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January 09, 1969 - Image 7

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Text
Publication:
The Michigan Daily, 1969-01-09

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Thursday, January 9, 1969

THE MICHIGAN DAILY

Page Seven_;

records HUAC image given shakeup by
Gilels and Szell don't pull it off in name, personnel, operating

alterations
procedures

I.

By R. A. PERRY
The coming of the great
Russian pianist, Emil Gilels, to
Cleveland in order to record the
five Beethoven concerti with the
Cleveland Orchestra marked a
musical event of high order and
promised an integral set of re-
cordings that would please both
enthusiast and connoisseur
alike. Gilels, a pianist of tre-
mendous power and poetic in-
tuition, is under contract 'to
Angel records; Szell and the
Cleveland Orchestra, who have
provided wonderfully sympathe-
tic accompaniaments to Leon
Fleisher's Beethoven, belong to
Columbia Records; that the two
companies agreed to merge in-
terests (Columbia provided the
engineers,' but Angel released
the discs) proved their confi-
dence in the marriage of such
major musical talents.
Surprisingly and unfortunate-
ly, the end reault, Angel SE-
3731, disappoints in a most frus-

trating manner. Although much
beautiful and (of course) expert
music making takes place on the
five discs, seldom do the per-
formances, either in part or as a
whole, offer sufficient satisfac-
tion to warrant the kind of
panegyric press that Angel has
put forth with this issue.
The great German conductor
Wilhelm Furtwanger wrote that
"the great masterworks of music
are subject to the law of im-
provisation. The interpreter gets
to know them by means of no -
tation, but his approach to them
is just the reverse of that of the
composer who experiences the
true meaning of that which he
wants to say before or during
the process of writing it down.
The essence of the creative pro-
cess must be found in improvi-
sation." The interpreter must
therefore not only decipher the
notations but must in some con-
vincing manner re-invoke the
improvisatory spirit of the com-

Fi*sh aCnd chips???
By A. B. J. MIK L
It is rumored that HUAC is keeping a close watch on a new
establishment at 1232 Packard, near Woodlawn. It= is a fish-and-
chip shop manned by two zippy English mums who are selling fried
haddock, which has apparently been flown in from Iceland, with
French fries and a cup of tea (given the code word CHAR), all for
a buck. What's more, they wrap it in real English newspapers
supplied by a daughter of Evelyn Waugh and the wife of the
chairman of one of the more controversial departments on the
second floor of Angell Hall.
The ladies claim the fare is macrobiotic and, if you don't like
haddock, you can get sole or cod or salad or home-made soup. I
went along and bumped into a notorious faculty member from the
English. department, who was trying to get the till open. Draped
along the side wall was the Union Jack, and sundry purchasers
were shaking salt and vinegar over the London Times.
The place is run by Hilly, the wife of Prof. Shackleton Bailey
of the classics department. She also happens to be the ex-wife
of novelist Kingsley Amis and the shop is called Lucky Jim's be-
cause, in her inimitable words, "it was a bloody lucky book for
us,,
Her partner is Connie Bassil, a well-known Ann Arbor blonde,'
who has worked in the past at the Kelsey museum and as a highly,
unsuccessful film editor. Both appear to be obsessed by the vagaries
of fish, and hurl themselves to and fro between the record player
that keeps up non-stop Beatles and the seething contraption that
batters the fish.
The proprietors dress in pink sailor caps and natty pinafores,
but both claim they really wanted a pub, not a "fish n'chipper,"
and that their future profits were going towards first a face lift
for each of them, and then an entire body transplant.
When asked why they opened the place, they said that one
summer's afternoon in the country, when they were both stretched
full length on a lawn sipping champagne at a picnic, they dis-
covered that they both deep down preferred tea-especially when
it was with a nice bit of fish.
The order of cod I got when I visited was exceedingly palatable;
moveover, the high society gossip column it was wrapped in was
quite an eye-opener. The ladies are very jingoistic about fish and
claim that the Empire's decline is due to too few eggs in the batter
of the troops.
There is an aspidistra on the right as you go in to remind
you of Victoria, and I recommend it to hippies, vagrant Britons,
faculty, loVers, and anybody who wants a good hot cheap meal or
likes listening to the English accent with a strong shot of Cockney
in it.
SLucky Jim's is open at lunch time, and from 5:00 to 10:00
in the evenings,
BLOW YOURSELF UP
TO POSTER SIZE
Get your own Photo poster. Send any Black and White or
Color Photo. Also any newspaper or magazine photo.
PERFECT POP ART A $25.00 Value for
Poster rolled and mailed in sturdy
tube. Original returned undamaged.
Add 50G for, postage and handling 2x3
for EACH item ordered, Add Local
Sales Tax. No C.O.D. Send check
gash or M.O. To: 3x4 Ft,$7.50
PHOTO MAGIC Frt for 2x3 Ft. Poster only $3.50
210 E. 23rd St., Dept. 374B sew York, N.Y. 10010
Dealer in cuiries invited
Use Daily Classifieds

