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Michiana Symphony Orchestra Concert
November 16, 1991
Copland: Fanfare for the Common ManPoulenc: Organ Concerto in g minor |
  Beethoven: Pastorale Symphony

Aaron Copland (1900-1991)
Fanfare for the Common Man
Aaron Copland composed Fanfare for the Common Man in response to a 1942 commission by Cincinnati Symphony Orchestra conductor Eugene Goossens. Ten American composers were commissioned to each provide a fanfare to foster the patriotic spirit during World War II. Of the ten, Copland's heroic piece alone has remained firmly in the repertory. The composer's satisfaction is also in evidence as he "borrowed" from himself by using Fanfare material in an expanded and reshaped form in the final movement of his Third Symphony. This material lends an affirmative tone to this end-of-war piece (1946) intended to reflect the euphoric spirit of the country at the time. Fanfare for the Common Man is scored for brass and percussion.

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Francis Poulenc (1899-1963)
Concerto in g minor for Organ, String Orchestra, and Timpani

Andante moderato
Tempo allegro, Molto Agitato, Tres Calme
Lent, Tempo de l'Allegro initial
Tempo introduction
Andante, Allegro giocoso

Francis Poulenc's Concerto in g minor for Organ, Strings, and Timpani was written during the composer's 1938 holiday in the tiny village of Anost in rural France. This inventive piece is surprisingly conceived in the spirit of the north German style of organ fantasias -- free alternating sections of various tempi, textures, and colors, played without pause. The seven sections of the concerto explore the wide dynamic range and tonal possibilities of the organ, as well as many structural possibilities of organ-orchestra collaboration. Commissioned by Princess Edmond de Polignac, the work received its first performance with organist Maurice Duruflé as the soloist. Although its premiere was icily received, it now has a well-established place in the repertoire.

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Ludwig van Beethoven (1770-1827)
Symphony No. 6 in F Major, Op. 68 "Pastorale"

I.  Erwachen heiterer Empfindungen bei der Ankunft auf dem Lande.  Allegro ma non troppo.
II.  Szene am Bach.  Andante molto moto
III.  Lustiges Zusammensein der Landleute.   Allegro
IV.  Gewitter, Sturm.  Allegro
V.  Frohe und dankbare Gefühle nach dem Sturm.  Allegretto

Ludwig van Beethoven's passion for the countryside, along with the peace he gained from time spent in nature, are well known. Even today one can walk in his footsteps along the Beethovengang in the outskirts of Vienna. The musical language of the Symphony No. 6 in F Major clearly expresses the composer's feelings for nature. Although he sactioned the use of the term "Pastorale" in connection with the work, Beethoven made it clear that this was a symphony, not just scene painting, stating that this music was "more an expression of feeling than a painting." The first movement of the composition gives the impression of a joyous holiday; the second, the gentle flowing of a stream (strings) with birdsongs (woodwinds). The symphonic scherzo movement is given to a peasant dance accompanied by the village band, with a summer storm interrupting the merrymaking for a few minutes. This movement, the most representational of the five, pictures lightning and raindrops with strings and thunder rolls from the timpani. The storm passes quickly, and the shepherds' song of thanksgiving is expressed in a soaring melody, incorporating themes from the first two movements.

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Program notes by Linda Mack. Copyright 1991.
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Program notes home Alphabetical Index of Composers Chronological Index of Concerts