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March 17, 1978 - Image 5

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Michigan Daily, 1978-03-17

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The Michigan Doily-Friday, March 17, 1978-Page 5

Fest showcases vibrant

By ANTHONY vogel
" RAGIC ECSTASY ... is the best
tha art - perhaps that life can
give," said the Irish poet William
Butler Yeats, (1865-1939). Yeats' drama
and ideas are being celebrated and ex-
plored throughout this week's Yeats
CuchulainSaga
University Museum of Art
March 15-19,1978
Kathy Eacker Badgerow..........The Fool
Constance Barron........... Guardian, Fand
Gay Delanghe .....................Aoife
Carol Ann Hart ............... Emer, Ensemble
Donald Stephen Hart.......Bricrui, Ensemble
Marshall Levijoke........... The Blind Man
David Marshall................. Cuchulain'
John McCarthy............The Young Man
Mary Pettit ..........Eithne Inguba, Ensemble
Folkart Schmidt.......... Old Man, Ensemble
Sebastian Vittucci ...eConchubar, Ensemble
by William Butler feats
directed by Irene Connors; percussion, Bradley
Bloom; flute, Glennis Stout and Edith Yoder
Theatre Festival. The performances of
The Cuchulain Saga by The Yeats En-
semble, an integral part of the festival,
are providing enthusiastic audiences
with a taste of this "tragic ecstasy."
Although Yeats wrote over 25 plays,
his extraordinary reputation as "the
greatest poet to write in English in our
time" (T.S. Eliot), relies mainly on the
body of his Collected Poems. Almost all

of Yeats' poems are essentially
dramatic, and as Denis Donoghue says:
"Plays are the natural culmination of
Yeats' idiom." But, his plays are very
difficult to translate into production,
and have,been neglected. Thus it is one
of the Festival's goals to rediscover
Yeats as a playwright. The Ensemble
production is an element of this
discovery process.
The four plays about the Irish
mythological hero Cuchulain (pronoun-
ced Cuchoolin) which make up the
Cuchulain Saga, (At the Hawk's Well,
On Baile's Strand, The Only Jealousy of
Emer, and The Death of Cuchulain, are
among the most difficult of Yeats' plays
tor interpret. They are also among his
best. These plays abound withi lovely
verse, and the Ensemble proves that
they do work on stage as well as on the
printed page.
THE MEMBERS of the Ensemble
are very conscious of Yeats' intention
to allow the rhythm of the verse to
predominate. I Everything else,
(melody, percussion, movement, and
lighting,) must therefore in some way
derive from that rhythm. In general,
the rhythm of speech is clear and is ar-
tfully emphasized to produce what
Yeats would call the exhausting in-
tellectual "emotion that comes with the

music of words."
All aspects of rhythm of speech focus
as the basic antagonist to Cuchulain's
heroism as the four plays trace his
"youth, death, spiritual purgatory, and'
final release from the world." The
sound alone of this production provides
a full theatrical experience. The
museum's acoustics tend to diffuse the
actors' voices so that at times it seems
the theater itself is speaking.
The number of Ensemble voices
speaking varies continually from
syllable to syllable, to provied wonder-
ful contrasts of vocal intensity. Sound
ranges along a sliding spectrum:.from
straight dramatic, to Gregorian chant
to operatic singing. Judy Brown (com-
poser) and Bradley Bloom (Musical
Director and Percussionist) demon-
strate how much can be done with
music in the theater. The melodies for
flute and for voice are beautiful. The
percussion fascinates without distrac-
ting.
DAVID MARSHALL resounds deep

Yeats
and heroic. Marshall Levijoki and
Sebastian Vittucci truly understand
how to project the rhythmic power of
words. Highlights include the rough and
tumble between the Fool and the Blind
Man in On Baile's Strand, and Fand's
dance of seduction in The Only Jealousy,
of Emer.
Edward Thomas (Lighting designer)
and Henry Van Kuiken (Costume
designer) both deserve much praise.
One only wishes that greater use had
been made of Louis Allen's masks
throughout the production.
Members of the Yeats Ensemble
have been working with the
playwright's works since the fall Of
1975. This kind of performance inA
tegrates a wide variety of artistic e-"
pression and is only possible in a
university setting. We owe much thaniks
to Irene Connors, the Director of the
Ensemble, and to Associate Directors;
Marshall Levijoki and Mary L. Pettit,
for showing us the direction "conten
porary" theater should be going.

David Marshall, plays the lead' in William Butler Yeats'"Cuchulain",a
produetion of the Yeats Theatre Festival.
B ra denburgseries
scOres strong finale

