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May 07, 1970 - Image 2

Resource type:
Michigan Daily, 1970-05-07

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Page Two


Thursday, May 7; 1970


r " r r




I greeted Philips' new record-I
ing of the 12 Concerti, Opus 10,
by the 18th century Venetian t
composer Tomaso Albinoni, with 1
eager anticipations of hearing 1
further samples of this Bar- c
oque master's most beautiful t
writings for strings. Alzinoni, aE
self-labeled "dilettante," wrote1
some of the most charming and .
poignant adagios that ever t
flowed onto foolscap, and, in-
deed, one occasionally finds the 1
cultered hero of an English i
novel breathing into his sweet
victim's pink and perfumed ear, b
"Aimez vous Alboinoni?"]
Albinoni's concerti for wind t
instruments and strings are es- 1
teemed, especially the Opus 7 1
and Opus 9 set, for their com- 1
bining a sensuousness of line
with an originality of detailed
instrumentation. Unlike many of 1
his contemporary composers, f
who buried interesting melodic a
ideas in repetitive forms (for
instance the third movement of 1
Dittersdorf's Harp Concerto),
Albinoni always-well, almost f


Reviewer's nightmare

potential. Unlike other recorder
players, Bernard Krainis for in-
stance, who play with an essen-
tially even tone, Bruggen subtle-
ly alters tone through breath
pressure; he thus elicits a range
of expression on the recorder
that, to my experience, has not
been matched. Needless to say,
he commands the requisite dig-
ital prowess, and that prowess
can at times be mind-boggling.
The fascination of Bruggens'
latest recital on Telefunken lies
in, first, the material: he pre-
sents a wonderfully capricious
piece by Couperin entitled "Le
Rossignol en amour." in which
the sopranino recorder imitates
the spontaneous warblings of a
nightingale, and various works
by Telemann, Pepusch, Carr,
Van Eyck, and Loeillet. All are
first class compositions, and
Bruggen blends the spontaneous
and the formal in a perfect
meld. Secondly, he uses several
museum instruments from the
"golden age" of recorder manu-
facturer. Many are slightly dam-

headlong where deliberation is
needed, and for once in his re-
corded lifetime, his fingers do
not help clarify the situation.
Glen Gould has been one of
the most penetrating, interest-
ing, and rewarding pianists of
the last fifteen years, ever since
his justifiably famed set of
Goldberg Variations, but, as he
turned his interest to other
media as television and radio,
his musical performances be-
come less credible.
On Columbia MS7408, Szell
puts the Cleveland Orchestra
through their well-trained paces
in Kodaly's Hary Janos Suite
and Prokofiev's Lieutenant Kije
Suite. As to be expected, the
orchestral playing is a model
of timbral balance and ensemble
precision, but, as in many Szell
recordings, a good deal of the
desired razz-ma-tazz is lacking.
The Hary Janos Suite especially
needs a gruffer, jazzier style,
and if you hurry, you can still
obtain the excellent Fricsay per-
formance on Heliodor, a line
now being deleted.
Jascha Horenstein has fin-
ally been recorded in decent
sonics and with a first-class or-
chestra. Always spoken of as
one of Europe's finest conduc-
tors little known in the States
(except on Vox recordings of in-
ferior sonics), Horenstein has
maintained a devoted following.
That retinue should increase if
a new Nonesuch recording (1-
71236) of Carl Nielsen's Fifth
Symphony finds its deserved
audience. Nielsen's symphony is
highly dramatic, its metaphysic
based on an involvement with
Nature that may be more im-
mediately accessible in the work
of Sibelius, but in many ways,
Nielsen creates more fascinating
instrumental textures than Si-
belius ever did. A Danish Mahler,
Nielsen in his Fifth Symphony
widened his outlook "to iclude
a view of humanity as a whole."
Horenstein assembles, controls,
and molds his forces (the New
Philharmonia Orchestra) su-
perbly, and the Nonesuch sonics
allow one a new appreciation of
this conductor, not to mention
of the music. Nielsen's shorter
work, Saga-Drom, is also in-
One of Victoria de los An-
geles' more interesting recitals
has recently come out onAngel
S-3 6682; it includes songs by
Eduardo Toldra, Federico Mom-
pou, and Joaquin Rodrigo. I find
many of these Catalonian songs
similar in style and spirit to the
songs of the Auvergne arranged
by Canteloube; those by Rodrigo
are especially fine. As in other
de los Angeles recordings of the
last few years, the singer has
been too closely miked.
Daily Managing Editor Judy
Sarasohn has been awarded the
$750 college competition grand
prize in the Detroit Press Club
Foundation's annual writing
Miss Sarasohn, whose first
place news story on the ar-
raignment of John Collins won
the grand prize in the three-
category contest, is a senior
from Briarcliffe, N.Y.
The prize was awarded at the
foundation's fifth annual din-
ner last month.

