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Concert Program Cover

Fourth Concert of the 65th Season

Young Artist Competition Winners

Sunday, May 2nd, 2004
Cordier Auditorium
Robert Jones, Conductor

  An Outdoor Overture Aaron Copland  
 

with members of the Wawasee High School Orchestra

 
       
  Concerto No. 1 in B-flat minor, Op. 23 Pyotr Ilyitch Tchaikovsky  
 

III. Allegro non troppo e molto maestoso

 
  Alicia Pyle, piano
Second Prize Winner
 
       
  Symphonie espagnole, Op. 21 Edouard Lalo  
 

I. Allegro non troppo

 
  Azusa Chapman, violin
Performance Award Winner
 
       
  Intermission  
       
  Scarlet Sarafan Foster  
       
  Air and Pizzicatto Staccato Arthur Frackenpohl  
  with students from the North Central Indiana String Association  
       
  Piano Concerto No. 2 in G minor, Op. 22 Camile Saint-Saëns  
 

I. Andante sostenuto

   
  Kara Fawley, piano
First Prize Winner
 
       
  Dance Diversions Michael Hurd  
 

I. Allegro commodo
II. Andante con moto
III. Andante con moto, molto vigoroso
IV. Andante sostenuto
V. Allegro molto

 
       
 

Program Notes by James R. C. Adams

 
  An Outdoor Overture Aaron Copland
(1900-1990)
 
 

Few composers have been able to sound 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 the '30s, Copland began to express his social concerns in a number of ways. Sometimes it was choice of subject: conflict between society and the outlaw (Billy the Kid), but it was also a change of direction. Copland decided to write music that was more accessible to the people, both in terms of audience and in terms of performance. "I felt that it was worth the effort to see if I couldn't say what I had to say in the simplest possible terms."

During this period, Copland used more folk material, and he also turned toward what Paul Hindemith called gebrauchsmusik... that is, music with a particular utilitarian purpose, such as film scores and school productions. His opera The Second Hurricane (1936) was written for children, with a chorus for parents. Alexander Richter, head of the music department of the High School of Music and Art, had heard a performance of that short opera, and was impressed enough to encourage Copland to write An Outdoor Overture. Richter was trying to start a movement to provide more new music that school groups could perform. he was to have a series of concerts under the slogan of "American Music of American Youth." Copland couldn't resist. The work was first performed by a school orchestra in 1938, the same year as Billy the Kid. you will notice similarities between the two pieces and the ones to come shortly after, Rodeo and Appalachian Spring.

This tendency of Copland's led to criticisms in the late '40s that he was "imitating himself." All composers tend to repeat certain motifs, chord progressions, and harmonies, and that is thought of as their "style." Copland's reputation suffered not so much because of those traits as the fact that he was trying to simplify his music, which some critics thought of as "dumbing-down," and the fact that he was writing film-music, which is not taken seriously by American critics (it is elsewhere). An Outdoor Overture, however, was not without its champions. Elliott Carter, a highly regarded composer of very complex music, declared that the piece "...contains some of the finest and most personal music. Its opening is as lofty and beautiful as any passage that has been written by a contemporary composer."

The work opens with a fanfare, reminding us of themes from Billy the Kid, which he composed in the same year. It quickly moves to a trumpet solo with an ostinato of three rising notes. The Billy the Kid motif speeds up, and turns into a lively tune. It becomes a jaunty, swaggering cowboy tune before coming to a sudden stop, after which the fanfare returns, but gradually subsides. This is followed by a pensive melody played by the clarinet, followed by the flute, over a series of plunking chords. Then a staccato melody picks up the pace, followed by a determined march, then a return to the fanfare. After another series of three notes rising, there is another march -- this time driving and accelerating, positively triumphant. The work ends with a reprise of the opening fanfare.


 
       
  Piano Concerto No. 1 (Mvt. 3) Peter Ilich Tchaikovsky
(1840-1893)
 
 

Tchaikovsky was born into a well-to-do family. His father was a Major General. His mother was a cultivated woman of French descent who spoke French and German, and was somewhat musical. However, neither his father nor his mother approved of a musical career, and it was decided that he would train for the law. For four years he worked as a clerk in the Ministry of Justice, and although he had no intention of becoming a professional musician, he continued to play and to compose. At this time, he began studies at the newly formed St. petersburg conservatory. While correcting one of Tchaikovsky's exercises, Anton Rubinstein commented that he had a talent for improvisation, a remark that determined him to resign his post and begin the serious study of composition.

