The following is the contents of the 1964 Programme, held by Bayan Northcott and photographed when I visited him.
Concerts and Lectures
16–22 August 1964
President Michael Tippett
Musical Director Harrison Birtwistle
[map of Tisbury]
The Composers and Artists 5
16 August Lecture 13
17 August Recital 19
18 August Lecture 25
19 August Recital 31
20 August Recital 37
21 August Concert 41
22 August Concert 41
We would like to thank the Headmistress, Miss C. B. Galton, and the Governors of Cranborne Chase School for kindly allowing us to use the Castle, both for the Concerts and the Summer School; and the following people for their invaluable assistance:
Mrs. M. I. Mackintosh
Mr. H. O. Young
Miss G. Selby-Smith
Mrs. T. Hetherington
Miss Caroline Philips
Mrs. R. Porteous
Mr. Michael Thomas
for the loan of organ and harpsichord
The Revd. C. J. Godfrey
for the use of Donhead St. Andrew parish church
The Ministry of Works
for the permission to use the grounds of the Old Castle
Cover Design and Book Anthony Denning
Programme Notes Anthony Gilbert
Notes on the Composers and Artists
was born in 1934; he studied at the Royal Manchester College of Music and subsequently at the Royal Academy of Music. He is now teaching music at Cranborne Chase School. His works include: Refrains and Choruses, performed 1959 Cheltenham Festival; Music for Sleep, a work for children; Chorales for Orchestra; The World is Discovered, performed at this year’s I.S.C.M. Festival; Entr’acts and Sappho Fragments, performed at this year’s Cheltenham Festival; and Three Movement with Fanfares, commissioned by The Worship Company of Musicians for this year’s City of London Festival
Peter Maxwell Davies
was born in Manchester in 1934, and studied 1952-57 at Manchester University, and Manchester College of Music; 1957-58, Italian Government Scholarship; studied composition with Petrassi in Rome. Director of Music at the Grammar School, Cirencester, and for the past 18 months he has been at Princeton, New Jersey. His works include: Sonata for Trumpet and Piano, 1955; Five Piano Pieces, 1956; Alma Redemptoris Mater, 1957; St. Michael, for wind instruments first performed at the Cheltenham Festival, 1957; Prolation, for orchestra, 1958; Five Motets for a capella choir, 1959; O Magnum Mysterium, for choir, instruments and organ, 1960. His Sinfonia was presented at the Cheltenham Festival by the English Chamber Orchestra in 1962
was born in London in 1934. He started to study music in 1958; harmony and counterpoint with Anthony Milner; composition briefly with Mátyás Seiber; then since 1959 with Alexander Goehr. Works include: a Duo for Violin and Viola, a Serenade for Six Instruments (commissioned by the S.P.N.M.); and a recently completed Mass for choir and brass.
was born in 1932 in Berlin. Son of the conductor Walter Goehr. Was brought to England as a baby and educated. Studied composition at Royal Manchester College of Music with Richard Hall, and in 1954 was awarded a French Government Scholarship and student at the Paris Conservatoire with Olivier Messiaen and Yvonne Loriod. For some years taught at Morley College and now works part time at the B.B.C., and its chairman of the Society for the Promotion of New Music. Principal works include: Sonata for Piano, The Deluge; Cantata after Leonardo da Vinci; Suters Gold; Cantata on a text by Eisenstein; Violin Concerto; and Little Symphony.
was born in 1905, and at the age of 18 entered the Royal College of Music where he studied composition with Charles Wood and R. O. Morris, and conducting with Sir Adrian Boult and Sir Malcolm Sargent. In the early ‘forties he was the Musical Director of Morley College and was closely associated with Walter Goehr, who have many first performances of his music from this period. Works from this period were: Concerto for Double String Orchestra; an Oratorio; A Child of Our Time; and the First Symphony. In 1953 Covent Garden gave the first performance of his first opera, A Midsummer Marriage. In 1953 his second opera, King Priam, was given its first performance in Coventry, late at Covent Garden. This Piano Sonata to be played tonight was written shortly after “King Priam” and was given its first performance by Margaret Kitchin.
was born near Wigan in Lancashire in 1932. He started to study music when he was 22; academic work with Dr. Lloyd Webber and later with Anthony Milner; composition with Iain Hamilton and then with Mátyás Seiber. His compositions include: a set of variations for viola and piano; instrumental songs to texts by Christopher Logue; a trio for flute, viola and piano; quartets, the second of which was commissioned by the B.B.C. for the 1962 Cheltenham Festival. Several of these pieces have been broadcast. He has taught at Morley College for five years and also, latterly, at the Royal Academy of Music. He is married to the pianist Susan McGaw.
wad born in London in 1920. He studied music at Dartington Hall and the Royal College of Music. He is now the principal flute of the London Philharmonic Orchestra and English Chamber Orchestra. Hs is unmarried and keenly interested in photography.
was born in Hertfordshire in 1942. Three years later she went to live in New York and there, at the age of 11, started to learn the flute with Ruth Freeman of the Julliard School of Music. When she was 17 she came to England and studied at the Royal Academy of Music with Derek Honner; in 1963-64 she went to Paris to study with Fernand Caratgé
was born in 1934 and studied with Roger Desormiere, Walter Goehr and Olivier Messiaen. For several years assisted John Pritchard with the Musica Viva Concerts in Liverpool, and has appeared as conductor with principal orchestras in this country. Is particularly interested in performance of new music and has given many first performances of works by young English composers.
