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February 11, 1969 - Image 2

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The Michigan Daily, 1969-02-11

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Page Two

THE MICHIGAN DAILY

Tuesday, February 1 1 , 1969

Page Two THE MICHIGAN DAILY Tuesday, February 11, 1969

_- music-
Subtlety marks Isreali orchestra

cinema-
Romeo and Juliet:
Enriching its beauty

=I

NATtONAL GFNFRAL C04ORAI
N1OW' FOX EASTERN THEATRES..
SHOWING FO VILLAGE
375 No. MAPLE R D. " 76941300

CONTINUOUS
SHOWI NGS
DAI LY

4

"DAZZLING! Once you see it, you'll never again picture
'Romeo &Juliet quite the way you did before!" -LIFE

By JIM PETERS
If this review is full of con-
tradictions, and somehow ends
up pleasing almost everyone,
those who did and did, not like
last night's performance, by the
Israel Chamber Orchestra, it is
the Orchestra's fault not mine.
Their program presented in
Rackhfum Aud. was pretty im-
pressive. But the concert as a
whole defies adjectival de-
scription. There was very ex-
cellent work done, spaced in be-
tween some rather unimpressive
sections. The finale was tremen-
dous, but in this case, it did not
erase the bad impressions I re-
ceived.
Henry Purcell's small "Cha-
conne in G minor" was the
Orchestra's first selection. Con-
ductor Gary Bertini apparently
understands this form very well.
The chaconne is a series of
variations over an ostinato bass
line, and here Purcell's music is
not that imaginative.
So it is up to the conductor to
so arrange his performance to
bring out the hidden beauty in
rather drab structure. Bertini's
route was in dynamics, and his
group responded beautifully.
With fantastic precision he. bal-
anced each repeated . section,
now loud, now soft, with aston-,
ishing control of the sound.
Crescendoes were built slowly
starting with power in the violas
right up through the upper
strings, while the bass linf con-
tinued, strong and =sustained.
But here my qualifications be-
gin. Notwithstanding this dy-
namic brilliance, Bertini dis-
played' a paucity of Baroque
stylistics in his interpretation.
The lack o ornamentation left
the lines almost bare. And I
thinly this type of work is more
important.
But I cannot question the
competence of the Chamber Or-
chestra. Stravinsky's "Dumbar-
ton Oaks Concerto" is not an
easy piece. It sounds simple; but
as is Igor's wont, it takes a lot
of hard work to. produce this
casual sound.
The work is from his neo-
classic period, and like the fiery
rhythms of "The Soldier's Tale,"

the melodies bounce. The winds
sound like organ stops over the
rhythmic strings, and often the
ostinato line is played by the
whole orchestra.
But something was lacking in
last night's performance, some-
thing which I find difficult to
describe precisely. A good ex-
ample is a short flute solo in
the second movement; this is
a short series of repeated notes
with a simple cadence. But the
repetition must be intense, while
the soloist in the Orchestra pre-
ferred to be melodic.
I think the problem is that con-
ductor Bertini's apprqach was
too subdued, opting for pre-
cision (which he admirably at-
tained) rather than power.
Mezzo-soprano ema Sam-
sonov was featured in Mordecai
Seter's "Yemenite Suite." Com-
posed in 1958 as a ballet, the
piece was later re-written to in-
clude vocalist. The music stems'
from Jewish Yemenite folk
songs, and Seter has done some
interesting orchestration work

under his Oriental sounding so-
prano lines, but as a concert
piece it is too theatrical. Miss
Samsonov's voice was adequate
for the part, but her sound is
small, though appropriate for
the breathy Hebrew lyrics. But
she failed to project into the
audience, masking all subtlety
in her weak sound.
In 1961 Joseph Haydn's "Cel-
lo Concerto in C Major" was
discovered in Prague's National
Museum. And last night was the
first time I had heard it in live
performance. I was disappoint-
ed. But to say that soloist Wolf-
gang Laufer played badly would
be a simplification of a diffi-
cult question.
At times he was good, espe-
cially so in the final allegro
molto movement. But his un-
easiness from the opening, and
his sloppy work in the second
movement detracted from his
fine work at the end.
He certainly lacked finesse
and had troubles with intona-
tion, and it was not pleasant to

hear the Orchestra itself per-
forming superbly behind this
soloist who was plainly in
trouble.
The group's finale almost
made up for the problems of the
rest of the concert. The "Diver-
timento No. 11 in D Major, K.
251" of Mozart is bright and
lively, typical Mozart with
charm and wit. Bertini is skilled
at bringing the brightness alive,
and the second minuet (move-
ment four) was perfect. But I
felt a inappropriate heaviness
in the third, andantino, move-
ment. It seems improbable, but
he seemed to take Mozart's
lyricism too seriously in this
movement and hardly used the
benefit of his small group.
So this review is based on
"maybes" and "almosts." The
audience enjoyed itself very
much, getting an amusing en-
core by Ibert from the Or-
chestra; but I'm sure, too, that
there were a few grimaces from
the muscians around every now
and then.

