The Michigan Daily - Monday, October 16, 1989 - Page 9
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The Atlanta Symphony Orchestra
conveyed some genuine inspiration
in their riveting performance last
Thursday evening at Hill Audito-
rium. Their high energy playing and
artistic dedication under their Musi-
cal Director and Conductor, Yoel
Levi, was obvious and contributed to
their marvelous performance.
The concert opened with a play-
ing of Bela Bartok's Suite from The
Miraculous Mandarin, scored for a
very large orchestra, piano, organ,
and harp. A frenzied onslaught of
strings began the piece and set the
terrifying tone which was to follow.
The members of the ensemble played
as if they were overcome with the
fear and mystery which was underly-
ing the entire suite. Several mo-
ments of peace and tranquility were
short lived as longer bombastic in-
terludes kept the attention of the au-
dience focused. The wild finale of the
Bartok powerfully captured the mod-
ern and intense nature of the piece.
Joshua Bell, the 22-year-old vio-
lin prodigy, took the stage for the
second selection, Jean Sibelius' Vio-
lin Concerto. The first movement of
the concerto was all his. He took
control of the pace and the tone of
the performance as the emotion of
the music poured off his violin with
each loving stroke of musical ge-
nius. The only problem, it seemed,
was that Bell was so extraordinary.
The Atlanta players were reduced to
the servile task of providing back-
ground music for Bell's incredible
exhibition. He overwhelmed every-
one in the auditorium, to be sure,
and was rewarded with five curtain
Tchaikovsky's Orchestral Suite
No. 3 seemed a fitting finish for this
group of incredibly talented musi-
cians. The piece is as exciting as it
is beautiful. The first movement was
played with pastoral sweetness as a
dulcet Serenade for Strings shim-
meringly began the selection. Levi's
interpretation of the Suite seemed
more British in influence than the
usual Russian-style interpretations
The final movement was a clas-
sic theme and variations arrangement
as the orchestra played an initial
theme with a waltz-like string ar-
rangement and then proceeded to play
12 additional variations of the same
theme, all differing considerably
from the rest. The last variation
pulled out all stops as the entire
ensemble joined together to provide
an exhilirating finish to the concert.
What was Adolf Sax thinking
when he invented the saxophone in
the earlier part of the century? His
intention was to create a family of
instruments (soprano, alto, tenor,
baritone) in the same style as the
well-established string family
(violin, viola, cello, double bass).
The sax, being accessible and easy to
play, was quickly embraced by the
jazz world, leaving the violin behind
- but not out of the picture. Saxo-
phone enthusiasts beware, because
Diane Monroe, Lesa Terry, Maxine
Roach, and Eileen M. Folson of the
all-Black female Uptown String
Quartet proved in their Friday per-
formance at the School of Music
that the string family did not retire
when the sax was born but were
merely on vacation, and this family
is perfectly able to swing, slide,
shimmy and generally cut rug, or
whatever else might be under their
"We try to focus on the Black
music experience," says cellist
Eileen Folston, a graduate from the
School of Music, "and we're always
looking for new stuff." Their "stuff"
blends the old and the new. They
take the classic music of Scott
Joplin's piano rags and the stylistic
qualities of jazz innovator Jelly Roll
Morton to new territory rich in
sonority unheard of on any piano ei-
ther musician might have played in
their lifetime. They play spirituals
with all the emotion of those who
originally sang them and also em-
brace compositions about modern is-
sues affecting the Black community,
such asSong forWinnie, depicting the
difficulties of Winnie Mandela in
South Africa and Chattohoochee
Red, about the violent Atlanta mur-
ders. Jazz seasoning goes into all
their works, and if that means that
Diane Monroe has to play chords on
her violin like a ukulele in accom-
paniment to a string bass style cello
feature in Tricotism, then so be it.
Other interesting techniques, such
as knocking on the instruments,
long pizzicato sections, brassy kick-
line tremulos, and scratchy piercing
harmonics had the crowd out of their
chairs for three standing ovations,
the first one before intermission.
These women, believe it or not, are
all classically trained musicians.
They have reverance for both their
instruments and their heritage, and
both have equal importance in their
-Sherrill L. Bennett
Scott and I sat and waited for
JoJo Richman to appear; Scott and I
hoped for melancholy and whimsy
stretched to its emotional limits.
What Scott and I got was CUTE.
And a teeth-grindingly irritating au-
dience. Now I love Jonathan and he
makes me cry and he makes me
smile, but I don't think he's a child
that needs to be pampered to every
moment. The typically collegiate
audience at Jonathan's second set on
Wednesday night at The Ark was
ready to love Jonathan whatever he
did. They guffawed every time he
Otis Rush (left) whips the crowd into an electric blue frenzy, Chicago-style at the Blind Pig Friday night. Willie
Dee Warren chimes in.
sang a funny rhyme, whooped it up
whenever he did his funny little
dance. Jonathan, seeing this, played
lots of his lighter stuff; all those
jaunty little songs. Scott and I
wanted tears and Jonathan at his
most poignant. What happened was
Jonathan at his cutest and most sug-
ary. Like Hershey's chocolate, the
music was nice for a few bars but
too sticky and gooey after a while.
