Saturday, October 4, 1975
THE MICHIGAN DAILY
Sauray Otoer4 175TH MCHGN AIY ag Fv
Brahms.. Tragic Overture, Op. 81
Beethoven Symphony no 5, Op. 67
Walton .........Beishazzar's Feast
By TOM GODELL
The Toledo Symphony is with-
out question the finest orchestra
in this area, and Thursday
night's opener did nothing to
alter their reputation.
The ensemble, consisting of
professional musicians augment-
ed by the best performers from
our own music school, was un-
der the direction of its music
director Serge Fornier.
The concert began with an ar-
resting performance of Brahms' The opening allegro was not mendous crescendo that For-
Tragic Overture. Immediately very promising. The perform- nier handled masterfully. By
noticeable was the orchestra's ance seemed to lack drama and use of fast tempos and extreme
marvelous string tone, but un- flow, a result of staccato play- contrasts, the work was brought
like many conductors Maestro ing, choppy phrasing and cli- to a thrilling conclusion.
Fornier never let the strings maxes which lacked real con- The final work on the pro-
overbalance the winds. Nor was trast.-j gram, Belshazzar's Feast of
the sense of tragedy which per- this carried over into the sec- William Walton, was presented,'
vades this music ever forgot- ond movement which simply after a brief intermission. This'
ten, even in the nostalgic mid- failed to sing. But with the gigantic work for mixed choir,
section and stirring final chords. scherzo, Fornier became much baritone solo, and orchestra -
Next came the fifth symphony more sympathetic to the music. portrays the biblical tale of the
of Beethoven - a real test of Here Beethoven's marvelous fall of Babylon.
any conductor. Only a true mas- sense of humor was not ne- This is an early work (1931)
er can take this old war horse glected, by Walton, but if there are
Ttraces of experimentation and
and breathe fresh life into it. The finale began with a tre- lack of dramatic force in the+
first section, the final sections
NIA: make up for it with their bril-
liance and excitement.+
Standbys dusted off in
By JEFFREY SELBST
I was playing bridge Wednesday night, and
had been dealt one of those awful hands - twos,
threes, fours and the like. I was sitting South.
"One spade," said East, who dealt.
I passed with a sardonic laugh.
"Two clubs," said West. He looked straight
at me. "What was the name of that little dance
band you're going to see tomorrow?" This was
directed at me.
"The University Philharmonia Orchestra," I
"Two diamonds," said North. West broke nto
hysterical giggles. "Not really," he said. "Oh,
that's awfully cute."
"Three clubs," said East.
"Pass!' I said. I looked West straight in the
eye. "Why is that so cute?"
"The Philharmonia," said West, "is a noth-
ing group. They are a training orchestra. And
that program they're playing!" he snorted.
"Beethoven's Eighth, Handel's Water Music,
and Respighi's Pines of Rome. Everyone plays
that." He glanced furtively at East. "Four
"Oh, that's nonsense," I said. "What kind of
attitude is that? So youre in the University
Symphony. So what!"
"Pass," groaned North.
"I hope you enjoy yourself," smirked eWst.
"I'd rather play bridge."
"Four no trump,' said East.
"You haven't dissuaded me," I informed him
loftily. "I like the Pines of Rome."
So off I went to Hill Auditorium on Thursday,
half expecting a sort of amateurish group which
would be lucky to have all its violins playing
the same notes together.
I was stunned. With a few exceptions, nit-
picking for the most part, the concert was a
fine example of symphonic clarity and unity.
They played a well-balanced program, though
had it not included a last-minute addition, the
Barber Essay No. 1 for Orchestra, it would not
Handel's Water Music is a lovely suite of
pieces, and was given its due by most of the
members of the orchestra. The violins and violas
deserve a special notice for the precision of their
work, as do the rich and technically perfect
Would that the same were true of the trum-
pets, however. Their every entrance caused me
to cringe. Imprecise and grating, I could almost
overok the sour notes they played, as I was
offended more by the general sloppiness of their
Given a choice of words to describe them, I
would opt for 'blaring', although 'raw' and the
more general 'irritating" run close seconds.
Make no mistake, as a whole the Water Music
("Five hearts!" shouted West gleefully.)
I've often wondered why so many conductors
cannot forgive themselves a concert that lacks
a Beethoven symphony. Yes, this concert had
one. (I'm the same fellow who said I wouldn't
like to see King Lear for another 50 years, re-
member?) But if there had to be a Beethoven
symphony, the best choice was the Eighth.
Not so often played as the others, it still has1
a remarkable freshness. The violins did a mag-
nificent job, as did the principal flautist in those
passages in which she was highlighted.
The symphony maintains a constant contrast!
between sections of great power and energy,.
and graceful dancelike figures. The trick is to
define these and make the contrast effective.
Uri Myer, the conductor of Thursday's concert,
did a craftsmanlike job.
A word about Uri Mayer.