By GORMAN BEAUCHAMP
Shakespeare wrotetaroman-
tic tragedy about the young
and Zeffirelli has made a ro-
mantic film for the young. The
feeling that permeates his
splendid production of Romeo
and Juliet is one of unbounded
energy, the joy the limitless
hope of being young and being
in love. Leonard Whiting as
Romeo and Olivia Hussey as
Juliet are not merely young and
beautiful: they are youth and
beauty. This matter of youth is
important: usually the roles are
played by actors too old to con-
vey the sense of impetuous,
naive and intense first love. In
Zeffirelli's film there is no need
to plead literary convention. We
simply believe it. How could
they not live each other on
sight?
This kind of film is, inevit-
ably, less complex than the play,
but then this is true of all mod-
ern productions of Shakespeare,
on stage or screen. What is cut
is of two types: the witty pun-
ning on words whose meaning
is no longer intelligible without
elaborate footnotes, and the
scenes of sardonic humor which
counterbalance the romantic-
ism and tragedy. Though much
is taken, much remains. I can-
not imagine a production that
could capture the essence of the
play more imaginatively and
more beautifully while being as
immediately and fully enjoy-
able.
Technically, too, the film is
beautiful. The Verona that Zef-
firelli creates is stunningly col-
orful-as rich and dazzling as a
High Renaissance painting come
to life. One problem that has
plagued directors of Shakespea-
rian films is in maintaining a
balance between the realism the

screen allows-even demands-
without destroying the power of
poetry to create its own illu-
sions.
The acting of the two lovers
is superb. Michael York as Ty-
balt is so "haught and insult-
ing" you could choke him. The
Nurse is wonderfully gabby and
bawdy and, finally, slyly prag-
matic. Only Peter McHenry's
Mercutio struck me as exces-
sive, played like one whose grip
in sanity is highly tenuous. But
in his death scene even this
excess suddenly makes brilliant
sense, and the lines take on an
unsuspected meaning.
For all its romance, Romeo
and Juliet is a tragedy. And
tragedy depends foremost, I
think, on the sense of loss. This
Romeo and Juliet have so much
-so much youth, so much
beauty, so much love-that the
sense of loss is, truly, heart:
rending. I found myself wishing
terribly that it could all end dif-
ferently. But the inevitability is
so sweeping, so magnificent that
we accept it. And as all trage-
dies it is filled with a sense of
its paradoxical mystery and
beauty. Even in defeat and
death, love triumphs. In the
Sonnets Shakespeare wrote,
Love's not Time's fool,
though rosy lips and cheeks
Within his bending sickle's
compass come;
Love alters not with his brief
hours and weeks,
But bears it out even to the
edge of doom.
And, as always, he was right.
..:v .,.,.. ..

PARAMOUNT PICTURES p
Fwco ZEFFIRELLI
ROMEO
&JULIET

I

Showings
Daily
1:30
4:00
7:00
9:35

Ai

I

OUTRAGEOUSLY
ANTI-EVERYTHING!
Program Information J86416 ,
"EXPLOSIVELY FUNNY...
DON'T MSS ITI" WL ATimes
"NOTING LKE IT IN TOWN.
ABSOLUTELY ILARIOUSI"
HsollwodRprtr

Dionysus Lund to eet tonight
The Dionysus Defense Fund will hold an organizational meeting
tonight at 8:30 p.m. outside the Honors Lounge in the tYGLI
basement.
The meeting'has been called to coordinate fund raising activities
for the Performance Group's legal defense and for continuing the
issues of censorship and freedom, said William Levy '72, organizer
of the group.
The Fifth Forum Theatre will present a movie benefit for the
defense fund Thursday through Saturday night at 11:00 p.m.
The theatre will show Black Zero: The Palace of Pleasures by John
Hofsess.
Legal costs for an appeal of the charges against the Performance
Group are expected to reach $10,000.
The group was arrested Jan. 26 on charges of indecent exposure
following 'a performance of Dionysus in 69 in which several of the
scenes were performed nude.
The 10 members of the group were arraigned Jan. 27 and will
be tried March 12 in Washtenaw County Circuit Court.
.The actors will appeal their case only if sufficient funds are
collected to cover the legal costs.

DEVASTATINS,
SIDE-SPLfTING SATIRE...,
.RIOTUS...PENETRATING
LIVEL ANREs ... - Varty

legeTimes

Exactly as presented LIVE on
stage in San Francisco and
Los Angeles.
"THE
COMMITTEE"

'I

M

Richard Schechner
Dionysus producer

HELD OVER
.,r8thWEEK . . .
Shows at 1:00-3:00
Info: 662-6264 5:00, 7:10 & 9:15

"VISCOUNT HAS MADE A BEAUTIFUL, DISCREET, PERCEPTIVE
FILM OF THIS EPOCHAL WORK OF THE 20TH-CENTURY
WORLD ... FILM ACTING AT ITS PUREST .
THIS IS THE EXRESSION, THROUGH THEIR ART, BY
SOME FINE FILM ARTISTS OF THEIR SYMPATHY AND
LOVE FOR CAMUS' GREAT BOOK."
-Stanley Kauffman, The New Republic
"MASTROIANNI'S PERFORMANCE IS IMPECCABLE.
ANNA KARINA IS MOVING AS HIS MISTRESS.
IT IS AN IMPRESSIVE FILM AND A RARITY."
-Hollis Alpert, The Saturday Review
"ONE OF THE BEST"-Esquire

[IIri I ZZ Z ZI
I

IKTITAF

4

I I

I

"AN EXCELLENT FILM!"-Life

i

Therg;
amrQgood,
cops--.and1
ththon
thllr4f's

I

I

I

I

ST EVE AvCCUEEN
AS TULLITT'
jnUl5 mIITED rMATURECUDIE IINICLIRU0floMRERBRS..= oRS

r. ,

American City Halls
have traditionally gone
by default
to political hacks
ANN ARBOR IS
NO EXCEPTION

Thursday-"BIRDS IN PERU"

Read Books each Sunday

r
U

I

We were

willing to work for RFK and McCarthy

But will we work for the poor of our own community?
Who runs City Hall means a lot to them
Ann Arbor needs vision and leadership
BOB HARRIS
NEEDS YOUR HELP TO BE MAYOR

4

II

' k / 1 d" !"4 1 r !Af I II/" 4 1*LI

*_ I

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