was born in American but completed his musical training with Arthur Benjamin at the Royal College of Music, with he is now professor of the piano. Among the many awards he has won are the Chappell Gold Medal, the Harriet Cohen International Medal and two first prizes for chamber music at the Munich International Competition. His is will known for his solo and chamber music productions.
was born in Yorkshire in 1938 and at the age of 16 won a three-year Scholarship to the Guildhall School of Music in London. Her teacher was Winifred Radford, with whom she still works. Her oratorio repertoire is extensive and she performs regularly with principal choral societies in Great Britain. Since her first important engagement at York Minister in 1959 she has broadcast a cantata for her, and consequently she was invited to take part in the first performance of his opera “English Eccentrics,” which had u
was born in Flintshire. He started to play the harp at the age of 10 and at 17 he won scholarships which took him to the Royal Academy of Music, where he is now a professor. He has brought the harp into great prominence with his concert appearances, recitals and broadcasts, and he has taken part in most of the major European festivals. His performance of Ravel’s Introduction and Allegro with the Melos Ensemble was awarded a Premier Prix in 1962 by the French Society of Authors and Editors of Music. Ossian Ellis is an authority on Welsh Folk Music.
was born and educated in England. At the age of 14 he won the Bronislaw-Hubermann Scholarship for the Royal Academy of Music which was adjudicated by Hubermann in person. In 1939 he became the youngest member of the London Philharmonic Orchestra; he has played solos and obligatos with his orchestras and has always been singled out by the critics for his excellent performances. Since the war he has been leader of the Jacques Orchestra and is now leader of the English Chamber Orchestra. In 1954 he formed a string ensemble which has gained considerable success playing music of the seventeenth-eighteenth centuries. He has been a member of the Melos Ensemble since 1955.
was born in Switzerland and studied with Jacqueline Blancard. She has played all over Europe, giving recitals and as a soloist with all the leading orchestras, playing classical and many modern works in which she specialises. She has given many first performance of modern works, including the Piano Sonata by Alexander Goehr, and work by Ian Hamilton, Peter Maxwell Davies, Peter Racine Fricker, etc.
studied at the Royal Academy of Music where she son the Liszt Scholarship and many other prizes. On leaving she won a Caird Scholarship and one from the French Government, and studied in Paris for two years with Yvonne Lefébure Since returning she has played regularly in London and the provinces. She is a frequent broadcaster. He husband is Hugh Wood. They have a son and daughter.
Gervase de Peyer
was a scholar at the Royal College of Music and completed his studying under Frederick Thurston in 1958. He has played for many of the London symphony and chamber orchestras and is at present principal clarinet in the London Symphony Orchestra. He is well known as a soloist and has performed with nearly all the major orchestras in the country under many well known conductors. He has also appeared at many festivals, including Edinburgh and Holland. He has made records for Decca, H.M.V., l’Oiseau Lyre and Parlophone.
was born in London in 1923, son of violinist, and has a brother who plays the flute. He won an open scholarship to the Royal College of Music in 1939, after which he did a season with the Scottish Orchestra before becoming principal horn with the L.S.O. He spent seven years with Denniss Brian in the Philharmonia Orchestra and is at present co-principal in the B.B.C. Symphony Orchestra.
is at present recording concerts and making permanent recordings of music of keyboard instruments of exceptional historical importance on the continent and in England and Ireland. During the past few years he has recorded recitals on most of the famous old harpsichords, organs and clavichords. He is a person who has made the most thorough study of the technique, phrasing and ornamentation of old music and has, through his long experience and experiments with old instruments, learned how these techniques may best be applied to the old instruments that were used in historical times.
studied at the Royal Academy of Music, where he won numerous prizes for Chamber Music including the Sir Edward Cooper prize. He was a member of the Hurwitz String Quartet until it disbanded in 1951. He has been principal ‘cello of many chamber orchestras but is at present free-lancing. He is a founder member of the Melos Ensemble.
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Sunday 16th August
5.0 p.m. Lecture
in the Assembly Room
8.30 p.m. Concert
in the Assembly Room
Music in Our Time
Lecture 5.0 p.m.
ALEXANDER GOEHR will lecture on certain aspects of contemporary music with particular reference to works being performed in the evening concert.
Concert 8.30 p.m.
Introduced by MICHAEL TIPPETT
A concert of contemporary English Music
Promoted by: Institute of Contemporary Arts.
Society for the Promotion of New Music
Barbara Elsie Soprano
Margaret Kitchin Pianoforte
Peter Maxwell Davies Pianoforte
Richard Adeney Flute
Gervase de Peyer Clarinet
Neill Sanders Horn
Osian Ellis Harp
Emmanuel Hurwitz Violin
Terence Weil ‘Cello
John Carewe Conductor
Three Piano Pieces, op.5 Hugh Wood
These pieces were written for my wife to play, the first for a Wigmore Hall recital in January 1961, and the whole set for a midday recital at the 1963 Cheltenham Festival. the first, Lento, consists of a long tune with rises to a climax, after which some introductory material is heard again. The second, Energico, is the longest of the three, a rondo with episodes and an introduction; the first episode features constant trills, the second is lyrical, in a slower tempo. The main theme appears in a different register each time. The third piece, Calmo, is very short, reminiscent in its materials, valedictory in its nature.
