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September 05, 1969 - Image 2

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The Michigan Daily, 1969-09-05

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THE MICHIGAN DAILY

Friday, September 5, 1969

THE MICHIGAN DAILY Friday, September 5, 1 969

records

Back

to school

bargains

for the

budget collector

By R. A. PERRY
Timed to coincide with the
return of college students to
campuses, Angel records has re-
released this month a generous
selection from their prestigious
Great Recordings of the Century
catalog. Although most of these
recordings have b e e n contin-
uously available, at least in bet-
ter record shops, what marks
this second coming with special
distinction is the new price lev-
el: these great performances
shall now be available on Angel's
budget Seraphim line.
Economics aside - though
certainly Angel's releases are a
windfall for the penny-pinching
student - these recordings rep-
resent marvels of instrumental
performance never encountered
today. I do not mean that no
contemporary pianist or harpsi-
chordist can match the techni-
que or sensitivity of a Schnabel
or Landowska-it is all too easy
to respond in a Pavlovian man-
ner to these performances' pres-
tige - but rather that Schna-
bel and Landowska, and Edwin
Fischer, Walter Gieseking, My-
ra Hell, Alfred Cortot, and Fritz
Kreisler all represent an atti-
tude toward music and hence a
musical style m u c h different
from that which presides today.
No doubt Charles Rosen can
do things digitally that Schna-
bel could not; no doubt Rafael
Puyana may be as sensitive an
artist as Wanda Landowska.
The question concerns not sens-
itivity but sensibility, the entire
aesthetic ambient in which and
the unspoken aim to which the
artist strives. What marks cer-
tain performances from the
thirties, forties, and early fif-
ties that are now available on
Seraphim are qualities of un-
derstatement and refinement of
utterance that seek almost en-
tirely to eschew rhetoric a n d
aggression - two terms which
apply very much to perform-
ance style in the sixties. Idio-
syncracies of interpretation, and
there are many, never a r i s e
merely for self-aggrandisement,
a la Glenn Gould's Mozart.
Present-day musical artists,
having to perform in halls or
open arenas of increasing Cecil
B. DeMille scale, and having to
compete with t h e decibel di-
mension of other contemporary
musical forms, more often than
not strive to expand the con-
tent and "message" of the mus-
ic at hand. In the "Great Per-
formances" mentioned m o r e
specifically below, ther e is a
salon intimacy where musical
meaning comes not from the
artists flash bravura but from
a communication of the inher-
ent sensibility of each musical
phrase.
It is difficult to know where
to begin in Seraphim's releases,
but Wanda Landowska's record-
ing of Mozart's Piano Concerto
No. 26 ("Coronation") and Hay-
dn's Harpsichord Concerto in D
offers as good a vantage point
as any. (Seraphim 60116) Lan-

dowska was an artist of over-
whelming subtlety b o t h in
phrasing and in rhythmic ten-
sion. Best known, of course, for
her single-handed resurrection
of the harpsichord and for her
interpretations (some would say
alterations) of Bach, Landow-
ska was as accomplished on the
piano, as she proves in this su-
preme reading of t h e Mozart
Coronation concerto.
What is so impressive is not
only the exquisite touch and the
filigreed runs, but also the bal-
ance of parts and the meaning-
fulness of her phrasing. As for
the balance of parts, one has
only to listen to the opening of
the larghetto movement and the
perfect fulcrum between right
and left hand. As for phrasing,
it seems absurd to say that an
artist can recreate the specific
emotions felt by the composer
as he penned each note and the
succession of notes, but Lan-
dowska really makes you feel
that she accomplishes this task.
How shallow -appears the pro-
saic patina of a "gracious style"
found in a Casadesus/Szell per-
formance when held tip against
the phrasing of Landowska,
where each moment has crea-
tive feeling.
Haydn's Harpsichord Concer-
to in D, a work of expectable
wit and melody, may seem to
the purist somewhat errant in
Landowska's rendition: the less
musicologically inclined will
hear the same rubato skills and
sparkling touch as in the Mo-
zart.
The orchestral forces used in
these mid - forties recordings
were small, and they sound ev-
en smaller in reproduction; yet
there is no distortion and Lan-
dowska is reproduced clearly
and with ample force.
The ability to make each mus-
ical phrase carry poetic mean-
ing also belonged to Artur Sch-
nabel. Schnabel possessed one
of the most intelligent and com-
municable musical sensibilities
of the century, and his recorded
performances of t h e complete
Beethoven sonatas offer a com-
pendium of supreme musical
decision-making in process. For
an instant, and perhaps there-
fore too facile, appreciation of
his art, listen to the opening of
the Mozart Sonata. No. 16 in B
Flat, K. 570, on Seraphim 60115.
What in other pianists' hands
emerges simply as a long linear
phrase here achieves under
Schnabel's fingers the effect of
a pendulum movement; at the
end of the rather long phrase
there comes a very satisfying
and almost spiritual sense of,
return.
Schnabel had this uncanny
ability, more so than any other
pianist I can recall, to achieve
this eternal return in his play-
ing, to carry some intuitive
quality of the theme (or a lim-
ited phrase) through the devel-
opmental sections to the recapi-
tulation. Listen to the two Schu-
bert Impromptus on this disc
for some very beautiful music-

