CONCERT INFO

Symphony No. 35 in D Major, K. 385                                      Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart

   Allegro con spirit

   Andante

   Menuetto

   Presto

 

Concierto de aranjuez                                                            Joaquin Rodrigo

   Allegro con spirit

   Adagio

   Allegro gentile

Mr. Howard Glanton, guitar

 

 

INTERMISSION

 

 

Ancient Airs and Dances:  Suite No. 1                                    Ottarino Respighi

   Balletto

   Gagliarda

   Villanella

    Passo mezzo e mascherada

 

 

Suite from “The Firebird” (1919)                                            Igor Stravinsky

   Introduction – The Firebird and its dance – The Firebird’s variation

   The Princesses’ Khorovod (Round dance)

   Infernal dance of King Kastchei

   Berceuse (Lullaby)

   Finale

HOWARD GLANTON BIO

Howard Glanton, classical guitarist, holds a Master of Music Performance, Texas Tech University (1994) and a Bachelor of Music Performance, Eastern New Mexico University (1990).  Howard has been with Friends University since 2013, where he teaches classical guitar. He is also an adjunct professor at Bethel College, Hesston College, Tabor College and Sterling College. He has performed as a soloist in the USA, Europe and South America. He, along with fellow guitarist Excier Rodriguez, formed the guitar duo Piu Mosso and have toured throughout the USA and recorded two albums. In April 2018, Howard was invited to play for the 50th anniversary celebration of the Kansas/ Paraguay Partners of the Americas in Wichita and in June 2018, performed in Paraguay for their 50th anniversary celebration.   Howard regularly plays with his daughter Kaleigh Glanton who is a classical guitarist as well as a singer/ songwriter; you may recognize her from Season 6 of “The Voice” on NBC.  Howard tells us that he is thrilled to play the Concierto de Aranjuez with the Hutchinson Symphony because, “after hearing the Aranjuez at the age of 11, I always dreamed of playing it with an orchestra.  The first time I played it with orchestra was with the Hutchinson Symphony in 1997. The conductor at that time was my Duo partner Excier Rodriguez. I am delighted to return to this stage with the Hutchinson Symphony!”

 

 

Program Notes – October 3, 2019

 

Wolfgang Mozart and Sigmund Haffner were born in Salzburg the same year. Although they were childhood friends, their families moved in different circles. The Mozarts were musicians, entertainers—at first Salzburgers thought them no more than a troupe of show-business people. The Haffners were among the town’s wealthiest, most prominent, and most distinguished families.

 

When in July of 1776 Maria Elisabeth Haffner announced her plans to marry Franz Xaver Späth, Sigmund asked Mozart to provide the music for his sister’s nuptials. Mozart complied with a grand orchestral work, which was performed on the eve of the wedding and is known today simply as the Haffner Serenade. In the summer of 1782, after the composer had happily abandoned Salzburg for Vienna (the world’s greatest musical marketplace at the time), he was commissioned to write a second serenade for the Haffner family, this time to honor Sigmund Junior’s elevation to a position of nobility. Although Mozart was terribly pressed for time—“I am up to my eyes in work” - he took the assignment anyway and was still writing the serenade when Sigmund was ennobled on July 29. Two days later, he informed his father that he was unable to “scribble off inferior stuff” and that the piece would be done in a day or two. The work was completed sometime before Wolfgang and Constanze Weber’s wedding on August 4.

 

In December, Mozart wrote to his father, asking him to send a copy of the new Haffner score. When it arrived, Wolfgang wrote back at once, “My new Haffner symphony has positively amazed me, for I had forgotten every single note of it. It must surely produce a good effect.” Nonetheless, Mozart wasn’t entirely satisfied, and that winter he revised the score, adding pairs of flutes and clarinets to the first and last movements. When he conducted the “new” symphony in Vienna on March 23, it apparently did make a good effect, although Mozart’s own report to his father deals primarily with the reaction of  His Majesty the Emperor, who uncharacteristically stayed for the entire concert—“and how he applauded me!”

 

The Haffner Symphony, as we now call it, is a transitional work in Mozart’s career. From the very first measures, with their urgent call to attention, the symphony is serious business—far too ambitious and commanding to serve as background music for even the most important society event. The entire symphony is music of immense variety and drama, crackling energy, and tireless invention.

 

Rodrigo

 

The most prominent Spanish composer of the postwar period is Joaquín Rodrigo, and the work that is chiefly responsible for this popularity is his Concierto de Aranjuez. In addition to being the most widely known concerto for guitar, this neoclassical evocation of courtly life has become the most popular work by a Spaniard in this century—surpassing even (if available recordings are an accurate indication) the popular works of Manuel de Falla from earlier in the century—El amor brujo and The Three-Cornered Hat.

Born into a large family in the province of Valencia (on the eastern Mediterranean seacoast), Rodrigo was stricken with diphtheria at the age of three and a half, which blinded him almost totally. When his family moved to the city of Valencia, he was able to attend a sophisticated school for the blind, where his gift for music was quickly noted. In 1933 he married Victoria Kamhi, a pianist who would become his amanuensis and scribe as he began to compose more and more.

 

Falla aided the young composer in gaining a scholarship for study in Paris in the 1930s, and it was through this grace that Rodrigo and his wife were outside of Spain during the bloody Spanish Civil War (1936-39). He returned to Spain in 1939 (fleeing, this time, the war in northern Europe), and it was thus in Barcelona that the Concierto, composed in 1938-39, received a highly successful premiere on November 9, 1940, catapulting the young composer into international fame.  

