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November 25, 1980 - Image 5

Resource type:
The Michigan Daily, 1980-11-25

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The Michigan Daily Tuesday, November 25, 1980

Page 5


Giulini upholds the LA tradition

In 1978, 64-year-old Carlo Maria
Giulini assumed the position of music
director with the Los Angeles Philhar-
monic. He came in the wake of such
great conductors as Artur Rodzinski,
Otto Klemperer, Alfred Wallen-
stein-and, most recently, Zubin
Mehta, the wonder boy of the west
coast, who at age 25 became the direc-
tor of the Philharmonic and in the sub-
sequent 16 years led it to the distinction
of being one of the most highly regar-

ded orchestras in the world. In light of
the orchestra's luminous past, one
would have expected the then-
somewhat obscure Giulini to have been
less than illustrious in his new job, but
time has shown this suspicion to be
Bringing to Los Angeles a
distinguished, basically European
musical background, Giulini had
assured the rest of the world of a con-
tinuing tradition of excellence from the
Los Angeles Philharmonic. Its

European tour in May of 1979 has been
described by some as the orchestra's
greatest triumph. Sunday evening's
concert in Hill Auditorium marked
Maestro Giulini's Ann Arbor debut.
THE CONCERT began with the
traditional "Surprise" symphony by
Haydn, otherwise known as Symphony
No. 94 in G major. The title is a bit of a
misnomer, because although there is a
"surprising" loud chord at the end of
the .andante theme of the second
movement, little else in the piece could
be considered truly surprising. The fir-
st attack of the adagio vivace first
movement was slightly rough, possibly
due to the lack of rehearsal in a new
acoustical setting. Also, the oboe
seemed a bit strained, compensating
for. some extraneous factor, but she
valiantly recovered from this in about
40 seconds. The balance of sound and
ensemble sensitivity displayed by this
group was remarkable, evidence of
their stature as a world class orchestra.
The infamous andante movement
was very effective in its blend of pianos
and' pianissimos with the "surprise"
chord. There were nice transitions and
contrasts between the martial and
lyrical sections, emphasizing the sim-
plicity of the piece and the great beauty
of ensemble tone. The menuetto, in
reality an authentic Austrian peasant

dance, was filled 'with tiny, effective
rubatos which broadened the charac-
teristic minuet sound. Lastly, the final
allegro's charming theme flew along
gaily, finally boosting the orchestra's
energy level from what seemed like
early jet lag to fervent excitement.
Here, Giulini accomplished the
See GUILINI, Page 10

Daily photo by JOHN HAGEN
This lanky gentleman, the sleek master of blue-eyed soul and modern make-
out music is shownihere wooing a sold-out Crisler Arena crowd on Saturday
night. With his voice and those looks how'd he get a name like Boz Scaggs?
Dancing in the seat
"I knew 90 percent of what he played!" said my companion, who owns
not one Boz Scaggs album, after Scaggs' triumphant, sold-out concert at
Hill Auditorium Saturday night. It was the perfect summation: Boz's
AM/pop-disco fare has earned him wide commercial success, and his
string of hit singles far overshadow anything else he has put down on
No doubt on tour to support his recent-released Hits! collection, Scaggs
drew heavily on his recognizable pop tunes and from the immensely suc-
cessful 1976 LP, Silk Degrees. Onstage, Scaggs conjured up images of
another pop vocalist, the Doobie Brothers' Michael McDonald, for both
sing as if their mouths were crammed full with marbles, warbling from
the back of their throats. Scaggs, however, flirts with more rhythm and
blues affectations than does McDonald. In fact, if you.never saw Scaggs
live or checked out one of his album's covers, you might swear you were
listening to a black singer.
SCAGGS WAS, GENERALLY in fine voice at Hill - an early stop
on the first leg of a national tour, one that was scrapped entirely this
summer-but of wary demeanor. Scaggs, whose upturned collar, chisled
features, and sleek maneuvers made him look like a finely-honed GQ
,; model, scanned the audience scornfully, and distanced.himself from the
crowd throughout the show. Even with the obligatory "Ohio State got
their asses kicked"' quip, Boz scowled at the orchestra seats, relaxing to
smile only during the encore, an extended version of "lowdown."
Scaggs began his two-hour set with a rollicking "Breakdown Dead
Ahead," accented by two black female back-up singers who pantomimed
Boz's lyrics a la the Supremes and Temptations. "What Can I Say?" was
reworked from its original, disco-fied version to sound more like rock and
roll. Introducing "Georgia" as a song about statutory rape, Boz took to
the keyboards, straining with the song's falsetto and failing miserably.
WHEN HE'S NOT attacking disco, Boz seems most at east singing
ballads. During the dense imagery of "Harbor Lights," Scaggs stood
lankily at the microphone stand, his voice easy and lithe. A faithful ren-
dition of his current hit, "Look What You've Done To Me," followed soon
afterward, the song disturbingly similar to "We're All Alone" (with
which Rita Coolidge had a hit earlier this year). With the lessening of
disco's more such romantic balladry from artists like Boz Scaggs, whose
initial commercial success was garnered via disco.
Which, of course, doesn't mean that Boz's subsequent material (post-
Silk Degrees) hasn't been danceable. Where "Lido Shuffle" was dance-y
without being disco, "Jojo" (from this year's Middleman album) is
likewise a dance tune, and Saturday night Scaggs rendered it in a jazzy,
soulful way. And therein lies the major problem of Boz Scaggs in live per-
formance: who wants to sit down through all of this snappy stuff?
The opening act, California-based band Seawind, similarly contributed
to the problem of Happy Feet. Led by petite singer Pauline Wilson, whose
voice is alternately breathy and cutting, the group is reminiscent of
discoids Chic, with more of a funky jazz base. An annoying moment came
when the sax player adopted a Popeye-like stance during one good tune,
pumping his instrument in the air as if he were a member of the Michigan
Marching Band. The group, who has just released its debut album on A &
M Records, is so well-rounded that it shouldn't have to resort to such
cheap theatricality.
The University Choral Union
and The University Orchestra
Donald Bryant, conductor
Elizabeth Parcells, soprano Leonard Johnson, tenor
Victoria Grof, contralto Edward Pierson, bass
Bejun Mehta, boy soprano
Fri., Sat.at 8:30,
Sun. at 2:030

Seen here in a previous concert appearance in maestro Carlo Maria Giulini,
who conducted the Los Angeles Philharmonic in a triumphant visit to Hill
Auditorium this weekend.
Come in and build your own from our
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