Iwo THE MICHIGAN DAILY
Friday, February 26, 1971
'he making of a political-music mix
A RAYS TARK " ERBERT ROSS Prod~uction
Barbra St sajnl
£i, ~ec t , W W, (R-4e4
Ann Arbor Civic Theatre
By AL KAUFMAN
Thirteen years after the con-
erts were performed, Columbia
Records has released a major
'ecording: Paul Robeson in Live
The record presents Robeson
n two concerts. The first was
'ecorded on June 1, 1958 at the
A.M.E. Zion Church in New
York, and was Robeson's last
> e r f o r m a n c e in the United
States. The second was recorded
n August 10, 1958 at Royal
Albert Hall in London.
Side one (the London concert)
begins with four spirituals.
'Every Time I Feel the Spirit"
md "Ezekiel Saw the Wheel"
are lively songs which quickly
lemonstrate the beauty of Robe-
on's bass voice, even at age
The tempo slows for "I'll Hear
he Trumpet Sound." Robeson
calls on mighty vocal and emo-
ional resources, and the result
s a memorable performance of
his beautiful spiritual.
The group of spirituals closes
with "Get on Board, Little Chil-
dren," which includes the words
. . . The fare is cheap and all
can go/ The rich and poor are
here/ No second class aboard'
his train/ No difference in the
fare/ Get on board little chil-
dren/ There's room for many a;
more." It is characteristic of
Robeson that he places special
emphasis on songs which reflect
the history and culture of black
people, and integrates into this
framework songs which reflect
the struggles of black people for
equality and liberation.
The rest of side one demon-
strates Robeson's concern for
all oppressed people across the
world, and his interest in con-
veying their culture through his
"L'Amour de moi" is a French-
Canadian folk song, which Robe-
son sings in French. The crowd's
reaction to a slight mix-up at
the beginning between Robeson
and accompanist Bruno Raikin4
demonstrates the tremendous
rapport which is present between
artist and audience.
"Volga B o a t m a n," one of
Robeson's most famous songs, is
performed in Russian. The crowd
reacts with applaus e at the
opening notes, and Robeson re-
sponds with an inspired and
emotional rendition. He ends
the song in a lilting falsetto
which sends the London audi-
ence into nearly hysterical ap-
"Joe Hill," the famous song
of tribute to the American
working-class song-writer w h o
was framed on a murder charge,
is next. Maintaining the level of
emotion, and again ending with
a beautifuil fA lcfirt~ nP~
a Vt;4U4tSU*l t~u~,
delivers what may be
stunning rendition of
The concert closes with Robe-
son's trademark, "Old Man
River," from the film Show
Boat in which he starred. The
song as originally written by
Hammerstein and Kern includ-
ed the words "I'm tired of livin'
and scared of dyin'." Robeson
made the song into a world-
wide battle cry by changing
these words to "I must keep
fightin' until I'm dying'." The
enormous ovation which follows
this performance is barely ade-
quate tribute to the quality of
the first side of the record.
The second side is better than
This is probably due to the
fact that Robeson is singing in
his brother's church, which en-
hances the particularly close
bond between artist and audi-
ence. Furthermore, this concert
was the conclusion of a nation-
wide tour which marked the end
of an eight year period during
which Robeson was not allowed
to perform. due to the results of
the McCarthy era.
It is important to note that
Robeson continued to fight for
black liberation, and for =.he
rights of all oppressed people, in
spite of the pressure which the
government and the organized
right wing subjected him to.
The first song on the second
side is "Swing Low, Sweet
Chariot," which Robeson sings
beautifully. The second song,
"No More Auction Block for
Me," is another spiritual which
directly reflects the fight for
black liberation. Robeson sings
it with passion.
"Water Boy" has "work song"
overtones in its verses. Robeson
alternates between bass and fal-
setto in singing this song, and
the result is the vocal gem of
"The House I Live In" is a
bittersweet look at America. It
begins with the question: "What
is America to me?" Among
Robeson's answers: "A certain
word-democracy . . . The place
I work in/ The worker at my
side . . . The right to speak my
mind out (the audience, recog-
nizing eight years of enforced
silence, spontaneously applauds
this lyric) ... The faces that I
see/ All races, all religions . . .
But especially the people/ That's
America to me." Throughout the
album, but particularly in this
song, we hear the voice, and feel
the spirit, of an indomitable
fighter against racism, for black
liberation, and against all forms
"Sometimes .I Feel Like a
Motherless Child" continues the
bittersweet mood, which is re-
leived by short, stirring speech
Robeson gives at the song's con-
clusion. He thanks the audience,
and indirectly all those fighting
to end racism, for the struggles
they have conducted against Jim
Crok. He then goes on to explain
that he has engaged in, struggle
so that ". . . somewhere, we all,
of all races and all creeds, can
walk this American earth in
The Ann Arbor Drama Fesvival
will continue tonight with the
World Premiere of a short mu-
sical sketch by Fred Piegonski.
