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October 17, 1937 - Image 9

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Text
Publication:
The Michigan Daily, 1937-10-17

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CHORALEUNION
SUPPLEMENT

*ir 43U t

4:Iai1j

SECTION
II.

I

ANN ARBOR, MICHIGAN, SUNDAY, OCT. 17, 1937
Rachraninoff Will Open Choral Union Concerts Oct

. 27;

Series Gives Ann Arbor

National Fame As Music Cente

Artists And Organizations
Are Eager For' Places
On Programs Here
Local Performances
Vie WithBig Cities
Hill Auditorium Crowds
Often Exceed Numbers
Found Anywhere Else
By PROF. JOSEPH BRINKMAN
The Choral Union Concert Series,
climaxed with'our famous May Fes-
tival have made Ann Arbor and the
University one of the most prominent
musical centers of America, in my
opinion.
All artists and musical organiza-
tions are eager for a place on this
series as such an appearance is now
associated with the importance of
performances in the large metropoli-
tan centers. It is interesting to note
that during the past few years when
many formerly great concert series
and musical organizations, including
major orchestras, large opera com-
panies and music festivals, were eith-
er curtailed or abandoned altogether,
this Choral Union series and May
Festival, not only survived but has
grown to its present amazing propor-
tions.
Two Greatest Orchestras
The two greatest orchestras of all
time, the Boston and Philadelphia
Symphony orchestras, the most f a-
mous of established world artists,
brilliant new talent flashing across
the musical horizon for the first time,
new works, orchestral and choral, new
music, are all available to music lov-
ers who undoubtedly would not hear
as much good music, nor better pro-
grams, if they were living in the larger
music centers.,
And don't think for a minute that
the artists and organizations are not
impressed with this appearance in
Ann Arbor. While back stage before
the Boston Symphony Orchestra pro-
gram last year (a concert which al-
ways draws .a capacity audience) I
could not help noticing an excite-
ment which was shared alike by the
conductor, managers and the men. I
discovered the reason for this ex-
citement when I overheard one of the
men say to another, "Wait til you see
this audience. It's the largest one to
(Continued on Page 3)
Children Lack
Facilities For
Music Training
Only 1,700 Of 27,000
Take Private Lessons;
Instrument Lessons Few
Flagrant gaps in Michigan's music
education and appreciation, especially
in the rural communities were con-
clusively established by a recent Fed-
eral Music Project investigation, the
New York Times reports.
Following is the Project's report:
"One thousand rural schools were
selected in every section of the state;
739 replies were received, representing
an enrollment of 26,667 pupils. From
this group only 1,731 Johnnies and
Sallies take private music lessons, but