poser, must make the interpre-
tive experience seem a new dis-
covery of creation in process.
A convincing aura of spon-
taneity is almost totally lacking
in the efforts of Gilels and Szell.
That this should be so is
strange, for it is well known in
the trade that recording sessions
for this enterprise were amaz-
ingly swift and untroubled; the
five records were produced in
four days-an amazing feat in
this day of numerous retakes
and splicings. Nevertheless, the
performances do not sing and do
not flow with any plastic in-
evitability.
The trouble lies, I suspect,
with the aesthetic inclinations
of George Szell, for his tempi
are sluggish without necessarily
being slow, and heavy without
being muddy. The opening of
the B-flat Major concerto, for
instance, merely asserts a dig-
nified demeanor, self-satisfied,
rather than moving us into the
piano entrance. The final bars
of the E-flat Major concerto, the
usually jubilant "Emperor," go
flaccid in a most bathetic man-
ner.
Szell has a propensity to cut
off phrases (in the name of
neatness?) rather than to elas-
tically fuse them, and this in-
clination tends to obviate any
possible cantabile movement;
climaxes do not grow from the
tension of the plastic line but
are merely heavier and louder
accentuations.
Although Gilels plays beauti-
fully, that is with crysta e
fingering and wonderful variety
of touch, with power and (too
often detached) feeling, he can-
not overcome the basic sub-
liminal lethargy that Szell ef-
fects. Furthermore, since Gilels
does not use a great deal of ru-
bato, the absence of plasticity in
the orchestral accomnaniament
is reinforced. In all, I feel the
artists' impulse to pin down
every detail with pre-meditated
planning, and, though one can-
not easily fault performances on
a moment to moment analysis,
the total effect remains an en-
ervated drama.
The C-Minor concerto fares
best, since it requiresa granitic
strength of rhetoric that Gilels
can master so well, as he exhi-
bited in the remarkably intense
reading of the Tchaikovsky Sec-
ond Concerto under Kondrashn
on the Baroque label. Because
the concerti are presented on
five records, rather than the
usual four, Angel offersas "fill-
ers" fine performances by Gilels
of the "Wranitzky Variations,"
the "32 Variations in C Minor,"~
and the "6 Variations on a
Turkish March." Gilels unravels
the complexity of these works
with convincing grace and ardor,
but I prefer Moravec's mount-
ing excitement in the C-Minor
Variations on Connoisseur So-
ciety.
Columbia has produced for
the Angel set what cannot be
honestly called more than fair
recorded sound; the orchestra
especially appears diffused, with
instrumental parts lacking defi-
nition. -Although the Angel set

offers some splendid piamsm
from Gilels and sells for a re-
duced price, it will probably not
win much emotional rapport
from new listeners nor convince
those who own either the Sch-
nabel, Serkin, or Fleisher zets.
* * *
A completely opposite type of
performance can be heard from
Serkin and Bernstein on a two-
for-the-price-of-one Columbia
set (M2X-788) in which this
pair perform the Emperor Con-
certo. Bernstein conducts the
New York Philharmonic in his
usual muscular and hyperactive
way, a way which induces Serk-
in to relinquish too often bal-
ancing restraint. The result is
an incredibly energetic and
spontaneous performance that
will excite many listerners, but
will, to the more soberly in-
clined, sound exaggerated, melo-
dramatic, stretched out of shape,
and perhaps even crass. While
the fervor displayed is welcome
in a work frequently underplay-
ed, Serkin with Ormandy on
earlier Columbia discs avoids
the pitfalls of sloppy passion.
The second disc in this set re-
issues beautifully felt and con-
trolled readings of the "favorite
Beethoven sonatas," the Pathe-
tique, Appassionata, and Moon-
light. In the concerto recording
the piano is well-reproduced,
but the Columbia engineers, ad-
mittedly no longer interested in
reproducing "true" orchestral
sound, have diddled their dials
to create an awful muck chat is
both hard on the ears and un-
true to the details of the score.

