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January 18, 1969 - Image 2

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Publication:
The Michigan Daily, 1969-01-18

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Rge Two THE MICHIGAN DAILY

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..iaiuruuy, Jaua~ury lt5, I 7Oy

music

'U' orchestras

rise to occasion

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cinema

'Oedipus': Every one loves mother

By JIM PETERS
I think there should be inore
Midwestern Music conferences,
like one during every concert;
for the quality of music pre-
sented last night at :Hill Aud,
has rarely- been so consistently
high. Not only did Theo Alcan-
tai'a' University Philharmonic
perform; but the program also
featured Josef Blatt conducting
the University Symphony Or-
chestra, and Alcantara's Mich-
igan Chamber Ernsenble.
Basically, the. University was
showing off to the assembled
high school and grade school
music teachers.
And they certainly made an
excellent. first impression. The.
concert began with Respighi's
"Pines of Rome," in which
sound was created that could
never come: through even the.
best stereo outfit.-:The first
section was dazzling; the or-
chestra~ .cr e~a t-e d _their. own
twinkling chandeliers to bounce
sound off of, bombastic brass
and timpani. Aleantara' blazed
through' the. openaing. bars, eager
to"get e.to .the wonderful fire-
works.
But the "Pines" contains sim-
ple sections as well, ,romantic
ov'erflWings- in oboe, violin, and
cello solos. -And the famous re-
corded nightingale solo. drifted
into. the Roman~ triumph of the
Appian" Way. The standing ova-
tion was deserved; I'm sure ears
are still ringing.
The 'concert was .unashamed
potpourri. One orchestra finish-
ed, chairs were moved around,
and another took the stage. The
Michigan Chamber Ensemble.
changed the mood to introspec-
tive with Bach and Mozart.
Repeating his fantastic per-

foirmance of last semester, trum-
peter James Underwood starred
in the first movement of Bach's
Brandenberg Concerto No. 2.
His clarino- technique is almost
unmatched a m o n g collegiate
musicians.
The full ensemble then per-
formed a small sweetmeat by
M o z a r.t, his Twenty-Fourth
Symphony. In this work, the
group seemed a bit too heavy,
especially in the second move-

ment, adantino grazioso. But
the brilliance was sharp in the
fast movements, pointed trills
sweeping into melodies that are
only Mozart's.
Another episode of housekeep-
ing brought the University Sym-
phony on stage for the finals.
I was worried about ending such
a concert with so involved and
serious a piece as Richard
Strauss' "Death and Transfig-
uration"; and I feared that

maestro Blatt might destroy the
buoyancy of the evening with a
heavy-handed or too loose in-
terpretation. But Josef Blatt has
found his thing in Strauss, and
he is more than equipped for
the task.
The concert achieved its pur-
pose; the visitors were impress-
ed. But for us who follow the
season of the University or-
chestras the question of "Why
not all the time?" still remains.

By DAVID LLOYD
If you're looking for an aes-
thetic experience this weekend
and happen to miss Oedipus the
King, now showing at the
Campus, don't worry; it will
soon be on late night television,
hopefully in color.
Although marred by a few
glaring technical faults, "Oedi-
pus" is a visually impressive
film, tastefully stagey and ar-
restingly photographed. But it
is a sad day for Sophocles, when
"Oedipus" would have made it
better as a silent movie.
The screenplay, contrived by
Philip Saville and director
Michael Luke, froma transla-
tion by Paul Roche, is incom-
prehensibly flawed by purple
and plainly un-dramatic lang-
uage. We move from the esoteric
description of Tiresias (Orson
Wells, pathetically miscast).
who is "thedidactic master of
the fine art of the infinite" to
Oedipus' compulsive colloquial-
ism - "tell me straight"
as he attempts to deduce his
questionable origin. We wince
to hear the messenger inform
us of the hero's tragic blind-
ing-" a coupled puncture upon
a coupled sin" -- and discover
from Oedipus himself the
meaning of his experience as
he cautions his daughters to
"abide in modesty so you may
lead the happy life your father
did not have."
The one liner that takes the
evening, however, is quietly ut-
tered by Jokasta. She tells
Oedipus that all his worry is for
naught, for, after all, "many
men sleep with their mothers
in their dreams." Alas, p o o r,
Sophocles, we knew him well.
Plummer plays the compas-
sionate, sensuous Oedipus as
a headstrong adolescent whose
anger never quite reaches the
point of rage and whose stub-
borness is reduced to the game
of a priggish child. The one
scene in which Plummer dis-
plays a glimmer of passion, the
chorus interrupts "Forgive us
Oedipus, but this this anger.
Considering the script, Plum-
mer might be excused for dead-
panning and whining his way
through the role. But for an
actor whose reputation is based
/on Shakespeare and more re-
cently The Sound of Music, his
acting is woefully inadequate.
At least, in this sense, the
direction of the film was hon-
est, for the audience is con-
stantly looking down on Oedipus.
And then there is the chorus,
a crew of black. cloaked cor-

morants waiting for their prey
to fall. The collective whole fol-
lows our hero's footsteps, step
by step, mouthing all the ap-
propriate grunts and, groans,
managing profundities at times,
but never really commenting
significantly on the action, or
being integrated into the action
itself. Their raison d'etre isn't.
'The film's one evocative con-
tribution, implementing vig-
nettes of some of the suffering
and action within the drama,
is done during the choral parts,
thus totally subverting t h e i r
role as mediator, and allowing
whatever they had to say to
fly back to Delphos. Further- q
more, the chorus' position is
also circumvented through the
use of flashback, since Oedipus
has visual suspicions almost im-
mediately.
At the same uime, the direc-
tor flaunts Greek principle and
carries on as if the audience
is given to understand nothing.
Luke presents not only two con-
flicting flashback versions of
the murder of Oedipus' father,
but also would have us suspect,
though in suggestive close-ups,
that both Creon and the peo-
ple werehinvolved in a plot to
do in the old man.
Nor is the audience left alone,
but constantly jostled between
the empty seats of a G r e e k
SALE

