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March 28, 1948 - Image 9

Resource type:
The Michigan Daily, 1948-03-28

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_ ,

To Direct 'U
Alumnus Returns
Minus Orchestra
'Thor Johnson will return to Ann
Arbor for the second time within a
month for the May Festival-but
this time he'll leave his orchestra
Johnson, who conducted his
Cincinnati Symphony Orchestra
here as part of the Choral Union
Series, will be back on campus to
direct the Choral Union in con-
certs to be given Friday, April 30,
and Sunday, May 2.
Conducting concerts at the Uni-
versity is no novelty to Johnson,
who led the University symphony
as well as the Choral Union, while
here as an instructor in the Music
Experienced at Festival
His first connection with the
May Festival came when he con-
ducted the Choral Union as part
of the 1940 program. He returned
last year to take over the direction
of the Choral Union.
Johnson first came to the Uni-
versity in 1934 to obtain his master
degree in music. He spent a year
on the faculty before taking ad-
vantage of a Beebe Foundation
Scholarship for two years study in
On his return to America in
1938, Johnson accepted the post of
assistant professor of music at the
University. He gained special rec-
ognition from local music -lovers
through his success in organizing
and conducting the Little Sym-
phony of Ann Arbor. The gloup
achieved national fame in a tour
of 28 states.
Soldier Conductor
In the army in 1942 Johnson
conducted and organized the first
soldier symphony orchestra, which
presented a series of 18 concerts.
While still in service he .was invit-
ed to guest conduct the New York
Philharmonic; the Boston Sym-
phony, the Chicago and the Phil-
adelphia, Orchestras.
He was then sent overseas as the
conductor of the American Uni-
versity Symphony Orchestra, at
Shrivenham England, giving many
concerts all over the country.
After his discharge in 1946 he
was engaged by the Cincinnati
Symphony Orchestra as guest
conductor, and shortly thereafter
appointed as regular conductor for
the current season.
Choral Union
Evolved from
Church Choirs
Living up to its reputation for
presenting the best in choral mu-
sic, the Choral Union with a group
of selected soloists will present
Rachmaninoff's "The Bells" and
Mozart's "Great Mass in C Mi-
nor" as part of this year's May
The group will be directed by
Thor Johnson, conductor of the
Cincinnati Symphony Orchestra.
The 300-voice Choral Union we
know today originated back in
1879. In those days it was called
the Messiah Club because its main
function was the presentation of
Handel's famous oratorio. During

these early years the organization
was composed of the combined
choirs of the Methodist, Episcopal,
Congregational and Presbyterian
Shortly after its inception, the
Messiah Club adopted the name
"Choral Union" and installed Cav-
in B. Cady as its first conductor.,
Cady was succeeded by Dr. Albert
A. Stanley. During the following
years under Dr. Stanley the Choral
Union greatly increased both its
membership and its repertoire.
Today's Choral Union is a far
cry from the old Messiah Club.
The four church choirs have ex-
panded into a well integrated
group of 300 voices. Replacements

May Festival Program
April 29 -MAay 2

Climax '
Society s

U' Music

Thursday, April 29, 8:30
Soloist: BIDU SAYAO, Soprano
Toccata and Fugue in D minor ............ BACH-ORMANDY
"Non so piu cosa son"
"Voi che sapete" from "Marriage of Figaro"....... MOZART
Recitative; King of Thule aria; and "Jewel Song" from
"Faust" ............................. ...... GOUNOD
Symphony No. 3 in F major, Op. 90 ................ BRAHMS
Nhapope (Negro Song) ...................... VILLA LOBOS
O Kinimba, Engenho Novo (folk songs of Brazil) ARR. BRAGA
Choreographic Poem, "La Valse"...... ............RAVEL
Friday, April 30, 8:30
Soloists :
Tenor; JAMES PEASE, Baritone
(Wolfgang Amade Mozart, 1756-1791)
Overture to "Don Giovanni" ...................... MOZART
Concerto in G major for Flute and Orchestra, K. 313 MOZART
Allegro maestoso, Adagio non troppo, Rondo: tempo di menuetto
Great Mass in C minor, K. 427'+....................:MOZART
Saturday, May 1, 2:30
Soloist: MISCHA ELMAN, Violinist
Taccata, Adagio and Fugue in C major ...... BACH-WEINER
Songs of the Americas (edited by Marguerite Hood and orches-
trated by Eric De Lamarter)
Concerto in D major, Op. 61, for Violin and Orchestra ....
Four Dances from the Ballet, "Gayne" .... KHACHATURIAN
Saber Dance, Dance of the Rose Maidens, Lullaby, Lezgenka

