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January 12, 1982 - Image 5

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The Michigan Daily, 1982-01-12

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ARTS

The Michigan Daily

Tuesday, January 12, 1982

Page 5

Classical
duo near
perfection
By Jane Carl
V IOLINIST CHARLES TREGER
and pianist Andre Watts first
collaboration occurred in May, 1978 in a
series of concerts commemorating the
159th anniversary of Schubert's death.
Finding their musical union mutually
satisfying, they have since toured
together for a part of each year. Both
artists had appeared in Ann Arbor prior
to Sunday afternoon's Hill Auditorium
"recital, but Sunday was the first time
that the Ann Arbor audience had been
treated to both musicians
simultaneously.
Both virtuosos in their own right
(Treger was the first American winner
in the International Wieniawski Com-
petition in Warsaw and Watts burst into
acclaim at age 16 with the New York
Philharmonic), their ensemble per-
formance was brilliant and impeccably
balanced.
The program began with Beethoven's
"Sonata No. 8 in G major, Op. 30, No.
3." From the moment the duo entered
the stage, they displayed an unfailing
sense of enjoyment for their art, a
characteristic often lacking' in
professional playing. Treger appeared
almost professorial in looks and man-
ner, but Watt's facial gyrations and
dramatics reminded one of a mime ar-
tist. Although this aspect often
distracted one from the music, it did
make him entertaining to watch.
The second work on the program was
the "Sonata No. 1, Op. 80" by
Prokofiev. The dramatic simplicity of
the initial Andante assai was con-.
trasted with the visceral, high energy
Allegro brusco. The third movement,

Same as it never was .

Violinist Charles Treger and pianist Andre Watts performed at
Hill Auditorium Sunday.

marked simply Andante, contained
the most beautiful, placid moments of
the afternoon. In the final Allegrissimi,
the breathtaking con sordino violin runs
that first appeared in the second
movement were recapitulated and
played to perfection by Treger:
Debussy's "Sonata in G minor" was a
typically impressionistic, French work,
which the two delivered with apparent
ease despite its inherent complexities.
The Finale: tres anime was probably as
flawless as the human ear could con-
ceive, full of gut-wrenching French
romanticism and the uniquely matched
musicality of the duo.

The final piece was the Franck
"Sonata in A major." A contemplative,
pseudo-Brahmsian work, its difficult
piano part contained the recital's few
flaws. Its Allegretto movement was
particularly charming and well
wrought.
The Watts-Treger collaboration was
one of polished near-perfection, which
combined all the elements of musician-
ship with a sincere enjoyment for the
art. A bright spot on the musical
horizon, perhaps more duos will evolve
which include such similarity of
execution and spirit.

By Michael Huget
ROCK AND ROLL has aged another
year, putting it somewhere in the
mid-to-late twenties-about the same
time many people begin to become
predictable, conservative, and tedious.
Just as most of us eventually reach a
point in our life when we seek security
and stability rock has also settled into a
stagnating pattern. Personifying a
musical genre may seem a bit absurd,
but rock 'n' roll, unfortunately, sounds
like it's approaching middle-age.
With Elvis Presley leading the way,
rock survived an unruly childhood;
astonishing some but disgusting most
who dared to listen. But, if white,
liberal parents could endure Elvis, Lit-
tle Richard would surely disgust them
with the pure sexual excitement of his
music. Chuck Berry was playing that
"irritating" instrument generally
referred to as the electric guitar like
no one ever had before-and like
everyone would try to long after his
career had peaked:
And them came the Beatles, tran-
scending standards set by their
predecessors and, eventually, them-
selves; creating mass hysteria that
shocked parents and captivated the
youth. The energy of their music-the
energy of a frustrated, thrill-seeking
adolescent-came to life in a sound that
seemed totally new. As Dylan once
remarked: "They were doing things
nobody was doing. Their chords were
outrageous, just outrageous, and their
harmonies made it valid ... I knew
they were pointing in the direction
where music had to go . "
Along with the Rolling Stones, The
Who, and a few other members of the
British Invasion,, the Beatles defined
rock 'n' roll. More importantly, they
enhanced and eventually legitimized
rock's status as subculture, a status
made possible because they could
simultaneously alienate and infatuate.
The sound was revolutionary and the
reaction was fanatical.
What all this has to do with the past
year in music, which is what this article
is supposed to be about, is not hard to
discern. Rock's status as a viable sub-
culture is suffering. The music of major
artists is so sedate, so unalienating that
conservative, middle-class adults are
listening and enjoying. It's no secret
that rock and roll has become a
legitimized industry that lacks any of
its ole rebellious nature. How can
parents become enraged at a group of
heavy metal lightweights like Journey
when their latest hit, "Who's Crying
Now?," is on the playlist of their own
mellow MOR station?
This has been a year of constant
reminders of the glorious music of
yesterday; everything from the
resurrection or continuation of the
career's of the '60s stars to the sounds
from the newer artists. The Doors,
Hendrix, and the Beatles, among
others, are still being heard daily on

