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March 27, 1968 - Image 2

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The Michigan Daily, 1968-03-27

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Page Two

THE MICHIGAN DAILY

Wednesday, March 27 1968

Page Two THE MICHIGAN DAILY

__ _._ _. .. _. . t ... '

- music
Prof. Pickut and All of His Pianos

records
Boulez Stars in New Columbia Release

By DAVID FRITSCH
Up on the fifth floor of Bur-
ton Towel there's a shabby,
stained, marvelous room occu-
pied by a dozen or so pianos in
various states of dismember-
ment. Presiding over it all is a
tall, distinguished man who is
exactly what he looks like -
a piano teacher.
He is Prof. Kurt Pickut, who
uses his piano tech course to
turn his students into builders,
tuners and adjusters of instru-
ments, on the, theory that "a
pianist should know all there
is to know about pianos."
While talking to you, he
paces eagerly through the
crowded room, demonstrating
hammers of different pianos,
or pulling away the carriage of
a concert grand to show you its
construction, all the while talk-
ing busily in a soft German ac-
cent about the projects he and
the class are undertaking.
At present, they are building
an 18th century clavichord of
the type used by Bach, and two
full-size harpsichords, to be
used .in a new course in harp-
sichord playing which he hopes
to start next spring.
Prof. Pickut is also at work
on a. harpsichord kit, with
which a student will be able to
build a full-size harpsichord for
about $700, quite a startling
prospect when one considers
that a ready-made instrument
sells, for $5000 on the trade
market.
He seems more willing to talk .
about the course than about
himself, however. All 26 stu-
dents are music graduate stu-
dents, he explains, majoring in
APA Signs
New Contract
T h e University Professional
Theatre Program (PTP) has sign-
ed the APA Repertory Company
for the seventh Fall Festival in
Lydia Mendelssohn Theatre.
The APA season will run from
Sept. 17 through Oct. 27, featur-
ing three new productions yet to
be announced. Subscription sales
have already started at the Men-
delssohn box office.
Prof. Robert Schnitzer, execut-
ive director of PTP, in announc-
ing the signing, said "Subscribers
will again have the opportunity of
attending three brilliant premieres
which will doubtless later be hail-
ed with excitement in New York
and on tour."

a
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9
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6
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3
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By R. A. PERRY emerges even,'the more "impres-
With all the recent press about sionistic,"' that is, not enshrouded
up-coming young conductors and in mist, but constantly evolving
hypotheses upon which dashing spontaneously out of its own ex-'
young man shall replace which plorations.
retiring maestro at which prestigi- One of the most exciting aspects
ous orchestra, one conductor has of the clarity which Boulez effects
received scant attention. Yet that is the way in which he comes so
conductor and leading avant-garde dangerously close to destroying
composer, Pierre Boulez, may well the weave of the musical fabric
prove to be the greatest molder in his focus on the individual in-
of orchestral sound since Tos- strumental threads. Instrumental
canini. parts almost sound like nothing
I make such 'a bold statement more than the instrument itself
upon the evidence of Boulez' "Rite divorced of any intention -toward
of Spring" on the Nonesuch label, ensemble color-almost: It is this
from his concerts in Cleveland, treading the fine line between
where he gave that already fine- anarchy and unity that reveals the
toned organization even greater essence of Debussy.
clarity, but also passion, and from As Boulez says in his revealing
a new recording on the Columbia liner notes, "the composer is not
label of works by Debussy. limited by first composing the
On this new disc (32-11-0056), musical text and then decking it
Boulez tears away the veil of out with marvels of instrumenta-
Impressionistic mush that so tion . . . but the organization of
many maestros and critics have the work is as changeable in an
heaped on "La Mer," "L'Apres- instant as it is homogeneous in
Midi D'un Faune," and the lesser development." The "vitrified im-
heard "Jeux." The result of Bou- provisation" which the conductor
lez's 'ultra-clarity and balance of creates, always lucid yet always
the most minor inner voices can creat, a l yetalwhs
be compared to the removal of
heavy varnish from a painting. of its parts, demands that the
Surprisingly, and yet so logically, listener live through its creation,
the color and shapes of the music and thus it yields up to the list-