Saturday, May 1, 8:30
Overture, "Der Freischutz"'.......................WEB ER
Iago's "Credo" from "Otello"..................... VERDI
Prologue from "Pagliacci"................LEONCAVALLO
"Cortigiani, vil razza dannata" from "Rigoletto"......VERDI
"Pari siamo" from "Rigoletto" ...................... VERDI
Symphony No. 2 in D major, Op. 43 .............. SIBELIUS
Allegretto, Tempo andante ma rubato, Vivacissimo; lento
e suave,
Finale: allegro moderato
Sunday, May 2, 2:30
PEASE, Baritone; LEON FLEISHER, Pianist
(Sergei Rachmaninoff, 1873-1943)
"The Bells"........................... RACHMANINOFF
1. Allegro, ma non tanto; largo un poco; maestoso (Silver
2. Lento (Mellow Wedding Bells)
3. Presto (Loud Alarm Bells)
4. Lento lugubre (Mournful Iron Bells)
Concerto No. 2 in C minor for Piano and Orchestra, Op. 18,
RACHMANINOFF Moderato, Adagio sostenuto,
Allegro scherzando
Sunday, May 2, 8:30
CLOE ELMO, Contralto
Symphony No. 101 in D major ("The Clock") ........ HAYDN
Adagio; presto
Andante, Menuetto: allegretto, Finale: viace
"Divinita infernal" from Alceste" .................. GLUCK
"O mio Fernando" from "Favorita" ............ DONIZETTI
"The Swan of Tuonela," Legend from the "Kalavala," Op. 22,
No. 3 ........ Sibelius
"Letter" Aria from "Werther" .................. MASSENET
"Condotta ellera in ceppi" from Il Trovatore" .......VERDI
Symphonic Poem, "Feste Romana" .............. RESPIGHI


Four Conductors, Three Ensembles
Participate in.Six Concert Series
Eleven soloists, eight of them new to Ann Arbor, four conductors
and three ensemble groups will combine to present the fifty-
Fifth Annual May Festival from April 29 to May 2 in Hill Audi-
The six-concert series will climax a musical season during which
the University Musical Society has presented ten Choral Union con-
certs and five Extra Concerts to local audiences.
Philadelphia Orchestra in All Concerts
In its 13th annual May Festival appearance, the Philadelphia
Orchestra, which is directed by Eugene Ormandy, will appear in all
concerts. Alexander Hilsberg, as-

* * *

Highlights Behind Concert Selections

With selections representing al-1
most every major phase in the his-c
tory of symphonic music and
opera, the May Festival promises
unusually fine enjoyment this1
Among the better known works
programmed for the concert se-
ries is the Sibelius Symphony No.
2, called his "Pastoral." Thor-1
oughly romantic in style, it falls,
as one critic put it, into the
Tschaikovsky tradition. Sibelius'
purposes in writing the work
would seem to corroborate this
idea. Writes a friend:
"In the first movement he want-
ed to depict the quiet pastoral life
of the Finns, undisturbed by
thought of oppression. The second
movement is charged with patri-
Youth Chorus
To Si Works
Of Americas
Although the May Festival is
sprinkled with young stars this
season, the youngest performers
will be Marguerite Hood's 400-
voice Festival Youth Chorus.
Composed of .children from fifth
and sixth grades of Ann Arbor
schools, the chorus will sing
"Songs of the Americas," a medley
of 13 tunes. Two of the numbers
will be sung in Spanish under the
linguistic direction of Carlos An-
derson of the Angell School. His
father is an instructor in the Uni-
versity's romance language depart-
The first May Festival appear-
ance of the Youth Chorus was in
5913. "Madame Schumann-Heink
sang, and one of the children gave
her a bouquet of roses, which she
welcomed with a kiss," Hope Chip-
man, mathematics teacher at Uni-
versity High School, remembers.
Miss Chipman was a member of
that first chorus.

