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Composer Cagematch! Round 2: Mahler vs. Brahms

Does anyone have a video clip of that scene from “How I Met Your Mother” where Ted brings in a string quartet of completely blue instruments? I wanted to post that yesterday, but I couldn’t find it and then I said “Hell, it’s a holiday” and wandered off to watch more episodes of “How I Met Your Mother.” I have resisted its siren call for all its years on network television, but it popped up on Netflix and now I’m hooked. Curse you, instant queue! (I love you, instant queue.)

If you can believe it, it is time to discuss a matter even more dire. Kids, let’s talk about how hard it’s getting to pair composers for a cagematch in round 2. To whit: it is getting REALLY HARD.

This is one of the last pairings that make some semblance of sense to me. Enjoy it, because it won’t last.

What of last match, you say? Well, despite strong backing from @CMcGo, Saint-Saens came up just short of catching Grieg. Which is unexpected, to say the least. Was it the French thing? McGo says it was the French thing.

And now, in this corner, not even Kenneth Woods could save Schumann from his wrath! It’s


And in this corner, he sent Wagner packing for Valhalla! It’s



* Ben Meyers? Anyone? Anyone? We already established that Brahms = Jesse Spencer.

Time for the BFG to expand his repertoire

Just in case he got bored with his classical strings, you know.

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An adaptation

Q. What’s the difference between a dead snake and a dead violist lying in the middle of the road? Continue reading

Concert Roundup: The Beginning

Hello and welcome to the first concert roundup of 2012! Are you seated comfortably? Then we’ll begin.

  • This week at the Baltimore Symphony Orchestra, ITZHAK MOTHEREFFIN’ PERLMAN IN THE HOOOOOOOOOOOOOUSE! He’ll be conducting (and apparently playing, but I’m not sure on which pieces) the “Winter” and “Summer” portions of Vivaldi‘s Four Seasons plus Mozart‘s Symphony No. 25 and Brahms‘ Symphony No. 4. But who cares? It’s ITZHAK MOTHEREFFIN’ PERLMAN. January 12 & 15 at the Meyerhoff; January 14 at Strathmore. [ See it! ]
  • Meanwhile, over at the National Symphony Orchestra, conductor Hannu Lintu (remember him? Boy was he mad) leads violinist Leila Josefowicz and company in Debussy‘s Preludes, a piece by Mackey, and the Sibelius Symphony No. 5. Mm, Debussy. January 12 – 14. [ See it! ]
  • Or if you prefer to cater to your small children, ya weirdo, the NSO is offering two children’s concerts this weekend. One is about a bear who likes to wear hats while listening to Haydn, apparently (January 14), while the other features a cellist who likes linking music to language (January 15). My money’s on the dress-up teddy bear, but to each their own. [ See the bear! ] [ See the cellist! ]
  • Reader Pam Burovac informed me that the Seattle Philharmonc was performing on January 15. What she did not tell me was that the program includes Beethoven‘s sixth symphony. Also some stuff by Miller and Strauss and Handel‘s Music for the Royal Fireworks but let’s not lose sight of what’s important here: BEETHOVEN. [ See it! ]

Sh!t Clift Sends Me

Good morning. I guess.

I mean, certainly it’s morning. But do you know where I was yesterday morning? Orlando. And do you know where I was the day before that? Walt Disney World. Do you know where I am? Home. And do you know where I’m about to go? To work. Pardon me one moment while I curl into a fetal ball and sob myself into a trance.

I do hate it when people see me cry, so I’d be so grateful if you’d distract yourself with one of the following submissions from my musical friend Clift. He periodically sends me random links that are invariably nifty and/or ironic and/or hilarious, but as I tend to have my blog posts planned way in advance I rarely have anywhere to put them. Until now. Ladies and gentlemen, allow me to present the series premiere of Sh!t Clift Sends Me.

This concludes the current edition of Sh!t Clift Sends Me.

Composer Cagematch! Round 2: Saint-Saens vs. Grieg

Have you been paying attention? If you have, you know that I’m leaving for WALT DISNEY WORLD!!!!! tomorrow (the answer to your question is: this is my eleventh time). Two things can of course be taken for granted — I will a) be tweeting about my musical findings all throughout the trip (so follow me now!) and b) I’ll tell you all about it when I get back, which in this case will be on Tuesday, January 10.

But never you fear — I’m leaving you with a babysitter. Two, actually, because with the holidays out of the way [sad face goes here] we can return to our Composer Cagematches!

(Perhaps you are thinking, Jenn, whatever happened to the most recent match? To which I say: shhhhh. We don’t want to make Shostakovich feel worse than he already does and Bartok’s head is big enough. Okay? Okay.)

And so in this corner, he ain’t afraid of no Soviet Republic! It’s


And in this corner, he’s so literal about Herzwunden! It’s


So who would you like to see die — Ase or a swan?

Yo Ma Ma so stupid, she can’t even yo-yo right

Okay! Let’s start the new year off right, shall we? Okay, then here’s a silly story.

Yesterday I went to lunch with my family, including my paternal grandmother, a delightful lady with eyes a few rods and cones away from true blindness but selective hearing. I happened to ask my mother if she was aware that, per the issue I had just read of Entertainment Weekly, Yo Yo Ma was close friends with Steve Jobs. (She didn’t, so I’m going to assume you didn’t either). Well, my grandmother decided that we were discussing yo-yos and began listing yo-yo tricks.

Naturally I found this hilarious, so I speedily texted it to someone I knew would appreciate it: blog regular Rebekah. She responded with, “My mom thinks his name is Yo Ma Ma.”

There’s an absurdist inside me and her cup runneth over, let me tell you.

But seriously, everything I hear about Yo Yo Ma makes him seem like a really nice guy who shouldn’t be subjected to yo mama jokes. So I’m going to pay tribute to him the best way I know how: with a Sesame Street clip. Murray Beethoven!