 

“The Concierto de Aranjuez takes its title from the famous royal site 50 kilometers from Madrid on the road to Andalusia,” the composer explained. “It was a place particularly favored by the Bourbons. Although the piece is not programmatic, it was my intention to evoke a certain period in the life of Aranjuez—the end of the 18th century and the beginning of the 19th. ... It was an epoch subtly characterized by majas and bullfighters, and by Spanish-American tunes.” The composer has often referred to the nostalgic elements of the work, its flavor of days past, of the heady gardens of Aranjuez. “Some perceive Goya’s shadow in the notes of its music, full of melancholy emotion,” he writes. Yet on one point the composer is silent, and it remained the task of his wife to illuminate what is perhaps the essential significance of Aranjuez for Rodrigo. “It was an evocation of the happy days of our honeymoon,” she writes, speaking particularly of the slow movement’s haunting tune, “when we walked in the park at Aranjuez—and at the same time, it was a love song.”

 

Respighi

 

There are only a few 20th-century masters of colorful orchestration. Leading composers among this select group, such as Respighi, worked in a musical style that was a holdover from the Romantic 19th century. Respighi received his advanced training in orchestration directly from one of the world’s most coloristic orchestrators, Nicolai Rimsky-Korsakov, while playing violin in the St. Petersburg Imperial Opera Orchestra. Rimsky Korsakov’s influence is felt throughout Respighi’s symphonic poems, notably the famous Fountains of Rome (1916) and Pines of Rome(1924).

 

Respighi also had an intense interest and passion for music of the past – “The Italian genius is for melody and clarity. Today there is a noticeable return to the less sophisticated music of the past —in harmony with the church modes and in form with the dance suite.” Holding to this philosophy, the composer arranged three sets of Ancient Airs and Dances from Italian and French lute and guitar music of the Baroque (16th and 17th centuries). The sources for most of these were the editions published by his countryman, musicologist Oscar Chilesotti (1848-1916).

 

Suite No. 1 begins with Simone Molinaro’s “Ballo detto il Conte Orlando,” a popular piece from around the turn of the 17th century. Noble, masculine rhythmic gestures in the opening and closing sections are answered by a reflective feminine mood in the center. The composer of the second movement, “Gagliarda,” was Vincenzo Galilei, father of the famous astronomer. The piece’s original title was “Polymnia,” after one of the muses of song. For a central section, Respighi inserts an anonymous dance with a drone bass. As a slow movement, Respighi chose an anonymous, somber Villanella. The sadness of this music is only briefly relieved by a slightly faster middle section. The finale is a clever alternation of two anonymous dances of the late 16th century: several variations on a passa mezzo with interpolations of a mascherada. The suite thus arrives at a brilliant finish with the mascherada’s fanfare theme.

 

Stravinsky

 

Sergei Diaghilev's Paris-based "Ballets Russes" was one of the greatest ballet companies in history, and one that united many of the best dancers of its time. Diaghilev, the director, combined the soul of a brilliant artist with the mind and skills of a shrewd businessman. He was committed to exciting and innovative productions, and he sought out the best modern artists and composers available. Among musicians alone, he worked over the years with Debussy, Ravel, Falla, Prokofiev, and many others. However, he never made a more sensational, nor a more fruitful musical discovery, than when he engaged the 27-year-old Igor Stravinsky to write the music for Michel Fokine's new ballet, The Firebird. It was the start of a long collaboration that was to give the world Petrushka, The Rite of Spring, Les Noces, Mavra, and Apollon Musagète.

To create a story of an appropriately exotic flavor, Fokine and his collaborators used several Russian fairy-tales in the scenario of The Firebird. The stories of the beneficent Firebird and the evil ogre Kashchei the Immortal are combined in an ingenious plot, summarized as follows:

A young Prince, Ivan Tsarevich, wanders into Kashchei's magic garden at night in pursuit of the Firebird, whom he finds fluttering round a tree bearing golden apples. He captures it and extracts a feather as forfeit before agreeing to let it go. He then meets a group of thirteen maidens and falls in love with one of them, only to find that she and the other twelve maidens are princesses under the spell of Kashchei. When dawn comes and the princesses have to return to Kashchei's palace, he breaks open the gates to follow them inside; but he is captured by Kashchei's guardian monsters and is about to suffer the usual penalty of petrifaction, when he remembers the magic feather. He waves it; and at his summons the Firebird reappears and reveals to him the secret of Kashchei's immortality [his soul, in the form of an egg, is preserved in a casket]. Opening the casket, Ivan smashes the vital egg, and the ogre immediately expires. His enchantments dissolve, all the captives are freed, and Ivan and his Tsarevna are betrothed with due solemnity.

 

The 1919 suite is in five movements. The mysterious Introduction leads into the glittering Dance of the Firebird, followed by the slow and solemn Khorovod (round dance) of the captive princesses, based on a melancholy Russian folksong first played by the oboe. "Kashchei's Infernal Dance" is next, started by a fast timpani roll and dominated by a syncopated motif that arises from the lower registers (bassoons, horn, tuba) and is gradually taken over by the entire orchestra. This is the longest movement in the suite, including a lyrical countersubject symbolizing the plight of Kashchei's prisoners. The "infernal dance" returns, concluding with a wild climax. As a total contrast, the Firebird's Berceuse ("Lullaby") is a delicate song for solo bassoon. It leads directly into the Finale (the wedding of Ivan Tsarevich and the Princess), where the first horn introduces what is probably the most famous Russian folksong in the ballet. As this beautiful melody grows in volume and orchestration, it undergoes a significant metric change: the symmetrical triple meter (3/2) is transformed into an asymmetrical 7/4, bringing the music to a shimmering final culmination.