Monody for Corpis Christi Harrison Birtwistle
[lyrics reproduced in original]
The first movement is a simple arch whose main member is the vocal line (to which all other parts are embellishments and from which they may be said to stem). Its rise and descent are emphasized by the gradual addition of instruments from the beginning and their subtraction towards the end, and by the gradually increasing complexity of the instrumental episodes separating the couplets.
This movement leads without a break into an instrumental fantasia Quasi fanfara in contrasting sections, at first very short and static, then longer and more flowing, the whole serving as a transition between the different levels of tension of the two movements for voice.
The third movement follows without interruption and again the overall form is very simple. Each stanza grows in intensity towards its end; in between the two there is a brief instrumental episode ending with a flute cadenza.
Sonata for Piano Anthony Gilbert
This sonata was written in 1961-62 and was first performed by Margaret Kitchin at the S.P.N.M. Cheltenham Festival concert in 1962. There are three movements:
1. Vivace. The overall shape is that of classical sonata form with two contrasting subject-groups, a bipartite section of development in which each group is treated in accordance with its individual character, and an elliptical reprise and coda.
2. Cantilena is a simple, song-type movement in three sections of continuous variation. The middle section, characterized by a pedal, forms a central point of repose for the whole sonata, while the third part recalls the other two and has the function of a coda.
3. Scherzo. This opens with two contrasting motifs and the first part of the movement is concerned with their development and gradual integration. As they become more completely combined the section reaches a climax which triggers off Trio 1, a set of short variations on a rhythmic motif. After a short link using first-section material there follows Trio 2, which is free and rhapsodic in character, and has echoes of the first and second movements. The final section is a telescoped and varied version of the first.
Sonata No.2 for Piano Michael Tippett
This Sonata was written early in 1962 and first performed by Margaret Kitchin at the
Edinburgh Festival of that year. It is in one continuous movement.
Composed very shortly after the completion of “King Priam,” the sonata derives form from the dramatic structure of at opera, and some of its materials from the orchestral piano part. It constitutes a complete departure from normal sonata procedure in that there is virtually no development; the sonata grows by statement – the constant addition of new material and by variation and repetition of material previously given. Constant use is made of new materials and by variation and repetition of material previously given. Constant use is made of contrasts: contrasts of texture, contrasts of tempi and timbres and contrasts between static and dynamic. Towards the end the phrases and motifs get shorter and tension grows until the final page, which is a coda concerned with the elimination of the principal motifs.
INTERVAL (25 minutes)
Five Little Pieces Peter Maxwell Davies
The five little piano pieces were composed between 1960 and 1962.
Suite, op. 11 Alexander Goehr
This work was commissioned by the Aldeburgh Festival Committee for the Melos Ensemble who gave its first performance in June, 1961. The object was to produce a piece of light, serenade-like character with an important part for flute and harp. There are five movements.
The first is a quick movement in three main sections. The first and second of these alternate two sharply distinguished types of material in continually varied forms; the third in contrast is a flowing section for solo flute with string accompaniment. There are two repeats: the first section is played again immediately, and the second again after the third.
The second movement is an Intermezzo for harp in improvisatory style. The structural principle is the note-by-note changing of two superimposed chords by pedal shifts.
The third movement is a Scherzo. This is very lightly scored, being almost all in one part over a pedal. Of its two main motifs, the first on the ‘cello is recognisable as the clarinet motif from the first movement in equal notes. Its “head” is used throughout the movement as a sort of punctuation mark dividing sections. The Trio comes right at the end and is for the three stringed instruments only; finally there is an eight-bar coda on scherzo material.
The fourth movement is an Arietta for solo flute, backed by a horn pedal of three notes, with brief answering figures on viola, ‘cello and harp.
The finale is a true Quodlibet in which short blocks of material from all the previous movements are juxtaposed mosaic-wise. There are two cadenzas: one for flute on Scherzo material, and one for harp on Trio material. The whole is held together by a horn-call which recurs like a rondo-theme, and whose origins are revealed to the sharp ear on its final appearance.
[Advertisement for UE composers Harrison Birtwistle and Hugh Wood]
Monday, 17th August
5.0 p.m. RECITAL
in the Old Kitchen
8.30 p.m. CONCERT
in the Assembly Room
Early Organ Music Recital 5.0 p.m.
Peter Maxwell Davies will introduce and play early music on a newly restored Snitzler organ. Works by: Dunstable, Taverner, Byrd, Tomkins, Gabrielli, Scheidt, Zipoli etc.
The organ belongs to Peter Maxwell Davies and was made by Snitzler in 1768.
Snitzler’s soundboards have little pallets directly under the keys which are operated by a pin on the underside of the key, thus giving an extremely light and responsive touch. The disadvantage of this method is that the wind channels are small, so that it is only possible to play three or four rows of pipes at once.
This organ originally possessed an ordinary stopped Diapason 8’, and open Diapason 8’ which contrasted with it, a Dulciana with tongues and beards, and a very small scale, also 8’, and small Dulciana Principle: the effect was rather soft and lacked virility. The pipes were therefore transposed to give a stopped Diapason and Principle, and the Dulcianas became the 12th and 15th. In this way the incisive Snitzler tone was immediately regained.
Chamber Concert 8.30 p.m.
