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November 16, 1982 - Image 7

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Text
Publication:
The Michigan Daily, 1982-11-16

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The Michigan Daily
4Comedy and
song from

RTS
Tuesday, November 16, 1982

Page 7

Artimiw

astounds

with virtuoso

Andy B
By Andrew Porter
S VERAL people tragically died
of laughter Saturday night at
The Ark while comedian Andy
Breckman was delivering his reper-
toire of satirical folk songs and one-
liners. This young writer for the
-David Letterman show fired wit
against both a cult following and
some new students interested in fin-
ding a humorous break in their dull
campus activities. It became, as
predicted, one of the most funny
and enjoyable evenings that has oc-
curred in written history.
After the show, Breckman an-
swered a few questions about his in-
teresting career.
Daily: Tell us a bit about what you're
currently doing.
Breckman: I'm leading almost a
schizophrenic life right now. I spend a
lot of time writing for television and a
little bit of time touring. For weekends
I'll sometimes take off from town and
'do some shows. The Ark has had me
before and I really like playing here so
when they asked me I was more than
happy to come up to Ann Arbor.
Q: How did you manage to avoid
college and do respectably?
A: Well, I went for about a month, but
they wanted me to attend classes and so
we had a bit of a falling out. As a matter
of fact, my whole life I was told that I
was going to be a lawyer. On the table
when I was born my mother said, "It's
a lawyer," not "it's a boy."
Before my first big test in my fresh-
man year I studied hard and set the

reckman
alarm for 6:30 so I could eat breakfast
and study some more. Then, just out of
left field, when it was time to wake up, I
said to my roommate, "Fuck it, I'll
drop out." I turned off the alarm, went
back to bed, and never attended
another class. It must have been
brewing subconsciously. I then went on
to have about 4 or 5 of the worst years
that you could possibly imagine. I
didn't get discovered overnight.
Q: Could you handle doing what
you're doing now for the rest of your
life?
A: As it turns out, as a surprise to me,
I'm very good at writing even though I
never studied it. Since they pay me ob-
scenely well and because I have a child
on the way, it looks like it's my life.
There's no money on the folk circuit.
Q: Why not give yourself a spot on the
Letterman show?
A: The reasons aren't good
politically. As a writer I'm there
forever, as a performer I'm judged dif-
ferently. Music at that time of night is
not a big draw. NBC has done con-
clusive studies that show that the TV
gets turned off at two in the morning
when John Denver comes out to sing
about the beautiful Rockies in the mid-
dle of winter. They avoid music on the
Letterman show.
Q: Is David Letterman gay?
A: No, he's been married for eight
years and now he's going out with a
very attractive lady who writes for the
show. Why? Is there a rumor here?
Q: Yes, quite a big one last time I
checked.
A: All right, all right, you beat it out
of me, he's gay.

Breckman
... laughter and music

Q: Why are your songs so involved
with fate?
A: When I sit down it seems that very
little is important in comparison with
the fact that we only have 80 years on
this planet. Flowers in the spring, for
instance, seem rather unimportant
against the fact that we only have one
shot at eternity. I have nothing new to
say about love or hitchhiking out west,
that's all been done before. I like to
think that I've staked out my own
territory and that I'm unique that way.
Q: What kind of humor appeals to
you?
A: I like writing more than other
types of humor. Somebody like Woody
Allen I respect a lot. He's brilliant. Mel
Brooks relies a lot on attitude and
character development. That is less
appealing to me. Someone like Rich Lit-
tle who just mimics other people is, to
me, not very amusing. Somebody who
does a lot of physical schtick-those
kind of comedians who end up spitting
water out of their nose aren't humorous
either. A well-crafted one liner is a joy
to listen to. Dangerfield is just ex-
cellent. Woody Allen too. I was reading
the other day where Woody Allen said,
"I took an Evelyn Wood speedreading
course and I was then able to read War
and Peace in fifteen minutes. It deals
with Russia."

