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December 09, 1969 - Image 2

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The Michigan Daily, 1969-12-09

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Page Two

THE MICHIGAN DAILY

Tuesday, December 9, 1969

Page Two THE MICHIGAN DAILY Tuesday1 December 9, 1969

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By NEAL GABLER
If you're looking for a film that will answer all the weighty
problems or America, "Why are we in Vietnam?," "Do we have a
sick society?," "Is Jacqueline Onassis really pregnant?," don't go
see Marry Me! Marry Me! But if you're in the mood for totally
unintellectual, totally light-hearted fare go to the Campus Theatre.
Imagine, If you can, taking all the drama out of Goodbye
Columbus, throwing in a happy ending, and setting it in France.
Of course, the girl Isn't All MacGraw, but then how many girls
have you seen lately that look like Ali? And our hero Claude Avram
Is a bit more of a nebbish than Neil Klugman, but no harm's done
because he has nothing to think about; nobody has motives In this
movie. Like Columbus, there is a big Jewish wedding with an or-
chestra dressed as gypsies and lots of singing, dancing, schnapps
and the character that only a Jewish wedding has.
The situation is not new. As the heroine's father says, "What
you fear always happens. I had one fear-that my daughter would
get pregnant, and she did." But this isn't any early 60's English
working class film. Claude loves Isabelle and wants to marry her;
that is, he wants to marry her until the wedding day nears. Then
comes the introspection, "Do I really love her?" So, to everyone's
consternation, off he goes on one last fling and . . . Well, you
know the rest. True love wins out.
Claude Berri, who wrote the screenplay and directed as well
as played the lead, is enormously charming. He's so sweet, so
defensless, so self-effacing. If any woman in the audience can
resist falling in love with his innocence she's probably a sado-
masochist who digs Arians. The rest of the cast is also faultless.
One standout is Gregoire Aslan, Claude's prospective, father in law.
He is gruff but gentle, insulting but loving.
As for Berri's direction, like De Sica he has the rare gift of
making the camera disappear. Usually when I watch a film I'm
very conscious of composition, transitions, angles, master screen
direction. But watching Berri I didn't even think of the camera.
However, one word of cuation. Berri's last outing was the very
beautiful and memorable The Two of Us. (There is a scene, by the
way, which is almost verbatim from that film.) Don't try to com-
pare the two films.
Marry Me! Marry Me! is fun but very forgettable. It is cute,
inoffensive and bound to please. If you are not feeling especially
cereberal, you'll like it. After all, you owe yourself a respite from
Easy Rider, Medium Cool and the Rain People.

is of
By R. A. PERRY
Now that whe have begun to
celebrate the birthday of the
Son of God one week before we
give thanks to the Indians for
teaching our Founding Fath-
ers how to plant corn, it seems
only right to have musical aids
for the celebration that are'
contemporary with our cultural
progress. Thus this year's Aunt
Agatha Award goes to Colum-
bia Records for their timely al-
bum, Music Becomes Electric,
(CS 9959)
On this album, the "M o o g
Machine," that electronic syn-
thesizer already famous for de-
florating Bach and Monteverdi,
has' digested seventeen famous
Christmas carols and has ex-
creted its own unique type of
Musak. Once again, a machine
which has endless possibilities
for the production of new
sounds has been forced only to
duplicate the very instrumental
effects it was invented to super-
cede.
Intall honesty, the arrange-
ments by Alan Foust of the
Christmas carols are not as
tasteless as Walter Carlos's blat-
antly cosmetic treatments of
Bach, and certain interesting ef-
fects are achieved, such as "an-
gelic voices" swooning behind
the melodies, Heard through the
haze of excessive egg-nog, t h e
record will go perfectly w i t h
your non-flammable aluminum
Christmas tree. The cover of the
Columbia album, incidentally,
wryly replaces God's seat in the
heaven by an electric outlet.
While discussing kitsch, I
must mention another Colum-
bia album that would also please
a slightly less hip Aunt Agatha.
Called Wound-Up Opera, t11 e
record presents favorite opera-
tic arias and choruses as jper-
formed on 19th century music
boxes. (MS 7338) This tinkly
extravaganza seems puitable for
both home and department
store listening, and there is an
undeniable delight inthe com-
plex artifice captured in such
small devices. Simply on the
basis of showmanship, there are
more interesting sound effects
in the music box version of the
Anvil Chorus than on the entire
set of electronic carols.
Josef Rheinberger's The Star
of Bethlehem also has been re-
corded and packaged in time at
attract your holiday d olla r.
Although the nineteenth cen-
tury composer admired by
Brahms, von Bulow, and Reger
was a prolific craftsman, he has
been totally neglected in o u r
century except for occasional
performanceseof his organ works.
The Star of Bethlehem, a can-
tata with a text by the com-
poser's wife, follows the Shep-
herds to Bethlehem, exults at
the holy birth, praises Mary,
and mounts to a final Gloria.
Musically, Rheinberger's can-
tata is pure pablum, and pleas-
es only as such: smooth, bland,
and easily digestible. Few dra-
atic peaks and few intrusive
lines disturb the pleasant pud-
ding of sound. Angel Records
has brought together a stellar
cast for this meager work: Die-
trich Fischer-Dieskau and Rita
Streich, the latter, a fine so-
prano once called the coloratura
successor of Erna Berger, h a s
been In little evidence inhthe
past few years, The Bavarian
Radio Chorus, which has the
lion's share of the mousy music,
and the Graunke Symphony Or-
I _I

