Sunday, December 4th, 2011
Scott Humphries, Conductor
|Overture to Miracle on 34th Street||
arr. Johnnie Vinson
|Shepherd's Pipe Carol||John Rutter|
|Myn Lyking||R. R. Terry|
|Katy Dunlap, mezzo-soprano|
|Sans Day Carol||John Rutter|
|Christmas Day||Gustav Holst|
Daniel Myers-Bowman, baritone; Kyle Leffel, bass
Nikki Glassley, soprano; Cassie Whitaker, soprano
Jeremy Walters, tenor; Alex Drew, baritone
Courtney Mensing, mezzo-soprano
|Christmas Sing-along||John Finnegan|
Manchester College A Cappella Choir
Debra Lynn, conductor
|Piano Concerto No. 2 in C Minor, Op. 18||Sergei Rachmaninoff|
|Simon Mulligan, piano|
|Encore: The Christmas Song||
Mel Tormé and Bob Wells
arr. Simon Mulligan
|Simon Mulligan, piano solo|
Program Notes by James R. C. Adams
|Overture to Miracle on 34th Street||
Bruce Broughton was born in Los Angeles, California, and has written music for films, television, and video games, the latest musical genre. He is not only a prolific composer, but is very active in such musical organizations as ASCAP, where he is a member of the Board of Directors, Governor of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts & Sciences, former Governor of the Academy of Television Arts & Sciences, and others. Currently, he is a lecturer at the Advanced Film Music Studies, University of California.
He has won many awards and nominations. He has ten Emmy Awards and thirteen nominations, and one Academy Award nomination for Silverado, a Clint Eastwood film. You might have heard his music in such films as Lost in Space, Tombstone, The Rescuers Down Under, and Bambi II, as well as the overture to Miracle on 34th Street.
He has composed the opening credits for TV series such as JAG, Tiny Toon Adventures, and Dinosaurs, as well as the complete score for How the West was Won.
His first orchestral score for a video game was for Heart of Darkness.
He has also written concert music, including several concertos and chamber works.
|Shepherd's Pipe Carol||
John Rutter is an English choral director and composer who has become extremely popular in the last few years. Although he certainly has written some solemn music, he is best known for his lilting themes and syncopated rhythms, marking him as a composer well-acquainted with modern theatre music. The Shepherd's Pipe Carol is a case in point ... sprightly and melodious. Among his popular compositions are For the Beauty of the Earth, and All Things Bright and Beautiful. It may be of interest to our audience that Debra Lynn's own choir was directed by John Rutter on the occasion of their performance at Carnegie Hall not long ago (she also directed there!)
Sir Richard Runciman Terry
R.R. Terry, as he is usually known, was an English musicologist whose life-mission was to bring to light the best of early English liturgical music. He became organist and director of music at Westminster Cathedral, where he revived the works of Byrd, Tallis, Morley, and others, and developed a tradition for the performance of the Latin liturgy that became a model for Roman Catholics throughout the world. Although he is best known for his editions of early English motets and oratorios, he also wrote music himself, and this carol. As nearly as I can determine, Myn Lyking means "My Good Fortune," as I assume it is Middle English.
|Sans Day Carol||
Rutter wrote this variant of an early Cornish carol while he was still an undergraduate. It is his version of The Holly and the Ivy, a traditional carol from Cornwall. "Sans Day" actually means "Saint's Day," and must be a local, Cornish dialectal version.
Gustav Holst was born in England in 1874 and died there in 1934. He was proficient in the playing of many instruments, but specialized in the organ (he was village organist while still in his teens). Later, he played trombone in various theater orchestras, and finally in the Scottish Orchestra. He was very successful as a teacher, and did service abroad during the First World War, where he worked with the troops in Greece and Turkey.
His most popular compositions are The Planets, an orchestral suite of astrological content (or which there are over forty recordings available), and two suites for band, still popular for demonstrations of the quality of audio systems. His music is mostly late Romantic, but some of it has clearly Neo-Classical characteristics (A Fugal Overture).
