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6The Daily Tar HeelFriday, November 2, 1984
Baroque quartet performance enjoyable
The UNC-based -Society for Performance on Original
Instruments went to Raleigh Monday to perform a program
the group will repeat virtually intact this weekend in Chapel
Hill. The concert, given in the Browne-McPherson Music
Building at Peace College, delighted an audience of about
The society, founded in 1983, performs music from the
late baroque and early classical periods from roughly
1650 to about 1750 using authentic baroque instruments
and performance practices (see related story, this page).
Opening with H.l.F. Biber's Partia No. 3 in A (Scordatura),
four performers offered a look at an unusual sonic effect.
"Scordatura" indicates a divergence from normal violin
tuning that gives certain keys startlingly novel colors.
Violinists Richard Luby and Ruth Johnsen, cellist Brent
Wissick and harpsichordist Elaine Funaro gave a reading
that began the concert on an upbeat note. The work's six
movements, mostly in dance styles, were by turns sprightly
The only noticeable flaw in the Par'ia was a recurring
tuning problem in the fourth movement. Luby and Johnsen
had trouble agreeing on pitches here, but baroque violins
are notoriously difficult to tune, and the scordatura may
have aggravated this.
Louis Clerambault's cantata Orphee, a setting of the
Orpheus and Euridice myth for soprano, flute, violin and
continuo, was the second work on the program.
Clerambault's text hops, skips and jumps through various
perspectives. Sometimes it provides a third-person narrative.
At other times it assumes the voice of the characters in the
myth. Once it even speaks for the audience, cheering the
Soprano Penelope Jensen sang w ith clarity and conviction.
Her French diction was superb, and her expression made
printed translations superfluous.
Luby and Johnsen were in fine estate in the cantata.
Rebecca Troxler's ' flute contributions delicately enhanced
'Banzai': good, silly fun
In director W.D. Richter and screenw
riter Earl MacRauch's vividly wacky
movie world, Dr. Buckaroo Banzai,
20ish, is an acclaimed scientist, surgeon,
rock star, friend of presidents, detec
tive crimefighter and cult celebrity. In
short, he's a curious combination of
Albert Einstein, Christian Barnard,
Elvis Presley, Henry Kissinger, Batman
and Burt Reynolds.
The nature and degree of Buckaroo
Banzai's popularity, not to mention the
name itself, are hard to fathom, but The
Adventures of Buckaroo Banzai:
Across the 8th Dimension just doesn't
care w hat its audience thinks. The movie
is pure, inspired nonsense, a comical
collection of one-liners and sight gags
within unimaginable situations.
The story contains no (significant)
messages, overt or implied. Almost
everything that happens in the film is
designed merely to elicit audience
laughter, puzzled looks, or both.
Peter Weller, who is also featured in
the current First Born, plays the title
character, an intentionally vapid hero
who periodically says the silliest things.
"No matter where you go," he solemnly
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Jensen's work, and in some passages Jensen and Troxler
seemed more like duet performers than accompanist and
soloist. With Funaro, Wissick, trading his cello for a gamba,
provided a sensitive bass line to anchor the other performers.
After intermission, it was Troxler's turn to show off with
Antonio Vivaldi's Concerto in D for Flute. Strings and
Continuo. The concerto, nicknamed the "Goldfinch" for its
resemblance to birdsong, won the loudest audience approval
of any item in the concert.
Troxler played beautifully, displaying virtuoso technique
without sinking to mere flashy pyrotechnics. The instrumen
talists, now joined by violist Ann Woodward, carried their
lines well without drowning the light-voiced flute. Woodward
made her presence known immediately with beautiful inner
voices midway between the violins and continuo.
The concert ended with a humorous performance of the
Frost Scene from Act III of Purcell's masque King Arthur,
which the Society performed last year in Chapel Hill. Jensen
was back onstage this time with bass-baritone Fredric Moses.
Francois Couperin's Neuvieme Concert intitule Ritrato
dell'Amore will substitute for the Purcell work this weekend
in Chapel Hill.
A spirit of enjoyment and teamwork enlivened the entire
concert. These musicians have fun with their music. This
contributes to the ensemble spirit they have developed and
makes their concerts a joy to attend.
A Society for Performance on Original Instruments will
perform tomorrow and Sunday at 8 p.m. in Playmakers
Theatre. Call 962-1039 for ticket information.
informs a nightclub crowd, "you're
Equal silliness comes from Chris
topher Lloyd (Reverend Jim on TV's
Taxi) and John Lithgow The World
According to Garp, Twilight Zone
The Movie) as members of the Red
Lectroids, a naughty bunch of aliens
from Planet 10, wherever that is.
The Red Lectroids, stranded on earth
since 1938, are trying to get their hands
on the "oscillator overt hruster," a device
invented by Buckaroo that destabilizes
matter and opens dimensional barriers
'n' all sorts of neat stuff. Without the
overthruster, the baddies can't get back
to Planet 10.
