THE MICHIGAN DAILY
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'A Uk; UAY, JANUARY 3U, 1968
Milstein's Repertoire Dampens
Impressive Tecimique, Style
Arnott's 'Dr. Faustus' Devilish
Griffith and Music;
A Few Observations
By R. A. PERRY
Criticising an artist like Nathan
Milstein is something like taking
to task the Most Beautiful Wo-
man in the World for having bad
breath. There can be no question
about. Milstein's flawless tech-
nique, his musibal intelligence,
his immaculate tone, or his so-
phisticated style. Yet, for all these
attributes, his recital last night at
Hill Auditorium was less than
satisfying; perhaps one expects
Part of the problem was the
program Milstein chose. With all
of the poetic works for violin and
piano at his command, there can
be no reason for Milstein to in-
clude so many merely virtuosic
ditties of meager musical content
solely to prove what we already
know: he can do it and do it with'
All together, Tartini's "Devil's
Trill" Sonata, three Paganini Ca-
prices, and Sarasate's "Tarantel-
la" make up a fine circus act for
the Ed Sullivan Show but not a
sensitive program for a serious
Thus, Bach's Chaconne from
the Partita in D minor would
have been sufficient to awe and
convince the audience of the art-
ist's technical facility. Milstein's'
rendering of this transportive
Chaconne was indeed not only
impeccably articulate but beau-
tifully expressive as well. It did
lack a certain passion and rhyth-
mic propulsion that marked
Christian Ferras's incandescent
performance last year in Ann Ar-
bor, yet in its own aristocratic
way, it was deeply felt and com-!
The second source of disap-
pointment lay in the hands of 'the
pianist Leon Pommers, and this
is a strange fact, considering that
Milstein and Pommers have been
playing together for many years.
You would not have been able to
guess so from their performance
of Beethoven's "Spring" Sonata.
This early duet from the begin-
ning of Beethoven's "middle per-j
iod" is an undeclamatory work of
long lyric lines.
Milstein sought an expressive
plasticity of a certain artifice
that tended to vitiate the arching
lyrical line; in any case, his con-
ception was time and again inter-
cepted by Pommer's nearly con-
tinual mezzo-forte heaviness
which showed sufficient dexterity
but surprising lack of color and
modeling. There were several oc-
casions in the concluding rondo
where the pair were not together.
And Faustus hath abjured the
Trinity, praying devoutly to the
prince of hell-"There is no chief
but only Beelzebub." His prayer
is answered with the gift of om-
nipotence - a dominion that
"stretcheth as far as doth the
mind of man." In return, al
1 trifling sacrifice, his soul.
But last night in Aud A there
was a chief above even the
mighty Lucifer. Enter Chorus: Dr.
Peter Arnott, dressed in black,
strides across the stage recitirc'
the famous opening chorus from
Christopher Marlowe's "Dr. Faus-
tus" - "His waxen wings did
mount above his reach/And melt-
ing heavens conspired his over-
There then proceeds a fascinat-
ing one-man, one-hour marion-
ette presentation ofuthe well-
I known Elizabethan work. And all
the souls are in Arnott's hands.
The dominion was not "all
things that move between the
quiet poles," as Faustus thought
I it was, but a small stage six feet
across. What could be more per-
feet to show up the emptiness of
Faustus' cunning self-deceits
than the small focus of Arnott's
It is Theatre of the Absurd
when Arnott becomes "Jove in
the sky" and the only "necroman-
tic arts" are those of the pup-
peteer. In fact, Arnott plans to
add works by Ionesco to a reper-
toire that includes Sophocles,
Euripides and medieval mystery
Last night Arnott's fingers flew,
'casting sinister shadows on the
wall so that no one doubted Me-
phistophilis when he said, "Where
we are is Hell." And when the
Seven Deadly Sins appeared from
out a trap door, one above anoth-
er on a string, lights blinked red
and Arnott's face leered malevo-
lently above the top of the stage.
"I am Pride," he said straining,
and then leered "I am Covetous-
ness" and lisped "I am Envy."
