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December 04, 1970 - Image 6

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The Michigan Daily, 1970-12-04

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Page Six

THE MICHIGAN DAILY

Friday, December 4, 1970

Page Six THE MICHIGAN DAILY Friday, December 4, 1970

records
Szell's recordings: A tribute to a master

By R. A. PERRY
Many outstanding orchestras
in the last thirty years h a v e
left their imprint on tape, vinyl,
and memory; the Concertgebour
under Mengelberg and Van Bei-
num, the Boston Symphony un-
der Koussevitzky, the Berlin
Philharmonic under Furtwangl-
er, the Czech Philharmonic un-
der Talich being most promi-
nent. Yet it would probably not
be an exaggeration to say that
the N.B.C. Symphony under
Toscanini's reign was the great-
est virtuoso orchestra of t h e
century. They evinced ultimate
ensemble precision, first chair
strength in every department;
they-could sing with an ardor
and explode with a fierceness
eqtalto that of their leader.
What they may have lacked in
ensemble color t h e y compen-
sated 'for with solo playing that
gave psychological meaning to
musical notation. .
Today, theonly orchestra
which truly can be compared to
the o1 d N.B.C.' Symphony, at
least in the realm of precision
and virtuosity, is" the Cleveland
Orchestra, whose d i r e c t o r,
George Szell, died a few months
ago. Szell had his 'unswerving
devotees- and his equally fervid
detractors. Cries of "complete
balance of scholarship a n d
style" were met with replies of
"bloodless passion and surface
grace." But both advocate and
prosecutor would likely agree
that George Szell had created
a supremely masterful orches-
tra.
Angel records has- just releas-
ed two commemorative discs
which represent Szell's last re-

cordings and they are a tribute
more to Szell the orchestra
builder than to Szell the think-
er. These two recordings one of
Dvorak's Eighth Symphony (S-
36043) and one of Schubert's
Ninth Symphony (S-36044) re-
veal both the strong and weak
points of the conductor, but in
both the playing of the Cleve-
land Orchestra exhibits r a r e
beauty. Given a work with in-
herent melos and minor phil-
osophic pretensions, Szell could
donjure the warmth and grace
that marked Bruno Walter's:
style, mixed with a highly de-
tailed examination of the score,
unusual even considering, the
present penchant for "authen-.
ticity."
For this reason, his record-
ing of Dvorak's Op. 88 has no
equal in the catalogue; here, in
this new Angel recording as in.
Szells deleted Epic version
(LC 3532), the broad tunes and
the good-natured rhythms (per-
haps of landler origins) are
'played with full ripeness but,
because of Szell's control, with
no mushiness.
In Schubert's Ninth Symph-
ony, the balance of orchestral
choirs is as, beautiful and up-
lifting as in the Dvorak and
there is the same scrutiny with-
out exaggeration of instrumen-
tal voices, but Szell cannot con-
viricingly establish the ineffable
Goal of the music's yearning as
could Toscanini, Furtwangler,
and Kleiber in t-h e i r exalted
readings. One hesitates to point
to the deficiency of the Great
Idea in this reading, because
the orchestral playing is so
beautiful, nevertheless it is-

more appropriate to appreciate
the Cleveland Orchestra sound
in the Dvorak than in the Schu-
bert, for the latter music has
transportive potential unrealized
in Szell's pacing.
The recorded sonics of both
discs is superb: warm, full, and
clean. The bite of the brass may
have been more sharp in the
old Epic rendition of the Dvo-
rak, but the stereo version is ap-
propriate to Szell's broader and
more relaxed reading. Klaus
George Roy's lengthy liner notes
are a definite asset, as t h e y
were in all his literary efforts
for Epic.
With Szell gone and with the
Cleveland Orchestra's record-
ing contract lapsed, one fears
for the future of this most ex-
cellent orchestra.
For the classical music lover,
a mere announcement of Phil-
ips' reissue of Beethoven's So-
natas for Piano and Violin
played by Arthur Grumiaux and
Clara Haskil is sufficient unto
itself, a -"review" being super-
fluous. These performances have
been collector's items since their

deletion from the Epic catalog
(what a fine line Epic was!)
and their re-appearance on
Philips is a cause for rejoicing.
There may be other ways of
approaching these ten sonatas,
ways of greater potency, of
greater "digging," of greater
virtuosity, but as a venture in
which t w o perfectly matched
musicians - matched in spirit
and in approach - discover joy
in their music-making and rap-
ture in the score, this recital is
a peak in chamber music ex-
perience. There is a quality in
these performances that cannot
be explained in music terms,
but which makes one glad to be
alive, which makes o n e turn
from external realities to inter-
nol discoveries, which recalls
Thoreau's "Read not of the
Times but of t h e Eternities."
There is a service to music in
Haskil and Grumiaux's playing
that sacrifices personal flam-
boyance and whim for a com-
munication of inner voices
which inform all great creative
gestures. No music lover should
be without these discs.

