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October 18, 1977 - Image 5

Resource type:
Michigan Daily, 1977-10-18

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DSO inally sparkles

Last Saturday's performance of the Detroit Sym-
phony Orchestra surpassed all expectations, for the or-
chestra was in top form. The guest-maestro; Georges
Pretre, filled his position admirably, and the violinist,
Pinchas Zukerman, performing the Mozart piece with the
orchestra, provided an aural experience that was sheer
delight. The near-capacity audience, the largest this sea-
son, could not have left Ford Auditorium with disappoint-
The concert opened with Maurice Ravel's Le Tom-
beau de Couperin. A bright, lively composition, this piece
works well as a pleasant opening despite its significance
as a memorial by Ravel for six friends killed in action in
the First World War. The four-movement composition,
originally part of a piano version in six movements, ser-
ved as a showcase for the French-born guest conductor
Georges Pretre. The world-renowned opera conductor im:
mediately proved his flexibility through a fine rendition of
this symphonic piece.
The appearance of Zukerman in the Mozart concerto
provided the apex of an already satisfying evening.
Zukerman is beyond doubt equal to his reputation as one
of the great violinists of the century. He transformed
Mozart's First Violin Concerto, a piece seldom per-
formed due to its supposed poor workmanship, into a
stirring spectacle. Beginning the normally drab opening
with verve, the Israeli violinist maintained an arrogant,
stance as he merged ear and instrument in one of the
finest violin solos in memory. As the middle of the concer-
to mellowed, Zukerman played with a delicacy that
seemed to make the air shimmer. The DSO backed his
performance well, but the passage seemed almost without
life unless Zukerman played. Zukerman received three
encores from an understandingly impressed audience, as
well as a handshake from the DSO concertmaster Gordon
Next, it was Pretre's turn to shine with Sibelius' Sym-
phony No. 2 in D major. A study in contrasts, the skillful
conductor struck a variety of moods throughout the piece.
At times sensitively clutching the air towards his chest
with an upturned hand, he seemed almost a different man
from the violent 'motions he employed at other times
slashing out in short, electric movements. His peculiarly
characteristic stance of a bent and extremely stiff torso
with smooth full arm movements gliding before him was
repeatedly broken by snapping erect to hush or cut off a

Detroit Sy.mphony Orchestra
Ford Auditorium
October15, 1977

Ravel....................Le tombeau de Couperin
Mozart.................. Violin Concerto No. I in B-flat
Sibelius ...... ..................... Symphony No. 2
Georges Pretre, conductor
Pinchas zukerman, violinist
section witlihvigorous arm motion and the shooting of an
arrogant glance.
The Allegretto first movement revealed the DSO
woodwinds at their best this season. The woodwind
themes were excellently executed throughout, and both
the bassoon solis and clarinet solo exhibited a transparent
and light quality. However, the occasional brass state-
ments fell flat. Pretre, obviously annoyed, calling and
hushing the.section two or three times before receiving
the desired response, pulled the brass together at the end
of the movement, rising from a frenzied quality into a
sweeping full orchestra elaboration of the final sweeping
theme. The second movement opened with a muffled
tympani roll and required the quiet cello backing of the
bassoon statement for nearly half the movement, becom-
ing an obvious challenge to the cello section, a challenge
that they met well. The brass was again weak in the
Vivacissimo third movement accompanied by a strongly
overstated flute line, but all sections were impeccable in
the finale. Building from nothing into a resounding con-
quest of the brass at its best, the theme rose over the
building string and tympani foundation in a moving con-
The audience responded with three standing ovations,
visibly impressed with the performance, a sentiment
echoed a few momentslater by Pretre in an interview. He
seemed quite pleased with the way the concert had been
performed, and said that Zukerman's ability had left an
excellent impression on him. As Pretre is known for con-
ducting both symphony and opera, we were curious to
know which he preferred. He replied, "When I conduct,
opera, I have blinders on, and I love only the opera. But
when I cond6ct the symphony, I can see nothing but that,
and I love only the symphony." This is the first week of
Pretre's two-week appearance with the DSO. The com-
bination of maestro Pretre's fine conducting, the excellent
performance by Zukerman, and the musicality of the DSO
made for a most enjoyable evening.

