. His travels take him all over Europe and South America. All those he loves are killed or mutilated, or both. Through all this, he maintains as he has been taught that "this is the best of all possible worlds." Those he thought dead are miraculously restored, but turn out to be not the sort of people he had thought them to be. Finally, he realizes that "We're neither pure nor wise nor good; we'll do the best we know."

Voltaire was a wit who was courted by the aristocracy of severl nations, but never remained in favor for very long because of his rapier tongut. when he was not offending an official by direct attack, he did so indirectly by defending others under attack. He was placed in the Bastille twice, and exiled twice. Many of his attacks were against organized religion. He was a Deist who opposed evangelism and religious intolerance. Since even his most vitriolic attacks were amusing, he was quite popular.

Candide was turned into a musical by a large array of talented people. The music, of course, is by Leonard Bernstein, with additional orchestration by Hershy Kay. The lyrics are by Richard Wilbur, with additional lyrics by Dorothy Perker, Lillian Hellman, Stephen Sondheim, and Bernstein, himself. In spite of the artistic forces brought to bear on this work, it never achieved great popularity. The overture, however, continues to be a part of the concert repertoire, and was given additional popularity as the theme music for the old Dick Cavett Show.

The Overture begins with a bang -- literally. Its syncopation, rapid changes of pace and moods, and short polyphonic passages alternating with lyrical bits all reflect the absurdly rapid reverses of fortune undergone by Candide in the course of his odyssey.


 
       
  Zigeunerweisen for violin and orchestra Pablo Sarasate
(1844-1908)
 
 

Pablo Martín Melitón de Sarasate y Navascuez was born in the Basque town of Pamplona, known abroad for its annual running-of-the-bulls. This Spanish virtuoso inherited the mantle of the great Paganini, and inspired a number of important composers to write pieces for him to play. Among them were Max Bruch, Édouard Lalo, and Camille Saint-Saëns. He was so honored in his home country that the Queen of Spain presented him with a Stradivarius violin.

Although there are plenty of gypsies in Spain (Zigeunerweisen means "Gypsy Airs"), this piece has a distinctly central European character. It is still frequentyly played by roving violinists in Budapest restaurants, with the sound of the cembalom in the background. It is so characteristic of Hungarian music that it is often parodied in movies, where the performer wrings the last drop of pathos from it with glissandi that suggest more a search for the right note than genuine gypsy pain. Older members of the audience will be reminded of a popular song derived from the opening motif, linked to the words "You are so nice to come home to" (believe it or not!) After about six minutes of slow and soulful melody, there is a spectacular one-and-a-hald-minute ending which is extremely demanding of the performer.

Sarasate had a sense of humor. When a Parisian hostess invited him to dine "avec votre violon" (with your violin), he replied that he would be delighted to dine with her, but that his violin did not dine.

Althought Sarasate is more famous as a violinist than as a composer, at least one other of his compositions enjoys continued popularity: Jota Aragonesa.


 
       
  Piano Concerto No. 12 in A Major, K. 414 -- Mvt. 1 Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart
(1756-1791)
 
 

This concerto is one of three which Mozart wrote in 1782 for his subscription concerts in Vienna. It is known as the "little" A major to distinguish it from K. 488 in the same key. (The "K" numbers after Mozart pieces take the place of Opus numbers which Mozart did not use. They stand for "Köchel," who produced a commonly used catalog of Mozart's works.)

Concerti of this period often had two distinct themes dealt with in different keys for contrast. Mozart worked this way, but frequently incorporated little tunes that can be considered "related" to one or the other of the two themes, or simply as additional themes on their own. Mozart had a habit of introducing a theme, then letting us almost forget about it before bringing it back as a kind of surprise. It is a pity we aren't to hear the other movements, because they illustrate this point, having themes linked to ones introduced in the first movement. Mozart wrote to his father, "There are passages here and there from which connoisseurs alone can derive satisfaction; but they are written in such a way that the less learned cannot fail to be pleased, though without knowing why." A case of art concealing art.


 
       
  Dance Rhythms, Op. 58 Wallingford Riegger
(1885-1961)
 
 

Riegger is not well-known to the general public, but is considered by critics to be one of the most influential modern composers on the American scene. Unlike Bizet, who had completed his first Symphony in C by the time he was seventeen, Riegger did not begin serious composition until he was thirty-five. He was an early practitioner of Schönberg's "tone-row" technique, and in the 1940s won several awards, including the New York Critics Circle award for his Third Symphony.

Riegger wrote three different sorts of music; the severe, serial works, including the Third Symphony; conservative academic works like Passacaglia and Fugue, and the Canon and Fugue for Strings; and a group of highly accessible works for modern dance, including the Dance Rhythms we are to hear today.