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WHERE CAN YOU GO FOR THE
BEST FOOD ON CAMPUS?
WHERE CAN YOU GET MORE FOR YOUR MONEY
-AND SECOND AND THIRD CUPS OF COFFEE
WITH YOUR DINNER?
1211 S. UNIVERSITY
Our famous KABOB SANDWICH is now selling for
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APPLICATIONS NOW BEING
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(Admissions, financial aid, etc.)
Women and Men from All Schools and
Colleges Are Urged to Pick Up Applica-
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SAB no later than December 7

I1

i

Economics, and Other Unsolved Crimes

As you know of course, economics is often called "the dismal
science," but not because it's dismal. Oh mercy, no! In fact, it's a laff
riot! It's called "the dismal science" only because that's the name of
the Englishman who invented it back in 1681-Walter C. Dismal.
Mr. Dismal, curiously enough, wasn't trying to invent economics
at all. Actually, he was trying to invent plankton; but as you know of
course, Max Planck beat him to it. (This later became known as Guy
Fawkes Day.)
And so spunky Mr. Dismal went back to the old drawing board
and stayed there till he invented economics, Then tired but happy, he
rushed to Heidelberg University to announce his findings. But, alas, he
arrived during the Erich von Stroheim Sesquicentennial, and naturally
everybody was yodelling and couldn't hear what Mr. Dismal was say-
ing. And so, alas, he slank back home and died, old and embittered at
the age of 11. (This later became known as the Black Tom Explosion.)
Well sir, after Mr. Dismal, nothing much happened in Europe un-
less you want to count the Dardanelles. Then in 1776 Adam Smith of
Scotland got tired of the cough drop business he had started with his
brother and published his famous Wealth of Nations (or Mall Flanders
as it is generally known as) and the world came to realize what a jolly,
uncomplicated subject economics really is.
It all boils down to this when there is a great demand for a prod-
uct, there is a great supply on the market. When there is a small de-
mand, there is a small supply. Take, for example, knee-cymbals. You
walk into your average American middle-sized town today and I'll
wager you won't see more thaneighty or ninety knee-cymbal vendors.
That's because-the demand is small. -i
- With Miller High Life Beer, on the other hand, you'll see a great
supply because there is a great demand. And of course the demand is
great because the beer is great. And, mark you, I'n'not asking you to
take my word for it. Prove it yourself with this simple test:
Get a can or bottle of Miller High Life and pour a few ounces into
an empty vessel-your roommate, for example. Observe how his jaw
unslacks with pleasure, how the torpidity leaves his tiny eyes, how he
drops his yo-yo and whimpers for more. Could mere words tell you
one-quarter as well what a great beer Miller is? Of course not.
"Great," in fact, is the single adjective that describes Miller Beer
best (except possibly "wet"). Indeed some people are so overcome with
admiration for Miller's greatness that they can't bear to drink it. They
just sit with a glass of Miller in hand and admire it for as long as ten or
twelve years on end. The makers of Miller Beer are of course touched
by this reverence, except of course for Clyde R. Greedy, the sales
manager.
But I digress. Adam Smith, as you know of course, was followed
by David Ricardo. In fact, he was followed everywhere by Mr. Ricardo.
He finally got so annoyed that he summoned a booby, as British
policeiren are called, and had Mr. Ricardo arrested. (This later be-,
came known as the Humboldt Current.)
Upon his release from gaol, as British jails are called, Mr. Ricardo
married Thomas Robert Malthus and one night over a game of whist
they invented the stock exchange, or chutney as it is called in England.
Next, economics spread to France (carried, some say, by sheep
ticks). The French, however, never really gotithe hang of it. At first
they tried using omelettes as the medium of exchange. When this
f..Ie A 41eils l-------------------~---o. UX76" 4.1Li. +- fn l 1,-- fl.,..

4

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