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November 20, 1986 - Image 7

Resource type:
The Michigan Daily, 1986-11-20

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Thursday, November 20, 1986

The Michigan Daily

Page 7

'Flute' prepares to sing

Rv Noelle Brower

Mozart's The Magic Flute , is
one of the undisputed masterpieces
of opera. Of course, so much of
what Mozart composed can be
called "masterpieces" that the word
is, unfortunately, cliched. A
masterpiece by a master? What else
would one expect? How can one
compare The Magic Flute to Cosi
Fan Tutte or The Marriage of
Figaro ? By what degrees do we
judge? Perhaps the School of
Music Opera Theatre has found a
solution to the problem: produce
all three of the Mozart operas.
The Magic Flute is Mozart's
most complex opera, both mus -
ically and theatrically, containing
some of the most difficult soprano
arias ever written. The School of
Music Opera Theatre seems to have
taken this complexity 'into con -
sideration before approaching the
opera having 'worked up' to it with

two previous Mozart operas already
under their impressive musical belt.
The collaboration of director Jay
Lesenger and conductor Gustav
Meier has been responsible for the
successful productions of Cosi Fan
Tutte and The Marriage of Figaro
in the last several years. The
Magic Flute seems like a natural
choice for the pair.
The story of The Magic Flute
follows the lovely fable of Prince
Tamino and his quest for love and
truth symbolized by the Princess
Pamina. In his search, he grows
both personally and spritually,
combating the evil Queen of the
Night in the process. Throughout
his trial, Tamino is protected by the
'magic flute' whose delicate tunes
echo throughout the opera coming
to represent Tamino and his search
for knowledge and the fulfillment of
Mozart composed The Magic

Flute in 1791. While working on
the piece he was commisioned by a
person unknown to him to com -
pose a Requiem Mass. If you are
partial to popular legend (and Peter
Schaeffer), then the unknown per -
son becomes Mozart's arch-rival
Salieri and Mozart symbolically
composes his own Requiem under
the stress of failing health and poor
finances. It is an interesting
thought: while composing The
Magic Flute , an opera of life
regenerating itself through belief in
love, Mozart composed his own
death knell. As I said, it is an in -
teresting thought. Mozart died the
same year.
The School of Music Opera
Theatre will present The Magic
Flute tonight through Sunday at
the Power Center. Perormance
time is 8 p.m. except for a Sunday
matinee at 2 p.m. For ticket infor -
mation call 764-0450.

(Left to right) Laura Lamport, Matthew Chellis, Gabrielyn Watson, and John Muriello star in the
School of Music Opera Theatre's production of 'The Magic Flute,' which opens tonight at Power Center.

New Arts Trio: One of U.S. 's great unknowns

By Debra Shreve
The New Arts Trio might not be
able to claim the status of a
musical household word-but no
matter. There are plenty of
ensembles like the New Arts
floating around, who, though they
don't have the institutional prestige
or the powerful force of marketing
magic-as, say, the Chicago Sym -

phony-still represent the very
finest musical artistry.
For the Trio, as for many other
of the nation's most distinguished
chamber groups, the strength of the
ensemble is drawn from the
strength of each member's individ -
ual accomplishments. Each of
these musicians-Rebecca Penneys,
pianist, Hamao Fujiwara, violinist,
and Jeffrey Solow, cellist (a
member of the University's School
of Music faculty)-pursues a

separate career, teaching, perform -
ing, recording, and claiming awards
all over the world. And when they
come together as the New Arts
Trio, the combination equals, sim -
ply, talent-times-three.
Particularly in the final work on
Tuesday evening's program, Bee -
thoven's "Archduke" Trio (Op. 97) ,
the Trio proved that they have
developed a natural and wholly
satisfying musical rapport. They
seemed to play with an ease and

unity that beautifully suited the
confident regality of this work,
which Beethoven dedicated to his
pupil, friend, and benefactor, Arch -
duke Rudolph of Austria, son of
Emperor Leopold II. The
"Archduke" is conidered the
crowning achievement of Beet -
hoven's work within the trio form,
and is certainly one of the most
famous of all piano trios.
To round out their program, the
Trio performed the Haydn Trio in C

Major, Hob. XV, No. 27, a
masterwork from the earliest stages
of the trio form's development, and
the Shostakovich Trio in E Minor,
Op. 67, a representative of
twentieth-century work for piano
The Shostakovich opens with a
cellist's nightmare--a solo using
only harmonics, which must be
perfectly in tune to accomodate the
other players when they enter with

normal stopped tones. Solow
pulled this feat off admirably, and
the result was lusciously eerie.
After so much great music, the
Trio even came back for an
encore-the showy Mendelssohn
Scherzo, marked to be played, one
might guess, "as fast as poss -
ible"-and finished off another
excellent installment in the Uni -
versity Musical Society's Chamber
Music Series.

Mose Allison surfaces for one-night stand

By Joseph Kraus
Mose Allison belongs on a
college campus.
If you had to stick a label on the
singer/composer/pianist you'd call
him a jazz musician, but he blends
considerable elements of blues and
even country-blues into the more
familiar jazz setting.
Although his roots lie soundly
n he post-war jazz, Allison has
made his name performing his own
compositions. Songs like "(Talking
About my Little) Swingin' Mach -
ine" and "Your Molecular Struc -
ture" are relaxed and clever, and
"cool" in ways even more acces -
sible than Dave Brubeck.
His voice has a distinctive nasal
flatness to it that simultaneously
calls attention to the wordiness of
the songs and suggests a slender
sense of self-parody.
His voice is so distinct, that it
makes it easy to overlook the

general strength of the songwriting.
In fact, it often requires another
artist to call attention to that
strength. Most recently, Van
Morrison turned Allison's "If You
Only Knew" into one of the strong -
est cuts on his A Sense of Wonder
Allison first moved into serious
jazz circles after a stint in the army
in the late '50s when he worked as
a side man with the likes of Stan
Getz and Gerry Mulligan. He made
a few waves as part of a trio
including Zoot Simms, but it
Fridays in The Daily

wasn't until he began fronting his
own small band that he became an
acknowledged giant.
On his own, Allison inched
away from the more traditional jazz
of his earlier period and began to
cultivate a large, frequently col -
legiate audience.
Recording a series of albums
with Atlantic Records, he solidified

an underground, cultish following
that has kept him going ever since.
For his two shows tonight at the
Blind Pig, expect a majority of
original tunes interspersed with
covers from the likes of- Willie
Tickets are $8, performance
times are at 9 and 11 p.m.

The Center for Japanese Studies
A Brown-Bag Lecture by:
Professor of Music History & Ethnomusicology - UM
November 20, 12 noon, Commons Room, Lane Hall

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