archives :||

Archive for

A note (hah!)

Hey! If anyone actually goes as Schroeder for Halloween, or Bach, or Beethoven, or Britten, or whomever, send me the picture! I’d love to post it. Heck, no guarantees, but maybe we can rustle up a prize for the best one. 🙂

Beethoven loves a sincere pumpkin patch

Before I start, a quick note: there’s a College Night at the Meyerhoff this evening at 8 pm. Ten bucks gets you the “Symphonic Fairytales” concert and a free reception afterwards, plus you can buy alcohol. What’s not to love?

With that out of the way, it’s time to save your Halloween! Need a costume idea? Don’t want to be Witch no. 87 at the party? Do you want an ensemble that draws attention to your tinnitus? There’s no need to fear, Schroeder is here!


I tried and tried to find a picture of Schroeder holding one of his “X DAYS UNTIL BEETHOVEN’S BIRTHDAY” signs, but it wasn’t appearing with specific searches and I wasn’t about to sift through the entirety of the Peanuts comics. If you don’t remember him doing this, you’ll just have to trust me.

You will need:

  1. A striped shirt
  2. Black shorts
  3. White socks and brown or white shoes
  4. Piece of poster board
  5. Permanent marker
  6. Yardstick
  7. Masking tape or something to affix the yardstick to the poster

To accrue bonus points:
Tiny piano
Bust of Beethoven
Chick dressed as Lucy

The first three are clothing items. Remove whatever you’re wearing and put these on. Good job.

Okay, now lay out your poster board on a flat surface. Before we can write on it, we need to figure out how many days until Beethoven’s birthday, and by “we” I of course mean “me.” Assuming we’re working from the December 16th theory, on Halloween there will be 46 days until Beethoven’s birthday. Take your permanent marker and write this on your poster board, and then attach it to the yardstick.

Fantastic. Now you are free to wander the night with your sign and possibly your tiny piano. My work here is done.


In Soviet Russia, treadmill runs YOU

A favorite critique of pop and rock music: “Great to work out to!” And yeah, a strong beat and bouncy/motivating lyrics can keep you rolling longer; why, just last night I myself spent a happy hour on the cross trainer with Cage the Elephant and I’m not ashamed to admit it even if this is a primarily classical blog so hush.

My point, though, is that rarely do people say it about classical music, except when they’re talking about, oh, unwinding and serenity and similar nonsense, as if all classical music oozes Zen, especially Schoenberg. And that one time on Dexter when that FBI guy tells Deb to jog to Chopin, but I think that was more character development than anything else.

Regardless, I am here to correct this notion with my own classical music workout mix. Because I can. Nothing really groundbreaking about this list, but it’ll keep you moving. At least promise me you’ll give it a try.

  1. “Lezginka” from Gayaneh by Aram Khachaturian
  2. Piano Concerto No. 2 in F Major, 2nd movement, by Dmitri Shostakovich
  3. Lieutenant Kije Suite, 4th Movement (“Troika”), by Sergei Prokofiev
  4. Symphony No. 7, 4th Movement, by Ludwig van Beethoven (4th movements are good, okay?)
  5. “Mazurka” from Coppelia (Act 1, Scene 4), by Leo Delibes
  6. Piano Prelude No. 1, by George Gershwin (I rebelliously prefer the Joshua Bell version)
  7. “Danse Russe” from Petrouchka, by Igor Stravinsky
  8. The Bach Double performed by Time for Three (they swing it!)
  9. “Sabre Dance” from Gayaneh, by Aram Khachaturian
  10. Serenade for Strings, 1st movement, by Piotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky (for your cooldown, of course)

I think what we can all take away from this is that the Soviet Union was a great place to exercise.

Viola jokes: good for what ails you

Q. Why do violists stand for long periods outside people’s houses?
Continue reading

I am pretty sure that you’ll like it okay

This week’s BSO concert is entitled “Symphonic Fairytales,” and features Rimsky-Korsakov’s Scheherazade, a violin concerto by John Adams (not the president, although John Adams is forever synonymous with William Daniels in my head and that’s a recipe for hilarity right there) and Stravinsky’s The Firebird Suite. I have two things to say about this.