To Appear Here

GINA CIGNA
* * *

Thor Johnson Says...
EDITOR'S NOTE: Thor Johnson- personnel. Yet when a comparison is
faculty member of the School of Music, made between American and Euro-
conductor of the University Little Sym-
phony-spent last year studying in pean orchestras, one notes certain in-
Germany, Hungary and Czechoslovakia teresting connections.
under Bruno Walter, Nikolai Malke t c t
and Hermann Abendroth Although the Germanic influence
has waned during the last two dee-
Comparison Of Orchestras ades in symphonic groups in this
country, the horn and trombone sec-;
tions are still manned by German
European and American symphonies, musicians. Toscanini, while conduct-
there are so many influential factors ing a rehearsal in Bayreuth, remarked
to be considered, that even if a com- that the Germans have a natural
parison were closely and impartially physical endowment for horn play-
ing. which befits them peculiarly for
drawn, no reliable conclusions could the mastering of these instruments.
be reached.
Obviously the symphony (as the Quality Of Brass Sections'
prime orchestral unit) is the instru- )Anyone hearing the Berlin Phil-
ment of the conductor and inter-4 harmonic, Leipzig Gewandhaus, or
preter, and it responds sympatheti- Dresden Statsoper symphonies is
cally to his artistic desires. This be- impressed with the excellence of the
ing true, any evaluation of symphonic horns and trombones which are the
bodies merely means an appraisal of outstanding instrumental sections in
the conductors and their orchestras. German orchestras at present. Also
However it is not the purpose of this noted for its fine horn section is the
article to consider the merits of con- Vienna Philharmonic, which, to-
ductors, but to draw attention to sev- gether with the three German or-
eral outstanding European orchestras chestras previously mentioned, are
from which our American maestri the sources from which many of the
and managers have secured in the harnists and trombonists in the U.S.
past the greater portion of their sym- have been secured.
phonic personnels, and to note the As the Germans excel in brass in-
various sources which contribute to struments, so do the French in wood
the cosmopolitan set-up of our Amer- wind instruments (i.e., flute, oboe,
ican symphonies. clarinet, bassoon, etc.). Partly be-
Our German Heritage cause it was in France that conicallyl
and cylindrically bored instruments'
Because of the long line of dis- were mechanically perfected, and
tinguished German musicians-espe- partly due to the fact that the French
cdally Theodore Thomas, the founder temperament has found a most ade-
of the American Symphony-who quate artistic outlet through wood-
were symphonic pioneers in nearly all wind instruments, France has pro-
of the musical centers in this coun- duced a school of woodwind virtuosi
try, it is not unusual that our sym- which can hardly be equalled. Rarely
phonic heritage is more closely re- in European orchestras, with the pos-,
lated to Germany than to any other sible exception of the Pasedeloup and
nation. Prior to 1914 the symphony Lameroux orchestras in Paris and the
rosters were predominately filled with B.B.C. and Philharmonic orchestras
musicians of German origin. How- in London, does one find excellent
ever, after the War, with the advent woodwind sections, technically speak-
of conductors from Italy, France, ing.
Russia, Czechoslovakia, Poland, Hun- En ci+h T did Style
gary, Holland, and England, there I g ' S

Sergei Vassilievich Rachmaninoff FoPlus Sijorl nseb
Represents The Name In Full Features Of Season
'U' a WT

.

A

Famed Pianist Virtuoso tional reputation was transformed
overnight into international fame.
Is Exile Of Old Regime Revolution forced him out of his na-
nTz tRutive land. His estates were confiscat-
In TZarist Rssia ed. Fleeing for their lives he and his
The full name is Sergei Vassilievich family escaped into Sweden, thence
to the United States.
Rachmaninoff. Rated one of the Gotham is now his regular home
greatest living Russian composers he and Switzerland his vacation land.
is also a noted conductor as well as a It is among the Alps that he does his
pi . composing. Thousands of his ad-
pmirers who have never heard of his

Institution Was
Started In 1879
Crooks, Kreisler, Cigna,
Slenczynski, Enesco Will
Also Makes Appearance
Sergei Rachmaninoff, Russian pian-
ist, leads off the Choral Union on-
certs this season which begin Oct. 27
in Hill Auditorium and include six
soloists and four major ensemble
groups.
Choral Union concerts are a tradi-
tion of long standing at Michigan.
Begun in 1879, nurtured and pre;
served by its sponsors-the School of
Music-down through 59 years until
today it prides itself on drawing to
Ann Arbor the cream of the world's
music talent. This year again the
concert roster promises to uphold its
distinguished reputation.
It is not alone as a piano virtuoso
that Mr. Rachmaninoff is distin-
guished. A composer of note, he has
written several symphonies, three
operas, much chamber music and a
variety of songs and vocal choruses.
As a conductor he spent long terms
with the noted Moscow Private Opera
and the Moscow Symphony Orches-
tra. He was once offered the con-
ductorship of the Boston Symphony.
Cleveland Orchestra Next
Following Mr. Rachmaninoff comes
the Cleveland Orchestra, which will
appear Nov. 9. In 16 years of travel-
ing, the last two under the direc-
tion of Artur Rodzinski, this group
has played 693 concerts on tour, vis-
ited 24 states as well as Canada and
Cuba.
Richard Crooks, tenor of the Met-
ropolitan Opera Company, will make
his appearance Nov. 9, in the th
of the series. A veteran of op ,
concert and radig Mr. Crooks i
native of New York where he be
his career as a church singer.
has been heard previously in
Arbor on several occasions at
May Festivals and with symph
orchestras but this, will mark his -
itial appearance in a song recital.
Fritz Kreisler Fourth
Featuring the fourth of the Choral
Union concerts Nov. 29 will be Frit2
Kreisler.
On Dec. 8 the Boston Symphony
orchestra under the direction of Ser-
gei Koussevitzky comes to Hill Au-
ditorium for its seventh consecutive
annual visit. This organization now
more than half a century old, has
(Continued on Page 4)
The Real Fans
Are The Choral
Union's Ushers
By STAN SWINTON
There are 120 music lovers who miss
not a single Choral Union concert
if they did people would get in

