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November 01, 1953 - Image 3

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Publication:
Michigan Daily, 1953-11-01

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SUNIDAY. NOVEMBER 11 1953

THE MICHIGAN DAIL'Y

MAGAZINE PACE-PAGE 3

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Resident String Quartet Grows
With 'Decentralization' of Music

Arts Theater Displays Four Original Murals

* * * *

(EDITOR'S NOTE: The following is
the first in a series of articles by
members of the University's Stanley
Quartet. Today's author, Prof. Gil-
bert Ross of the music school, is the
Quartet's first violinist.)
By GILBERT ROSS
Michigan is in the forefront of
states, widely scattered in all se-
tions of the country, currently par-
ticipating in an extra-ordinary
cultural movement which offers
promise of a richer aesthetic ex-
perience for those persons, parti-
cularly in smaller communities,
who do not happen to live in or
near the great urban centers of
the eastern and western seaboards.
This is the decentralization of
the musical-talent industry, and
by 'industry' in this instance I
mean the merchandizing of mu-
sical talent rather than theman-
ufacture of instruments or the
publishing of music.
Not long ago, perhaps as recent-
ly as a third of a century, chamber
music Was parcelled out to the
smaller communities of the great
industrial and agricultural states
of the Midwest in 'package' ship-
ments from New York.
Today we are witnessing the
disintegration of the old central-
ized supply system. Smaller com-
munities all over the country are
beginning to assert their indepen-
dence of the big supply houses in
matters of talent merchandise.
Regional supply sources are rap-
idly developing and these regional
centers are serving large rural and
industrial areas hitherto almost
without access to top quality mu-
sical performnance
- - -
FEW TEARS will be shed for
the New York concert manager
who has imperiously dictated from
a skyscraper office the musical di-
et of hundreds of independent and
helpless small communities. De-
terioration of urban-center con-
trol has resulted in a decentraliza-
tion, a diffusion of the talent.,in-
dustry, and this has led to a most
rewarding surge of cultural acti-
vity-in the so-called 'hinterlands.'
Educational institutions, not-
ably universities - and colleges,
have played a major role in this
movement, and not alone in the
area of music. Theater, opera,
painting and dance are only a
few of the arts which have been
brought directly to the people
of the country, and in substan-
tial volume, as a result of the
process of decentralization and
through regional initiative and
leadership.
The University of Michigan, with
its diverse and extraordinary stim-
ulating niusical activities, is not
unique. Other great universities
of the Midwest, as elsewhere
throughout the country, are pro-
viding a corresponding artistic
leadership in their respective areas.
A quarter of a century ago the
string quartet-in-residence on the
university campus was unknown.
Today the. practice of maintaining
a resident chamber music ensem-
ble of professional calibre is com-
mon among larger institutions. Ev-
en smaller universities and col-
leges, frequently situated in -iso-
lated areas where regional talent
source is critically important, are
joining in this movement.
WHAT PRECISELY do these
resident quartets do? What is their
purpose and fuction? It may be
observed that the pattern of ac-
tivity and service is much the same
4 in each locale, varying mainly
when the line is crossed from the
privately endowed institution to
the state-supported university.
Service to the institution's stu-
dents and to the institution itself
in a larger sense is of primary
importance. Service to the whole
community and to the adjacent

areas might also be considered a
proper function of the resident
quartet.
In the case of state univer-
sities, service on a much wider
scale is attempted, since the in-
stitution's obligations are to the
state as a whole rather than to
restricted areas. Above all it is
the purpose of the resident quar-
tet to reach young people, since
they will constitute the listening
public of tommorrow.
Let us examine for a moment the
situation on our own campus. The
Stanley quartet was established by
the University's Board of Regents
in June, 1949. Since its inception
the Quartet has played approxi-
mately thirty public conterts in
Raclkham Lecture Hall (to an au-
dience of probably twenty-four
thousand) and about fifty concerts.
elsewhere in the State of Michi-
gan.
The quartet's repertory numbers
some fifty multiple-movement
works, 70 per cent drawn from
classical repertory, and 30 per
cent from contemporary literature.
It has given nine world premieres
and has specifically commissioned
some half-dozen works.
IN THE RANGE and diversity of
activities the season 1952-53 might
be considered'typical. In this per-
iod the Stanley Quartet presented
seven on-campus concerts, all op-

en to the public without charge.
The quartet played eighteen con-
certs in fourteen other Michigan
communities.
Finally, the Quartet conducted
a number of string clinics 'in
Michigan schools, appeared at
several professional educational
conferences, and recorded con-
temporary music in New York.
Someone once remarked that a
string quartet concert is just an
excuse for a party afterward.
Another wag has said, that the
best part of an evening of ama-
teur chamber music making is the
beer and cheese at the end. Neith-
er is correct.
The Stanley Quartet has found
everywhere, even in small com-
munities, a profound desire to-hear
good music, to hear better music,
yes even to hear great music. As
soon as people realize that cham-
ber music is simply music for the
chamber, as against music for
the theater, for instance, or music
for the church, and that a Beet-
hoven quartet is no more forbid-
ding than a Beethoven symphony
(the one being simply a sonata for
four stringed .instruments and the
other a sonata for orchestra), they
will find the same characteristics
(and delights) of melody, har-
mony, color and expressiveness in
this music as in the symphony, the
concerto, or any other familiar
form.

