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March 24, 1983 - Image 6

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The Michigan Daily, 1983-03-24

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4

ARTS

4

page 6

Thursday, March 24, 1983

The Michigan Daily

,

i

Consort's concert: Classy chords

By Jerry Brabenec
A S EDGAR VARESE once said,
"The present day composer
refuses to die!" Varese, a rather
iconoclastic French composer of the
mid 20th century, was making the point
that composers of classical music
aren't respected until they've been
dead as long as Beethoven. The morbid
phenomenon of a composer's prestige
suddenly increasing as his works are
revived upon the hundredth anniver-
sary of his birth (or death) is all too
familiar. Composers writing now are
saying, "I don't want to wait until I've
been dead 40 years to be heard!"
As a response to this, composer/con-
ductor/percussionist David Colson en-
visioned a chamber group dedicated to
quality performances of works by
living and local composers. Hard work
and the cooperation of a great pool of
local talent have borne fruit, and the
Current and Modern Consort has
established a very high standard of
repertoire and performance in its per-
formances over the last few years.
There is a vague local awareness that
the University of Michigan has one of
the best music schools in the country,
but what many people don't appreciate
is that the school is strongest in the area
of contemporary music and composition.
Ann Arbor has a great wealth
of highly trained classical musicians,
both within and without the University.
Bruce Dondero's concert production
"Classical Jazz" was one recent exam-
ple of what local musicians are capable
of, but the Current and Modern Consort
differs in that it is a permanent group
that comes from a more academic
background. The Consort's March 22
concert at the Unitarian church in Ann
Arbor featured works by Jim Needles,
Stuary Hinds, and Richard Campanelli,
all of whom are completing doctorates
in composition at the University, working in
the fields of both electronic and
acoustic music. These composers have

worked and studied in various parts of
the country, but were drawn here
by the reputations of composition
faculty members Leslie Bassett,
George Wilson, William Bolcom, and
William Albright. The music school has
spurred a lot of local activity, but one of
the main aims of "Current and
Modern" was to get outside the um-
brella of academia.
The regular collaborators in these
concerts wear many hats. Deborah
Hinderer, featured on english horn and
oboe, is the group's manager, composer
Campanelli is the producer, Jim
Needles records the Ann Arbor perfor-
mances and Colson is composer, per-
former, conductor and artistic director.
Tuesday's program was illustrative
of the aims of the group: pieces by the
well known composers George Roch-
berg and Gunther Schuller served to
balance pieces by local composers and
works by Anthony Iannaccone, from
EMU, and Joseph Morin, of Toledo.
Morin's "Theme and Variations" for
english horn and chamber orchestra
was a first performance, as was
Needles' "Winter Count" for solo violin.
Iannaccone's "Parodies" opened the
program, performed by the Current
and Modern Quintet. This woodwind
quintet played with the assurance befit-
ting members of several local sym-
phony orchestras, including the Toledo
Symphony. "Parodies" is a well craf-
ted, dryly humorous quintet, with an
ending "Rag" movement that could
have been subtitled, "Dislocated Syn-
copations." The Needles "Winter
Count" followed, premiered by violinist
Elenor Kosek, who also commissioned
the work. Intense and idiomatic, this
work's three brief movements utilized
many special techniques, including the
use of overtones, plucked chords, and

unusual bowing positions. Kosek's tone
and intonation were very assured, and
she played with a dry, astringent sound
that set off the tension inherent in the
virtuosic phrases. Composer George
Rochberg is known for combining
modern compositional techniques with
traditional harmony, as in his sur-
prising string quartets. "Slow Fires of
Autumn," a flute harp duo, seems to
draw on Japanese influences,
suggesting the sounds of the
shakuhachi and the koto. This work was
performed by the Felber/Rosenson
duo, which concertizes regularly
throughout the Midwest. (Rosenson, a
recent soloist with the Ann Arbor Sym-
phony, is second harpist with the
Detroit Symphony.) The first half en-
ded with Richard Campanelli's "Mare
Tristezza," performed by a chamber
group under the direction of David
Colson. Scored for three strings, three
woodwinds and piano, this piece started
as a concertino featuring pianist Rob
Conway, but featured cadenza-like
passages for all the instruments before
closing with some nice, somber har-
mony in the strings. "Mare Tristezza"
translates roughly as 'Sea of Sorrow,"
and Campanelli says it represents a
lunar mare that he invented for the
piece.
The second half began with Schuller's
Trio for Oboe, Viola and Horn, which,
dating from 1948, was the oldest piece
on the concert. This unusual ensemble
was orchestrated with great skill by
Schuller,. with the dark midranges of
the brass, woodwind and string in-
struments complementing each other
beautifully. Bits of humor and nice
writing for Philip Stoll's viola enlivened
this rather enigmatic little trio. The
tension inherent in trying to blend the
sounds of such different instruments

