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February 07, 1957 - Image 19

Resource type:
Michigan Daily, 1957-02-07
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Page Eighteen


Thursday, February 7, 1957

Thursday February 7 1957




A comprehensive survey taken by our writer indicates the
Conversational Look is used more often by college students tha
other leading looks combined.

He Corrected the Abuses of Tradition, Carried On a Never-Ending
Search for Perfection in All He Did

recent death of Arturo Tos-
canini has elicited a comforting
amount of comment from the
press and magazines (over one
page from TIME which is prob-
ably more than they'll give Henry
Luce). Somewhere in the lengthy
tributes to this man, though, his
most important contribution to
our musical culture has been
When Toscanini came upon the
scene, a tradition had developed
that artists and conductors should

twist the works of composers to
more or less suit their own pur-
poses. The resulting situation was
far from ideal, since conductors
inflicted their personal whims up-
on unsuspecting audiences; singers
inserted spurious notes into oper-
atic scores to dazzle listeners; solo-
ists elaborated upon their parts
until some concertos began to dis-
solve under the strain.
Toscanini did much to correct
these abuses, although there are
still a number of obstinate indi-
viduals with us who continue to
imagine that they can improve on

U a

I'm rushing
right down
to the

the original Intentions of most
composers. A good example is the
sixth symphony of Tchaikovsky
which has, been rendered some-
what more digestable by the efforts
of Toscanini, who removea most of
the emotional sludge which other
conductors have laid on with
heavy hands.
TOSCANIN'S interpretations of
many compositions have not
been unequivocally accepted; but
the fact remains that it his un-
relenting search for perfection; he
has left behind a considerable
amount of music in the. form of
recorded performances, and our
store of this material is enriched
accordingly. But to those who at-
tended his concerts, there are
memories of live performances
which cannot be effectively repro-
duced by an electrical device, how-
ever elegant and expensive.
Perhaps the most satisfactory
association Toscanini made was
with late 19th century Italian
Opera: Verdi and Puccini. His
versions of their operas are un-
surpassed; and he has recorded
many of these: Boheme, Traviata,4
Otello, Forza del Destino, Falstaff.
His authority here is undisputed,
and the coaching he gave both
singers and orchestras will provide
a valuable source of reference for
future conductors.
Curiously enough, releases of
Boheme and Traviata reveal, to
the discerning listener, in musical
moments of great emotional im-
pact, the voice of Toscanini, audi-
bly accompanying singers and,
During some early acoustical re-
cording sessions, Toscanini was

amazed to find that the sound he
imagined to come from an off-
pitch cello was actually his voice,
singing along with the orchestra.

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Main and Fourth Ave.
Phone NO 8-7191
Daily 10 A.M. to 12 P.M. WE HAVE ICE CUBES
Sundays Noon to 7 P.M.

canini conducting the NBC-
symphony orchestra. Toscanini,
Tlong the most popular and well
known conductor in the West-
ern world, died at his New York
home January 16, age 89. In re-
cent years, Toseanini had de-
voted most of his efforts to ra-
dio conducting and performing
And the habit remained with him
to the end.
Many of Toscanini's purely
orchestral recordings available
now are masterpieces of interpre-

tation. His La Mer is several steps
above any competitive version,
filled with the excitement lacking
in other conductors.
Similarly his recording of Shu-
bert's 7th 'symphony reaches a
peak of intensity which others
cannot achieve. Usually not on
familiar ground with French im-
pressionism, Toscanini has never-
theless fashioned Berlioz' Romeo
& Juliette into a unmatched per-
formance~If his musical sense of
humor produced an awkward
Pictures at an Exhibition yet his
Classical Symphony is full of wit
and humor.
However it has been the sym-
phonies of Brahms and most par-
ticularly Beethoven which have
been given the most care and at-
tention by Toscanini. Although
many of his concert performances
of these symphonies have been
nearly perfect, somehow the re-
corded versions of them lack the
final touch that only a live per-
formance can give. But the high
degree of perfection of the record-
ing art which permits us to enjoy
these recordings is most welcome.
AND yet, for all the fine record-
ings in existence, the great loss
is, of course, that no more will
Toscanini conduct his orchestra in
his never ending search for per-
fection. For he was, first of all, a
man in search of artistic perfec-
tion, and a man of great inde-
pendence. He was no creation of
the hi-fi purveyors' organizations
devoted to the accumulation and
sale of lush sounding recordings
of warmed-over music by second
rate orchestras doctored up by
electronic surgery. His concert
programs were not cluttered up
with the musical trash which de-
lights the wealthy illiterates who
support many large orchestras.
Nor did he cater to the demands
of self-styled prima donnas or
egocentric soloists.
In the final analysis one re-
gards Toscanini most highly for
his success in restoring to the art
of conducting a certain dignity,
which resulted from both his im-
mense talent and his rigorous ap-
proach. From this he never de-

