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December 07, 1984 - Image 6

Resource type:
The Michigan Daily, 1984-12-07

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The Michigan Daily

Friday, December 7, 1984


Toto-Dune/Orignal Motion
Picture Soundtrack
Director Nicholas Meyer once com-
mented that the modern film score
died when Mike Nichols commissioned
Paul Simon to write the music for The
Graduate. Meyer's viewpoint may be a
bit prejudiced, his being a staunch
traditionalist, but he did have a valid
complaint-that most popular
songwriters are ill equipped to meet the
demands of scoring a film. The actual
number of contemporary artists who
have achieved a respectable degree of
success is pretty small, with the excep-
tions being Randy Newman, Ry
Cooder, and most recently Mark Knop-
As a rule of thumb, with the exception
of period pieces like Diner and
American Graffiti, most soundtracks
full of pop songs are nothing more than
crass marketing ploys designed to get
free radio advertising and rake in a lit-

tle more money if any of the songs are a
hit, hence atrocities like Flashdance
and Footloose.
When Dino De Laurentis announced
that he'd signed popsters Toto to score
his production of David Lynch's Dune,
the decision seemed particularly sour
because here was a project of such
great potential for a serious composer
to create something truly wonderful.
The result, recently released as a single
album by Polygram is, I must admit,
not as wretched as I feared it could
have been, though that's far from a
It is not, thankfully, a rock score.
Even though the album liner notes
boldly declare that the music is written
and performed by Toto, most of the ac-
tual music here is something that the
band tinkered up but then was arranged
for an orchestra by one of the ban-
dmember's brothers, Marty Paich, and
performed by the Vienna Symphony.
The result, not suprisingly, is a lame,
transparent imitation of a film score, as
colorless and unevocative a muddle of

sound as the music to any B-movie.
Despite the inherent density that an or-
chestra gives any piece of music, and
all the garish overaccenting with
organs, harps, and choruses, this score
lacks any presence and is so simplistic
it fades from mind moments after
you've heard it. Though it borrows
enough from established heavyweights
like Jerry Goldsmith and Bernard
Herrman, there's not even a faint sliver
of any scope and magnificence here.
The snippets of dialogue lifted from the
film and stuck in between musical
tracks (shades of Queen's awful Flash
Gordon soundtrack) for atmosphere ef-
fect only add to the gamey cheapness.
Toto itself is present on only a few
cuts, some clinched bits of electronic
noise and sustained synthesizer chords,
and a flagrantly Top 40 oriented in-
strumental theme that bears more than
a slight resemblance to ,Vangelis's
Chariots of Fire. There are, to endless
relief, no songs on the record.
The irritating thing is that there are
so many legitimate film composers who
could have been, should have been,
tapped for this film but who were
passed up due to an idiotic
miscalculation to attract the teenybop-
per market. When an Alex North score
or even a John Williams clonescore
could have done in comparison is a
depressing thing to consider.
Even a simple collection of the
classical pieces Toto plunders
unabashedly (and they rape everyone
from Bach to Shostakovitch) would
have worked better. As it is, the sole
track of any interest is one bit of in-
nocuous ambient noise by Brian Eno,
that may indeed have been written for
the film but sounds like it could just as
easily have been gathering dust in his

One can only assume that David Lyn-
ch, (a true genius) quietly accepted all
this as one of the concessions he had to
make in order to get the job. Con-
sidering that his films are charac-
teristically short on music and rich with
surreal sound effects montages, one
can only hope he'll follow suit on this
film and most of what's here on vinyl
will not make it to celluloid. Cross your
-Byron L. Bull
Royal Philharmonic
Orchestra -Lucia
Lammermoor (Angel)
Angel records recently released a new
recording of Donizetti's Lucia di Lam-
mermoor. Edita Gruberova is featured
as the heroine Lucia, Alfreda Kraus
plays the star-crossed lover Edgardo,
and the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra
is under the supervision of Nicola
The opera itself is a celebrated but of-
ten . sadly neglected classic in perfor-
mance and it is refreshing to see a
renewed interest as evidenced by this
bright and faithful to the text inter-
Lucia di Lanmermoor along with the
brilliantly comic Don Pasquale (1843)
remain as Donizetti's most famous
operas. Lucia, the forty-second of sixty-
eight operas, was first performed in
1835 and stands as his best example of
Italian Grand Romantic Opera. The
libretto by Salvatore Cammarano is
based on a novel by Sir Walter Scott;
namely, "The Bride of Lammermoor."
The opera has a curious penchant for
being referred to in other literary

The Vienna Choir Boys will perform
Auditorium on Sunday afternoon.



