ONE HUNDRED TWENTY-FIFTH SEASON Chicago Symphony Riccardo Muti Zell Music Director Yo-Yo Ma Judson and Joyce Green Creative Consultant Global Sponsor of the CSO

Thursday, May 26, 2016, at 8:00 Friday, May 27, 2016, at 1:30 Saturday, May 28, 2016, at 8:00 Sunday, May 29, 2016, at 3:00 Tuesday, May 31, 2016, at 7:30

Cristian Măcelaru Conductor Alisa Weilerstein Women of the Chicago Symphony Chorus Duain Wolfe Director Ibert Bacchanale First CSO performances

Dusapin Outscape ALISA WEILERSTEIN World premiere Commissioned for the Chicago Symphony Orchestra by the Mrs. Harold C. Smith Fund for New Music Co-commission with Oper Stuttgart and the BBC Symphony Orchestra


Holst , Op. 32 Mars, the Bringer of War Venus, the Bringer of Peace Mercury, the Winged Messenger Jupiter, the Bringer of Jollity Saturn, the Bringer of Old Age , the Magician , the Mystic WOMEN OF THE CHICAGO SYMPHONY CHORUS

The appearance of the Chicago Symphony Chorus is made possible by a generous gift from Jim and Kay Mabie. Thursday’s performance is generously sponsored by Terrence and Laura Truax. The Friday matinee performance is generously sponsored by an anonymous donor. CSO Tuesday series concerts are sponsored by United Airlines. This program is partially supported by grants from the Illinois Arts Council, a state agency, and the National Endowment for the Arts. COMMENTS by Phillip Huscher

Jacques Ibert Born August 15, 1890, , . Died February 5, 1962, Paris, France. Bacchanale

Jacques Ibert is buried quartet, composed twenty years later, reflects the among the cypress and turmoil and trauma of World War II. chestnut trees in Paris’s At first, Ibert hoped to be an actor, and even , in the after he switched to the study of music, his pas- shadow of the Eiffel sion for drama gave his own works an unmistak- Tower. His grave isn’t far ably theatrical quality. At the Paris Conservatory, from those of Gabriel he studied with Émile Pessard, who had taught Fauré and Claude Ravel, and then in Gédalge’s classes, where he Debussy. Fate hasn’t been met Honegger and Milhaud. During World particularly kind to Ibert, War I, Ibert interrupted his studies to serve as especially outside his native France, and since he a nurse and stretcher-bearer on the front lines. died in 1962, his music has nearly slipped from His big career break came in 1919, when he won the repertoire. He is revered neither as a polished the coveted Prix de Rome (on his first try, unlike master such as Fauré nor as a modern visionary Berlioz) for his cantata Le poète et la fée (The poet like Debussy. The fact that he never belonged to and the fairy). any stylistic “school,” such as the flippant, If Ibert is difficult to pigeonhole as a com- headline-grabbing Les six of his friends poser, that’s largely his own doing, for he wrote Honegger and Milhaud, has made it harder to a wide range of music in many genres and for categorize him—and easier to lose sight of him many purposes—from background music for a on the congested roadmap of twentieth-century Paris festival of water and light to cadenzas for music. As a result, he’s often thought of as a Mozart’s Concerto. Under the influence peripheral figure, and even his best work is of his lifelong love for the theater, he wrote sometimes unfairly dismissed as slight seven and five ballets, as well as scores or superficial. for radio dramas and incidental music for many But Ibert is a true original, and he was a plays, including his own take on A Midsummer composer of substance from the start. He first Night’s Dream. He turned his uproarious score attracted attention in 1922 with his three-move- for Labiche’s classic farce, An Italian Straw Hat, ment orchestral piece inspired by The Ballad of into a divertissement, one of his most often- Reading Gaol, Oscar Wilde’s poem about the played works. He was a natural to write music execution of a convicted murderer from a nearby for film, which he did throughout his career. In cell during his own incarceration on morals 1948, he scored Orson Welles’s Macbeth, and four charges—a work that’s entirely at odds with years later he provided the opening circus ballet Ibert’s reputation for light music. His only string sequence (based on the Pagliacci tale) for Gene

COMPOSED INSTRUMENTATION APPROXIMATE 1956 three and piccolo, two PERFORMANCE TIME and english horn, two and 10 minutes FIRST PERFORMANCE clarinet, three and November 2, 1956, broadcast on BBC’s , four horns, three Third Programme , three and , , percussion, harp, strings These are the Chicago Symphony Orchestra’s first performances of Ibert’s Bacchanale.

