Page 2-The Michigan Daily/New Student Edition-Entertainment - Thursday, September 10, 1992
nn Arbor's sweetest classical sounds
by Michael John Wilson
Whether you've been playing violin
for 15 years or you know Mozart
only from Falco's "Rock Me
Amadeus" hit, there's a place for
you in the realm of classical music
in Ann Arbor. If you're already a
seasoned devotee of Puccini, Proko-
fiev and the rest, you can skip down
to the introduction to concert going
and record-buying in town. For
everyone else, here's an explanation
of why you should discover classical
music in your college years.
"Art music," "serious music,"
"classical music" - to those not
brought up on it - can be awfully
intimidating. But despite all the for-
eign languages and talk of parallel
fifth: and chromaticism, this is sim-
ply the most lasting music ever writ-
ten. It's among the greatest achieve-
ments of Western civilization, and
contains a lot of attractive music that
I'm sure a lot of people would
So borrow a disc from you
residence hall library. Or, if you
need fun humanities credit, take
Music History 341, "Introduction to
the Art of Music." You might be
The main source for classics is
the University Musical Society. For
over 100 years the UMS has brought
big stars from Bernstein to Pavarotti
to Ann Arbor. This coming season,
Midori, Rostropovich, and many
others will play here. It's wonderful
to be able to walk a few blocks to
hear such talent in the "acoustically
perfect" Hill Auditorium. Beyond
the famous names, the UMS hosts a
variety of performances, from
recitals to dance grouns to weird
much of it has been played for
centuries. This is the music chosen
to represent our planet to other life
forms on the Voyager spacecraft.
It's also quite easy to enjoy. Sure,
certain pieces take a lot longer to
appreciate than others, but for
starters, nothing rivals the immediate
physical impact of Carl Orff's
Carmina Burana, or Proko.fiev's
March from The Love for Three
This is the music
chosen to represent
our planet ... on the
Oranges, or, for that matter, any-
thing by Tchaikovsky or Gershwin.
"You certainly don't have to take
a prescribed routine, starting with
Handel or Bach," says Derek
Francis, first violinist for the Detroit
Symphony Orchestra. "You should
start out with something you feel
akin to ... Fantasia, for example,
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For financially burdened stu-
dents, the UMS's most attractive
deal is its "rush ticket" policy. The
day of a concert, the lowest priced
seats are sold for 50% off the regular
piece - which means that last year,
you could have seen Yo-Yo Ma for
seven lousy bucks.
An even cheaper option is the
School of Music's free concerts. If
you're willing to catch a bus to
North Campus, you can hear some
fine performances by students and
faculty of the University.
If you're tired of hearing all those
foreign orchestras, there are two fine
ones n the area. The Ann Arbor
Symphony Orchestra has just ac-
quired a new conductor, Samuel
Wong, who has been praised by
many critics in the past. His October
3rd concert won't be helped at all by
the acoustics in their home, the
Michigan Theater - a building
made for watching movies.
The Detroit Symphony Or-
chestra no longer needs to prove
itself, under the baton of heroic
maestro Neeme Jarvi, the DSO has
become a first-rate ensemble. If you
have a car, don't miss out on the
sheer joy of Jarvi's performances -
it's worth the 45-minute drive.
Various other organizations host
classical events around town as well.
Check the Daily for listings, but two
of the more frequent groups are the
Kerrytown Concert House and
Gifts of Art, which are free concerts
in the University hospital.
You'll have just as many choices
in shopping for records as you will
in concert-going. The best stores for
classical CDs, only open for a year,
is Tower Records. The prices are
cheap and the selections excellent,
especially considering the tiny room
it takes up within the whole store.
They also carry plenty of under-
rated ultra-budget CDs for $6.99 on
labels like Naxos and Laserlight.
Ann Arbor gets the best of the world in its auditoriums and concert halls. These guys, the Beaux Arts Trio, were guests last year.
Other primarily pop stores like
Wherehouse and Discount Records
also have classical selections, but try
A completely different kind of
store is Encore Recordings, form-
erly Liberty Music Shop. It's the
oldest classical store in the city, and
is even a bit famous among those
stars who visit. It primarily carries
used LPs and those hard-to-find
recordings that aren't yet available
on CD. It's also a good bargain -
instead of paying $50 for a complete
opera on 3 CDs, you can get it on 3 and snobbish, and the selection is
LPs for about $10. fine, but like its sister store,
Schoolkids, everything is egre-
Just down the street from Encore gariously overpriced. They do hold
Recordings is SKR Classical, the listening sessions on Sunday after-
city's most over-rated store. The noons, which is a nice idea. But
staff borders between knowledgeable don't waste your money there.
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