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April 11, 1971 - Image 18

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The Michigan Daily, 1971-04-11
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k U





Folk music: Trying a resurrection

On the heights it is warmer
then (n '? thinks in the valleys.'.
ThI sublime metanhor of Nietz-
sche. wich W.J. Turner put to
fn( elct in epitomizing Mozart,
could have been just as aptly ap-
plied to Pablo Casals. In contrast
to Mozrt's more disembodied,
ethereal warmth, however, Ca-
sals' is a searing intensity, per-
meatin; his many accomplish-
ments with an inner glow.
Columbia's recent release of a
deluxe 5-disc retrospective al-
bum (M5 30069) devoted to the
cellist-conductor as musician and
man. unfurls the magnificent
panorama of Casals' staggering-
ly long and fruitful artistic trek,
helping to place his musical
achievements in proper perspec-
In concert and on records, Ca-
sals is virtually the last remain-
ing late Romantic musician who,
throughout the latter part of his
career, has been something of a
musical anachronism, stylistic-
ally speaking, although most mnv-
sicians overawed by the profund-
ity of Casals the man. would
deny this. In the 1930's, while
Tor t ni, Sohi:abel. and the Bu d-
oices String Quartet were joy-
ou y jt tisonn the last rem-
nan- s c the Romantic intern.e-
iwe Irdion and setting n a
Sierist oproch t ihe ur-
I rnian c of Wetern ('las e al

A ,~!wb'

o: o~ of t.~

c asizc m Pcin

(Continued from page 9)
Gauche, the newest addition, is
intrnationally oriented, and is
apparently doing quite well,
as is o hh Halfway Isn located
in1 East Quad).
Currently the mast actIve co§-
P e hens o is fht Ark, an inters -
church orgcniatsig locat d at
'1421 Hill. Under the manage-
mont of David and Linda Sig-
uin, who took over in/January
of 1969. the Ark has gained a
renuatirn as one of the finest
coffee houses in the country.
Yet there is a significant dii-
,mece in operation from many
other folk clubs. The people who
sing at the Ark are not like-

lh se grouPs has been the Uni-
versity of Michigan Folk Dance
Club. Originating about t e n
yia's ag, tihe initial emphasis
was on American country dane-
er and isquaro dancing. Avail-
abililty and tnt 'rcsts of teach-
ors ha u c altor d and varied
tn nncatveties.
-MeetLing Fr'iday nlight 38-11,
:0 'duna'tion) at B~arbour Gyrm,
t1'he~ urrnt rmphasis of the re-
iiu'ar groau: of thirty to forty is
011 ISraeli 'and Balkan dances.
A'se incuded in their repcirtoi'e
are dances from Turkey, Swe-
d ii Donmaik. Armenia, and
Arab nations. Dancing is a sr'-
ions. pursiut for many m~embers
and generak s a social sphere of

ing is_ elegant and refin' ith
controlled use of1 vibrato and
polished bowing, lacking ik
rhetorical breadth and roug a-
hued tone of Casals. In .h.
Feuermann take a Clarsicw '
view of the sonata, giving a
fleet, underplayed reading in the
best literalist tradition.
Casals, on the other hand,
probes deeply beneath the sur-
face in an intensely subjective ap-
praisal of Beethoven's music,
uninhibitedly pausing for person-
al expression with a resultant
broadening of melodic contours.
Due to Feuermann's death in
1942 (at age 39), and Casals' mu-
sical longevity (95 and still at it),
the average student cellist of to-
day, being familiar with Casals'
artistry while, more likely than
not, ignorant of Feuermann's,
normally displays far more in-
terpretive freedom in his play-
ing than (for instance) his pianist
colleagues. In our present age of
emotionally constipated pianism
and conducting among too many
musical practitioners, this is a
quirk of instrumental fate to be
most thankful for.
This is not, of course, to sug-
gest that Toscanin. Schnabel or
Feue'manun were robot musicians
who performed Beethoven like
Moeg synthesizers. Far from it.
Each man poured a potent musi-
cal individuality into a com-
poser's score, though never al-