2 Kelly’s Invitation to the Dance, Hollywood’s first bacchanales in Samson and Delilah and in the all-dance film. Venusberg scene of Wagner’s Tannhauser, Ibert’s score is a fulsome riot of color and texture. From he Bacchanale that he composed at the the opening measure, his rhythmic patterns are very end of his career was commissioned insistent and his pace relentless, although the by the BBC for the tenth anniversary mood relaxes temporarily in the middle portion. ofT its radio show, Third Programme, which was TheBacchanale is a far cry from the sober music known for the cultural and intellectual heft of its the BBC was known for broadcasting at the time, programming. Ibert’s contribution is a brilliant but as a celebratory toast and a tribute to the scherzo for full orchestra. Like the famous seductive thrill of orchestral music, it is ideal.

Pascal Dusapin Born May 29, 1955, Nancy, France. Outscape, Concerto for Cello and Orchestra

For Pascal Dusapin, its long life, Outscape is a reminder that the Outscape, his new cello complex creative process of commissioning, concerto being pre- writing, and preparing new works of music is, miered by the Chicago above all, a powerful and often deeply personal Symphony Orchestra human experience. this week, is the latest Pascal Dusapin was first attracted to music at installment in his an early age, after hearing a jazz trio while on fascination with vacation with his family. He begged to learn the PHOTO BY © PHILIPPE GONTIER PHILIPPE © BY PHOTO exploring the connec- clarinet, but at his father’s insistence he studied tion between music and instead, and eventually became infatuated nature. For Alisa Weilerstein, for whom it was with playing the organ. Hearing Edgard Varèse’s written, it has come to be part of a cycle of Arcana, a grand, noisy, utterly individual master- bringing new life into the world this year—her work at the age of eighteen was a revelation; he daughter was born just last month, while knew then that he would devote the rest of his Weilerstein was in the process of learning life to composing. His training and his career Dusapin’s new score, making the relationship proceeded in unconventional yet, for him, utterly between music and life especially meaningful. natural ways. In the 1970s, he abandoned studies (She will introduce yet another cello concerto, with the grand man of French composition, written for her by Matthias Pintscher, later this Olivier Messiaen, after just one year in order year.) As the newest addition to a large list of to work with the iconoclastic Greek composer pieces premiered by the Chicago Symphony over Iannis Xenakis, whom he viewed as the artistic

COMPOSED INSTRUMENTATION APPROXIMATE 2014–15 solo cello, three flutes and piccolo, PERFORMANCE TIME two oboes and english horn, two 28 minutes These are the world premiere clarinets and , two performances bassoons and contrabassoon, four Commissioned for the Chicago horns, two trumpets, two trombones, Symphony Orchestra by the Mrs. timpani, , bells, crotales, Harold C. Smith Fund for New Music , medium and large lam-tams, castanets, , , Co-commission with Oper Stuttgart bongos, , temple blocks, and the BBC Symphony Orchestra woodblocks, “pop” bass drum, , strings

