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March 20, 1995 - Image 10

Resource type:
The Michigan Daily, 1995-03-20

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10 - The Michigan Daily - Monday, March 20, 1995

By Scott Plagenhoef
Daily Arts Writer
Corsets and Victorian hon
Overblown, "epic" battle scenes
overblown, long-winded soliloqu
These are among the convention
historical drama which typically k
people out of the theater or send t
yawning to the exits. "Queen Mar
achieves the grandiosity whichn
historical dramas strive for with
having to turn its nose up at the a
ence to accomplish it.
Set in 16th Century France,
film details the interior conflict w:
France between the Catholics and
Protestant Huegonots. Marguerit
Valois, (Margot to her friends)
Catholic daughter of the nefario
ambitious and evil Catherine
Medicis (Virna Lisi in a cold per
mance reminiscent of the chess-p
ing figure of death in "The Sev
Seal") is used as a pawn in a dr
cally unsuccessful attempt to ach
internal peace.
The independent Margot -I
trayed in a triumphant return to
screen after a nearly seven-year1
tus by Isabelle Adjani - forges
own alliances. She is forced to
through the tumultuous relations
in her life amongst these tumul
times and decipher the intention
her mother, her brothers (one of w
is King of France), her politicall

is the queen of epic films
band and her Protestant lover. kineticism provides a backdrop, an
The true magic of "Margot" is almost ambient, restrained conflict
mes. director Patrice Chereau's ability to upsetting the principles of the nation
and capturetheconflictofanentirenation which hums beneath the outward,
uies. with a small and select circle of char- central struggle for control of France.
is of acters. Rather than attempt to play Twenty years after her striking
keep debut in Francois Truffuat's "The
hem R g Story of Adele H.," the now 40-year
got" old Adjani has lost none of the deli-
most Queen Margot cate beauty or subtle ability which
hout Directed by has made her one of France's most
udi- Patrice Cheteau treasured film stars of the '80s. Her
return is more than welcome.
the with Isabelle Adjani "Margot," in French with En-
ithin and Virna Lisi glish subtitles, may have as its cen-
d the At the Michigan Theater tral problem, trying to get an Ameri-
e de can audience interested in charac-
the traffic cop to "Spartacus"-like battle ters it knows or cares so little about.
usly scenes, Chereau appropriately pre- 16th Century France, let alone reli-
de sents a series of internal struggles for gious wars, are not a topic most of
rfor- what is essentially an internal con- our countrymen are initiated in.
lay- flict, religious affiliation. Yet when Rather than ease the audience into
enth Chereau feels the need to spill blood, an easy introduction to the charac-
asti- he does so within his circle of key- ters through the plot, Chereau pre-
ieve, stone characters, rendering a greater sents in a written introduction a
impact on the audience than any mass who? what? where? of the main char-
por- of anonymous bodies strewn across acters: Their position, theirreligion,
the muddied fields could accomplish. their kin. It is almost like providing
hia- In the end it is Margot's internal a scorecard at a sporting event. Then
her struggle, displayed with an alarming he jumps immediately into the film,
sift balance of passion and restraint from at the same time heightening the
hips scene to scene, depending upon ne- anxiety between the characters from
tous cessity by Adjani, which provides the the start, drawing an impatient au-
.s of blueprint for the entire film. The other dience immediately, but repelling
hich major characters are each unwaver- foreign audiences unwilling to take
hus- ing in their affiliations. Margot's a crash course in French history.

The Berlin Philharmonic Woodwind Quintet take our breath away.
Woodwind quintet is dazzlingly diverse

Amazin' Blue serves a well-ba
By Sangita M. Baxi allthelights and, with the aid ofastrobe
Daily Arts Writer light, launched into their arrangement

Complete with Appetizer, Soup
and Salad, Main Course and Dessert,
Amazin' Blue's spring concert, aptly
entitled "Phat Like Butta! !" was a
phenomenal success.
Beginning with the Appetizer, the
concertpresented selections by the guest
performers, the award-winning Tufts
University Beelzebubs. The
Beelzebubs, or "Bubs" as the all-male a
cappella group is affectionately called,
started the show with energy by run-
ning onto the stage and immediately
bursting into their arrangement of
"Burning Down the House." The group
members were very involved with what
was going on, ecstatically moving in
synchronicity with the music. In addi-
tion to some of their other pieces, such
as "Bridge Over Troubled Water" and
"Crosstown Traffic," the group per-
formed short skits after most songs that
were all very funny and creative. Bubs
had a great time on stage, and the audi-
ence was caught up in their exuberance.
Moving on to the Soup and Salad,
Amazin' Bluecame on stage, turnedoff

off "Big Time." They continued into
their first set with Vonderful arrange-
ments of "Downeaster Alexa," "I'll
Remember," "Comfortably Numb" and
"I Can't Dance." Midway through the
- Amazin' Blue
Phat Like Butta!!
Rackham Auditorium
March 18, 1995
set, the group performed a skit entitled
"Amazing Discoveries" which featured
their "A Little Crazy." Their wonderful
sense of humor became very evident in
the songs, in the introductions and in
their skits.
The high level of group chemistry
stood out in each performance. All
the singers had a featured solo, but no
one person was the "star" - they
worked together, making the concert
much more enjoyable. Every piece
was arranged by individual members

lanced concert
of Amazin' Blue. Therefore, each song
had some personal attachmentor story
behind it.
The Main Course featured arrange-
ments of songs such as "Wild Night,"
"Seven Days," "Southern Cross" and
"Would I Lie to You." In addition,
two more skits were performed. In
one, a teacher attempts to direct a
classroom of five-year-old geniuses
through "Do-Re-Mi" and another
chronicled the daring exploits of the
"Mighty Morphin Disco Dancers"-
both were a lot of fun.
Amazin' Blue got physically in-
volved in what their vocal chords
were doing - if they vocally mim-
icked electric guitars, they acted like
they were playing electric guitars or if
they imitated the sound of a drum,
they pretended to play a full set of
drums. Never standing still on stage,
Amazin' Blue always moved with the
beat, bringing their bodies into the
realm of their voices until the ending
Dessert which included "Crazy" (fea-
tured on their award-winning album)
and "Nothing 'Bout Me" - a fitting
end to a great concert.