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THE SUNDANCE KID
When in California Visit
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t sch
chestra are conducted by Ro-
bert Heger. (Angel S-36565)
A more laudable release, or
actually re-release, that suits
the season is Seraphim's pre-
sentation of Bach's Christmas
Oratorio. Bach's work collects
six cantatas, each intended for
performance on a different day
in the holiday week. For h i s
oratorio, written while B a c h
was cantor at the St. Thomas
Church, Leipzig, Bach cribbed
from many of his own works, es-
pecially from his late, secular
cantatas. For this reason, none

set selling for the price of two
- of some of the major artists
in their catalog. While all of
the material has been previously
available, the anthologies re-
present not only good buys but
also fine introductions to a wide
variety of compositions.
One of the finest sets in this
"Portrait of the Artist" series
presents Elisabeth Schwarzkopf
in selections from opera, ora-
torio, lied, and operetta. Entire
movements from the Brahms
Requiem and Mahler's Fourth
Symphony are included on side

and qualiy

Magic Sam dies
of-heart attatck

the vinyl grooves and hence
somehow strident and, well, al-
most gross. If you disagree and
your admiration of this so-
prano's unique skills can bridge
the gulf between auditorium
and recording, this set should
offer many pleasures, such as
the titantic singing of Ozean,
du Ungeheuer, from Oberon.
If there is an organ-fancier on
your shopping list, you might
make him pop all stops with the
Columbia album, The Organ in
Sight and Sound. (KS 7263)
The attraction of the product'
stems mostly from a 28 page
booklet, handsomely illustrat-
ed, that discusses the history .of
organs, the designing and build-
ing of organs (a detailed essay
by D. A. Flentrop, maker of the
fine instrument in the Busch-
Reisinger Museum at Harvard),
and unusual organs around the
world.
Other recommended r e c e n t
recordin-i: On Mercury SR-
90453, Henryk Szeryng performs
both the Sibelius Violin Concerto
and Prokofiev's Second Violin
Concerto. Mr. Szeryng is ad-
mired for his aristocratic style-
a cool precision, a lean tone, a
perfected technique, and un-
failing taste. All of these quali-
ties can be heard in these ren-
ditions, yet one wishes for a bit
more astringency and digging in
the rugged Sibelius work. such
as may be found in the Heifitz
version (on RCA) or the Spiva-
kovsky version (on Everst>.
Karl Weigl (1881-1949), a re-
latively little-known composer
who was Mahler's assistant
coach at the Vienna Imperial
Opera, would appear to warrant
discovery on a major scale, if
we are to judge by C.R.I.'s re-
cent album devoted to the com-
poser's String Quartet No. 5,
Five Songs for Soprano a n d
Quartet, Op. 40, a n d Three
Songs for Alto and Quartet. (C.
R.I. 242 SD) The String Quar-
tet No. 5 is especially impres-
sive. It is the usual way of re-
viewers to compliment a boring
work by calling it "well-craft-
ed," but in Weigl's case the
craftsmanship has created a
beautifully communicative piece
of music that is lyrical along the
lines of Borodin's D Major
Quartet and lightly sardonic a
la Mahler. As performed by the
Iowa String Quartet, this work
grants pleasure and discoveries
on repeated listening. I found
the song cycles less attractive,
though part of the blame must
be attributed to C.R.I.'s surpris-

By BERT STRATTON
Magic Samis dead at the age
of 32. He died suddenly of a
heart attack on Dec. 1 in Chi-
cago. Sam had just come back
from his successful tour of
Europe with the American Folk
Blues Festival, and his last and
most outstanding record, Black
Magic (Delmark DS-620) had
just been released.
This last episode of hard luck
coupled with Sam's musical bril-
liance will produce the inevit-
able legend-a legend that will
have some of its roots here in
Ann Arbor.
It was in August, the last day
of the Blues Festival, twilight,
the temporary wooden platform
on Fuller Flatlands was the
stage and blanketed before it
on the ground was a field of
bodies, all thoroughly drained
of sensation by the events of
the previous two days.
Out walked Sam, shouldering
his guitar, cutting through the
grey of the sky with his stun-
ning purple and violet outfit.
The drummer Sam Lay and a
young bassist joined him, they
tuned up, everything was set.
Need You So Bad was first,
Sam was only starting to warm
up his fingers. "Here's a song
from my new record, West Side
Soul, that's on the Delmark
label, it's called All of Your Love
-and he tore into a down-home
blues, his high voice tremoling
like Lonnie Johnson's, his hands
generating more heat by them-
selves than had all the large
bands together that had pre-
ceeded him.
With the audience on his side,
he reigned, squeezing his guitar
and propelling his fingers un-
believably over the strings, he
was running, eight beats to the
bar, playing Lookin' Good, his
walk-off song, a tune which
Luther Allison and all the other
guys can't even touch. A dy-
namic pace - the crowd which
had swelled for the evening
concert, was dancing, all 6,000
of them, shaking off their
lethargy and blankets, on their
feet, clapping, hopelessly trying
to keep up with Sam. He was
gone, exploding a barrage of
chords - stopping - breaking
with a low riff-another explo-
sion--he brought it home. Fin-
ished. Cries from the audience,
their energy still soaring, "We
want Magic," "More, more."
The emcee came on: "Magic
Sam will not be back . . . Here's
a cat who needs a ride to Bos-
ton anybody here from Boston?
. . . Please, we must move on.
Magic Sam will not be back."

