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Concert Roundup: A Letter

Dear BSO,

I refuse to speak to you until next week. Here’s why:

  • This week the Baltimore Symphony Orchestra performs a program entitled “The Genius of Mozart.” They tried to distract me from the truth with Brahms, a Wagner overture, and Strauss, R., but you can’t hide Mozart and his big ol’ piano concerto from me. Especially when you put it right in the title. At least make an effort, sheesh. February 16 at Strathmore; February 17 at the Meyerhoff. [ See it! ]
  • Perhaps you’re wondering if I love your siblings more than you. Well, the National Symphony Orchestra is rolling out Beethoven‘s fourth symphony, so clearly the answer is yes until you shape up. Also Strauss, R., but as a welcome accompaniment this time instead of a sin-covering condiment. Maybe you should try following your brother’s example. February 16 – 19. [ See it! ]
  • And Strathmore is offering a whole day of free Duke Ellington stuff! Come visit me at Strathmore’s free open house on President’s Day from 11 am to 4 pm.  There’ll be gratis concerts, lectures, and more surrounding the life and works of Duke Ellington. I’ll be there; come visit me! [ See it! ]

Don’t be too downcast, BSO. I still love you. I just don’t like you very much right now.

Love (see?),

P.S. If you’d like me to include your upcoming concert in next week’s concert roundup, leave a comment or drop me a line.

Composer Cagematch! Round 2: Gershwin vs. Chopin

In the immortal words of The Sandlot: You’re KILLING me, Smalls.

I threw Verdi into the ring with a wince, guilt-ridden over the fact that I had no one stronger to defend against the mighty Handel. And what does Giuseppe do? Grinds Georg into a pulp and bakes him into a pie like some kinda classical Titus Andronicus. A late pro-Handel rush narrowed the gap, so that takes away a bit of the sting, but still. Verdi wins. Drat. (Also, I would totally order Handel pie, if only for the pun.)

Let’s move on quickly, because there’s only one match left in round 2. They are an odd match, and I am determined to arrange the battle with no preconceived notions.

And so in this corner, who could ask for anything more? Well, Berstein could. It’s


And in this corner, he’s got a little Liszt! It’s


I don’t know, guys. They’re the only two left. One of them is bound to show up on your iPod more often than the other, and get skipped less. Who is it?

And that’s why you need a bar in the rehearsal area

Because it’s important to keep all your options open, that’s why.

Look quickly before it all bursts into flames

Someone left a few old New Yorker magazines on the table in the lunch room at my old job. I found this particular cartoon while flipping through one, and naturally I confiscated it. I think that’s very Wagnerian of me; I expect to be smote by the gods any moment now.

Priced to sell

Once again I am deeply indebted to @Kickassical, Medalist of Violar and national treasure. I wonder if he knows he overpaid?

Concert Roundup: Hearts and Flowers Edition

Got a hot date planned for Valentine’s Day? I do! I’m having a threesome with a bottle of chocolate Zin and the Colin Firth/Jennifer Ehle version of Pride and Prejudice. Scandalous! Ah, tradition.

But maybe you haven’t been able to concoct a plan as perfect as mine. Maybe you need an orchestral assist. Alternatively, you could just bake this heart-shaped pizza and call it a day, but I’d select a concert as backup.

  • Jack Everly conducts the Baltimore Symphony Orchestra SuperPops in a Valentine-themed concert featuring singer/pianist Tony DeSare belting out shmoopy favorite like “Moon River,” “That Old Black Magic,” “One For My Baby,” etc. etc. For another $20 they’ll give you champagne and a chocolate dessert to share, too. February 9 at Strathmore; February 10 -12 at the Meyerhoff. [ See it! ]
  • The National Symphony Orchestra made me love them like Judy Garland loved Clark Gable — Nadja Salerno-Sonnenberg!!!!! Playing!!!!! Shostakovich!!!!! Also: Bruckner. Most mostly: Nadja Salerno-Sonnenberg!!!!!!! And there’s a free discussion with her after the Thursday concert. Dear NSO: please send me tickets. Or make the tickets you offer cheaper. Either one of those would be a perfect Valentine. February 9 – 11. [ See it! ]
  • Or! Ladino singer Yasmin Levy takes the stage at Strathmore on Valentine’s Day proper (Ladino, it seems, is Judeo-Spanish music; learn and grow!). They’ll even serve you dinner beforehand if you like. [ See it and/or eat it! ]

If you’d like me to include your upcoming concert in next week’s roundup, leave a comment or drop me a line.

There’s a great big beautiful tomorrow shining at the end of every day

Hi there! You may recall that, approximately one month ago, I was happy. I mean, I was in Walt Disney World. Six of one, half dozen of the other, amirite?

As per usual, I kept my eyes peeled for awesome musical occurrences, and, as per usual, awesome musical stuff occurred. Hit it, epicenter of joy!

This is what it looks like when you stand behind the marching band. They’re wearing coats because it’s January and the high was merely in the low sixties that day. It was rough, guys.

Mulch, Sweat, and Shears performs bandscaping. Men, I salute your pun.

What, your drumsticks don’t sport an Expedition Everest motif? Laaaaame.

Have I ever mentioned how much I love the Festival of the Lion King?

Over in Epcot’s Mexico we find Mariachi Cobre. They’re pretty sweet.

Today’s theme is: how performers look from the back. This, incidentally, is how the Voices of Liberty look from the back.

We happened to be there during the WDW marathon. These African drummers were hanging out by the course, playing for the runners as they passed. Your move, iPod.

Moroccan musicians at Restaurant Marrakesh.

These next two are just so that you’ll be jealous:

And this one is so you’ll be REALLY jealous:

Oh, Walt Disney World, I do so love you. When can I move in?

“You, sir, are a worthless peon, and you will always be a worthless peon!”

This is Ted’s band, the Worthless Peons. They’re made up of people from different departments of Scrubs‘ Sacred Heart hospital. I want to strongly encourage each and every one of you to form your own work-based a capella groups, and then I want you to corner people in elevators with your song. Make sure you send me the video — I do love to laugh.

‘Cause everybody digs a swingin’ cat

Weekend project!

(If you need them, you can borrow my cats, but you’ll have to provide the other two yourself.)

Funny Pictures - Cat Gifs
see more Lolcats and funny pictures, and check out our Socially Awkward Penguin lolz!

From the Mixed-Up Files of Sh!t Clift Sends Me

There was once a string quartet which played a piece where pizzicato was marked twice without an arco in between. The violist was looking for it and the cellist asked, Continue reading