By Emily Lambert
Daily Arts Writer
While many Ann Arborites spent
Friday night gulping Guinness in the
most authentic local Irish pubs, a small
but devoted group of chamber music
connoisseurs had their own little cul-
tural celebration in Rackham Audito-
rium. The Berlin Philharmonic Wood-
wind Quintet, an outgrowth of
Germany's finest orchestra, provided
concert-goers with a wonderfully di-
verse, often dazzling, program of
music for wind instruments.
Mozart's "Andante in F major,"
originally written for organ, was a
likable piece to start off the evening,
but comparatively less interesting than
the works to come. The energy and
clarity of articulation displayed by
Michael Hasel in Mozart's prominent
flute line became the central trait of
the following "Quintet in G minor"
by Franz Danzi.
Danzi, an early 19th century Ger-
man composer, played cello at age 15
in the celebrated Mannheim Orches-
tra - an ensemble famous for its
idiomatic instrumental performances
and musical special effects. This clas-
sical-sounding quintet was published
towards the end of Danzi's life, but
the Mannheim influence on it remains
evident. The Berlin Woodwind Quin-
tet punctuated the four movements
with dramatic pauses, startling dy-
namic changes and displays of virtu-

osity. These musical effects, though
innovative in the 18th century, are all
but commonplace by today's stan-
dards. The "Quintet in G minor" was
delightful and well-played, yet, as the
concert continued, this piece, nice as
it was, fell short of the next piece's
Samuel Barber's elaborate and lyri-
cal "Summer Music," the program's
highlight, maximized the textural capa-
- Berlin
Woodwind Quintet
Rackham Auditorium
March 17, 1995
bilities of the instruments. Although the
unforgiving Rackham walls had a habit
of muting the wind's sounds through-
out the evening, the Quintet managed to
make extraordinary changes in color
and timbre. The musicians sought to
blend their sounds so well that the audi-
ence could barely distinguish between
the instruments, and their aim was
largely successful. The mysterious
opening intervals, initially played by
Fergus McWilliam on horn and Henning
Trog on bassoon, were tossed from
player to player, providing a fascinat-
ing exercise in listening. The Quintet,

handled the music's sudden shifts of
tempo and mood with intelligence. The
achingly beautiful oboe melody was
transformed into a jazzy bassoon line,
ending the program's fine first half.
The five-some resumed with "Ser-
enade for Quintet with Oboe Solo" by
Andr6 Jolivet. Andreas Wittmann
played with sensible musicianship
over the dense, agitated accompani-
ment, yet his oboe line interacted so
well and so often with the others that
I hesitate to refer to anyone as a backup
player. The ensemble never lost a
sense of collective forward motion.
Jolivet's intense tonal and rhythmic
techniques gave even the more tran-
quil moments, like those of the
Intermede, a fiery quality. The last
movement was a neurotic march, in-
terrupted by intermittent accents and
Another "Quintet in G minor,"
this serious and elegant one by the
Frenchman Claude-Paul Taffanel,
would have closed the program had
two encores not followed. Minutes
later, Walter Seyfarth and his clarinet
swung best to a blues melody, before
the ensemble launched into an Ameri-
can folk-song suite, challenging the
audience to identify the patriotic tunes
as they raced by.
Friday's concert marked the Ber-
lin Philharmonic WoodwindQuintet's
Ann Arbor debut. With a little luck,
we'll see them again soon.

Award-winning pianist Boris Berezovsky performs tonight at Hill
The bright young star Boris Berezovsky, will give a piano recital Monday evening at the Hill Auditorium. The
young pianist will try to fill the void left after Maurizio Pollini - the highly acclaimed, originally scheduled
performer - canceled because of illness.
At only 26, Berezovsky already demands the international music community's attention. He-won the gold
medal in 1990 at the prestigious International Tchaikovsky Competition in Moscow. That same year, alongside
the likes of Itzhak Perlman, Yo-Yo Ma, Jessye Norman and the Leningrad Philharmonic Orchestra under Yuri
Temirkanov, Berezovsky participated in the Tchaikovsky Gala Concert.
Since his brilliant breakthrough in 1990, the Russian has flaunted his piano skills in recitals all over the world.
Monday evening's 8:00 program will include pieces by Rachmaninoff, Ravel and Schumann. For ticket
information, call the University Musical Society at 764-2538.


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Continued from page 9


(Paying attention at a concert ...
what a weird and wonderful idea!)
The first half of McLachlan's set
was filled with her "depressing
songs," as she described them.
Songs like "Ice" and "Elsewhere"
are slightly dark and melancholy
on the album "Fumbling Towards
Ecstasy," but the simple fact that
they were being performed live
by such a strong vocalist made
them seem more "explosive" than
The second half of the show
was more lighthearted, and
McLachlan stopped often to in-
teract with the audience. Like
Cole, McLachlan's songs are
mostly musical bits and pieces of
the female experience. For this
reason, her playful banter with
the crowd often dealt with being a
female musician.
"People kept saying to me 'You
can't have two women on the same
bill!"' McLachlan laughed. "I
thought, what a misogynist atti-
tude to have. Then, I thought,
that's it, she (Cole) is coming for
The audience went crazy when
McLachlan finally wrapped things
up and walked off stage. Really,

- 3 ~ um~ ua. ~

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