Lamar Crowson Piano
Gervase de Peyer Clarinet
Emmanuel Hurwitz Violin
Neill Sanders Horn
Terence Weil ‘Cello
Pianoforte Trio in F sharp minor Haydn
Haydn’s Piano Trios belong rather to his piano music than to that for string ensemble. The keyboard plays a dominant part in all of them and the use of the violin, and particularly the ‘cello, is held by some authorities to be optional. The first editions describe them as “Sonatas pour le piano-forte avec accompagnement de violon et violoncello,” and the violin rarely goes above 2nd position, the ‘cello merely duplicating the bass of the piano.
This interesting work is one of a group of three composed in or before 1795 and dedicated to his English friend, Mrs. Schroeter.
There are three movements, the first of which, a sonata allegro, is notable for its wealth but as it reaches the dominant cadence it acquires a minor flavour, providing an excuse to plunge straight into A for the middle section. The procedure in reverse brings back the tonic towards the end.
The Finale is a Minuet in F-sharp minor of great beauty, with a trio consisting of the same material transplanted to the tonic major. Without going beyond the canons of Haydn’s normal minuet procedure, it provided a most satisfactory ending to the work.
Six Little Piano Pieces, op. 19 Schoenberg
Quick, but light.
The first five of these pieces were written on 19th February, 1911; the sixth was written in June, just four weeks after the death of Mahler, to whom it constitutes a kind of epitaph.
Around this time perhaps more than at any other period Schoenberg was preoccupied with problems of form – particularly of finding more appropriate vessels for his rapidly evolving atonality. There is no doubt that he was struck by the aphoristic manner of Webern’s op. 6, and particularly of the violin pieces op. 7, to the extent of being impelled to see what possibilities the very short form held for himself.
In addition, in these little pieces we find him for the first time calling into question the traditional relationship between melody and accompaniment, and investigating the possibility of more interesting functions for the latter. So, for example, in Nos. 1, 2 and 4 it becomes merely an extension or feature of the melody, serving to heighten its expressiveness in various ways, and No. 6, the strangest piece of all, is concerned with the almost elimination of both elements.
Seven Sketches, op. 9 Bartok
These piano pieces were composed between 1908-10, and are, in a way, a diary of Bartók’s development as a composer in these years. The first ones reflect his early preoccupation with western mannerisms – particularly impressionism; the later ones show his growing interest in the folk-idioms of his own land.
1. Portrait of a Young Girl: to wit, Marta Ziegler, its dedicatee, whom he married in 1909. A short piece in ternary form, betraying the influence of, surprisingly enough, Busoni in its harmonic style and its treatment of material.
2. A Swing. Two motifs are used in alternation: the first a rocking, polytonal figure, the second a bagpipe tune in not quite a whole tone scale.
3. is dedicated to Mr. and Mrs. Z. Kodály. The lack of title emphasizes Bartòk’s abandonment of impressionism; the piece is simply a rhapsodic melody unfolded in rubato-parlando style over an accompaniment of major tenths.
4. is another rhapsodic piece. After an 11-bar introduction a Hungarian-style melody is presented in varied forms over a florid accompaniment.
5. A Rumanian Folk Melody, and 6., a dance in the Valachian manner, are still closer to popular sources, and foreshadow the Bartók of Mikrokosmos.
7. In this piece, perhaps the most interesting of all the Sketches, brief modal phrases succeed one another with striking juxtapositions of tonality; there is a gradual metamorphosis to irregular rhythms and whole-tone scales, and in the long code to note-clusters.
Première Rhapsodie for clarinet and piano Debussy
This piece was written in 1910 as a test piece for clarinet competitions at the Conservatoire at which it was Debussy’s duty to adjudicate. It was subsequently orchestrated (the style of the accompaniment seems to indicate that this was his intention all along) and in this form is said to have been regarded by Debussy as one of the most pleasing pieces he had written.
It is freely constructed (as befits a Rhapsody) from static blocks of contrasting material in three main categories: slow and dreamy, poco mosso and scherzando, sharply juxtaposed or joined by brief linking passages.
Four Pieces for clarinet and piano, op.5 Berg
These pieces were written in the summer of 1913, and are dedicated to Schoenberg’s “Society for Private Performances,” under whose auspices they were first played more than six years later. Their epigrammatic style is an untypical of Berg as Schoenberg’s op. 19, their obvious model, is of him.
1. The clarinet’s opening six-note figure is a skilful simultaneous exposition of all the motivic elements of the piece, which in any case all spring from the single governing principle of intervallic expansion. Its form is very simple – the piano and clarinet move in opposite directions to the central climax which is held for two bard and then quickly falls away to a code of static harmonies.
2. This utilizes the same motivic elements as No. 1 in a pianissimo conflict between two kinds of ostinato accompaniment in the piano and a simple melodic line in the clarinet. The climax is expressed without rising above p, simply being the point at which the conflict resolves in favour of one of the ostinati.
3. Another very quiet piece, falling into four sharply contrasted sections, the first two quick and nervous, the third slow and flowing and the fourth an elliptical reprise and headlong code to be played as quickly and quietly as possible.
4. This piece takes farther the idea inherent in No. 3. The contrasted sections, each characterized by a different ostinato, are again present (though the speeds are the reverse of those in No. 3); likewise the sonata-like reprise before the code. Now, however, in spite of the ostinato, the piece is not static: it is aimed at the explosive climax which ends the first part of the code. The coda proper is simply three bars of echo.
