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July 02, 1969 - Image 2

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Michigan Daily, 1969-07-02

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Rage Two

THE MICHIGAN DAILY

Wednesday, July 2, 1969

Page Two THE MICHIGAN~ DAILY Wednesday, July 2, 1969

i

records

New releases, and

A Mitzvah for the 1

By R. A. PERRY
Contributing Editor
One of the most unusual and
fascinating pieces of new music
to have been recently recorded
is Michael Sahl's A Mitzvah for.
the Dead. Sahl, who studied
with Babbitt and Sessions but
also played bass guitar in vari-
ous New York night clubs, has
joined the tape and the con-
ventional instrumental mediums
in a highly poetic manner that
just falls short of the program-
matic.
In A Mitzvah for the Dead
(VCS-10057 the solo violin
pays tripute to a dying breed of
musicians (perhaps Milstein and
Eeif itz are the only remaining
stars in the tradition) who were
trained and nourished on the
styles of Sarasate, Bloch, Kreis-
ler, Wieniawski, and Enesco, in
other words in the tradition of
virtuosos whoncarried their vio-
lins from ghettos and gypsy
camps to the salons and orches-
tras of Western Europe and Am-
erica. "Nigun," from Bloch's
Baal Shem perhaps offers the
best example of the kind of
musical style to which Sahl pays
homage in his work.

Yet Sahl's work is more than
nostalgic tribute, for he con-
fronts the virtuosic Wandering
Jew with the technology of the
modern world. The tape sounds
constantly interrupt this turn of
the century busker and finally
capture him. The combination
of tape and violin here is most
pathetic and evocative, conjur-
ing for this listener the faces of
unknown men behind the wires
of Belsen. The third movement
becomes a kind of Danse Maca-
bre, and here Sahl uses tape
sounds not merely out of any
blind love of generating weird
noises (too often the only in-
terest of the electronic music
composer) but for the unspeci-
fied yet appropriate images of
madness and carnival chaos that
these sounds fabricate. The vio-
linist, Chagall's floating hero'
ends trapped in the sketches of
Georg Grosz's Germany.
Twenty-six year old Paul Zu-
kofsky, who has already made
a highly respected name for
himself as an interpreter of "im-
possible" modern scores, is sim-
ply breath-taking on this Van-
guard release; he has both the
technique to rekindle the High

Virtuoso Style in its modern,
more challenging guise, and al-
so the capacity for negative ca-
pability to movingly personify
the solo line.
J. K. Randall's Lyric Varia-
tions for violin and computer
on the flip side of the Sahl
work also matches instrument
with machine but effects little
musical interest. The violin partj
is static and chaste and the tape
sounds go in for those outer
space blips and moans that are
already passe.
Angel has released two last
recordings by the late Charles
Munch and they are, appropria-
tely, of French music: Ravel's
Piano Concerto in G and Honeg-
ger's Symphony No. 2. (S-365-
85). The Ravel work flanks two
spritely, pointed movements, full
of jazz idioms, around an ada-
gio of exemplarynlimpidness.
This adagio was one of Ravel's
finest creations and equals the
evanescent flow that Mozart
often achieved. Interestingly
enough, Ravel once exclaimed
of that long flowing melody,
"I composed it two measures by
two measures and I was abort
ready to commit suicide!"
I have heard no one capture
the serene beauty of this move-
ment as well as Vlado Perlemu-
ter on an old Vox recording
(PL 9220); he could make the
notes fall like leaves on a pond
without disturbing the surface
of the water. The soloist on An-
gel's recording, Nicole Henriot-

Schweitzer, cannot really sus-
tain both the intense interest
and the perfect calm, but in the
outer movements she is incisive
enough. The new Orchestre de
Paris, still not a totally disci-
plined group and now without
Munch, provides more exciting
details than ensemble cohesion.
The recorded sound is excellent.
Written in 1941, the Honeg-
ger symphony "embodies the
mood of occupied Paris;" thus
we receive the expected impres-
sion from defiance to brooding
despair to anticipated liberation.
I have never found Honegger
terribly interesting - just tur-
gid and, well, mundane - and
though Munch's reading has
both vitality and subtlety, it has
not changed my mind.
Another record that doesn't
quite come off is Vanguard's
new release of medieval tunes
and dances played on authentic
instruments that include rebecs,
shawns, nakers, hurdy gurdys,
etc.tWhile the instrumentalists
of the Jaye Consort play well,
and solo tenor Gerald English
'uses his light, well-focused voice
expresively, the entire collection
suffers from a lack of adrenalin
and a reticence that often 9f-
flicts "authentic instrument"
endeavors. Vanguard's album
title, "The Jolly Minstrels," in-
dicates what one hoped to find
rather than what one hears.
Until hearing Gervase de Pey-
er play the Mozart Clarinet Con-
certo on an old London record-
ing with Peter Maag conduct-