otic feeling, but a brutal rule over
the people brings with it a timidity
of soul. The scherzo portrays the
awakening of national feeling, the
desire to organize in defense of
their rights, while in the finale,
hope enters their breasts and there
is comfort in the anticipated com-1
ing of a deliverer."
Another of the popular classics
to be performed is the Beethoven
D Major Violin Concerto, written
for the 19th century Viennese vi-
olinist Franz Clement. Legend has
it that Clement, at the same con-
cert in which he introduced the
concerto, performed lengthily -
playing his violin upside-down.
Beethoven's reaction has not been
Also attached to the concerto is
the story that the four taps on the

kettledrum introducing the first
theme, were suggested when
Beethoven heard a neighbor
knocking one night at the door of
his house.
Mythology has long and often
been a source for musical subject
matter and Sibelius delved into
the lore of Finland for "The Swan
of Tuonela" to be performed at
the last concert. Tuonela is the
name of the Finnish Hades,
bounded by seven seas and a river
on which floats and sings a sacred
swan. The legend is part of the
Kalevala, collection of Finnish
Weber's Der Freischutz Over-
ture, which will open the Sunday
evening concert, has been hailed
as one of the finest works in its
See WIDE, Page 2

Concert Will
Be Presented
Festival To Honor
The all-Rachmaninoff program,
fifth in the May Festival series,
will bring back memories of the
beloved Russian pianist and com-
poser, whose tall, thin figure was
familiar to Ann Arbor audiences.
Sergei Rachmaninoff appeared
here eight times under the spon-
sorship of the University Musical
Society from 1920 to 1942, just
before his tragic death.
At his first concert here, No-
vember 11, 1920, a Daily review
commented on his "truly artistic
playing, wonderful interpretations
and unique personality.
The audience demanded encore
after encore, and the concert fi-
nally ended with his C-minor Pre-
lude, a favorite with audiences if
not with the composer.
Rachmaninoff was born in
Russia in 1873 on his father's es-
tate near Novgorod. At St. Peters-
burg he studied both composition
and the piano, andrat the age of
19 he won the Gold Medal with
his opera "Aleko."
Concert tours brought him to
the United States for the first
timein 1909, and in 1918 he
took up permanent residence here.
.dTwo Rachmaninoff composi-
tions, "The Bells" and the Con-
certo No. 2 in C minor for Piano
and Orchestra, Op. 18, will make
up the fifth program in the May
Festival series.
Some of his other well-known
compositions are his four piano
concertos; "Rhapsody on a Theme
by Paganini"; "Etudes Tableux";
and the Second Symphony in E