INTERVAL (25 minutes)
Fantasia in C minor, K475 Mozart
This piece, written in 1875 for his gifted pupil Thérèse von Trattner, is one of four Fantasias for the piano composed in Mozart’s later years. It was customary for him to precede performances of his sonatas with an improvised introduction in the same key; the present Fantasia, published by Mozart as a prelude to the Sonata K457, may be taken as a fairly close indication of the nature of these improvisations.
It is made up of five contrasted open-ended sections: the first Adagio, the second a D major episode in the same tempo, the third a stormy Allegro in two halves, linked by a brief cadenza to the fourth, Andantino in B-flat; the fifth is another stormy Allegro. The whole is rounded off by a recapitulation and code on first-section material.
The organization of keys is interesting. The first, third and fifth sections are unstable and constantly modulating, any affirmations of the home (or any) key being rigorously avoided. The second and fourth are anchor sections firmly in keys two removes [sic] from home on the dominant and the subdominant sides respectively – so that the acute ear may sense an implied tonic midway between. However, not until the final section is the home key reached and established.
Trio for Piano, Violin and Horn, op.40 Brahms
This is one of a group of works composed after Brahms’ resignation in 1864 as Director of the Vienna Choral Society. It is a very much a horn trio; the horn part is as it were the backbone of the work, and the character of all the melodic material is determined by its appropriateness to that instrument.
The first movement is an Andante of unusual design, with boldly planned key relationships. There are two balancing sections, each in two contrasting parts, organised as follows: Andante in E-flat (2/4 time); poco più animato in C minor and G minor (9/8); Andante in E-flat; poco più animato in E-flat minor and B-flat minor, leading to a final Andante in G-flat which modulates back to the home key at the final climax.
The Scherzo begins with a long (12-bar) upbeat to the principal motif, whose four bars of 2/4 rhythm in 3 contrast strikingly with the overall 3/4 pulse. The whole of the first section is built up from the material of these first 16 bars – a secondary motif given out by the horn on the next page plays little part in the growth of the movement. The Trio in the subdominant minor is less exuberant and decisive in character; the melody owes its outline to the “upbeat” motif of the previous section. After 76 bars uninterrupted by any form of full cadence the Scherzo is given de capo.
In the third movement, Adagio mesto in E-flat minor, there are four sections whose exact symmetry and the economy of whose material are belied by the flowing, almost rhapsodic manner in which the music unfolds.
The Finale is a lively movement in sonata form, through whose many modulations the horn is handled with such adroitness that accidentals seldom appear in the part.
Tuesday, 18th August
5.0 p.m. Lecture
in the Assembly Room
8.30 p.m. Concert
in the Assembly Room
Quartet for the End of Time Lecture 5.0 p.m.
Olivier Messiaen, the Man and His Music
given by Hugh Wood
Concert 8.30 p.m.
Members of the Melos Ensemble
Emmanuel Hurwitz Violin [viola]
Gervase de Peyer Clarinet
Terence Weil Violoncello
Lamar Crowson Pianoforte
Clarinet Trio in E flat K498 Mozart
Rondo – Allegretto
The year 1786 was a trying one for Mozart. He was heavily in debt, his newly completed Marriage of Figaro had been withdrawn after only nine performances, and he had lost his third son. Nevertheless in the space of only six months he managed to turn out eight masterpieces, of which this Trio is one. It was written for his friends Francisca Jacquin and Anton Stadler with Mozart himself playing the viola part.
The unusual choice of instruments gives a mellow, closely-knit ensemble capable of considerable expressive power, and it was no doubt with this possibility in mind that Mozart made the first movement an andante rather than an allegro, almost – but not quite – discarding the sonata in favour of the song-form. The movement grows continuously from the motif in the first bar, and very little other material is introduced,
The second movement is a vigorous Minuet with a Trio effectively contrasting the timbres of the clarinet and viola in dialogue.
The theme of the final Rondo springs from a fragment of the “2nd subject” in the first movement. Little important music is given to the viola in the first section, in order to heighten the effect of its striking C-minor entry in the second episode. Save for a few bars of A-flat melody in the central part, its rôle is secondary until nearly the end, during a final brilliant reworking of the Rondo theme.
Four Impromptus, op. 142 Schubert
This is the style under which, mainly for commercial reasons. Schubert published the first of four piano sonatas written during the last 10 months of his life. And although undeniably a sonata of sorts, there is a certain looseness about its construction which suits its new name better.
For instance, in the first movement, Allegro moderato, there is an F-minor first subject and an A-major second subject, but where we might expect a development there is a longish passage of new material which moves into all sorts of interesting keys but does not grow. This innovation is taken a step further when the passage is reintroduced in the recapitulation, and at last Schubert’s scheme – a simple binary form – becomes apparent.
The second movement, Allegretto, is a Sarabande and trio going hand in hand with the first movement in key and character.
The third, Andante, is a set of variations on a tune from Rosamunde.
The finale, Allegro Scherzando, is in clearly defined ABA form, but the manner of organising the material in the outer sections gives it certain Rondo characteristics. It is perhaps the most imaginative of the movement. Cross-rhythms abound, the harmonic structure is striking, and the lead back from the central to the final section is magical.