Zabriskie Point, now showing
at the State theater, is a movie
of ambivalence, a reviewer's
nightmare, because he must shy
away from making a final
judgement on its merit and con-
tent himself with a discussion of
the film's good and bad points.
My reaction is two-fold. There
are certain things that really
impress me and there are other
things that disgust me. The
scorecard is balanced which
leaves me with the impression
that it is an acceptable movie,
but nothing to get ecstatic over.
Directed by Michelangelo An-
tonioni (Blow-Up) Zabriskie
Point is a movie about America,
the country we have all learned
to love and hate simultaneously.
The basic theme is a common
one for Antonioni - contem-
porary man's alienation from his
environment. And if there is an
answer to our society's problems
it is embedded in the attitudes
and energy of our alienated
Now this may sound a lot
like all the other recent Amer-
ican films with the heroes being
the sensitive individuals and the
bad guys characterized as the
middle-aged members of the es-
tablishment, but the distinction
here is too sharp. Although you
can't tell from the color of their
hats, it is often too obvious who
you are suppose to side with.
The storyline is equally far-
fetched and even a simple ex-
planation of it is more than dif-
ficult. A young man. (Mark
Frechette) steals an airplane to
escape from the turmoil around
him. His action is not criminal,
but a desire to free himself, to
"get of the ground." He meets
an equally disillusioned girl
(Daria Halprin) and they pro-
ceed to make love in the depths
of Death Valley. He then paints
the stolen plane in a liberated
fashion and returns it. The
authorities fail to see the humor
of the situation and he is killed
when the plane lands. The girl
learns of his fate on her car
radio and relieves her frustra-
tion by envisioning her bosses
plus desert resort blowing itself
to bits thereby revenging her
friend's death and predicting
the eventual end of current
American civilization.
What happens in the interim
is an exhibition of American
vices at their best, including the
dehumanizing effect of big busi-
ness, police brutality, the lack
of sufficient gun control, and
the ridiculousness of fat middle-

class Americans traveling around
the country in their camper.
All this is suppose to convey just
how desolate the conditions in
America are, and you can't deny
that it is true, but it is the only
answer an orgy in the most life-
less spot in the country?
Antonioni's technique is the=
key issue. It is hard to imagine
how someone can be a genius
on some counts and absolutely
atrocious on others.
The photography is fantastic.
The scenery is perfect for some-
one who is willing to allow the
camera to capture the natural
beauty and the feeling that it
emits. At times you wonder if he
is not holding the shot too long,
but patience is a must in ap-
preciating the colors that seem
The visual effects are superb.
The last scene which shows
symbols of American affluence
being destroyed is surrealistic, as
slow motion depicts the intricacy
and captivating awe of some-
thing being demolished.
The negative points are more
depressing than usual because
you would like to believe that
Antonioni could have done bet-
ter. The dialogue is scanty and
hideous, you almost believe that
the movie could have been bet-
ter without it. By concerning
himself with "types" the char-
acters are unreal, placed in si-
tuations where their actions are
obvious and they. have no
chance to progress or offer a
change of pace by catching the
viewer off guard. The two stars
epitomize the "beautiful people"
category and you wish they
could talk with their mouths
as well as they, talk with their
eyes. Another big flaw is that
any continuity the movie may
have had was left on the cut-
ting room floor. Not only are
the scenes distinguished by un-

comfortable blackouts, but the
movie is also held together by
past pretenses and future ex-
Antonioni definitely has a
pessimistic view of America and
nowadays who doesn't? You can
get awful tired of people saying
how rotten it is in America,
what interests you is some an-
swers. After seeing Zabriskie
Paint I thought about it, but was
more curious to see who was on
Cavett's show and what was
happening at Kent State. This
film is aimed at the "youth
audience," it says what young
people want to hear, but this
satisfaction quickly turns into
apathy when you realize that
Antonioni is right but secretly
wonder so what?
2nd WEEK...
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-Vincent Canby, N.Y. Times

