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April 15, 1969 - Image 2

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The Michigan Daily, 1969-04-15

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ge Iwo THE MICHIGAN DAILY

Tuesday, April 15, 1969

A Bach

records-
for every passion

By R. A. PERRY
Angel Records has curiously
released a new 'recording of
Bach's greatest oratorio, the
Saint Matthew Passion. I say
"curiously" because the set's
very existence seems slightly
unwarranted since Schwann al-
ready lists eleven versions, at
least. three of them completely
excellent and yet different
enough to satisfy any taste. An-
gel a few years ago' issued the
solemn and awesome set con-
dueted by that last glowing em-
ber of the German tradition
generating heat, namely 0 t t o
Klemperer. Whatever one might
feel about ; Klemperer's prefer-
ences in tempi and ensemble
size, one can hardly fail to be
moved by the might and dig-
nified profoundity of his Saint
Matthew Passion reading.
For the student with a limited
budget but high{standards; the
Vanguard Everyman recording
conducted by the imaginative
Danish maestro Mogens Woldike
offers a completely satisfying
alternative. Woldlike's set fea-
tures the creamy legato sing-
ing of Teresa Stich-Randall, a
good Evangelist in Uno Ebre-
lius, and able support from
Rossl-Majdan,: Kmentt, and
Berry. Furthermore, Woldike
leads tight, precise, and instru-
mentally pointed performances
with a pared-down orchestra
that should please anyone who
objects to Klemperer's nineteen-
th-century massiveness.
A fine choice standing be-
tween the grandeur of Klemper-
er and the intimacy of Woldike
is the performance led by Karl
Munchinger on London. Inci-
dentally, all of the above three

versions have been "excerpt-
ed" for a single LP, Vanguard
offering an especially good buy.
Angel's new recording, li k e
Munchinger's set, must be class-
ed as a middle-road approach,
though the results are superb.
Conductor Wolfgang Gonnen-
wein choses faster tempi than
Klemperer and smaller forces,
yet he also opts for a warm'er
and thicker sound with grander
postures than does Woldike:
Whei'e Klemperer stops the pro-
gression of the narrative f o r
chorales that become cosmic
apostrophes, Gonnenwein i n -
corporates the chorales as the
true dramatic strophes that they
are. In many ways the v o c a l
blend produced by the S o u t h
German Madrigal Choir and the
Consortium Musicum grants
some of the most lovely mom-
ents in the recording, though
I must admit that I missed the
flute-like sopranos which brigh-
ten Wilhelm Pitz's Philhar-
monia Chorus on Angel's Klemp-
erer set.

Evangelist Theo Altmeyer is
as good if npt better than Peter
Pears, and he instills such ap-
propriate fervor into his reci-
tatives that, instead of seeming
as interruptions, they truly take
on their crucial dramatic func-
tion. Jesus, backed by B a c h''s
"halo" of strings, is sung by
Franz Crass, and he alone in
this set I found seriously defic-
ient in appeal. Sounding more
like the village mayor than the
Son of God, Crass's voice con-
notes human qualities that
would appeal to fans of Passo-
lini.
Teresa Zylis-Gara handles the
soprano arias beautifully, b u t
I found Julia Hamari' lacking
that necessary convincing me-
lancholia which should suffuse
her contralto arias; her aria
Buss' und Rev' w a s vocally
adept but rather non-commital.
Both Nicolai Gedda and Her-
mann Prey maintain their us-
ual standards and achieve a
high degree of emotional cred-
ibility, especially Prey.