INTERVAL (25 minutes)
Quatuor pour la fin du temps Olivier Messiaen
“And I saw another might angel come down from heaven, clothed with a cloud, and a rainbow was on his head, and his face was as the sun, and his feet were as pillars of fire… and he set his right foot upon the sea, and his left foot upon the earth… and standing upon the sea and upon the earth, lifted up his head to heaven; and he swore by him that liveth for ever… that time shall be no longer; but in the days of the voice of the seventh angel, when he shall begin to sound the trumpet, the mystery of God shall be finished…” (Apocalypse of St. Jonn, Chapter X).
Conceived and written during my captivity, the Quatuor pour la fin du temps was first performed in Stalag Villa on 15th January, 1941, by Jean le Boulaire (violin), Henri Akoka (clarinet), Etienne Pasquier (‘cello) and myself on the piano. It was directly inspired by the above quotation from the Apocalypse. Its musical language is essentially immaterial, spiritual, catholic. Modes which, melodically and harmonically, realize a kind of tonal ubiquity, being the listener nearer to eternity in space or the infinite. Special rhythms, not bound by regular metre, powerful serve to put the temporal at a distance. (All this is but mere tentative stammering if one thinks of the overwhelming grandeur of its subject).
This “Quartet” is in eight movements. Why so? Seven is the perfect number, the six days of creation sanctified by the divine Sabbath; the seven of rest extends into eternity and becomes the eight of undecaying light, of unalterable peace.
1. “Liturgy of Crystal.” Between three and four in the morning, the birds awaken: a blackbird or solo nightingale improvises, surrounded by a fine sprinkling of sound, a halo of trills lost high in the treetops. Transfer this to the religious place, and you have the harmonious silence of heaven.
2. “Vocalise, for the Angel who announces the end of Time.” The first and third parts (very short) evoke the power of this mighty angel arrayed in cloud with a rainbow upon his head, who places one foot upon the sea and the other foot upon the land. The “middle section” depicts the impalpable harmonic of heaven. Gentle cascades of orange-blue chords on the piano surround with their distant carillon quasi-plainchant recitatives on violin and ‘cello.
3. “Abyss of the birds.” Clarinet solo. The abyss is Time, with its sadness, its wearinesses. The birds are the opposite of Time; they are our desire for light, stars, rainbows and paeans of jubilation.
4. “Interlude.” A Scherzo, more extrovert in character than the previous movement, but linked with them, nevertheless, by a number of melodic “reminders.”
5. “Praise to the Eternity of Jesus.” Jesus is considered here as the Word. A long ‘cello phrase, infinitely slow, magnifies with love and reverence the eternity of this might and gently Word, “whose years shall never be exhausted.” Majestically the melody spreads out, into the tender and sovereign distance. “In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God and the Word was God.”
6. “Dance of fury for the seven trumpets.” Rhythmically, this is the most characteristic piece of the set. The four instruments playing in unison take on the sound of gongs and trumpets (the first six trumpets of the apocalypse following by various catastrophes, the trumpet of the seventh angel announcing the consummation of the mystery of God. Use is made of added values, augmented or diminished rhythms, and non-retrogradable rhythms. Stone music, formidable granitic sound; the irresistible movement of steel, enormous blocks of purple fury, glacial drunkenness. Listen above all to the terrible fortissimo augmentation of the theme with its notes all changed in register which comes towards the end of the piece.
7. “A confusion of rainbows, for the Angel who announced the end of Time.” Certain passages for the second movement return here. The almighty Angel appears, and so, particularly, does the rainbow which he wears (the rainbow, symbol of peach, goodness, and of all vibration in light and sound). In my dreams I hear and see groups of chords and melodies, known colours and shapes; then after this transitory phase I move into the unreal and experience with ecstasy a whirling and mingling together of superhuman sounds and chords. These fiery swords, these torrents of blue-orange lava, these sudden starts: these are confusions, these are rainbows.
8. “Praise to the Immortality of Jesus.” A broad violin solo, acting as pendant to the ‘cello solo of the 5th movement. Why this second praise? It is addressed more particularly to the second aspect of Jesus, to Jesus the Man, to the Word made flesh, returning immortal to give us His life. It is all love. Its slow climb to the heights is the ascension of man towards his God, of the child of God towards its Father, of the beatified creatures towards Paradise.
– And I say again what I said above: “all thus us but mere tentative stammering if one thinks of the overwhelming grandeur of its subject.’
(Notes translated from score by Anthony Gilbert)
At the age of 56, Olivier Messiaen is almost certainly the most distinguished composer working in Europe today. He was born in 1908 at Avignon, song of a Shakespearean scholar and a poetess. He entered the Paris Conservatoire when he was only 11, and there studied the organ under Marcel Dupré, theory under Maurice Emmanuel and composition under Paul Dukas. At 18 he won the first prize for counterpoint and fugue, and he went on to win first prizes for piano accompaniment, organ playing, improvisation, music history and composition. His first mature work was, like so much of his later output, for the organ: Le Banquet Céleste, written in 1928. The Eight Preludes for piano followed in 1929: it was on the recommendation of Dukas that they were published. In 1931 he was appointed organist at the Great Organ of Holy Trinity, Paris. Other works of these years include Les Offrandes oubliées, L’Ancension, the Theme and Variations for Violin and Piano, and the Nativité du Seigneur cycle for organ. In 1936 he appeared as the leader of a group of young musicians calling themselbes “La Jeune France,” the other being André Jolivet, Daniel Lesur and Yves Baudrier. In this year also he was appointed professor at the Ecole Normale and at the Schola Cantorum. Works 1936-39: Poemes pour Mi, Chants de terre et de ciel, and the Corps glorieué for organ.