TheJ musical, Johann Orpheus is
a spoof on musicals in general.
Piegonski, who also stars in the
title role, adapted the story plot
from the Orpheus legend. The
music is a composite of scores
taken from popular musicals.
In addition to the Canterbury
House festival, The Ann Arbor
Dance Theatre will present a re-
cital Mar. 6 and Mar. 9 at 8:30
p.m. and Mar. 8 at 2:30. In the
form of a chamber concert, the
dancers will present avant garde
modern dance. Included in the
recital will be a number featur-
ing the Ann Arbor Mime Theat-
tre with the live music provided
by Russell Peck.
The recital will be held in the
Reseidential College Auditorium.
Tickets may be purchased at the
TON IGHT'S SHOWS
at 7,9, & 11
BOX OFFICE OPENS MON.
10 A.M.-5 P.M.
Join The Daily Staff
U of M Film Society (ARM) presents
A, VACATION SPECIAL
dollar double bill in color
E CHASE (screenplay by Lilian Hellman)
with Marion Brando, Jane Fonda, Robert Redford
TE OF HELL (directed by Teinosuke Kinugasa)
with Kazuo Hasegawa, Machiko. Kyo, Iso Yamagata
ursday, Friday, Saturday
ruary 25, 26, 27 761-9751
THURSDAY and SATURDAY FRIDAY
MEMORIAL CHRISTIAN CHURCH FRIENDS CENTER
Corner of Tappan and Hill 1420 Hill
By DONALD SOSIN
Last night's concert by the
Guarnieri Quartet in Rackham
left little doubt that this is the
finest group of its kind perform-
ing today. Having heard their
stunning recordings of the Bee-
thoven Quartets, and their in-
comparable execution of the
Brahms piano chamber music
with Rubenstein, one could not
help anticipating an evening of
great music. Needless to say,
one was not disappointed.;
The Quartet in C, Op. 18, No.
4, by Beethoven, gave initial evi-
dence of the group's control
over every detail of performance.
Throughout one heard flawless
intonation, fine graduations of
dynamics, and a rich, passionate
tone from all four artists. And
Beethoven w o u 1 d have ceased
his perpetual frown and beam-
ed at the subtleties of their
phrasing, always seemingly per-
After this came three short'
w o r k s by twentieth - century
composers. The firt was by
208 W. HURON
Stravinsky, a rarely heard Con-
certino, published in 1923 but
written earlier. In it one finds a
potpourri of the composer's
various periods. There are pas-
sages that seem lifted out of the
pages of L'Histoire du Soldat,
and others that bring to mind
his later works for two pianos.
But whatever his style, it is al-
ways Stravinsky, with repeti-
tions of small figures of notes
and his typical driving rhythms.
Webern's Six Bagatelles, Op.
9 are, so short that a sneeze
could practically obliterate an
entire movement. The longest of
the six is a mere thirteen meas-
ures, while the shortest takes
eight. Together the Bagatelles
are typical of Webern's style in
the extreme compactness of
their athematic ideas, which, if
not yet twelve-tone, certainly
offer less to hang onto than the
Quartet (1905) played Wednes-
day by the Stanley. They are to
music what haiku is to poetry,
and were performed with a com-'
binationof great accuracy and
an understanding of the music
that other groups frequently do
not seem to grasp.
The Guernieri finished their pro-
gram with Schumann's Quartet
in F, Op. 41, No. 2.
This work may lack the in-
mediate appeal of his first quar-
tet, but given the performance
that it was, one cannot help
surrendering to its lyrical first
two movements, and swept along
with the Scherzo and closing
Allegro. Here, as in the rest of
the concert, it was a joy to lis-
ten with the feeling that all
technical p r o b1e ms had long
since been overcome, and true
music was being created, music
of the highest caliber.
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1214 S. UNIVERSITY,
HOLDING OVER ...
Two of your
TRYOUTS for Jerry Bilks
original musical comedy
"The Brass and Grass Forever"
will be held at Civic Theatre
Building-201 Mulholland Dr.
1-5 P.M. Sunday, Feb. 28
In Michigan League Studio Room
7:30-10:3 P.M. Fri., Feb. 26
Singing and dancing roles for both men and women,
as well as good character parts. Performances May
5-8 and May 12-15 (8iperformances, all together).
At Lydia Mendelssohn Theatre.
New From Levi!
For the Student Body:
ELECTRA Rec. Artist
srene & soothing,
tteral & lusty."
ead & shoulders
ove most folk singers
be heard today."
-New York Times
State Street at liberty
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1411 K i i SRET I
NOTE: Glenda Jackson
won the N.Y. Film Critics'
award as "Best Actress"
for her work in "Women
The Project Coinmuinuity
K& TINA TURNER REVUE
p lu s SC.
Friday, March 12th I TICKETS ON SALE