AOR stations. Perhaps the most in-
triguing phenomenon of the past year
was the remarkable resurgence of Jim
Morrison and the Doors (I'm still
waiting for some sick soul to release a
poster of what Morrison looke like
TODAY).
The Kinks, the Who and the Rolling
Stones, all part of the British Invasion,
had a successful year. The Kinks
biggest hit off Give The People What
They Want was "Destroyer," which
should have been titled "Lola meets All
Day and All Night." The Rolling Stones
Tattoo You doesn't compare favorably
with their earlier efforts, but it stacked
up well when compared to its com-
petition. The Who made the an-
ticipation of their impending split
tolerable with the release of Face Dan-
ces.
The music keeps getting older while
the fans keep getting younger. I would
imagine that it would be refreshing to
hear The Doors or Aftermath for the
first time, especially ifthe radio station
you listen to is inundated with REO
Speedwagon.
REO's Hi Infidelity was the best-
selling album of the year, which says
more about the competition (or lack of)
than it does about the merits of these
producers of manufactured emotion.
Speaking of the competition, it was
pretty much the same as the year'
before, except for that Led Zepplin
epigone, Billy Squire. Styx confused
their ways of old with Paradise
Theater, a melange of grandoise pop
songs, sappy ballads, and shlock-
rockers. Foreigner became puke-box
heroes with their fourth album. And
who can forget Pat Benatar or AC/DC?
I can. Of the major rock stars, Meatloaf
gave us the best news: Mr. Loaf's
Dead Ringer died very quietly.
The populatory of this junk can partly
be attributed to one thing; the un-
willingness of people to accept a
challenge and seek out exciting, new
music. It is much easier to get a cheap
fast thrill from the mindless hook'music
that is so predominant today. Hell, the
hooks aren't even totally original.
It's terribly difficult to fathom the
Motown of the '80s: Los Angeles. The
L.A. pop scene, with producers who
specialize in veneering an otherwise
punchy back-beat with frilly overstated
Beatlesque harmonies and specious
synthesizers, dominated the charts
again this year. Albums by Tom Petty,
Stevie Nicks, and Steely Dan sold
millions and millions.
Actually, not all the music that came
out this year was repulsive-that's if
you ignore most of the big sellers.
Granted, a few fun, slightly innovative
groups penetrated the perimeter of
mass acceptance, most notably
Squeeze and the Go-Gos.
And not all that came from the West
Coast lacked quality-just sales. X's
Wild Gift proved that nihilism can be
fun. But as soon as X started to receive
a few favorable reviews and proved
that they could play those instruments,
their fellow punksters spurned them for

