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March 02, 1952 - Image 9

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The Michigan Daily, 1952-03-02

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THE MICHIGAN DAILY

FAGS!

THE MICIGAN DALY..A.

i 1

Concerts Will Feature
Varied Musical Works
By BARBARA GOLDBLUM
The May Festival Audiences will be treated to a varied musical
fare this season.
Overtures, symphonies, suites, tone poems, operatic scenes and
choral compositions, representing the works of 21 composers of the
classical, romantic and contemporary periods will be played. The
compositions are representative of ten countries including Switzer-
* * * *
land, Austria, Russia and Norway.
IN ALL TWENTY FIVE works will be performed, over half of
which have never been played before a Festival audience. The new
selections vary as greatly among themselves as does the whole pro-
gram. There is a contemporary American work, Swanson's "Short
Symphony," Mozart's "Exultate, jubilate," a motet; Roussel's "Le
Festin de l'Araignee," selections from Nicolai's "Merry Wives of Wind-
sor" and the Czardas from "Die Fledermaus" by Strauss.
For the first time in May Festival history, Wagnerian duets will
be sung: Act I Scene III from "Die Walkure" and the Night Scene
from "Tristan and Isolde."
In the final concert Haug's Passacaglia and Coleridge-Taylor's
Willow Song are newcomers, in addition to an aria from Donizetti's
"La Fille du Regiment"-Chacun le sait, an arietta from Gian-Carlo
Menotti's contemporary opera "The Telephone" and a suite from "Die
Fledermaus."
* * * *
THE FIRST CONCERT will present a performance of the second
suite from Ravel's ballet, Daphnis and Chloe. The score of Daphnis
and Chloe was divided into two suites which can be enjoyed fully
apart from the stage effects of the ballet.
Friday evening "The Damnation of Faust" by Hector Berlioz will
be performed.
* * * *
"THE DAMNATION" was originally composed in Berlioz's youth
as Eight Scenes from Faust; following faithfully the poem by Goethe.
The music from the Eight Scenes was so mature and clearly imagined
that Berlioz later utilized it all in his full length cantata.
He is the unrivaled master of orchestration and this. work is
a veritable masterpiece. This is the fourth presentation of the Damna-
tion of Faust at a May Festival.
The program of the final concert consists solely of operatic arias
and songs by Patrice Munsel, with the exceptign of Sibelius' Fifth
Symphony and the Haug Passacaglia. The former work has none of
the elements that bid for immediate popularity but it is full of deep
feeling. Like most of Sibelius' music the Fifth Symphony is serious
but not dull.
Novaes Rises from Prodigy,
To Outstanding Woman Pianist

Svanholm
To Appear
On May 3
Tenor To Sing
Wagner Concert
Set Svanholm, who made his
musical debut as a baritone, and
later become the leading drama-
tic tenor of the Metropolitan and
San Francisco Operas, will enter-
tain :May Festival audiences on
Saturday, when he appears in an
all-Wagner concert.
The son of a minister, who early
taught him to play the organ,
Svanholm first earned his living
as a schoolmaster and choirmas-
ter.,
HE ENROLLED in the Royal
Conservatory in Stockholm as a
baritone and graduated to make
his debut as Silvio in "I Pagliacci."
After several seasons as a bari-
tone, he decided that his voice
was moredsuited to tenor roles.
He made his second debut as a
tenor at the Stockholm Opera in
Verdi's "Aida."
Svanholm first appeared in
America in 1946 when he took
the Metropolitan Opera House
by storm with his performance
of Siegfried, which critics hailed
as "superb" and "unparalleled."
It was not until two years later
that he made his recital debut
in\New York's Town Hall.
Although Svanholm is most f a-
mous for his Wagner roles, he
need not be typed exclusively as
Wagnerian. He has a wide variety
of roles at his command because
of his many years with the Stock-
holm Opera. However, his crea-
tive zest for Wagner's roles and
his deep understanding of their'
texts combines with the tremend-
ous "staying power" of his voice
to make him an expert in these
most difficult of operatic roles.
The handsome, blond singer is
an unusual personality around an
opera house-a star with no up-
stage mannerisms and much mo-
desty.
Blessed with an inexhaustible
supply of tact andgood humor, his
only trace of artistic temperment
is his insistence on the tradition
of having a big, juicy apple hand-
ed to him by a friend immedi-
ately after each performance. This
he devours thirstly before attend-
ing to any of the business of hand-
shaking, accepting congratulations
or removing make-up.;

-Daily-l RĀ±eid
THE BEST BUY--Gail W. Rector, Assistant to President of the
Choral Union Administrative Staff, shows Festival bound student
where remaining seats are.
* * *. *
Festival Weekend Product
Of Behind-the-Scenes Plans

