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January 27, 1971 - Image 2

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Publication:
The Michigan Daily, 1971-01-27

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THE MICHIGAN DAILY

Wednesday, January 27, 1971 ,o

music-
An audience with Rubinstein

theatre

Male chauvinism-
Going down one

By A. R. KEILER
Last Friday evening, under
the, auspices of the University
Musical Society, Artur Rubin-
stein played an all-Chopin re-
cital. I have already reported
on that event and, for those who
did not attend, will say only
that Rubinstein's playing on
that occasion could very well
be summed up in Chopin's own
words, which the composer used
to describe the correct perform-
ance of his own works: "a con-
trolled spontaneity, a direct can-
tilena, a variety of coloring,
pedaling and rhythmic accen-
tuation, an elegance of orna-
mentation which have all but
vanished from the concert plat-
form." I was able to chat with
Rubinstein on the morning fol-
lowing his concert, which oc-
casion I find as stimulating to
report on as that of the prev-
ious evening.
This very quotation illumin-
ates, as a matter of fact, some
of Rubinstein's thoughts about
those pianists who especially in-
fluenced him as a young virt-
uoso, particularly Busoni and
d'Albert. What Rubinstein ad-
mired in these artists was their
attention to formal continuity
and the. shape and line of the
musical phrase within the larger
design of a work. What he dis-
likes is any use of the music to
show only what can be done
with the piano. The idiosyn-
crasies and mannered excesses
of the generation of pianists fol-
lowing Busoni and d'Albert,
which .were supposed to pass as
representative of an authentic
Romantic style of playing, were
apparently as rare in Chopin's
day as in the early years of
Rubinstein's career.
Rubinstein's own terms for the
kind of interpretative, approach
he tries to cultivate, whatever
the composer, were, simply
enough, "honest" and "f r o m
the heart". From this humble
beginning, he went on to crit-
icize those pianists who played
with their noses tosthe keyboard
for fear of playing a wrong
note (Godowsky, e.g., the tech-
nical paragon of an earlier era
of virtuosi, who "played like a
mouse"), and present day pian-
ists who try to play as well as
their recordings, with all the
mistakes filled in, each like a
new tooth stuck in the r i g h t '
place.
What is apparent about such
criticisms from Rubinstein is
not that they are unkindly or
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At State & Liberty Sts
DIAL
662- 1 yF
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JUDITH CRIST,
New York Magazine says:
"The tickle-and-tease
involves the brain as well
as the pelvis, putting the
psychological thriller,
'le Viol,' (the Rape) into
the category of grown-up
fun and games."

Diol 5-6290

rcAMIHIGA

mhs
wife
was
'driven
to find
out !

Does her anger
at a domineering
husband justify
a wife's taking
a lover?

il

For the student body:
FLARES
by
SLevi
A~ Farah
A 'rigIht
Tads
Sebring
VCHIECKMATE
State Street at Liberty

.4

4t

By JIM HENNERTY
The School for Wives is a
marvelous tragedy, as well as
being one of Moliere's superb
comedies. It is a play in which
Arnolphe, the aging, jealous
guardian of a lovely young
thing he intends to marry, tries
but fails to escape from the de-
crees of an implacable Fate.
Arnolphe is foolish enough to
believe that he can force his
ward Agnes to marry him, and
live up to his ideal of the virtu-
ous wife, an ideal dear to the
hearts of the most hard core
male chauvinists.
Moliere makes ingenious use
of some stock situations and
characters. He gives the jealous
guardian access to the secret
plans of the lover from the
young man's own mouth. Ar-
nolphe also tries to keep Agnes
in blissful ignorance, hoping
that a more or less permanent
tabula rasa will easily conform
to his ideas about marriage.
Both courses of action backfire,
of course. Agnes' simple ideas
are also true to the essential im-
pulses of the human heart. And
fate puts on a doggedly success-
ful campaign to nullify all the
advantages Arnolphe possesses,
culminating with a monstrously
unfair long-lost-child ploy.
Moliere amply demonstrates
that such narrow-minded, arti-
ficial ideas as Arnolphe's are
contrary to the reality of human
nature. As such, they are bound
to fall apart under the stress of
the unavoidable, yet thankfully
benevolent, \ forces of destiny
which hover over the doings of
mankind.
The structure of the dramatic
incidents and the superb use of
irony put the idea across with
an ample amount of pleasure for
the audience. Stephen Porter's
direction of the Phoenix Thea-
tre production lets the excel-
lent quality of the play speak
for itself, without a massive in-
jection of gimmickry. He could,