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THURS., FRI., MON. AT 7:30
SAT., SUN. AT 1 :30, 4:30, 7:30

Maole Vi.aeme
The Dascola Barbers


always-managed to avoid suc-
cumbing to mere repetition (an
aspect of Baroque music which
makes it so accessible) and
found interesting ways to turn
a phrase.
The Opus 10, in this premiere
recording on Philips S-C 71 AX
308, disappoints in certain ways.
The score, in a Dutch manu-
script, was discovered in 1965'
in Sweden by a Danish musicol-
ogist. If the program notes had
not insisted on the authorship
of these twelve concerti for vio-
lin, strings, and continuo. I
probably would not have ven-
tured to assign them to Al-
binoni. Lacking are a certain
airy suspension, a certain warm-
th, and even the evanescent
adagios which tell of Albinoni's
Part of the problem-though
problem is to harsh a word-
may be attributed to the fact
that the concerti are performed
by the famed Italian ensemble,
I Musici. Now I Musici are an
outstanding organization, and
the twelve musicians (six violins,
two violas, two cellos, a double-
bass, and harpsichord) have
achieved a cohesiveness and
precision that won even Tocani-
ni's applause. Yet they are es-
sentially a very serious-sounding
group whose style is marked by
a certain motoric drive that
hardly deigns to linger over Al-
binoni's sighs of lethargic plea-
Established Albinoni fans will
no doubt want to own this set,
well-recorded now that Philips
imports their discs, but the un-
initiated may well find the best
introduction to Albinoni to be
the MHS recording of varied
concerti for strings and wood-
winds (MHS 664), which, hap-
pily enough, is conducted by
Karl Ristenpart.
One new recording which I
would like to recommend with-
out the slightest hesitation is a
recital by Franz Bruggen en-
titled "Recorder Music with
M u s e u m Instruments, circa
1700." It may be found on the
Telefunken label, SAWT 9545-
A Ex.
Bruggen is that rare musician
who has chosen a secondary
instrument, and elevated it,
through his mastery and art-
istry, to primary interest and

aged; it is astounding to read
in the liner notes that the so-
pranino recorder used for the
Couperin has a damaged air
slit, for not the least sense of
hesitancy appears in Bruggens'
Telefunken, a German com-
pany which, in my opinion, pro-
'vides the best sound in the busi-
ness, even better than D.G.G.
and certainly far superior to
any sound recording manufac-
tured in America provides ex-
cellent notes on the music' and
on the instruments, and, of
course, immaculate sonics.
A recording that should be
avoided by all but the curious
and affluent is Glenn Gould's
latest Columbia album; on MS
7413, Gould proves that he can
hack around not only with Mo-
zart but with Beethoven as well.
Gould has written that the
only reason to perform a piece
of music is to try to "do it dif-
ferently;" thus he has given up
concertizing, which he sees as
leading to a calcification of in-
terpretation. On records, he has
sought to preserve especially his
uniquely well-delineated Bach
and his highly up-tempo Mo-
zart. 'His newest assault on
Beethoven seeks again "to do it
differently," and the results are
Gould offers three "favorite"
sonatas: the "Pathetique," the
"Appassionata," and the "Moon-
light." As an example of Gould's
approach on this disc, let me
just mention his way with the
"Moonlight." He obviously finds
the nickname to the Sonata No.
14 a lot of balderdash, but in his
debunking, he throws out the
baby with the bathwater. The
sonata normally opens slowly
and quietly ,or, to use Gould's
own words,' with "d i f f i d e n t
charm." Gould, however, begins
mezzo-forte and at a goodly
pace, which, quite simply, leaves
him no place to go. In a way,
this sonata is Beethoven's Bo-
lero, and each movement accel-
erates, in mood as well as in
tempo, what preceeded; as
Gould puts it, "The Moonlight
Sonata escalates from first note
to last." Thus, by beginning at
an appreciable plateau, Gould
destroys the archetectonics of
the entire piece. In the other
sonatas too, Gould tends to rush





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