nr. ,nes 1':i I c ie emi ad sp'e
dynamics scentfi cally p"''-
sed. lnn genized. and se! - r.
Thus, when Ai comes to indi viia i
emotional input. Casals is ac-
tually clser to a tine reading (f
Toscaninis liberalist creed m Pn,
let's say. George Szell in 's a-
tomotonme frenzies.
Casals' seemingly paradoxical
proximity to Toscanini is ex-
emplified by the lack of hand-
wringing or tear-jerking in his
Romanticism. Indeed, the most
striking ingredient in Casals' re-
cordings both as cellist and con-
ductor is his elemental force in
phrasing and attack, a signii-
cant hallmark of Toscanim's con-
ducting style. This shared qali-
ty can be most readily savored
by comparing Casals' 1963 c-
count of Mozart's "Ilaffner"
Symphony (Col. MS-7066) with
Toscanini's 1929 New Yo"k Phil-
harmonic recording. Both "ien
dig into the opening phrase of the
first movement with gusto nd
relish, only to unexpected ly
slow down the impetus in the
second phrase with a massive
ritardando nowhere iniated ; n
Mozart's score. After this phrase,
tile movement drives aead vilh-
out a hitch, receiving a ibvnt,
healthy reading at the ands ot
each conductor. This. I d i.
should give musical pige'-
holers pause: two genn'sas of
supposedly conflicting perlfc--
ance idelocies have re cheo th
same inerpretive anolo irnrs.
The resrt con stitutes one o the
mflst farcinating spin; cal en
conuntes between two ftea iutr
sicians eve etched ont a c
Returning to the a lbun r
reieu . Caas is h eetlto
t0 solo concerti: the Ixke Bc-
cherini B-Fiat, and chu m7ann
A Mfinr. In both, Casals s(ce:-
fully bends the music to hi own
will. Broad, arching meldic lines
dripping with juicy vibrato ere
part and parcel of Casais' en-
chanting rhapsodizing whica ma y
offend ears craving - classic
phrasing and restraint in the pur-
portedly Eighteenth Century
Boccherini work. Actually the B-
Flat Concerto presented here
and regrettably the only Boc-
cherini concerto ever performed
by most cellists) is a congomer-
ation of bleeding chunks From
other Boccherini concerti not too
skillfully sutured together and
recomposed by the nineteenth
century cellist Friedrich Gr'etz-
macher. There is, then, some
justification for Casals' basically
Romantic handling of this crazy-
quilt composition (the recording
dating, incidentally, from the
1930's). Anyone wishing to sam ,
ple the original Boccherini B-Flat
Concerto in a fine performance
should turn to Philips 900172
where Maurice Gendron is ac-
companied by (irony of ironies!)
Pablo Casals.
I am not a little irked at Co-
lumbia for including the 193
Schumann Concerto in this al-
bum when any serious Casals
collector presumably has picked
it up already on the budget
Odyssey label (32160027). There
are also many outstanding, yet
long-deleted Casals discs lan-
guishing in Columbia's vaits,
that this needless duplication can
only cause the committed clas~-
sical record customer to fume.
Some of, Casals' most distin-
guished solo work on discs is to
be found in the 1930's traversal
(with pianist Mieczyslaw Hors-
zowski) of the Brahms F Major
Sonata included in this album. It
is a superbly virile, hard-hitting
account, particularly notable for

Some now well-known performers gave some
of their first performances at Canterbury
House. Chuck Mitchell, a popular Detroit
singer began securing bookings for his wife (a
novice singer-songwriter) in this area. Hence,
Joni Mitchell often s a n g at Canterbury,
Ritchie Havens, Gordon Lightfoot, Doc Wat-
son and Tim Buckley were also popular draws.

concert at Hill Auditcuim on
April 17.
There are ol v n more
local ous of p o tnt I
ested in ukcu'tue but ox n
thouah li eacs n: ay or
ganizarouron bs~i~.tc'
i lit te 0t
beweni 'idoo coatit
One ~rnpe of a sm.x hA
diffrent tye of co-opeaie
venure is tile Widowors Now
Talent Asociaion, cented in
Saratoga Springs, New York.
It is an effort of a number of
folk singers to work together at
giving the public high quality
folk music at reasonable rates:
Wildfwrs intends to circum-
vent the primary depredations
of an industry which may well
be the most corrupt and mani-
pulative in the country." It is
an attempt to keep the People's
music in the hands of the peo-
It seems well within the scope
of the various folk organizations
in this community to embark
upon commonly pursuing and
preserving People's art. Perhaps
the rejuvenation of the Folklore
Society would provide an appro-
priate medium for such a pro-
In any event, a co-operative
effort of some sort would do a
great deal to serve those par-
ticipating organizations individ-
ually, as well as collectively. A
liberated people hold and parti-
cipate in the culture which is
truly theirs, and not the pro-
duct of a corrupt industrial
technology. The only way we
can do that is by working to-

- y


Avoid the eye fatigue from reoc
w'ork at home or office. Here i
performance requirements of th<
fused and glare - free.
Better Sight Bureau. Dur
propylene shade. Height:

