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What pocketknives are for

Q. What’s the difference between a viola and an onion?

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Give money, get music

Oh, this is interesting. Got an email from the Baltimore Symphony Orchestra:

Make a gift of $75 or more to get access for two people to the Donor Appreciation Concert on June 18th.  Donors of $250 or more receive four complimentary seats.

Join us at this year’s Donor Appreciation Concert as the BSO shares the stage with members of the BSO Academy Orchestra. As one of our valued Members, you will have the exclusive opportunity to get a behind-the-scenes look at one of the BSO’s groundbreaking initiatives.  Be one of the few who will have the chance to experience Maestra Marin Alsop leading the Academy’s culminating concert featuring symphonic favorites by Bernstein, Ravel, Mahler, Rimsky-Korsakov and Hindemith. For more information on the concert, click here.

Become a Beethoven level Member ($150) and enhance your concert-going experience with two complimentary drink vouchers.

Ticket sales cover only 40% of our annual operating costs.  Your gift will help us balance our budget and reach our remaining Annual Fund goal of $150,000 by August 31st!

To discover more ways your support will enhance lives in local communities, please visit our “Case for Music.

Make a gift to the BSO today!

I checked out the concert, and they’re offering some Ravel, some Hindemith, a Mahler symphony, AND: Berstein’s Overture to Candide AND: Rimsky-Korsakov’s Capriccio espagnol! And if  you give them $150 they’ll also give you alcohol? What a deal! Man, I wish I had that kind of money to drop. Does anyone wanna go splitsies with me?

Composer Cagematch!: Mahler vs. Wagner

I am SO. RELIEVED.

Rachmaninoff was winning when I left, guys. Winning. Over Tchaikovsky! Is there anything that could possibly be more wrong? (Don’t answer that — I don’t want to know what you’ve seen browsing XTube, thank you.) Thank God a little bit of Disney magic followed me home, and when I closed the poll dear Piotr Ilyich had taken it by one.

Okay, enough of Cagematch!es past. Time for Cagematch!es present. I spent this whole morning trying to figure out what to do next. I still haven’t hit Italy, but I have no idea who to pair with Respighi. Should I go with the Gershwin-Berstein fight I’ve been pondering for awhile? Go straight for the girlfight and then move to round two? I was starting to get worried when I hit it. YES.

Germany, I hope you’ve had enough rest, because in this corner, programming his symphonies and leading with lieder,* it’s


GUUUUUUUSTAAAAAAAAAAV MAAAAAAAAAAAHLERRRRRRR

Are you ready? Well, you better GET ready, because in this corner, getting the nod from James Herriot, stubbornly defended by my dad, inspiring great ire and vehement admiration all at once, it’s

RIIIIIIIIIIICHAAAAAAAAAARD WAAAAAAAAAAGNERRRRRRRR

That’s pronounced Ri-kard Vahgner, muthatruckers, and don’t you forget it!

Oh, man, I hope this is as much fun as Brahms-Schumann. Mahler works, right? I mean, he gets pretty grandiose in his symphonies, and he loved Wagner! (I almost made it Mendelssohn, but then I realized that 1. Mendelssohn is so not Wagnerian and 2. some people have no sense of ironic humor. Updated to add: Haha, oops. I just remembered that Mahler was also Jewish. So take your irony pill after all.)

C’mon, be fair. Remember, we’re not voting based on whether we agree on the composer’s personal morals and philosophies; we’re voting based on music. I LIKE Overture to Rienzi. Of course, I also like the “Titan” symphony. I like all of Mahler’s symphonies, really, but then I appreciate the familiarity of Wagner’s operas — you hear a theme and immediately you know where you are.

I expect some fightin’ words in the comments — DO NOT DISAPPOINT ME.

* I know you wanted him to fight Schubert, Bek, but I hope this is some consolation.

All-Star Music, literally

At this time last week I was headed into Disney’s Hollywood Studios, intent on getting there before park opening so as to bolt at rope drop directly to Toy Story Midway Mania for highly coveted fastpasses. At this time this week I am getting ready for work. So you’ll understand if I’m a) sulky and b) nostalgic.

To the latter, I offer the following music moment caught by a Disney patron at the All-Star Music resort. If you like kids, you will love this. If you don’t like kids, you’ll love ridiculing their intonation. Everyone wins!

Updated to add: To clarify, All-Star Music resort is a Disney value hotel with a music theme. Sorry. Sometimes I forget that not everyone keeps a mental WDW Rolodex.

Pun time is fun time!

funny puns - A Mozartistic Conversation
see more So Much Pun

Okay, guys, I’m back from Walt Disney World :(

In the immortal words of Marvin the Paranoid Android: oh God I’m so depressed. Take your viola joke and leave me to my misery, will you? And go see “Verdi’s Requiem” at the BSO starting today. It’s very fitting.

Q. What’s the difference between a violist and a chainsaw?

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Violas of Mass Destruction

Don’t forget to follow me on Twitter so you can experience my amazing Disney tweets! And vote in the Composer Cagematch! before midnight on June 8!

That takes care of business. Now for pleasure:

Q. What caused the U.S. Marines, looking for Weapons of Mass Destruction during the most recent Gulf War, to raid a rehearsal of Baghdad’s symphony orchestra?

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A dream is a wish your heart makes

They say that home is where the heart is.* This Friday I’m heading home.

Home to Walt Disney World, light of my life, fire of my — no, never mind; not that. But light of my life, definitely. I’ll be basking in the glory from June 3 through 8, and I will as always be tweeting the whole vacation through. Follow the hashtag #baroquewdw to see what musical madness I’ve dug up in the World (and if you need proof there’s music to be had, I’ve already got you covered).

And there should be new and exciting stuff this time — we have reservations at ‘Ohana, a Polynesian luau of sorts, so I’d best be hearing some ukulele, and there’ll be a traditional German oompah band at the Biergarten. My traveling companion and brother in kitty-striping Scott is a percussionist, so we’ll try to catch the JAMMitors in Epcot’s Future World and the African drummers in the Animal Kingdom. The WDW Band is always wandering around the Magic Kingdom, indigenous music is everywhere in the World Showcase, of course so many Disney movies are musicals — there’s no end to it, really.

Warm up and get psyched for the sheer, unadulterated joy of it with my last WDW trip recap. And if that isn’t enough for you, revisit my trip to Universal from January — not remotely the same, but still a lot of fun, plus you can laugh at my karaoke attempt.

If you’re bored while I’m away, entertain yourself by voting in the current Composer Cagematch! You have until Wednesday, June 8 at midnight to vote.

So remember: follow me on Twitter, and starting June 3 be on the lookout for the hashtag #baroquewdw. Ah, there’s no place like home.

* So your real home’s in your chest!