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October 11, 1977 - Image 6

Resource type:
Michigan Daily, 1977-10-11

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y, October 11, 14977-The Michigan Daily


acal outdoes pianist at DSO


Last Saturday night's performance
the Detroit Symphony Orchestra
as both a pleasing fulfillment of an
:pectation, and a ; total disappoint-
sent. Maestro Zdenek Macal, conduct-
his' third and last concert with the.
was in perfect form; surpassing
excellent performance of two weeks
. The orchestra was also as expec-
d - they had their ups and downs,
th generally fine playing overall. But
e awaited appearance of Horacio
uiteirrez in the Schumann Piano Con-
rto in A min: proved to be disappoint-
g, as the pianist failed to live up to his
The opening piece of the concert was
rare selection. Little performed out-
de of Russia, Ruslan and Ludmilla is
i opera based on the poetry of a num-
r of Russian authors, including Push-
n and Glinka himself. The overture to
is opera is a conglomeration of Slavic
k melodies with many strains that
iticipate the music of Moussorsky and
msky-Korsakov. Written in sonato-
legro form, the overture is very short,
sting only five minutes. In that brief

time, however, Maestro Macal was
able to prove his mastery once again.
Swaying his torso, rocking his head,
hushing the violins and then pulling for
each note with his hands, he molded the
orchestra into a single entity. Momen-
tarily resuming his characteristic stiff
posture, he quickly instituted grand
sweeping movements that could only be
followed by a liquid climax of the
strings and full orchestra, bringing the
piece to its conclusion.
The next selection, the Schumann
Concerto, was intended as a showcase
for the guest pianist Gutierrez.
Schumann wrote in 1839, six years
before he composed this concerto; "we
must await the genius who will show us
in a newer and more brilliant way how
orchestra and piano may be combined,
how the solist, dominant at the key-
board, may unfold the wealth of his in-
strument and his are while the orches-
tra, no longer a mere spectator, may in-
terweave its manifold facets into the
scene." Unfortunately, this vision of
Schumann was not achieved Saturday
evening. The award-winning virtuosity
of the Cuban-born pianist was not evi-
dent in thisI his third appearance with
the DSO (having performed with. them
in 1973 and 1976). He opened the fan-
tasy-piece in a clipped, almost rushed,
style, recovering only after the initial
clarinet statement, perhaps in response
to the secure grace Macal drew from
this part. Gutierrez exhibited a higher
degree of delicacy towards the middle
of the first movement. His hands and
arms floating with the dreamier pass-
ages, and he at last achieved the sort of
tension in the keyboard runs that should
be expected of one with so high a
reputation. Gutierrez seemed at his
best in the nearly march-like statemen-
ts towards the middle of the second
movement, demonstrating a technique

that was stately but mechanical. The
orchestra as a whole performed its
supporting swells with a smoothness in
the rises and falls of the DSO's ex-
cellent string section that stood in
marked contrast to the soloist's per-
formance. Undoubtedly due to the sen-
sitivity Macal held over the orchestra,
the musicality of the supporting parts
Detroit Symphony Orchestra
Ford Auditorium
Detroit, Michigan
October 8,1977
Glinka Overture to Ruslan and Ludmilla
Schumann Concerto for Piano and Orchestra,
A minor, Opus 54
Franck Symphony in D minor
Horacio Gutierrez, pianist
Zdenek Macal, conductor
outshone the main performance of the
soloist. This reveals a striking differen-
ce between the two visiting virtuosos.
While both are world acclaimed, young,
and rising, Gutierrez fails where Macal
succeeds. While the former performs
with unquestioned accuracy, he has not
discovered, or fails to demonstrate,
that it is the tension that each note
deserves, the individual interpretation
of each passage, that makes it music.
Gutierrez plays notes, where Macal
renders music. Gutierrez reads where
Macal interprets and gives the music
The evening finished with Cesar
Franck's Symphony in D minor. The
opening "question" of a half step
descent followed by the rise of a
diminished fourth was performed well.
The last subject of the three ideas em-
ployed in the first movement was
dynamically handled. Macal exploding
with the musicians following him. First
reeling, then stretching and pulling out

the strings, and finally using his arms
in a sort of gathering motion to employ
the full orchestra, he finishes the
stirring final passages with exuberant
sweeps and swagger, reveling in its
power. Throughout the movement, par-
ticular sensitivity was shown in the
French horfn and woodwind statement.
The second movement proved, as
Franck intended, peaceful after the
strong vibrancy of the first. The famous
English horn line rising over the harp
and strings was well played with a
plaintive tone by Treva Womble. The
movement concluded with the maestro
calling for a particularly strong em-
phasis on the harp ending.
The exciting unifying concept of the
Finale followed as a powerful growth of
the original theme. The brass song
rising over the streacy crescendo of
strings and alternately quieting down
into a soft series of theme
recapitulations produced a weaving of
the brass statement with the strings.
Rising in steady strength and volume,
the piece reached its conclusion with an
especially good handling of the brass
The concert ended in five standing
ovations for Macal, who thanked the
orchestra on stage. In speaking with the
maestro after the performance, he
remarked many times on how much he
enjoyed working with the members of
the DSO. Having finished his guest-
conducting in Detroit, Macal said that
he now will make a tour of Europe with
various orchestras, which will not end
until the 24th of December. Detroit was
very fortunate to have the opportunity,
to see the superb performances of
Maestro Macal, and we only hope that
the rest of the series of guest conduc-
tors (for Dorati will not make his first
appearance with the DSO until Novem-
ber 2nd) will match Macal's ability.-