Tchaikovsky led a troubled life. He hated social intercourse, finding hypocrisy a necessary, but intolerable social talent. He frequently retreated even from his circle of friends. His sense of responsibility to those who cared for him led him into a disastrous marriage to a young woman who adored him. He was desolate on his wedding day, but reported in letters that his wife understood his problem perfectly, and wanted nothing more than to care for him and be near him. They parted in nine weeks.

Tchaikovsky's music is replete with longing, nostalgia, and melancholy. His deadh was (and is) a subject of controversy. The official story is that he died of cholera, in spite of which his Requiem Mass was open to the public, and one of his best friends kissed him repeatedly as he lay in state. That fact alone raised suspicions which later led to the assertion that he was forced to commit suicide to avoid a public scandal.

Tchaikovsky was a Romantic Nationalist composer with a deep respect for his Classical predecessors. His attitude to the concerto form was almost Baroque. The word concerto really suggests conflict rather than cooperation. That was the idea of the concerto grosso of the Baroque period, and it carried on into the Classical. Tchaikovsky's idol was the classicist Mozart. Tchaikovsky strongly believed in the antagonist aspect of the concerto. Writing about it, he said, "Here we are dealing with two equal opponents; the orchestra with its power, and inexhaustible variety of color, opposed by the small but high-mettled piano, which often comes off victorious in the hands of a gifted executant." For Tchaikovsky, the piano was David and the orchestra was Goliath. He apparently cast himself in the role of David. This is how he say himself vis-à-vis society. In his youth, he thought that David could win. As he grew older, he doubted that David could prevail against Goliath, and lost interest in the concerto as a medium of expression.

Tchaikovsky, who did not consider himself a pianist, sought the opinion of a famous virtuoso, Nicholas Rubinstein, brother of Anton. To Tchaikovsky's astonishment and rage, Rubinstein flatly condemned the concerto as poorly constructed and unplayable. He condescended to perform it if Tchaikovsky were to alter it according to his specifications. Tchaikovsky refused, scratched out the dedicatory inscription to Rubinstein, and offered the work instead to Hans von Bülow, who praised it, saying that it was "... noble, original, powerful; that the form was mature, ripe and distinguished in style." Bülow first performed the work in 1875, in Boston ... a slap in the face to Rubinstein and the Moscow Conservatory, of which Rubinstein was Director.

Throughout this concerto, both the piano and the orchestra make powerful declarations. This "dueling" attitude of Tchaikovsky might be what set Rubinstein off. he was happier with a collaborative approach to the concerto. But Rubinstein had also accused Tchaikovsky of borrowing themes from others. it is true that some folk motifs are used in this concerto; Tchaikovsky was a Nationalist who deliberately incporporated such things into his music, as did other Russian composers at that time. But not only was he a borrower, Tchaikovsky was a lender. Some of the older members of the audience would have recognized a tune from the first movement made popular in 1941, "Tonight We Love," a Freddy Martin pop song.

The third movement begins like the first, with an emphatic statement from the piano. The form is a rondo, which involves several themes, appearing and then reappearing. In this case, the first theme is given to the piano. It is derived from a Ukranian dance. The second theme is given to the orchestra. Like the first, it is in syncopated rhythm. The two forces continue to "battle it out" in the manner of a Baroque concerto grosso, with the "David" of the piano emerging victorious over the Goliath of the orchestra.


 
       
  Symphonie espagnole (Mvt. 1) Edouard Lalo
(1823-1892)
 
 

The Symphonie espagnole is neither a symphony, nor Spanish, though it does have a Spanish flavor. It is more of a concerto for violin and orchestra than anything else. It is a five-movement work, though it is often played without the third movement, the Intermezzo (traditional symphonies have four movements, while concerti have three). The apparently idiosyncratic title is actually characteristic of the Romantic period, during which Form sometimes took a back seat to Emotion.

Lalo came from a family with Spanish origins, though that fact is almost irrelevant, inasmuch as "exoticism" was routine among Romantic composers. One need not look to Spanish roots for explanations of Bizet's Carmen, Massenet's Le Cid, Rimsky-Korsakov's Capriccio Espagnol, and later, Debussy's Iberia, and Ravel's Bolero. The "African" country, Spain, held a great attraction for Romantic composers in general, and French ones in particular. Hispanophobes are fond of asserting that the best Spanish music was written by Frenchment!

Lalo wrote a great number of songs and chamber works, but he was initially unsuccessful, and grew bitter at his lack of public recognition. For some ten years he resigned himself to being a performer in chamber works. His instrument was the viola. A happy marriage may have been responsible for pulling him out of his doldrums, and his admiration for the Spanish violinst Sarasate prompted him to write a violin concerto. Sarasate was pleased with the work, and premiered it. Tchaikovsky praised it (he was prompted by Lalo's work to write his own violin concerto), and almost overnight, Lalo became a success.

