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January 18, 1978 - Image 5

Resource type:
Michigan Daily, 1978-01-18

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Branden b urgs given
quality performance
rHE THIRTEEN-MEMBER Ars Musica Baroque Orchestra aims to
I present the second American performance of all Bach's Brandenburg
Concerti on original instruments. Their concert Monday night at Rackham
was a good beginning. No, not perfect. But it is rare enough to hear Baroque
music pjayed with both spirit and taste that technical lapses can be for-
The first work on the program, Handel's Concerto Grosso in B-flat
major, Op. 3, No. 1, received the roughest performance. Violin soloist
Shigetoshi Yamada rushed the tempo and neglected the intonation in the
rapid passages of the first movement, and the effect of Michael Lynn's out-
of-tune recorder entrance in the second is best left undescribed. But Grant
Moore's oboe ornamentation was luscious, and the ensemble as a whole
played with rhythmic drive and graceful phrasing, traits which held con-
stant for the entire evening.
For those of us who think of Vivaldi as the man who wrote one concerto
Ars Musica Baroque Orchestra
Rackhakn Auditorium
Monday, January 16
Concerto Grosso in B-flat major,
Op.3. No. 1.................. ......... Handel
-Concerto in G minor for recorder
and strings, Op. 10, No. 2 ...........vivaldi
Brandenburg Concerto No.6............... Bach
Concerto in F major for 2 oboes and
strings, Op. 9, No. 3 ......... ...... Albioni
Brandenburg Concerto No.3................. Bach
Lyndon Lawless, Conductor
hundreds of times, the Concerto in G minor for recorder and strings ("La
Notte" - the night) was a revelation. This is a program piece (though no
specific plot has come down to us) in which spooky Largo movements alter-
nate with Prestos reminiscent of silent-movie chase music. Here Lynn fully
redeemed himself with fancy fingerwork in the fast movements and
supreme control of the first-movement trills and quiet "II Sonno" (Sleep)
transverse flute solo, supported by the gentle sound of the gut-strung
Baroque violins.
THEN FOLLOWED a vigorous performance of the Sixth Brandenburg
Concerto. Scored for low strings, this work in particular requires the clarity
that only the viola da gamba, Baroque viola, and cello can provide. That
clarity was marred by faulty viola intonation. Many sins are hidden by the
constant vibrato of modern string players, and when this is stripped away
(as it must be in authentic iaroque performance style), playing in tune
becomes difficult. It is remarkable that in the seven years of the group's
existence these musicians have learned the accuracy they have, but the
modern ear demands perfection.
The second portion of the concert was more even in quality. It began
with the Concerto in F major for 2 oboes and strings, Op. 9, No. 3 by Tomaso
Albinoni, a contemporary of Vivaldi. This merry work showed off the rich
sound of the Baroque three-key oboes, played by Moore and Susan Kieren. It
was followed by the Third Brandenburg Concerto. This was one of the best
performances I have ever heard of this work, which is often ruined by
frenetic tempi (as did the University Chamber Orchestra performance sev-
eral years ago).
Warm but clear timbre, well-marked rhythm, and well-delineated nuan-
ce made the piece shine. I was not totally satisfied with director Lawless'
answer to the second-movement problem. For this section Bach left two
chords, and many modern scholars believe that he improvised a solo
movement which the orchestra closed. In this performance the chords were
prefaced by a short and rather trite two-violin cadenza, giving the impres-
sion of interruption, not transition. This is a common and defensible proce-
dure, but to my ears it just doesn't work.
,USICOLOGV AND ARS MUSICA hive progressed far in seven years.
This series uses not only original instruments (or copies) and Dlavin style.
but also .a., facsimile of the Dedication Copy of these pre-existing concerti,
which Bach copied out for the Margrave of Brandenburg in hope of receiving
a job. The next concert on Feb. 9 features natural trumpeter Friedemann
Immer, replacing British virtuoso Don Smithers, who is seriously ill. The
house was packed last night, and unless you hurry to Jacobson's ticket
booth, you won't hear the next concert. That, I guarantee, could be a great
Fall, COURSE MART winter
1978 DEADLINES 1979
For consideration as 1978-79 offerings, Course Mart
proposals for Fall 1978 AND Winter 1979 must be
completed and submitted by the deadline: FEBRUARY
6, 1978.

