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January 28, 1994 - Image 9

Resource type:
Text
Publication:
The Michigan Daily, 1994-01-28

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Shostakovich would be proud

By KEREN SCHWEITZER
The first night of the Borodin String Quartet's perfor-
mance of the Shostakovich quartet cycle was an immense
success. As part of the larger University-wide series
entitled, "Shostakovich: The Man and His Age, 1906-
1975," the Borodin Quartet presented quartets no. 1-3 in
Rackham auditorium to a full audience. After hearing this
ensemble, amore authentic performance of Shostakovich's
music seems impossible.
The audience was captivated and entranced with the

Borodin String Quartet
Rackham Auditorium
January 25, 1994
life and music of Shostakovich even before the concert
began. This was due to the pre-concert presentation, also
presented by the University Musical Society. Laurel Fay,
an independent scholar whose dissertation focused on the
late Shostakovich quartets, was the lecturer. The lecture
was informative, although the information that she cov-
ered was already in the program notes, which she also
wrote.
Fay's historical overview of all the quartets was not a
bad idea, but a discussion about the actual sounds and
harmonies of the composer may have served as a better
preparation for the concert. Such a discussion would have
been especially useful for the audience members who had
never heard Shostakovich's music before. Although Fay
did use musical examples, more musical observations
would have been preferable.
The concert itself was fantastic. The Borodin quartet
had an incredible technical facility as well as an astound-
ingly sensitive musical interpretation. It was such a treat
to hear musicians of this caliber in such a small audito-
rium. The final movement of the Quartet No. 3 was

particularly moving with its subtle dynamic contrasts.
The viola solos heard in the third movement of the Quartet
No. 2 were also especially moving. Since two of the
quartet members knew Shostakovich personally, it is no
surprise that the Borodin's musical interpretation was so
effective .
The importance of this series cannot be underesti-
mated. This will be the first time that a quartet has
performed all of Shostakovich's quartets in such a short
span of time. Fay mentioned that the quartets trace the
composer's remarkable musical development.
"Shostakovich undergoes a transition from demonstrative
composition to allegorical composition," she said. "It is a
rare opportunity to hear all 15 quartets. It gives us a chance
to compare them while they are still fresh in our heads and
to make new connections."
The final concert will feature the last three quartets.
According to Fay, "these late quartets can be viewed as a
train of thought and are somewhat autobiographical." It is
interesting to notice that the 15th quartet is in six move-
ments all of which are marked adagio and there are no
pauses in between the movements. The late quartets are an
emotionally exhausting experience for the listener as well
as a mental and physical exercise for the musicians.
Judging from the concert on Tuesday night, the Borodin
String Quartet is unquestionably capable of such a chal-
lenge.
There are still two concerts left, one tonight at 8:00
p.m. at the Museum of Art. General admission tickets
for this concert of Quartets 10-12 are available for $22.
The late Quartets will be performed Saturday night at
Rackham Auditorium. Tickets are available from the
UMS Box Office (764-2538)for $14-$24. $7 Student
Rush Tickets will be available for the Saturday concert
at the Union Ticket Office from 9 a.m. to noon on
Saturday. The UMS will and North Campus Commons
will also co-sponsor North Campus Rush, from 11:30
a.m. to 2 p.m. on Friday at the Commons next to Little
Caesars.

Andrew Dice Clay is still as lame, raunchy and arrogant as ever. Don't you hate him?

