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November 20, 1984 - Image 7

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The Michigan Daily, 1984-11-20

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The Michigan Daily - Tuesday, November 20, 1984 - Page 7

Dynamic due takes

crowd to paradise

By Mike Gallatin
S OPRANO JUDITH Blegen
baritone Hakan Hagegard are two
of the most remarkably talented and
artistic performers this side of
paradise. At their performance Satur-
day evening at Hill Auditorium, they
proved this by thrilling and delighting
an appreciative audience which
ultimately was swept off its feet by a
multi-faceted romantic lieder presen-
ted in four different languages.
With a combination of theatrics and
histrionics, humor and affection, and
sentimentality and charm, the singers
surveyed the wealth of song literature
from the 19th century, bringing to their
rendition a whole spectrum of nuance
as well as sensitivity.
As might be expected, the themes
were rather standard, beginning with

the joys and regrets of love, as the
singers presented twenty out of the
fourty-six songs from "The Italian
Songbook" by Hugo Wolf.
If Anton Bruckner is considred the
"Wagner of the Symphony" then Wolf
may be called the "Wagner of the
Lied." As a poet-vagabond himself,
Wolf often studied scores while sitting
on a park bench, integrating a sense of
the emotional value of the word with a
piano accompaniment of nearly
Chopinesque proportion.
Pianist Martin Katz dutifully allowed
the dialogue between the singers to
develop while adding his own light and
playful or beautifully sad touches.
The selection of songs moved from a
more tragic tone to a comic, farcical
mode, thereby utilizing the excellent
acting skills of both singers, as Balkan
bemoans what he calls the beastly ran-
ting of this artless soprano who it turns
out has had a triste in every port from
Ancona to Castiglione.

French love songs were the main fair
of the second half of the recital with the
fragrance and perfume of flowers as
the primary metaphor of love in its
various forms. The sampling of songs
were chosen from among the ranks of
Faure, Debussy, Saint-Saens, Duparc
and Gounod.
In "D'un coeur qui t'aime" by
Charles Gounod, Judith Blegen best
displayed her wares. While at moments
her voice seemed almost faint, this ad-
ded to a delicate shading of the
syllables and produced a simple, plain-
tive chiaroscuro in the vowel sounds as
the hymn-like duet crescendoes to a
bravura climax.
A situation comedy scene from Act I
of Donizetti's "Don Pasquale" in
Italian followed and was a real hit with
the audience, and threatening to bring
the house down.
Out of costume but not out of charac-
ter, Blegen plays a charming
Norina who is instructed by Malatests

how to pose in an ingenue in order to
thwart Don Pasquale's marriage plans.
Act I comes to a close with a play-
within-a-play as Norina and Malatesta
then rehearse this farce rich in
mimicry. Hakan Hagegard was at his
best as it was Malatesta whom he
played in 1978 in his Metropolitan Opera
debut-the proverbial part he could
play without make-up.
Last on the program were three ex-
cerpts from "The Merry Widow," in
English, which possessed an encore

quality because it rounded out a superb
selection of songs which ranged from
the recondite but needlessly neglected,
to familiar and well-loved with good
reason.
As the last waltz came to an end,
Blakun swept Blegen off her feet and
carried her offstage. Likewise three
encores were to follow and the audien-
ce's standing ovation revealed that they
too were swept off their feet by the
polished and most professional perfor-
mance of these two renowned artists.

