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November 15, 2002 - Image 5

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Publication:
The Michigan Daily, 2002-11-15

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Friday
November 15, 2002
michigandaily.com/arts
mae@michigandaily.com

S tcfi u D n u l
RTS

5A

Rackham welcomes Trio

By Sarah Peterson
Daily Arts Writer
On Sunday at 4 p.m., violinist
Gidon Kremer, pianist Oleg Maisen-
berg, and clarinetist Sabine Meyer
will blend their musical talents for a
concert that is sure to be a musical
masterpiece.
All three members of the trio are
distinguished musicians. Gidon Kre-
mer is an accomplished violinist
whose repertoire encompasses Clas-
sical and Romantic works, as well as
20th Century pieces. Oleg Maisen-
berg was awarded 2nd prize at the
International Shubert Competition in
Vienna and 1st prize at the Music of
the 20th Century Competition. To

harmonic, the Philadelphia Orches-
tra, the London Symphony Orches-
tra, the Vienna Symphony and the
Berlin Philharmonic. A highlight of
Mr. Maisenberg's career was a 12-
concert recital that he performed, in
which each concert was dedicated to
a different composer.
Ms. Sabine Meyer has been play-
ing the clarinet since she was 8 years
old. Early in her career she played
with the Munich and Berlin Orches-
tras, and now she only performs as a
soloist, or with chamber music
ensembles. Within her career, Ms.
Meyer has founded two different
ensemble groups, the Trio di
Clarone, which is a clarinet trio con-
sisting of Ms. Meyer, her husband

complete the trio,
Sabine Meyer played
with the Berlin Phil-
harmonic as principle
clarinetist, and was the
ensemble's first female
member. These three
instrumentalists have
come together to form
a masterful and bril-
liant trio. In the words
of Sabine Meyer,

GIDON KREMER
TRIO
Rackham Auditorium
Sunday at 4P.m.
University Musical Society

Reiner Wehle and her
brother Wolfgang
Meyer, as well as the
Bldserensemble Sabine
Meyer, which is a nine-
member chamber
group.
For this concert, the
trio will be performing
pieces by Debussy,
Ravel, Stravinsky,
Berg, Webern, Schoen-

"Both Kremer and Maisenberg are
strong personalities. I have known
them for a long time. It is always
exciting to play with them, always
new."
Mr. Gidon Kremer has studied the
violin since the age of 4. At 18, he
became one of only a few to appren-
tice under the master David Oistrakh.
Throughout his career, Mr. Kremer
has formed many chamber groups.
One in particular, the Kremerata
Baltica, was formed to promote the
careers of exceptional young musi-
cians. Mr. Kremer's renowned career
has included performances with
many illustrious instrumentalists,
conductors, and orchestras.
Mr. Oleg Maisenberg started tak-
ing piano lessons at the age of 5. He
has performed with the Israel Phil-

berg and Bart6k. The program was
built around the pieces, "Soldier's
Tale," composed by Stravinsky and
"Contrasts for Violin, Clarinet, and
Piano," composed by Bart6k. As Ms.
Meyer explained, the rest of the
pieces on the program were picked to
fit with these two. In general, the
program is a good representation of
the main composers from the first
half of the 20th Century.
The concert opens with the work
"Four Pieces for Clarinet and Piano,
Op.5," composed by Berg in 1913.
"My favorite is the Berg," Ms. Mey-
ers explained, "because in a small
piece there is a big message, and
somehow it is a very romantic piece!
Also, it is very exciting to start the
concert with."

Opera
Cunning1
~.delights,
By Sarah Peterson
Daily Arts Writer
"The Cunning Little Vixen," an
opera composed by Leos Janacek,
explores the wonders of life. In the
words of Prof. Tim Cheek, Czech
diction coach for the opera, "First
and foremost (the opera) is a celebra-
tion of life."
The story follows the lives of a
female fox and a forester. Both char-
acters go through trials and triumphs,
and ultimately, they both find beauty
in life. "The forester is transformed
from a rough and vulgar guy into a
poet," explained Prof. Cheek.
Through the examination of the
lives of the vixen and
the forester, the true
beauty of the opera
unfolds in an array of THE C
color, light and music. LITTLI
When asked what the
audience will most Power
enjoy, Prof. Cheek Tonight -
replied that they will 8 p.m. a:
love the costumes, sets $10
and lighting, and will be
blown away by how the University
singers speak Czech as
if they were natives. Prof. Joshua
Major, opera director, added that the
music is also spectacular. The stu-
dents in the pit perform the score with
expertise and virtuosity.
The opera was originally written in

Poetry sheds light on Arab culture

Courtesy of University Productions
Catherine Wessinger, Diana Dumpel and Megan Vesley on Halloween.

