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March 29, 1953 - Image 9

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Michigan Daily, 1953-03-29

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SUNDAY, MARCH 29, 1955

THE MICHIGAN DAILY

PAGE THREE

CZECH PIANIST:.
Firkusny To Appear
In Sunday's Concert

Four Soloists To Sing in Bach's B Minor Mass

FESTIVAL PREVIEW:
Stars Perform on Discs

* * *

* * *

*

* . .

Rudolph Firkusny, internation-
ally-known Czech pianist who will
appear in Hill Auditorium'at 2:30
p.m. Sunday, May 3, comes here
from new triumphs in Europe.
After appearances in Paris, Lon-
don, Stockholm, Florence and
Rome, his consolidated successes
were such that he was reengaged-
for another season. Firkusny is
now probably the most widely
traveled of all the topflight pian-
ists living in America.
A NATIVE of Napajedla, Czecho-
slovakia, he made his debut with
the Prague Philharmonic "at the
age of ten and was well-known
throughout Europe by the time
he was 18.
Firkusny's American debut
took place in New York City in
1938 when, as Time Magazine
wrote, "He was then 25 and
'much too young.'" When he re-
turned again in 1941, they con-
Orchestra Set
To Give 18th
tMay Series
(Continued from Page 1)
concerts, three Pension Founda-
tion concerts and four "free" con-
certs.
The Children's Concerts are giv-
en on Saturday mornings exclu-
sively for children under thirteen.
These programs last an hour and
no adults, except in the capacity
of chaperones, are admitted.
Student concerts, organized in
1933, are a cooperative venture.
Ticket sales are handled by stu-
dents and prices are kept to a mn-
imum.
Expenses of maintaining theI
Orchestra total well over one mil-'
lion dollars and are met by tick-
et prices, public contributions, rec-
ord royalties and a $50,000 grant
from the city of Philadelphia.
This grant makes possible the
four "free" public concerts. Prior
to 1916, costs were met by a small
group of wealthy citizens.
The Philadelphia Orchestra was
the first to record under its own
name and own conductor.
The Orchestra, ever since its
beginning, has been considered an
instrument for community serv-
ice-not only to its own communi-
ty but to the nation.

tinued, he played "with the poise
and maturity of a master."
In the intervening time, the
young pianist had much reason
and occasion to mature. At the
time he was traveling back to his
homeland in 1939, Hitler began
his invasion of Czechoslovakia.
Firkusny was in Prague the day
German troops marched into the
city.
In his flight from Prague with
one suitcase, he made his way to
Switzerland and then to Paris
where he gave the last concert
held by the Society for Contem-
porary Music before Paris fell to
the Germans.
HE THEN settled temporarily
in Portugal and gave concerts
while awaiting transportation to
America. It was 1941 before he
arrived here.
With Sir Thomas Beecham
conducting, Firkusny reintro-
duced to America, Dvorak's Pi-
ano Concerto in G minor." It
was the grst time the work had
been performed here in 65 years
and was the beginning of a bril-
liant succession of unfamiliar
Czech compositions the pianist
introduced to American audien-
ces.
Others were Smetana, 'Martinu,
Janacek, and Vitezslav Novak.
Firkusny was greatly surprised to
find the music of his native land
so little played in the United
States. Upon his arrival here, he
proceeded to make up the slack
by including a number of Czech
compositions on each program.
"If," he said, "through my pro-
grams, I can make this music bet-
ter known, it will be not only a
labor of love on my part, but a
labor of justice in behalf of some
great creative geniuses."
* * *
FOR HIS Ann Arbor appearance
Firkusny will play Martinu's "Con-
certo No. 2" in the second half
of a program including the Uni-
versity Choral Union with Thor
Johnson as guest conductor.
Today Rudolph Firkusny is oneI
of the most popular pianists in
America. For four straight years,
he has been a soloist with the New
York Philharmonic Symphony. He
devotes six months a year to con-
certs here, three months to Eur-
ope, two months to South Amer-
ica and one month to a holiday.
Firkusny became an American
citizen this year and makes his
home in New York City. .