perhaps, put more emphasis on
the farcical aspects, which came
across a bit too calmly last eve-
ning. And the pace is sometimes
trifle too slow, despite the rela-
tive brevity of the play.
Not k n o w i n g the original
French, I cannot say whether
Richard Wilbur's verse transla-
tion is true to Moliere, but the
effect of his couplets is properly
amusing and pleasingly precise.
Couplets do, of course, present a
problem for the actors, who
must avoid the natural tendency
to fall into sing-song, while not
overcompensating to the extent
of losing all sense of, linguistic
structure. The cast followed a
happy medium most of the time.
Brian Bedford's performance
as Arnolphe is a skillful and
.carefully executed one. He man-
ages to balance the sincerity
and foolishness of the character;
while focusing our attention on
his physical and mental ma-
chinations. Bedford, makes the
most of the couplets to reflect
the kind of man he is portray-
ing and manages to blend into
the ensemble without trouble. In
short, his performance is both
disciplined and persuasive.
The other members of the
cast manage their smaller roles
with dexterity. The Horace of
David Dukes, decked out in a
marvelously Baroque costume,
and the Crysalde of Paul Bal-
lantine were particularly good.
Joan van Ark's Agnes was ad-
mirable, but it is a surprisingly
insubstantial role for a main
character, and the actress has
very little to work with. Nancy
.Potts' costumes deserve a word
of commendation for their ef-
fectiveness.
The production is not quite as
compelling as that of The Mis-
anthrope of a year or two ago.
The play itself lacks some of the
theatricality of the latter, and
the sparkle of wit is consequent-
ly dulled. But it is never less
than a most entertaining eve-
ning in the theater.

intolerant, but rather that they
are the result of an intense de-
votion to the composer as an
artist. He made this touchingly
clear when he mimicked a quar-
tet's (I will not say which one)
performance of the slow move-
ment of a Schubert piece, alter-
natingly singing the theme as
it should go, and asking in all
innocence how these musicians
could possibly abuse the music
of Scubert in such ignorance.
His energy and enthusiasm
are boundless. Before coming
back to the United States this
season, he played 30 concerts in
Europe, and is scheduled to play
some 40 more in this country in
the coming months. The reper-
toire he is planning to release
on records inclules solo works of

Brahms, Debussy and Schubert,
and chamber works, all with the
Guarneri Quartet, with whom
he loves to perform, of Faure,
Dvorak and Mozart.
He is too old, he says, to learn
any new repertoire, but he has
already performed most of the
piano literature at some point
of his career. In the 1930's, e.g.,
a typical program for Rubin-
stein might include any of the
following: the Dukas Sonata in
E Flat Minor, the Sodades do
Brasil of Milhaud, or piano
pieces of Poulenc, Scriabin or
Mompou. There was the Ham-
merklavier year, in which he
performed only that sonata of
Beethoven. He is afraid that
See THROUGH, Page 8

Freena F*ns
inaed rese ts l v o
starring (The Rope)
BIBI ANDERSSON
BRUNO CREMER EAaTMANCOLOR
DIAL 8-6416

.'

I

diary of a maI

s

_..__ _ _ . _ __ _ ....... _. . . . ...-- . _ _ ._ M . ._ .

_. _ __

He
Iz
*Komi~ng Soon*
(Al Kooper)
(and so are they)

I

ESCAPE INTERNATIONAL
Presents
IACAPULCO MASS MEETING
THURSDAY, JAN. 23
at the VILLAGE INN
FREE BEER from 8 to 9
ESCAPE INTERNATIONAL
P.O. Box 492
971-0979 971-3656
Subscribe to TheMichigan Daily

,}
H ..

I

I

A RARE OPPORU N ITY.

Shakespeare s
TIMON OF ATHENS

4
t.

4

at 8 p.m.-Wednesday-Saturday, January 27-30
TRUEBLOOD THEATRE--Box Office Opens 12:30, 764-5387
UNIVERSITY OF MICHIGAN PLAYERS
OPENS WEDNESDAY-TICKETS NOW!

*

RADICAL FILM SERIES
presents
Kon Ichikawo's
FIRES ON THE PLAIN
TONIGHT

I

TONIGHT AT 8:00!

I

SPECIAL STUDENT DISCOUNT!

CANTERBURY HOUSE
330 Maynard

Admission 75c
7, 9, & 11 P.M.

MAGIC HOUSE FAMILY

i

4.

I-amp
WEDNESDAY, JAN. 27
,Y.

I

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