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May 24, 1978 - Image 6

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Publication:
Michigan Daily, 1978-05-24

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Page 6-Wednesday, May 24, 1978-The Michigan Daily
Chamber concert superb
By JEFFREY SELBST national Chamber Music Competition sinuous motives intertwine and each to hear a quartet with as much energy
Monday night in the Pendleton Room at Evian, France, 1976; winner, East soloist has a chance to shine. The and precision as this.
of the Michigan Union the International and West Artists Competition, New Allegretto which closes the piece retur-
Y kn er d M in uiwi itLnn 10771f, 0))A

David Shifrin with the'
International StringQuartet
Pend/eton Room
May22,1978
Stringu Qartet in D)
major, K.575 ........................Mozart
Quartet for piano and strings in
G mninor, K. 478 ............ Mozart
Qooitet for rarinet andstrings i..
A major. K.581.......................Mozart
String Quartet performed an evening of
Mozart chamber music. And with what
rich tone, such delightful nuance, what
clever balance, and above all, what
zest) i
This much-decorated quartet (winner
of the Premier Grand Prix in the Inter-

YorK, ana mumncompetition, iv977)a
played the String Quartet in D major K.
575, the Quartet for piano and strings in
G minor K. 478, and the Quintet for
clarinet and strings in A major K. 581.
The D major quartet is constructed
along strictly classical lines - the
allegro (first movement) presents
alternating themes in a basic sonata
form; this includes the requisite key-
changes and re-statements, and
culminates in a stunning recapitulation
and coda. The second and third
movements, however, are less the by-
rote earlier Mozart than they are
characteristic of the lyrical later
Mozart. It is in these sections, almost
always (in this case an Andante and a
Menuetto), that the composer makes
his most personal statements. Long

ns to a kind of musically virtuostic
form.
michigan DAILY
THE PERFORMERS - Chihiro
Kudo and Machie Oguri-Kido, violins,
James van Valkenburg, viola, and Lutz
Rath, cello, are a sparkling and well-
coordinated foursome. Mozart is too of-
ten played with a kind of absent-minded
- somnolence. It is both rare and a treat

tie Gu minor piano quartet is a rather
well-known piece, but the quartet -
minus Kudo but joined by William Dop-
pman on piano - did a fine job of
breathing life into this work.
They did this principally by giving
the piece something of a different in-
terpretation than it is usually accorded.
It was played here more quickly,
sacrificing the usual preoccupation
with the small, finely-turned phrases of
the work and concentrating instead on
the grander framework. Interestingly
( and as Mozart probably intended),
when played faster, a larger scheme
stands out. This was made particularly
evident by Doppman.
The second'half of the program was
also well-played. The clarinetist, David
Shifrin, turned in a competent and
technically pleasing version of the A
major clarinet quintet. This piece,
which due to some repetitive material
in the inner movements seems to last
forever, was nicely handled by all in-
volved. It is simply not so interesting a
work as the two that preceded, and if it
were necessary to play precisely these
three works in the program, perhaps
their order should have been reversed.