And then up popped a red flounce
who wooed "I am Lechery" and
#EDITOR'S NOTE: Daily reviewer
Michael Beebie interviewed guitarist
and composer Peter Griffith. Griffith
is studying composition at the Uni-
versity with Prof. Leslie Bassett and
teaching guitar at Interlochen on
weekends. At 8 p.m. tonight in' the
Union Ballroom, Griffith will give
a eoncert with Herb David. Some of
his comments on music are printed
On Cortemporary Music
"The music being written today
is radically different from the
music of Mahler or even Schoen-
berg because it doesn't maintain
the crutch of tonality or classi-
cal forms. Few people want to
listen to a new piece of music a
second time because it entails
work to listen to contemporary
"There has to be complication
in music, however. Tonality can-
not be restored and should not be
restored. Some of its concepts,
like consonance and dissonance,
can still be used.
"One of my greatest thrills was
the time' I played some of my
contemporary guitar pieces at
Canterbury House and the people'
liked what I wrote and played.:
The happiest thing that could
happen to me is writing things
other people can enjoy so I don't'
have to be alone with the pieces."
On Guitar Music
"Most music for guitar is a
communicate their ideas of play-
ing and this hurts the chance of
guitar being taught in colleges.
Having guitar taught at Inter-
lochen will raise the status of the
instrument and will produce
knowledgeable guitarists w h o
know about music."
On Pop Music
"A whole new style of art song
is being created by groups like
the Beatles and Jefferson Air-
plane, especially the Beatles.
"Eleanor Rigby," "She's Leav-
ing Home", "Yesterday" and
"Norwegian Wood" all represent
this new type of art song. These
pieces have their own style and
can't be played properly by Man-
tovani or the Hollywood Strings.
In fact, if I were Mill in a rock
group I'd never attempt "Eleanor
Rigby" because I wouldn't have
a string quartet at my disposal.
"The Beatles are synthesizing
rock, classical, jazz, blues, and
country and western, but what
they've got to do is re-define
what they're using and get their
On Listening to Music
"Contemporary music -is so dif-
ferent that the average concert-
goer doesn't know how to listen
to it. I don't think a person
should go to a concert knowing
beforehand that he's not going to
drag. I think it's a waste of time like what he'll hear.
playing transcriptions of Mozart "The average concert goer is
dances. I hope to write composi- like the guy who goes up to Miles
tions for guitar which 'will force Davis and says, 'You play hor-
publishers to set standards for rible! All those squnky little notes
guitar music. and that little trumpet. It's just
"I must really have loyaalty to terrible! I used to do that when I
the guitar and I'm buf'ned up be- was a kid.'
cause it's treated so lightly. [t can "Music is probably the most
be a trite instrument, especially powerful art form, and people
when taught by commercial have got to realize that the only
people who aren't musicians. way to learn to enjoy new music
"Many excellent guitarists can't is by listening to it."
Misses the Boat,
PETER ARNOTT and his marionette theatre.
G. MICH IGRN
7, 9 P.M.
By DANIEL OKRENT'
Was~ington humor columnist
Art Buchwald rolled onto the
stage at Hill Aud. Sunday night
20 minutes behind schedule and
never managed to catch up.
A combination Walter Lipp-
mann-Allan Sherman, the bouncy
B u c h w a 1 d managed to toss
enough frivolity out of the cor-
ner of his floppy jowls to keep
the audience relatively happy, but
stumbled on his humor's mouldy
staleness and simple chuckle-
Oh, you can't say that Buch-
wald isn't funny - he offers
enough in clever comment on the
nation's politics to sate both his
listeners and the readers of his
thrice-weekly column, syndicated
in over 400, newspapers. The
problem is that if you happen to
be among both audiences, it's just
a replaydof thersame record ("I'm
not a dove or hawk - -I'm a
The net result is the kind of
humor that yields a chuckle rath-
er than a guffaw, Sometimes it
raises to chortle level: His de-
scription of President Johnson
("He's humble, shy, kind, with-
drawn and very short") was about
His presentation of his own
personal graffiti (" 'Good night,
David.' 'Good night, Goliath.' ")
was at times amusing, as was his
recap of his student days at
Southern Cal, or the results of his
personal survey of college males'
sex attitudes: "At first, I thought
I should say 'yes' to her, but I'm
glad I didn't. When I got back to
my fraternity house, all the guys
congratulated me for not letting
her take advantage of me." .
