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February 02, 1998 - Image 8

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The Michigan Daily, 1998-02-02

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8A - The Michigan Daily - Monday, February 2, 1998

ASQ continues Beethoven series

By Emily Lambert
Daily Weekend, etc. Editor
In the "Beethoven the Contemporary"
series sponsored by the University
Musical Society, the American String
Quartet and pianist Ursula Oppens con-
trast works by the old master with works
by new ones.
I'd imagine the goal is to get us,
the audience, to appreciate the mod-
ern music more than we might other-
wise.
But when ASQ took the stage at
Rackham on Friday night in the
series' second round, the musicians_
left the audience marveling at the
genius of Beethoven' and perhaps
wishing ASQ had played nothing but
his work.
The program began with the second
of Beethoven's Op. 18 string quartets,
which he wrote early in his career.

Sometimes called the "Compliments"
quartet, the piece started like a nursery
song before it wandered, slipped and
slid through four movements -- all in
good fun.
The audience could
almost hear the distin-
guished musicians think-
ing: "Look at me! I'm up Ame
on stage in front of lots of S
people playing really fun
music!" Q
But when the musicians
delved into the second Rackha
piece, "Beneath Thy Jan.
Tenderness of Heart" by
George Tsontakis, their
increased concentration
was obvious. They were
active and involved in the
difficult music - even if
the audience wasn't.

er
m
.3

"Beneath Thy Tenderness of
Heart" was full of interesting tex-
tures and tonal effects, such as inter-
mittent unisons and haunting disso-
nances, which may have
been the work's greatest
problem as well as asset.
Intrigued by early
rican effects, some listeners
tring lost track of the form and
found themselves disori-
ented 10 minutes later,
n Aud. waiting for the piece to
end.
0, 1998 In the third section,
"The Madonna Weeps," a
recurring refrain of
dynamic contrast provid-
ed something to hold
onto, and was much
appreciated.
There seemed echoes of Beethoven

in Tsontakis' work, but the piece
couldn't compare to Ludwig's own
"Quartet in F Major," Op. 135 that fol-
lowed.
The quartet's once flawless pitch was
no longer (the musicians were probably
drained) and the first violinist broke a
string, but the piece needed little help
sounding incredible.
Pleasant, then playful, then sublime,
then cute, "Quartet in F Major" covered
a spectrum of emotions and left the
audience feeling complete.
Many of Beethoven's contempo-
rary reviewers hated his work on
first hearing it, and these confused
listeners have been immortalized by
their criticisms.
I invite history to prove other-
wise, but don't think Tsontakis'
work comes close to Beethoven's
genius.

Courtesy of Melvin Kaplan Incorporated
Members of the American String Quartet delivered second the installment of the
UMS Beethoven series.

Girls analyze classic art

Bedside Companion To
The History of
Western Art
the Guerilla Girls
At the Detroit Institute of Arts, there
is a lovely, bloody picture of the biblical
Judith beheading an Assyrian General
(Holofernes), with all the grace of an
Italian Baroque. In the Guerilla Girls'
revision/additional commentary on not
Oily Western Art, but also on the pre-
vailing social and economic conditions
of women artists throughout "the ages,"
Artemisia Gentileschi's "Judith Slaying
Holofernes" is one of the highlights.
The story of
Gentileschi is fea-
tured in the Girls's
own words in
Chapter 3, "The
Renaissance: Lives of
the Girl Artists," using
20th Century comic book
form.
It has been said and repeated
by the Girls that Gentileschi's fas-
cination with Judith developed after she
was raped by one of the artists in her
father's studio. The three-box comic
strip sets a rape scene with Agostino as
Slimey Guy who rapes Gentileschi,
then offers to marry Gentileschi in
order to "save her reputation" When
Agostino reneges on his offer, he is
taken to court by Gentileschi's father.
Gentileschi painted many Judiths,
but to put the artist's paintings and pos-
sibility of rape in an absolute cause-
effect relationship simplifies history
like a second grader's social studies
textbook from the '50s. In 1620, art
therapy was not widely practiced.

Paintings were likely to be commis-
sioned and the Judith scenes were wide-
ly popular. Her technical skills and use
of shadow and color are fabulous.
At its best, the Girls version offers an
insightful and intriguing relation of the
present world to historical events. At its
worst, it is self-serving. If Frida Kahlo
were alive today, she would not say,
"The Guerilla Girls spoke for me when
they demanded that art museums fund
elaborate funerals for woman artists
that they plan to exhibit only after they
are dead."
The facts from history show institu-
tionalized sexism through the ages -
in the 19th Century, a husband could
divorce his wife if she gave him
syphilis, but a woman couldn't divorce
her husband if he gave it to her
- and relate it to the present
in a personal way, using
"you." The Girls focus on
the women artists and
their work that hasbeen
excluded from art his-
tory books, and show
how particular pieces
are influential. The
book also looks great,
filled with paintings by the masters that
have been "updated" by the Girls.
Check them out at http./wvwvoyager-
co.com/gg/.
If you're into the Gorilla Girls poli-
tics and want to pick up a schmidgen of
art history, then this book, sprinkled
with self-references, is for you. It seems
that they could have focused more on
what these women did then what they
didn't. Like the muse or Shakespeare's
sonnet "So long lives this/ and this
gives life to thee," the women they've
chosen to highlight are being used for
another purpose.
- Cara Spindler