Messiaen enlisted at the beginning of the war and was taken prisoner during the fall of France in 1940. It was in a German prison camp in Silesia that he wrote the Quatuor pour la fin du temps (1941). This work was the harbinger of the most prolific period of his career. He was repatriated to occupied France and then wrote the Visions de l’Amen for two pianos, for Trios petites liturgies de la Présence Divine (the first work of his to become widely known after the war), the immense piano work Vignt regards sur l’Enfant Jésus, the similarly large-scale song-cycle Harawi, and then his chef d’oeuvre the Turangalila Symphony. This was written in 1946-48 and has been performed many times all over Europe and in America since its first performance in Boston in 1949. In 1953 and 1954 two performance took place in London, conducted by Walter Goehr. The work has recently been recorded.
On his return to France, Messiaen had been appointed professor of harmony at the Conservatoire, and before the end of the war a lively group of young pupils had gathered themselves round him, including the 19-year-old Pierre Boulez. The title of his appointment was changed in 1947 to that of Professor of Aesthetics, rhythmic studies and of the analysis class; a wider range of pupils now included Karheinz Stockhausen, Jean Barraque, Yannis Xenakis and Gilbert Amy. During the years 1947-53 Messiaen gave classes at various musical centres, including Budapest, Sarrebruck, Tanglewood and Darmstadt. His Quatre Etudes de rhythme for piano was begun on Darmstaft in 1949, and this work has had a great influence on composers of the Darmstadt circle. Other works of this time: Canteyodjaya for piano; the Cinq Rechants for choir; the Messe de la Pentecote for organi; Le Merle Noir for flute and piano; and the Livre d’orgue.
During the last 10 years Messiaen’s name has become well-known all over the world and his importance recognised as one of the sources of new musical thought. Latterly his works are even to be heard in England, where in particular his organ music now received regular performances. A recent group of works springs from the composer’s lifelong preoccupation with bird-song: the Réveil des oiseaux (1953) for piano and orchestra; the Oiseaux exotiques (1956) for piano, wind ensemble and percussion, and the piano work Catalogue d’oiseaux (1959). More recent still is Chronochromie (1960), an important work for large orchestra, and the Haikai for piano and clarinet solo and chamber ensemble (1962).
Wednesday, 19th August
5.0 p.m. Recital
in the Old Kitchen
8.30 p.m. Discussion
in the Assemble Room
Flute and Harpsichord
Recital 5.0 pm
Lucy Berthoud Flute
Michael Thomas Harpsichord
Suite in D Major Rameau
Sonata in B Minor J. S. Bach
Ordre in B Minor Couperin
Sonata No. 6 in E Minor J. S. Bach
Rameau and Couperin
Couperin (Le Grand), 1668-1733. His music for clavecin was called “Ordres,” another name for suite. They were published between 1713-30 with varying numbers of movements, some with 10 or 15 and the longest 23. He was a master of a musical miniature and pieces include portrait studies and nature sketches, e.g. Les Tricoteuses and Les Petits Moulins a Vent.
Rameau, 1683-1764. He was the most prominent figure of his day in French opera but won fame in all musical arts including writing for the clavecin in which he followed Couperin. Picturesque titles of his music for harpsichord include La Poule and Les Tourbillons. G.S.S.
Flute Sonatas J.S. Bach
Bach wrote six flute sonatas, the first three have a fully written up part for the right hand of the harpsichord and can, therefore, be regarded as trio sonatas with the harpsichord playing the solo melodic part as well as the base. No. 1 in B minor has a long first movement marked andante in which the flute and the harpsichord alternate in a long melodic line and, of course, often play the two subjects against each other. Indeed both subjects are played together in the very first line. The faster semiquaver subject can really be regarded as two parts in quavers, as is so common in much of Bach’s music, which looks like a single part. It contains no harmony but tonic and dominant till the third bar. The harmony changes abruptly when a chromatic movement is introduced. This is, of course, developed in the course of the movement. The middle section of the movement is a much lighter subject in quick moving triplets. This is perhaps the longest and one of the most beautiful movements in all the Bach sonatas. The 2nd movement, a largo, is really a development form the siciliano but considerable complications and additions have arisen in the rhythm by the second bar. The 3rd movement is a short movement marked presto and starts with a canon with the harpsichord following the flute nine bars later. This time there is a chromatic climbing movement. The movement is in the form of a fughetta without cadence to the end. The last movement is a jig but of the highly developed type and note suitable for dancing in so far as the first beat of the three semiquavers instead of being an articulated down beat is actually a sustained syncopation in the very first bar. Again this contains a canon but it is at the unison pitch instead of at the 5th, the harpsichord entering in the fourth bar. Bach’s flute sonata No. 6 begins with an adagio but which is a completely expressive work and it would be difficult to say that it was closely related to any of the dance movement but bears more resemblance to a slow movement by Quantz. The 2nd movement is allegro in straight-forward binary form and in the Italian style. The 3rd movement is again a siciliano. The 4th movement is allegro again in binary form.
While engaged in restoring harpsichords, Michael Thomas became interested in two types of this instrument, which seemed to him to be particularly fine: one being the Italian and the other the French type.
