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October 21, 1969 - Image 2

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The Michigan Daily, 1969-10-21

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THE MICHIGAN DAILY

Tuesday, October 21, 1969

Page Two

f

TH ICIANDIL usdycOtbe.1,16

music
Finding the meat under operatic relish

Program Information 662-6264
HELD
OVER!!

J

By R. A. PERRY
Many operas may be likened
to cheap hamburgers: you have
to endure an excess of breading
until you come to the meat.
Covered with sufficient relish,
however-in opera, a lavish pro-
duction and Zefferellish staging
-you seldom notice how meager
the content might be. On rec-
ords a listener has the distinct
and sometimes dubious pleasure
of being able to hear only the
the highpoints, the succulent
and true content sans all pad-
ding. "Ach!l so fromm . ." real-
ly is, after all, the distilled es-
sence of Flotow's Martha.
Recorded vocal recitals of
favorite arias from familiar and
esoteric operas abound. Few
have much to recommend them,
for few singers are able to take
an aria out of context and still
identify with the dramatic situ-
ation described by the music.
So, alas, many recitals presuma-
bly gathering the "meat" of
various operas, present in truth
soybean substitutes. Vocal reci-
tals which at first please simply
because the voice itself may be
lovely, too often in the end ap-
pear shallow affairs devoid of
dramatic and musical meaning.
Maria Callas, whatever her
faults may be,never loses sight
of an aria's dramatic context,
and as a result, her recitals never
bore. She has been acclaimed as
one of the most successful sing-
ing actresses of the last two
decades, and her Medea-like vis-
age can transfix an audience in
the theatre; her absorption in a
role can create a suspension of
disbelief that opera so vitally
needs.
A special Angel release, en-
titled La Divina, illustrates how
effectively Callas can maintain
dramatic credibility and inten-
sity"in a series of arias lifted
out of their settings. For one
thing, she gives clear diction its
due and thus the text of a song
is honored and made potent.
Indeed, her dramatic coloratura
voice e in b r a c e s and works
through the text; it is never, as
in the case of Sutherland's voice,
applied onto the words. Callas'
voice is thick, warm, and sub-
stantial, and these qualities,
added to her dramatic infeeling,
create passionate, intense, and
convincing performances.
In speaking of Callas' voice,
however, one inevitably must
The University of Michigan
Philharmgnia, with conductor
Theo Alcantra and violinist En-
dre Granat, will give a concert
at 8 p.m. Friday, Oct. 24, in Hill
Auditorium.
The concert will be open to
the public free of charge.
On the program will be Sym-
phony No. 4 by Beethoven; Five
Pieces for Orchestra by Schoen-
berg, and Concerto for Violin by
Tchaikowsky
3020 Washtenow, Ph. 434-1782
Between Ypsilanti & Ann Arbor
NOW SHOWING
SHOW TIMES
Wednedav--1 -3-5-7-9
Thurs., Fri., Mon., Tues---7-9
Saturday & Sunday--5-7-9

mention her upper register. It is,
in a word, horrendous. She is
only fair at handling upper-
region embellishments, but when
it comes to sustained notes,
obligatory with the bel canto
style, she sounds like a soprano
parody. Most disagreeable is her
vibrato: it is wide enough to
drive a cement-mixer through.
Callas fanatics take such errant
singing-the slips in pitch and
the drunken vibrato-in easy
stride, but I think such accept-
ance must be a bit masochistic.
In listening to the arias collected
on this Angel set, one's enjoy-
ment is always tempered by the
anticipation of a completely
bathetic climax.
Four sides on this set gather
arias by Bellini, Ponchielli, Ver-
di, Rossini, Donizetti, Mozart,
Gluck, and Gounod. A third
"bonus" disc presents Callas in
conversation with Edward Dow-
nes. The conversation contains
mostly flattery by Mr. Downes
and immodest acceptance by
Mdm. Callas; after a while Mr.
Downes's Elmer Fudd giggle
grows quite irritating. One in-
teresting fact emerges: Maria
Callas sang her first Santuzza
at the age of thirteen. (Angel
SCB-3734)
Two of the most generally
satisfying tenors singing today
are Nicolai Gedda and James
McCracken. The latter excels in
dramatic roles, the former
usually assumes more lyric roles,
though this is perhaps too gen-
eralized a labeling to be mean-
ingful. Angel has this month re-
leased two albums devoted to
recitals by Gedda, one featuring
the tenor in "favorite arias"
(S-36623) and one in exclusive-
ly German pieces (S-36624).
Gedda's voice, while being both
3rd WEEK