Perhaps the best parts of the
evening were Buchwald's frank
appraisal of his information-
gathering methods ("I make up
everything"), or the attempt at
"straight" evaluation of the cur-
rent Washington situation. But,
in between, Buchwald fumbled
clew across tbe stage to lant a r
Perfunctoriness kiss on Faustus' cheek.
Again, perhaps one expects too The marionette cast was won-
much. When artists on tour playI derful, what with the Good and,
Evil Angels floating magically in
the same program night after the air and the faceless, brown-
night, a certain perfunctoriness cloaked Mephistophilis stalking
can too easily creep in, and the slowly across the stage. And the
artists may seek to overcome this old, bearded clown danced lech-
by trying too hard to effect ex- erously as he pleaded that he
might be turned into "the likeness
pressiveness. Though sincere, they of a little pretty frisking flea, that
substitute artifice for infeeling. I may be here and there and ev-
One goes to a concert hoping erywhere" amongst "the pretty
awhen wenches' plackets."!
for that occasional night wn And above the proceedings, the
the artist does not merely play his omnipresent face of Arnott. In
instrunient expertly, but is sub- I the final soliloquy, when Faustus
sumed by it. For all of Milstein's cries out "O I'll leap up to myI
established greatness, for all of God! Who pulls me down?" it
was not the dead mask of the
the technique he exhibited, last puppet but the face of Arnott
night was just not one of those that showed the torment of the
nights. past four-and-twenty years of sin.
"More belly laughs per minute
than in any new film in town!
OA U P DaffydwonderfulD cleverlyCdirect-
"The Tension Is Terrific !" -N.Y. TIMES
"Keeps You Glued To Your SeatI"
'Smashing Time': Mod Put On
3020 WASHTENAW- D..l.434.:. /82SH Ng
so #few! x so 0 -in- m
4 r [ rI1 echnj icalm'
Thursday & Friday
Shows at 6:30 & 9:10
Next: W. C. FIELDS FESTIVAL
Vth Forum 210 S. FIFTH AVE.
SHOW TIMES: MON. thru THUR. 7:00, 9:00
FRI. & SAT. 1, 3, 5, 7, 9, 11 - SUN. 1, 3, 5, 7, 9
"The most interesting film released in the U.S. this year. Full of
effective cinematic innovations. PRIVILEGE is excellent. It is full of
satirical cynicism. PRIVILEGE will shake you up ..,."
--FILMS IN REVIEW
. remarkable . . . unmistakable brilliance . . . it is a striking
film, a moving piece of work to watch .. ." Penelope Gilliot.
-THE NEW YORKER
pr pcrhas brilliance and startling satiric bite . . . This vigorous
protest picture generates reason and power ..
-Bosley Crowther, N.Y. TIMES
PAUL JONES JEAN SHRIMPTON
THE JOHN HEYMAN/PETER WATKINS PRODUCTION TECHNICOLOR'
Tuesday, Jan. 30
HERB DAVID and PETER
Union Ballroom, 8 p.m.
Wednesday, Jan. 31
Union Assembly Room,
Student Laboratory Theatre
Frieze Arena, 4 p.m.
Thursday, Feb. 1
7 and 9 p.m.
Angell Hall Foyer, 8 p.m.
Frieze Arena, 4 p.m.
as far as he made it into the lat-
ter category, and this rare display
was pleasing to the audience.