doing what they all wished they could
do. And so it goes. Romeo Void,
utilizing tight, punkfunk bass-
dominated rhythms, extended' beyond
the nihilistic obsession of West Coast
punks and made fairly unpretentious
art rock on It's A Condition.
For Bruce Springsteen and Elvis
Costello, two of this generation's
authentic talents, 1981 was another
year to pay homage to their roots. After
his brilliant Trust LP, Costello released
Almost Blue, an album of songs written
by his favorite country artists.
Springsteen toured all year and
didn't release any new material. He
did, however, perform a few new songs
in concert, including "Good-bye John-
ny," a beautiful ballad attributed to
Elvis Presley.
If any two artists are capable of
forging ahead and creating a new
sound, another "pop explosion," it
would be one of these two. But both
seem so reverent toward their influen-
ces that their efforts are largely direc-
ted at defining the past 25 years instead
of moving a step ahead.
It seems that maybe only the Clash,
with their "to hell with established
style" attitude, could possibly create a
new, revolutionary sound with the
rebellious innocence necessary to cap-
tivate the youth. Hopefully, the group
will garner the recognition they deser-
ve and lead popular music out of its
mindless ruts. If Rock continues to
remain creatively stagnant and
become increasingly conser-
vative . . . well, let's just say that it
would be rock's KISS of death.

Stroke kills
Paul Lynde-,
BEVERLY HILLS, Calif. (AP)-Act-
or Paul Lynde, known to millions of
television viewers as the master of wit
on the "Hollywood Squares" game
show, has died of an apparent stroke,
his manager said today. He was 55
years old.
The manager, Alan David, said Lyn-
de's body was found in his Beverly
Hills home about 9:30 Sunday by his
friends who were to have met the actor
for dinner.
Lynde also portrayed the practical
jokester Uncle Arthur on the "Bewit-
ched" TV series from 1965 to 1972. He
was one of the Kraft Music Hall Players
on "The Perry Como Show" along with
such stars as Don Adams and Kaye
Ballard in 1961 and 1962. He starred in
his own show in 1972.
Lynde, who was single, is survived by
a sister, Helen Lynde, of Los Angeles
and other- relatives. Funeral
arrangements are pending.

THE DAILY
CLASSIFIEDS
ARE A GREAT
WAY TO GET
FAST RESULTS
CALL 764-0557

Janet Baker at Hill A uditorium

ANN ARBOR-game Janet Baker,
one of only a half-dozen singers to be
appointed Dame Commander of the
British Empire, will give her second
recital here at 4 p.m. Jan. 17 in The
University of Michigan's Hill
Auditorium.
Baker, who first appeared locally un-
der the auspices of the University
Musical Society in 1969, will perform
works by Caldara, Scarlatti, Caccini,
Durante, Handel, Purcell, Boyce,
Mahler, Gounod and Vaughan
Williams. Her piano accompanist is
Martin Isepp.
Baker performs regularly in this
country at such centers as New York's
Carnegie Hall, the Kennedy Center in
Washington, D.C., Chicago's Orchestra
Hall, the Los Angeles Music Center and
Boston's Symphony Hall. She also is
recognized as an accomplished opera
singer, particularly in Europe. Her
roles have included Charlotte in
Massenet's "Werther," Cassandra and
LSAT *"MCAT -GRE
GRE PSYCH - GRE BIO - MAT
GMAT -"DAT -OCAT - PCAT

Dido in Berlioz's "Les Troyens" and
lead parts in Britten's "Rape of
Lucretia" and Handel's "Julius
Caesar."
The London-trained mezzo-soprano
has received the Shakespeare Prize in
Hamburg, France's Grand Prix des Af-
faire Culturelles and is a Fellow of the
Royal Society of Arts.
Isepp, a native of Vienna who moved
to England, is the son of Helene
Isepp, one of Dame Baker's mentors.
Hand-picked by the guest accompanist
Gerald Moore as his successor, Isepp is
in great demand by singers both in the
United States and Europe. He has been
harpsichordist with the Handel Opera

Society of New York and at the Handel
Festival at Kennedy Center in
Washington, D.C.

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