Sink Explains C
Objectives of ,
Music Society
To Concert Goers:n
volve the united artistic resourcesc
of eleven distinguished soloists,
eight of whom are new to Ann Ar-s
bor, four conductors and three en-s
semble groups.
The programs will be varied in
character, each a unit in itself, andv
yet together forming a complete
whole. Two major choral worksa
will be heard in addition to theA
contribution of the Festival Youth
Chorus. Three symphonies, and1
other important orchestral num-
bers are programmed; as well asj
three concertos-for violin, piano,
and flute, respectively. Numerousf
operatic arias and songs, speciallyg
chosen by the respective singers,7
are included.t
SOCIETY takes its responsibilitiesf
seriously, and in all of its activit-
ies endeavors to provide the public
with opportunities to hear the bestj
in music literature, performed byf
those who have excelled in their1
respective fields. The Societyt
maintains cultural and education-~
al standards comparable to those1
of the academic and professional
divisions of the University. It en-
deavors not primarily to entertain
but rather to stimulate broad cul-
tural education.
appreciates the cordial and sym-
pathetic co-operation of the lis-
tening public who, through the
years have understood and loyally
supported its efforts. Only through
such co-operation has it been pos-
sible for the Society to have car-
ried on continuously for so long a
time, often through p e r i o d s
fraught with problems difficult of
solution. The Society hopes, and
has full confidence, that the offer-
ings of this Festival will meet with
the same enthusiastic support
which has characterized Festival
audiences for more than half a
century; thus continuing the spirit
of the legend, ARS LONGA VITA
-Charles A. Sink
Ticket Orders
Will Be Taken
Tickets for 19 concerts in four
series next season will go on sale
May 3 at offices of the University
Musical Society in Burton Tower.
Included are ten concerts in the
Choral Union Series, five concerts
in the Extra Concert Series, three
concerts in the Chamber Music
Festival and the annual presenta-
tion of the Messiah, which will
have two performances.
Orders for season tickets in any
of the groups will be accepted
beginning as of May 3 and filed
in sequence.

will make his third appearance in
Ann Arbor, appearing in the sec-
ond and third concerts.
Thor Johnson, former Choral
Union director and present per-
manent conductor of the Cincin-
nati Symphony Orchestra, will
conduct in the second and fifth
Bidu Sayao, Metropolitan Opera
soprano, will appear to open the
six-concert series at 8:30 p.m.
Thursday, April 29. Miss Sayao, a
veteran May Festival eprformer,
will sing a group of compositions
by Mozart Gounod, Villa Lobos
and Braga.
An all-Mozart program will be
presented in the second concert,
with the University Choral Union
joining to present the Great Mass
in C minor. Four soloists will be
featured in the performance: Vir-
ginia MacWatters, soprano; Nell
Tangeman, contralto; David Lloyd,
tenor; and James Pease, baritone.
William Kincaid, flutist, will per-
form the solo line in Mozart's
Concerto in G major for Flute
and Orchestra.
Mischa Eman, violinist, will
join with the orchestra in per-
forming Beethoven's Concerto in
D major in the third program of
the series. Marguerite Hood will
lead the Festival Youth Chorus in
her arrangement of Eric DeLa-
marter's "Songs of the Americas."
See CONCERTS, Page 2
Faired Works
Are Featured
Concerts Acclaimed
By 'U' Professors
Mozart's "Great Mass" in C mi-
nor and "The Bells" by Rach-
maninoff from Poe's poem are
considered the outstanding com-
positions of The 1948 Festival fare
by music school professors inter-
viewed by The Daily.
"This year's program is de-
signed for audience appeal, "Dean
Earl V. Moore said. "Each level
of interest should find something
of interest to it," he commented,
"because the program represents
a catholicity in types of composi-
Wide Range
The program covers a wide time
span from Bach to Modern, bal-
anced geographically with repre-
sentatives from Germany, Italy,
France and Latin America, he
pointed out.
Rachmaninoff's "The Bells" was
termed the most interesting com-
position by Prof. W. Raymond
Kendall of Musicology. Prof. Ken-
dall is executive-director of the
Rachmaninoff Fund, a non- profit
fund organized to provide career
opportunities for young musicians
in piano, conducting, and compos-
ing, the fields in which Rachman-
inoff excelled.
Prof. Kendall expressed delight
at seeing the Mozart Mass and
"The Bells" on the program and
hoped "the Festival will continue
its tradition of premiering new
and unusual works."
Great Concerto
The Beethoven violin concerto
is considered one of the three
greatest violin concertos, accord-
ing to Prof. Louise Cuyler, o
music theory.