Wallingford Riegger died in 1961 in a bizarre manner while walking on a New York street. A dog wrapped his leash around his legs, causing him to fall and strike his head on the sidewalk. He sat in the waiting room of a hospital for over an hour, waiting for medical attention. By the time they got around to examining him, he was dead.


 
       
  Fantaisie Georges Hüe
(1858-1948)
 
 

Fantaisie was written as a test piece by Hüe when he was a student at the Paris Conservatoire. The great flutist Marcel Moyse liked it well enough to record it in 1928, after which it fell into obscurity. A copy was later discovered in the Paris "Flea Market" and it was again recorded, this time by William Bennett.

Its French origin should be immediately apparent. Debussy's Afternoon of a Faun springs to mind. Although Afternoon of a Faun was written in 1875, it was almost unknown to both public and musicians. It wasn't until ballet impresario Diaghilev staged it with Nijinksy dancing in a "shamefully bestial" manner that it became famous. This was in 1912. Hüe wrote his Fantaisie in 1913.

It's possible that Hüe was merely "paying homage" to Debussy with his work, since after a few obvious references to him, the music becomes a bit more original.


 
       
  Violin Concerto in G minor, Op. 26 -- Mvt. 1 Max Bruch
(1838-1920)
 
 

Max Bruch was born in Cologne, and died at Friedenau (near Berlin). He spent his life in Germany, except for a three-year period when he was director of the Liverpool Philharmonic Society. Bruch's early formal training was at Bonn, birthplace of Beethoven. He showed a great lyric sense at an early age, probably as the result of his mother's influence; she was an accomplished vocalist, and his first teacher. Critics have tended to consider his choral work to be his best, but the public has always preferred his works for violin or cello.

Bruch was interested in folk music, particularly German, Scottish, Welsh, and Jewish. Even though he was not Jewish, one of his two most popular works is the Kol Nidrei, for cello and orchestra. Of the three violin concerti he wrote, the first is the most popular, and except for the Kol Nidrei, it is almost the only piece keeping Bruch's name alive. The relative popularity of his First Violin Concerto can be judged by the number of recordings currently listed: forty-four, compared to four for his Second Violin Concerto.

Bruch sketched out the concerto when he was only nineteen years old, but it underwent many transformations before it was first performed publicly, nine years later, in 1866. Two years later, with the aid of Joseph Joachim, Bruch revised it, and in 1872, the Spanish violinist, Sarasate, introduced it to American audiences.

Cynics might say it sounds like Mendelssohn, accompanied by Beethoven. Certainly Bruch was eclectic. Hints of Brahms and Mendelssohn are apparent in the Finale. Perhaps this is the influence of Joachim, who was a Brahms enthusiast. Brahms, himself, did not appear to think much of the concerto; his only comment concerned the quality of the paper Bruch had used for the manuscript!

The work is in three movements, of which we are to hear only the first: Allegro Moderato, a movement which demonstrates the violin's virtuosity, the first theme spanning three octaves.

The violin enters almost at once with a melody echoed by the orchestra. A new, and more lyrical melody is announced by the violin, and then repeated by the orchestra as the violin trills its way up the scale to the highest positions for tha instrument. The orchestra develops the theme while the violin embellishes, and then the violin restates the theme just before the orchestra, without the customary pause, would have led us to the second movement.


 
       
  Oklahoma (Selections) Richard Rodgers
(1902-1979)
arr. Robert Russell Bennett
(1894-1981)
 
 

"Rodgers and Hart!" Would there ever be another pair like that? The names went together like Gilbert and Sullivan, like Rimsky and Korsakov (well, not quite). The partnership of Richard Rogers and Lorenz Hart went back as far as 1919, when they published their first song. Rodgers was only sixteen! Think of those hits: There's a Small Hotel, The Lady Is a Tramp, Funny Valentine, With a Song in My Heart, Blue Moon, and the waltzes The Most Beautiful Girl in the World and Falling in Love with Love. One might ask after Lorenz Hart died, what would happen to "Rodgers and Hart?" After Hardy died, was there a "Laurel and Hammerstein?"

Rodgers found a new partner in Oscar Hammerstein II. The fruit of their first collaboration came in 1943: Oklahoma! and the American musical was never the same. Oklahoma! was the first musical to integrate dance, drama and music, as opposed to the earlier style of having "set pieces" which were sung while the action waited. Oklahoma! was practically an American opera. Many successes were to follow: Carousel, The King and I, South Pacific, and, of course, The Sound of Music. Now the names "Rodgers and Hammerstein" roll easily off the tongue, and poor Lorenz Hart is forgotten by many, even as they sing his songs.