3 descendent of Varèse. Over the years, Dusapin usapin began this new cello concerto with has never been a member of any “school” or a title, An Idea of North, in the back of his fashion, although he has absorbed elements from mind—a reflection of his “conceptual fas- many. As he once said, he learned a great deal Dcination” with the far north mixed with the mem- from Pierre Boulez, but also from the so-called ory of a “crazy” car trip to the limits of the Artic minimalist Steve Reich. Polar Circle that he took when he was twenty-five. Dusapin’s career-spanning stage works suggest (For his temporary title, Dusapin was indebted to the freedom of his imagination and the range of The Idea of North, a short film the Canadian pianist ideas that attract him. Beginning with Romeo Glenn Gould made about his obsession with the and Juliet, a reimagining of the Shakespeare Arctic.) “The more I compose this work,” Dusapin play composed in the mid-1980s, they include told in 2014, “the more the Medeamaterial, a companion piece to Purcell’s idea of a desert of snow is present. It’s very calm ; To Be Sung, a chamber for me—the music is not—but this inspires me.” opera with a by the composer based on But as he got further into the composition process, texts by Gertrude Stein and designed in tan- the more he realized his work wasn’t about any- dem with a light installation by the pioneering thing that concrete. Like many composers before American artist James Turrell; and Penthesilea, him, he wanted to avoid having his score saddled an adaptation of the classic 1808 verse play by with useless programmatic interpretations—he Heinrich von Kleist about Achilles’s confronta- wanted the music to speak for itself. Eventually, he tion with the queen of the Amazons. (Dusapin came to realize that the word “outscape” suggested also sees it as an allegory for modern times—“It the sense of “indetermination” he had been after is the insanity today in Syria, Ukraine, Kosovo,” all along, and that the use of a soloist, playing in he told The New York Times a year ago.) O front of an orchestra, could more powerfully con- Mensch!, a hard-to-classify work from 2009—it is vey the nature and essence of the kind of personal essentially a song cycle with stage directions—is journey he had in mind. based on poems by Friedrich Nietzsche. Following the Chicago premiere this week, Many of Dusapin’s orchestral works have Outscape will be performed in Stuttgart in included prominent solo roles, even if they are June, in Paris next April, and in in the not all concertos in the conventional sense. Watt, summer of 2017. which was inspired by Beckett’s novel, features the . Celo is the punning title of a cello Pascal Dusapin on Outscape concerto. Galim is scored for and orchestra. Aufgang (German for ascent), a concerto utscape is my second score for cello and from 2011 that demonstrates the power of orchestra. The first was written in 1996 Dusapin’s language, presents the soloist as a kind and was called Celo (to keep a secret in of visionary who leads the orchestra “to the heav- OLatin). Even after all these years, I knew that one ens and the light.” Dusapin also often thinks in day I would once again encounter a concerto for terms of large multi-work cycles that occupy him that instrument. And then along came the com- over the span of many years. His seven orchestral mission from the Chicago Symphony Orchestra Solos were composed between 1991 and 2009. for Alisa Weilerstein. I was dazzled by Alisa’s This new work, Outscape, is the second work tone and phrasing, and by her incredible ease in in a new cycle of orchestral scores indebted to addressing the most diverse repertoires (from nature, and it brings together these two strands to via Haydn!), and I of Dusapin’s output—the cyclic concept and immediately felt that a new composition could be the concerto format—in a single work. Morning inspired by such magnificent, unfettered musical in Long Island, the first work in this series, was energy. To bring together such an artist with an suggested by the “shape of the wind” as daylight orchestra as majestic as the CSO is an extremely overtakes the darkness of night. It was inspired rare challenge for a composer. I was very happy to by a sleepless night Dusapin spent on a Long have composed this score for such musicians. Island beach when he visited the United States But it’s difficult for me to explain my work in 1988. because the substance of thought is confused

4 with the flow of the music. To compose is to cre- an orchestra “becoming a cello.” Every musical ate a living thing. The music comes to life itself: force wants to go towards the other; to merge it draws the force of its regeneration from its own with the “otherness”; to get to know and become dynamism; it invents its own future, the condi- those differences; to escape, return, and gener- tions of its form, and the emotions it produces. ate a renewed musical future. In Outscape, I’ve Ultimately, something has been said. never felt like I put the soloist and orchestra The title carries the musical project within in opposition; instead, I guide them towards itself. Outscape is a rather unusual English word each other. (at least for a French speaker); it’s a rich word At the beginning of Outscape, everything that has a variety of meanings, from the most seems simple: the cello plays a low note, a common to the more philosophical. Outscape is C-sharp. The bass clarinet immediately plays the route, or the opportunity to flee, to invent the same note: an echo, the note’s shadow. By your own path. I loved this word because, mimicking each other in turn, the cello and bass fundamentally, it is like a summary of my work clarinet—followed by the whole orchestra—will history: escape elsewhere in order to understand learn to sing and unfold together, imagine and ascertain, and try to see and hear further. multiple ways to escape, and together invent That’s how this concerto is invented by itself, another “nature . . .” by going incessantly back and forth between a I dedicate Outscape to Bill Brown, for his cello “becoming an orchestra” and wonderful support and friendship.

Gustav Holst Born September 21, 1874, , . Died May 25, 1934, London, England. The Planets, Suite for Large Orchestra, Op. 32

