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July 09, 1971 - Image 5

Resource type:
Michigan Daily, 1971-07-09

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Friday, July 9, 1971


Page Five

Fridy, Jly9,97~THE IC~iAN AILYPageFiv


Wild, Musical society feature a
return to Liszt and omanticism

Italy's Highest Award for the
ous, emotionally charged experienced!"_.
--Pauline Koel, The New. Yorker

The 'Romantic Revival' made
a belated arrival in Ann Arbor
last night, as the University Mu-
sical Society presented pianist
Earl Wild in a program of Mo-
zart, Brahms, Chopin and Liszt.
By restoring Franz Liszt to the
active repertory in its Summer
Concert Series, the Society re-
newed a time - honored tradi-
tion of Romantic virtuosity which
hearkened back to the days when
Hofmann, Paderewski and Rach-
maninoff graced Hill Auditorium.
Although this carping critic would
have preferred to hear a pianist
with Wild's prodigious technique
devour a whole program of ob-
sure, flamboyant r o m a n t i c
works (Alkan, Scharwenka, un-
familiar Liszt), each selection
he did choose to play highlight-
ed a different facet of the virtuo-
so's art.
For instance, Mozart intended
his Variations in G on a Theme
by Gluck to be a concert show-
piece for his own bravura pianis-
tic talents. Listening to Wild's
Mozart, unfortunately, one would
never have guessed the swash-
buckling origins of the varia-
tions. While he displayed rare
refinement of tone and awareness
of how to contrast piano and forte
phrases, his whole approach was
too delicate and miniaturized a
la Gieseking. As a result the
composition became a rococo
4 trifle, when with louder dynamics
it could have emerged as a vital
display piece with bite and verve.
Brahms' Capriccios bear an
important link to the mainstream
of nineteenth - century piano per-
formance; they are song - form
character pieces, a type of com-
4 position which all Romantic pi-
anists kept up their sleeves as
crowd - pleasers. Among these
often awkward and thickly-
scored Brahms' oeuvres only the
balletic Capriccio in b could be
termed a "greatest hit." For the
most part, these works are
* weighted down with bombastic
rhetoric and pretense masquer-
ading as profundity, prime exam-
ples of "much ado about noth-
ing." Wild didn't seem to be
much more enchanted with the
Capriccios than was this dis-
gruntled reviewer. His perform-
ances were rather abrupt, rough-
hewn and square.
The memory of Artur Rubin-
stein's unforgettable Chopin per-
formances in Ann Arbor cast a
long shadow over Wild's encoun-
ter with the Andante Spianato
and Grande Polonaise. Granting
Wild's beautiful tone in an unusu-

ally understated Andante, his
phrases lacked impetus and con-
tour, so that the slow section as
a whole didn't cohere. In the
Polonaise his nervously ripped
off fortissimo octaves and chords
didn't mesh with the work's ly-
rical moments, yielding an epi-
sodic and repetitive sounding per-
formance. More plasticity in
rhythm and careful building of
dynamic levels could have re-
deemed Chopin.
Artur Schnabel used to say
that he only bothered performing
compositions which were better
than they could ever be interpre-
ted. Most works of Franz Liszt
present the concert artist with
just the opposite situation, for
his music sounds only as good as
the pianist who is playing it.
And Liszt provided Wild with
just the vehicle he needed to play

his trump cards: incredibly sup-
ple virtuosity and endurance.
These qualities darted out in the
last numbers on this superhuman
program. The shimmering,
evanescent quality of "Walden-
rauschen" (Forest Murmurs'
was perfectly captured with a
subtly graduated climax; La
Campanella was literally hair-
raising in its pearling pianissimi
and impressive cresdendoed trill,
and the Valse Oubliee (an en-
core!) sped along in ear-ravish-
ing fashion.
Overall, Wild was tremendous-
ly impressive in his musicality in
Liszt, never sentimentalizing this
potentially treacly music. Wild's
combination of technique to burn
plus musicianship warrants his
speedy return to Ann Arbor in an
all-Liszt program.

a F#';TH Foruiv TON ITE AT
f 7AV U@90A1

Onee a sucker...
. always a sucker

Klatu Berrada Niktu
The Dependables
United Artists Uas 6799
No, this isn't a serious review,
cut by cut, of an album called
Klatu Berrada Niktu. I mean,
I'm aware that nobody cares to
hear about Klatu Berrada Niktu,
anyway, even if it turned out to
be the best album of 1971.
Actually, it's one of the worst.
I'm just writing this review to
bring you all up to date on the
Blues Magoos. Now I'm sure, as
you all turn over Carole King
albums, you don't want to know
about the Blues Magoos. But
you should, because it's a lesson
in how the record industry works.
The Blues Magoos were a ter-
rible group who exploited the
sucker instinct in a lot of teen-
agers and rode it to the bank be-
hind such ioditic albums as Psy-
chedelic Lollypop. So we fell for
it, just like we fell for Iron But-
terfly, Vanilla Fudge, and The
Electric Prunes. But we're all
older now, more wiser and so-
phisticated in our musical tastes:
we don't fall for that shit any-
more; you like Laura Nyro, I
like Van Morrison, and I know
some people who even like Cecil
You believe we're sophisticated
and I believe we're sophisticated,
but the record industry doesn't
believe we're sophisticated. And

since they conceive, produce, and
market the stuff we spend mil-
lions on, I suspect theyhknow
something we don't. And they do.
And that is; once a sucker, al-
ways a sucker; and if we fell for
the Blues Magoos once, we will
for the rest of our lives.
So here's the leader of the Ma-
goos, with some other cat in a
duo called the Dependables, and
he's singing the lamest rhythm
and blues you'll ever hear. But
get it, it's got a beautiful, rustic,
etherial cover, the back has a
picture like Deja Vu; and the
(Continued on Page 9)

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Starting July 6 (after holiday)
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INFORMATION: Day-663-4129, Night-971-0309

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