:U
E'

Czech. For this production, it was
decided to sing the opera in its native
language and add English subtitles.
Prof. Cheek explained that the Czech
language is so different from English
that to translate it would be virtually
impossible. The music follows the
natural inflections of the Czech lan-
guage. The words, if translated,
would no longer fit with
the music, thus losing
much of the opera's
NNING beauty. Prof. Cheek
VIXEN then detailed the long
process that each actor
ienter had to go through to
iturday at learn the music for this
d 2 p.m. opera. Each actor was
$20 given the book "Singing
r .ductions in Czech" at the begin-
ning of last summer, so
that by the time
rehearsals began they would already
have an idea of how to sing in Czech.
Although long, the process was
worthwhile, as the singers now sound
as if they are native speakers, making
the opera complete.

It was decided to keep the opera
in its native language for the addi-
tional reason of how the Czech lan-
guage is able to conjure up certain
feelings in those who listen to it.
Prof. Cheek described the Czech
language as having an earthy quality
that really helps to emphasize the
forest setting. "To me it feels like it
comes from the earth, like it is
ancient, from rich soil."
"The Cunning Little Vixen" is
being performed this evening through
Sunday, at the Power Center. Tonight
and Sunday, Prof. Cheek will be
offering a lecture titled "The Cunning
Little Vixen: Life is Beautiful" in the
Green Room at the Power Center, 30
minutes prior to the performance. The
20-minute lecture will give a basic
overview of the opera and the stylistic
elements of it.

By Ashley McGovern
For the Daily
A distinct group has recently
become public at the University; The
Diwan Arabic Poetry Club is not new,
but met last night for its first public
appearance. A group of University
students and professors, not only
Arabs, but those interested in the Ara-
bic language, have been meeting for
more than a year now to enjoy the
treasures and poetics of this remark-
able language.
Paula Santillan Grimm, a University
graduate student commented,
"Throughout my study of Arabic, I
have met warm, enchanting people,
seen amazing sites, had 1000 and one
adventures and haggled for many more
taxi rides. Today I feel lucky because I
am able to enjoy wonderful Arabic
poetry, yet even without understanding
all of it."
Last night's gathering featured
recitations in Arabic, with English
translations, of specially selected
works of Arab poets Mahmoud Dar-
wish (Palestine), Badr Shakr Al-
Sayyab (Iraq), and Khalil Hawi
(Lebanon). "The three featured poets
tonight represent, each in his own way,
three different and distinct mappings
of the modern Arab poet's experience.
Two are no longer with us, but have
left behind a very detailed, intricate
and articulate guide to their respective
worlds, in Iraq and Lebanon," said

Prof. Anton Shammas of the Near
Eastern Studies Department.
One of the goals of this group is to
introduce to the public one vivid
aspect of Arab culture. Poetry is one
of the most important facets that
identify the Arabs as a distinct civi-
lization. This literature depicts most
clearly the history of Arabs by grasp-
ing the ideals and images of customs,
traditions, and values.
The first known poems of the Arabi-
an Peninsula are found in the form of a
long ode, called a qasida. Often times
these poems speak of the desert, an
abandoned campsite, animals such as
the horse and camel, tribes, hunting
scenes, journeys and death. A bit later,
a form known as a ghazal, emerged to
reflect aspects of love. Oftentimes
these poems speak of forbidden love
which defied accordance with cultural
boundaries of courtship.
"Arabic poetry has been an indis-
pensable manifestation of Arab culture
for more than 15 centuries. It reflects
the historical, social, political, philo-
sophical and literary developments and
achievements of Arabs," said Khaled
Al-Masri, a PhD student of Arabic Lit-
erature in the Near Eastern Studies
department.
Originally, a storyteller would mem-
orize and recite poetry at public gath-
erings, much like members of Diwan
presented last night. Arabic poetry still
attracts large audiences in the promi-
nent, public spaces throughout the

Arab world.
"Emerging in the second half of the
20th century in Iraq, contemporary
Arabic poetry quickly spread and
gained its distinct characteristics under
some influence of the legacy of Arabic
literature and the modern literary
trends of the West. The ramifications
of the Palestinian Cause, resisting
colonialism and dictatorships, free-
dom, social justice, and alienation are
among other central themes in modern
Arabic poetry," stated Al-Masri.
Mahmoud Darwish is regarded as
one of the greatest contemporary Arab
poets today. His continuously inven-
tive style still captures scholars and the
common reader from various back-
grounds. Commenting on this
renowned poet, Prof. Shammas stated,
"Darwish, is the closest to my Palestin-
ian heart. For more than three decades
he managed, probably more than any
other Arab or Palestinian writer, to
keep Palestine a resonating, constant
presence. We will always know that
there are at least two maps of Palestine
that self-proclaimed politicians will
never manage to forfeit: the one in the
memories of Palestinian refugees, and
the one drawn by Darwish's poetry."
Diwan hopes to develop bi-weekly
gatherings in which students, profes-
sors and members of the community
can partake. The group plans to invite
prominent scholars and poets to read
and reflect on various aspects of mod-
ern Arabic poetry in the future.

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Come see The Cunning Little Vixen -
a 90-minute opera about the wild adventures
ofa female fox and her wily intrigues with
both man and beast.

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