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Whose opinion is more valued than mine?

RHETORICAL QUESTION. But as a loyal reader, you totally want to know all about my picks from the Baltimore Symphony Orchestra’s upcoming season, right? Especially since I, personally, found that you have to wade through an unexciting beginning. Don’t be put off – there’s a gold streak running all the way from January to June!

  • Alexander Nevsky (January 11 – 13) – Um, full Prokofiev score live, set to the film? Yes please.
  • Hairspray (January 24 – 27) GOOD MORNING BALTIMORE! A concert opera version narrated by – wait for it – none other than John Waters himself.
  • Pictures at an Exhibition (January 31 – February 2) – I said PICTURES AT AN EXHIBITION. Why aren’t you buying your tickets right now?
  • Mozart’s Requiem (February 28; March 2 & 3) – Everyone knows I’m not Mozart’s greatest fan, but no one can deny theRequiem.
  • Mahler’s Titan (March 7 – 9) – Oh, Mahler, I love your “Titan” so. Nothing can take that away from us.
  • Saint-Saen’s Thundering Organ Symphony (March 14 & 17) – A friend recently informed me that this was the theme from Babe. My understanding of pop culture is weak; my love for this piece is strong.
  • Wagner: A Composer Fit for a King (April 19 & 20) – Neuschwannstein! Mad King Ludwig! Obsession! Insanity! Fun!
  • Time for Three (May 2 & 4) – I saw them premiere Jennifer Higdon’s Concerto Four-Three, and it was awesome. Let’s do it again.
  • Romeo and Juliet (May 23 – 25) – PROKOFIEV version. Tchaikovsky, Berlioz, I’m terribly sorry, but you’re going to have to clear out.
  • West Side Story (June 13 – 16) – Um, full Bernstein score live, set to the film? Yes please.

So those are my picks. Check out the concert calendar – anything striking your fancy?

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Playstrong

I can’t believe I’ve had a bicycle living in the corner of my living room for over a year now, and it still never occurred to me to take my cello bow to it. It’s like I don’t even know anything about music.

“Here’s your baton.” “Wand.” “Whatever.”

Well, I LOL’d.

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It’s escalated

Q. What’s the latest crime wave in New York City? Continue reading

A Concert Roundup My Mom Won’t Like

She does NOT Rach around the clock.

  • Oh, hey, look! It’s Rachmaninoff! Fancy that. The Baltimore Symphony Orchestra offers Andre Watts, who in turn offers the Rach Piano Concerto No. 2. That plus Elgar’s first symphony, which is less famous but Elgar’s actually pretty nifty if you can get past your personal memory of your high school band murdering Pomp and Circumstance. May 12 at Strathmore; May 10, 11, & 13 at the Meyerhoff. [ See it! ]
  • Hey, National Symphony Orchestra! Will you send me tickets to your NSO Pops concert with Big Bad Voodoo Daddy? I love Big Bad Voodoo Daddy! And fedoras! I’ll totally wear a fedora if you do. May 10 – 12. [ See it! ]
  • Also this week at the NSO: a kiddie concert for Saint-SaensCarnival of the Animals. How come these are always for kids? I like it too, you know! Are you saying that makes me a ki – oh. I see your point. May 13. [ See it! ]
  • Don’t forget to check out the Strathmore – some interesting stuff on there, like a class on how to get and keep jazz singing gigs. [ See the calendar! ]

Composer Cagematch! Round 4: Gershwin vs. Tchaikovsky

Oh now just what in the hell was that.

Seriously? SERIOUSLY? Brahms over STRAVINSKY? Whatever happened to Team Igor? I feel like I went in for the trust fall and you didn’t catch me, readership. Harrumph.

Well, fine. I have some devilish plans for Johannes in the future. For now, I must collect myself and announce that in this corner, he turned Verdi Blue! It’s

GEEEEEEEEEOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOORGE GEEEEEEEEEEEEEEERSHWIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIN

And in this corner, he serenaded Copland right out of the ring! It’s

PIOTR! ILYICH! TCHAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAIKOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOVSKYYYYYYYYYYYYYY

Tchaikovsky discovers America, indeed.

Is that a conductor’s baton in your pocket, or are you just happy to see me?

Some people simply do not do things by halves.

To populate your nightmares

YOU. ARE. WELCOME.

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Bombs away!

Q. How is a violist’s fourth finger like a grenade? Continue reading

The Legend of the Concert Roundup

No, seriously… what’s going on?

  • The Baltimore Symphony Orchestra is making it short but very sweet this week: the Ravel Piano Concerto for Left Hand and Shostakovich‘s seventh symphony (that’s “Leningrad” to you, bub). Oh, hey, guess who’s dropping in to play the Ravel? Oh, some guy named Leon Fleisher. No biggie. May 3 & 6 at the Meyerhoff. [ See it! ]
  • Or if you prefer, the BSO offers its Off the Cuff version of the Shostakovich; in addition to playing the symphony, Marin Alsop will explain its musical form and cultural context. May 4 at Strathmore; May 5 at the Meyerhoff. [ See it! ]
  • I said hey-yeah-yeah-yeah-yeah! The National Symphony Orchestra‘s NSO Pops take on a Marvin Gaye program, because why the hell not? With John Legend, no less. Now that’s some competitive booking. May 3 & 4. [ See it! ]
  • The NSO also offers a children’s concert this week, focusing on brass instruments with Brass of Peace. Is that a pun? None of the ones I’m coming up with are appropriate for children. May 5. [ See it! ]
  • The University of Maryland is performing Prelude to the Afternoon of a Faun, but for the life of me I can’t find the info. UMD, if you’re out there, ping me the details and I’ll update this post.
  • This week at Strathmore, we’ve got jazz singers John Pizzarelli and Kurt Elling, an all-Debussy piano program, country-rock singer Owen Danoff, and the Philadelphia Orchestra. [ See the calendar! ]
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