However, it was also so pleas-
ing to Buchwald himself that he
would ,sporadically break loose
from his Bronx deadpan and
giggle like the proverbial howl
full of jelly. Tsk, tsk. No tech-
To make matters worse (or, ac-
tually, better), the evening with
Buchwald turned out to be a
grand total of 55 minutes long -
including the question-and-an-
swer period that followed his main
By DEBORAH LINDERMAN
"Smashing Time" is not, any-
way, a crashing bore, but it's not
exactly smashing. It's intended to
put on the whole bag of mod
chic: psychedelic color, homosex-
uals, second hand clothes, ice
cream parlors, country style,
"blurred grainy photographs",
kitch, sculpture - happenings,
switching on, turning off (lots of
shots of literal switches flicked
and turned), ciao, etc., etc. . .
And since a lot of mod is al-
ready camp, the film gets into
'the tricky problem of casting
ironies on ironiesand "outwit-
ting" camp. The best way to do
this is to present a thing for what
it is and let it show itself up: the
best frames in the film are "non-
committal." But much of it suf-
fers from a want of deadpan. Also
it falls into the late-period trap
of James Bond films -- not tran-
scending its own vulgarity.
The principals don't help much.
As the plot goes, they are two
bumpkins who come to "Lundun"
to dig the swinging scene. One is
"with it" (Yvonne,- Lynne Red-
grave) and one a "dud" (Brenda
- Rita Tushingham) and they
both do make it and then get sick
of it and split. Yvonne wins 10,000
pounds on a telly show "You
Can'tdsHelp Laughing"( Candid
Camera), buys an agent, cuts a
hit record, skyrockets.
Brenda wins a hip photograph-
er. She's supposed to be "out of
it" but, of course, by "being her-
self" is really "real" and the lat-
ter-day ,David Hemmings (Mi-
chael York) "gets her" and she
Redgrave has some excellent
comic moments. All bunnied-up in
pink vinyl and ratted braids, she'
does her youth cult hit "I'm a
foo-oo-ool, but I'm coo-oo-ool,j
And I'm young" - musically it's
a good joke). With the same kind
of breathy idiocy, she pronounces
an up-comer's try "you know, too
samey," by which she means
lot of people"; swamis and B-
movie gangsters turning out for
Yvonne's "in" party atop the re-,
volving restaurant of the General!
Post Office Tower.
The directing suffers from be-
ing heavy-handed and indecisive,
which is only to say not enough
is left un-editorialized, and tooj
But the natural comedian has much is straight which shouldn't'
a power of doing very little., be. Thus the film's style never
Though her "point" is unreserved completely masters its inconse-
zeal for mod, she oft over-keys quence, and once you leave it, it
herself, loses comic control, and leaves you.
then seems just ungainly. Tush- -,
ingham likewise has a gimmicky 761-9700
mugging quality to her which Forumni
comes from not letting her role
There's supposed to be some
kind of charm in the combined e
force of the one's enormity and
the other's' sallowness; thre
couples behind me kept telling
each other "great - it's Aubrey,
Beardsley", but despite these
pressures the duo somehow stayed
very much what they are.
There are some horrible ob-
vious "off-color" gags (watch for
"I'm very glad I'm just a pussy"
and "Tell your sister not to get
upset") ; lapses into musical com-
edy where people suddenly sing
for no good reason; and ancient! ">BOGART
slapstick devices - rooms full of THE KING-
soap bubbles, ceilings falling in,IS BACK WITH
Done right these could succeed, THE QUEEN'
contra-Hollywood, but their sog- S
giness is offset by little mini-spots SATURDAY
that do get there: the "candid
camera man" who never muffs HUMPHREY KATHARINE
that state of high-hilarity-no- BOGART HEPBURN
matter-what; the dumb owner of
a kitch shop, Too Much, explain-u
ing in a creamy voice "it's a pun,
an expression"; Yvonne's agent I TTE LR..'
saying "believe me, she's a wholeMO
.. _. "
Program Information 2-6264
LE E ofC---EFI
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M \rI antrIl CMM
3 SHOWS DAILY
Sunday thru Thursday
WEDNESDAY, JAN. 31
PROGRAM NO. 2
THURSDAY, FEB. 1
The New York film maker will appear,
in person, at Cinema Guild
FRIDAY, FEB. 2
SATURDAY &s SUNDAY, FEB. 3, 4
1:30 - 5:00
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FOX EASTERN THEATRES1
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