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theatre to the stage; we were
treated to close ups and dis-
tance shots from each setting:
a disturbing, if cinematic, way
of distorting Sophoclean unity.
Lilli Palmer plays an appro-
priately loving wife, so loving
in fact, that there is an irrele-
vant bed scene, which demon-
strates, I suppose, that any-
thing can happen. Her stilted
(or is it stylistic) acting, how-
ever, is only to be outdone by
Plummer himself, including a
crucifiction pose, and his best
compassionate stance, as he
says "Go, rise up, children," to
his ~people. They wave t h e ir

hands, and raise their voices
with a superior kind of artifi-
ciality which inevitably a n d
quickly- changes tragedy to the
worst melodrama.
The filfn in general displays a
kind of schizophrenia in trying
to reconcl~e the classical Greek
conventions and modern t e c h-
nique and interpretation. The
inability to successfully cope
with this problem, combined
with a cocktail-party transla-
tion and inexcusable acting, re-
sults, simply, in a very p o o r
film. But the important notion
is that the failure was not in-

01

-,
Saturday and Sunday
THE ECLIPSE
Directed by Michelango Antonioni (BLOW-UP, RED
DESERT, LA NOTTE, L'AVVENTURA), 1961.
The third essay in Antonioni's trilogy about the na-
ture and possibility of love in our time.
"There's no need to know each other to love. Perhaps
there's no need to love?"-.Monica Vitti (heroine
of Eclipse).
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Mr. Watson at Canterbury
Doc Watson brought his slat-picking guitar to Canterbury House last night. He will continue his
country and western act tonight and tomorrow night.

Deutsche
GRAMMOPHON
Gesel lschaft

I

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After 21 good years, exit Philip Duey

By BARBARA WEISS Club's task during, his tenure has
I.consider singing to be the beern "to carry on the tradition of
most universal means of self-ex- Michigan songs."
pression by human beings," says Over half of the music the Glee
Prof. Philip Duey of..the music Club currently sings is Duey-ar-
sehooL ;"After- 22 years 'of: leading , ranged ("Varsity," "The Victors,"
the Michigan Men's Glee Club in "The Yellow and Blue") but the
this self-expression, Duey is re- "tradition" his group has forward-
tiring after this semester at the ed goes back to before the turn of
age of :69. '.the century. Some songs date back
.Accordirg to Duey,.whose career to the 1894's; others are products
in music goes back over 45 years of scores. written and produced
to. a master's degree in voice at for MUSKET's predecessor, the
Indiana" University, the Glee Michigan Men's Opera.

But, with Duey as director, the Duey resumed his graduate stu-
Glee Club has not confined itself dies at Columbia, where he ob-
merely to native Michigan songs. tained an M.A. in musicology, fol-
Their performances in concert all lowed by a Ph.D. In 1946, he re-
over the world, often as official turned to his home state and
emissaries of the U.S. government, served for a year as head of the
have included representative se- music department at Butler Uni-
lections from the entire musical versity in Indianapolis before ar-
spectrum. riving in Ann Arbor.
Actually, the variety is fitting,
for Duey's career in music has During his retirement, he hopesM
encompassed as many forms of to write a history of singing.
musical production as possible. "Such a book deserves to be
Following his master's from In- written," he says, "and my past
diana (where he also earned a ,

4i

B.A.-Phi Beta Kappa), Duey
moved to New York, where he3
spent three, years studying music
at the Julliard Conservatory.
The glitter of Broadway provedI

experience in study and teaching
as well as singing, which any
author on this subject needs, puts
me in a good position to write
authentically."

to be a strong attraction for Duey, He has done a great deal of re-
who in 1927 sang in the choruses search in the field, primarily from
of two musical comedies. He then 1955-57 while in Italy on a Ful-
turned to radio, and was hired as bright scholarship.
a member of the singing staff of; But his most remembered con
NBC. Most of his early broadcast! Bthsms eebrdcn
singing was in conjunction with tribution will, nevertheless, most
the "Men About Town,'' an en- likely be his leadership of the
semble which performed in such Glee Club. As one of his students
vehicles as Wonder Bread com- said when asked to appraise Duey's
mercials. relationship to the group, "Philip
Duey's career blossomed along Duey is the Men's Glee Club."

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with the rise in popularity of the
radio industry during the Depres-
sion. He continued to sing pri-
marily in commercials, and dur-
ing this time also spent two years
with "The Revelers," a male quar-I
tet still in existence today
Duey remembers as a unique
moment in his musical career the
evening when he was on all of the
three major radio networks sim-
ultaneously, singing the praises
of Wonder Bread as well as per-
forming light opera, operetta, and
true opera. In 1939, he placed
highest among that year's final-
ists in auditions for positions with
the Metropolitan Opera.
At 38, following his failure to
actually win a place with the Met,
Duey cut short his commercial
career of Town Hall recitals and
radio work to return to the college
campus.
"I always had in mind the idea
of returning to the campus," he
remembers, "because it is much
better to grow old there than in
the profession of singing."
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'He is the Men's Glee Club'

BIWOJNI1

SKATHARINE ROSS
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JAN. 17-18
TUAT MAN L"DAM DIn

.+Rw aeti n ,

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