HAROLD HAUGH JANICE MOUDRY
... tenor . .. contralto
* 0 * * *

DOROTHY WARENSKJOLD KENNETH SMITH
. . . soprano ... bass
* * * * * *

Choral Union To Perform With Singers

4-

Four soloists will appear at 8:30
p.m. Friday, May 1 in Bach's
"Mass in B Minor" which will be
sung with the Choral Union and
conducted by Thor Johnson of
the Cincinnati Symphony Orches-
tra.
The four artists, all well known
voices, will appear with the 300
voice Choral Union Choir. The
chorus is composed of students
and townspeople who have per-
formed each year in the annual
Festival under the direction of
Lester McCoy.
** *

i

II

He taught at Oberlin Conserva-
tory for seven years, and has been
at the University for four years.
With performances scheduled
in Salt Lake City, Cleveland,
Washington, New York and
Texas, his wife laughingly com-
mented that he's away more
than he is home, almost like a
traveling salesman.
Cited as the country's foremost
oratorio singer by the New York
Times, Prof. Haugh has been the
soloist in Handel's "Messiah,"
Handel's "Samson" and several
others.

PROF. HAROLD HAUGH, of the

music school is the only local ar- * * *
tist featured in the Festival this JANICE MOUDRY, contralto fort
year. the Bach concert, presents an
He is well known on campus equally interesting musical back-
for his recent performance in ground. The delightful singer,
Bach's "Passion of Our Lord still in her early twenties, has re-
According to St. Matthew," and ceived praise from New York crit-
has been heard in past Univer- ics for her 1951 Town Hall recital.
sity performances. A teacher of Born in Minnesota, Miss Mow-
voice here, Prof. Haugh has a dry attended the University of
busy schedule with perform- Los Angeles. She made her de-
ances all over the cbuntry. but in Handel's "Messiah" with
As example of his busy schedule, the Pasadena Civic Orchestra
he has just returned from a Bach under Richard Lert and was
concert held in Florida, and dur- then re-engaged for four con-
concet hel in lorid,-an secutive seasons. She also ap-
ing spring vacation he will beseuvessn.Shas a-
peared in Honegger's "Jeanne
singing in Texas. D'Arc au Bucher" under Franz

Monteux with the San Francisco
Symphony. Before the close of the
year she had appeared with Char-
les Munch and the Boston Sym-
phony in Bach's "Christmas Ora-
torio.
A full-scale tour occupied the
contralto in 1951-52, with engage-
ments in Worcester, in Cincinnati,
in both Minneapolis and St. Paul
and in New York.
* * *
DOROTHY Warenskjold, lyric,
soprano who began her singing
career in 1945, has been heard in
opera, concerts, on radio and tele-
vision.
Born in Piedmont, Calif., she
began her music lessons when
she was three years old, but she
didn't begin voice lessons until
she was in college. Originally,
Miss Warenskjold planned to be
a lawyer, but she soon learned
that she would rather sing than
plead a case.
The young brunette's first op-I
portunities came in radio on the
West coast and then in a series of
coast to coast broadcasts. She
quickly established herself as a,
new concert artist, and in 1945t
made her first appearance with
the San Francisco Symphony un-
der Pierre Monteux.
* * *
SINCE THEN she has sung with
such famous conductors as Dimi-
tri Mitropoulos, Darius Milhaud,
Fabian Sevitzky and Erich Leins-
dorf. Recently Miss Warenskjold
was soloist in a performance of
the Mahler's "Second Symphony"
with Bruno Walter conducting.
Among the roles which have
brought acclaim to the enthusias-,