Enter the good Black Lectroids,
current residents of Planet 10, who
inform the Earth that they will not
tolerate the likes of the Red Lectroids
back on their home planet. The Black
Lectroids vow to destroy Earth if their
evil counterparts obtain Buckaroo's
Of course, the Black Lectroids, as
well as Planet Earth, can depend on
the all-wise, all-hip Buckaroo Banzai
and his friends, a tight-knit group
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including Jeff Goldblum ( The Big Chill)
as a somewhat odd fellow nicknamed
New Jersey and Ellen Barkin as Penny
Priddy, Buckaroo's love interest.
Like the recent Oxford Blues, Buck
aroo Banzai immerses itself in stupidity.
The crucial difference is Buckaroo
Banzai revels in its stupidity and
dorkiness. All aliens, for instance, are
named John, while each of the Black
Lectroids, when not in lizard form,
resembles reggae star Peter Tosh.
Innumerable one-liners, in the "chick-is-toast"
tradition i of Ghostbusters,
pepper Rauch's script. Speaking of his
beloved automobile, Buckaroo at one
point tells a friend to "prep the jet car
for city driving."
Informing the chief executive of
impending interplanetary disaster,
Buckaroo laments, "Something has
reared its ugly head in outer space, Mr.
Back to the basics: Students can
By JEFF GROVE s?
Arts Editor '
Musical instruments have seen many
changes, most for the better, over th&
last few centuries. Performance styles
have changed, too. Consequently, a
musician who performs a Bach cello
suite on a modern instrument with
standard technique will not hear what
Bach heard at 18th-century
Chapel Hill's Society for Perfor
mance on Original Instruments, oper
ating out of the UNC department of
music, is but one of many groups that
have attempted to resurrect baroque
Today's "original instrument" groups
are part of a movement that began with
music scholars and instrument manu
facturers in the last century, said
Richard Luby, a UNC music professor
who helped found the Society.
"It began in the late 1890s in Eng
land," Luby said. "They would get
together and play this totally forgotten
music on these 'ridiculous' instruments."
impact on the out
come of the race.
If Martin has not
ideological ties to
the President, he
his political ties to
him, and the Mar
tin people hope
that will pay off
Tuesday. "It is
more important to focus on the momen
tum we've gained on our own," Hayes
said. "But Reagan has given us some
some momentum that cannot be
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A i '-
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hear this group play original instruments tomorrow and Saturday
reviving baroque sound
Luby said the rise to prominence of
such artists as Polish harpsichordist
Wanda Landowska helped to stir an
interest in baroque music. By the 1950s,
several groups such as I Musici were
exclusively performing baroque music,
albeit on modern instruments.
"The early instrument movement
started in Vienna, Cologne, Amster
dam," Luby said. These groups per
formed on surviving baroque instru
ments and on instruments built to
baroque specifications using materials
that would have been available to
"It was really a child of the recording
industry," Luby said, explaining that
the prohibitive cost of touring led many
early instrument groups to the recording
studio. "Recordings create their own
acoustics," Luby added. "These instru
ments sound good on records."
Luby seized on the harpsichord as
an example of the physical differences
between modern and baroque instru
ments. "The piano has a heavy frame
under tremendous tension," he
explained, whereas the harpsichord is
The Edmisten camp isn't so sure
about that. "Certainly Martin would
not be doing as well as he is without
Reagan's coattails," Hoover said. "But
we feel there is an absence of anger
among voters which will result in large
scale ticket splitting."
In the end, though, it is the candidates
themselves who will determine the "
outcome of the race. In Martin and
Edmisten, the voters are faced with two
capable and experienced politicians.
Martin has been the representative from
the 9th District for the last 12 years and
has gained the respect of his colleagues
in Congress. As the top cop for the last
10 years, Edmisten has become a
household name in North Carolina and
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a smaller, lighter instrument producing
a much lighter sound.
The harmonic language of baroque
music is also different from that of
modern music. Standard concert pitch
today is one half-tone higher than the
pitch generally used in the baroque era.
"Pitch (in the baroque period) was
much more of a fluid thing," Luby said.
Concert pitch varied slightly from place
to place, he said, so there are many
choices for today's original instrument
Luby said the Society for Perfor
mance on Original Instruments sold out
its first season with about 300 subscrip
tions. Only 40 or 50 of those were sold
"That's one of the things we'd like
to change," Luby said.
The Society has scheduled two
performances of each concert this year,
Luby said, opening the door to a greater
"The student population is probably
the one we most want to attract," he
added. "It's the most important
from page 1
has gained a
knowledge of the
inner workings of
would be valuable
were he elected.
. Both men have
also been tagged
with images which' '
serve' to identify
them to the voters.
diately brings to mind the chemistry
professor at Davidson University, the
straightlaced and methodical politician.
Edmisten, on the other hand, has the
image of being a good ol' boy, an unfair
but nonetheless potent tag.