Christmas Day is a fantasy making use of several familiar carols . . . and some not so familiar.
|Piano Concerto No. 2 in C Minor, Op. 18||
Modern critics have not been kind to Rachmaninoff. For one thing, he was a Romantic. One is not supposed to write Romantic music in the twentieth century. And, as if that weren't bad enough, he wasn't even a conservative Romantic, so his music, besides being morbid and pessimistic, lacks the formal structure that makes a good bit of Tchaikovsky acceptable to the modern sophisticate. Poor Rachmaninoff fell between two stools; the Soviets banned his music for being "decadent," while avant-garde European and American critics condemned it for not being "modern" enough.
The charge that his music was morbid and pessimistic is not without foundation. There is something very Russian about Rachmaninoff's tendency toward melancholy, and from early childhood, he was concerned with issues of the sad and the happy. He lost two sisters before he was twelve, which did little to alleviate his sense of tragedy. Although he was capable of the most sublime of melodies, there is almost always a disturbing undercurrent - a sense of foreboding in his music. He died in California, shortly after attaining American citizenship.
The second piano concerto was the first major work to be successful after he recovered from a nervous breakdown caused, in part, by the failure of his first symphony (owing largely to a poor performance). He was so demoralized by this failure that he wrote nothing of consequence until after submitting himself to the treatment of a Dr. Dahl, who introduced Rachmaninov to the notion of auto-suggestion. This led to the popular fallacy that the concerto was written under hypnosis.
Though his confidence was restored by his treatment, he was shaken by the adverse criticism of an acquaintance, almost on the eve of the premiere of the work. At issue was the first theme of the first movement, which Rachmaninoff feared would be thought of as merely an introduction. After much agonizing, he let the work stand as it was, and it went on to be his most popular concerto.
While it is true that Rachmaninoff was of a mournful nature, he did have a ready wit. He was a superb pianist who had little patience with performers who seemed ill-prepared. Once, he was performing a piano-violin concert in New York, with the renowned Fritz Kreisler, who suddenly lost his place and whispered to Rachmaninoff, "Where are we?" Without missing a beat, Rachmaninoff replied, "Carnegie Hall."
I. Moderato. The movement begins dramatically, with eight chords of the piano going from pianissimo to fortissimo, leading to the first subject (which we are NOT to mistake for a mere introduction!). Many will be familiar with the second subject, which was long ago used as a popular song in a film, beginning, "I will give you music..."
II. Adagio sostenuto. The slow movement has another melody which will be recognized by some of the younger members of the audience as the theme used a few years ago by a pop-rock star who declined to credit Rachmaninoff. This star shall remain nameless.
III. Allegro scherzando. The principal theme of the finale is the best known of all. As a popular song, it became known as "Full Moon and Empty Arms." Of particular note is the fugato section with successive entries by horn and trumpet, and the beautiful integration of those entries with the piano part. The second part of the principal theme acts as a unifying device by being closely related to the second theme of the first movement.
A critic has said (remarking on what he took to be lack of structure) that this concerto is little more than a series of romantic songs. But what singing!
