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March 25, 1969 - Image 2

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Text
Publication:
The Michigan Daily, 1969-03-25

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Page Two

THE MICHIGAN DAILY

Tuesday, March 25, 1969

I

music

letters
Spurr and Ackles

Firenz
By JIM PETERS
It was the kind of concert that'
audiences just love, no atonal
dissonances, no "modern" tricks
that assault the ear; the music
flowed sweetly, and tie assem-
bled patrons of t h e Chamber
Arts Series showed their thanks
repeatedly for the abundance of
Baroque charms presented.
-The Orchestra Michelangelo
di Firenze (Societa Cameristica
Italiana) is almost one person
playing a number of different
instruments., In their concert,
Sunday night at Rackham Aud,
the ensemble was so tight, the
respect for Baroque stylistics so
purposeful that I would feel
amiss in not saying that they
are the finest jhamber group
that has come to Ann Arbor this
year.
They play superbly, and with-
out a conductor. They advertise
themselves with phrases liken-
ing t h e m to a string quartet
whose number has been increas-
ed, but whose: unity is unques-
tionable.
Concertmaster Massimo Coen
starts them off, and they per-
form as one -- it's like watching
a fine mechanism doing its
thing. First cellist Italo Gomez
serves as music director, plan-
ning programs, and, no doubt,
discussing interpretation and
tempi with the group. But their
rehearsals are probably more t-
groups than academic classes.

e: Molto
The program was representa-
tive of the 17th and 18th cen-
tury music, a style which the
Orchestra Michaelangelo has
perfected. Baroque music can be
a racket, with sloppy orchestras
bombarding audiences and tink-
ling sounds that never approach
music. But, listening to this
group, I have no doubt they are
artists.
The t i n y Baroque composi-
tions have their own subtleties
and surprises. The "Sinfonia in
C Major" of Pugnani features a
formal and almost martial min-
uet with horn and oboe accents,
leading into a quick fugue.
The fine oboists of the group,
Francesco Manfrin and Angelo
Onesti, were featured in Toma-
so Albinoni's "Concerto in C Ma-
jor for two Oboes." The three
short movements were long
enough to display the fantastic
ability of these two musicians;
not only their tephnique, b u t
their attention to detail w a s
very impressive.
Next, some exotic Baroque mu-
sic from these masters, a strange
five-movement composition for
strings by Boccherini entitled
"La Musica notturna delle Stra-
de di Madrid, (Night music from
- the streets of Madrid), opus 30."
The piece features celli strum-
med like guitars; violins plucked
like mandolins, a stately blind
man's minuet - all colored with
the Spanish fire and mystery of

Bene
the 19th and 20th century
works.
They followed with the "Con-
certone in E-flat Major for Vio-
lin, Viola, Cello, Horn, and Or-
chestra" by Sarti. This fast col-
orful Baroque trifle closed the
first half.
All the required intensity and
emotion went into the stately
"Ricereare" from Bach's "Mus-
ical Offering;" each voice enter-
ed strong, and the declamation
of each group of strings was al-
most distinct within the total
screen of sound.
Finally a change f r o m the
emotion-harnessed 18th cen-
tury brought an excerpt from
Tchaikovksy's "Sestetto, opus
70," called "Sduvenir di Firen-
zi." It was nice to hear some ef-
fusive Romantic melodies with
pizzicato and sweet strings laid
on as thickly as Tchaikovsky
could manage.
All the sun and flowers and
warmth of Florence are in this
virtuoso section of two move-
ments: a lyrical adagio and a
flashy allegro vivace.
The Orchestra was working
very hard, but it was hardly no-
ticeable. When you've h ad to
dig your whole city out ofthe
mud and clean it up as fast as
the Florentines did, t h e hard
work of making music m u s t
seem very easy.

