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May 17, 1925 - Image 9

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The Michigan Daily, 1925-05-17

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Feature
Section

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Feature
Section

VOL. XXXV. No. 16:)

ANN ARBOR, MICHIGAN, SUNDAY, MAY 17, 1925

EIGHT PAGES

SPRING

BRINGS

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MAY

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Annual Affair Will Be Presented This Week In Hill Auditorium
Weekt- Return To More Classical And Conventi

V Many Stars Will Take Part In Ann Arbor's Music
onal Music Characterizes Program Planned

By University School Of Music

Will Present "La Gioconda" On Saturday

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SOME OF THE sets which will be used in the presentation of "La
Gioconda" on the closing night of the May Festival to be held this week.
Top, Center,' Lawrence Tibbett, a "discovery" of this season, also on the
May Festival program. Lower left, "The Mayor of Turegans, Segoria,"
one of the paintings now on exhibition in Alumni Memorial Hall under the
auspices of the Ann Arbor Art Association. The painting is the work of
Valentine de Zubiaurre, a Spanish artist,

IIARACTE1RIZED by a reversal to the mor'
classical, conventional literature in con-
trast to the predominance of modern music
on last year's programs, the thirty-second
annual May Festival will be held under the aus-
piccs of the University School of Music in Hill audi-
torium from Wednesday, May 20, through Saturday
May 23. The course will include the usual six con-
certs in four days, and will present thirteen interna-
tionally famous artists, the Chicago Symphony or-
chestra under Frederick Stock, the University
Choral Union, the Children's Festival Chorus, three
symphonies, Rachmaninoff's "The Bells", Pon-
chielli's "La Gioconda, and numerous other orches-
tral and solo works.
The first concert Wednesday evening will include
the Schumann B flat Symphony. The Official Pro-
gram Book of the May Festival, from which The
Mlichigan Daily hyas received special permission to
quote excerpts, presents the folowing history of this
work:
"The years immediately preceding the writing of
the symphony were full of joy, stress and storm;
the love of Schumann and Clara Wieck is one of the
most beautiful examples of perfect understanding
and accord, but they were made to experience the
extremes of happiness and despair by the deter-
mined and persistent opposition to their marriage
by her father, Herr Wieck, a pianoforte teacher of
Leipzig who entertained highest hopes of a success-
ful public career as a pianist for his daughter.
"Schumann composed this B fiat symphony at a
period when its form and character were greatly
affected by his own mood and external conditions.
I !c wrote Spohr that this work was conceived "in
the veinal longing which influences men until they
grow aged, an emotion that surprised them every
year." The symphony was sketched in four days,
January 23-26, 1841, and completed in all its details
so f hat he played it on the piano at his house in
Leipzi. on February 14 for his wife and some inti-
imi ' friends. A touch of sentiment is given by the
statment of the master himself that the work was
written with a steel pen which he had picked up as
it lay on ScLiubert's grave at Vienna.
"The first orchestral performance took place
under the direction of Mendelssohn at Leipzig in the
Cewau lhaus, March 31, 1841. Schumann wrote of
thui event, '1low happy I was at the performance!
I. and others also, for it had such a favorable re-
ceptioni as I think no symphony has had since Bee-
thoven.' "

Finck's unadorned phrase, leaving the 'ultra-mod-
erns' of other days in comparative peace. When
we consider that 'Don Juan' was created thirty-
seven years ago, when the composer was twenty-
four years old, an age when his feelings and sym-
pathies were no doubt at one with those of the young
hero he so graphically depicts, and when, as the
vital, energetic, emotional music carries us onward
we realize that there is compexity in utterance, and
for that day a startling disregard for the propor-
tions of consonance and dissonance, we must admit,
perforce, that the Philistines of the late 19th cen-
tury could gather from the 'Aus Italien', 'Macbeth'
and 'Don Juan' an abundance of ammunition for
their critical guns.
"Ernest Newman, the eminent English writer
and recently a guest critic on one of the New York
papers points out that in 'Don Juan' we get some of
the finest devplopment that is to be found in the
history of symphonic music. 'The music unfolds
itself, bar by bar, with, as perfect continuity and
consistency as if it had nothing but itself to con-
sider, while at the same time it adds fresh points
to our knowledge of the psychology of the char-
acter it is portraying. No other composer equals
Strauss in the power of writing long stretches of
music that interests us in and for itself, at the same
time that every line and color in it seems to ex-
press some new trait in the character that is being
sketched.'"
Of the Tchaikowsky Concerto for Pianoforte and
Orchestra, B flat minor, with Ossip Gabrilowitsch
as soloist, the program notes comment as follows:
"Though Tchaikowsky displays little inspiration
or ingenuity in what he wrote for the piano solo,
his handling of the capacities of the instrument
rises to a much higher level when he treats it in
conibination with other instruments. Of the three
concertos, the popular verdict has been unqualifiedly

