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March 05, 1987 - Image 7

Resource type:
The Michigan Daily, 1987-03-05

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Thursday, March 5, 1987

,he Michigan Daily

Page 7

Sienna/Abbado: Perfectly uninspired

By Rebecca Chung

Bruno Walter once said of the
Vienna Philharmonic: "This Phil -
harmonic tone, which for me dates
from 1897, is still the same today,
even though not single player from
those days is still in the orchestra.
-What is it? One might call it
If tradition gives this orchestra
the rich, polished sound it displayed
last Tuesday night at Hill, then
someone should seal every orchestra
in a barrel of tradition for a century
or so. In the meantime, Claudio

Abbado and the Vienna Phil -
harmonic might consider aerating
itself just a little - to take away
an overwhelming heaviness and, if
you will, enliven the musical
Overall, Abbado and the Philhar -
monic performed masterfully, play -
ing through Beethoven's First and
Third (Eroica) Symphonies with -
out missing any interpretive cues.
For example, the opening of the
First was appropriately dramatic,
and the first theme an effective
contrast. In fact, it was even lively.
But all the repeated passages in

emphasize and stretch the beauty of
the melodies, Abbado and company
merely, well, repeated the notes
(with all expected dynamics).
It was this seesaw from rote
playing to inspired musicality that
kept the concert from greatness.
Each movement dragged after five
minutes, although not usually from
a poor tempo; the Philharmonic did
not make any major mistakes
Tuesday night. The problem was
one of liveliness; even their expres -
sion seemed mechanical. It turned
the "March Funebre" of the Eroica
into more of a dirge than Beethoven

intended and had one counting the
measures until the recapulation of
the "Scherzo."
The pervasive lack of energy was
all the more lamentable after one
heard the orchestra's finer mo -
ments. The opening notes in the
fourth movement of Symphony
No. 1 were deliciously sus penseful
as they whirlwinded into the allegro

molto. One didn't want the
evocative horn passages in the third
movement of the Eroica to end.
Most tantalizing of all was the
beginning of every movement,
because one felt a slight breeze of
energy sweep across the hall. If this
wind had not invariably died out,
there would have been magic at Hill
last Tuesday night.

... conductor Claudio Abbado
the first movement were enough to
slow the Philharmonic. Rather
than using the restatements to

White Canvas New Hope
Office Records

Several months back, I wrote
about a cassette by a unique band
called The Arms of Someone New.
TAOSN is essentially a duo
("project" is more accurate)
composed of Steve Jones and Mel
Eberle. In addition to managing
their Office Records label, a
fanzine, assorted other projects, and
working with TAOSN, Jones,
being the prolific sort that he is,
. also plays with a rather innovative
trio dubbed Area. White Canvas
New Hope is this band's debut, and
is one of the several recent cassette
releases avaliable on Champaign,
llinois' refreshing homegrown
Area is fronted by vocalist Lynn
-Canfield, whose soft and lilting
voice practically melts over their
dreamy music. The trio is quite
reminiscent of England's Cocteau
f Twins; their eerie, delicate tunes
w offer fragments of a reflective
;moment, a quiet sanctuary, or even
a distprbing encounter.
Using what is apparantly the
same drum machine ofJ nes' other
band, Area continues in the
tradition of creating effective,

unobtusive, and truly appropriate
synthetic percussion which blends
well beneath their airy
arrangements. "The Blue Spark" is
just lovely; the percussion taps
along, guiding Canfield's beautiful
harmonies and a heartbreakingly
simple piano melody. Dropping
this rhythm machine for a guitar,
the band becomes the aural
equivalent of diaphanous (really,
trust me) on the sad and peaceful
"Michael Writes His Parents," and
At times the formula flounders
slightly, as on "Copper," which is
so pretty and frail that it just can't
congeal, and on the somewhat
heavy-handed effects of "All About
Money." But these flaws are really
small in the long play. White
Canvas New Hope is a simply.
bewitching little number -
perhaps even the more so because
of how unassuming it is.
Also out on Office Records:
Split Heavens' Stonger than the
Rain cassette is a rather new wave-
ish splash of product that sounds an
awful lot like they've been under
the influence of the Psychedelic
Furs. Without Richard Butler's
gravelly voice, of course. It's not
bad, and in fact it probably stands
up pretty well to the plethora of

out there. Also, Spinetrails is a
tape by Nick Rudd, who has played
with TAOSN. Rudd plays several
instruments and writes an eclectic
batch of tunes, all distinctively
eerie; some are very good.
For a cassette of your very own

by any of these aforementioned
artists, you can try checking the
displays at Schoolkids. Or write
Office Records at PO Box 2081
Station A, Champaign, Illinois
- Beth Fertig

t i June 29 - August 21, 1987
Harvard Summer School, America's oldest academic summer
session, offers open-enrollment in nearly 250 day and evening
liberal arts courses, a diverse curriculum including courses
appropriate for fulfilling undergraduate and graduate degree
requirements, and programs designed for personal or
professional development.
The international student body has access to Harvard's
outstanding libraries, museums, athletic facilities, and cultural
activities, to nearby Boston and the Cambridge community,
and to Harvard's historic residences.
Featured is a college-level program for secondary school
juniors and seniors in addition to special programs in Health
Professions (for minority students), Drama, Film Studies, Dance,
Writing, Ukrainian Studies, and English as a Second Language.
To receive a catalogue or information about a specific program,
return the coupon below or call our 24-hour line at (617) 495-2494.
For information call (617)495-2921. Please
allow 3-4 weeksfor delivery.
[ ] YES, please send a 1987 Harvard Summer School catalogue and/or
specific information about the following program(s):


ch 6, 1987g
rch 20, 1987

Deadline: 2 pm, Mar(
Publication Date: Ma

This is your last chance to advertise
your latest Spring fashions!
Call your account executive today!

[ ] Secondary School Program [ ] Dance Center
[ ] English as a Second Language [ ] Writing

[ ] Drama [ ] Film Studies
[ ] Health Professions

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SEND FOR our Course Schedule by
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