tic singer are those of Agathe in
"Die Freischutz," Pamina in
"Magic Flutes" and Antonia in
"Tales of Hoffman."
Besides her opera and concert'
commitments, Miss Warenskjold
has sung on the "Harvest of
Stars," the "Ford Festival," and
the "Railroad Hours."
* * *
KENNETH SMITH, the British-
born bass baritone, began to sing
only a few years ago.
Brought to America when he
was fbur years old, he studied at
the Manhattan School of Music
and New York College before the
war.
During the war he served four
years in the Air Force and was a
navigator on a B-24 heavy bomb-
er. His service record is attested
by the fact that he wears the Dis-
tinguished Flying Cross, the Air
Medal and the Oak Leaf Cluster.
* * *
AFTER HIS army career, Smith
studied with Olga Forrai and soon
began to make public appearances.
He was engaged five times by
the Rhode Island Philharmonic,
and was soloist with the New York
Little Orchestra. He appeared at
the Lewisohn Stadium in New
York in a Gilbert and Sullivan
production under Conductor Leh-
man Engel and sang the role of
Daland in two performances of
Wagner's "The Flying Dutchman"
with the Buffalo Philharmonic.
At the same time, Smith, a
steady member of the casts of the
NBC-TV Opera Theater, has ap-
peared in half a dozen roles in the
last season.

By TOM ARP
Zino Francescatti . ..
PAGANINI: FIRST VIOLIN
CONCERTO IN D, Op. 6
SAINT-SAENS: THIRD VIO-
LIN CONCERTO IN B MINOR,
Op. 61
This is by far the best per-
formance of the flashy Paganini
concerto on records. Francescatti
gives it all the fire and romantic
tenderness it demands, making it,
seem a much better work than it
actually is. It was written first
of all as a show piece by one of
the greatest violinists of his era,
and remains primarily a vehicle
for the best violinists only.
It is not presumptuous to say
that Zino Francescatti has
shown himself the most con-
sistently good of any violin vir-
tuosi this side of the Iron Cur-
tain; he seldom falters,-and his
interpretations of the major
concerti-- Brahms, Beethoven,
et al. -- are continually as near
the definitive as is possible in
music. This recorded perform-
ance bears witness to this as far
as the Paganini concerto is con-
cerned.
Saint - Saens' third concerto,
which takes up the second side of
this record, is a precise, yet high-
ly romantic work. It has not the
technical demand of the Paganini
composition, but gives Francescat-
ti a chance to demonstrate his
abilities in a slightly different
kind of piece.
Performers
Play Return
Engagements
Four conductors, one soloist,
two choral groups and one instru-
mental group will play return en-
gagements for this year's May
Festival.
Thor Johnson, guest conductor
of the Choral Union will direct
the Friday evening performance of
Bach's "Mass in B minor" with
Prof. Harold Haugh of the music
school and the Sunday afternoon
concert. The Festival Youth Chor-
us, conducted by Marguarite Hood,
will appear with newcomer to the
Festival, Zino Francescatti in the
Saturday afternoon performance.
Playing in all six programs, the
Philadelphia Orchestra will be
directed by Eugene Ormandy in
three concerts and by Alexander'
Hilsberg in one.

Zinka il anov
VERDI'S IL TROVATORE
This is one of the finest operatic
recordings of the year, with a
magnificent cast and an excellent
job of sound reproduction. Mme.
Milanov's performance as the
luckless heroine Leonora is supurb
in every way, and Jussi Bjoerling,
who sings the role of the trouba-
dour Manrico, is still without a
doubt the best tenor of our time.
It is unfortunate that all this
talent and expert technical skill
was used on one of Verdi's less
impressive works; although the
music is wonderfully melodic,
the opera as a whole is simply too
melodramatic.
Mme. Milanov proves her claim
to the title of leading soprano of
the, Metropolitan Opera. She
sings with all the ease and clarity
that could be desired, and in
places one might even overlook
the fact that this is "Il Trova-
tore" and enjoy the recording for
the splendor of her voice alone.
The other members of the cast
-Leonard Warren, Fedora Bar-
bieri, and Nicola Moscona-are
all outstanding.
Eugene Ormandy
TCHAIKOVSKY: SYMPHONY
NO. 6 IN B MINOR ("PATHE-
TIQUE")
All the resources of modern re-
cording techniques have gone into
making this a supreme example of
high fidelity recording, and if
there is anything wanting it might
be traced to this over-emphasis on
recording techniques. For his part
Eugene Ormandy elicits a stun-
ning performance of this old war-
horse from the members of the
Philadelphia Orchestra.
With brilliance and color to
spare he gives it all the
"schmaltz" it can take, which,
I suppose, is really the only way
to keep it from being just an-
other copy of the standard
Pathetique. The most striking
part of the present performance
is the third movement, the faux
finale, which receives its most
spirited treatment from Or-
mandy; but the real concluding
movement is the star of the
record.
It has rarely, if ever, been bet-
ter performed, and the vibrant
strings of the Philadelphia Or-
chestra prove their reputation is
not exaggerated. Not even Sto-
kowski could have done better.

