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What’s new, pussycat?

This is less of a LOL and more of a SQUEEEEE! but I think you’ll deal.

funny pictures - Cyoot Kitteh of teh Day: Let Me Play You the Song of My People
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Allow me to remind you that I didn’t write it

Q. How is a viola solo like premature ejaculation? Continue reading

A Concert Roundup’s Faithful, 100%

After the glorious highs of the previous two weeks, we transition to summer’s whole lotta not much.

  • You would think that, given the season finale concert of last week, that there would be no Baltimore Symphony Orchestra concert this week. Well, you would be wrong. Just to make you look stupid, they’re premiering a work by Philip Glass called Overture for 2012 instead, for a mere $15, no less. Accompanied by “patriotic music;” I’ll bet you the $15 Sousa makes an appearance. June 17 at the Meyerhoff. [ See it! ]
  • Actually, you should have guessed that there’s no National Symphony Orchestra concert this week. You would have been right. No worries; you’ll get it next time, champ.
  • This week at Strathmore, trilingual jazz, or be the first to hear newly commissioned piano works performed by NOW Ensemble’s Michael Mizrahi; plus the first free outdoor concert of the season. [ See the calendar! ]

Composer Cagematch! FINAL ROUND: Mozart vs. Beethoven

Well, I’m sure we’re all shocked.

Yes, Tchaikovsky did have a solid lead there for awhile. Yes, Brahms did get a vote. But was there any real doubt as to who would come to the ultimate ring?

I’m not going to offer an opinion here; longtime readers know exactly where I stand, anyway. Regardless, remember the purpose of the Composer Cagematch!, make like the lead in a chick flick, and choose the man who has your heart, not your head (and if you have to kiss the monitor, fine; just don’t tell me about it, ya weirdo).

So. It is down to you, and it is down to me. Because in this corner, he wouldn’t let Tchaikovsky escape from the seraglio! It’s

WOLFGANG! AMADEUS! MOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOZAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAART

And in this corner, there are many princes, and none of them are Brahms! It’s

LUUUUUUUUUUDWIIIIIIIIG VAAAAAAAAAN BEEEEEEEEEEEEETHOOOOOOOOOVEEEEEEEEN

Choose wisely, young one. The fate of the universe hangs in the balance.

KHAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAN!

In a word: YES.

Fetch!

Continuing with this week’s themes of reader submissions and references only longtime readers will understand, this week’s LOL was submitted by the lady you may remember as Benevolent Dictator Jamie. I invite you to submit your own caption.

Edited to add: I have thought of my own; it is as follows: “Quit trying to make ‘fetch’ happen!”

Does this count as terrorism?

This week’s viola joke is brought to you by Medalist of Violar Chris McGovern. Given that it’s minimally silly, you kind of have to wonder if he’s trying to suggest that violas are worthy of our praise, not derision. This man is potentially dangerous. If you see him on the street,do not engage him. Call me immediately and I’ll dispense a Viola Task Force to bring him in for questioning. Okay, break!

A Concert Roundup Just for Me

I. Am. So. EXCITED.

  • And here’s why: the Baltimore Symphony Orchestra, ends its regular season with NADJA SALERNO-SONNENBERG OMG SQUEEEEEEEEE! That’s not enough; I’ll say it again. SQUEEEEEEEEEEEE!!!! Performing Tchaikovsky‘s violin concerto! ^_^ Also Kevin Puts‘ fourth symphony and – squeesqueesquee – Stravinsky’s Rite of Spring! SQUEEEEE! I am ten seconds away from combusting from excitementNADJA SALERNO-SONNENBERG, PEOPLE! June 7, 8, & 10 at the Meyerhoff; June 9 at Strathmore and I’ll see you there!  [ See it! ]
  • The National Symphony Orchestra does not have NADJA SALERNO-SONNENBERG, but it does offer Claudio Bohorquez on the cello, Berlioz‘s Roman Carnival overture, the Lalo cello concerto in d minor, and Tchaikovsky‘s fifth symphony. June 7 – 9. [ See it! ]
  • Strathmore just announced their 2012-2013 season; you should check it out immediately! Classical highlights include Maurizio Pollini and Jennifer Koh. [ See the season! ]

The rule of three (out of four) (usually)

Okay, longtime readers. I’m going to tell you something, and I don’t want you to panic.

Last Thursday, I gave a standing ovation.

Easy! Easy! Don’t freak! I know I have famously taken a stand (see what I did there?) against the ovation, but I feel it was deserved. You see, the National Symphony Orchestra performed Beethoven’s seventh symphony – the best Beethoven symphony, and therefore the best symphony, period. Last time I heard it live, I got burned, but this time –

This time it was awesome. Especially the second movement. It was perfect. My concert-going companion thought it should’ve been a slower still, and I see his point, but having thought it through I return to my original conclusion: perfect. Because the second movement must have some bite to it. Not a lot – just a little – but enough teeth to fuel the mini-rebellion that comes in the middle of the movement. For me, the music is about resigned grief – but not resigned without a fight! You know?

So. Perfect. And I stood.

On a quasi-related note, it occurred to me that of the four movements of the seventh, the third is my least favorite (which is akin to saying that of all the Narnia books, The Silver Chair is my least favorite; I’ve still read it like eighteen times). And that thought led to another: of the four movements of Schubert’s “Death and the Maiden” string quartet, the third is – wait for it – my least favorite. The Shostakovich Piano Trio No. 2? Least favorite: third movement.

In fact, no third movement springs to mind for which I harbor a particular fondness. What gives? Do you agree with my assessment? Or can you correct me with some fantastic third movement examples?

A symphony of voices

Ah, music. It’s so expressive. Especially the Romantic period, you know?

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