ing the LSO, I always thought
the clarinet was the instrument
kids took up when they couldn't
play any other instrument, per-
haps because my high school
orchestra boasted twice as many
clarinets as violins. The silly
looking "licorice stick" had a
tendency to emit embarrassing
squeaks, was offensive in its
wheedling tone, and when it
came to passages marked "with
expression" it fell on its face.
That was before Gervase de Pe-
yer, the best clarinet player in
the world; what Dennis Brain
was to horn playing, de Peyer
is to the licorice stick.
If you think this idle hyper-
bole, just listen to Angel's new
recording of the Weber Concer-
to No. 1, the Concertino Op. 26,
and the bubbling, witty Rossini
Introduction and Variations. (S-

lead'
365859. De Peyer can shift regis-
ters seamlessly, can toss off or-
namentation and arpeggios lige
water running downhill, and
can change his tone from pearly
to pungent as the music riar-
rants. In a way, the Weber and
Rossini works, which are essen-
tially works of baroque exuber-
ance (even though the Weber
has pretensions of romantic
searching) only show the aoili-
ties of de Peyer to match tech-
nical facility to the demand. For
his ability to produce vel vety
long phrases that seem to emer-
ge from the instrument as r iys-
teriously as the winds blow in
Botticelli's "The Birth of Ven-
us," listen to de Peyer in Mo-
zart's Trio K. 498 and Quintet
K. 581 on Angel S-36241, or in
Mozart's Clarinet Concerto on
London 6178.

Int, the
ilOLUP 11YOI.*i 0

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S-Y-E

architecture-
'Manp lace'
By PAT MAHONEY
How does a city plan for the optimum use of land in its down-
town area?
The Lansing Urban Design Study, a plan for downtown Lans-
ing in 1980, shows how a group of architects incorporated the ex-
pansion of spate, government, a community college and business
while allowing for the use of riverfront space.
This is one of 20 exhibits in "Manplace," an exhibition of de-
signs for city buildings on display at the Ann Arbor Public Library
until July 10. Lectures at 8 p.m. on July 10 and 17 will discuss ur-
ban architectural problems.
The University is represented by a lecturer, and drawings of
a residential development and two buildings. On July 17, Gerald
Crane, chairman of the department of urban planning, will dis-
cuss planning in the Ann Arbor area. D awings by fifth year stu-
dents in the architecture school show Mlans of dwellings on the
banks of the Detroit River. Also included are drawings of Qxford
Houses and the addition to the graduate library.
Plans for development of the Huron River Valley were con-
tributed by Raymond D. Martin and Stephen W. Osborn of the
Ann Arbor Planning Department.
University of Detroit architecture students designed a crescent-
shaped marina city planned for the Detroit River near Belle Isle.
Another exhibit shows a parking-housing complex bridging an ex-
pressway near Wayne State University. A Model Cities proposal for
giving Highland Park a new downtown area is also displayed. ,
The entire exhibit, which will be s h a w n in several cities
throughout the state, is designed to stimulate discussion among
different groups about community problems and to show the need
for city planning.

INDIA MOTORCYCLE SALES
207 W. Liberty
Ann Arbor

SEPTEMBER 16-28

SAROYAN'S
Another delightful APA revival of an American cla.s s
SEPTEMBER 30-OCTOBER 12
Ghelderode's
"A wKhfof satanical sulphur"
by the author of the APA hit "Pantagleize"
Direcded by John Houseman

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7---- -
The University of Michigan Playe s'
Exciting New Summer Progrqm
Michigan, Repertory'6
MUCH ADO ABOUT NOTHING
William Shakespeare
HOGAN'S GOAT DOCTOR'S DILEMMA
William Alfred G. B. Shaw
In Repertory-July 15 -August 3
- and -
T THE DUCHESS OF MALFI
John Webster
August 5-10
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Note: The higher priced tickets are the first 17 rows of orchestra and first 4 rows of balcony.
All performances in air-conditioned Lydia Mendelssohn Theatre
jTUESDAY WEDNESDAY THURSDAY FRIDAY SATURDAY I SUNDAY
July 15-20 J15 MUCH J16 GOAT J17 DOCT Ji MUCH J19 GOAT J20 DOCT
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keep it for your own record.
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PLAY PERFORMANCE (day and date) Price Number OFFICE USE ONLY
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