'Pretty Baby' pretty pointless

By ANNE SHARP WHAT MAKES this film so unset-
Pretty Baby happens to be a very tling is its questioning acceptance of a
fashionable film. For one thing, its sub- totally unnatural situation. The
ject matter-a little girl who becomes a grownups in Violet's life-her neglec-
prostitute-makes it quite topical tful mother, Bellocq, the madam of the
amidst the current public uproar over house who sells the girl's virginity-are
child abuse. And, to the disgust of all too amoral to realize that the child is
feminists and delight of pedophiles, the simply too young to be having sex.
newsmagazines have hailed Brooke Brooke Shields, no matter how good-
Shields, the film's twelve-year-old star, looking she may be, is just a kid with
as the film world's newest sex queen. long hair and skinny legs.
Also, the movie is set in a 1917 New She is obviously not ready to function
Orleans bordello, where the employees, biologically as a woman, and the
who don't need clothes for modesty or whore's makeup Violet wears is in-
warmth, lounge about in film cotton congruous on her immature face; she
underthings straight out of Vogue. looks as though she has colored her lips
With its white muslin "sexy but in-- and eyebrows with Crayolas. Violet's
nocent" look, the film looks too pretty aping of the adult whores' pitch is not
to be dirty. Under the caressing eye of pleasant to watch. It is this, I think, that
cinematographer Sven Nykvist, who got the film banned in Ontario.
has shot most of Ingmar Bergman's Living in a depraved place where
films, Violet (Shields), born and raised such intimate matters as opium
in Storyville's red light district, wan- smoking, childbirth and the sexual act
ders carelessly in a warm, sensual go on in the open, Violet has never had a
world of tropical plants, brocades and chance to become corrupted, as she
rose-lipped women, all to the constant was born into corruption. She cannot be
accompaniment of sultry New Orleans harmed by her experiences because
jazz. they seem natural to her. And this is
precisely her tragedy. Unless a better
AND THAT'S about it. Louis Malle, way of life thrusts itself upon her, she
the director, brushes over plot, charac- will remain in the cathouse.
ter development and motivation in his VIOLET IS NO innocent. When she
effort to create this luscious setting. makes love to Bellocq, she is the
People come and go for no apparent aggressor and he is too much of a nurd
reason. Bellocq (Keith Carradine), a to refuse her. As she gets ready to go
high-strung photographer with untidy upstairs with her first customer, she
hair supposedly modeled after painter seems as excited as a girl dressing for
Toulouse-Lautrec, shows up on the her first prom. Afterwards, from out-
whores' doorstep one morning, and side their room, we hear her cry out in
abruptly becomes a permanent fixture pain, but it is hard to feel sympathy for
in the house. Violet's mother, played by her. For one thing, Violet isn't that
Susan Sarandon, abandons her lovable or endearing or pleasant a
daughter to marry a respectable man, child; also, she has no self-pity. She
then returns after an inordinately long simply tries to find happiness while she
time to retrieve her; meanwhile the does the nasty things she must.
child, after tiring of turning tricks, has Does playing the harlot for Malle's
seduced and married Bellocq. One is camera mean that Shields the budding
left wondering, "Why?" Malle's people actress has been personally corrupted?
exist, it seems, simply to amaze the I don't think so. Judging from what I
audience by their outrageous behavior, have heard from neighborhood kids, the
average prepubescent these days has a
filthy little mind and vocabulary to
SPRING match. And since Shields doesn't do or
ARTS STAFF say anything blatantly sexual, I don't
think she learned anything new for her
ARTSEDITOR role.
OwenGleiberman What good, however, is Pretty Baby,
ARTS STAFF: Michael Baadke, Bill Barbour, Susan in the final analysis? Its refusal to
Barry, Karen.Bornstein, Patricia Fabrizio, Douglas moralize, or make us understand the
Heller, Paula Hunter, Matthew Kletter, Peter Manis' characters or what they do, makes it in-
Joshua Peck, Stephen Pickover, Christopher Potter
Jeffrey Selbst, Anne Sharp, Eric Smith, R. J Smith, tellectually worthless. The sad,
Kerry Tiompson, T(' -agie disgusting situations it-depicts make it

no fun to watch, and its lack of explicit
sex or nudity make it as useless as
porn. It is mainly a series of pretty pic-
tures, decadent, soulless, and
depressing.

SRECORDS

carly simon
Boysno the Trees
Elektra6E-128
By MICHAEL BAADKE
Although Carly Simon's approach to
her music hasn't changed drastically
since the release of her first LP in 1971,
she has recently been expanding the
scope of her attention, applying some
amount of increased diversity. This ex-
pansion was first notable on Playing
Possum, which contained songs like the
uninhibited "Attitude Dancing" and the
melancholy "Sons of Summer."
Diversity is always a welcome
element in contemporary music, par-
ticularly if the artist's expression is
successful within the various represen-
tative settings. Carly Simon rarely
falters, either as a performer or as a
songwriter; her latest album, Boys In
the Trees, is a thoroughly enjoyable
recording which displays Simon's
widening talent.
MOST OF THE songs on the new
album are based on Simon's
copyrighted mixture of sensitivity and
sensuality. One exception is a pleasan-
tly ridiculous tune entitled "De Bat
(Fly In Me Face)," which carries no
message beyond the fact that
"Everybody get a little upset when a

bat fly in they face." Simon sings this
bit of frivolity with an affected
Jamaican accent, backed by James
Taylor's acoustic guitar, some light
percussion, and a motley sounding
group of male vocalists improvising on
the chorus. It's catchy.
"You Belong to Me" is a song which
shows Simon at her familiar best.
Recently released as a single, the tune
is at once demanding and pleading; it's
easy to believe the forthright simplicity
of the lyrics as Simon's vocals relay
such expressive sincerity. The musical
backing is suitably subtle, allowing
Simon's voice to carry most of the
song's power. Gordon Edwards con-
tributes a pulling electric bass line, and
the song also features a characteristic
solo by premier sax man David San-
born.
AS WITH virtually every Carly
Simon LP, Boys In the Trees features
an impressive line-up of backing
musicians. James Taylor pops up
almost everywhere, even contributing
one of his own compositions, "One Man
Woman." Richard Tee handles most of
the keyboard work; Carly does not play
piano on this LP as she has on most of
her others. Hopefully, the departure is
only temporary - although Tee is
eminently talented, Simon's piano work
on tunes like "You're So Vain" and
"Waterfall" has always been a positive
addition. Simon does play guitar on the
album, sharing that position with the
likes of Eric Gale, Taylor, Cornell
DuPree, Stu Scharf and Jeff Mironov.
Simon's own brand of diversity is
most evident on Boys In the Trees.
"Tranquillo (Melt My Heart)" is a
compelling song written for her young
son, with a musical base hovering
somewhere near disco. This com-
bination works surprisingly well, as the
well-tempered orchestration nicely ac-
centuates Simon's vocal performance.
Her vocal strength , ,increased
See SIMON, Page 8

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