(Continued from Page 5)
the true master of the "fishbowl
squint" looks over, around, past
or even through the person he is
talking at. The conversation starts
when the crowd shoves him into
close proximity, say ten feet. Then
after the first momentary contact,
the shifting of eyes commences.
Thus the first step in learning
how to look at friends and notice

boost his ego. The second rule:
Frown at other people.
Another primary subdivision of
the Conversational Look is the
"crowd scan." Useful at large,
theatrical occasions, as when de-
scending the stairway at Lydia
Mendelssohn Theatre, this scan
enables one to quickly find AN
OLD FRIEND who is standing in
line at the check room and might
gladly' retrieve two extra coats.
Successful utilization of this tech-
nique depends on mastering the
art of talking at one's companion
from the side of your mouth while
swiveling your head back and
forth. One can best practice at
Cinerama presentations.
Hence, we deduce the third rule:
Talk out of the side of your mouth
and keep glancing from the cor-
ners of your eyes.
THIStechnique is also necessary
in a further subdivision of the
Conversation Look, popularly call-
ed the "bird dog look." One must
guard against the common mistake
of most initiates to the art of
Modern Conversation, that of
being obvious. Utilize the tech-
nique of "crowd scanning," sim-
ultaneously examining the OLD
FRIEND'S female companion.
First, look at her face. Quickly
roll the eyes up to take in the
crowd, then return to her face.
If you don't find what you're
looking for there, let your gaze
drop. If you still don't find it,
look at his face. Should his eyes
appear starry and slightly glazed,
forget it. Otherwise, be an old
friend and at your next encounter,
give him your opinion.
But if you find yourself in luck,
you may proceed to a more careful
scrutiny of the woman. Remem-
bering to look from the corners
of your eyes, let your gaze drop.
slowly and deliberately from her
face towards her ankles. If she's
the type who blushes, you're wast-
ing your time.
Remember, the fourth rule for
conversing: Look carefully and
USED under different circum-
stances is the "you-wouldn't-
dare look." While primarily em-


by pedestrians during eyebrows just enough to be noticed1

encounters with drivers and bi-
cycle riders, it is also useful for
girls who think they are -being
"bird-dogged." The secret of this
look is to keep talking to your
companion, glare at your oppon-
ent, setting the mouth in deter-
mined lines and thrusting the jaw
forward. Then think of the most
disgusting object in the world
and imagine it in front of you.
Naturally, the fifth rule of con-
versation: Look hateful. Since this

by the familiar face but not by
anyone else who may be passing.
If you happen to stop and talk
to this familiar person, remember
not to look at his face. Look at
his books. If he sat next to you in
Freshman English, the inkstains
may recall memories. Also, as has
been noticed, many people write
their names on books.
BUT even more vague is another
important but refined subdivi-
sion of the Conversational Look.
Grossly mislabeled by Hollywood
as the "come-hitcher look," the
real life variation usually merely
suggests that one say, "Haven't I
seen you before," or some original
This look however, is mastered
only after 1) a great deal of prac-
tice, or 2) sheer desperation. The
novice must be aware that the
look is easily misinterpreted and
should be used, or responded to,
only when the potential conversa-
tionalist looks attractive. Yet, the
plunge may be worthwhile.
Thus, the final rule for Looking

at Fr
Be da
to get
basic :
and I
0 .

... quest of quests

people: Be genuinely interested in
other people; don't look at the per-
son you're talking to.
This helps enliven the typical
stimulating conversations with
"Hi's" and "Long time no see's,"
or even an energetic wave reserved
for realyy close friends. This helps
boost the ego of your fellow con-
ersationalist, since you thus let
him know how important he is to'
talking with someone so popular.
ALSO important is the art of
greeting people, Do it with a
frown. Thus, it is possible to com-
municate how tired one is after
working all night on two important
papers after attending three essen-
tial meetings. By sharing one or
two precious moments with your
fellow conversationalist, you again

... dream of dreams
look is instinctive no further de-
scription is necessary.
More academic is the "ego-
listener look." Primarily observed
in large lecture halls, its use en-
ables the student of average seri-
ousness to discuss last Saturday
night with his neighbor while giv-
ing the lecturing professor full
visual attention.
Another abstract look is the
"I - sure-remember-your-face-but-
not-your-name-look." The master
of this look soon learns to raise his

fri., sat., sune.
no 2-5915

lifford odet


ann arbor's profs
masonic temple



} 1


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