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April 20, 1985 - Image 5

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The Michigan Daily, 1985-04-20

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ARTS
The Michigan Daily Saturday, April 20, 1985 Page 5

Revue rejuvenates the oldies

By Julianne Bernstein
've Heard That Song Before, a
musical revue of composer Julie
Styne with its straightforward descriptive
tive nature, has, neither the dynamic
conflict of a dramatic play, nor the en-
chantment of a musical; yet does have
at its core a thoroughly talented en-
semble.
Director Brent Wagner, the new head
of the Musical Theatre Program, now
in its fourth year, allows students the
opportunity to implement the
techniques and styles they have
developed in their training.
Wagner. compiled the songs himself
and wrote the narrative transitions
which chronicle Styne's musical
career. It was great to hear such songs
as "I don't Want to Walk
Without You" and "Let it
Snow..."-however -because the
songs were primarily from the earlier
part of Styne's career Wagner neglec-
ted some of Styne's best. How could he
forget to include "I'm the Greatest
Star" from Funny Girl, or
"Everything's Coming up Roses" from
Gypsy?
I particularly liked versatile Andrew
Lippa. His connection with Styne's
music is most apparent during "Satur-
day Night (Is the Loneliest Night)." Lip-
pa depicts the quintessential homesick
soldier in his barracks while Beth
Spencer, a finely-tuned soprano, sings
from back home, sewing his shirt. The
two Norman Rockwell-like images are
honest and heartfelt. Blessed with
natural comic timing, Lippa teams up
with Carla Broderick, a comedically
talented female. As opera vikings carry

spears, Lippa and Broderick take
vaudeville by the horns. Sheila Winn's
"I'll Walk Alone" takes one back to the
'40s. Singing to imaginary troops, she
expresses that lonesome wartime
courage that proved that soldiers
weren't the only ones fighting.
Mark Doerr sparkles in "I Met a
Girl" and makes you wonder just who
the girl is that can inspire such a
terrifically talented fellow.
Not just a show of song, Alan Bennett
and Linda Doll, a cinematically
exquisite dance couple, dance to "It's
Been a Long, Long Time," a fifties juke
box ballad.
Musically directed and arranged by
Jerry DePuit, the ensemble numbers
have strikingly intricate harmony.
"Bop, Goes my Heart," a male enserr-
ble number, puts the Friars to shame,
and with their instrumental base,
guitar, piano, and cornet quartet,
Tommy Dorsey could not have done
better.
The show's individual personalities
seemed stifled by the strict uniformity
of movement and the static presen-
tational style. When directed to im-
provise their own action to enhance a
scene or character, performers were
far more personable than when placed
in a lineup and choreographed to every
beat and lyric of a song. If the show's
design is for the performers to have
open rapport with the audience, why
not let them exude their own creative
personalities? Wagner's attempt to
create an intimacy backfired
somewhat because of the inflexible
constraints he imposed on them.
Thank goodness, though, this ensem-
ble is special enough to break out of
Wagner's intended mold with assertive,
spontaneous creativity.

Tubular
The Tubes join Todd Rundgren and Utopia in an equal-billing double-shot'
concert tonight at Hill Auditorium. Both bands are video pioneers, having
discovered the medium before Emptyvision became a household word. The
Tubes are reknowned for a stage show which at times has bordered on ob-
scenity. Lead singer Fee Waybill has been known to cloak his identity in the
guise of Quay Lewd, a burned-out white punk on dope, while being attended
to by a variety of scantily-clad individuals. Rundgren is known for his solo
work, especially 1983's The Ever Popular Tortured Artist Effect, and his
membership in The Nazz two decades ago. Tickets are still available for the
concert, which begins at 7:30 p.m.

Andrew Lippa and Carla Broderick,two of the performers in the musical
revue 'I've Heard That Song Before," team up for vaudevillian laughs.

Records
Linda Thompson-One Clear
-Moment (Warner Bros.)
On Thompson's first release since her
divorce from Richard Thompson, for-
mer leader of England's Fairport Con-
vention, she heads off in several dif-
"ferent directions. Joining forces with
- - songwriter Betsy Cook and producer
- High Murphy (Gerry Rafferty), she has
'-put together a strong album, that
without ever establishing an identity
-for itself, nonetheless shows her to be
one of the most exciting female singers
in. rock. All of the album is carefully
produced, threatening to, but never ac-
tually confining Thompson. On a few
tracks ("Cant' Stop the Girl" and "In
Love With the Flame") she explores
some funk influences and on others
looks more into the realm of potential
commercial radio fare ("Hell, High
Water and Heartache"). In the title cut
she casts a glimpse back to the style of
her marriage and on a pair of tracks
("Les Trois Beaux Oiseaux de
Paradis" and "Take Me on the Sub-

way") she ventures into French and
Spanish (rhythms as well as lyrics!).
Overall the songwriting is polished but
the album changes gears so frequently
that it takes a few listenings to notice.
In the context of almost all other major
label fare, One Clear Moment is out-
standing. However, compared to
Thompson's work with her husband, its
lack of focus makes it fall a bit short.
With luck, though, Warner Bros. will
give Thompson another chance, and
that should be something worth waiting
for. -Joseph Kraus
Jerome Rose-Liszt: Etudes
d'execution transcendante
(Vox)
This recently released all Liszt album
features visiting School of Music
professor and pianist Jerome Rose.
Rose is considered by many a Liszt
specialist and in the summer of 1986 he
will be the artistic director of the Liszt
Centennial Celebration in Washington
D.C. It is understandable why he is con-
sidered a Liszt specialist. The force,