ener a highly transportive musical pounding by Istomin, and the pre-
experience, tensions to High Drama are simp-
Boulez, with the New Philhar- ly not appropriate to Mendels-
monia Orchestra responding un- sohn's lyrical and somewhat
failingly and with splendid re- melancholy D minor Trio. To list-
corded sound, thus demythologizes en instead to any European group,
Debussy and makes understand- say to the Trio di Bolzano reading
able the composer's courageous in- on Vox, or even to the older Cas-
tentions and remarkable successes. als group performance, is to real-
Other new Columbia releases do ize the serene possibilities for this
not fare quite as well as the un- music, to realize that chamber
matched Boulez disc. On MS music need not sound, no matter

Sif

7064, George Szell turns to the
piano, with the Cleveland con-
certmaster Rafael Druian as part-
ner, to perform four sonatas by
G Mozart. This recording may be a
labor of love, but the labor at
times becomes too evident.
Some ambitious music school
student might well write a Ph.D.
thesis on the American style of
performing chamber music. This
approach may be characterized by
intellectual fervor, an unrelenting
drive through the music, and an
aversion to periods of true calm.
These dubious qualities may be
heard in a new disc by the Ito-
min/Stern/Rose Trio (MS 7083).
The passion expended on the
early Beethoven Trio in C minor
may be warranted; even Haydn
found the work ferocious. Never-
theless, the driving attacks, the

how note-perfect and coordinated,
that it was performed immediately
after the soloists finished watch-
ing Huntley-Brinkley.
761-9700
Mon thru Thur -7:00-9:15

Pickut Explains His Business

piano or organ. The main pur-,
pose of the course, which is the
only one of its kind in the
country, is to teach tuning and
adjustment. "They learn work
they only do at Baldwin and
Steinway," he says. "They said
it couldn't be taught."
As if to prove that it can, a
student walks in for his week-
ly lesson in tuning. He and the
professor go to work at one of
the partially dismantled pianos.
Patiently, they work on note
after note, the student hitting
two notes and listening, the
older man giving hints, nods of
approval, or telling him to hit
the key harder to lower the
note a little. If you're a non-
musician or know little about
music, you feel very left out
watching this scene, especially
when Pickut turns to you and
says, "You know, in a few
months they do it almost as
.well as I do, and I've been do-
ing it for years."
The students also learn to
adjust the instruments. "There
are 6000 parts in a Lincoln, the
most complicated car," explains
Pickut. "In a concert piano

there are over 12,000 parts." His
students must learn to use a
large number of tools, most of
which look like carefully re-
fined instruments of torture,
in order to be able to make the
1,760 adjustments (20 per key,
88 keys) on a piano. "Some of
them have never handled tools
before in their lives", he says
proudly. "We have a fantastic
generation."
Prof. Pickut conceived of the
course seven years ago. Next
year it may be extended to
harpsichord and clavichord. All
its twenty-six students are vol-
unteers; they attend lab ses-

A

I

TONIGHT AT
7-9 P.M.

4-APU

"Perhaps the most beautiful movie in history."-Brendan Gill
The New Yorker. "Exquisite is only the first word that surges in
my mind as an appropriate description of this exceptional film.
Its color is absolutely gorgeous. The use of music and, equally
eloquent, of silences and sounds
is beyond verbal description. The
performances are perfect-that is
the only word."-
B o s I e y Crowther,
New York Times.
"May well be the
most beautiful film
ever made." -
Newsweek.

I

in

TONIGHT
CITIZEN KANE
Directed by Orson Welles, 1941
ORSON JOSEPH
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"The swift and brutal biography of a power-mad
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WINNER
7 ACADEMY
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70
i

--

Starts TOMORROW

1-

1TS MOTIONPICTURE IS DEDICATED TO LIFE, LIBERTY AND
THE PURSUIT OF HAPPENINGS!

THE
GRADUATE

ANNE BANCROFLAND OUSTIN HOFFMAN - KATHARINE ROSS
CALqER WILLINGHAMA.BUCK HENRY PAUL SIMON.
SIMONAGARFUNKEL LAWRENCE TURMAN
DtR:::f BY a -- -fw

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