Vienna Ch
i bring histo


Lyle Mays

Saturday Dec. 8
8 pm Hill Auditorium

Tickets are on sale now at the Michigan
Union Ticket Office & iTCKfT outlets

00000000000000"0000000000000000 ........*
From Bill Forsyth, the Director/Writer ACADEMY AWARD WINNING
* of "Local Hero"and"Gregory's Girl." "FANNY AND ALEXANDER"
* Alan Bird is "-
getting nothing he A T RT E:
0 wants this Christmas.EA
" FRI.& SAT. AT 11:15 P.M.
FRI. MON. 1:00, 7:20, 9:20 FRI. & SAT. 11 P.M. FRI., MON. 1, 7, 9 0
SAT., SUN. 1:20, 3:20, 5:20, 7:20, 9:20 SAT, SUN. 1:00, 3:00, 5:00, 7:00, 9:00.
eeeeeee00 00@00 0 00 0 000 0 @.0eeeees eee ees 0

By Neil Gallan ter
S chool: Six or seven hours a day,
recess, lunch break, after school
activities, sports, T.V., homework, etc.
This is the scenario in which most of us
lived our childhoods. It is the norm, and
also it is a pleasant way to grow up as
In Europe, however, there is a group
of young boys who do not exactly lead
this same type of life during their
youth. They are the Vienna Choir Boys
and for nearly five centuries the group
has enchanted millions with their
charm and excellent music making.

popular Christmas selections at Hill
oir Boys
ry to Hill ~
To be considered for mesiin
the group, young boys must atten a
special preparatory school where they
receive a thorough education wth
special attention paid to music theory
and singing, and while away on tour the
boys are accompanied by their chdir-
master, a tutor, and a nurse who are
responsible for their care and welfare.
The time lost on their concert tours is
more than made up for, as there is a
intense program of teaching and stud
in classes that usually do not exceed ten
students, and while they are not on tour
these brilliant young boys live in and at-
tend a private boarding school in
Austria, the choir's home base.
From the above view, we can cer-
tainly see the choirboys' childhoods
tend to be quite different than those of
ours. However, no matter how dif-
ferent their lives may be, the group
leads a very rewarding life.
We in Ann Arbor will have the oppor-
tunity to hear this finely polished en-
semble in concert at 4 p.m. Sunday af-
ternoon at Hill Auditorium. Assuredly
their appearance here will be as fine
tuned and developed as their illustrious
history. The group has made numerous
films, recordings, television appearan-
ces and tours, and they have visited
America no fewer than 39 times since
their first U.S. tour in 1932. Othe
honorable appearances include thei
being received by many heads of state,
and performing for Pope Pius XI, XII,
and Paul VI.
On Sunday, the group will perform
the music of Palestrina, Schubert, Sch
umann. A special treat will be selec-
tions from Benjamin Britten's well
known "Ceremony of Carols", which is
always popular at Christmas time. The
concert also will feature a miniature
operetta by Offenbach, and the aft
noon would not or could not be completW
without the various Polkas and Waltzes
by Johann Strauss that they will also
In order to be able to hear the "boys"
chant and sing their way into your hear-
ts, and warm you up on what will
probably be a very cold Sunday after-
noon, you may visit Burton Tower
where tickets are sold, or call the
University Musical Society at 665-3717,
Monday through Friday from 9 a.m.
4:30 p.m., or Saturday from 9 a.m .tiT
Ann Arbor's fastest!
From 10-800 T-shirts screenprint-
ed within 24 hours of order.

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