seemed to reveal itself in occasional
shaky attacks and releases, and Alan
Taplin's horn would sometimes over-
shadow the viola. These quirks,
however, seemed written into the score
as inevitable and part of the challenge
of performance. Larry Stukenholtz'
"Crystalline Echoes" derived much of
its material from flute and piano
special effects. Flutist Jill Felber was
called upon to perform various whistles
and flutter tonques, with occasional
clicks and pops of keys being hit with no
note sounding. Conway spent much of
the piece playing on the strings of the
piano rather than the keys for a variety
of harp and zither effects, but the com-
position as a whole seemed to lack
cohesion.
Joseph Morin teaches strings and or-
chestra in the Maumee, Ohio school
district, and remains active as a com-
poser for youth orchestras. His "Theme
and Variations" for english horn and
chamber orchestra, performed by
Deborah Hinderer, was a very mature
and witty piece. The theme supplied
enough memorable phrases and formal
landmarks to anchor each of the five
variations, and a tuneful melody
derived from a 12 tone row was well
suited to the expressive qualities of the
english horn. The ensemble included
strings, woodwinds, a trumpet, piano
and percussion, adding up to a
miniature orchestra, which Morin used
with skill in the successive variations.
The Current and Modern Consort has
become a very productive alliance, as
Tuesday night's polished recital
demonstrates. Local chamber music
buffs and the musically adventurous
would do well to investigate the Con-
sort's next concert.

AP Photo
Wedding Bells
Actor Richard Dreyfuss let the press and public know of his recent marriage
to free-lance writer Jeramie Rain, three days after it occurred Sunday,
March 20. The couple were wed at a small private ceremony that was
followed by a reception for a mere 500 guests. Dreyfuss, currently in rehear-
sal for a Broadway play, recently completed a drug (cocaine) rehabilitation
program he was ordered to undergo by a California court.
The 27th Annual
nrc- /'a*IONl,~i"' r n\ / Ir')

tt) I k tI A K
c~I~p (1riu
Rackham Auditorium
Tickets $4.00 , Available

I LVtLK p
.41'
March 25, 8:00 PM
e at the Michigan Union

Records
'King of Comedy'
soundtrack (Warner Bros.)
A strange conglomeration. That
describes The King of Comedy, Martin
Scorcese's latest film release, with

K
U

Robert De Niro (yay), Tony Randall
(okay), and Jerry Lewis (still alive).
That's also how Robbie Robertson
(two yays) describes the soundtrack for
said comedy. And he knows what he
talking about. Robertson, you may
recall, put together The Last Waltz with
Scorcese, with another strange
conglomeration of musicians (everyone
from Neil and Bob to Van and Emilylou
Harris).
The King of Comedy doesn't come
close to the live mystical wonders of
The Band's farewell concert, but with
the Pretenders ("Back on the Chain
Gang" - chorus of yays), the Talking
Heads (David Byrne drowned by yays
on a new and dirgish "Swamp") and
Van again ("Wonderful Remark," vin-
tage Morisson, produced by Rober-
tson), the LP isn't shabby.
And sly Robbie managed to sneak in
one of his own new songs ("Between
Trains"), along with the Ray Charles
classic recording of Johnny Mercer's
"Come Rain or Come Shine." Ric
Ocasek's entry does the ex-Carsman
some credit, but Bob James' title in-
strumental (ho hum) doesn't rate any
yays at all.

The Clash were originally supposed
to appear, but they were cut. Hell, there 6
are so many awful sountrack com-
pilations that anything that includes
Robertson and Morrison has got to be
half-decent. Come to think of it, I may
just go see the movie.
-Ben Ticho

6
6

Take Charge At 22.

In most jobs, at 22
you're near the bottom
of the ladder.
In the Navy, at
22 you can be a leader.
After just 16 weeks
of leadership training,
you're an officer. You'll
have the kind of job

--
,;

t/
care of sophisticated
equipment worth
millions of dollars.
It's a bigger chal-
lenge and a lot more
responsibility than
/f/most corporations give
you at 22. The rewards
are bigger, too. There's
a comprehensive package of benefits,
including special duty pay. The starting
salary is $17,000-more than most com-
panies would pay you right out of college.
After four years, with regular promo-
tions and pay increases, your salary will
have increased to as much as $31,000.
As a Navy officer, you grow, through
new challenges, new tests of 3our skills,

Charles
... king of blues

DON'T MISS OUT
ON YOUR YEAR AT U-M
ORDER YOUR 1983

your education and training prepared
you for, and the decision-making au-
thority you need to make the most of it.
As a college graduate and officer
candidate, your Navy training is geared
to making you a leader. There is no boot
camp. Instead, you receive professional
training to help you build the technical
and management skills you'll need as a
Navy officer.r- - - --
This training is NAVY OPPORTUN
designed to instill P.O. Box 5000, Clifton
confidence by first- IQ I'm ready to take c
first-the Navy's officer pro~
hand experience. You t y c
learn by doing. On Address First
your first sea tour, city __
you're responsible for Age tCollege/Un
managing the work of $Year in College
up to 30 men and the* ajo/o

IINS

A!

E
' , , A

s
fi
x2
Mt

- - - - - - -
TY W 200
NTER'2
, NJ 07015
harge. IlI me more about
grams. (OG)

and new opportunities
to advance your edu-
cation, including the
possibility of attending
graduate school while
you're in the Navy.
Don't just take a
job. Become a Navy
officer, and take charge.
Even at 22.

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