The Michigan Daily - Friday, February 6, 1987 - Page 9
(Continued from Page )
People I'd carried the idea around
for a long time, started writing, and
suddenly I had 200 pages of
manuscript. So really I had no
choice but to finish it."
Guest sent the manuscript to
'Viking publishers without benefit
of an agent. Miraculously, Or -
dinary People did not meet the end
cif thousands manuscripts.
"It's the first unsolicited
manuscript they've accepted in 27
years," she continued, "I still can't
Through her work, Guest, like
The characters of Ordinary People
and Second Heaven, has experienced
a healing process, diversifying her
craft and her energies.
"The last couple of years I've
gotten into collaborating. I'm
working on a mystery novel with a
writer friend of mine, Rebecca Hill,
called Killing time in St. Cloud.
I've also written a screen play of
my second novel that's being made
into a movie in L.A. I wrote an
priginal screenplay called Rachel
River, which was filmed here and is
supposed to come out next fall
shown as either a feature film or on
Sinfoma: Mixed success
Novelist Judith Guest will be speaking at Rackham today.
"I love to write and I hate to
write," Guest says, "It's kind of a
compulsion to record, to rewrite
history and to make things come
out the way you want them to
Guest will continue to cross
over from novels to screenwriting,
because "I love dialogue that's one
of the things I'm good at." Another
benefit to Guest is that she says
"Screenwriting i less intense. It's a
formula, but it's also art." She
adds that meeting Robert Redford,
director of Ordinary People, was
Guest summed up her full-time
job and career: "I write for myself.
If I didn't get published I would
probably still be writing." Just like
any ordinary person.
Judith Guest often travels,
making speeches and promoting her
books along the way. Today at the
Rackham Ampitheatre at 3:30
p.m., Guest will speak about "what
it's like to be a writer in the
By Rebecca Chung
Some musicians are worth
hearing even long after they have
peaked technically. They retain the
mental ability to continue to
interpret the music. Yehudi
Menuhin has perhaps attained this
status. His credentials are impec -
cable: child prodigy, international
honors, humanitarian gestures,
brilliant solo career. True his violin
playing has suffered. But he does
have another instrument - the
Warsaw Sinfonia - which allows
him to overcome whatever physical
limitations he may be fighting. His
performance as conductor was
definitely worthwhile, as was the
quality of his new-found instrument
Make no mistake - Menuhin's
performance of the Bach Violin
Concerto would have been unfor -
givable in a less established
musician (to aspiring performers
and certain ticket-holders, it was
probably unforgivable anyway).
Menuhin rasped across the strings,
shook through his vibrato, com -
pletely forgot the final solo passage
in the third movement (as a friend
put it, "Bach would never write 25
measures of octave A's"), and was
so noticeably out of tune that even
the nodders-off cringed a little. One
didn't know quite what to feel while
watching Menuhin laboring
through and, at times, guessing at,
the notes, except to be thankful that
the solo was scheduled first on the
program. Perhaps Menuhin knew
more than he let on.
But the rest of the program was
very, very nice. The Warsaw
Sinfonia is a well-balanced, disci -
plined ensemble, with outstanding
winds and a heroic oboist. While
there were no interpretative sur -
prises under Menuhin's baton in the
Siegfried Idyll, La Scala di Seta,
and the Mendelssohn, there were no
real disappointments either. The
Sinfonia held together even when
faced with Menuhin's runaway
tempos, his string bias showing
itself to what must have been the
horrification of the upper wood -
winds in La Scala and the "Italian."
One cannot stress enough - the
oboist was heroic.
Overall, they played expres -
sively, entered into and cut off
passages clearly and precisely, and,
except for minor glitches, played in
tune. Deserving special mention
was the strong interpretation of the
Concerto for Strings, written in
1949 by Polish composer Grazyna
Bacewicz. The work is dramatic but
not simple. It would have been a
sin to to perform it with less-than-
maximum energy or not-quite-
conceived intention. Menuhin and
the Sinfonia did neither.
By Sherry Lichtenwalner
Contemporary composer Jacob
Druckman, chairman of the com -
position department at Yale and
(Pulitzer prize winner for his
orchestral pieceWindows, will be at
$the School of Music on Sunday,
February 8. Druckman will lecture
from 7-7:45 p.m. in the Rackham
Amphitheatre. At 8 p.m. in
Rackham Auditorium, the Contem -
porary Directions Ensemble will
perform Druckman's Bo, on
Chinese texts, Valentine for double
bass solo, and Lamia for soprano
tind ensemble. Songs from The
04ountain, by School of Music
p sistant professor of composition
icholas Thorne, will also be
performed. Druckman spoke with
the Daily yesterday morning.
M Daily: Are you working on
anything new that you can tell us
Druckman: I'm working on an
opera. It's based on a Greek myth,
although the real subject matter is
the battle of the sexes. It's based on
the myth of Medea. Most of these
Greek myths originated from the
change of the matriarchal society of
the islands to the patriarchal society
of the mainland. These new notions
of paternity cast women in a bad
light. The whole myth is involved
with the struggle between the gods
and the goddesses. The opera does
deal with the Argonauts and
Hercules; the earlier portions of the
Medea myth. The character of
Hercules comes in almost as an
alterego for Jason. Jason is suave
and manipulative. Hercules is an
obnoxious drunk and a woman-
hater. He's gay.
Daily: Hercules is gay?
Druckman: Yes, even though
he was married. He did kill his
Daily: And his wife.
Druckman: Like Medea.
i Daily: When will this opera be
Druckman: I've been busy
with my duties with the New York
Philharmonic. I've been the
composer in residence for four
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q talks myths, music
years. There really is no date in thumb. When you are healthy, it is
mind - I still have a way to go. within your body. If you are ill or
Daily: Do you aim your music in a trance, it leaves and can flit
at any particular audience? Do you around, like a bird. If you die, it
try to write music that people will leaves forever. The text is coaxing
like? it to come back into the body, as
Druckman: I think it's about one coaxes a little bird.
as easy to do that as it is to wish I
was six feet tall with blond hair.
(laughs) We (composers) pretend we
have free choices, but music comes'
out as a necessity. Sure, I'd like to B o o si
be popular, but I wouldn't know 0
the first thing to do to go aboutBi
Daily: You attended Juilliard;
how heavily do you rely on your (The hea
Druckman: I'm one of those
who's always been closely
connected with the past. Many
composers in my generation '
growing up in the '50s and '60s felt
a need to break with the past. I
think I resisted that for all those -
years. This is not so true for the
younger composers. r
Daily: Who are your favorite
composers that influenced you?
Druckman: That would make a
pretty long list. The composers I U
first fell In love with as a teenager e
are particularly Stravinsky and
Debussy. If you're up
Daily: Do you like other 3 against long hours
twentieth century composers? I and tight deadlines, there
Druckman : That list.is too a safe, healthy way to ke(
long to rattle off the top of my going when the going gets
head. This century is full of good balanced combination of.
composers, as was the nineteenth 'l designed especially for sti
century. building blocks needed to
I might as well say something good health. Aminotrate s
about one of the pieces in the own process by supplying
program, since we've been boost it needs during prol
discussing the opera. Lamia was an . Iconcentration.
early sketch for the opera. It's a Aminotrate can:
piece involved with the notion of
sorcery and female sorcery. The text' " Improve your concentr
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language. It all has to do with 'l " Help you maintain ener
female sorcery. Some of it is dark to eat
and serious, like Medea calling up *
creatures from the underworld. Then Aminotrate is available at
there are little rhymes in French The Ecology Box, 425 E
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young girls to reveal the one they For more information, cal
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Michigan Union Ballroom
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