of the music touches the relig-
ious searching and moving,
swelling beauty of his St. Mat-
thew Passion or Mass in B
Minor. Of course, the setting of
the oratorio is one of celebra-
tion, and the music does there-
fore forthrightly revel in the
jubilation of the Nativity, t h e
Feast of the Circumcision, and
the Feast of the Epiphany.
Thus, while never touching the
pathos of the soprano-alto duet
in the Christe eleison of the
Mass in B :Minor, the Christmas
Oratorio contains numerous
passages of delightful vigor and
rich instrumental detail,
The budget-label Seraphim
set (SIC-6040) of the work re-
issues an excellent performance
previously available as an Odeon
import. Kurt Thomas conducts
the famed Gewandhaus-Orches-
ter' of Leipziz and the Chorus
of Bach's own St. Thomas
Church; soloists Agnes Giebel,
Marga Hoffgen, Josef Traxel,
and the omnipresent Dietrich
Fischer-Dieskau are uniformly
outstanding. Although the re-
corded sound is somewhat thin,
clarity and depth have not been
sacrificed.
Angel has also packaged gift
boxes - With three records to a

one; the former is especially ex-
quisite. Side four is devoted en-
tirely to the Act 1 Finale of
Der Rosenkavalier. Schwartz-
kopf's svelt way with Mozart
Ssome upper-register straining
is discernible> and her sensitive,
text-conscious renditions in lied
are well-known to lovers of fine
singing, but perhaps less heard
Ithough often heard about)
are Schwartzkopf's performanc-
es in operetta. Here, in works
by Lehar, Zeller, Millocker, and
Heuberger, her gemutlich ap-
proach --- which occasionally
greases more ascetic works --
provides infinite charm and
well-being. (SCB-3754)
I have never been quite con-
vinced that a phonograph re-
cord can appropriately render
the clarion voice of Birgit Nils-
son, and Angel's "Portrait of the
Artist" set SCB-3745) featur-
ing this soprano in arias by Mo-
zart, Verdi, Weber, and, of
course, Wagner, only triples my
doubts. Part of the enjoyment
of hearing Miss Nilsson stems
from sitting in an enormous
concert hall and feeling her
voice filling and ringing t h e
an'. No matter how well re-
corded, her vocal grandeur be-
comes automatically cramped in

"Liza Minnelli has given a per-
formance which is so funny, so
moving, so perfectly crafted and
realized that it should win her
an Academy Award but probably
won't, because Oscar is archaic
and Liza is contemporary!"
--Thomas Thompson,
Life Magazine
Liza~ Minell
Wendeludo
NEXT
"MARIO WE"

ing lack of texts and transla-
tions.

' ---
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DOG
WHEELS
IS
CO MING !

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PERFECT HOLIDAY. GIFT!
Treat yourself or a friend
110FESSI NAL HEANTR RMl

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ctio
Released by COLUMBIA PICTURES'
COLOR
Program Information 662-6264
SHOWS at 1, 3, 5, 7, & 9:05 P.M.

RADICAL FILM SERIES
Presents
"LA GUERRE EST FINIE
Directed by ALAIN RESNAIS
Starring YVES MONTAND
Montand plays a professional revolutionary, one of the old-guard Bolshevik theorists
who fought in the Spanish Civil War and continues to fight as if it were 1936 and the
next general strike would win. "La Guerre Est Finie" was the official French entry at the
Cannes Film Festival in 1966 but was withdrawn from competition under pressure from
Franco's Spain.
"'La Guerre Est Finie' is almost dumbfoundly well made . . . scenes slide into each
other like drops of mercury rolling on polished obsidian. . . . As for Montand, his
performance is oerfection and the character he creates is unforaettable."-NEWSWEEK

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5 GREAT PLAYS!
2 Performances Each
"A REAL TRIUMPH"-L
r T1968,
R;oeNc
a~d Ulde t,
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TUEfS -WEpD, M.24-25
amu

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WED .THURS., FEB 4-5
"A STUNNING MUSICAL BRILLINTY CON ."ED
-Exfa KT TIMES
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WED: THURS., MARCH 16 19

BEST MUSICAL.
NEW YORK
DRAMA CRITICS
',CIRCLE AWARD ISES-,

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