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October 20, 1968 - Image 2

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The Michigan Daily, 1968-10-20

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I

Page Two

THE MICHIGAN DAILY

Sunday, bctober 20, 1968

records
Some new additions to Schwann

cinema
The Heart Is a Lonely Hunter

By R. A. Perry
Although most record compa-
nies seem eager to release the
forty-fifth recorded Pathetique
and other war horses at the
drop of a baton, they are usual-
ly Just as eager to market com-
positions unique to the Schwann
catalog. Several of these record-
ed "firsts" have recently ap-
peared on various labels, and
they bear mention.
Undoubtedly detective honors
must be awarded to that ever-
enterprising offshoot of Electra
r e c o r d s, the bargain-label
Nonesuch line. They have not'
only come up with a disc (H-
71195) of previously unrecorded
.pieces but a "new'' composer as
well: John Field. Field was born
in Ireland in 1782 and died in
Moscow in 1837; during those
years and distances he concert-1
ized, as a protege of Clementi
first and then on his own right.
throughout Europe and the
.Slavic countries. His composi-
tions and performance style
were heard by Chopin in War-
saw and Liszt in France.
The era was that of burgeon-
ing Romanticism, the years of
Wordsworth and Sermontov, the
post-Werther years. Field's mu-
sic, as evidenced by the twelve
"Nocturnes" issued by None-
- .uch, did npt advance mighty
themes of heroic proportion: it
explored the new freedom of
musical forms' and the emotions
of the sentimental heart.
Whether or not Field invented
the Nocturne as a form or
merely gave the name to a pre-
vailing improvisatory musical
mood is uncertain, but it is in-
teresting to learn of antecedents
to the piano music of Chopin,

Mendelsohn, and Schubert other
than merely those works which
carried on the traditions of Mo-
zart and Haydn. And so you
can play the game of "Who-do-
you-hear".in Field's music: for
me these Nocturnes are .sim-
ilar to Mendelsohn's "Songs
without Words" except that
they are looser in structure.
Pianist Noel Lee does not seem
to know quite what to make of
these pieces either. His right
hand yeans to be more impe-
tuous, but it is tempered by the
melancholic inclinations of his
left hand. In any case, all
twelve pieces are played beauti-
fully, if not definitely, and they
are recorded clearly by the
Nonesuch engineers. This1 disc
should interest not only ,the
musiciologist, but anyone fond'
of limpid and lyric piano music.
Another surprise from None-
such also stems from traditional
sources: the cantatas of Bach.
Anyone whose conception of
Bach holds that the great com-
poser had his eyes only to Heav-
en should listen to his Drama
per musica (BMW 215) Preise
dein Glucke. In this work, new.
to the Schwann catalog, Bach
threw together for the Univer-
sity of Leipzig a musical tri-
bute to the visiting King of Po-
land, August III. You might as-
sume that the commission
would draw a perfunctory col-
lection of pre iously composed
movements patched together,
into some coherency-not an
unusual practice-but such is
not the case.
To- an occasionally amusing
text ("Rage then, presumptu-
ous svarm, in your own en-
trails") by Leipzig schoolteach-

er J. C. Clauder, Bach wrote a
musical drama of fierce polit-
ical fervor: The extensive hymn
of praise to August III, a tenor
aria that fills almost the whole
side of a disc, may be equal in
length, which is some sign of
sincerity, to anything Bach
wrote to his Lord. In a bass
aria vehement against political
rebellion Bach achieved a dra-
matic credibility perhaps equal,
to some of Handel's bass arias
in the Messiah.
Werner Krenn, tenor, and
Erich Wenk, bass, really get in-
to the festive spirit, and the
floating soprano of E r n a
Spoorenberg is an asset to the
performance. The conductor
Helmuth Rilling keeps every-
thing moving briskly, even,
through extensive repeats, and
although the recorded sound is
a bit diffuse, it furthers the
impact of the work.
Speaking of impact, if you
wish to give your stereo, a real
workout and impress your
friends or drive your neighbors
mad, you should purchase and
play very loudly Handels's Stu-
sic for the Royal Fireworks on.
the Vanguard budget-priced
Everyman label. (SRV-289SD)
When this performance, led by
Charles MacKerras, first ap-
peared on the full-priced Van-
guard line, it received rave re-
views for its sonic reproduction
and vigorous rendition; it has
lost nothing but price in its
switch to the bargain racks.
Although other versions of the
worK exist in tne benwann cata-
log, this is the only perform-
ance which follows the original
scoring: 26 oboes, 14 bassoons,
4 contrabassoons, 9 trumpets,
- 9 horns, 3 kettledrums, 6 side-
drums, and 3 serpents (a form
of cornet). While I find 'some
of MacKerras's tempos a bit
over-stately (preferring Pail-
lard's tempos on MHS, but he
uses a much reduced band) the
performance and sound of this
gathering of celebrants is ter-
rifically exciting. A concerto
for two wind bands and strings
completes the disc. Don't for-
get to turn up the volume.
Columbia has come up with
two first on one disc: -a suit
from Rachmanioff's opera Aleko
and Ukiyo by the American
composer Alan Hovhaness (MS
7162).
The Rachmanioff work is not
much to speak about; it was
written for a Moscow Conser-
vatory graduation exercise, and
the nineteen year old composer
whiped up the opera-based on
Pushkin's "the Gypsies"-in a
month, winning raised eye-
brows and a gold medal. Four