wacky Monkees
sh o*w their stuff

Angel's stereo sound is clear,
rich, and undistorted, though
Zylis-Gara seems to have been
recorded with a certain lack of
focus. In the opening d o u b 1e
chorus, the Boys Choir floats
beautifully between the two
channels, but I still prefer the
pungency in the "Sehet! Wen!"
episodes that can be found in
Woldike's rendition.
Thus, except for the Jesus of
Franz Crass, this Gonnenwein-
Bach set can certainly be re-
commended, as long as one
keeps in mind the special beau-
ties of the Klemperer and Wold-
ike recordings.
On SRB-4108 Angel has also
released six keyboard concerti
by Bach; the piano soloist is
Vasso Devetzi and Rudolf Bar-
shai leads the Moscow Chamber
Orchestra. The problems that
affect this recording endeavor
are not as simple as mere com-
petition. On the thirteen con-
certi that Bach wrote for "key-
board," several were transcribed
from violin concerti by B a c h
himself; the composer used them
as needed in his Telemann So-
ciety concerts at a Leipzig cof-
fee house. Because Bach knew
that he would be playing t h e
keyboard and improvising cer-
tain changes, he seldom bother-
ed in score to really adapt the
original composition to the pe-
culiarities of the second-chosen
solo instrument. Thus when the
performer today dutifully follows
the score, he is not necessarily
achieving Bach's desired ends.
r
Miss Devetzi, who performs
BWV 1052-56 and 1058 on this
Angel set, uses a piano, and that
complicates matters ever fur-
ther. When these concerti r e 1 y
upon the harpsichord, the
bright piquancy of that instru-
ment brightens the surface of
'the music immeasurably; the
timbre of the piano just tends to
blend into the string ensemble.
Moreover, Miss Devetzi, perhaps
trying for some ersatz authen-
ticity, employs a triple sec touch
that only deadens the interest
of her role the more. The adagio
,of BWV 1058 sounds quite desic-
cated. I might add for consola-
tion that even Glenn Gould, in
his sprightly and lucid piano
versions on Columbia, sounds
unconvincing. In all, despite the
refined and precise playing by
the Moscow Chamber Orches-
tra, I found this Angel release
disappointing.

urnreisan
tie for top Oscar
HOLLYWOOD (/)-For the and Mr. Hyde" and Wallace
second time in Oscar's 41+year Beery "The Champ" both col-
history, the best acting award lected best actor awards,
turned out to be a tie. Katharine "2001: A Space Odyssey"
Hepburn of "The Lion in Win- which a torce o ,
ter" and Barbra Streisand of hich failed to receive a nom-
"Funny Girl" both won the ination as best fil of the year
award Monday night for best r-eceived only one academy
actress of 1968a award-best special visual ef-
.ofects. "Romeo and Juliet" came
Cliff Robertson, the dimwit in secopd to "Oliver" for the
turned genius of "Charly," was total number of awards received
selected best actor of the year. with top honors in the best
"Oliver" was selected best cimenatography and best cos-
picture, and Carol Reed won as tume design categories.
best director for the film, his
first musical. The rollicking ad- The Michigan Daily, edited and man-
aptatiori of Dickens, "Oliver aged by students of the University of
Twist" was the big winner of Michigan. News phone: 764-0552. Second
the night, scoring in five cate- Class postage paid at Ann Arbor, Michi-
gan, 420 Maynard St., Ann Arbor,
gories. Michigan 48104. Published daily Tues-
Ruth Gordon, the witch next day through Sunday morning Univer-
door in "Rosemary's Baby" and sity year. Subscription rates: $9 by
Jack Albertson, the tightwad carrier, $10 by mail.
Irish papa in "The Subject Was <
Roses," were heraled the, best
supporting performers of the
year.
The tie for best actress was a
stunning surprise. It had hap- DIAL 8 6416
pened only once before-in 1932 TONIGHT 6:48-9:00
when Fredric March "Dr. Jekyll Wed.--:15-3:45-6:15-8:45

-Daily-Larry Robbins

Renaissan

By JIM PETERS
Musical performances can be
described on two levels. A re-
viewer needs, of course, to talk
about the playing, about h o w
the musicians assembled before
him translated the, notes on the
page. But, also, the music itself,
performed or printed, requires
explication and comment.
The Collegium Musicum's;
evening of Renaissance music
Friday night was extraordin-
ary if concept, rare songs and
instrumentals from the six-
teenth century eulminating with
an antique opera by Monteverdi.
But the brilliance of the plans'
didn't quite come through in
the Collegium's actual perform-
ance. Whereas, normally, t h e
product heard in the concert
hall is the sole basis for critic-
Ism, when dealing with Renais-
sance music one must give equal
credit or blame for the musicol-
ogy and workinvolved.
The performers on stage at
Rackham Aud. could not be
called unenthusiastic; t h e y
did not fail to inspire the aud-
ience with their delicate pre-
Baroque timbres; but I must
say that they made a lot of mis-
takes.
Director Robert Austin Warn-
er planned his program in hon-
or of the North Central Con-
ference of The Renaissance so-"
ciety of America meeting at the
University, and it showed to the
assembled hikmanists and musi-
cologists just how much is be-
ing done in this field .at the
music school.
Bright fanfares for Baroque
trumpet signalled the start.
With the grace of "courtiers the
consort begaln with Se la face

