THE MICHIGAN DAILY
FRIDAY, AUGUST 11, 1967
PAGE SIx THE MICHIGAN DAILY FRIDAY, AUGUST 11, 1967
By NEAL BRUSS
The music was unstuffily classical. Shirtsleeved players floated
through their concerts with the freshness of the suburban breezes
which -ruffled their scores. For those who cane to the Dearborn
Campus for music at the University's first Fair Lane Festival, there
was a summer load of folding chairs and blanket space, the home of
Henry Ford to ogle, paintings from local galleries to ponder, box
lunches to bolt and eleven fine concerts.
The Festival ended July 23, with pianist Jose Iturbi and the
Stratford Festival Orchestra of Canada. That Sunday night - when
Detroit's rioting had begun its funky, incendiary cacaphonics - the
program was all-Mozart, with a piano solo by Iturbi and a violin solo
by conductor Oscar Shumsky. During intermission, however, Stratford
horn players worked through the theme from Casino Royale on the
patio of the Ford house, with other musicians and members of the
audience chatting at nearby sides.
This type of polished informality colored the entire Festival, the
type of easy grace which makes ponderous problems like riots some-
what easier to puzzle, the type of performing which only masterful
musicians can handle. Through the increasingly long and hot sum-
<.$mer, siecial groups of musicians came to Fair Lane: Jean Martinon
and Antonio Jenegro with the Chicago Symphony Baroque Orchestra;
the Caramoor Festival Opera Players, who presented two fresh works
by Benjamin Britten; Yehudi Menuhuin and the Bath Festival
Orchestra; and the Stratford Orchestra:
The University erected a prefabricated portable bandshell for the
Festival. Late in the series it was topped with a canvas canopy which
t may have improved hearing for the crowds which regularly filled most
of the seats and covered some. of the long lawn with blankets. The
small shell meant that only small companies could perform. Those
which appeared brought strikingly unworn music and avoided old
hack favorites which usually predominate in the outdoor bandshell
tradition. The Chicago group offered ornate baroque music; Caramoor
players were staged'to fade in and out of the trees whichlined the
courts. Menuhuin, who has been recording with India's Ravi Shan-
ker, and Iturbi, who is 72, brought themselves to aduiences which
included persons who may not see them up close elsewhere.
High-quality musical performances like those at Fair Lane are
always educational. In staging the Festival, the University was not
merely an entertainer or an. empressario, but rather an educator in
the summer spirit. The Fair Lane site is minutes by car from populous
Detroit and less than an hour from campus by University buses which
made the trip for several concerts, which meant ample audiences.
The Festival was friendly, not a Grand Canyon of music and
audience like other area music festivals. After its first sesson, the
Fair Lane Festival seems as natural an element of summer as a trip
ight event, not a Grand Canyon of to the beach or iced tea, and splendid time was all but guaranteed for
Yehudi Menuhuin and his wife helped the Festival become a li
music like most festivals around the country.
Yehudi Menuhuin conducted the Bath Festival Orchestra this summer at Fair Lane.
Antonio Janegro and the Chicago Symphony Baroque were among many of the small ensembles that appeared at Fair Lane.
Some of the audience at the Festival. An air of informality prevaded the series of concerts that featured highly polished small ensembles.