FRITZ KREISLER
German Critic
- Ruth'sPlaying
Ruth Slenczynski has been suspect-
ed now and then of employing in-
genious contrivances to effect the be-
wildering performances she achieves
at the keyboard.
After her Berlin debut at the age
of six, where she was hailed as the
most astounding prodigy heard in
years, one of the critics dropped Mr.
Slenczynski a note. In it he request-
ed the honor of meeting Ruth. The
privilege was gccorded.
The critic looked about intently
apparently in the endeavor to dis-
cover some secret source of motiva-
tion. Ruth's playing left him be-
wildered -as it had at the first hear-
ing. After she had finished, he cas-
ually examined her stool, looked into
the small box upon which Ruth rest-
ed her feet, and then the specially-
constructed extension pedals. He
Girl Genius

was simultaneously an influx of mu- The English orchestras are the only
sicians from these same countries. ones in Europe outside of France
This influx has not altogether ceased which have adapted the French style
at the present day, so that it is little of woodwind execution, while with
wonder that such a philharmonic ag- possibly one or two exceptions, all
gregation as the Boston Symphony the leading symphonies in America
has 19 nationalities represented in its (continued on Page merI
Pro iessor Hackett Praises Cigna's I
'Spectacularly High' Tone Range

The brilliant new soprano voice of
Gina Cigna which has been described
by Prof. Arthur Hackett of the SchEol
of Music as being "spectacularly
high" will be heard in Madame Cig-
na's Ann Arbor debut the night of
Friday, Jan. 28, at the Choral Union
Concert in Hill Auditorium.
The rise to fame of this exciting
chanteuse has been nothing short of
amazing. The brilliancy of her work
in Europe was surpassed only by her
epoch-making debut at the Metropol-
itan which' indeed was the highlight
of the 1936-37 season. In the words
of Professor Hackett her debut at thisI
august seat of the opera was, "sep-
sational."
Coming from a French-Italian an-
cestry Miss Cigna first studied piano,
but her choice soon veered to voice,I
and without ever taking a lesson, sheI
impressed the great Toscanini at Mi-
lan to such an extent that he en-

joined her to study for the soprano
leads in "Trovatore," "Aida," and
"La Traviata." Miss Cigna followed
the instructions of the great Italian
conductor, and handled her assign-
ments so well that she received a
two-year contract at La Scala.
After concert tours in Rome, in oth-
er cities on the continent and in
South America, she finally arrived in
the United States where America
"fell in love" with her at her most
highly successful debut in "Aida."
Midwesterners and especially Chor-
al Union visitors have a very pleas-
ant surprise in store for them at
Miss Cigna's Ann Arbor debut; the
splendid artistry and attractive per-
sonality of the soprano who has won
the acclaim of the entire world in
1"Norma," "Aide," "Turandot," "Tos-
ca," "Gioconda," and "Violetta" will
surely capture her Ann Arbor au-
dience.