The faculty chamber concert in the
School of Music Recital Hall on
Sunday afternoon was, for the most
part, completely enjoyable. Lovers
of German Leider had a field day, as,
the program included Gedichte von
Michelangelo, and the cycle Frauenl-
liebe und-leben. In addition two
works by American composer
Charles Jones, and a dance presenta-
tion incorporating the music of J.S.
Bach and Bill Evans were per-
The opening work on the program
was performed by Willis Patterson,
bass and Paul Boylan, piano. Wolf's
main compositional intent was to
project the text as fully as possible. It
was with this idea in mind that he
chose to set these poems for bass and
piano, and in doing so he exploited
the dramatic possibilities inherent in
the bass, voice. Mr. Patterson's
voice is ideally suited for these songs
with its rich lower register and a
strong, dramatic upper range.
The performance was good; both
Patterson and Boylan were attentive
to the nuances so typical of Wolf's
music. Patterson's singing was ener-
getic and dramatic, although at
times he seemed to be working at it,
causing the pitch to sometimes be
ambiguous in the upper register. The
ensemble between ,voice and piano
was almost always good, and Patter-
son's diction was excellent.
Following the Wolf songs was a set
of Six Short Pieces for Piano which
were performed by Benning Dexter.
Dexter played quietly and lyrically,
yet with a full tone at all times. There
was not much contrast between the
sections of the-work, but whether this
was due to Dexter's interpretation or
was inherent in the piece itself was
not clear. Dexter also played Psalm,
a later work by Jones, and far less
consonant than the former piece. The.
work is rather long and difficult to
follow. Dexter, however, handled the
difficulties presented by this type of
music well.
Rosemary Russell opened the sec-
ond half of the program with a lovely
performance of the Schumann cycle,
again with the assistance of Paul
Boylan Russell's characterization of
the cycle, which deals with a young
woman's courtship and marriage,
was excellent, as was her stage pres-
ence. Her tone was generally rich,
yet dynamically flexible. She had a
well-focused quality which only sel-

Willis Patter
Dexter, piarn
Paul Boylan
dom beca
for ther
more ml
Wolf's, a
ly those
tempo ch
of music
parts ofk
is t.
The fin
gram wa
lasnge. In

The Michigan Daily-Tuesday, October 18, 1977-Page5
gig superb
Faculty Chamber Concert Delanghe referred to the piece as a
SM RertalHull set of "choreographic exercises
October 16, 1977 rather than full-fledged dances.


....... edichte von Michelangelo
.Six Short Pieces for Piano
... ...... _ rauenliebe und leben
...... .....................Precivissics
son, bass; Paul Boylan, piano; Benning
o; Rosemary Russell, mezzo-soprano;
d, piano; Gay Delanghe, dancer.
ame breathy, and her pitch
most part was extremely
ann's accompaniments are
ertwined with voice than
and Boylan handled them
ally and sensitively. His
ts of interludes, particular-
which effected mood or
hanges, were always well-
d. This performance was
ble, overall, for the degree
ianship displayed,. on the
both singer and accompan-
al offering on Sunday's pro-
s entitled Pre-classics, chor-
d and danced by Gay De-
her verbal program notes,

Basing the performance on thq
Baroque suite, she outlined several
qualities which she wished to emphal
size for each movement. Ms. De-
langhe succeeded admirably in
bringing out the desired qualities
Perhaps the most enjoyable section
of the set was the Minuet, in whiclh
the artificiality of the step was illus-
tra ted through the use of slide '- f
dance students from the early days of
Barbour Gym. (It must be noted.that
Delanghe was far more graceful in
her stances than were the ladies in
the middy blouses.)
With the exception of the abrupt
transitions between the Bach French
Suite and Bill Evans' jazz on .the
taped accompaniment, Delanghe's
exercises were delightful. It is good
to see the dance department repre-
sented on a faculty recital, as Dane
is an often-forgotten part of .sthe
Music School. With her dynamic per-
formance, Delanghe integrated the
disciplines of dance and music, afd
provided a lively conclusion to a very
pleasant program.