We hear today only the first movement, the allegro non troppo (fast, but not too fast). Concerti used to have about a minute of orchestral introduction, but by the 19th century, composers were launching into the work with little or no preamble. There is a short fortissimo by the orchestra which gets our attention, followed immediately by the violin. It is clearly a Spanish-sounding theme, a bit melancholy and plaintive.  There is much legato playing ... that is, one note moves into the next without the bow's leaving the string.

If this work appeals to you, I recommend trying his Cello Concerto in D, and the Concerto for Violin, Op. 20.


 
       
  Piano Concerto No. 2 in G minor, Op. 22 (Mvt. 1) Camille Saint-Saëns
(1835-1921)
 
 

Saint-Saëns has not been treated magnanimously by the critics over the years. He was too conservative (almost alone among French composers of the 19th century, he used the traditional concerto form), his work was more facile than profound, more intellectual than emotional. And yet, he was very successful. He catered to the interests of the soloists, and showcased their skill. The Piano Concerto No. 2 was commissioned by the great Anton Rubinstein for his debut as conductor of an orchestra in Paris. Saint-Saëns then wrote the concerto in seventeen days. There were only four days left in which to practice, and Saint-Saëns was not happy with his performance. Neither were the critics. But other composers admired him. Berlioz declared him to be "one of the greatest musicians of our epoch."

Saint-Saëns was a generous supporter of younger composers. He was also an excellent pianist, which led critics to expect much from him. He was gregarious, witty, and erudite. Like Mendelssohn, whom he resembled in many ways, he was an admirer of Bach. In fact, the opening of this concerto is modeled after Bach's keyboard fantasies.

The first subject was suggested by a work of Fauré, though it turned out much better in this concerto than it did in Fauré's work. Although the movement nods to the traditional sonata form, not much is done with the second subject, and the structure is almost a simple A-B-A ternary form.

In spite of some critical disapproval, the second piano concerto has become a concert favorite.


 
       
  Dance Diversions Michael Hurd
(b. 1928)
 
 

Michael Hurd was born in Gloucester, England. He is as much a writer as he is a composer, having produced a number of instructive books directed toward children. He has also written books on British composers such as Benjamin Britten, Edward Elgar, and Ralph Vaughan Williams. Much of his music is vocal, and he has been praised for his understanding of the voice. He has written both very serious music (Missa Brevis) and more popular things, such as his widely performed Jonah-man Jazz.

He was not a prodigy, his formal music education not beginning until he was twenty-two, when he began his studies at Pembroke College, Oxford University. Later, he studied with Lennox Berkeley. Berkeley (pronounced "Barkley") is one of Britain's best-known composers. Hurd is a conservative composer, with a strong sense of lyricism.

A title such as Dance Diversions suggests "suite," and does not encourage an expectation of complexity. Had it been titled Dance Suite, we could have expected a series of rhythms more clearly defined. In this case, the only obvious "dance" is in the final Allegro molto movement, which is a Scottish reel. The whole work is an attractive, melodic exercise, not intellectually demanding, and perhaps just what we need at this time.

The first movement, allegro commodo, is in A-B-A-B form, not counting the brief and rather military introduction. The first theme reminds us of Malcolm Arnold, while the second reminds us of Aaron Copland, in his Rodeo or Billy the Kid mood.

The second movement, andante con moto, is lyrical, with almost a French sound, perhaps Fauré.

The third movement, andante con moto, molto vigoroso fits the Italian designation very well. "Andante" literally means "walking." The rhythm certainly suggests walking, almost swaggering. Perhaps it is a reflection of Hurd's interest in sea chanties.

The fourth movement, andante sostenuto, begins with the oboe and the flute in rather pensive mood. It soon turns into a vaguely Irish tune that repeats itself in a pleasant, though predictable way.

The final movement, allegro molto, is a Scottish reel, which brings the suite to a rousing finish.


 
       
 

Manchester Symphony Orchestra Personnel

 
  Violin
Linda Kanzawa, Concertmaster
Joyce Dubach *
Benita Barber
Martha Barker
Kristin King +
Ervin Orban
Ilona Orban
Margaret Piety
Jessie Sark
Christina Thomson

Viola
Naida MacDermid *
Peter Collins
Julie Sadler
Michael Spaulding

Cello
Tim Spahr *
Sarah Reed +
Tony Spahr
Sara Thomas

Bass
Darrel Fiene *
Mark Huxhold
George Scheerer

Piccolo
Allison Hoover +

Flute
Kathy Urbani *
Allison Hoover +
Sara Kauffman +

Oboe
Rita K. Merrick *
Pauline Dillman
Clarinet
Lila D. Hammer *
Jennifer Hann +
Mark W. Huntington