Manchester Symphony Orchestra Personnel
Dessie Arnold, Concertmaster
Rachel Nowak +^
Austin Ubelhor +^
Joyce Dubach *
Emily Grant ^^
Tyler Krempasky +
Alyssa Loos +^
Tom Naragon ^^
Naida MacDermid *
Kelsey Airgood +^
Benjamin Crim +^
Loughlin Wylie +^
Robert Lynn *
Najah Monroe +^
Darrel Fiene *
Katie Huddleston +^
Kathy Urbani *
Kathy Urbani *
George Donner *
Lila D. Hammer *
Mark W. Huntington
Sarah Leininger +^
Erich Zummack *
Elena Bohlander +^
John Morse *
Christen Adler **
Carol Campos +^
Kristen Hoffman +^
Kelly Weeks +^
Steven Hammer *
Jon Hartman *
Laban Wenger +
Dave Robbins *
Dave Robbins *
Timothy Johnson +
Katie Lowther +
Christopher Teeters +
* Denotes principal
+ Denotes MC student
^ Denotes Keister Scholarship recipient
^^ Denotes Manchester High School student
** Denotes assistant principal
Manchester A Cappella Choir Personnel
Holly Rittenhouse *
Darcy Robins *
Wallace Butts *
Jeremy Walters *
* denotes section leader
Kelli Iler *
Kaylee Hawley *
Daniel Myers-Bowman *
Alex Drew *
Kyle Leffel *
Debra Lynn, conductor
Alan Chambers, rehearsal pianist
British pianist Simon Mulligan began playing at the age of 3 and quickly established himself in the music world as a multi-faceted virtuoso. Described by The Times of London as "the most abundantly gifted of pianists," Mulligan performs and records internationally as a soloist and chamber musician in many diverse genres. Following his debut with the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra, Mulligan has enjoyed performance and recording engagements with the BBC Symphony (Slatkin), English Symphony Orchestra (Boughton), Warsaw Sinfonia (Menuhin), Hong Kong Philharmonic (Atherton), Malaysian Philharmonic, Orquesta Sinfónica Nacional, Tuscaloosa Symphony Orchestra, and the Royal National Scottish Orchestra (Serebrier) to name a few.
Mulligan's first compact disc was recorded under the direction of Yehudi Menuhin, leading to a seven-year collaboration and friendship, culminating in what was to be Lord Menuhini's final concert at the Tonhalle in Düsseldorf. He has since made over twenty recordings for compact disc, including the solo album "Piano" for Sony Classical featuring his own arrangements, compositions, and adaptations for piano and orchestra which has garnered international acclaim and been featured in various television, radio, and internet campaigns. Other recording highlights include a disc of Beethoven sonatas for Sony Masterworks, the Martinu Sonatas and Triple Concerto, Mussorgsky's Pictures at an Exhibition, Rozsa's Spellbound Concerto, the Chopin Nocturnes, and the premiere disc "The Piano Music of Alexis Weissenberg" for Nimbus, which included spontaneous improvisations recorded in the presence of the composer. His recording of Ned Rorem's Piano Concerto No. 2 with José Serebrier and the Royal National Scottish Orchestra for Naxos was Gramophone magazine's "Editor's Choice."
As a chamber musician, Mulligan collaborates with many notable artists. He first began touring with cellist Lynn Harrell while a student at London's Royal Academy of Music, and has also given numerous worldwide recital tours with Joshua Bell and Michael Collins, including performances at every major international venue as well as the Grammy Awards, for Her Majesty The Queen and the Royal Family, and President Barack Obama. In other fields, Simon has supported artists as varied as Branford Marsalis, Van Morrison, Sting, Dame Shirley Bassey, and Liza Minnelli. In addition he has recently begun a series of concerts with award-winning broadcaster and journalist John Suchet about the life of Beethoven.
Alongside an extensive solo repertoire and over fifty concertos, Mulligan is a devotee of contemporary music and has given first performances of works by Hans Werner Henze, James MacMillan, Tobias Picker, Alexis Weissenberg, Mark Anthony Turnage and Paul Moravec (winner of the Pulitzer Prize for Music). Mulligan's passion for composition, arranging, and improvisation has led to articles in numerous music publications, including Downbeat, JazzTimes, International Pianist, and Gramophone magazines. His collaboration on several projects with Michael Kamen features him as soloist on Decca's The New Moon in the Old Moon's Arms with the BBC Symphony under Slatkin, and on HBO's award-winning television series Band of Brothers. As a jazz pianist, Mulligan continues to lead several of his own groups, performing at festivals throughout the UK, Europe, Shanghai and the Americas. His jazz quartet album, Playlist, features all-original compositions.
A Music Scholar at St. Paul's School, London, Mulligan studied under Alexander Kelly at the Royal Academy of Music and Jaques Rouvier in Paris; he also studied Beethoven at the personal invitation of Alfred Brendel. He won a scholarship to the International Piano Academy on Italy's Lake Como and was one of the youngest recipients to be awarded the prestigious Fellowship of the Royal Academy of Music for his musical achievements. He additionally counts among his mentors Charles Rosen and Murray Perahia.