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Concert Program Cover

Third Concert of the 69th Season

Tall Tales from Europe

Sunday, March 2nd, 2008
Honeywell Center, Wabash
Suzanne Gindin, Conductor

  Charles Klingler, storyteller  
  Overture to William Tell Gioacchino Rossini  
  Gavotte Jean-Baptiste Lully
arr. Suzuki
  Minuet I Johann Sebastian Bach
arr. Suzuki
  Go Tell Aunt Rhody American Folk Song  

North Central Indiana String Association
Linda Kummernuss, Director

  Carnival of Venice Guilio Briccialdi  
  Jena Eichenlaub, flute  
  Man of La Mancha Mitch Leigh  
  Andrew Haff, baritone  
  "Se vuol ballare" from The Marriage of Figaro Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart  
  David Moan, baritone  
  Háry János Suite Zoltán Kodály  

1. Prelude; the Fairy Tale Begins
2. Viennese Musical Clock
3. Song
4. The Battle and Defeat of Napoleon
5. Intermezzo
6. Entrance of the Emperor and His Court


Program Notes by James R. C. Adams

  William Tell Overture Gioacchino Rossini

Rossini was born of a musical family. His father was a horn player, and his mother, a singer. The Wikipedia describes him as a musical prodigy, and cites as evidence that he played the triangle at the age of six. In all modesty, I, too, played the triangle at the age of six, but my promise as a musical genius was not fulfilled as it was for Rossini

Rossini was the most successful Italian composer of his time. Oddly, not much is known about him during his years of composing, but much has been written about his life after his early retirement. William Tell was his last opera, written when he was only thirty-seven. He did continue to produce some religious pieces, including the wonderful Stabat Mater three years later. Ill health might have been the principle reason for his change of attitude. He suffered greatly in the early 1850s, and when his Italian doctors could not help him, he and his wife moved to Paris, where his health improved. It is also true that he was rather demoralized by his waning career in Bologna after such stellar success earlier. There was likely a political reason for that change of fortune, since he did not support the Bolognese movement for national unity.

With the return of his good health, his humor and wit also returned. His home in Paris quickly became a gathering place for all the artistic people of the period, and there are countless anecdotes about his eating, drinking, and his witty criticisms of other composers. "Mr. Wagner has beautiful moments, but bad quarters of an hour," he said. During this time he did complete many songs and piano pieces, but would not let them be published. They have been heard only since the mid-twentieth century.

When asked what he thought would be his legacy, he said, "Do you know what will survive me? The third act of Tell, the second act of Otello, and the Barber of Seville from one end to the other!" He was right, at least, about the Barber, but the only thing about William Tell that most people remember is the Overture, and that mostly because of a masked rider and his faithful sidekick, Tonto.

  Suzuki Strings Shinichi Suzuki

Shinichi Suzuki was a Japanese violinist, born in Nagoya into a large family of violin makers. Self-taught by imitating recordings, Suzuki went to Germany in 1920 to seek professional training. He married in Germany, and then returned to Japan where he took a position as violin instructor. During the Second World War, his father's violin factory was destroyed in the bombing, and Suzuki left the area to live in poverty in small villages. There, he took an interest in orphans, adopting one, and teaching others to play the violin. Now, his Suzuki Method is known throughout the world. It is ironic that it is known that way, since Suzuki claimed to have no "method." Instead, he had a philosophy. It was based on the belief that all children could be taught to play the violin in the same way they learn their native language (an analogy he expressed frequently). He spoke of five principles, listed below.

1. The human being is a product of his environment.
2. The earlier, the better - not only music, but all learning.
3. Repetition of experiences is important for learning.
4. Teachers and parents (adult human environment) must be at a high level and continue to grow to provide a better learning situation for the child.
5. The system or method must involve illustrations for the child based on the teacher's understanding of when, what, and how. (Kendall, 1966)

Despite Suzuki's claim that it is not a "method," teachers who follow his principles regularly describe it as a method. Students must start very young. They are not encouraged to sight-read, but to imitate what they hear the teacher do. Their training must be closely supervised by their parents.

Suzuki was not only a pedagogue; he was a humanitarian. Some of his quotations will express that:

"Teaching music is not my main purpose. I want to make good citizens. If children hear fine music from the day of their birth and learn to play it, they develop sensitivity, discipline and endurance. They get a beautiful heart."

"When love is deep, much can be accomplished."

"Music exists for the purpose of growing an admirable heart."

  Carnival of Venice Giulio Briccialdi

Briccialdi was perhaps the most famous flautist of the 19th Century. He was also a composer of some talent, but he is best known for the improvements he made in flute design, designing a flute with an added key: B-flat. He was mostly self-taught, and was such a prodigy that he was made Professor at the Santa Cecilia Academy at the age of seventeen (some sources say fifteen). His modification of the Boehm system of fingering was not the only contribution to the art of flute-making. He established a flute-making factory to produce instruments of his own patent. He was successful as a touring performer in America as well as in Europe.

Briccialdi wrote one opera and several concertos for the flute.

  Man of La Mancha Mitch Leigh
(b. 1928)

Mitch Leigh was born in Brooklyn, N.Y. He studied with Paul Hindemith at Yale, and spent the early part of his career writing television and radio commercials. He then founded a company for the production of commercials.

Although he has written a number of stage works, Chu Chem (1966), Cry for Us All (1970), Odyssey (1974), and Sarava (1978), the only work to receive notable success was Man of La Mancha. In addition to composing, Leigh was a very active producer.