By DEBRA DURCHSLAG
Arts Theater is expanding the
meaning of its name to include
not only the action on its stage,
but also the action on its walls.
With the completion of the L.
H. Scott mural in the children's
classroom at the Theater, 2091/2
E. Washington will be able to claim
four individual murals by four Ann
Arbor artists.
* . * *
LAST YEAR'S Arts Theater au-
diences could drink coffee while
viewing John Goodyear's mural
which decorated one wall of the
coffee room. Now three additional
murals can be seen.
Goodyear's mural, which has
been re-painted in part for the
new season, is a humorous por-
trayal of be-decked and be-jew-
eled theater-goers under a be-
decked and be-jewelled chan-
delier.
Around the corner from the cof-
fee room, in the children's class-
room, ballet dancers frolic over
olie wall in L. H. Scott's mural,
done in grey-blue, black, white and
red.
BEFORE CLIMBING the stairs
to the theater, audiences can see
a recent work of. Stu Ross in the
office. This is the only non-repre-
sentational mural of the four, us-
ing abstract forms with heavy
black line and large areas of white.
Upstairs, Jamie Ross' mural
shows a window of the theater
at one end of the painting, pro-
gresses through the town of Ann
Arbor and ends with another
theater, resembling the Globe
of Shakespeare's day.
Audiences at Arts Theater now
not only have an opportunity to
see theater-in-the round, but also
the American mural, Ann Arbor,
circa 1953.

-Daily-Chuck Kelsey
JAMIE ROSS AND HIS THEATER MURAL
Paintings Shown in Theater

-Daily-Chuck Kelsey
L. H. SCOTT EXHIBITS HIS MURAL PAINTING TECHNIQUE
Evening Music on WUOM

sGilbert and ulia
Group To Give Opera
A comic opera, "Patience," sat- Archibald is by far the more
irizing the idyllic poet will open desirable and after m u c h
this year's Gilbert and Sullivan thought on her part, Patience fi-

A good water-colorist being a
relative rarity in these parts, the
show of paintings by William Lew-
is has fully realized the full po-
tentialities, of water color; it is
the medium with a personality of
its own, and one that can seldom
be forced into an expression alien
to its personality. In fact Lewis
is at his best when he allows his
wonderfully free technique to dic-
tate the terms of the painting,
within the confines of his own ar-
tistic imagination and intuition,
rather than when applying the
technique to more representation-
al subject matter. His locomotives,

while excellent locomotives, have
in comparison nothing of the mood
of industrial smoke and cinders
that is in the abstract "Great
City." Paintings like "Rain For-
est" and "Side Shows" although
abstract are so full of their res-
pective essences that one could not
help guessing their titles, or come
very close, even if they weren't
printed below.
Lewis is essentially a colorist
who needs the freedom of abstract
form to work his magic, and work
it he does.
-Stuart Ross

Evening music as selected by
WUOM-FM for Monday through
Friday listening will lead off with
a Bach-Liszt Prelude at 7 p.m.
Monday.
Beethoven's "Symphony No. 5
in C minor" and Piano Sonata, Op-
us 53 will follow at 8:30 p.m. on
.the Music of the Masters show.
', * *
UNTO ERKKILA'S violin selec-
tions will be played Tuesday.
Wednesday's listening will be
highlighted by a complete per-
formance of "Fidelio" by Beet-
hoven on the Music of the Mas-
ters program at 8 p.m.

Barbara Holmquist will be heard
playing the "Piano Concerto in
D major" by Haydn on Thursday,
followed by "Concert Highlights!
at 7:30 p.m. The University Sym.
phony Orchestra with Josef Blatt
conducting will present selections
of Wagner, Mozart and Stravin-
sky at 8:30 p.m.
Friday will feature Rimsky-Kor-
sakov and Chabrier compositions,
followed by Vivaldi's "Concerto in
D minor for Bassoon and String
Orchestra" and Berlioz's "Sym
phonie Fantastique, Opus 14.'

Season Thursday.
. It is the story of Patience, the
beautiful village milk maid who is
loved by two poets, Archibald and
Reginald. Both woo her with po-
etry until she sees that she must
decide between them'.
BECAUSE OF a little education,
Patience decides that in order to
be happy she must make a sacri-
fice. On this premises she decides
she should marry Reginald the
"fleshy poet" in preference to Ar-
chibald an esthetic poet.

nally decides it will be all right
for her to marry Archibald.
Put on entirely by the Gilbert
and Sullivan Society, "Patience"
will be presented Thursday, Friday
and Saturday. Performances are
at 8 p.m. every day with an addi-
tional matinee performance at 2
p.m. Saturday.
According to Publicity Chair-
man, George Oakes, '56; tickets
are 90 cents and $1.20 and may
be purchased at the Lydia Men-
delssohn Box Office.

COLLEGE SHOP

R

IVIRTUOSI DI ROMA

14 ITALIAN INSTRUMENTALISTS

Monday, Nov. 2, 8:30 -
HILL AUDITORIUM
CLEVELAND ORCHESTRA - NOV. 8
Tickets: $1 .50-$2.00-$2.50-$3.00
UNIVERSITY MUSICAL SOCIETY
Burton Memorial Tower

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