In 1930, the American Holst—much as Boléro would come to embarrass astronomer Clyde W. Ravel—who insisted that it wasn’t his best work. Tombaugh took a series of But the public was captivated by the combination photographs at the Lowell of music and —the music of the spheres Observatory in Flagstaff, made manifest. ( gave the U.S. Arizona, that confirmed premiere with the Chicago Symphony Orchestra his discovery of Pluto, the on New Year’s Eve 1920, just six weeks after the ninth major planet of the first complete performance in London.) solar system. By then It was , the brother of composer ’s The Planets , who introduced Holst to astrology had already achieved such immense popularity shortly after they met in 1913. Like countless with symphony audiences that Holst felt no need people since—from true scientists to supermarket to add a new Pluto movement to make music tabloid fans—Holst was fascinated by the move- conform to science. That turned out to be a wise ments of the heavenly bodies and their influence decision: on August 24, 2006, the International on everyday people. Before beginning work on Astronomical Union declassified Pluto to a minor The Planets in 1914, Holst wrote to a friend: planet, returning the solar system to the one Holst had set to music and creating a new verb in I only study things that suggest music to me. the process—“to pluto,” to demote or devalue Recently the character of each planet sug- someone or something, voted the 2006 Word of gested lots to me, and I have been studying the Year by the American Dialect Society. astrology fairly closely. It’s a pity we make In the 1920s, the swift, overwhelming suc- such a fuss about these things. On one side cess of The Planets both surprised and irritated there is nothing but abuse and ridicule, with

5 Composers in Chicago

Gustav Holst’s suite for large orchestra, The Planets, was conceived to be “connected with astrology rather than astronomy. There is no ‘program’ attached to the work beyond that which is associated with the subtitles of the movements,” according to Felix Borowski’s note in the CSO’s program book.

The first complete performance of all seven movements was given in London on November 15, 1920, with conducting the London Symphony Orchestra. Less than two months later, on New Year’s Eve, Frederick Stock led the Chicago Symphony Orchestra (the offstage women’s chorus was omitted) in the U.S. premiere of The Planets at Orchestra Hall.

“His rhythmic figures are fascinating, curious, and irresistible. The demonic insistent martial pulse of the first fragment, ‘Mars, Bringer of War,’ was the most vital sample,” wrote Ruth Miller in the Chicago Tribune. “The Planets should be a most dependable and successful addition to the orchestra repertoire.”

“The Planets . . . is the music of a master composer,” added the reviewer in the Chicago American. “It came as a surprise to us, for it had been unheralded and Holst is virtually unknown to the average American music lover. But henceforth his name will stand for the representative musical art of present-day England. In fact, the work is certainly the best I have heard by a modern composer in many a day.”

Holst later guest conducted the Chicago Symphony Orchestra in several of his works in Hill Auditorium at the ’s annual May Festival in Detail of the cover of the score used by Frederick Stock 1923 and 1932. At the thirtieth festival in 1923, he led for the U.S. premiere performances (3296 is the number the Orchestra in his on May 16, Hymn of Jesus assigned to the work by the Orchestra’s librarians, a system still in use today) (in its U.S. premiere) and A Dirge for Two Veterans on May 17, and a suite from his opera on May 18. Holst returned to the festival on May 19, 1932, to lead his orchestration of Bach’s G major fugue for organ (BWV 577), the suite from The Perfect Fool, and the U.S. premiere of his Choral Fantasia.

Frank Villella is the director of the Rosenthal Archives. For more information regarding the Chicago Symphony Orchestra’s anniversary season, please visit cso.org/125moments.

6 the natural result that when one is brought Holst had long shown an interest in exotic face to face with overwhelming proofs, there subjects—he became interested in Hindu litera- is a danger of going to the other extreme. ture and philosophy as a student, taught himself Whereas, of course, everything in this , and set his own translations of Sanskrit world is just one big miracle. Or rather, the texts to music. It was his settings of verses from universe itself is one. the Rig Veda that introduced Holst’s music to Clifford Bax in 1913, and, in turn, inspired Bax During his two years of work on The Planets, to bring up the subject of astrology. Holst became, in his own words, “a skilled inter- At the time of the first complete performance preter of horoscopes,” and privately admitted that of The Planets in 1920, Holst was nervous that the casting horoscopes for friends was a “pet vice.” public would read too much into his new work: (The Planets took two years to complete because of Holst’s These pieces were suggested by the astrolog- teaching ical significance of the planets; there is no commitments in them, neither have they at Saint Paul’s any connection with the deities of classical Girls’ School; mythology bearing the same names. If any he could only guide to the music is required, the subtitle to compose on each piece will be found sufficient, especially weekends and if it can be used in a broad sense. during the August vaca- hen the score was published the tion, when he following year, Holst was careful locked himself to give it the plain subtitle “Suite in the stifling forW Large Orchestra,” again suggesting that The soundproof Planets should be considered as music first and room of the last. Holst’s daughter Imogen, a musician herself, school’s new remembered that at the first private performance music wing in 1919, the audience felt certain that the first Holst at his desk in Saint Paul’s and wrote movement, Mars, the Bringer of War—with Girls’ School without its horrible pounding rhythm, ungainly march interruption.) (in an unmarchable 5/4 time), and noisy brass