ECORDS
Continued from page 8
ently wants to be Suede's Brett Ander-
son, he simply cannot match that
man's soaring vocal flights and campy
posturing and his attempts are almost
laughable. "Love 15" smokes a bit,
.*t a roaring blaze it is not.
- Dirk Schulze
Andrew Dice Clay
The Day the Laughter Died II
American
Andrew Dice Clay used to be
funny. This statement is meant to il-
lustrate that this review is not previ-
ously biased against the Diceman.
!ndrew Dice Clay is no longer funny.
This statement is meant to illustrate
that the Diceman's new album is hor-
rible.
The opening track, "'Tis the Sea-
son," is billed as, "A conceptual piece'
edited by Andrew Dice Clay." It con-
sists of fairly obnoxious and, disap-
pointingly, unfunny melee of swear-
ing. The concept is, at the very least,
=insistent with the rest of the album:
Tame yet warranting a parental advi-
sory. His sex jokes are no longer funny,
they are simply vulgar. But his sex
jokes are hardly the worst part of the
album. You see, the worst part of the
album is the audience abuse. Dice
was never the nicest guy to the people
who came to see him, but on this
concert album, he has become par-
cularly pugnacious. Aside from not
ling funny, it also takes up time on
the disc which could be better spent
on something funny or something si-
lent. Not that it's all unfunny. The last
track involves Clay leaving the stage
swearing so he can fight with a mem-
ber of his audience who he has been
flashing out at. It's not comedy, but it
us funny.
So basically, this album is com-
*etely worthless. Even if you liked
him in the past, he is nothing now.
He's not kidding when he says on the
album "I don't have a career right
now." Rent "Ford Fairlane" and then
forget him.
-Ted Watts
Anthony Braxton
Ensemble) Compositions
ack Saint
For some musicians, music is a
career. For others, like Anthony
Braxton, music is a constantly evolv-
ing medium of personal and concep-
tual expression. These four pieces of
creative orchestra music recorded in
1992 locate Braxton in his most re-
cently cultivated and dense musical
rigtory.
Varying his efforts from solo
pieces (including the first solo-sax

record evermade) through small group
improv to multi-orchestra works and
a massive 12-opera ritual complex,
generalizations about Braxton's mu-
sic are hopelessly sketchy.
While bringing together Paul
Desmond, Sun Ra and Karlheinz
Stockhausen would make for a long
day, this aggregation makes some kind
of quirky, (ana)logical sense in
Braxton's abstract music.
Comprised of two older and two
of his most recent orchestral pieces,
this CD present some of Braxton's
most finely textured and playful tunes.
Compositions 100, 163 and 164
use Braxton's characteristic hybrid-
ization of formal composition with
improvisational passages. Excerpted
from the 240-pages of notation and
without the four slide projectors, the
fourth comp., no. 96, is shorter than
the full version previously recorded
for Leo Records.
Avoiding static organization, these
pieces employ "schematic infrastruc-
tures" and "vibrational" impetuses
that are full of surprises. Despite the
scale of these works, there is an inti-
macy to this music. In all four pieces,
especially no. 164, the instruments
couple and balance, giving small-scale
order to the general "collage form."
These tonal shifts develop distinct
but passing relationships, evoking
unimagined tones and shades through
the seamless binding of freedom and
formality.
- Chris Wyrod
Joshua Redman
Wish
Warner Brothers
If a musician's musical magnifi-
cence is measured by the players who
accompany them, then Joshua
Redman, on his second album,
KOREAN CUISINE
A good atnosphere --
perfect for dates
e *
(313) 662-9303
113 E. Huron Ann Arbor

"Wish," may already be counted
among jazz's new elite by playing
with Pat Metheny, Charlie Haden and
Billy Higgins. But, if a musician's
magnificence is measured by the way
a musician makes a collection of songs
their own, then Redman is one of
jazz's new elite.
Composed of jazz classics, mod-
ern pop, blues and aRedman original,
"Wish" is an ecclecticly interesting
grouping of musical genres. Redman's
powerfully sensitive, liquid saxo-
phone is the bridge over what could
have been a quagmire of musical bra-
vado. Redman appeases both young
and old with his song list. His render-
ing of Eric Clapton's "Tears in
Heaven" is highly emotional and true
to the original intent of the song. For
the jazz purists, Redman's rendering
of Charlie Parker's "Moose the
Mooch" is nothing but pure be-bop.
The rest of the band is incredible as
would be expected. Metheny's guitar
solos on "Wish" need to be checked
out as does Higgins' drum solos on
his composition "Blues for Pat."
Joshua Redman has found the per-
fect mixture of musical emotion and
technical ability that is woefully lack-
ing in many of the new crop of young
jazz purists. Redman is ready to take
his place anong the jazz greats and it
is no surprise that his album sounds