2501 LS&A Building
(Info and applications available now)

The Michigan Daily-Wednesday, January 18, 1978-Page 5
parody scores

Eastwood's self-

BEN SHOCKLEY (Clint Eastwood)
is a loser. He's a cop who spends
more time drinking than nabbing
crooks, and he isn't exactly an intel-
lectual giant.
But at last, Shockleps been given a
chance to break the "big" case - or so
he thinks. Shockley is sent to Las Vegas
to pick up trial witness Gus Maley and
bring him back to Phoenix to testify.
Gus, however, turns out to be beautiful
Sondra Locke, a college-educated hook-
er with evidence linking the mob to the
Phoenix police. The Vegas oddsmakers
are laying 50 to 1 that she and her cop
escort won't make it to Phoenix.
The odds get even worse, for it turns
out that Shockley has been set-up by his
commissioner; no one would miss
Shockley if he. met with an unfortunate
demise. Up against the combined for-
ces of the police and the underworld,
Shockley and Gus set out on their death-
defying and bullet-strewn trek across
the Nevada and Arizona deserts, ending
with a run through a gauntlet of hun-
dreds of Phoenix cops and millions of
rounds of ammunition.
THE GAUNTLET marks Clint East-
wood's sixth outing as a director, and
by now he's become quite a stylist. He's
playing a cop, but this ain't Dirty
Harry. Shockley is Eastwood's attempt
to have fun with the mythic heroes he's
played in the past; The Gauntlet be-
comes in effect a stylish self-parody.
Though he ultimately becomes a super-
hero, Shockley must continually rely on
his companion's superior intellect to
get him out of the various scrapes he
falls into during the course of the film.
Even the violence is stylized in The
Gauntlet. The movie sees more rounds
of gunfire and explosives than perhaps
any other film in cinema history. In one
scene, a house is ripped with an endless
outpouring of bullets until it finally
Yet all this explosive mayhem is ren-
dered as harmless as a Keystone Kops
comedy - it's impossible to take seri-
It's easy to poke fun at the numerous
holes in the plot. While Eastwood and
Locke ride through the gauntlet set up
in the Phoenix streets - all the while
being riddled with bullets - the
audience can be heard- murmuring,
"Why don't they shoot out the tires of
the bus?" Such attempts at injecting
logic into the film are as futile as hoping
to see another Eastwood mythic per-
EVEN SUCH SCENES as when East-
wood frightens off a band of motorcycle
tough-guys reflect the comic nature of
The Gauntlet's incredible'plot:' there's
as much laughter as there are 'Go
get'em Clint's." True, we stilVget those
classic Eastwood touches such as our
hero muttering "asshole" under his
breath when he finds himself the object
of a stupid joke, and the nonsense atti-
tude that Shockley displays when he
comes to extradite Gus. It's not an easy
job balancing the mythic and the mock-

mythic, yet Eastwood carries it off-
beautifully. The tone of the film re-
mains light thoughout, and while you
don't take it seriously for a second, you
can't avoid ending up cheering.
Credit must also be given to Sondra
Locke as the schoolgirlish whore Gus
Malley. Never has there been a female
character in an Eastwood film who
matches the star scene for scene and
line for line; Locke does so, and East-
wood wisely gives her full reign. The
Gauntlet is that much richer for it.
a scene where Locke, after being on the
receiving end of a verbal barrage of

crude and lacivious jokes from a hick
cop (Bill McKinney), launches a coun-
ter-attack that is a tour-de-force of act-
ing. Locke never looses track of an

almost impossible character. *
Eastwood's directoral talen~ts are in
full force in The Gauntlet. Swift and
flowing aerial shots, characleristical-
ly tight compositions, and no-frills edit-
ing propel the film with a ferocity mat-
ching that of its various scenes of car-
nage and mayhem. A stylish exercise in
self-parody with incredible scenes
demonstrating the destructive poWer of
gunfire, The Gauntlet repi esents a
breakthrough for Eastwood as both
director and performer.
Join te'
Arts Staff:1

South University near Washtenaw " 769-1744

Clint Eastwood

The University of Michigan
Professional Theatre Program
presents from Detroit
Jan.19, 20 8pm, Jan.21 2&8pm
Rsidential Colleg Theatre
PTP Ticket Office. Mendelssohn Theatre Lobby
Mon - Fri 10am-ip m. 2-5 m
For information, call 313-764 0450
All seats s3.50

1 ll'rp W ' rpqi A t . y y~y11

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