flexible and controlled, lacks
Bjoerling's special urgency and
Wunderlich's heroic innocence;
his voice is in some ways non-
distinctive. I do not mean to say
that Gedda's singing lacks
beauty or professionalism; it is
impressive in both respects.
Perhaps it would be more ac-
curate to say that there is a
curious impersonal quality about
his voice: he sounds like a taste-
ful Corelli.
In any c a s e, the recital of
"favorite" arias certainly dredg-
es uprno rarities; Gedda turns
in premeditatively passionate
renditions of such chestnuts as
Che gelida manina, Salut! De-
meure chaste et pure, Cielo e
mar, Celeste Aida, and Recon-
dita armonia. T h e recital of
German arias is more interest-
ing: it contains, along with ar-
ias from The Magic Flute, Obe-
ron, Martha, and Lohengrin, se-
lections from Goldmark's The
Queen of Sheba, and Flotow's
Alessandro Stradella. Gedda's
rendering of Florestan's aria
does not, however, measure up
to Jon Vicker's noble singing on
the complete Klemperer-led set.
The sound on this latter record-
ing has been focused and lacks
the endgroove ripeness that af-
flicts the former recital.
Aldo Ciccolini, whose name as
a pianist has been fairly well
identified in this country as the
interpreter of Erik Satie, turns
his attention on Angel S-36627
to the piano music of Chabrier.
Turning from the pristine iron-
ies of Satie to the rhythmic and
coloristic exuberance of Chab-
rier demands a large shift in
sensibility. Ciccolini manages
quite well, though his touch be-
comes overly percussive and his
rhythms a bit hard-pressed.

There is grace lacking here, as
if Ciccolini sought models too
strongly in Granados and too
weakly in Ravel. Except for
Espana, this Angel disc dupli-
cates Chabrier's piano music al-
ready available on the budget-
priced Odyssey disc. On Odys-
sey, the pianist is Jean Casa-
desus, and his drier touch and
tighter rhythms are no less ef-
fective, but the artist I wouild
really like to hear play this mu-
sic is Alicia De Larrocha.
Lovers of the special fruity
sound that only a recorder can
produce may be surprised at the
degree of expression effected by
Frans Bruggen in a concert of
Italian Recorder Sonatas on
Telefunken SAWT 9518. Norm-
ally one considers a firm pitch
to be asine qua non of recorder
expertise; certainly Bernard
Krainis promoted that stylistic
perfection. It is amazing a n d
quite beautiful, then, to he a r
Bruggen achieve expression by
altering pitch through precise
gradients of breath pressure.
Bruggen's technique in Corelli's
Variations on La Follia may
make the dilletante recorder
player throw away his instru-
ment and take up the kazoo.,
The sound on this German im-
port makes most American
pressings seem very shoddy.
Finally, for a change of pace
from Glenn Gould's geometric
Bach, listen to Charles Rosen
play the Goldberg Variations on
Odyssey 32-36-0020. What seem-
ed likehaddivertisement in
Gould's hands appears as pen-
sive and as ineffable as t h e
"ricercars" f r o m the Musical
Offering that Rosen also expli-

cates with his uneccentric yet
unacademic intellect. Rosen not
only takes all repeats in t h e
Goldberg Variations, but he cuts
Gould's time nearly in half: the
results are unique and moving.
A large exhibition of drawings
entitled "Contemporary Draw-
ings: Pop, Op, and Other Recent
Trends" will open at University's
Museum of Art in Alumni Me-
morial Hall on Sunday, Oct. 19.
It will continue through Nov. 9.
The artists represented were
selected by Mrs. Diane Wald-
man, assistant curator of the
Solomon R. Guggenheim Mus-
eum in New York. The exhibi-
tion is circulating throughout
the United States under t h e
auspices of the American Fed-
eration of Arts.
The exhibitionarepresents Pop
trends of such artists as J i m
Dine, Robert Indiana, Tom Wes-
selman, and William Wiley; Op
trends of Larry Poons, Bridget
Riley, and Will Insley; and var-
ious others such as Dan Flavin,
Lucas Samaras, George Segal,
and Cy Twombly.
NATIONAL GE~NERAL CORPOftAT1ON _
FOX EASTERN THEATI'ES
FOX VILLIGE
375 No. MAPLE PD. -769-1300
MON.-FRI.-7 :20-9:30
SAT. and SUN.-1 :00-3:05-
5:10-7:20-9:30