more like an established classic than
a recent release.
-Ben Ewy
Cowboy Junkies
Pale Sun, Crescent Moon
RCA
For better of worse, the Cowboy
Junkies have come a long way from
the ghostly blues of "Whites Off Earth
Now" and the relaxed, atmospheric
mood of "The Trinity Sessions." On
1992's "Black-Eyed Man," the band
proved it could rock out a bit and on
its latest, "Pale Sun, Crescent Moon,"
the Junkies even whip up a fair amount
of feedback for its cover of Dinosaur
Jr.'s "The Post." Those who miss the
intimacy of "The Trinity Sessions"
can find comfort in the sparse "Cold
Tea Blues," but will be surprised by
the likes of the relatively hard-edged
"Seven Years."
The band works well with the
change in direction, seeming a little
more comfortable with the expanded
sound than on "Black-Eyed Man."
Michael Timmins has matured into
quite an adept songwriter (even quot-
ing both Gabriel Garcia-Marqudz and
William Faulkner), while sibling
Margo has abandoned the mellow-as-
can-be persona in favor of slightly

more expressive vocals. It may not
have the personal and confidential
aura of "The Trinity Sessions" (re-
corded in a church), but "Pale Sun,
Crescent Moon" shows that the Cow-
boy Junkies can function in a real
studio to positive effect.
- Dirk Schulze
Les Thugs
As Happy as Possible
Sub Pop
In the Great Rock'n' Roll Scheme
of Things, the French have remained
mysteriously silent. Les Thugs, a four-

some from Paris, are out to change
that with theirdebut album "As Happy
as Possible." Over 17 songs, the group
somewhat schizophrenically butcom-
petently covers the gamut of alterna-
tive rock styles from the Pixies to My
Bloody Valentine.
Especially strong songs include
the title track, "Harpo's Theme,"
"Admen," "You Wanna Die" and
"Looking In Your Eyes." Will Les
Thugs be able to develop a style of
their own? Hard to say right now, but
"As Happy as Possible" brings some
of la difference to rock.
- Heather Phares

r

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Sat, Sun: 12:15,2:30,4:45, 7:10,9:35
' '..BARGAIN MATINEES $3.50 BEFORE 6 PM
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University of Michigan
School of MusiC
Friday, January 28
Wind Ensemble
H. Robert Reynolds, Gary Lewis, and William Wiedrich, conductors;
Paul Harkins, tympani soloist
" Gabrieli: Canzona
" Ives: Ann Street, Calcium Night Light, The Seer
* Stravinsky: Symphonies of Wind Instruments (original version)
" Colgrass: Concertino for tympani with brass and percussion
Rackham Auditorium, 8 p.m., free
Sunday, January 30
1994 Piano Competition
Twelve U-M students perform Beethoven piano sonatas
Recital Hall, School of Music, 1-5 p.m., free
Monday, January 31
Faculty Recital
Dickran Atamian, piano (first prize winner, 50th Anniversary
Naumberg Piano Competition)
* Schubert: Walzer, op. 18a; Ecossaisen, op. 18b; Sonata in G Major
. Mozart: Sonata in A minor; Sonata in D Major
Rackham Auditorium, 8 p.m., free
Faculty Recital
Charles Daval, trumpet (former principal/solo trumpet with the
Montreal Symphony); Anton Nel, piano
" Works by Bozza, Enesco, Glazunov, Peeters, Bizet, and Tchaikovsky
Recital Hall, School of Music, 8 p.m., free
Tuesday, February 1
University Symphony and Philharmonia Orchestras,
University Choir, and University Chamber Choir
Jerry Blackstone and Gustav Meier, conductors; Leslie Guinn, baritone
soloist (Grammy nominee)
* Overtures by Berlioz (Roman Carnival), Verdi (La Forza del Destino),
and Wagner (Die Meistersinger)
" Walton's oratorio Belshazzar's Feast
Hill Auditorium, 8 p.m., free
Thursday-Sunday, February 3-6
University Dance Company

It's Dance.
It's Music.
It's Cutting Edge.
Featuring:
Niinsky's 1912 ballet
Afternoon of a Faun
(music by Debussy)

lost a

Plus new
works by .
UM dance l.
faculty:
Daughters of Isis
(music by Banfield) 4
The Vast Sky Is Falling
(music by Webern)

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