THE MICHIGAN DAILY
Friday, July 28, 1972
Try playing chamber music for a change
By DONALD SOSIN
DVORAK:-Dumky, Op. 90; The
Beaux Arts Trio, Philips (LY
BEETHOVEN: Serenade, Op.
TELEMANN: Trio Sonata in
C.P.E. BACH: Duet for Flute
and Violin in G major; Pinchas
Zukerman, violin; Eugenia Zuk-
erman, flute; Michael Tree,
viola; Charles Wadsworth, harp-
sichord, Columbia (M 31309).
ZUKERMAN PLAYS KREIS-
LER: Pinchas Zukerman, vio-
lin; Lawrence Smith, piano, Co-
lumbia (M 31378).
I saw the Beaux Arts T r i o
give a concert once, and was im-
pressed not only by their music-
ianship but by how much fun
they seemed to be having. And
that to me is a good deal of
what chamber music is all about.
It was recreation for the ama-
teur players of the eighteenth
and nineteenth centuries. I can
think of few things more enjoy-
able than getting together with
some friends and reading through
piano trios in your own home.
Take it out of the concert hall,
and put it back where it be-
longs! "Chamber music," says
a delightful pamphlet How to
Bluff Your Way in Music, "is
music written for a very small
number of listeners." On the
concert stage a great deal of its
intimate character is lost com-
pletely; people would enjoy it
a lot more if they started play-
ing at home again. It's m u c h
more fun than vicarious forms of
entertainment like television,
radio, film and theater. Not
that I have anything against
the latter three, but as J o h n
Simon suggests, if you want a
get a bunch of people together,
good evening's entertainment get
a bunch of people together, a n d
read a play out loud.
So maybe you think I'm telling
you not to listen to records ei-
ther? Not at all. Music's uni-
queness lies in its abstractness.
Programs may be forced on
many pieces, but ultimately,
music is pure sound, and comes
to life in the mind of the listen-
er. Thus one will get the most
out of it if one is involved, if
one is an active listener. Un-
fortunately, not many people are
these days. When it's so easy to
flip on the radio or put on a -e-
cord, when music is always
available, we lose -our apprecia-
tion of it and it becomes -just
another factor in our environ-
ment, like wallpaper or air-con-
ditioning. And so the potential
it has to make us laugh or move
us to tears goes unused.
hell, with that in mind, let
me recommend these three re-
cordings. If you .listen to them,
listen actively. Believe t h a t
friends are playing at your home,
for your enjoyment, and do them
the courtesy of paying atten-
tion, even knowing that you can
turn it off at any moment, or .e-
play it a hundred times. If you
then think about giving it a
aren't really listening to it,
then think about giving it a rest
instead of doing other things
while the music is on. For by
listening absent-mindedly, you
condition yourself not to listen
attentively in the future, and it's
a, tough habit to break. If you
can get off on rock or blues or
jazz, then you can do it on
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classical music, too. If it's play-
ed well, there's no real differ-
ence. It just takes getting used
Listen to Dvorak's Dumky, for
a start. It's sometimes called
the piano trio in E minor, but
it's not actually a formal trio.
A dumka is a short piece of pre-
dominantly melancholy nature.
There are six of them in this
work, and they are not connect-
ed. Each one is like a miniature
Slavonic dance, with a bi a s
toward the slow and lyrical. The
second and fourth are my favor-
ites, with their simple singing
cello themes, and interrupted by
the exuberance of the piano. The
balance is great, the stereo is
fantastic, and the music is play-
ed with a lot of care without
being too carefully treated.
There are some - rousing sec-
tions that speak only of enjoy-
ment, and if an occasional note
is missed, you just grin.
The two Columbia disks fea-
ture Pinchas Zukerman, one of
the best young violinists around.
On the chamber music album he
is joined, by his wife, Eugenia,
who is not a terrific flutist, but
does an awfully good job; Mich-
ael Tree of the Guarneri Quartet,
and Charles Wadsworth, director
See MUSIC, Page 7
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this f i i m established
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outlandish today. None
theless, a v e r y impor-
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