orchestral portions and one bass
Cavatina has been put arbi-
trarily together for (and no
doubt by) Columbia for this
disc. The music is darkly melo-
dic in the simplest way, pleas-
ant, but lacking the emotional
force and personal commitment
inherent in the composer's
later works. At best the music
pays tribute to Russia's great-
est orchestral colorist, Peter Il-
lyitch Tchaikovsky, who died a
year after Aleko was written.
The Cavatina-a short aria
in only one section-is sung by
Simon Estes, silver medal win-
ner in the 1966 'Tchaikovsky
Vocal Contest in Moscow. I
found the brief vocal excerpt
musically unremarkable,. and
Estes voice, while obviously
rich and dark (you will un-
doubtedly someday hear a Boris
from him) is not shown to its
best advantage in Columbia's
overly close microphone techni-
ques. In general, the whole piece
suffers from the invisible hand
of the sound engineer, boosting
his controls with no sense of
musical quality at all.
The second "first" on the
record is Ukiyo (Floating world)
by Alan Hovhaness. Hovhaness
has always been his own man
musically, not a follower of
Schoenberg nor Stochhausen,
not enmeshed in serialism,
twelve tonalism, or any other
isms. Rather he has used the
freedom of form and sound
values in today's musical world
to create works true to his own
artistic and spiritual inclina-
tions. He has always inclined

-both artistically and spiritual-
ly-to the Orient, and Asia.
either in theme or in specific
sound patterns, usually appears
in his works. Povhaness has
been very sketchily represented'
in the catalog and a new entry
for him is always welcome.
Ukiyo is a Japaense word
usually translated as "floating
world," descriptive of the gay
and often salacious living style
of the pleasure quarters in 17th
and 18th century Japan; the
word has its distinct Buddhist
implications, as well, in its de-
piction of the evanescence of'
material forms and sensual
pleasures. Hovhaness's music
strives for "an abstraction of
these thoughts" and is speci-
fically inspired by the plays of
Chikamatsu.
A spurious mish-mash of
sources, affected for the West-
erner? Perhaps, and whether
the music works will depend
very much on the listener's
tastes. I found the ghostly pro-
cession of bells, and the sliding
trombone themes highly effec-
tive and suggestive, remin-
iscent of the soundtrack of
Kwaidan. Hovhaness's music
does not depend upon thematic
development but more upon
the changing forms of sound
masses and the swirling or
clearing of these sonic mists.
Andre Kostelanetz, to whom
the work was dedicated, has
somie trouble managing the
"controlled chaos" of the loud-
er, tuttipassages, but in gen-
eral he effects a' stirring and
charged performance.

By PHIL BALLA
Some people stay away from
movies and books by women be-
cause the theme is often sadness
pure and simple and the ending
can vary from walking into the
ocean to whining away in a
rocking chair. Love seems to.
exist at the mercy of a cosmos
which overpowers all that is
good and turns life into pathos..
The Heart Is a Lonely Hunter
has much of the sad and pathe-
tic, but since Carson McCullers
was only twenty-two when she,
wrote it, a youthful hope is
born into the' lives of two of
the main characters by the man
whose grave they visit in final
reverence.
The Heart Is a Lonely Hunter
is really three stories, and a lot
of local color. The scene is
small-town Georgia. Alan Arkin
is a deaf mute whose closest kin
in literature is the wandering
saint in Gorky's Lower Depths
whose quiet, radiant generosity
brings out the humanity in all
he approaches. Arkin's per-
formance is wonderful in the
sense of the kind of listener who
causes people to, come out and
be what they really are. He
moves to a small town in order