After much experimenting independent of any specific model, Michael Thomas constructed this instrument in which he has sought to incorporate the best qualities of each type.
He uses the light construction and small bridge found in the Italian model, thus giving it simultaneously a deep hollow resonance and an enormous harmonic range; and by bending the wood of the curved side only as far as it will naturally and easily go, he has obtained the depth of tone of the French instrument. A clear attack on each note is achieved by the use of quills for plucking the harpsichord.
Opera Today Discussion 8.30 p.m.
Alexander Goehr, Peter Maxwell Davies, Michael Tippett
Chairman: Harrison Birtwistle
Michael Tippett’s activities in the operatic field are already well known to all. His two works for the stage, dating from 1952 and 1961 respectively, for which in both cases he was his own librettist, are among the most striking and original contributions to opera this century.
Peter Maxwell Davies has for the past two years been working on his first opera, based on the life of John Taverner, and now nearing completion.
Alexandr Goehr began, and abandoned, his first opera some years ago. Its subject was the Women of Troy, and a fragment survives in the orchestral work Hecuba’s Lament. His activities in recent months as musical director of various stage productions at the Mermaid Theatre have resulted in his increasing absorption with music on the stage, and he has recently been commissioned to write an opera on the play Arden of Feversham.
[advertisement for Schott’s composers: Banks, Blomdahl, Davies, Franciax, Fricker, Gilbert, Goehr, Hamilton, Hartman, Henze, Hindemith, Huber, Nono, Orff, Rainier, Schoenberg, Schuller, Searle, Seiber, Stravinsky and Tippett.]
Thursday, 20th August
5.0 p.m. Recital
in the Assembly Room
8.30 p.m. Lecture
in the Assembly Room
Matinee for Erik Satie Recital 5.0 p.m.
Susan McGaw Piano
Four songs without words Mendlessohn
F sharp minor op. 19, no. 5
B minor op.67, no. 5
F minor op. 62, no. 3
A minor op. 38, no. 5
1st Gymnopedies Satie
3rd Gnossiemme Satie
Vieux sequins et Vielles Cuirasses Satie
Passion [Prussian?] Sonata no. 6, A major [H.29?] C. P. E. Bach
Pieces friod 1st set Satie
Airs a faire fuire Satie
Three songs without words Mendelssohn
G major op. 62, no. 1
D major op. 85, no. 4
A major op. 102, no. 5
Erik Satie: 1866-1925
The amount of discussion of a non-musical nature aroused by Satie’s eccentricities led people for many years almost to forget he was a musician; now, with the arrival of new eccentrics on the musical scene, most people have even forgotten Satie the lunatic. Even when, at the age of 54, he suddenly found himself hailed as leader of the Parisian avant-garde, it was less as a musician than as High Priest of a new aesthetic cult devised by Cocteau that he was worshipped, and rarely at any period since his death have any but a dwindling number of devotees taken the trouble to disregard the funny words and listen simply to his music.
This is a pity, because although undeniably a most interesting character in many ways, it is in the light of his contribution as a composer pure and simple that he new deserves to be considered.
Maybe he never produced a large-scale masterpiece, and maybe his influence is not as profound or as far-reaching as other influences this century; nevertheless, musically he is a true original, and the best of his work has a timeless quality that puts it in another category altogether from all the bizarrerie.
His was a fairly prolific composer, the bulk of his output being for the piano, either solo or duet, and this portion of his work contains his best and most characteristic pieces. Few of them are long; most are in groups, generally of three; and quite often, like the Gymnopédies and the Sarabandes, they are just three ways of looking at the same idea.
He had a way of anticipating points of technique in other composers by some 15 or 20 years. In his earlier piano pieces are to be found harmonic innovations used much later by Debussy and Ravel; slightly later pieces gave Stravinsky his mechanical accompaniment figures, and in later ones still, in particular the “3 Valses du Précieux Dégoûté” and the 20 “Sports et Divertissements,” his masterpiece, we find utilizes Messiaen’s techniques of incantatory repetition and the systematic juxtaposition of brief unrelated phrases.
The groups of pieces we are to hear this afternoon are among his best-known and least-known works. The Gymnopédies were published in 1887 and quickly achieved popularity; Vieux Séquins et Vielles Cuirasses (1914) belongs to a period of advanced buffoonery through which Satie went during the years following his celebrated return to the Schola Cantorum
Lecture 8.30 p.m.
Musical Characterization in Mozart Opera
with particular reference to Don Giovanni
Stephen Pruslin, Princeton University
Friday, 21st August
8.30 p.m. Concert
at Old Wardour Castle
Saturday, 22nd August
8.30 p.m. Concert
at Donhead St. Andrew Parish Church
A concert in the open air* of English and Italian echo-music from the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries for brass and voices.
Given by: Gabrieli Ensemble and Choir conducted by Peter Maxwell Davies, Alexander Goehr.
Music by: Maschera, Isaac, A. and G. Gabrieli, Locke, etc.
* Under cover if wet
Concert 8.30 p.m.
A concert given by the participants of the summer school
Conductors: John Carewe, Michael Tippett
Morgengesang C. P. E. Bach
Sequentia Sanctia Evangeli Secundam Lucan [sic, Sequentia Sancti Evangelii Secundum Lucam], in illo Tempore XXII 14-20 Peter Maxwell Davies
(first performance written for the summer school)
For these concerts a more comprehensive programme will be available on the day.