making. (Incidentally, Schna-
bel's performances of the Op. 90
and Op. 142 Impromptus on
LHMV-1027 have long been de-
leted; if these two can be made
available, Seraphim should re-
lease the entirety of this impor-
tant disc.) Also on this recital
are Mozart's Rondo K. 511,
Weber's Invitation to the Dance,
Brahms' Rhapsody No. 2 and
two Brahms Intermezzos.
Although Landowska and Sch-
nabel are both legendary, the
cellist Emanuel Feuermann never
received such renown, perhaps
because he died at the age of
forty in the midst of his career.
Quite baldly put, no cellist in
this century possessed such a
complete command of his in-
strument-not even Fournier or
Casals. On Seraphim 60117 you
can hear his remarkable control
deployed in renditions of Schu-
bert's Arpeggione Sonata (with
Gerald Moore) and Beethoven's
Sonata No. 3 in A Major (with
Myra Hess), Most remarkable,
and what so few even outstand-
ing cellists can effect, was Feu-
ermann's unified and continu-
ous tone quality from the deep-
est resonating bass notes to the
sweetest, violinistic highs; there
was never a break.
The Schubert work gets a
fantastic performance, spon-
taneous without ever verging on
the sloppy: a perfect balance of
freedom and control. The Bee-
thoven is also fine, but a certain
constraint and perhaps stiffness
intrudes. Nevertheless. Feuer-
mann's recordings are all too
rare, and at any price this rec-
ord (previously available as an
English import HQM 1079)
should be in your collection.
Two other single album Sera-
phim releases include an an-
thology of Great Voices of the
Century, and a recital by Aksel
Schiotz of fourteen songs by
Carl Nielsen. Space limits ex-
tensive comment, but some
notice is warranted.
The anthology of operatic
arias by various legendary sing-
ers (60113) is the same album
formerly promoted by Angel as
a $1 sampler. Highlights include
John McCormack's Irish tenor
in a cool rendition of Where'er
You Walk from Handel's Se-
mele, a Debussy song by Maggie
Teyte, and Nacht und Traume
of Schubert sung by silvery-
v o i c e d Elisabeth Schumann.
Aksel Schiotz had a lovely
tenor voice which combined the
earnestness of Bjoerling and the
freshness of Wunderlich, and he
devoted much of his vocal ef-
forts to the art and folk songs
of his native Denmark. The
Danish composer Nielsen, born
in the same year as Sibelius, has
received recent, and alas post-
humous, acclaim for his sym-
phonies and concerti. The four-
teen songs on this release
(60112) are all lyrical and in-
tentionally simple, since Niel-
sen was attempting to refute the
dramatic surfeit of emotion and
composers. The album's effec-
tiveness is lessened by an ab-