Tall, austere, dignified, arstocratic
in bearing, he makes a commanding
figure on the concert platform.
Crashing dissonances and modernistic
music might be expected from those
steely fingers and powerful biceps.
Instead come delicacy, great emo-
tional feeling, heart-searching tone.
"Music must reveal the emotions of
the heart," says Rachmaninoff. He
makes it do that.
Born in the province of Novorod,
Russia, 1873, *Rachmaninoff showed
talent at the age of four. Entered
the St. Petersburg Conservatory at
nine, transferred to the Moscow Con-
servatory at twelve and there com-
posed his first opera, the prize-win-
ning "Aleko." His first concert tour
revealed him as a pianist of amazing
gifts.
Invited to London to conduct one,
of his own symphonies at a concerti
of the Philharmonic Society his na-
Sale 'Of Tickets Far
Ahead Of Last Year
Sales for the Choral Union series
are far in adv'ance of this time last
year and the $6 seats have already
been exhausted, Charles A. Sink,
president'of the School of Music said
yesterday.
There are still a limited number
of $12, $10 and $8 seats left, he said,
although a packed house for the en-
tire series has been assured.

more important works, know him as
the composer of "Rachmaninoff's C-
sharp Minor Prelude."
Asked if he considered the taste of
his audience in drawing up his pro-
grams, he said.
"No, I think only of my own taste."
$2,000 Worth Of
'Blind Dates'A wait
Stars At Carnegie
For the recitals of a handful of
famed artists Carnegie Hall has de-
veloped a fool proof system of "blind
dates."
For the Messrs. Rachmaninoff and
Kerisler there are on hand, almost
before the dates of the next appear-
ances have been decided, hundreds of
'reservations. In the files of the Car-
negie Hall box office there rested the
whole summer long some $2,000 worth
of ticket orders for both Rachmanin-
off and Kreisler. Others of this hap-
A Blind Date

:
f

13,042 others would take them if they
could be provided. All of them would
gladly journey the average distance
to the nearest music teacher (about
eighteen miles), but instrumental in-
struction is only available in 128 com-
munities.
"Of the school teachers themselves,
only ten have had adequate training
in public school music; 360 had an
average of 8.2 hours of work in music
along with their general educational
preparation; 369 have had no college,
hours in music at all.
"Only 38 schools offer a daily pe-
riod in music, while 158 limit such
activity to one period weekly. Only
183 have classes in music apprecia-
tion, but on the other hand, 448 en-
gage in some group singing. Two
hundred and eleven schools are able
to provide phonographs and records, RUTH SLENCZYNSKI
but only thirty-seven have radios. even e r-s
(Dr. Damrosch please take notice.) n looked under the rug foi wimes.
"'Of the old time community sing-. Finally, after the critic had con-
"Of he ld imecomuniy sng-vinced himself that there were no
ing schools only 22 are left. Years tricks to Ruth's performance, he con-
ago, this thoroughly delightful prac- tissdthRthsp ranceuhdcn-
tice flourished in almost every rural fessed that his reason could not
community in the land, but now, 141 fathom such playing as he had just
schools believe them to be of no value, experienced.
and three districts consider them
positively harmful. HAS NO LIMITATIONS
"Apparently, religious music fares' A consummate musician, Georges
no better, for only 177 church con- j Enesco seems to have no limitations.