1. I was reading through the program notes, and saw this:

The four movements [of Scheherazade] are essentially self-explanatory. In the first, after Scheherazade’s introduction come surging arpeggios in the cellos and violas: we are on the high seas with Sinbad the Sailor. The second movement, “The Story of the Kalander Prince,” is built around an exotic Middle Eastern-style melody introduced by the solo bassoon; kalanders were magicians in Middle Eastern courts. The fourth movement is the most complex: it begins with the riotous color and swirling activity of “The Festival of Baghdad,” and then, at the festival’s height, sends us suddenly back to Sinbad’s seas, as the low strings billow and a fierce storm screams overhead in the woodwinds.

Glad to read that bit about what a kalander was; I remember looking at the title in seventh grade and experiencing a disquieting puzzlement of great magnitude. But more importantly–what’s the third movement about?! I must know!

So I went and looked it up. This article from NPR is coincidentally written by Marin Alsop! Fancy that! It declares that the third movement represents a love story between a young prince and princess, and it should be sentimental but not too sentimental. I think we can all sleep better for knowing this.

2. When I was in second grade, our music teacher taught us a little song to go with the “Infernal Dance” theme of The Firebird. It went like this:

I am the Firebird
Here’s the Infernal Dance
Stravinsky took a chance
But we are pretty sure that you’ll like it okay

Hellish, no?

Can’t Handel it!

Credit for that piece of genius goes to the beautiful and talented Cara Fleck.

But really, this morning I couldn’t Handel it. Literally. Handel was playing on WBJC as I drove to the train station and it did nothing to perk me up. I am full of sleepy.

I know what the problem is. I miss Dennis Owen. Remember Dennis Owen? He was the morning DJ on the late lamented WGMS classical radio station. He always said really wacky things, my favorite being “There you are. Now SIT DOWN and SHUT UP.” Mind you, WBJC’s Judith Krummeck will give you a verbal smackdown too, but she lacks Dennis Owen’s charisma. Points for being British, but you can’t expect that to carry you.

Anyway. Mostly just doing little web site updates on this end. Investigating mommy bloggers (did you know about mommy bloggers? They’re certainly new to me) for a press event, but we’ve hit a minor snag so it’s on hold for now. Oh, yeah, and I need to start generating some contest ideas for my Twitter account. Makes you want to follow me, doesn’t it? I thought so.

If it ain’t Baroque, it was probably composed after 1750.

Good morning, audiophiles! My name is Jenn German, and I’m the digital marketing intern over at the Baltimore Symphony Orchestra at just this particular moment. And by “just this particular moment” I mean I am typing this from a cubicle in the bowels of the Music Center at Strathmore. And by “bowels” I mean precisely what you think I mean.

Anyway, welcome to my new and wonderful blog project, “Ain’t Baroque.” I wanted to call it “He’s Not Pitchy, He’s My Brother!” but no one I asked thought it was funny except me. Win some, lose some.

But this is not the point. The point is that “Ain’t Baroque” is your new favorite source of behind-the-scenes BSO web site info, and anything else I happen to learn of interest. For example, just now I am performing some emergency editing of text on the Cultural Roots microsite. See, by the time you click that link, everything will be aesthetically pleasing and tastefully organized, and that’ll be thanks to me! (Sort of. I mean, I help.)

So yeah. Um, a few things about me, I guess? Just so you have an idea of where I’m coming from. I’m 23 years of age (until December 26th, anyway), I’m a second-year graduate student in arts management at American University, I play the violin and cello but not especially well, and if I absolutely had to, under extreme duress, pick a favorite piece of music, it would be Beethoven’s seventh symphony, although Schubert’s “Death and the Maiden” string quartet would also spring to mind. And I like an awful lot of 20th century Russian composers. Look, never mind.

Oh! If you are duly intrigued and would like to follow me on Twitter, my handle is aintbaroque. Believe it or not.