'Curse' continues 'Island' legacy;
'Casino' proves a lucky gamble

a

Curse of Monkey Island
LucasArts
Win '95 CD Rom
LucasArts has finally unveiled the third
addition to the Monkey Island trilogy, "The
Curse Of Monkey Island," continuing the saga
of the classic game, "The Secret of Monkey
Island."
The game itself is superior to its predecessors in
both graphics, gameplay and sound quality, but
remains the same in its dry whimsical humor.
"Curse" also brings back some familiar characters
such as the Voodoo Lady, Elaine Marley and the
unfortunately named, hero/pirate wannabe
Guybrush Threepwood.
The plot to "Curse" centers around
Threepwood freeing his love interest Elaine
Marley from an evil curse put upon her by the
undead pirate LeChuck. In order to do this,
Guybrush must escape Plunder Island, get a ship
and a crew and set off for Blood Island to free
Elaine from the curse.
Along the way, Guybrush encounters the three-
man barbershop quartet from the "Barbary Coast"
barber shop, a pirate theatre agent and a talking
skull named Murray.
The game itself is entertaining and the humor is
great for a player of any age. The puzzles require a
lot of thought, though, which might turn away
younger players.
This challenge is a staple ingredient for
LucasArts games, and "Curse" wouldn't be corn-
plete without it. In comparison to other
LucasArts games. "Curse" easily holds its own,
and the LucasArts dedication to quality is readi-
ly apparent. With its challenge, humor and over-
all entertainment factor, "Curse" is a game that
would be a welcome addition to any collection of
PC games, just like the first two editions of this
trilogy.
-Seve Paruszkiewicz

Hoyle Casino
Sierra
Windows 3.1/'95 CD-ROM
For all it gives you, 30 bucks is not a lot to pay
for "Hoyle Casino." If you always wanted to learn
about the games in the casino and the main ver-
sions of poker. "Hoyle" is a great instructor.
The box boasts chore than 50 variations of casi-
no games. Most of those variations are slot
machines, and there's also the Sultan, a mechanical
genie who will tell your future if you can
roll a nickel into his
mouth.
The game also offers
black jack, craps,
roulette and four ver-
sions of poker. U
Contestants can play .
using Atlantic City orr
Las Vegas rules.
Contestants can also play .
via the Internet, though
not for real money (though
this might be good practice for
those places on the Internet where
money is the high stake).
When the dice don't buy daddy a new pair of
shoes, the player can visit the ATM machine for
more money, if you're broke, then you can take a
loan from either Earl's Cash-O-Rama, Lucky
Leon's Loans and Prosthetics or the Provoloni
Brothers. They'll give $5,000 to anyone once, even
if he has already borrowed money from one of their
competitors.
On a side note, Earl sounds exactly like
Thurston Howell Ill from "Gilligan's Island." If
you're really down on your luck, you can always
begin a new player. male or female.
If you think who you're playing against is affect-
ing your game, you can also change who's sitting at
to play against, each with their own style of play-

puter provides seven distinct characters to play
against, each with their own style of playing and
tells, nervous habits that give them away. The per-
sonalities include the Hollywood stereotypes of
poker players - from the James Bond clone to the
country maverick to the blonde femme fatale. Each
one also has his own set of comments as well, such
as "I'm dropping this hand like a bad habit." But
those get old pretty fast. Thankfully, you can
increase the speed of the game play and vary the
other characters attitudes to shut them up.
My version also came with "Friday Night Poker,"
which just has a few difTerences from the "Hoyle
CAlsino" poker. You can change the sur-
face of the table from red or green
.: % felt to a kitchen tabletop ora ware-
house. "Friday Night Poker"
includes an additional
computer character from
1A which to choose.
Straight from the
infamous paintings of
~+.dogs playing poker
comes the card-playing
}? 3 bulldog, T-bone, chew-
ing, not literally, on a
stogic. He (or she, for
all we know) was a nice
touch.
Still, some of the features
in "Hoyle Casino" are superfluous.
You can walk through the casino, but it's much easi-
er to use your cursor and point to the windows com-
mands at the top of the screen. We are not sure what
the Sultan is about and for the most part, the charac-
ters' comments interrupt the game. The virtual slot
machines aren't so great either. After clicking at the
coin insertion slot for three times and then clicking
the lever, the poker game is far more exciting.
But, "Hoyle Casino" allows you to play what you
want and how you want. It's not the best video
game ever, but for the variety of choice and games
it gives you, it's a sure bet.
- Michael Galloway

6

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