By Robert Cassard
P ^IANIST LYDIA Artyrniw perform-
ed an astounding recital at
Rackham Auditorium Friday night.
While even the most accomplished
pianists find it difficult to sustain the in-
terest of an audience for nearly two
hours, Artymiw managed almost effor-
tlessly.
From the first notes of Clementi's
Sonata in B-flat major, Op. 47, No. 2,
great quantities of forethought and
preparation were evident in her per-
formance. She stretched the work to the
limits of Classicism bringing it to the
borders of Romanticism. This is not to
say that her sound was anachronistic.
In fact, the piece seemed informed by
her knowledge of Romantic
emotionalism and took on a new light
because of it.
In the opening "Allegro con brio," the
directness of the piece was enhanced by
her superb technique and flawless ar-
ticulation of ornamentation. She found
natural cadences and played them very
expressively in the opening section,
later opting for a more even tempo in
the repeat. What kept her within
Classical bounds was her extraordinary
dynamic control of the keyboard. While
thrusting herself into the music, she
never once succumbed to the tem-
ptation of overlaying dynamic con-
trasts.
The "Andante" had an even more
Romantic flavor which Artymiw
seemed to highlight. She had an almost
mischievous look in certain sections
which seemed particularly appealing to
her, squeezing down low to the piano as
if to coerce it into doing things her way.
The "Rondo" again allowed her free
reign as her technique and dynamic
control became pure precision.
Schubert's Sonata in G major, Op. 78
(D. 894), next on the program, demands
the most of any pianist in that it
requires a thorough insight into both
Classical and Romantic musical sen-
sibilities. Again, Artymiw pleased
everyone, with a prowess entirely
unexpected from an artist who is still in
her twenties.
Her admiration for Horowitz'
coloristic tone came through in the
opening chords. They seemed to sing
while slowly moving toward the
listener, forcing him to confront the
work directly. Even in this hymn-like
section, the melody could always be
sensed if not expressly heard above the
accompanying notes. The wandering
quality of the piece lent itself
beautifully to Lydia's subtle shifts in
mood which ranged from hypnotic to
tense. In the loudest sections of the
piece, the piano became like an or-
cnestra at her f ingertips. Each note of
every chord could be heard distinctly
both as a separate note with its own
value and as a perfectly blended part of
the whole chord. Even in the pianissimo
recapitulation, the notes had full tone.

The highlight of the "Andante" was
the contrast between the light Classical
precision of the first section and the
heavier emotional Romanticism of the
second. Her unobtrusive pedal work
kept what may easily become conflic-
ting harmonics well under control.
The third movement "Menuetto" was
not a typical stately dance but a
dramatic dialogue between two op-
posing styles. As Artymiw brought out
essential qualities of the music, it
seemed as if Bruckner and Mozart were
enacting a musical battle under the
light gentle tone of the trio reconciled
them.
The ,"Allegretto"' finale sealed my
impressions of the first three
movements. Antymiw's hands sprang
to and from the keyboard, jumping at
it, anticipating chords, holding on to
notes until the last possible moment
and letting them go just before it was
expected. In short, it was a performan-
ce full of risks-risks which worked,
however, and which made it as
thoroughly convincing a reading as one
could ever hope to hear.
The second half of the concert con-
sisted mostly of Brahm's epic
Variations and Fugue on a Theme by
Handel. The statement of the theme
boasted perfectly executed trills and,
although Artymiw faltered slightly on
some chords in the first variation, she
got right back into things with the
second one.
The piece grew in wave-length
motions based on contrasts in dynamic
level, major and tonality, and varying
tempi. Artymiw beautifully integrated
the variations which can easily feel
disjointed if they are not seen in the
light of the larger structure and sym-
metry of the work as a whole.
It takes an artist to push Brahms to
the limits, but Lydia Artymiw managed
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piano
to pull it off. In shifting to a duple meter
in the third variation, she went so far as
to hint as a ragtime feel; later, making
the speedy block chords of the seventh
variation more staccato than usual
highlighted the singing Chppinesque
tone of the eighth variation. After
building up to an excruciating peak =in
one of the final variations, Artymiw
took to the closing Fugue like wildfire.
She simply let her fingers do what they
needed to and the music took her body
with it.
The concert has a historical as well as
musical balance and seemed entirely
logical because of its cynical quality.
The progression began with the early
Classical Clementi piece (in which
Horowitz once noted a "Romantic
possibility"), continued with the
Schubert Sonata which has ties equally
to Classical and Romantic modes, and
ended with the thoroughly Romantic ef-
fulgence of Brahms, which is tied to
earlier music by its Baroque theme.
Last week, in an interview for
Weekend magazine, Artymiw said,
"What I do when I'm onstage has to be
so convincing that the audience feels it
is the only way." For a splendid two
hours on Friday evening, an Ann Arbor
audience had the privilege and pleasure
of hearing things Lydia Artymiw's way.