Ito be near his friend, another
deaf mute whose strong points
are his sweet tooth, innocence.
and teddy bear. These qualities
and mindlessness are enough to
get him committeed to a mental
hospital as well as win the af-
fection of both Arkin and the
audience.
Some movies, like Bonnie and
Clyde bring local color alive and
spinning into the story line and
human fabric. Local color re-
mains in the background of The
Heart Is a Lonely Hunter be-

cause it is not so mnuch a lyrical
mo ie as one of three s i m p l e
stories. Minor characters keep
the movie from becoming t o o
dramatic: these include the
wandering bum .that Arkin be-
friends and the little boys who
ruin big sister's party with fire-
works: The girl. played by new-
comer Sandra Locke, is a gang-
ling and flat-chested ,youth,
Alan Arkin is too good. to be
true, the silent one that in-
spires meaning and beauty in
American regionalism.

MON. -FRI.-7 :15-9 :15'
SUN.-1 :15-3:15-5:15
7:15-9:15
SAT.-3:15-5:15-7:15-915

FOX EASTER RT - 76-1RE 3
FOX V IL La Hi
35 No. MAPLE RD. 769-1300

I

I
I

Pu SE RS NOW
IN"I EEVSHWN
SH OWING

._ ---

'You see, I Was supposed
to be plying Innocence'

HELD
OVER

4th and
Final
Week

MADISON, Wis. (A) --- A Uni-
versity coed, accused of dancing
in the nude in "Peter Pan," was
arraigned Friday after authorities
said she appeared voluntarily to
face charges.,
Miss Carolyn Ann Purdy, 21, of
Janesville was identified as (one of
the two dancers for whom author-
ities had been searching since Oct.
1, when students held two per-
formances of the musical despite
Dist. Atty. James Boll's ruling that
he considered the show obscene.
S h e pleaded innocent to a
charge of taking part in a lewd,
obscene and indecent performance.
She was freed on $500 bond.
A -court hearing was scheduled
for Oct. 17.
Boll, prior to the Oct. 1 per-
formances, w a s among officials
who saw'a private screening. In
the student version of the musical,

policemen replace pirates, Tinker
Bell dies and Peter Pan becomes
an adult.
The nude dancers portrayed in-
nocence. There had been six nude
dancers originally, but f o u r of
them quit the show as a result of
the publicity.
Members of the cast had voted
against going on with the per-
formances after university offi-
cials warned t h a t police might
make arrests.
Stuart Gordon, director of the
musical, said the cast had hoped
to perform before University Pires-
ident Fred Harvey Harrington and
other people "who are respected
by the straight world."'

**** HIGHEST RATING!
"AN ARTISTIC ACHIEVEMENT!" - N.Y. Daily News
roche
rachel., rachel is a double-barreled triumph! Joanne Wood-
ward is extraordinary-Paul Newman's direction is excellent. This is
Joanne Woodward's triumph and should make her a prime contender
for an Academy Award." -David Goldman, WCBS Radio
in the PAUL NEWMAN pmducbof
rachel.
TECHMICOLORFuWlAIyIERIROS.-SEVENRARTSE
Program Information 5-6290

Ton.gWt. GIRS " F F i T HE -'-w
f4
mSUNDA
' 70( & 9'05Afer finishing "Is"'t Life Wanderful" in 1924,
D. W. Griffith left' United Artists for Paramount
-yStudios, where ht worked until 1931. "Isn't Lifer
c Wonderful" is the last movie Griffith made as on
ARCHITCTUREindependlent film- maker, and it marks the end of
ARC ITCT R Ethe "Griffith Era.''It's subject is the horror of
AUDITORIUm, pst World War IGermany.
62-884

=a

n '" T '
v.r.._. .--.-. .4--+-_.«e......._..._ _ ._.. _.._..__

'Co

FRIDAY, October 25

IN THE IM BUILDING

I

FEATURING
"Music
you can
dance to"

1* 1

I0

TICKETS GO ON SALE TOMORROW
On the Diag at 9:00 A.M. Price: 50c
CI IDD V C I IAAITIfn

f

I.

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