intensity, and bravura passage work
that Rose exhibits in this disc is
amazingly spectacular. He tosses off all
the knucklebreaking feats that Liszt
riddles the pianist with as if they were
mere nothings. The album is a dynamic
addition to the cataloguing of Liszt's
works and its addition to a record
collection is most definitely worth-
while. -Neil Galanter
Elvis Presley-Reconsider
Baby (MCA)
RCA has rereleased yet another Elvis
compilation in honor of the king's 50th
anniversary. This one, alternately
billed as "Elvis sings the blues," is one
of the strongest yet. The liner notes try
to make a case for Elvis having been a
blues singer, but it doesn't really mat-
ter. The material has a blues feel and
that's close enough. There are a few
tracks from the legendary Sun sessions
of the mid '50s, and examples from
every few years on up until "Merry
Christmas Baby," recorded in 1971. It's
amazing how consistent the sound is
considering the songs come from as

many different years and sessions as
these do. The recording quality is
strong throughout and the special blue
vinyl pressing makes it a wonderfully
tacky gift. Some of the other rereleases,
Elvis Presley and Elvis' Golden Recor-
ds, may be better representatives of his
overall work, but it's hard to go wrong
with this one.

ts with airy, thinner than etheral
treatments by co-producer Daniel
Lanois- Brian Eno's current
sidekick- that drains them of any
warmth. The album wanders in a void
somewhere between aloof im-
pressionism and ambiant noise. Inter-

esting but too unpassionate, too cooly
synthetic to capture your imagination
and draw you in. Of interest mainly to
Gabriel enthusiasts.
-Byron L. Bull

Peter
O:final
fen)

-Joseph Kraus
Gabriel-Birdy/
Soundtrack (Gef-

withn ft admisonieorad tickto. G all
!0 0 O F F admson. or 2 tickets. Gnyo$4.ll
Sfeatures thru 4!24185. ''

Peter Gabriel's synthesis of
primitive and ultramodern musical
forms has made for some of the most
fascinating and moving listening in
contemporary music, and his venture
into film scoring is long overdue.
Regrettably this effort, for Alan
Parker's adaptation of William Whar-
ton's novel, falls short of expectations.
A good portion of the score is recycled
songs from earlier Gabriel
albums- "Wallflower," "San Jacinto,"
and "Family Snapshot"- stripped
down to stark minimalist arrangemen-

EO TSAT., SUN.
o FIELDS FST SHOW1
FRI, MON.4:30,7:00,9:35 $2.00
SAT, SUN. 1:00, 4:00, 7:00, 9:35

BASED ON A TRUE STORY
MASK
Starring CHER
SAM ELLIOTT
and ERIC STOLTZ .Th
FRI., MON. 5:00,7:20,.9:40
SAT., SUN. 12:30, 2:45, 5, 7:20, 9:40

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Seasoned conductor brings out the best

L(R))

Ikk

By Neil Galanter

Place: Rackham Auditorium
Time: Approximately 8:40 p.m.
Accomplice: Polish Composer Witold
Lutoslawski
A quiet duet between two cellos, som-
ber yet richly textured and tonally at-
tractive. The music grows little by lit-
tIe, a viola joins the two cellos, then the
; rest of the cello section, the pace
quickens and tightens and finally the
violins enter. Now within a few short
minutes the entire Polish Chamber Or-
chestra and conductor Jerzy
Maksymiuk are playing the Prologue
from Lutoslawki's Musique Funebre
(Funeral Music). The performance is
tightly controlled and attention getting
in every respect.
Throughout the rest of this solemn.
.. score of music, the orchestra (Thur.
sday night) played with a wealth of
tonal colors, dynamics, shapes and
characters. Maksymiuk and the en-
semble made this Musique Funebre
- come alive from the deceased. The

music was mesmerizing and it was an
awakening.
After this Lutoslawski, Haydn, cellist
Jerzy Klocek and the Cello Concerto in
C Major became our principle diver-
sion. Klolek, the principal cellist in the
group, stepped down from his position
to play a highly intellectual and well
thought out performance of Haydn's
bouncy piece. Klocek produced an ad-
mirable tone quality from his in-
strument, and at the same time he
shaped his phrases affectionately.
Perhaps his overall performance
lacked some of the bounce, spark, and
bouyancy that is necessary for this
work. The orchestra had all of these
qualities though, - and they provided
solid support for Klocek throughout.
.The performance was fairly well
balanced because where Klocek was
deficient in fire, the orchestra compen-
sated by filling the occasional void.
Intermission: Next! Relax, talk,
socialize, etc...
Then... Max Reger's Intermezzo for
Orchestra. A lovely short work for or-
chestra, played with balminess, and
accompanied by the orchestra's hearty

tone. The piece served perfectly as
the intermezzo it is, breaking up the
program and putting a good space bet-
ween the Haydn and the last work
which was Shostakovich's Chamber
Symphony in C Minor, Op.110a.
This is one of Shostakovich's lesser
played masterpieces; however the
diversity and uniqueness of the work
certainly do not merit its semi-
obscurity. The piece is an excellent
sampling of Shostakovich's pen
because it quotes and draws upon
material from a variety of his other
works.
Maksymiuk led the Polish Chamber
Orchestra in a masterful performance
of the work. Their reading showed a
great deal of skill in the contrapuntal
textures of the prelude,and the Alegret-
to waltz section was especially ear-
pleasing. Crisp articulations from the
violins, scattered pizzicatti both con-
tributed to the overall enjoyment. The
final two sections of the work, which
are both entitled "Largo" were also
played very adroitly. Maksymiuk was
able to create the appropriate somber-
ness and elegance needed in these two

gravely serious sections.
VERDICT: The Polish Chamber
Orchestra gave one of the most
unusual and diverse orchestral
programs I-have heard in a long time.
They also proved that they are a
sophisticated ensemble with a seasoned
conductor who knows how to pull the
best music from them.

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