Quality Is Keynote Of Past Concerts

... ~ v v

By CHARLES A. SINK
(Of the School of Music)
(President of the School of Music)
With the beginning of the second
century of the University of Mich-
igan in Ann Arbor, the University
Choral Union is providing a monu-
mental series of concert attractions.
Included are performances by two
great singers, two distinguished pian-
ists and two violinists of wide renown,
a string quartet, an important choral
group, and two of America's out-
£tanding orchestras.
During the 59 years of existence of
the Choral Union, it has had a fruit-
ful career. A careful compilation of
all artists and organizations which
have participated since its organiza-
tion in 1879, reveals that most of the

Jeritza Lotte Lehmann, Goeta Ljung-!
berg, Edith Mason, Lillian Nordica,'
Rosa Ponselle, Lily Pons, Rosa Raisa,
Marie Rappold, Elizabeth Rethberg,
Anito Rio. Marcella Sembrigh, Grete'
Stueckgold, Marion Talley and Jean-
ette Vreeland.
Distinguished Tenors
In the list of tenors are found suchj
distinguished names as Paul Althouse,'
Allesandro Bonci, Enrico Caruso, Ma-
ria Chamlee, Richard Crooks, An-
dreas Dippel, Beniamino Gigli, Gleen
P. Hall, Orville Harrold, Roland
Hayes, Frederick Jagel, Hipolito La-
zaro, Giovanni Martinelli, John Mc-
Mormack, Lauritz Melchior, Lambert
Murphy, Tito Schipa, Armand Tok-
atyan, Ellison Van Hoose and Evans

Reinald Werrenrath, Clarence E.
Whitehill, Herbert Wit herspo on,
James Wolfe and Renato Zanelli.
Violinist Participantsa
Leading violinists who have par-"
ticipated are Timothee Adamowski,'
Ruth Breton, Guila Bustabo, Mischa.
Elman, Carl Flesch, Cecilia Hansen,
Hugo Heermann, Jascha Heifetz,f
'Bronislaw Huberman, Paul Kochan-'
ski, Fritz Kreisler, Jan Kubelik, Sylvia TOSCHA HEIFITZ
Lent, Yehudi Menuhin, Nathan Mil-
stein, Erika M orini, Ovide M usin, p nd _ sr.r J c
Ruth Posselt, Ruggiero Ricci, Maxe py and exclusive circle are Jascha
Rosen, Erna Rubinstein, Toscha Sei- I Heifetz, Kirsten Flagstad and Ye-
del, Albert Spalding, Joseph Szigeti, hudi Menuhin.
Eugene Ysaye and Efrem Zimbalist.
Violoncellists Kreisler Will Play
In th efield of violoncello, among . Pla
the more important performers have 1711 Stradivarius
been Joseph Adamowsky, Pablo Ca-
sals, Max Gegna, Jean Gerardy, An-
ton Hekking, Hans Kindler, Gregor O
Piatigorsky, Elsa Ruegger, Alwin is playing his 1711 Stradivarius, one
Schroeder and Bruno Steindel. of five prized instruments. He uses

wrong seat, wonder vaguely wh
numbers were being played and spe
a good deal of their time in givi
noisy spectators dirty looks, for t
ushers are indispensable in Hill A
ditorium.
Early in the fall applications a
received by the head custodian's r
fice from those who wish to usher'
the series. The great majority
the applicants are students whose
terest in the musical arts is hinder
by a lack of money-graduate si
dents, assistants, seniors, junio
sophomores, freshmen, special s
dents, all apply. Many have been,1
it for years. All are willing to wt
in return for free admittance.
When the elimination process
finally been, finished the select
notified. Those ushering for the
year receive assignments on the
ond balcony and the others consi
them lucky. Why? Accoustics
best, the performer can be seen
and, most important, the people vo
sit up there are usually really
terested in music. Townspeople, i
pecunious students and old-time
who know where the best seats a
all buy tickets up in "second heavi
and they are an attentive, quic
seated group. Veterans of seve
years ushering service often ask
second balcony assignments instE
of accepting their "promotions"

distinguished soloists and groups Williams.
which have been available in Amer- Baritones And Basses
ica during these years have been pre- Among baritones and basses are
sented to University audiences, many included Pasquale Amato, Chase Ba-
of them on several occasions. romeo, Mario Basiola. David Bisp-
Sopranos Heard Here ham, Richard Bonelli, Guiseppe Cam-

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