Records

John Lennon-'The John
Lennon Collection'
(Geffen)
It was bound to happen, of course.
Beatles don't just' get shot up in the
midst of a mini-comeback and not
make some kind of extra money post-
mortem. I've been expecting this
record for quite a while (at least they
had enough tact to wait a year or so).
Actually, I didn't think I was waiting
for this al' um. I figured the inevitable

"greatest" package would include fine
John tracks like ''Instant Karma,''
"Mind Games," and "Imagine." I
guess a track or two from Double Fan-
tasy are also appropriate. The
"touching" cover photograph is real
sweet, too.
What I reallv wanted to see, though,
rather than or in addition to the predic-
table montage of Lennon tracks were a
couple of what must be hundreds of un-
published works. At least the British

version of this album contains some in-
teresting songs. Anyone tempted to buy
Collection would be well-advised to get
the Shaved Fish release from the mid-
Seventies.
Not that what's included here isn't
good-just a little unnecessary. I'm
still waiting for the albums of all those
studio outtakes, home movies, sound
tracks, and bits of Sean singing in the
bathtub.
-Ben Ticho

WE HAVE THE HOTTEST

JEANS IN TOWN

Glee Club performs admirably

OW IN ITS 123rd season, the
University of Michigan's Glee
Club is part of a long-standing choral
music tradition at the University.
Saturday night at Hill Auditorium, the
Glee CLub put on another in a
seemingly unending series of ad-
mirable performances.
From the outset of Albert Stanley's
"Laudes Atque Carmina," the group's
traditional opening hymn, director
Patrick Gardner had full control of the
many voices on stage. It's always a
treat to hear a male chorus sing and see
its members tugged-up in tuxedo and
white-tie, but in this case, the Glee
Club seemed to be in unusually fine
voice and appearance.
The concert was dedicated to Philip
A. Duey, director of the Glee Club for 22
years, who died this past spring. As a
tribute to him, the Glee Club sang four
of his vocal arrangements including a
work by Gustav Holst and a Gershwin
medley. Holst's "The Heart Worships"
featured a solo by professor John Mc-
Collum of the music school, who had
been a close friend of Duey's.
Although the program as a whole was
a bit weak, there were numerous
highlights. Rachmaninoff's "Glory Be
To God" boasted a fine ensemble
sound, a soaring first tenor line, and a
beautiful climax. On Duey's
arrangement of "The Minstrel Boy," a
traditional Irish air, Tim Thomas, a
School of Music senior, did a fine job

directing.
As always, the Friars, an eight-voice
a capella group composed of Glee Club
members, brought down the house with
their comedy antics and rollicking
vocal arrangements (inspired greatly
by the Manhattan Transfer). Tim
Eaton did a beautiful high tenor solo on
"Dreamer's Ball" and Jack Cowles
hammed-it-up on "Trickle-trickle" and
"Operator." Their Mickey Mouse/Walt
Disney medley was equally fine.
"Witness," a traditional spiritual
cleanly directed by teaching assistant
Patrick Reynolds was the Glee Club's
last number before launching into the
ever-popular "Songs of the University
of Michigan." These songs couldn't
help but be a highlight in front of an
audience filled with alumni and en-

thusiasm for the up-coming Rose Bowl
appearance. At mimimum, these songs
reminded a lot of students (myself in-
cluded) that the least we can do before
leaving the University is to learn the
words to "The Yellow and the Blue."
All in all, it was a fine show and the
audience was ecstatic in its support. If
you're hoping for another chance to see
the Glee Club sing, you might consider
making a trek to Ohio for the Michigan-
Ohio State football game. On Friday.
November 19, the night before the
game, the combined Michigan and OSU
Glee Clubs will perform at Mershon
Auditorium at 7:30 p.m. Those in-
terested should call the OSU box office
at (614) 422-2354.
-Robert Cassard

There once was a freshman named Mae
Who walked past the League every day.
Now she breakfasts at eight,
And has gained ten pound's weight,
In the Coffee Shop loading her tray.
M.M.
TheMichigan 1f
LdJ E Next to Hill Auditorium
Located in the heart of the campus.
it is the heart of the campus

Lunch 11:30 to 1:15
Dinner 5:00 to 7:15
SPECIAL LOW PRICES FOR
STUDENTS
Send your League Limerick to: -
Manager. Michigan League
227 South Ingalls
You will receive 2 free dinner
tickets if your limerick is used in
one of our ads.

i

ANN ARBOR
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5th Ae ato liberty 761-0700
TESDAY
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new way to
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SHORTWAY BUS-TOURS

Thanksgiving
Nov. 24-28
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November 20-21

Round Trip Transportation
from The Michigan Union
to Columbus, Ohio.
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at Holiday Inn.
Wine & cheese reception.

Em-

THE MOST PRAISED
AND LOVED ROMANTIC

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