ce': Joys,
ay pale Oy Guillaume Dafay,
followed by the "Kyrie" f r o m
Dufay's Mass of the same name.
Recorders, ,viols, percussive
tambourines, bells were on stage,
along with strange instruments
with strange sounds and names.
Certainly, the singers through-
out the evening were superb; it
was the instrumentalists t h a t
had trouble.,
But listening to the missead
entrances and wrong notes and
the soft thin sound of these
replicas, reconstructed f r o m
manuscripts or etchings, I real-
ized that the actual perform-
ances centuries earlier were pro-
bably even less exact and per-
feet.
The nasal w ines of c r u m-
horns, in Pierre Attaingnant's
Galliard de la Battaille, are not
heard regularly in symphony
series, nor the tiny sound of a
hand-pumped portative organ-
whether played well or not, the
attempt is necessarily admir-
able.
Renaissance instrumental mu-
sic is based on contrast; in

and,

woes

Giorgio Mainerio's Schiarazula
marazula the massive noise of
drums, viols, recorders, and
bells, is contrasted with finger
cymbals ajnd portative organ.
The effect is striking, worth-
while hearing if the Collegium 's
group had little ensemble.
Ii Ballo delle Ingrate by
Claudio Monteverdi is 361 years
old; it consists of three prin-
cipal singers, a small chorus,
and a group of dancers, plus
string orchestra.
The orchestra was terrible,
with little ensemble and out-of-
tune violins. And they played
modern instruments. But they
played only sinfonias between
scenes and accompanied the
short central ballet.
The music is simple and orn-
amented only for effect and
stress in certain parts. T h e
three singers playing Cupid,
Venus, and Pluto never lost the
sombre intensity of this Ren-
sombre intensity of this Renais-
sance didactic melodrama; all
three were stylistically exact,
and their voices without strain.

By LITTLE FREDDY FUNN
I was a big fan of the Monkees for a long time. I used to read
'16' Magazine every month and listen to their albums and watch
their TV show. It was a lot of fun for me, but all my friends thought
I was dumb so I took up reading attendance statistics for major
league baseball games.
The Cleveland Indians thus won my admittedly fickle heart
for a time, but when I learned the Monkees would be back with a TV
special featuring Little Richard, Fats Domino, and Jerry. Lee Lewis,
I made a date with my cat Frank, had my TV fixed, and sat down
for a nice time.
Unfortunately, the show, aired last night through thencourtesy
of NBC, stunk. It was incomprehensible, a waste of time and espec-
ially talent, and a crummy hour of cheap camera tricks. Other than
that, 'I liked it a lot.
The name of the show was 33 and a Third Revolutions Per
Monkee and apparently that had- something to do with the format
but I'm not sure. I watched the show with a lanky high school whiz
kid who got 795 on his college board math test and he couldn't under-
stand it at all either, so I must be right.
Julie Driscoll, that chic little honey who recently tore up the
Fillmore East with Brian Auger, started the show by eating an apple.
After Brian made the Monkees appear magically, some dancers
danced around in front of a surfacing crocodile and a volcano; and
my cat Frank limped out into the kitche muttering about what
assholes the Monkees were.-
The entire show was filled with (what?) a bizarre collection of
solarization techniques, tape loops, speeded up films, tilted cameras,
and wacky colors. I like all that stuff a lot and it's truly wonderful
to think of all the effort it took to produce them but they only
spread the Monkee's paper thin talent even thinner. Alas alas:
Fats, Jerry Lee, and Mr. Penniman got on the screen for tiny
little cameo roles which really made me mad. It was degrading to
these fine musicians and performers to have to appear in that man-
ner with those creeps. They came on as those crazy Monkees launch-
ed into a spoof on the 50's rock and roll occurrence. I believe if this
particular bit had been played straight, it could have been just too,
too much.;But the lovable Monkees blew that one too with meaning-
less, repulsive performances suitable 'only for the vacuum cleaner.
The show ended with a "freak-out" that elicited a sigh from
Frank and sent me for more Kool-Aide.;
Hopefully, it was the last Monkey special,

t~~rl
EXMAUSFe

4
f

?