USO performs wel


in an all-Germr an sho



Fresh from a recording session in Son
Francisco, the Steve Miller Band will fly
into Ann Arbor for their only Michigan
appearance this Friday, October 14, at
8:00 p.m. Since performing with Frampton
ast June at Pontiac, the "Gangster of
Love" has been writing-hopefully, we'll
get a preview of a few, new tasty tunes
along with his million-sellers.
' Tickets for Waylon Jenning's October
29th appearance, with Hank Williams, Jr.
and Jessi Colter, went on sole last Friday
at the Michigan Union. The excitement
-caused by this country superstar's appear-
ance has convinced us that country-rock is
. going to be around a long time.
Eclipse Jazz, the student-run part of
Major Events, is doing an outstanding job.
in bringing major jazz artists to Ann Arbor.
-Their next concert with Dexter Gordon in
th$e'ower Center is already completely
sol but. Their impressive series includes
stops by the Art En~pmbe of Chicago
and an evening with the brilliant Oscar
We've received many calls about our
upcoming concert schedule. Unfortunately,
since the contracts aren't complete, we
can't yet give details. However, we are
planning five more concerts before Thanks-
giving. Keep an eye on FLASH and the
Michigan Daily for announcements soon.
Corky Siegel will appear, tonight, at the
Black Sheep Repertory Theatre in Man-
chester. There are two shows ast 8:00
and 10:00 p.m.
y Snapshots: The long-awaited "Rolling Stone
10th Anniversary TV Special" will air on
CBS on November 25... Joni Mitchell and
jazz group Weather Report will collaborate
on a double LP . . . Rita! Coolidge has
been banned in Singapore. It seems the
local auflhorities think her song, "Higher
and Higher" is about drugs ...


Work in Washington, D.C.
This summer
sponsored by Washington Sunimer Intern Program
POSITIONS' IN Congressional Offices, Executive Agencies,
Lobbying Organizations, News Media, Research Organizations,
and Museums.
MLB Auditorium 3

Last Friday night, the University
Symphony gave their first concert of
the season in front of a crowded, en-
thusiastic audience at Hill. If there is
any doubt as to the caliber of this or-
chestra, Friday's performance should
set straight the record. The group, play-
ing under the baton of Gustav Meier,
played with as much spirit, precision,
and maturity as they've had in years.
The four works heard were all by
German composers, covering a variety
of individual styles and historical eras.
The challenge of covering a range of
composers like Beethoven, Strauss,
Weber and Wagner is not easy, but the
orchestra lived up to it capably, ren-
dering each note with assurance and
Weber's Overture to Die Freischutz
opened the program. Although an insip-
id work, it provided an excellent show-
case of the orchestra's ensemble play-
ing. The long runs in the strings were
remarkably precise, and the slow,
melodic wind passages allowed the
winds to flow and blend together with
smoothness and grace.
Meier is a wonderfully consistent
conductor, and under his direction, the
orchestra surged and built to a final
climax that satisfied completely.
But the highlight of the evening had to


be the Beethoven Symphony no. 7. Otte
of the composer's greatest master-
pieces, the seventh demands the utmost
precision and musicality. From the
opening chord, Meier led the orchestra
with firm assurance and conviction. He.
has a tendency to rush tempos, but dis-
University Symphony Orchestra
Hill Auditorium
October 7, 1977
Weber Overture to Die Freischutz
Beethoven symphony no.7
Wagner overture to Tannhauser
Strauss "Salome's Tanz" from Salome
Gustav Meier, conductor
plays a deep sensitivity that can bring
out the most subtle nuances of a piece
like the Beethoven. During the intro-
duction, the strings play a series of
scales which build from the extremely
soft to loud, and the effect was breath-
taking. Throughout, the strings per-
formed with great uniformity, and the
sound rang clear. The repeated rythmic
motive in the first movement waS
driving, and yet the solo winds sang in
perfect contrast to the stormy
passages, eventually bringing the
movement to a triumphant finish. The
strings began the gorgeous second
movement perfectly, starting quietly;
and then slowly building with the flow
of the theme. The orchestra maintained
the good balance that is so essential to
the movement, the violins soaring in
perfect counterpoint with the second
ary melody in the violas. The last move-
ment of the Beethoven was finishedl
with a rush of excitement that brought
the piece to a decisive and satisfying'
The second half of the program
opened with Wagner's Overture to
Tannhauser, one of his most popular
and stirring works. The middle sectiol
was taken at an oddly slow tempo
(possibly because that was as quick as
the orchestra could handle it) that
detracted markedly from the ex-
citement the piece can generate)
however the performance was relative-
ly unsloppy, and the slower passages
bore the same controlled, lyrical
quality present in the Beethoven.
The concert ended with Richard
Strauss' Salome's Dance from Salome,
a first-class showpiece, in which an or-
chestra can really let loose. It proved tb
be a fitting conclusion, as the orchestra
played the dance rhythms with an ex-
citement that left the audience fully
satisfied. If this concert is indicative of
what the University Music School has to
offer, then their future concerts shoull
be regarded with eager anticipation.

the 0a0' arbor Rm cooperative
Tuesday, October 11
(Robert Altman, 1973) 7 &9-AUD. A
ALTMAN and LEIGH BRACKETT (one of the screenwriters on Hawks' THE BIGj
SLEEP) beautifully play with the myth of Raymond Chandler's classic loner
detective, Phillip Marlowe. Elliot Gould as Marlowe is adrift in the chaos and
corruption of modern Los Angeles as he attempts to clear a dead friend's
memory from the charge of murder. Brilliant characterizations, disturbing
off-the-wall humor, a world made of snatches of conversations, strange
encounters, and powerful images, this is one of Altman's best, a sure master-
work. It gets deeper and wider every time you see it. JIM BOUTON, STERLING
The AAFC is accepting nevr members. Stop by one of our
showings for an application.


Polk Audio
will hold an open house seminar and
discussion on loudspeakers; their de-
sign, philosophy and application.

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