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October 16, 1986 - Image 8

Resource type:
The Michigan Daily, 1986-10-16

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Page 8 - The Michigan Daily - Thursday, October 16, 1986

Quartet thrills Rackham crowd

By Debra Shreve

If the music world should ever
declare its own "seven wonders,"
the Guarneri Quartet would cer -
tainly be among them. It might
even be Wonder Number One.
The Guarneri has long been
considered the world's premier
string quartet, but that description
limits them to a category too small
for their greatness. Their playing is
more than the string quartet at its
best; it is music at its best. Not at
its finest--the Guarneri cares no -
thing for highly refined and
polished music-making, tending
toward sterile--but music at its fit,
with, life and guts and spiritual
energy beyond what most musical
ensembles of any kind 'can hope to
Their secret? Here are four
musicians--Arnold Steinhardt and
John Dalley, violinists, Michael

Tree, violist, and David Soyer,
cellist--who have been playing
quartets together for 21 ytars. That
stability in itself is a wonder. Each
of these men, moreover, brings to
the quartet a mastery over his
instrument that frees him to con -
centrate on creating a pure musical
unit. And after 21 years, they've
mastered that, too. The Guarneri
no longer needs to struggle with
basic mechanical and disciplinary
concerns like consistent articu -
lation, well-timed entrances, and
perfectly focused intonation. All
that comes pretty naturally by now,
and there is nothing to distract them
from pursuing the spirit of the
music itself. And pursue it they
do, with a passion.
The Guarneri's Beethoven
quartet cycle is famous all over the
world. Tuesday night's performance
in Rackham Auditorium was the
fifth of a three-season, six-concert
series here in Ann Arbor in which
the Guarneri is presenting all

seventeen of Beethoven's quartets.
(The final concert is scheduled for
February 13, 1987, at Rackham.)
On the first half of Tuesday's
program, the Guarneri performed
the B-flat Major Quartet, Op.
130. This is a late quartet, dis -
playing the less formal structure--
six, rather than four, movements--
and more complex harmonic pat -
terns typical of Beethoven's later
works. The Guarneri had plenty of
opportunity in this quartet to
display their incredible coherence,
especially in the frighteningly
quick, awkward, tricky--and very
soft--Scherzo movement. A brief
passage in the fourth movement
(Allegro assai), where fragments of
the theme are tossed among the four
voices, also exhibited paradigm -
atically the Quartet's extraordinary
consistency of tone and style.
The Quartet in F Major,
Op. 59 No. 1, which the Guar -
neri performed on the second half of

the program, is actually the more
difficult of the two works, though
it was composed earlier in Bee -
thoven's career. This time, the
Guarneri proved itself a quartet of
unfailing control, but not of
restraint. They shied away not at
all from the pathos of the mar -
velous Adagio movement, nor from
the wildly complicated rhythms of
the other three. The fourth move -
ment, based on a Russian dance
theme, even ended up--quite in
character with the music--positively
The Guarneri likes to play music
according to the inspiration of the
moment. But inspiration seems to
touch them as a unit. They rarely
look at each other while they play,
but they don't have to. They move
and play and make music together
naturally. Some critics even say,
supernaturally. Theirs is great Bee -.
thoven, great string quartet, great

,Yevgeny Svetlanov conducts the Moscow State Symphony Orchestra of
the U.S.S.R. tonight at Hill Auditorium.
USIA director Wick
speaks before concert


(Continued from Page 7)
The study also analyzed how they
covered some of the major
controversies of the past fifteen
years. The research seems thorough
and clearly demonstrates the
authors' conclusions.
'The authors found that the
"media elite" are characteristically
white (95%), males (79%), whose
fathers are professionals or
businessmen (80%), and come from
northeastern or north central cities

(68%). Leading journalists are
power-oriented, " relatively
narcisstic, needing to build
themselves up at the expense of
others...The media elite move in a
world of excitement , variety,
stimulation, and quick
gratification." Further findings
indicated media coverage was shaped
by the journalists own perspective.
While the book is afterall an
academinc research project, the
content is very interesting. The

technical aspects of how to interpret
the data are handled well, making
them accessible to laymen. The
research is seasoned with media
anecdotes and is, at times,
entertaining aas well as
Stylistically they encounter
problems. Trying to identify with
"the common people" who will
hopefully buy their book, the
authors throw in pop icons to
interpret the data. For example:
"For these journalists, then, the
picture of two boxers does not
bring to mind thoughts of Rocky
triumphant..." Not only does this
method rule out international

distribution of the book, it falls
short of involving the reader and
seems a laughable attempt of
academics to step down to the
All in all, the book is immediate
and the issue's significance to our
era is great. The implications of
journalists controlling the bulic's
view of the world are tremendous
and need to be explored. The Media
Elite is successful in exposing and
exploring the phenomenon. It is a
must read for couch potatoes and
those with a keen interest in the
media alike.
---Gloria Sanak

By Rebecca Chung
In conjunction with tonight's
historic performance of the Moscow
State Symphony Orchestra of the
U.S.S.R. (no Soviet orchestra has
performed in the U.S. since 1979),
alumni Charles Wick, now head of
the United States Information
Agency (USIA), will give a speech
entitled The Impact of Cul -
tural Diplomacy on United
States/Soviet Relations.
Wick will discuss the difficulties of
and his role in renewing cultural
exchanges between the U.S. and the
Soviet Union.
Wick, who graduated from the
University in 1940 with a degree
in music theory, directs Wash -
ington's overseas information and
cultural programs, the Voice of
America radio network, and the
Hulbright scholarship program.
He has Just returned from Iceland

after participating in the summit,
and will immediately return to
Washington after the talk.
The lecture will begin at 5 p.m.
at Rackham Auditorium, during
which Wick will present a video of
the Hermitage Museum in
Leningrad. It is free and open to
the public.
Tonight's concert of the
Moscow State Symphony begins at
8 p.m. at Hill Auditorium, and is
the opening of a fopr-city
nationwide tour. Yevgeny Svet -
lanov will be conducting the
Brahms "Double" Concerto
in A minor for Violin, Cel -
lo, and Orchestra, and Rach -
manioff's Symphony No.2 in
E minor. Violinist Oleg Kagan
and cellist Natalia Gutman will be
the featured soloists. Tickets are
available from the University Musi -
cal Society's Burton Tower Office;
contact 764-2538 for information.


The Center for Japanese Studies
A Brown-Bag Lecture by
Returning Sumitomo Intern
12 noon

(Continued from Page 7)

Lyrics about wealth and poverty,
freedom and captivity, concern and
apathy appear in every track.
Luckily these rather simplistic
musings that truth, justice, and
heroes are becoming extict in the
modern world do not get in the
listener's way. Much like Depeche
Mode's "People are People," the
lyric.sheet can be dicarded despite
the group's grand intentions of
promoting world peace.
Heaton also plays a sharp
harmonica. It has a distinct style
that jives well with the

Housemartins' sound. He does not
use it very often, but it pops in
from time to time like a welcome
friend. Details like that give the
record the variety that it needs when
working within the limits of the
conventional four piece ensemble.
London 0 Hull 4 is
definitely worth a listen. Excellent
pop bands featuring a voice like
this are rare enough that the
Housemartins deserve the pop -
ularity in the states to match their
success at home.
-Mark Swartz



- into the -
Aridi gan


1 'K 17.1

Call 764-6307
for further

320 S STATE STREET - Phone 663-4121 - ANN A.RBOR MICH



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