To the review editor:
I have beside me the review
by David Spurr of David Ackles'
performance at Canterbury
House. I'm sorry-but this is
really a piece of shit. The re-
view is at least as stupid and
superficial as anything David
Ackles might have done during
the first set Friday night.
First two paragraphs: dear
old Daily abortive attempt at
literacy. I ate a chocolate
doughnut." Oh cut it out. I bet
your English teacher would
have given you. an A- for that.'
"Tried very hard to entertain
us . . ." Us? Since when does
the Daily reviewer purport to
speak for a Canterbury House
audience? The Daily has in the
past panned such crowd-pleas-
ers as Richie Havens, Tim
Buckley and Buddy Guy - I
don't know where a Daily re-
viewer gets the license to use
"we" or "us" in a review.
". . but somehow the artist's
feeling couldn't bridge the gap
into our minds., . . " Into
whose minds? Who is this talk-
ing? The Daily reviewer. Daily
reviewers are well-known f o r
having chronically unbridgable
minds, while Canterbury House
audiences are nationally famous
for having eminently bridgable
minds.
The next paragraph has a little
more substance. The criticism
of the lines "We will cross a new
river / we will sail a new road"
is accurate enough. I didn't like
that one either-it was sprupy
and saccharine-and though it
was far below Ackles' best work.
But Spurr surrounds his one
stab at substancial criticism
.with unfounded referenqes to
Ackles' "straining, s h a 11 o w
voice" (it isn't - Spurr is mak-
ing it up) and "his frail frame"
(he's just short - Spurr is
making it up again).
And this is only the first set!
How can you judge a perform-
er from the first set on Fri-
day? You can't - unless you
have to have eight inches of
"criticism" for the Daily to-
morrow.
One more thing. Performers
love Canterbury House aud-
iences - and Canterbury House
audiences love performers. Joni

Mitchell said it was her best
coffee house engagement e v e r
the last time she was here, and
she told us that Buckley and
Havens had said it was their
favorite place.
So why do the Daily reviewers
'excepting Bob Franke, "our
professional bleeding heart")
come up negative so much of
the time, on such good perform-
ers? What do they come ex-
pecting to hear? Sgt. Pepper's
Lonely Hearts Club Band? Blood,
Sweat, & Tears? The Jefferson
Airplane, Bach? Beethoven? Ar-
thur Rubenstein? The sound-
track to "My Fair Lady"? James
Brown & the Famous Flames?
Don't they come to hear the
music that's played at Canter-
bury House? If they don't like
it, why do they keep on coming
and keep on panning crowd f a-
vorites? There is something
happening at Canterbury House,
but the Iaily never really seems
to get any idea down in print
as to what it is. Why don't they
just stay home?
Kent Wittrup, LSA '71
4fnt4eeOa CARPENTER RoAn
HERE FOR 7 DAYS
3X~iEQB~o~

a

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II

theatre
La M anc ha': Rightable'-play

11

*1
4

By LESLIE WAYNE
Arts Editor
Man of La Mancha presented
last night in Hill Aud., the mu-
sical comedy of an idealist
knight errant who attempts to
"tight the unrightable wrong"
seems designed more for a moral
re-armament group than for the
neon marquee.
Yet it steers clear of the
deathly melodramatic trap. In-
stead of playing for tears, it
shoots for the nobler aspirations
that all men feel exist some-
where within their souls. And
the result is a deft portrayal of
one of the few people, Don
Quixote, who allow these idealist
impulses to surface and shape
their lives.
It would be a bit silly to'run
through an outline of the story.
You've probably had it assigned
in high school or just know of
the tales of the Spanish knight
who charged at windmills and
believed whores w e r e noble
ladies. And the old standby,
"The Impossible Dream," has
become standard fare for every
aspiring night club singer.
Yet the parallel situations--
the impossible quest of the fool-
ish knight and the dying hopes
of Miguel Cervantes, his cre-
ator-take the tale from a mere
story book dream, cute but dis-
tant, to touch the best rumbl-
ings within our soul. For Cer-
vantes' tale, in this play, is not
a mere fable to be enjoyed and
then forgotten. Rather, because
Cervantes must depend on the
story of Quixote to save his life,
before a trial by his fellow pris-
oners and before the Inquisition,
the, quest becomes very real in-
deed.