Vytas Valaitis


Bone white
Matte black
Beige and espresso brow

the haunting beauty of Casals'
tone in the cello's lowest registier..
In the higher registers one miss-
es the lustrous suavity and rock-
steady intonation of Feuermann,
but Casals' tense, forced sound
serves Brahms' frequently mo-dy
and tempestuous score better
than does a slick, well-oiled tong.
M o mnl e n t s of breathtaking
sleight-of-hand bowing technique
compensate for some uncomirt-
ably insecure intonation in a "e-
cital of short works (recorded in
the 1920's) occupying one of 'ie
set's LP sides. These pitch prob-
lems crop up relatively sedo
however, and are totally elit5(d
by the profoundly moving ,eat-
ment Casals accords to :liw
movements of concerti by Vi-
valdi and Tartini, his rhtwie
snap in Boccherini's Sixth s"na-
ta, and his puckish humor o the
M'nuetto from Haycn's Fr't -
In the minds of many. Casals'
incomparable m u s i c i anship)
comes to the fore most eloquet-
ly in his unforgettable chamber
music collaborations, represent-
ed in this album by a per'form-
ance of Schubert's Cello Quin-
tet (with violinists Isaac Stern
and Alexander Schneider, viol-
ist Milton Katims, and cellist
Paul Tortelier as artistic part-
ners) recorded at the 1952 Pra-
des Music Festival-a classic of
the recording art if ever there
was one. The musicians' stormy,
often rough-hewn exposition
cause the explosive climaxes of
this masterwork to surge forth
like inexorable forces of nature,
while the more serene measures
sing out with compelling urgen-
The other greatest recorded
statement of the Quintet (re-
grettably deleted) is the more
polished and tightly-knit Buda-
pest Quartet-Benar Heifetz ac-
count of 1943, which some lis-
teners may prefer to the rug-
ged Casals rendition. Debating
the relative merits of the two
recordings, however, is like
quibbling about whether Mac-
beth or King Lear is the greater
work of a genius-these are two
miraculous musical recreations
to live with and treasure. I on-
ly hope that Columbia will now
see fit to restore the old Buda-
pest disc to active ciruclation,
since the Budapest's '60's "re-
placement" (currently available
on Vol. MS-6536) is a woefully
inadequate version of the Quin-
Casals' steady, .clear and co-
gent 1969 reading of Brahms'
Variations on a Theme of Hay-

dn with the Marlboro Festival
Orchestra highlights his signi-
ficant contribution to the con-
ductor's art. His choice- of a
slower-than-usual tempo, which
might have bogged the work
down under the hands of a
Klemperer. instead clarifies it
through a lovely revelation of
frequently-hidden inner voices.
The master chamber musician
draws forth appealingly sensu-
ous instrumental lines from his
orchestra men ( the marvelous
fluidity of tie winds is parti-
cularly satisfying) , while his
mhcandling of Brahms'
kno') ty ('ioss-i'hytlhms delight
the mind as ell. All in all. this
is an ilrtel e!y musical tieat-
ment of te score which gets
my rote' fo, A topbilling among
versions currently lited i the
Schwan. alog ,ith Toscanini's
very dtf'erent, bvt co-ually valid
t h Victr ic C-
"he1 fi 'anIP is dcvTd to a
soIund m nlageof Caslshim-
self givi g a rapid flzishback se-
ouenr'e of events and ar'etivities
in his life, both in music and
speech. By means of 'clover tape
splii ngand superposition of
words ovei' music.a moving ton-
al effect emanates from the
grooves with disarming sincer-
ity. The set's handsomely de-
sinned 24-page illustrated book-
let and complete Casals disco-
graphy (with recording dates
minddningly absent) elaborate
this intricately woven tapestry.
In sight and sound, we learn of
Casals' musical development, his
worship of Bach. his hopes for
world peace, his meticulous but
highly individual rehearsal tech-
niques with an orchestra (only
Toscanini can rival Casals for
strained vocalizing while con-
ducting a rehearsal).
A special word of praise for
both Columbia and E.M.I. for
their joint effort in re-releasing
the splendid material from the
'20's and '30's in commendably
honest. ungimmicky m o n o
sound. Now. Columbia, h o w
about releasing the indispensible
material in this set on single
discs so that it receives wider
circulation? I hope that this al-
bum of re-releases presages fu-
ture budget reissues of further
Casals recordings as well as pio-
neering reprint efforts on behalf
of such neglected instrumental-
ists as violinists Joseph Szigeti.
Perhaps it is most appropriate
that Casals himself conclude
this review. In the course of his
narration on the final disc, he
deplores "the cold war . .. with
its atom bomb tests, rearma-
ment and bitter strife." He wish-
es for "a tremendous movement
of protest in all countries" by
citizens against "those who have
power to prevent this catastro-
phe (a nuclear holocaust)." He
then answers his own rhetori-
cal question as to what contri-
bution he can make in the strug-
gle for world peace:
"The cello is my only weapon."