It has always been my (oh, go on, say it -
uneducated) opinion that if Beethoven is played,
too quickly, it sounds like a horse race. Begin-
nng the first movement with a very stately
tempo, Mayer gradually }increased them until
the fourth movement sounded like an orches-
tral rendition of the Preakness.
However, the man is free of the audience-
posturing that mars the style of so many of the
greats. He has a sense of the music, and a deli-
cate style and finesse. (That was a pun. Laugh,
Barber's Essay No. 1 for Orchestra is one of1
those pieces you can love or hate, being a kind
of tonal, atonal, romahtic modernism. But the
performance was thoughtful and well-executed.
The double basses performed well, and the
trumpets (yes, that's right) were truly marvel-
The Essay No. 1 reminds me of Barber's
Adagio for Strings, the kind of music that Bar-
ber wrote when he wasn't busily trying to of-
fend everyone in sight. He always seems to try
to leave the audience hanging, and as the final
notes died away, the Philharmonia had achieved
the proper effect.
The performance was super-, He presented the three sections UNIVERSITY CHURCH OF I FIRST CHURCH OF CHRIST,
lative. The orchestra displayed of the piece without pause, THE NAZARENE SCIENTIST
tremendous virtuosity, and the which proved to be extremely M. Robert Fraser, Pastor 1833 Washtenaw
Symphony Chorale proved itself effecive, and aided in mainain- 409 N. Division Sunday Service and Sunday
capable of singing with both ing dramatic flow. Church School-9:45 a.m. School-10:30 a.m.
rhythmic drive and lyric beauty Fornier also succeeded in Morning Worship-11:00 a.m. Wednesday Testimony Meet-
in the many and difficult poly- bringing out beautiful melodies Evening Worship-7:00 p.m. ing--8:00 p.m.
tonal passages.g* * Child Care-Sunday, under 2
Further, each word was clear- and balancing - something that FIRST UNITED METHODIST years; Wednesday, through 6
ly enunciated, always a mark of other conductors seem to ne- CHURCH Midweek Informal Worship.
a fine choir. The baritone solo- glect when performing this State at Huron and Washngton years.
ist, unfortunately, did not live music. - Worship Services: Reading Room - 306 E. lib-
up to these high standards. . 8:30 a.m. - Communion Serv- erty, 10-9 Mon., 10-5 Tues.-Sat.
When singing over the orches- This concert will be repeated ice-Chapel.
tra he seemed strained, and in Sun day, Oct. 5th at 3 p.m., at 9:3 Oa.m.-Worship Service - ST. ANDREW'S EPSICOPAL
th eiaie efie obigthe Toledo Museum of Art. The.-WrhpSvie-t
the recitatives he failed to bri next concert of the Toledo Sym- Sanctuary. CHURCH, 306 N. Division
out their lyric elements. 11:00 a.m. - Worship Service 8:00 a.m.-Holy Eucharist.
Finally, Maestro Fornier dem- phony features contralto Maur- Sanctuary. 10:00 a.m.-Holy Commuoion
onstrated that he was capable een Forrester singing Mahler WORLD-WIDE COMMUNION and Sermon.
of handling the massed forces. and Berlioz, Oct. 24-25. SUNDAY
S e r m o n: "Communion of BETHLEHEM UNITED
Saints" by Rev. Fred B. Morris. CHURCH OF CHRIST
Worship services are broad- 423 S. Fourth Ave. Ph. 665-6149
cast over WNRS-AM (1290) each Minister: Orval L. E. Willimann
Sunday from 11:00 to 12:00 noon. 9:00 a.m.-Chapel Service.
WESLEY FOUNDATION NEWS1 10:00 a.m.-Worship Service.
Sunday, Oct. 5: 10:00 a.m.-Church School
5:30 p.m.-Celebration, Wes- Child care at 10:00 a.m. serv-
ley Lounge. ice.
6:00 p.m.-Supper, Pine Room. Service broadcast on WNRS
7:00 p.m.-Program, Wesley (1290 AM).
Lounge: The Rev. Fred Morris * * *
speaking on his experiences in UNIVERSITY LUTHERAN
Brazil. Open to all. CHAPEL (LCMS)
Wednesday, Oct. 8: 1511 Washtenaw Ave. 663-5560
12:00 Noon-Luncheon Discus- Alfred T. Scheips, Pastor
sion (25c), Pine Room. Basic Sunday Morning Worship at
Christian Concepts with Bart. 9:15 and 10:30 a.m.
7:30 p.m.-An Experience in Sunday Morning 'Bible Study
Faith with Bart in Wesley at 9:15 a.m.
Lounge. Open to all. Midweek Worship Wednesday
,t:i Thursday, Oct. 9: at 10:00 p.m.