David Atkinson, who as Cer-
vantes becomes Quixote in the
play before his prisoners, brings
out the separate nobility found'
in both characters. Gliding eas-
ily from one part to the other
as the story breaks from the
prison to the dusty, area of
Spain known as La Mancha, the
two characters are not separate,
at all but two aspects of one
man's personality. And the
heights of Quixote's dreams are
commensureate with the bleak-
ness of Cervantes' position.
As Cervantes, Atkinson re-
tains the tight qualities that
make him not only command
the stage, but in a very subtle
way, commandeer it. Possessing
the confidence of a knowledge-
able man just ending the prime
and beginning the mellowing
process of life, he gambles on
the chance that the prisoners
will believe in this foolish char-
acter, and wins.
As Quixote, Atkinson travels
through the muck and mire of
his dirty world gallantly ig-
noring every speck of it. He re-
mains charming in his ignor-
ance, triumphant in what others
would call defeat.
Patricia Marand as Dulcinea
must be' given some type of
recognition for the battering<
that she takes on stage. In two
hectic scenes she ' is tossed,
thrown, beaten, carried, raped,
and ripped. Yet she comes up
singing, groaning" or otherwise
each time.
Although the physical do-
mands of her role thrust her
into total involvementjwith her
actions, at times her mind seem-
ed to be distant. And in the case

of her first major number, the
tightness of some of the singing
portions sharply contrasted with
her exuberance dances.
As Sancho, Louis Criscuolo,
tottered between being Port-
noy's mother (when trying to
expose reality) to the lovable
sidekick that Sancho was. Al-
though some of his lines seemed
as though they would be fun-
nier read than when he de-
livered them, he brought out all
the lovable devotion of Quixote's
trusted alter ego.
Although Man of La Mancha
was presented on a barren stage,
the extravagence and cleverness
of the props and costumes,
made the Hill Aud. stage a never
ending platform of unfolding
technical mysteries. From the
gropings hands of the prisoners
that rose from the stage floor,
to the elaborate Knight of Mir-
rors costumes, the staging re-
mained extravagent in its in-
novation, not its gimmickry.
The Michigan Daily, edited and man-
aged by students of the University of
Michigan. News phone: 764-0552. Second
Class postage paid at Ann Arbor, Michi-
gan, 420tMaynard St., Ann Arbor,
Michigan 48104. Published daily Tues-
day through Sunday morning Ulniver-
sity year. Subscription rates: $9 by
carrier, $10 by mail.

SMNYDENNlS"RIR IULLEA
IN D. RL LAWRENCE'S
" E.43et~ffO~
ALSO.

WAIT UNTIL DARK
R-RESTRICTED. Persons under 16
not admitted unless accompanied
by a parent HAVE
or Guardian WE
H EATERS

I

I

the emu players series presents
AN
ITALIAN
STRAW'
HAT
madcap french farce with music
emu's quirk
auditorium
march 26-30 TIX $1.75

J

FOR RESERVATIONS: 482-3453
(Weekdays 12:45-4:30 P.M.)

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Program Information 2-6264
Tomorrow
Is
LADIES
DAY
Watch For "THE SERGEANT"

"THUNDERBALL"
at 2:55, 7 P.M.
"FROM RUSSIA
WITH LOVE"
at 1, 5:10, 9 :20

Students and Apartment Dwellers need
more useable open space
" green space for people
" green screening for cars
" green banks for the Huron
Promoter of Landscape Ordinance
and our new rinks and pools,
BOB FABERt
CITY COUNCIL SECOND WARD
U of M Young Democrats

!N

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FANTASTIC.

wh-dhk

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ALE

HI

fu l )1111

II

OLOR '
s13

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tail '
TECHNj
Released thru Unite

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PA~INAVISION ITCHICCL
*Re-rleased thru Unitted Artr

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FINAL PERFORMANCE!
Professional Theatre Program
BEST MUSICAL-ALL AWARDS
N.Y. DRAMA CRITICS CIRCLE/TONY AWARD/
OUTER CIRCLE/VARIETY POLL/SAT. REVIEW

I

I

"VARIATIONS
THEME"

1

DAVID ATKINSON
PATRICIA MARAND

f.

II

El U HI-

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.gs<:: tC"Inccirnl to Rnrk-Blues)

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