Price $16.99

ly to be holding down the top
forty, or even filling the air-
ways of underground radio sta-
tions. Instead, the emphasis is
on maintaining a high quality
of music, without taking it out
of the hands of the people.
Those who perform there a r e
hired bescause they are good
singers, rather than because
their names are household
words. As a result. the Ark has
developed a regular following.
an essential factor in keeping a
coffee house alive.
Many va ym inerests cent-
er aiound the Ark. In the past a
great dl ef atention has been
given to I'aditiOnal music. Bar-
rv O'Neil Norman K e n n e d y.
Mih-1 Cooney, and many oth-
ers har' contribut'd to this facet
of 0h ," r arin' Bob White,
Rowa1' Sore's. and Bruc 'Phil-
lins ha a' hl'nd 'ri elments of
bot h tiii ir''n, oiad country
1?l1] c : all d aloping large fol-
But theint erests range be-
yond inerely the coffee house
functions. Sacred Harp singing
is an example of this. It is an
activity that has taken place at
the Ark at hoots and on Sun-
day afternoons for two years.
The fragmented state of the
folk community was recently il-
lustrated when the Ann Arbor
News reported that a Sacred
Harp-sing would take place at
the Music School on April 3rd,
and that it was the first such
4ctivity in the city. People with
common interests simply haven't
been aware of each other.
People concerned with other
parts of the folk culture have
been organized for some time,
but only on a small scale with
interest fluctuating.
One of the more successful of

other club-sponsored activities,
(For further information c al11
Dennis Rigan 663-9619).
Sister organizations include
the Young Friends Dance Group,
which meets Sunday evenings at
Friends Meeting House, and the
Scottish Country Dance Club.
The latter is sponsored by Prof.
Rane Curl and meets Thursday
nights in the Women's Athletic
Building. The population of the
group fluctuates around the
minimum number required for
sets. The dances originated in
ballrooms but have since sur-
vived within the culture of rural
There are also folk oriented
activities directly linked to the
Univer-ity,. Professor M a1m
teach s courses in othnomusi-
cology i "music in cultures"-
all forms of music from any
part of the world, some of which
ar folk, in the School of Music.
Tieie is olso a course in Black
Musi offered throu°h the De-
partment of Afro-American
Professor Mastl servos a the
presidelnt of the Michinan Folk-
lore Society, xhich will be hold-
ing its annual meeting at Wes-
tern Michigan University on
April 24. (Those interested
should contact either B a r r y
O'Neill or Prof. William Malm.)
More popular outgrowths of
the local folk culture have been
country and bluegrass music.
Many local bars now regularly
have such groups as "The R.F.D.
Boys." "The Stoney Lonesome
Boys," "The Lightning Express,"
and "Buddies In The Saddle."
The all-time favorite local coun-
try band (now based in the San
Francisco Area) is "Command-
er Cody and the Lost Planet
Airmen." They will be doing a

May be seen on dispic
401 S. Main
of ANC
Tel (313

Q- . .

n y v 4 #+egr .-!
Offer Good April 1 1 thru April 30, 1971

Vytas Valaitis

music, Casals continued to un-
abashedly pour on the 1'ibrato to
poignant effect in a corr'aut
Boccherini score, and to rrndor
Beethoven in a free, but soulfully
insightful fashion.
One can get Casals' powerful
individual surge against the main-
stream of performance nr'wctice
in his time by successively play-
ing the 1930's recording of Beet-
hoven's' Third Cello Sonata in-
cluded in this set, and a con-
temporaneous reading of it 'on
Seraphim 60117) by the ether
"Greatest Cellist of the Cntury"
(and probably unchallenged in
any age for sheer virtucsity on
the instrument), E m m a n u e l
Feuermann. Feuermann's play-

lowing his own personality to
ly overwhelm the music. They
merely shifted the emphasis from
a totally subjective exploitation
of a work involving the exposure
of one's viscera, toward a more
objective conception aimed at
conveying the composer's inten-
tions. Implicit in their caveat to
look to the score was a prelirni-
nary analysis of oneself.
But just as Greek heroes were
misled by their mistaken inter-
pretations of the Delphic oracle's
pronouncements, oft-blind purists
of our time have mis-interpreted
the literalism of Toscanini to
connote computerized piano-roll
playbacks of the masters: plug
in a Beethoven score and get the


after 9 p.m. all patrons
must be at least 21
Broadway plym6h Rd
63-1740 ,


____. __..__._._ w . _ _


Sunday, April 1 I 1971 Sunday, April 11, 1971


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