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THIRTY-FOURTH SEASON, NINETEEN HUNDRED FOURTEEN AND FIFTEEN
Seventeenth Rehearsal and Concert
FRIDAY AFTERNOON, MARCH 12, at 2.30 o'clock
Beethoven . - - - Andante from the Seventh Symphony
In memoriam: JOHN CHIPMAN GRAY
Berlioz - . . “Harold in Italy,” Symphony in Four Movements w with Viola Solo, Op. 16 (Viola Solo by Mr. EMILE FáRIR)
I. Harold in the Mountains; Scenes of Melancholy, Happiness, and Joy.
d'Indy . Fantasia for Oboe and Orchestra on French Folk Tunes, Op. 31. First time with Orchestra in Boston
(Mr. GEORGES LoNGY, Oboe)
Brahms - - - - . Academic Festival Overture, Op. 8o
There will be an intermission of ten minutes after the symphony
The doors of the hall will be closed during the performance of each number on the programme. Those who wish to leave before the end of the concert are requested to do so in an interval between the numbers.
City of Boston, Revised Regulation of August 5, 1898.-Chapter 3, relating to the covering of the head in places of public amusement
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“HAROLD IN ITALY,” SYMPHONY IN Four Movements, witH ALTO SOLO, Op. 16 . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . HECTOR BERLIOZ
(Born at Côte-Saint-André, December 11, 1803; died at Paris, March 9, 1869.)
This symphony was composed in 1834. It was performed for the first time at a concert given by Berlioz at the Paris Conservatory, November 23, 1834. Girard * conducted. The programme included, in addition to the symphony, the overture to “Waverley”; a trio with chorus and orchestra from “Benvenuto Cellini”; “La Captive” and “Jeune Pâtre breton,” sung by Marie Cornélie Falcon, then the glory of the Opéra, who suddenly and tragically lost her voice before she was thirty, and died in 1897, fifty years after her enforced retirement; a fantasia by Liszt on two themes—“La Tempête” and “La Chanson de Brigands”—of “Lélio,” played by the composer; and a violin solo by Ernst. Chrétien Urhan f played the solo viola in the symphony. Boschot says that the programme distributed in the hall included “The March to the Scaffold,” which was repeated at the Concert, and also an “Air by Bellini.” I have followed the programme as announced in the Gazette Musicale. D'Ortigue said in his review of the concert that Berlioz had used passages of his “Rob Roy” overture in the first movement of the new Symphony.” For the resemblance of the exposition of the chief theme of the Symphony and of the second theme to passages in the “Rob Roy” overture, see Julien Tiersot's “Berlioziana,” published in Le Ménestrel (Paris) of August 6, 1905. (This article and one published in the same journal, August 20, 1905, contain many interesting details concerning the appearance of the autograph score, which shows the many changes made by Berlioz before he was satisfied with the sonorous effects of the “March of Pilgrims.") The second motive for English horn in the “Rob Roy” overture is the chief theme (for solo viola) in “Harold in Italy.” Some have thought that this English horn theme (Larghetto espressivo assai, 3-4) refers to the courtship of Diana Vernon by Frank Osbaldistone. “Childe Harold” was played again in Paris, December I4, 1834, with the overture to “Les Francs-Juges,” “Sardanapale” (sung by Puig), “Le Pécheur” (sung by Boulanger), and the overture to “Roi Lear.” Chopin played the Andante of his Concerto in E minor. There was a third performance, December 28 of the same year, when Liszt played his transcription for the pianoforte of the “Bal” and the “Marche au Supplice” from the “Symphonie Fantastique.” This performance brought in nearly 2,OOO francs, for the friends of Berlioz came to his support. He was very poor. The first two concerts had not been successful pecuniarily, and the Théâtre Nautique, where his wife had been acting in “La Dernière Heure d'un Condamné,” had closed its doors and she had not been able to collect the salary due her. The orchestral score of “Harold en Italie” was published in 1849. The orchestral parts were published in December, 1847. Liszt made in
* Narcisse Girard (1797—1860) took the first violin prize at the Paris Conservatory in 1820. He was conductor of the Opéra buffa and of the Feydeau, of the Opéra-Comique, 1837–46; of the Opéra, 1846-60. In 1847 he was appointed professor of the violin at the Conservatory and conductor of the Société des Concerts, as successor of Habeneck, . He wrote two one-act operas, “Les Deux Voleurs” (1841), “Le Conseil de Dix” (1842), and arranged for orchestra Beethoven's Sonate Pathétique as a symphony: He was a painstaking conductor without dash and without imagination. For curious and perhaps prejudiced information concerning him see “Mes Mémoires,” by E. M. E. Deldevez (Le Puy, 1890).
t Chrétien Urhan was born at Montjoie, February 16, 1790. He died at Belleville, November 2, 1845. As a child, he played several instruments and composed. The Empress Josephine took him under her protection in 1805, and put him under the care of Lesueur. Admitted to the orchestra of the Opéra in 1816, ho became one of the first violins in 1823, and afterwards the solo violinist. He was famous for his mastery of the viole d'amour, and Meyerbeer wrote for him the obbligato to Raoul's romance in the first act of “The Huguenots.” ... Urhan also revived the use of the violon-alto. He was for years the most famous viola player in Europe. He composed chamber music, piano pieces, and songs, which were original in form to the verge
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of eccentricity. He was not only a musician of extraordinary gifts and most fastidious taste; he was one of the most singular of men, -"a short man, almost bent, double, if not absolutely humpbacked, and wrapt in a long light blue coat. His head reclined on his chest, he was apparently lost in deep thought, his eyes were invariably turned towards the ground.”, His complexion was ashen-gray, his nose was like that of Pascal. “A kind of fourteenth-century monk, pitchforked by accident into the Paris of the nineteenth century and into the Opéra.” He was a rigorous Catholic; he fasted every day until six o'clock and never tasted flesh. Yet this ascetic, this mystic, worshipped dramatic music., , “To give up listening to and playing Orpheus,’ ‘The Vestal,’ ‘William Tell,’ ‘The Huguenots,' etc., would have driven him to despair.” He obtained a dispensation from the Archbishop of Paris, who could not refrain from smiling when Urhan asked his permission to play at the Opéra. To satisfy his conscience, Urhan always played with his back to the stage; he never looked at a singer of a dancer, at a piece of scenery or a costume. His dignity, honor, benevolence,—he gave awa all he earned,—commanded respect and admiration. ... See,"Sixty Years of Recollections,” by Ernest Legouvé, Englished by A. D. Vandam, yol. ii. 219, 216-223 (London, 1893). See also “Les Quatuors de l’Île Saint. Louis” in Champfleury's “Les Premiers Beaux Jours” (Paris, 1858), pp. 203-206. “L’Entr'acte” of December 8, 1834, characterized Urhan as “the Paganini of the viola, the Byron of the orchestra, the Salvator Rosa of the symphony.” * The overture, “Rob Roy,”—“Intrata di Rob Roy MacGregor,”—was sketched at Nice and completed at Subiaco, 1831–32. It was performed at a Conservatory concert in Paris, April 14, 1833, but it was not published until 1990. It was performed for the first time in England at a Crystal Palace concert, February 24, 1900; for the first time in Germany at a concert of the Wagner Society of Berlin, April 6, o; and for the first time in the United States by the Chicago Orchestra at Chicago, November 3, 19Co. The first performance in Boston was at a concert of the Boston Symphony Orchestra, January 22, 1910.
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