Today's selections are:

The Farmer and the Cowman
Oklahoma
People Will Say We're in Love
Out of My Dreams
Oh, What a Beautiful Morning
Pore Jud is Daid
The Surrey with the Fringe on the Top
Many a New Day
Kansas City
Farmer Dance
I Cain't Say No


 
       
 

Manchester Symphony Orchestra Personnel

 
  Violin
Linda Kanzawa Ard, Concertmaster
Joyce Dubach *
Matt Baker +^
Martha Barker
Stephanie Beery
Christina Beyer +^
Beth Chiarenza
Jamie Eller +^
Matt Hendryx +
Sandra Neel
Margaret Piety

Viola
Naida MacDermid *
Peter Collins
Eric Stalter +^
Liisa Wiljer

Cello
Earl Perez *
Tim Spahr * (asst.)
Nicholas Bond
Preston Thomas +^

Bass
Randy Gratz *
Darrel Fiene

Piccolo
Madalyn Metzger +^
Barbi Pyrah

Flute
Kathy Urbani *

Oboe
Rita K. Merrick *
George Donner

English Horn
George Donner

Clarinet
Lila D. Hammer *
Jane Grandstaff
E-Flat Clarinet
Diana Nixon

Bass Clarinet
Kris Bachman

Bassoon
Erich Zummack *
Donna Russell

Horn
Nancy A. Bremer *
Bryan Gibson
John Morse
Elizabeth Lowe

Trumpet
Steven Hammer *
Scott D. Steenburg *+^ (co-)
Richard Pepple * (asst.)
Shawn Sollenberger +^

Trombone
D. Larry Dockter * (co-)
Jon Hartman * (co-)
Jeremy Dawkins +^

Tuba
William DeWitt

Timpani
Mark Sternberg +

Percussion
David Mendenhall
David Robbins
David Hearne

Harp
Anne Lewellen

* Denotes principal
+ Denotes MC student
^ Denotes MSS Scholarship recipient
       
 
Rohan PatelRohan Patel, first prize winner on violin, is a junior at Concord High School. He is concertmaster of the Elkhart Youth Honors Orchestra and was selected for the Indiana All-State Orchestra in 1995, 1996, and 1997. Other competition awards include senior division winner of the Fort Wayne Philharmonic Concerto Competition, runner-up in the South Bend Symphony competition, and Fischoff Artist of the Month in 1995.

Rohan is a member of the Rostelise Piano Trio and has participated in master classes with the Depauw Piano Trio, Rackham String Quartet, and the Eaken Piano Trio. he studies with renowned soloist and chamber musician Jon Toth, and will attend Meadowmount Music Festival this summer. Rohan's parents are Satish and Nandini Patel of Goshen.
Anita ThomasAnita Thomas, second prize winner on violin, is a senior at Concord High School. Her activities there include orchestra and pit orchestra. She has won many awards including the 1996 MVP of the Concord High School Orchestra, October 1997 Artist of the Month award from the Fischoff Chamber Music Association, and was a winner of a summer music scholarship from the Elkhart County Symphony Association.

Anita has been selected to the Elkhart County Symphony Orchestra, concert master of the Elkhart County Youth Honors Orchestra, and has been a member of other small ensembles. Anita is the daughter of Jeffery and Kathryn Thomas, and has studied with world renowned violinists Jon Toth and Sang Mee Lee.

Kristin DurhamKristin Durham, performance award winner on flute, is a senior at Blackhawk Christian High School and is a member of the Blackhawk High School Orchestra. She studies flute with Sharon Sparrow, former principal flutist of the Fort Wayne Philharmonic.

Kristin has been a first place winner at Indiana State School Music Association solo and ensemble contest on both flute and piccolo, and won first place in the Talents for Christ Competition in Kokomo. She performed with the United States Air Force Band in concert at Huntington College and performs with her church orchestra. Kristin's parents are Walter and Marilyn Durham of Fort Wayne.
Mary Rose JordanMary Rose Jordan, performance award winner on piano, is a ninth-grade student at Goshen High School where she is a member of the High School Orchestra and Chamber Orchestra. She was selected to perform as featured soloist with the High School Orchestra on both piano and violin.

Mary won the IMTA district competition for pianists and received honorable mention at the IMTA state level competition. She is a recipient of scholarships from Goshen Exchange Club and Fort Wayne Philharmonic Orchestra and was named the winner of the Hartman Stickley Award. Mary has studied piano with Christine Thögersen and studies currently with Marvin Blickenstaff of Goshen College. Her parents are Mark and Sherry Jordan of Goshen.