Bassoon
Erich Zummack *
Amy Eager +

Horn
Nancy A. Bremer *
Brittany Cook +
Cameron Hollenberg +
Kim Reuter +^

Trumpet
Steven Hammer *
Ray Hart +

Trombone
Jon Hartman *
Kacie Starkey +^
Scott Hippensteel

Timpani
Dave Robbins *

Percussion
Greg Wolff
Josh Rouse

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

Wawasee High School Orchestra

 
  Joyce Dubach, Director  
  David Adams
Kourtney Bell
Haley Bird
Josh Bohnstedt
Brice Brown
Martha Craig
Cody Dietz
Ryan Edgington
Haven Hoffman
Shawn Knafel
Tara Maisonneuve
Katie Pollock
Lindsay Smith
Beth Strycker
Brandon Whitton
James Yeager
Jacque Zumbrun
       
 

North Central Indiana String Association

 
  Linda Kummernuss, Director  
  Greg DeWitt
David Grant
Emily Grant
Olivia Helton
Emma Naragon
Tom Naragon
Elizabeth Schilling
Kelly Smith
       
 
Kara FawleyKara Fawley is a home-schooled junior from Warsaw, Indiana. Her parents are William and Jonel Fawley. She began Suzuki piano lessons from Paula Poppenfoose at the age of five. Since then, she has studied with Tammie Huntington and currently studies with Dr. Anthony Beer. During the past twelve years she has competed several times with the Piano Guild Society.

Kara has had many accomplishments. She won the Grace Community Orchestra Instrumental Competition in 1999 and 2003. Both times she performed with the orchestra. She has also won the Chopin Piano Competition in South Bend in 2000. Also in 2000, she received an honorable mention from the Stickley piano competition. In 2001, she attended a Piano Workshop at Goshen College for a week of piano study.

Each year Kara is involved in the Teens Involved competition through her church youth group. For five years she has been involved in choir, piano solos and duets, vocal and instrumental ensembles, and accompanying. In 2000, she won first place in the junior division, and in 2003, first place in the senior high division for her piano solos in Schroon Lake, New York. The year before, she placed second at the national level. For the past three years, she and her piano duet partner, John Franklin, have won the piano duet division for senior high.

Kara has just recently joined a piano trio in South Bend through the South Bend Youth Symphony. They will be performing a number of times in the next coming months.

Alicia PyleAlicia Pyle, the daughter of Mark and Sherie Pyle, has been taking private piano lessons for nine years and has been studying with her current teacher, Dawn Hopkins, for three years. She has been the pianist for the Fort Wayne Youth Symphony Orchestra since the 2001-2002 season, and she will be auditioning for her fourth season this spring. She was the winner of the District H division of the Indiana Music Teacher's Association Hoosier Auditions in 2003 and again in 2004. She will be going on to compete at the state level again this year.

Alicia was the winner of the Huntington College Concerto Competition in October of 2003, and she will perform with their orchestra in 2004. She was also the winner of the Fort Wayne Youth Symphony Orchestra concerto competition in December of 2003, and she will perform with their orchestra in 2004.

Alicia is currently a home-schooled junior in high school and maintains a piano studio with five students. At the end of the spring semester of 2004, she will have twelve college credits completed in music theory/harmony from Taylor University and Huntington College. She has also completed several other college credits in math and biology from the University of Saint Francis.
Azusa ChapmanAzusa Chapman, violin, is the daughter of Richard and Kyoko Chapman and a junior at Goshen High School. She began violin study at the age of four in the Suzuki program of Goshen College under the instruction of Debra Kauffman. She has also studied with Kristen Westover, Nancy Kostek, and Lon Sherer. Azusa currently studies with Brenda Brenner, assistant director of the Indiana University String Institute.

Azusa has been a participant in numerous music camps, festivals and honor orchestras. During two summers at the Blue Lake Fine Arts Camp she was concertmistress and principal second violin in the Blue Lake International Youth Symphony Orchestra, touring Europe and the midwestern United States. At the Interlochen Arts Camp she was a member of the World Youth Symphony Orhcestra. She has been selected for three years to the Indiana All-State Orchestra, serving as principal second violin and assistant principal for the first violin section. In 2002, Azusa was gold medalist in the Elkhart County Symphony Association's student concerto competition. Last summer she attended the Indiana University String Academy and worked under the instruction of Anna Baget of Spain.

Azusa is presently a member of the Indiana University String Institute, directed by Mimi Zweig, and is a participant with the Violin Virtuosi. This summer, she will attend the Indiana University String Academy.