i

PROF. HAUGH started his mu-
sic career when he was 18 years
old. He studied voice in Cleveland
and New York, and graduated
from the Union Theological Sem-
inary. He is an ordained minis-
ter, holding the degree of Doctor
of Divinity. His chief interest is
sacred music. At present he dir-
ects the choir of the Ann Arbor
First Congregational Church.

Waxman and the Bach Festival
at Carmel.
The pretty brunette has also
sung with the Los Angeles Cham-
ber Symphony and at the Bershire
Festival in 1949.
Back in California, she sang in
Mahler's "Resurrection Symphony"
under the direction of Alfred
Wallenstein and in the Beethoven
"Ninth Symphony" under Pierre

r

FOU

GR

A

Co

DUCTORS

Conducting the Philadelphia Orchestra
At All Six Concerts

I

THURSDAY, APRIL 30, 8:30 P.M.
EUGENE ORMANDY, Conductor

SATURDAY, MAY 2, 2:30 P.M.
ALEXANDER HILSBERG, Guest Conductor

SUNDAY, MAY 3, 2:30 P.M.
THE UNIVERSITY CHORAL UNION
THOR JOHNSON, Guest Conductor

Soloist:

FESTIVAL YOUTH CHORUS
MARGUERITE HOOD, Conductor
Soloist:
ZINO FRANCESCATTI, Violinist

ALEXANDER BRAILOWSKY, Pianist

Soloist:
RUDOLF FIRKUSNY, Pianist

I

EUGENE ORMANDY
Musical Director
and Conductor of the
Philadelphia Orchestra

"Academic Festival" Overture. . . ....,...BRA HMs
Concerto No. 1 in E minor. . .......CI IOPIN
Concerto for piano and orchestra
ALEXANDER BRAILOWSKY
Symphony No. 7,
Midwest Premiere..............PROKOFIEFF

Overture, "Italiana in Algeri"... .... ROSSINI
Suite of Songs ............... BE.NJAMIN BRITTEN
FESTIVAL YOUT H CHORUS
Overture-Fantasia, "Romeo and
Juliet" .....................TCHAIKOVKY
Concerto in D major, Op. 61, for
Violin and Orchestra........ BL.i.:.ETIOVEN
ZINO FRANCLSCAT-TI

Overture in the Italian Style,.. , . .,....SCHUBER
"Prairie"................. NORMAND LoCKWOOD
"Triumphlied" ......... . .... BRAHMS
UNIVERSITY CHORAL UNION
Concerto No. 2......................MARTINU
. RUDOLPH FIRKUSNY

FRIDAY, MAY 1, 8:30 P.M.
UNIVERSITY CHORAL UNION
'THOR JOHNSON, Conducfor

SATURDAY, MAY 2, 8:30 P.M.
EUGENE ORMANDY, Conductor

SUNDAY, MAY 3, 8:30 P.M.
EUGENE ORMANDY, Conductor
Soloist:
ZINKA MILANOV, Soprano

Soloist:
CESARE SIEPI, Bass

Soloists:

DOROTHY WARENSKJOLD, Soprano

Tone Poem, "Don Juan".............. R. STRAUSS
"Mentre ti lascio" (K. 513) ... . ,, . , ... MOZART
CESARE SIEPI
"Mathis der Maler"..................HINDEMInTI

Symphony No. 7 ("Le Midi") . .... . .. .HAYDN
"Ah, perfido," Op. 65 ..............BEETHOVEN
ZINKA MILANOV

JANICE MOUDRY, Contralto

I5

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