As practically everyone knows, the "Man" in question is Don Quixote. The musical is based on his most famous of characters of the Spanish writer Miguel de Cervantes.

  Se vuol ballare (from Le Nozze di Figaro) Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart

Le Nozze di Figaro (The Marriage of Figaro) is one of Mozart's most popular operas. It is based on infidelity, but the women remain steadfast, and it is only the men who are lecherous, so it didn't raise the indignation occasioned by his other opera on that topic, Cosi Fan Tutte, where the women are unfaithful ... sort of. But that's another story.

Figaro is the barber of Seville (subject of a later opera by Rossini, and still other operas by lesser composers), who is about to marry Susanna. They are both in the service of Count Almaviva, who demands his droit du seigneur, the old custom that allows the lord the right to spend the first night with the bride of any of his retainers. Neither Figaro nor Susanna is happy with this plan, nor is the Countess, who loves her husband in spite of his Zeus complex. In an effort to thwart the Count's plans, the women disguise themselves as each other, and through a series of plot twists, succeed in making fools out of all the men. They manage to trick the count into renouncing the droit du seigneur, whereupon there is a sigh of relief from the entire town.

The opera begins with Figaro measuring the square feet of the apartment they have just been given as a wedding present by the Count. His principal concern is that the bed might not fit! He is calling out the measurements as Susanna tries to tell h im of her misgivings. Figaro, normally a wily sort in his own right, is oblivious to the Count's reason for his generosity. He says that now, he won't have to run over the whole palace when the Count calls for him, because the rooms adjoin the Count's. Susanna points out that the proximity might suit the Count for other reasons.

Once Figaro realizes that Count Almaviva has designs on Susanna, he boasts that nobody can pull the wool over his eyes. He sings the first aria in the opera, Se vuol ballare, Signor Contino, il chitarrino le suoneró... "If the little count wants to dance, I'll play the tune!"

  Háry János Suite, Op. 15 Zoltán Kodály

Zoltán Kodály was born in Hungary, and died there. He was not simply a composer, but an educator, and one of the earliest ethnomusicologists. He was a very fast learner, and mastered the piano, violin, and cello almost self-taught. His Overture in D Minor was performed by a full orchestra when he was only sixteen years old.

Kodály took diplomas in composition and teaching, and finally a Ph.D. in the Strophic Construction of the Hungarian folk-song. He and his younger friend, Béla Bartók, often roamed the countryside with recording devices to collect folk-songs, and the effect can be heard in the music of both men.

Kodály was a great teacher, and he took particular interest in young people, establishing a choral society that became a national institution.

His "play with music," Háry János, is seldom performed, but the suite he derived from it is very popular. It's the story of an aging soldier who is telling tall tales about his exploits. It consists of six parts.

1. Prelude (The Fairy Tale Begins)

2. Viennese Musical Clock -- Háry and his girl-friend are in Vienna, and are amazed at the moving figures of the clock.

3. Song -- In the original, this was sung, but here is rendered by the viola and oboe, accompanied by the Hungarian cembalom ... For this performance, a harpsichord is substituted.

4. The Battle and Defeat of Napoleon -- Here is where Háry defeats Napoleon's army. The music is a parody of military music and the dirge.

5. Intermezzo -- This is based on an 18th Century recruiting piece.

6. Entrance of the Emperor and his Court -- Here is a march movement done tongue-in-cheek, suggesting the march of toy soldiers.


Manchester Symphony Orchestra Personnel

  Violin I
Dessie Arnold, Concertmaster
Linda Kummernuss
Ervin Orban
Ilona Orban
Pablo Vasquez
Kristin Westover
Liisa Wiljer

Violin II
Joyce Dubach *
Martha Barker
Erin Cole +
Janice Eplett
Heather Hufgard +
Jennifer Iannuzzelli +
Paula Merriman

Naida MacDermid *
Bruce Graham
Debra Graham
Jessica Jacoby +
Julie Sadler
Margaret Sklenar

Brook Bennett *
Rosemary Bond +
Erica Hedges +
Cori Miner +
Nicole Smith
Julia Smucker
Sara Thomas

Darrel Fiene *
Brad Kuhns
Brian Kuhns

Jena Eichenlaub

Kathy Urbani *
Sarah Curry +
Jena Eichenlaub +

George Donner *
Nyssa Gore +
Deana Strantz +

English Horn
George Donner

Soprano Clarinet
Lila D. Hammer
Lila D. Hammer *
Mark W. Huntington
Amy Reidhaar +

Bass Clarinet
Mark W. Huntington

Erich Zummack *
Karen Labuda

Farrell Vernon

John Morse *
Nicole Anderson +
Brittany Cook +
Tammy Sprunger

Steven Hammer *
Kim Baney
Kristine Harris
Nicholas Kenny +

Jon Hartman *
Larry Dockter

Bass Trombone
Scott Hippensteel

Mitch Freeman

Michael Holler +

David Robbins *
Joshua Faudree +
Olesya Savinkova +
Geoff Wolf

Mark Bryant
Greg Clark

Alan Chambers

Stephanie Green

Elena Abuladze

* Denotes principal
+ Denotes MC student

Suzuki Violinists

  Rachel Chapman
Anna Driscoll
Emily Grant
Angela Horton
Max Jang
Meggie Jang
Harley Kruschwitz
Angela Levine
Emiily Lynn
Thomas Naragon
Kelly Smith
Abby Stein
Jonathan Tinkey
Olivia Watson
Brianna White