Scott and I don't like candy that
much. And we don't like clapping.
We argued about this, but I'm
sure it's only American audiences
who insist on clapping throughout
every song. Certain individuals as-
sumed it was their responsibility to
become the rhythm section for
Jonathan though he himself felt no
need for a backing band. Scott and I
argued about clapping, the herd men-
tality and Nietzsche for a while and
then made up, deciding that Jonathan
was just taking it easy that night.
We didn't cry, we didn't laugh, had a
gentle smile, and then left, holding
hands. We agreed that Toys 'R' Us
was more fun.
The tradition of a blues legend
coming into town and playing with
a local backup band without ever
having played with them before
proved, as it often does, to be disas-
trous in the first set of Otis Rush's
show at the Blind Pig on Saturday
Rush's backing band stumbled all
over themselves from the very be-
ginning of the show, a modern re-
working of 'Louis Jordan's
"Caldonia." The band not only
missed several changes, they also
played clumsily without pumping
out a basic groove. This awkward-
ness continued throughout the first
set and nearly mired Rush's stunning
guitar work in a din of mediocrity.
I said "nearly" because, at times,
Rush's stinging guitar licks were
filled with such intensity and pas-
sion that it made his backup irrele-
vant. Rush delivered some blistering
solos during several instrumental
workouts, most notably during his
searing version of Riley King's
"Gambler's Blues." Despite these
flashes of brilliance, though, the
first set was pretty tepid.
During the second set, though,
Rush managed to whip his band into
shape. For the most part, their play-
ing was tight and focused, which al-
lowed Rush to concentrate on his
playing without having to chastise
his band for missing changes. From
his version of Ray Charles' "What'd
I Say" to his own classic "Right
Place, Wrong Time" to the show-
stopper "I Must Be Drinking," the
second set was uniformly hot. His
guitar snarled nastily while his
gospel-influenced singing had
poignant shadings. The smile never
left his face once he was finally able
to get down to business.
Rush's performance in the second
set could only make me wonder what
heights he could have attained with a
regular touring band that is familiar
with "Double Trouble," not just
blues in E.
Hardly any blood was shed, and
the only one actually killed was a
buck, but there was something terri-
fying about The Ann Arbor Civic
Theatre's production of Sam Shep-
ard's A Lie of the Mind. As the
three-plus hour show wore on, the
intensity took on increasingly
nightmarish proportions. Instead of
just one psycho, the typical horror
fare, there were eight psychos simul-
taneously vying for our attention.
What went wrong? What made any
of them, all of them, turn on us?
After all, Shepard called this work "a
little lesson about love."
Julie Vorus as Lorraine offered
the most satifying answer midway
through the play. "Love?" she e
claimed. "What a crock of shit"
Vorus' performance, beginning wW C
the doting mother and graduaVy
slipping into a pyromaniac, was jqst
one of the highlights of the commIta
nity theater's production. Under
David Hunsberger's steady direction,
convincing portrayals were turned
out by all the players.
Lorraine's would-be murderer son
Jake as played by Stephen Angus
was a character capable of horrifying
violence, but also vulnerability. An-'
gus accessed all of the Oedipus-com-
plex undertones that fill the script in
order to convey the true tragic natuir;
of his character, without skipping a:
single comic beat.
The most difficult role to play in
A Lie of the Mind is that of BetiL.
Victim of a head injury and certainly,
traumatized psychologically, she is
reduced to a stammering, hystef4e
child. Wendy Susan Hiller acted with
an appropriate balance of in - and
out of - control. Starved for love,
and unable to express it the way she
wants, her plight was the most
bizarre and the most touching of all.
Lorraine (Julie Vorus) forces her famous cream of broccoli soup on Jake
(Steve Angus) in The Ann Arbor Civic Theatre's performance of A Lie of
the Mind on the MainStreet stage.
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Let Them Know
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The Personal Column
MICHIGAN DAILY CLASSIFIED ADS
University of Michigan
REAL ESTATE ASSOCIATION
October 17- 4:15 PM
Room 1270 Bus. Admin.
Prof. Peter Schickele is back
with a band of music manglers.
Friday, October 20, 8 p.m.
Sponsored by: AT&T. Ann Arbor News.
Jacobsons. Schlumberger CAD/CAM
The brothers of Sigma Nu would like to thank
the following businesses for their support
of the annual UofM/MSU game ball run from
Ann Arbor to East Lansing on game day.
Schwartz Industries * Bell's Pizza
Dooley's * Rick's American Cafe
Papa Romano's * Good Time Charley's
Baker Construction Co.
Thank You for Making This Possible
an Advanced Degree:
A Look at Where, What & How
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GRADUATE SCHOOL AT THE
UNIVERSITY OF MICHIGAN
SCHOOL OF EDUCATION?
If yes, come to a meeting:
WHEN: Wed., Oct. 18, 6 p.m.
WHERE: Room 1322 (Tribute Room)
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Mandel School of Applied Social Sciences
Carol Brumer, Recruirer
Graduate School of Arts& Sciences
Dana Michaelson, Recruiter
American Graduate School International Management
Bill Kennedy, Recruiter
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