Firesign duo keeps owls awake

First rate comedy entertained a re-
ceptive crowd, some of whom showed
up in Halloween attire, Friday night
at the Michigan Theatre. A little late,
but very energetically, Philip Proc-
tor and David Bergman pranced onto
the stage. They were warm to Ann
Arbor with a few local observations
such as, "Ann Arbor has mellowed
into a population of, knapsacks, flan-
nel shirts and Earth Shoes!" As bald
Bergman slickly bombarded one
mike with sardonic lines, the perky
Proctor paced about, sliding from
one characterizatidn; to another,
always with a laugh and every so
often, thought-provoking dialogue.
The first act consisted of a verbally
acrobatic History of America, up to
and including airborne-again Jimmy
C., a Shakespearean farce and Berg-
man as a ghost speaking through a
white sheet. A game show, Beat the
Reaper, was presented. Female con-
testant Proctor was injected with a
lethal germ. If she guessed the
disease she'd get a cure. She guessed
wrong. One highlight was the return
of an American hero, Nick Danger,
Third Eye. This classic was dutifully
performed, to the roar of the crowd.
Occasionally the team would throw
out catch phrases from their most
popular albums, to cheers from loyal
Firesign fans.
Onstage, Proctor and Bergman
are more palatable and friendly than
the rather acid-paced material on

their albums. They try to be funny
first, and let the afterthoughts take
care of themselves, although they
are generally buried in the constant
flow of banter.
The second act was an all new
original Proctor and Bergman com-
edy play, Hello, My Name is Clark
Wintergreen. The action begins in a
muzak-filled industrial convention
hall. Bergman plays Clark Winter-
green; a hapless employe trying to
offer his new invention, a Bionic Lim-
iter, to the company. His pleas are ig-
nored by his boss, Mr. Fishead,
(Procter). Through a series of
stream of consciousness dialogue
and action, the two ultimately wind
up as an Eastern Astrology mind
reading act with Procter as guru and
Bergman as a mystic sooth-sayer.
Their theme song is You Are My Sun

Climactically, the two swamis
reveal themselves to be Wintergreen
and Fishead, teamed up to market
their new product, the Bosco Bong,
completely equipped with high fre-
quency Bionic Limiter. As if in a
salute to nostalgia and Ann Arbor,
Philip Proctor and David Bergman
each took a hit -off the bong, and
ended a most enjoyable early morn-
ing performance.
Proctor and Bergman received a
cheering, standing ovation at 2:45
am. Saturday, and accepted it
cordially,. They earned it. It was good
to witness their patient good humor
as they chatted with friends after-
wards, had a beer, and packed away
their props and costumes, anticipat-
ing thebrighter future in sight. They
are intellectual humorists worth
listening to for laughs and thought, if
you can keep up with them.
We promised concert information . .
and we've got it. The Major Events Office
is very proud to announce the following
Earth, Wind & Fire will appear, in
concert, with special guest star, Deniece
Williams, on Saturday, November 5, at
8:00 p.m. in Crisler Arena. Their 1977
Tour promises a massive new production,
entailing the use of six semi-truckloads of
equipment. You will hove to see this one to
believe it. Tickets are $8.50 and $7.00,
and will go on sale this Thursday at 10:00
a.m. at Crisler Arena.
Frank Zappa will perform at Hill
Auditorium on Sunday, November 6, at
8:00 p.m. This will be a particularly special
concert, with Zappo performing the entire
show in -this jewel-box of a concert hall.
In order to put these acts in Hill, it's really
important that everyone in the audience
understands their obligations-no smoking
or beverages are permitted inside the hall.
Tickets are $7.50, $6.50, and $5.50, and
go on sale tomorrow at 10:00 a.m. at Hill
Billy Joel will appear Friday, Novem-
ber 18, at 8:00 p.m. in Hill Auditorium.
After selling-out appearances across the
country, including three nights at Carnegie
Hall, his management selected Ann Arbor
for his only Michigan appearance. Best
known for his sensitive lyrics, as in the
song "Piano Man," Billy Joel promises a
mellow evening of entertainment. Tickets
are $6, $5, and $4, and will go on sale
tomorrow at 11:30 a.m. at the Michigan
Union Box Office.
For more ticket information, please call
763-2071. More concerts will be announced
soon. Watch FLASH for the details.
After six months of rumors, the news is
official. anndv Meisner ha ieft the :nnales

TICKETS $8.50 - $7.50-Available at the McKinney Union- Aura Sound,
Bonzo Dog Records Wearhouse Records, Hudsons.
A BAMBOO Production_+
BOB BAGERI'S presents
Tues. Nov. 1, 8 pa". Coabo Arena
TICKETS; $7.50 & $8.50 on sale. at COBO , BOX OFFICE .
(mail to 321 E. Jefferson, Detroit, 48226)


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