Bowling Leagues
Being Formed for
Wednesday Nights
" Fraternities
* Dormitories
"Faculty Teams
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SIGN UP NOW I
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now you can SEE
anything you want
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starring ARLD GIJTHRIE
COLOR by DeLuxe
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Shows at: 1, 3, 5, 7, 9 P.M.

Michigan Union Bowling

Lanes

A CHALLENGE
TO THE BIG BANDS OF ANN ARBOR
So You Have a Recording Contract
So Do the Cowsills
BIG DEAL!I
TEST YOUR TALENT
AGAINST THE BEST IN ANN ARBOR
,Av FURTHER INFORMATION:

I

Department

of Physics

00000000000 5 LAILI aI1...
o i telBARBRA OMAR
o O a a ° HE'! WY AM ER
0 00 o O 0-PAYSiARK PRODUCiU,
o 0 0 ~ 4g
Admission Tonight
$1.75 :ie" " -' AS'N

COLLOQUIUM
WEDNESDAY, OCTOBER 22
4:15 P.M.
Robert B. Duffield
Director, Argonne National Laboratory
"SCIENTIFIC SOLUTIONS TO
ENVIRONMENTAL PROBLEMS"
Auditorium F
Physics and Astronomy Building

7

Mw~

UAC OFFICES, 2nd Floor UNION

1

I i

.
__,_,

I

IN CONCERT:

TONIGHT AT 8 P.M.

TUESDAY, OCT. 21
HILL AUD., 8:00 p.m.

For Information: 8-6416

TONIGHT at
7 and 9 P M.
"The best picture about vounq
people I have seen."-ABC TV

I

DAVE BRU BECK'S
Light in the Wilderness
MAYNARD KLEIN, CONDUCTING
U-M ARTS CHORALE,
ANTONIO PEREZ, soloist
JAZZ ENSEMBLE
HARP, ORGAN
ADMISSION FREE

1

I

Im"Onveli L Wolf prw's
AN AIED ARTISTS FILM
A FronkPerryAlsid Produion

I

ATTENTION
SENIORS
A representative of the Lincoln National Life
Insurance Company will be in Ann Arbor on
TUESDAY, OCT. 28th to give a free comprehen-
sive (2 hrs.) sales aptitude examination to sen-
iors interested in high paying careers in sales
management. For appointment call:
PLACEMENT SERVICES
763-1363

SGC ELECTIONS
November 10-11
PETITIONING OPEN
FOR COUNCIL SEATS
PETITIONS DUE OCT. 31
* 6 Full Term Seats
* 2 Half Term Seats
See MRS. SAMUELSON
SGC OFFICES, SAB

L.

J

"EXQUISITE DELICIOUS COMEDY!"
-Detroit News

"LIKE CHAMPAGNE BUBBLES!"
--Ann Arbor News

TONIGHT AT 8:00

CHARLTON JESSICA
HESTON WALTER
COLORS1 United Artists FMi

w

No

"Go see 'Putney Swope.' A pacesetter with
outrageous wit, courageous creativity, guts
and intelligence. Tells it like its never been
told before." -Judith Crist N.B.C.
"It is funny, sophomoric, brilliant, obscene,
disjointed, marvelous, unintelligible and rel-
evant. If anybody tries to improve it, he

OCTOBER 14-26

;:.
.
;::o
g.::
?: ° r{ .
' ,

PRESENTS THE
ORCHESTRA OF L'ACCADEMIA
DI SANTA CECLIA, ROME
FERNANDO PREVITAEI, Conductor
Thursdov. Oct. 23-8:30

should be sentenced." -
Up MacisOn

-N.Y. Times
Av

TAMMGRIMEJ

BRIAN BEDFORD

4FI

NOEL COWARD'S
?;Vo

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