COMPOSED March 30, 2008, Orchestra Hall. triangle, snare drum, tambourine, 1914–16 Women of the Chicago Symphony cymbals, bass drum, , bells, Chorus (Duain Wolfe, director), Charles glockenspiel, , , two FIRST PERFORMANCE Dutoit conducting (Beyond the Score) harps, organ, strings, and, in the final November 15, 1920; London, England movement only, an offstage choir of July 31, 2012, Ravinia Festival. women’s voices Women of the Chicago Symphony FIRST CSO PERFORMANCES Chorus (Duain Wolfe, director), John December 31, 1920 & January 1, APPROXIMATE Axelrod conducting 1921, Orchestra Hall. Frederick Stock PERFORMANCE TIME conducting (U.S. premiere) July 11, 2014, Ravinia Festival. Robert 51 minutes Moody conducting (Mars, Uranus, August 11, 1977, Ravinia Festival. and Jupiter) CSO RECORDING Women of the Chicago Symphony 1989. Women of the Chicago Chorus (Margaret Hillis, director), INSTRUMENTATION Symphony Chours (Margaret Hillis, Lawrence Foster conducting four flutes, two piccolos and , director), James Levine conducting. three oboes, bass and english Deutsche Grammophon MOST RECENT horn, three clarinets and bass clarinet, CSO PERFORMANCES three bassoons and contrabassoon, March 27, 28 & 29, 2008, Orchestra six horns, four trumpets, two Hall. Women of the Chicago trombones and bass trombone, Symphony Chorus (Duain Wolfe, tenor tuba and bass tuba, timpani, director), Charles Dutoit conducting 7 fanfares—was a description of the war that was movement.) Uranus, the Magician throws out still going on, but, in fact, Holst had finished a handful of notes, then continues to toss them Mars early in the summer of 1914, before the around the orchestra, all the while inventing new outbreak of war that August. “After two mech- themes, combining materials, switching meters, anized wars,” Imogen later wrote, “it would and sidestepping any firm sense of central key. be easy to take it for granted that [Mars] had Neptune, the planet farthest from the earth, been commissioned as background music for a offers an astonishing glimpse of eternity. Holst’s documentary film of a tank battle, but Holst had music, characterized not by melody or harmony never heard a machine gun when he wrote it, and but by unforgettable chilling sounds and colors, the tank had not yet been invented.” owes much to Debussy, although Holst claimed Even in 1919, peace could not have sounded he wasn’t a fan—he admired The Afternoon of more seductive than it does in the second move- a Faun, liked the , “was never very ment, Venus, with its celestial wind chords, calm happy about anything else,” and “hated” Pelleas harp strumming, and floating violin melodies. and Melisande. Holst took the idea of a wordless Mercury begins as a scherzo of Mendelssohnian female chorus from Debussy’s Sirens, but puts lightness, though it includes instruments like the it offstage. Beginning pianissimo (the original Mendelssohn never heard, and even- manuscript suggested pppp), it concludes this tually reaches a climax that is very modern in its astrological tour with a single measure of music, orchestral ingenuity. (Holst’s choice of instru- repeated, each time more quietly, until the sound mental colors is always keen, a reminder that is virtually lost in silence. when his own musical schooling disappointed A footnote. In 2000, six years before Pluto him, he read Berlioz’s exhaustive, classic treatise was reclassified, , an English on instrumentation from cover to cover.) composer, musicologist, and Holst enthusiast, With its dancing and cheerful theme, composed “Pluto, the Renewer,” an addendum to Jupiter is a friendly and inviting planet (at the The Planets that emerges directly from the famous first rehearsal of this movement, the cleaning fade-out with which Holst concluded his score women in the corridors of the Queen’s Hall eighty-five years earlier. The Chicago Symphony reportedly put down their mops and began to Orchestra played it as a postscript to Holst’s score dance). A few years later, Holst brought Jupiter in March 2001. down to earth by turning its big central mel- ody into the patriotic anthem “I vow to thee, my country.” Saturn is remote and mysterious, suggesting the slow but relentless march of time and making humankind seem very small Phillip Huscher has been the program annotator for the and insignificant. (Holst said it was his favorite Chicago Symphony Orchestra since 1987.

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