-

By MARILYN FLORIDIS
Although music lovers from all
over the country -come to Ann
Arbor to attend the four-day con-
cert season of May ,Festival, little
thought is given to the tremen-
doushplanningnand organization
which goes into this musical
weekend.
Planning for the annual event
is directly governed by a board of
12 directors, but a five man ad-
ministrative unit makes up a "be-
hind the scenes" working group
for the University Musical Society.
* * *
CHARLES A. SINK heads the
staff as president, and assisting
him are Mary K. Farkas, secre-
tary to the president; Deanne
Smith, bookkeeper and cashier;
Gail W. Rector, assistant to the
president, and Lester McCoy, as-
sociate conductor.
Such tasks as planning an ex-
tensive rehearsal schedule for
Choral Union, orchestras and
guest artists, contracting for the
artists, selling tickets for per-
formances and procuring scores
for the chorus, orchestra and
conductors parts all fall on the
shoulders of this working team.
Rector even remembers a per-
formance of Mozart's "Great
Mass" in 1948 when orchestral
parts had to be manually copied
from original manuscripts by the
administrative staff because no or-
chestral parts for the Mass were
available.

FURTHERMORE, arrangements
for all large choral works heard in
May Festivals must be made about
a year before their performance in
order to make sure that some of
these rare scores can be obtained
from the publishers.
Another group which has long
received little notice in May Fes-
tival preparation is the Univer-
sity Musical Society Orchestra,
made up of faculty members
and students from all branches
of the University.
This group goes through several
weeks of extensive rehearsal with
Choral Union to provide them
with an instrumental background
until the Philadelphia Orchestra
comes to take over a short time
before the Festival.
And, of course, no survey of May
Festival organization would be
complete without mentioning Cho-
ral Union's diligent practices
starting in January for the big
choral works they present during
the Festival. Rehearsals get par=
ticularly thick and furious when
the guest artists start arriving and
constant practice sessions must be
arranged to perfect a proper bal-
ance between chorus and soloists.
All of the before hand effort is
rewarded, however, when the
musical weekend finally arrives,
and the walls of Hill Auditorium
ring with round after round of ap-
plause for the beautiful music.

May Marks
High Point
For Chorale
When the University Choral Un-
ion takes part in the Festival on
May 2 and 4, they will be hitting
one of the high spots of their sing-
ing years.
The two performances of Han-
del's Mesisah in December and the
chorus' appearance each spring at
the May Festival are its main
events of the year.
IMMEDIATELY after the Mes-
siah performances, January 1,
Lester McCoy, Associate Conduc-
tor of the University Musical So-
ciety and conductor of the Mes-
siah, begins training the chorus
for the spring festival.
This training lasts until two
weeks or ten days before the
festival when Thor Johnson,
who conducts the chorus for the
event, takes over. Regular con-
ductor of the Cincinnati Orches-
tra, he has just enough time af-
ter his concert season ends to
come to Ann Arbor to rehearse
final matters of interpretation
with the fully trained choir.
When the festival is finished,
the chorus begins on the Messiah
again, starting the cycle anew.
* . .
FOR MANY YEARS the choral
group has ben partial to the Mes-
siah and to date have given the
Handel work in its entirety forty
times. The oratorio's importance in
the history of the'organization is
pointed out by the fact that the
choral union came into being be-
cause of it.
Founded in 1879 when a spon-
taneous movement in the church
choirs united them into a large
group, they were first called the
"Messiah Club." Their intent at
this time was to sing only cho-
ruses from that score.
After a few months, however,
the partly social,. partly musical
group expanded. Singers in addi-
tion to those who had originally
been in. the church choirs were
taken in and the club's repertoire
was expanded to include other
works.
Altogether there have been
nearly sixteen thousand members
in the Union during its 73years of
existence. Today they are scat-
tered all over tie world. Several
family traditions have come into
being as many members have
fathers or mothers and even
grandparents who have sung in
the chorus.

DISC REVIEWS:
Stars Perform
On New Records
By VIRGINIA VOSS and TOM ARP
Guiorar Novaes
Brazilian pianist Guiomar Novaes will close the Sunday afternoon
festival concert with Beethoven's fourth Piano Concerto, and, if a
recent recording she has made of the work is any indication, it should
be a nearly definitive performance.
With the Vienna Symphony conducted by Otto Klemperer,
Miss Novaes has done a brilliant but never bombastic job of
interpreting one of Beethoven's most delicate piano concertos.
Her polished pianism is especially effective in the subdued dia.
logue between the piano and orchestra which prevails during the
second movement.
And the recording is excellent throughout. Technical progress in
the record industry is especially evident in the improvement of piano
recordings, and this one is as clear and vibrant as any now on the
market.
* * * *

Eugene Ormandy
The Philadelphia Orchestra's re
Second Symphony has an amazing
Conductor Eugene Ormandy draw
mere sounds; he makes it, if possib
Rachmaninoff's symphony has+
(if one is sitting through it at a
repertoire. The present recording a
a new composition, with all the st
desired.