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-Daily-Larry Robbins
finan tmel Feuern n
Macbeltto open
APA fall season

sense of texts: a synopsis of a
song is no substitute for a bi-
lingual translation. No record-
ing dates are given; they are
desired since Schiotz's voice
quality is not consistent
throughout.
Seraphim has also released
four three-record sets, one de-
voted to "six chamber music
complexity of late Romantic
masterpieces," one to "six leg-
endary pianists," one to "six
concertos" featuring said leg--
endary artists, and one to Hans
'Hotter's singing of Schubert's
Die Winterreise and Schwange-
sang. These shall be discussed
in a future review.
TONIGHT
ELLIOT, KUPELIAN,
PECK
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at MARK'S
9:30 $100
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The eighth consecutive APA
fall festival will open September
16 with a new version of Mac-
beth, directed by Ellis Rabb, artis-
tic director of the company.
Sept. 16
The festival, will run from
Sept. 16 through Oct. 26 will also
feature Noel Coward's Private
Hopw0ood
announced
Over $325 in awards were given
in the summer Hopwood contestj
in creative writing. The awards
were presented August 21, by Ro-
bert Haugh, chairman of the Hop-
wood committee.
In the essay division a $75
awards was given to Katharine
Davidson, a 1969 graduate of thej
education school for "Joyce's
Role as Narrator in Ulysses."
James Dalza, a senior in the
engineering collage won the $75C
fiction award for "The Hooker."
Awards totalling $175 were
granted to three entries in the
poetry division. Jane L. Sprague.
a graduate student in special edu-
cation won the top prize of $75
for "One Winding Road," Sister
Ingrid Peterson, grad, won $50
for "Moments of Sun," and a
$50 award w as g-iven to JeffreyI
Roadmar, a literary college fresh-
man for "The Plastic and Plexi-
glass."
NEW YORK TIME
DETROIT F1
WALL S

Lives, and the American premierj
of Michel dc Ghelderode's T h e
Chronicles of Hell.
Rabb's version of Macbeth is
a last minute insertion to the
program after its successful stag-
ing this summer at the Old Globe
Theatre in San Diego. This pro-
duction replaces the previously
scheduled The Time of Your Life.
Sada Thompson, winner of the
Obie Award and the Vernon Rice
Award will play Lady Macbeth,
Richard Easton, who appeared
with the repetory company last
year, will portray Macbeth.
Broadway star' Tammy Grimes
and the British actor Brian Bed-
ford, will star in a revival of
Coward's Private Lives. Stephen
Porter, who directed last year's
APA productions of The Show

Off and The Misanthrope, w il l
direct this production.
The American premier of The
Chronicles of Hell, will be the
second production of the F aI I
Festival. Patrick Hines, former
leading msmber of the American KI
IShakespeare Festival, will portray
the corrupt prelate. The produc- 662-4241 740 Packard 662-4251
tion will be directed by John
Houseman, who staged the APA
production of Pantagleize in last
year's festival. vn WEL COME BACK STUDENT
After the Fall F'estival in Ann
Arbor, the APA will begin a na-
tional tour of colleges and univer-
sities. Individual and series tick-
ets are currently on sale at the (with Student ID.)
Professional Theatre Program SHIRTS 33c
Ticket office in Lydia Mendels- n Hangers or Packagedwith Dry Cleaning Order
sohn Theatre.
Ho n hru Fri.7:30 a.m. to URpSm. Coin Operated Laundry Open
MEE PREonS. Saturday 7 :3 0 a.m. to 8 p.m. Mon.-Sun. 7:30a.m. to 11 p.m.
TREET JOURNAIL

WHAT IS THE
-an all-campus orchestra!uo
-sponsored by MUSKET and G&S!
-performing 3 hit shows!
DON'T MISS THE MASS MEETING
SEPT. 15, 8 P.M.,-ROOM 3A-UNION
UNIVERSITY THEATRE ORCHESTRA

WINNER!
ACADEMY
JAWARDS
INCLUDING
BEST
ACTRESS
KATHARINE.,
HEPBURN ' .J.

'The Lion in Winter" is about
love and hate between a man
and a woman and their sons.
It's also about politics,
vengeance, greed and ambition.
In other words it's about life.

WINNER!
NEW YORK
FILM CRITICS
BEST
PICTURE
OF THE
YEARo!

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"Seasons hange"
OR
The Baille of Chicago
presented on the first anniversary of
the Chicago Police Riot. This response
to Mayor Daley's Telecast shows what
really happened last year in Chicago.
ALSO:
LAUREL and HARDY
"The Second Hundred Years"
KEYSTONE COPS

N

I

JOSEPH E. LEVNE " -"ANAVCOEMBASSYFILM
P TER O'TO[E u. a - !KATHARIN 1-I :PW1DMI

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