JIMMY CLIF
Frdy ac 1,MBRo . diso 150 hwie:7:00:0 h

By JEFFREY QUICK
W EDNESDAY evening, the Ars
Musica Baroque Orchestra con-
cluded their traversal of the Branden-
burg Coucerti of Bach by presenting the
strongest concert of the series. The
Ars Musica Baroque Orchestra
Rackzai Auditorium
'March 15, 1978
Georg Philipp Teleinann ... Suite in D major
for 2 horns, bassoon,
strings, and continuo
Johann Sebastian Bach ... Concerto to a Violino
P incipaie, due Flauti d'Echo,
due Violini, una viola e violone
in Ripieno, Violoncello e Continuo
Carlo Farina ......... CapriccioStravagante
(An Amusing Quodlibet) for canto,
alto, tenor, and basso continuo
Johann Sebastian Bach........Concerto lera 2
Corni di Caccia, 3 Haut: e Bassono,
Violno Piccolo concertato, 2 Violini,
una Viola e violoncello, col Basso Continuo
Lyndon Lawless, director
works chosen did not present many op-
portunities for the solo virtuosity heard
in the past concerts, but the problems of
intonation and ensemble which had
marred the. earlier performances were
almost entirely eliminated. The
program "notes imply that conductor
Lyndon Lawless' unorthodox
gesticulations represented authentic
Baroque conducting. In any case, he
t.
brought out ihe best in the orchestra.
1; The first piece was the Suite in D
'major for two horns, two oboes,
bassoon, and) strings, which Georg
Philipp Telemann wrote in 1765.
.Though a renarkably vigorous com-
position for a man of 84, it is definitely
Msill in the older Baroque style. ,A Fren-
'ch overture was followed by a series of
'eharacter pieces, including a
Rejouissance in triple time with light-
rning trills, an oboes and bassoon trio, a
,carillon fpr the oboes and pizzicato
violins, and a minuet including juicy
features for winds alone. The playing
was fine, throughout, and the oboes in
particular have made noticeable im-
provement throughout the series.
Bach's Brandenburg Concerto No. 4
for violin, two "flauti d'echo" (alto
recorders) and strings followed the
Telemann suite. Michael Lynn and
Beth Gilford played the recorder parts
with liquid grace and accuracy.
'Violinist Susan Charney seemed to
have difficulty keeping the tension in
'her bow, and the first movement wa
"marred by stumbling passagework and
Whining high sustained notes, though
4the brisk tempo did not make her per-
formance any easier. Still, matters
'were evidently righted for the last two
movements, and Charney turned in a
"creditable performance.
I HAVE to disagree with conductor
Lawless' introduction of Carlo Farina's
Capriccio Stravagante (1626) for
'trings as "the musical low point of the
'season." The work is a series of comic
:vignettes held together by ritornelli. In
order to depict various animals and
"mbrusical instruments, Farina used
techniques ahead of his time such as
collegno, or striking the strings with the
wood of the bow. (Though Lawless gave
-"the impression that this was the first

IFFRMSr

use of this trick, I happen to know that
Tobias Hume used it in a viol piece as
early as'1605.) The harmony in the sec-
tions depicting cats and dogs is
reminiscent of Bartok's work. The en-
semble played accurately and with wit.
The Brandenburg Concerto No. 1 is a
wind-lover's dream, involving three
oboes, bassoon, and two horns which
open with hunting calls. With this flashy
instrumentation it might have been
easy to neglect Deborah Paul's violino
piccolo solo had she not played it with
such fine musicianship. There were
inaccuracies in the difficult horn parts
which were easily forgotten when, in
the third movement, one of the players
produced the most perfect hair-raising
lip trill I have ever heard.
The first trio of the Minuet was
marked by some very sensitive
phrasing in the oboes and bassoon, and
the second trio was pleasantly
shocking: Three Baroque oboes in
unison sound like a euphoniously
honking 500 lb. duck. They kept
generally well in tune, and, combined
with the maniacal horn parts, brought
this concert to a rousing conclusion.

MEDIATRICS
YE LLOW SUBMARIN E
An animated tale of how the BEATLES drove the Blue Meanies
out of Pepperland. A milestone in animation with some of the
greatest Beatles songs ...
MARCH 17th 7:00, 8:30 and 10:00
BOB3BY DEERFI ELD
AL PACINO plays a despondent race-car champion.
MARTHE KELLER is the only woman who can make him
smile .. .
MARCH 18th 7:00 and 9:30
NAT SCI OUD
WED., MARCH 22- NINOTCHKA -7:00 and 9:00 in MLB 3

Friday, March 17, MLB Room 1, Admission $1.50. howtimes: 7:30, 9:3&. h
Jamaican Film Classic. Jimmy Cliff stars in this extraordinary film about the'
Jamaican society in which Reggae music defines the lives and fantasies of
the people. A film of rebellion, conviction and liberation.
TOMORROW: Roman Polanski's film THE TENANT

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This Weekend at the Power Center

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THE OFFICE OF MAJOR EVENTS presents

what was just the world
is Ca star

JAC BROWNE
SPECIAL GUEST STAR
KARLABONOFF
WED., APRIL 12,8 PM, CRISLER ARENA
Reserved seats $8 and $7
Tickets go on Sale
Sun., March 19, 10 am at Crisier Arena
>x After March 19, tickets available at Mich. Union Box Office, M-F,
11:30-5:30 (763-2071). Sorry, no personal checks.
$2 ":. : 0 . iy ei : $4. .:.5 ecptSna .:is: 2.0 dac ae ei t60 ~ .frta ny
?{;: r, .~ Y "V VV VV. VVY W
.v;.._v .v-r v :r v; v~r:v ..v;. .v~r v; .v" . ,.:~y v; :vY~ ,..,.............................. v t
"AtA AA ;ASCREENING INFORMATION : Screenings are held in the old Architecture and Design Auditorium at 7:00, 9:00, 11:00
p.m. daily-100, 700,900 p m on Saturday. Winners and highlights are screened on Sunday at 7:00, 9:00, 11:00 p.m.
in both the old Architecture and Design Auditorium and Auditorium A of Angell Hall. Single admission is $1 .75. Sunday:
$2.00. Daily series: $4.50 except Sunday. Series: $20.00. Advance sales begin at 6:00 p.m. for that day only.
SERIES TICKETS ON SALE NOW AT CINEMA GUILD'S NIGHTLY
SHOWINGS AT OLD ARCHITECTURE & DESIGN AUD.
N- mI

I_____WE5T '5ioe STOPR"' MARCH

16-[9 1978

JUNIORS
Don't be left out
of your
1979 MICHIGANENSIAN Yearbook!

we re
europe
/ bound!.
u-m men's glee club
Lawrence B. Marsh, Director
come and hear us sing
.spring concert I

a

Sign up for an appointment TODAY by call-
ing 764-0561, weekdays from 7 p.m.-9 p.m.

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