'in the composition of a pianoforte concerto. I am
very anxious that Rubenstein' (He refers to Nicholas,
not Anton,) 'should play it at his concert. The
work progresses very slowly, and does not turn out
well. However, I stick to my intentions, and ham-
mer pianoforte passages out of my brain; the result
is nervous irritability.' On Christmas Eve the com-
poser played the work for Rubenstein at the Con-
servatory; after listening in silence until the end,
Nicholas gave vent to his feelings in a torrent of
abuse. To him tho concerto was '-ulgar, trivial, al-
together bad, awkward to play, ineffective and ut-
terly worthless.' Rubenstein offered to perform the
work if certain changes were made, but Tchaikowsky
was deeply wounded and adamant. 'I shall not
change a single note,' he answered, 'and the con-
certo shall be published as it now is.' And it was."
* * *
The c i f work on the second conc-i-rt3 T rsday
evening will he RachmianinofIls musia setting for'
Edgar Allen Poe's poem, "The I V11W' with Emily
Stokes IHagar, Rhys Morgan and Charles Tittnman as=
soloists, assisted ly tlie C'hicago Symphony orches-
tra and the University Choral Union. The libretto
points out the unijue oii alities of this cantata as
follows:
"Tle association of Edgar Allen Poe's poetry anwl
Serge RacMhnmaninoff's m u-ic is bo11th natural and
fortuitous. We may reflect u11on0 their common feel-
ing for the fantastic and thce unseeen threatening
1 orror; they seem to delight in the sarme nemotional
reaction to the klang of words and the rhythm of
the poetic line or the musical phvrase.
'"Saitayana insiits that ihle gre' a t art impliea
obedience to discipline, in which case IRachLaninoff
disciplines himself by avoiding the obvious in setting
this lyric and musical text; he has s(ldomu eumpolyeci
actual hells in the work. Rather has h- displayed
a fine sense of repression and expression by seeking

se; the tone pictures are not to be subjected to
minute analysis; too close inspection will reveal,
crude effects which are softened and melted into the
ensemble, when a perspective is taken. Each move-
ment is developed in superb sweeps and broad
curves of sound; there is a breadth to the contour
of the conception that compels attention to the mass;
there is a directness of expression that is elemental
even though the tonal structure is extremely com-
plex in detail. Each picture has a wealth of rich-
ness of detail that, in the hands of a lesser genius,
would obscure or obliterate the design of which it
should be an inconspicuous but none the less es-
sential part."
"The Bells" will be followed by portions from the
Bach B minor Mass. The libretto comments thus:
"Perhaps purely from devotional impulses, Bach
completed the entire mass in the Latin; the fact that
its composition was spread over a number of years
seems to confirm this surnlise. The B minor Mass
has been dscribed as a 'compilation of huge inde-
pendent entities, juxtaposed rather than consecu-
tive, and fused into a unity more by consistency of
the personality of J. S. Bach and his religious feel-
ings, than by the principles of scheme in an organic
sense.'
"The B minor Mass con'tains twenty-four numbers,
which if given in their entirety result in a single
performance of exceptional length. Considering the
limitations of expressions in the polyphonic 18th
century we marvel at the emotional effects Bach ob-
tains, especially in the choruses: the rich and elabo-
rately ornamented Kyrie; the severe, sober dignity
of the Gratias, the tender supplication of the Qui
tollis; the anguish of the Crucifixus and the over-
whelming joy of the Resurrexit; and finally the sub-
lime grandeur of the Sanctus."
* * *
Of the Brahms Symphony, No. 3, F mnajor, Opus

That he is one of the great symphonists is now con-
ceded, and the Symphony, No. 3, in F major will sub-
stantiate the claim of his followers and expose the
reasons for the concession."
Lawrence Tibbett, the sensational "discovery" of
the season, will sing three numbers. The first will
be the Aria, "Eri Tu" from Verdi's "Un Ballo in
Maschera," while the second will be "Vision Fugi-
tive" from Massenet's "IHerodaide."
"No modern composer," the program notes say,
"has displayed greater productive activity than Mas-
senet. It is possibly due to this that it cannot be said
that all of his operas maintain the high level at-
tained by him when at his best. His style is sensu-
ous, pictorial, at times really dramatic, but occa-
sionally lapsing into mannerisms that give but sur-
face indications of the possession of the last named
quality. He was a master of orchestration, and few
understood better than he the management of voices,
both in solo and ensemble.
"It is difficult to make a proper evaluation of a
composer's work while he is still near us, unless he
be so distinctly great as to preclude any question of
doubt. Although the few years which have elapsed
since his death would seem to be a short time in
which to form a final judgment, one would not be far
afield in stating that Fassenet displayed great talenlt
and extraordinary cleverness rather than any ap-
proach to genius or exalted inspiration."
Mr. Tgbett's final number will be Ford's "Mono-
logue" from Falstaff", the aria which elicited a fif-
teen minute ovation for the singer this winter at the
Metropolitan.
"In Verdi's 'Falstaff.'" the librctto says, "we find
almost an antithesis of the methods of operatic writ-
ing and style of melodic expression that characterize
the other works by the Italian master. Though per-
haps not as conspicuously as Wagner, Verdi, never-
theless, passed through periods of evolution, and the

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