Family Shaped
Violin Career
For Milstein
Renowned Russian violinist,
Nathan Milstein, is a man shaped,
not by destiny, but by his family
life.
At an early age, Milstein began
to play the violin, not, as he read-
ily admits, because he was drawn
to it, but because his mother made
him.
Milstein, who will perform for
the May Festival audience on Sat-
urday, May 3, is heralded by the
critics as a violinist "par excel-
lence" and has enjoyed a bril-
liant career on three continents.
At the end of the current sea-
son, the Russian-born virtuoso
will have appeared 39 times as
soloist with the New York Phil-
harmonic Symphony in addition
to numerous concert perform-
ances.
Milstein will perform the "Con-
certo in A minor" by Dvorak on
one of the world's most famed
violins, the "ex-Goldmann Stradi-
varius." Created by Stradivarius
in 1716, the violin was brought to
this countryseveralyas ragh o.

cent recording qf Rachmaninoff's
g amount of brilliance and depth.
vs more from his orchestra than
)le, a living thing.
often been considered the longest
concert) and dullest work in the
nd performance make it seem like
ublety and vibrancy that could be
Ormandy's interpretation is, to
say the least, impassioned. His
skillful blending of the choirs and
impeccable tempi should delight
the most critical, and the richness
and power he works ir(~t the bois-
terious finale are enough to match
almost any concert performance.
Astrid Varney
The 1951 Bayreuth Festival may
have been a glorious thing, but
a recording of the third act of
"Die Walkure," with Astrid Var-
nay and Sigurd Bjoerllngi s not
up to Columbia's latest high-qual-
ity releases.
Miss Varney handles herself
well, generally in the tradition
of the greatest Wagnerian sing-
ers. In fact, muffled as she is
by the apparently poor record-
ing acoustics of the Festspiel.
haus, it may take a few moments
to distingush her performance
from those of Kirsten Flagstad
at her height.
However, Miss Varnay has not
yet reached that point in her
career. Her tones are admirably
clear and brilliant, but an oc-
casionally faulty intonation mars
the overall effect.
Very possibly, and most prob-
ably, she will someday be hailed
as one of the greatest Wagnerian

Pianist Guiomar Novaes, one of
the two featured instrumentalists
who will appear in the 1952 Festi-
val, has made a remarkable rise to
prominence in the world of music
since her first public appearance
at the age of seven.
A real child prodigy in her day,
Miss Novaes entertained her Kin-
dergarten friends by playing for
them at the age of four.
The Brazilian government be-
came interested in her career af-
ter her second tour of her native
country and sent her to Paris to
further'her studies. There, she was
admitted to the Paris Conserva-

toire where she was singled out
for first honors from a field of
388 contestants.
At 16 Mlle. Novaes made her
debut as a mature artist and im-
mediate success and extensive
concert engagements throughout
Europe followed.
Although most of1 her concert
tours have been in Europe and the
United States, Mlle. Novaes has
never forgotten the help given her
by the Brazilian government. She
is one of Brazil's most ardent am-
bassadors and has done much for
the educational and cultural
growth of her native land.

I

the chorus.

i

I

ths ontyseerlyer a:

sopranos of her time.

-=

.,

-r:
p

i

THREE

CHORAL

fl

featuring guest soloists

NEWflY, DUEY, LONDON and DERMOTR

i

PERFORMANCES

11

PHILIP DUEY
. ,.baritone

i

FRIDAY, MAY 2, 8:30
UNIVERSITY CHORAL UNION
THOR JOHNSON, Conductor
PATRICIA NEWAY, Soprano
ANTON DERMOTA, Tenor
PHILIP DUEY, Baritone
GEORGE LONDON, Bass
"The Damnation of Faust," Dramatic
Legend in Four Parts, Op. 24 . BERLIOZ
CHORAL UNION AND SOLOISTS

f
i
i

SATURDAY, MAY 3, 2:30
ALEXANDER HILSBERG and

SUNDAY, MAY 4, 2:30
THOR JOHNSON, Conductor
UNIVERSITY CHORAL UNION

MARGUERITE HOOD, Conductors
NATHAN MILSTEIN, Violinist
FESTIVAL YOUTH CHORUS
*,Overture to "Russian and Ludmilla" GLINKA
Song Cycle from the
Masters . . Arr. RUSSELL HOWLAND
FESTIVAL YOUTH CHORUS
Symphony No. 5 in B-flat major . SCHUBERT
INTERMISSION

MACK HARRELL, Baritone
GUIOMAR NOVAES, Pianist
Overture to "Coriolanus," Op. 62 BEETHOVAN
"Belshazzar's Feast" . . . , WALTON
CHORAL UNION AND MACK HARRELL
INTERMISSION
*Concerto No. 4 in G major, Op. 58, for
Piano and Orchestra . . BEETHOVEN
GUIOMAR NOVAES

ANTON DERMOTA
. .tenor

11

*I

I 'r

Concerto in A minor, Op. 53, for
Violin and Orchestra .
NATHAN MILSTEIN
Columbia Records

DVORAK

T~ A 'T1T~ Y~Y A ~Yw,~..rr ~ II

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