Chicaiy o

Bambaataa raps about

(Continued from Page 6)
adults were tired of dying for others'
wrongdoing. It took singers getting
together, people who were strictly into
heavy metal or rock and roll and people
who were strictly into soul or funk
teaming up with each other, maybe
doing a record together, or duet, to
bring backgrounds together. Enter-
tainers know a lot of each other's
music. They buy each other's records.
Like Talking Heads, they know how to
use African sounds along with syn-
thesizer, and rock guitar, and put it all
together. This brings people of different
backgrounds together, and makes
people understand each other's music,
and what they are trying to say. Music
is definitely the message, and it
definitely can change the world. It's not
going to change it a lot , but it can
make people think, "Well, why is the
government doing this?" or "Why is
there so much war going on?"
D: The Hip-hop movement does seem
analagous to the movement in the late
60's, but the music places a much
heavier emphasis on technology, and
electronics...
B: Well, it became electronic when we
r made Planet Rock, before it was really
any type of music that had a basic beat,
drum beat, percussion, bass line that
was funky. When I did Planet Rock I
was trying to please people that were
into just beat music and people that
were into just New Wave, so I took
elements of Kraftwerk, Clint Eastwood
g movies, The Good, the Bad, and the
Ugly, and For A Few Dollars More, and
some old Hip-hop records like Superspy
by Captain Skyy, and The Mexican by
Baby Ruth, and put them all together.
It started pleasing a lot of audiences.
Japanese, Chinese, Irish, even old
people who said that they hated it said
they were glad that their children were
doing some dancing. That's when the
records starting coming out of New
York with the beat boxes and syn-
thesizers. There was always pop, or
technopop in Europe, but there wasn't
so much hip-hop or funk until we made
Planet Rock. Kraftwerk was more into
technopop, but now they're getting
pressure from their company to sound
more funky since all the music coming
out of New York is basically making
that type of sound. There is war going
on in the music industry, against elec-
tronic music, because it's taking alot of
jobs away from drummers and people
that play guitar. The synthesizer is an
instrument that can basically duplicate
all sounds. Only people with special
ears can tell if there's a real horn, or if
it's a synthesizer. The other people
really don't care, as long as it's making
them feel good. There's a real war
going on between the two groups, real
instruments and synthesizers. I feel
that you've got to combine them both.
D: When you were young, what did you
want to be when you grew up?
B: I was always into music, I wanted to
get into singing, but I also wanted to be
r a criminal lawyer, also a historian.
That's when I was youngest.
D: You've recently collaberated with
James Brown on Unity, and your group
Time Zone teamed up with P.I.L.'s
John Lyndon. What's next?
B: I already did some stuff with Nona
Hendryx. Some of Soulsonic and
Shango sing on the Art of Defense lp. I
did a reggae thing with Yellowman. We
just did a tour in England, Soulsonic

and Shango, and we ran into Nina
Hagen, so we did background on her
new record, but I don't know if it's
going to come out. It's called "Ec-
stasy" and should be on her new album.
I'm supposed to do something with
Falco, George Clinton. But I've still got
to finish my solo stuff, make some more
Soulsonic records, finish Shango and
Time Zones lp's.
D: If you could get anybody into the
studio for a collaberation, who would
you want?
B: Sly Stone. Thomas Dolby. Pat
Benetar. Def Leppard. There's a lot of
funk groups I want to do things with.
Gap Band. Mell Mel.. . we're working on
something... There are a lot of groups.
D: You would never hear all of those
performers on the same radio station.
Why do you think that is?
B: Program directors want to hear
what they want to hear, or some of
them have audiences that, if they try to
play something different, will send
them curse notes. But I say if you play
hard heavy metal on a station, then you
should try a group that's playing funk,
but playing rock. Funkadelic plays a lot
of hard, guitar stuff, too. If they play

his life
them and people stop worrying about skin
color.. It's like The Bus Boys. A lot of
black people didn't know that the Bus
Boys were black until they saw the
cover, because they sound white, but a
lot of white people didn't care for them
because they were black. They were
caught in the middle, but they played
good music. People have to take
changes. If it's an all-country station,
try a little ballad or soul record, or
maybe a record like "Babe" by Styx,
and see if the crowd likes it. It's going to
take artists to change it. I've got rap
records by country artists, like Tony
Joe White. (Radio stations have) got to
take changes. You never know until you
take a chance.
D: Is Afrika Banbaataa your real
name?
D: My real name is Bambaataa Kayan
Assim. Afrika Bambaataa is my stage
name.

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