By TOM MILLER
CPS News Analysis
WASHINGTON (CPS) - If the
two most recent sessions of the
House Committee on Un-American
Activities are any indication, we
may as well see a new image
emerge from this perennially con-
troversial tribunal. These changes
fall very neatly into three cate-
gories, all interrelated: new per-
sonnel, new name, and a new
tact.
Coming in as chairman is Rich-
ard Ichord, a Missouri Democrat.
Serving only his fourth term, he
will be the youngest House com-
mittee chairman at 42. This , is
largely by default, though. The
present chairman, Edwin Willis of
Louisiana, was defeated in No-
vember; the number two man,
William Tuck of Virginia, resign-
ed; and next-in line, Joe Pool,
died earlier this year. This leaves
Ichord, who is in his fifth year on
the committee.
In creating the image, Ichord
will probably not try to get deep-
South Congressmen appointed to
HUAC when three vacant seats
are filled this month. Instead, he
will rely on conservatives of both
parties from other parts of the
country. These include Republi-
cans John Ashbrook of Ohio, Del
Clawson of California, Richard
Roudebush of Indiana and Iowa's
Democratic congressman, John
Culver. The only southerner is Al-
bert Watson of South Carolina, a
nominal Republican.
In keeping with the "accent on
youth" Richard Nixon has been
pushing, the House group is shed-
ding its old-age people and pro-

moting its relatively youthful
members. The average age on the
committee as it enters the 91st
Congress is under 45, one of tne
youngest committes in the House.
To change image also requires
a new name, and Ichord is quite
aware of this. HUAC, like so many
other obscenities, has been a dirty
word so long it is almost accept-
able, but Ichord will introduce leg-
islation this session to have the
name changed to the House Com-
mittee on Internal Security. De-
spite all the pronouncements to
clarify the committee's man-
date," all this new name will prob-
ably mean is new stationery for
the committee, and a new letter-
head for the Los Angeles-based
Committee to Abolish HUAC.
The new tact is the most subtle
difference. This becomes more evi-
dent after watching HUAC in-ac-
tion this fall. Unlike the Iuffonery
perpetrated by Joe Pool when he
held hearings, or the superficial
red-baiting under former chair-
man Willis, Ichord has decided to
hear all attacks by witnesses
against his committee. He clalms
"it is very difficult to keep your
self-composure when these psy-
chiatrically disturbed individuals
are testifying."
The "psychiatrically disturbed
individuals" also have a new ap-
proach. In the past, witnesses have
traditionally used the first, fourth

years ago. The New Left. though,
has been using a new method:
over-cooperation. All the left s
witnesses this fall have !;iven full,
sometimes overcomplete, answers
-to committee counsel queries, spe-
cifying date, place, people and
when relevant, political af filiation.
Moreover, the witnesses have
been spelling out to the fullest
their own personal political phi-
losophies. Tom Hayden, for In-
stance, spent over six hours before'
the committee expounding his own'
ideas on America's social and po-
litical sickness. Toward the end,
he said the reason there were no
demonstrators or picketers outside
the hearings was that "the job has

puses-or at least as a joke."
Ichord, more than any HUAC
chairman before him, at least
showed a vague understanding of
what Hayden was alluding to.
The only vivid representative of
HUAC's past is Rep. Alber, Wat-
son. He continually got into dis-
cussions with witnesses on super-
ficial points, and invariably lost
out. On a couple of occasions he
was even gaveled down by the
committee chairman.
Like so many other rightist
groups, HUAC is adopting more
sophisticated techniques. The im-
age may be changing, but it seems
fair to say the message will remain
the same.

#tak4Cqfee /kuje

and fifth amendments in refusitng already been done on HUAC. Ap-
to cooperate with the commit tee, pearances before HUAC are taken
dating back to its origin over 30 as a sign of respectability on cam-

605 E. William

769-1593

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Friday and Saturday--Jan. 10-11
Performances at 9:45 and 11:00 P.M.
Sunday afternoon Jazz

- - - - - - - - 1:

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most around $20
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(between Farmers Market & The Treasure Mart)
Phone: 662-8850

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-I .

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