Orchestra Will
Be Featured
Ormandy To Conduct
Distinguished Group
In its 13th May Festival appear-
ance, the Philadelphia Orchestra
will provide the musical back-
ground for all performances this
Led by Eugene Ormandy, the
orchestra includes a host of top
rank musicians, such as flutist
William Kincaid, who is to solo
in the festival, oboe player Marcel
Tabuteau and violist Samuel Lif-
Musician of Distinction
Hungarian-born Eugene Or-
mandy is now one of America's
most distinguished musicians. Be-
fore accepting the post of co-con-
ductor of the Philadelphia Qr-
chestra in 1936, Ormandy spe t
five years building up the Minne-
apolis Symphony Orchestra and
was eminently successful in his
engagement with the Hollywood
Bowl Orchestra last summer, of
which he is now musical director.
Alexander Hilsberg, associate
conductor and concert master of
the Philadelphia Orchestra, was
born in Poland and educated at
the Imperial Conservatory of
Music in St. Petersburg. On ar-
rival in the United States, Hils-
berg accepted a seat in the Phil-
adelphia Orchestra, became con-
cert master in 1931.
Philadelphia's Start
The permanent organization of
the Philadelphia Orchestra was
founded in 1900 with Fritz Scheel
as its first conductor.
In the thirteenth year of the
Philadelphia Orchestra's history,
30-year-old Leopold Stokowski be-
came conductor, a post he held for
the next 28 years, to be succeeded
by Eugene Ormandy.
Now heard Saturday nights on
the air, the Philadelphia Orches-
tra was the first to broadcastfor a
commercial sponsor, back in 1929,
and with one year's exception has
been heard every year since over
the radio. Generally, the works
played have been those given by
the orchestra in its concerts dur-
ing that week.
Flutist Kincaid
Will Solo Here
To Be Featured in
Mozart Concerto
William Kincaid, first flutist of
the Philadelphia Orchestra who
will solo in Mozart's Concerto in G
Major for Flute and Orchestra
Friday, April 30, is a native Amer-
ican with many hometowns.
Son of a Presbyterian minister,
Kincaid was born in Minneapolis,
but lived in Hawaii, Virginia and
North Carolina while he was still
vehy young.
Kincaid was eight years old
when he began his flute playing
He graduated from the Institute
of Musical Art in New York and
- played with Georges Barrere in
f the New York Philharmonic under
Walter Damrosch for five years.
M-nmvv th p . i n, ~ il hiranh iA

Mischa Elman, Noted Violinist,
To Play Beethoven Concerto
One of the world's greatest vio- This was followed by a tour 0:
linists, Mischa Elman, will play Europe and England. Hailed as a
Beethoven's Concerto in D major musical genius, he made his Nev
Saturday, May 1, at the after- York debut in December of 1908
StraMy ,ath afe and presented 21 concerts in Nev
noon concert. York alone in one season. This
For more than 40 years Elman marked the beginning of his ca.-
has toured the world giving nearly reer as a mature artist.
70 concerts a season. The first j His interpretations of Brahms,
major artist to appear in the Far Beethoven, Tschaikowsky and
East, his famous tone has become Mendelssohn have been heard b:
world-renowned. audiences everywhere. Now he has
Elman was born in Russia in included music of the moderi
1891 and first played th eviolin idiom in his repertoire.
when he was three. He studied at Elman has said that "to protest
the St. Petersburg Conservatory today against swing and jazz is
under Leopold Auer. When Elman as silly as it was for our grand-
was 12, Auer arranged for his de- fathers to protest against the
but in Berlin. waltz."



'U' Musical Society Combines School, Town Events

Top artists presenting a wide
range of the best in music to
nonaeoadns have disain-

concerts usually attract as many
as 6,000 people.
For fifteen years before the

about 15,000 different singers have
been employed by the Choral Un-
ion during its 70 years of exist-

deans and other administrative
officers of the University. In ad-
diitiorn.nrofesion~namn andein-

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