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Page 92 text:
Milwaukee Symphony Orchestra
by Karen Boehme
The Milwaukee Symphony Orchestra, with its resident conductor, James Paul, brought the sounds of one of the nation's finest orchestras to the Arena Nov. 4.
Beginning with a familiar name. Schubert's "Rosamunde Overture." the orchestra moved Into the works of later com posers. Paul introduced Jean Sibelius's "Symphony No. 6 in D minor" as "different ... music (that) raises lots of questions but answers none of them." The orchestra played the moody, introspective piece with precision, allowing Sibelius's idea filled music to simply exist, without the traditional climaxes
and separate movements.
The second half of the program contained "St. Paul's Suite," by Gustav Holst, variations on themes taken from English folk music, and "The Great Russian Easter Overture." by Nicholas Rimsky-Korsakoff. The Rimsky Korsakoff piece resounded with the joy of Easter after a slow section of introspection and gloom.
Paul led the orchestra through two encores for the near capacity audience.
Page 91 text:
Koko Taylor and her Blues Machine
by Jody Conner
The blues came to Schofield Audito rium Feb. 7 In the form of a short Black woman with a great big voice. Koko Taylor and her Blues Machine performed as part of Black History Month, sponsored by the Black Student League.
Taylor Is a performer of powerful Chi cago blues. What her voice lacks in range Is made up in raw strength. She doesn't sing from her throat — she reaches deep within her body for a grav elly growl perfectly suited to her music.
During the evening, Taylor tore through blues classics made famous by herself and others. "Big Boss Man." "Spoonful.'’ "I Got My Mojo Working" — all went down under her onslaught. The show both peaked and ended with a charged version of her blues hit, "Wang Dang Doodle ." When Taylor left the stage she was drenched with sweat, visibly fatigued by her efforts.
The audience obviously enjoyed the performance, as the usually reserved Eau Claire crowd loosened a little with clapping and howls of pleasure.
For most of the audience. It was a chance to hear one of America's unique musical forms. For a few former Chicago residents, it was a chance to remember Chicago's lively blues scene.
"It's like going home." said a concert goer. "Thank you for bringing a bit of ethnicity to Eau Claire," another told Taylor.
"I love all types of music, but blues is my favorite," Taylor said after the show. "It's a part of me, my back ground. It represents what my lifestyle has been. Happy times, bad times. All together if you boil It down, it's the blues."
Offstage. Taylor is not as fierce. She answers questions easily and thoughtfully. whispering as if to save her voice for the next night's performance.
Taylor was born Cora Walton in Mem phis. 1938. She discovered the blues In her youth, listening to people such as Muddy Waters. Howlin' Wolf and Memphis Minnie. Her career started when she sang gospel In her church choir.
At 18. Taylor moved to Chicago, where she began to perform as a blues singer. She was soon performing with
Singet Koko Taykw brought the blues to Eau Cleire In February
established stars such as Junior Wells and Elmore James. Taylor's break came in 1963 when she made two singles for a small blues label.
"It was like a dream." Taylor said. "When I used to listen to all the old blues singers, people like Big Momma Thornton and Muddy Waters and all those people. I said I wanted to do some thing great like they was doing. I didn't know it would happen like It did."
Taylor's greatest success came In 1965 when she joined Chess records. Chess teamed her with blues legend Willie Dixon, who produced several hits for Taylor, including his composition "Wang Dang Doodle."
"Wang Dang Doodle" sold two million copies internationally and gained wide recognition Even the Eau Claire audience recognized the song. The song was popular enough in Europe to justify eight tours of the continent. Taylor said.
"They (Europeans) seem like they know It. They don't speak English, but they make a lot of noise to It," she said.
Taylor spent eight years with Chess records until owner Leonard Chess died and the company folded. For several years she didn't have a recording contract. but she continued to perform. Then she signed with Alligator Records, a small purist blues label that she credits with giving her new popularity.
"Alligator has done quite a bit for me." she said. "I was on a millionaire's station with Chess and I found it doesn't matter how big or how rich a company is. It's what they do for you."
Throughout her twenty-year career. Taylor has worked with the best musicians. A list of the people she has worked with reads like a Who's Who of blues: Muddy Waters. Willie Dixon. J.B. Lenoir. Buddy Guy. and many more.
"I’ve worked with almost everybody you can name in the blues and some who aren't in the blues." Taylor said. "I just did a very big show in Ann Arbor. Mich., at this club called the Second Chance with Chuck Berry. It was quite an honor to be in a show with him."
Her personal life is comfortable despite a busy performing and recording schedule, she said.
"I've been doing it for many years, and I try to put a lot in it because I really feel what I’m doing," Taylor said. "I really love what I'm doing."
Taylor said she enjoys playing in Eau Claire and other towns off the established blues circuit.
"I just want to spread a little joy with my music, letting more people know about the blues and hear the blues." she said. "There's a lot of people not famll iar with the blues. I intend to let more people hear and know about it."
Page 93 text:
The Concord Siring Quartet Clockwise from left: first violin 1st Mark Sokol, cellist Norman Fischer; second violinist An drew Jennings, violist John Ko chanowskl
Concord String Quartet
by Karen Bochme
Despite problems that caused the members of the concord String Quartet to Interrupt the music between movements for retuning, on Jan. 30 the quartet did what it has become famous for: playing Beethoven string quartets with the precision and intensity befitting Bee thoven's music.
The Concord String Quartet, formed in 1971, demonstrates how well four men who have played In an ensemble for nine years can perform. Led by first violinist Mark Sokol, who used his eyes and body to direct while playing, the quartet's playing was polished and tight. Other members of the quartet are Andrew Jennings, second violin; John
Kochanowski, viola; and Norman Fischer. cello.
The ensemble played three quartets: two of Beethoven's earlier works. Opus 18. Quartets Nos. 2 and 3. published In 181, and another that is among the last pieces Beethoven composed. Quartet No. 13.
The quartet played the last quartet as Beethoven had written it. with a long fugue section at the end. instead of the shorter finale that is usually played. Beethoven wrote the other finale when the fugue proved unpopular.
The group's Interpretation learned toward the romantic, even in the first two quartets, which are soundly based in
the classical tradition of Mozart and Ha dyn. The stretching of crescendoes and decrescendoes to their limits seemed more at home in the last quartet, in which Beethoven had already begun the move to Romanticism.
Beethoven's music is challenging for both the performer and the listener; it is very subtle In one phrase and very straightforward in the next But it Is always provocative, even more than 150 years after Beethoven's death. The Concord String Quartet's polished performance seemed a kind of tribute to the music of this musical genius.
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