-UNDERSTANDING COMES
FASTER WITH
CLIFF'S NOTES!
OVER 175 TITLES $1 EACH
AT YOUR BOOKSELLER
UNCOLN, NEBRASKA-64501

(i>.

r

i

e

ANN

ARBOR

SEPTEMBER 16-28

G.. .......^ ..A....,.... d..

Featuring the PHILADELPHIA ORCHESTRA
at all concerts
THURSDAY, APRIL 24, 8:30
EUGENE ORMANDY, Conductor RICHARD TUCKER, Tenor
Program
"Classical" Symphony.............................. Prokofieff
Concert aria and Recitative, K; 431, "Misero!
o sogno! o son desto" .......... .................. Mozart
Recitative cnd aria, "Sound an Alarm," from
"Judas Maccabeus" ... . .TUCKER....... ........ Handel
"Iberia"....................... ..................Debussy
"0 Paradiso" from "L' Africaine".... . .. ... .. ... .. . . Meyerbeer
"No! pazzo son! guardate' from "Mnon Lescaut".............Puccini
MR. TUCKER
Symphonic Poem, "Pines of Rome"......... ... . ............Respighi
FRIDAY, APRIL 25, 8:30
THORRJOHNSON, Conductor
UNIVERSITY CHORAL UNION
HANS RICHTER-HAASER, Pianist JOANNA SIMON, Mezzo-soprano

SAROYAN'S
44
Another delightful APA revival of an American classic!

Richard Tucker

..-{

Program Information 662-6264
C R PRDC N0 r
"*UPPOR YOR
*OA £HR F"

-J

I

SEPTEMBER 30-OCTOBER 12

Tho Jou ihnso~n

Joanne Si, %mon

Program
Psalm' 150, Op. 5 . U.. VER.. T CHORAL . ....
UNIVERSITY CHORAL UNION

... . .....Ginastera

Ghelderode k
"A whiff of satanical sulphur"
by the author of the APA hit "Pantagleize"

Aria from "Bomarzo"v... . . ._.... ... ........... Ginastera
"Fern Hill'..............John Corigliano
(to text by Dylan Thomas)
JOANNA SIMON
Concerto No. 1 in E minor, Op.11 .E... . ..... . ... Chopin
HANS RICHTER-HAASER Coi

SATURDAY, APRIL 26, 8:30
EUGENE ORMANDY, Conductor
Program
Meistersinger" ......................... W agner
. . . . ...... . ..............Charles Ives
(with "Blumine") .. ................... . Mahler

Directed by John Houseman

r

Hans Richter-Haaser

Overture to "Die
Symphony No, 3
Symphony No. 1

11

I

I

Shows at 1;3, 5, 7, 9,
Feature 20 minutes later
Also; "WET AND WILD"
(Surfing Classic) J
OWEROKEE PRDC III0

SUNDAY, APRIL 27, 2:30
THOR JOHNSON, Conductor &
UNIVERSITY CHORAL UNION
MARIA STADER, Sporano JOHN McCOLLUM, Tenor r
JOANNA SIMON, Mezzo-soprano WILLIS PATTERSON, Bass
ZARA NELSOVA, Cellist
P ragram
Mass in A-flat, No. 5..................................Schubert
UNIVERSITY CHORAL UNION and SOLOISTS
Concerto for Violoncello and Orchestra . .. .............. .Elgor
ZARA NELSOVA.........Ela
Zara Nelsovo
SUNDAY, APRIL 27, 8:30
EUGENE ORMANDY, Conductor

..... .. r...,,,,,,

)OCTOBER 14-26
Gogol's
p hEMG
Ijislil! CJDIL

m

i

III

AI

I

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