7:30 a.m.-Breakfast Club at * * *
Linda Throne's UNIVERSITY CIHURCIH
6:30 pm. s Grads & Single OF CHRIST
Young Adults d i n n e r, Pine Presently Meeting at
Room.YM-YWCA, S30 S. Fifth
7:30 p.m. - Grads & Single David Graf, Minister
rrI x Yoting Adults program, Lounge. Students Welcome.
18:00 p.m.-Divorced and Sepa- For information or transpor-
rated Group, Green Room. tation: 663-3233 or 662-2494.
Friday, Oct. 10: n d 10:00a.m. - Sunday Worship
6'00 n.m. - Young MarriedsService.
Potluck, Pine Room.
7:00 p.m. - Young Marrieds LORD OF LIGHT LUTHERAN
Program: Children: To Have or CHURCH (ALC-LCA)
Not to Have, Lounge, with Ms. (Formerly Lutheran Student
Laura Jonas from the Huron Chanel)
Va 1ev Child Glidance Center. 801 S. Forest Ave. at Hill St.
* * *
1236 Washtenaw Ct.
Pastor: Don Postema
* * *
Doily Photo by KEN FINK
)ennis James (i Ihe organ
Organ society revives art
in Michigan Theatre show
Gordon Ward, Pastor
Sunday Service at 10:30 e.m.
218 N. Division-665-0606
Sundays at noon-Holy Eucha-
rist with a meal following.
ANN ARBOR CHURCH
530 W. Stadium Blvd.
(one block west of
U of M Stadium)
Bible Study - Sunday, 9:30
a.m.-Wednesday, _7:30 p.m.
Worship-Sunday, 10:30 a.m.
and 6:00 p.m.
By CATHI SUYAK
Organ music has always had:
All right, I suppose I really shouldn't review a bad reputation with the
the Pines of Rome. It almost seems sacrilegious, masses. Many people hear or
1 gan music only in church, and
This is one of the near-perfect orchestral works ; they think it should stay there.
that has everyone in love with it. It's unfortunate that these
the likes of The Exorcist.
The Michigan Theatre's huge
pipe organ makes a wild assort-
ment of sounds. The novelty'
noises include a boat whistle,:
siren, and an auto horn. Every,
gimmick was used Wednesday
n ig t.
folks didn't hear Dennis and, If it wasn't appopriate for the
The only complaint I had about the perform- Heide James atrtheeMichigan movie, it was played in the
ance was that Mayer, again, played it so quick- Theatre Wednesday night. The' opening round of light-hearted
ly as to ruin some of the mysterious aura sur- Monster, a 1925 silent film, was songs that opened the evening's
rounding the second movement, The harpist, highlighted by organ accompan- program.
isment composed by Heide and The sournote of the concert
too, might be advised to remove the band-aids played by Dennis. It was a was the first number, which was
from her thumbs before she attempts to play scream to watch. greeted by appropriate boos and
the instrument again. The percussion was won- Take one typical early horror hisses. Dennis had opened withI
film - trite, corny, over-acted. "Beautiful Ohio," since the
derful. Add the appropriate thunder, James work out of the Ohio
The man in the seat next to me summed the screams, and ominous chords ' Theatre in Columbus.
of doom. The result is a remark- Dennis quickly redeemed his
concert up beautifully in the intermission, when ably effective fright - even to "shameful" background with a,
he said to his wife, who'd been complaining a sophisticated audience used to I rousing Scott Joplin rag. Heide
(his wife) accompanied on piano
as they hammered out the live-
ly dance, complete with horns
and bird whistles.
The remaining songs were
'20s and '30s hits that forced
visions of roller rinks and Tom
Sawyer misadventures. There
was even a brief sing-along to
keep the barrel rolling.
The duo also played Gersh-
win's Rhapsody In Blue as an
impressive reminder of the or-
gan's serious side.
Thanks to the Motor City
Theatre Organ Society, the
Michigan Theatre's 48-year-old
instrument is being kept in
prime condition. Hopefully, we'll
have more rowdy programs like
Wednesday's so that the organ
will leave church for awhile.
Need Transportation? C a 11,
CHURCH, 1001 E. Huron
Calvin Malefyt, Alan Rice,
9:30 a.m.-Church School.
5:30 p.m.-Student Supper.
10:30 a.m.-Morning Worship.
ST. MARY STUDENT CHAPEL
Sunday -- 7:45 a.m., 9 a.m.,
10:30 a.m., noon, and 5 p.m.j
(plus 9:30 a.m. North Campus).
Pl- * f
Please: help prevent forest fres.
about the lack of originality in the program,
I'd rather hear Beethoven played well than
Debussy badly." Hear, hear.
East and West bid seven clubs, made the
contract, and won the rubber..
"Let me see," said West, counting on all his
fingers and toes, "that means we beat you by a
score of four thousand to fifty. I trust you re-
view music better than you play bridge.
"Well," said the obnoxious young man, gath-
ering up his cards and preparing to go, "I hope
you enjoy your concert."
What can I say- I did.
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