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Concert Roundup is Laughin’ at Clouds So Dark Up Above

  • No Baltimore Symphony Orchestra concerts until the season previews in a couple weeks.
  • We already know that Bugs Bunny likes to head to the symphony, and the National Symphony Orchestra confirms. Enjoy selections from famous classical cartoons as The Rabbit of Seville and What’s Opera, Doc? August 1 & 2 at Wolf Trap. [ See it! ]
  • But never mind that – the sun’s in my heart and I’m ready for love! Let the stoooooormy clouds CHASE! Everyoooooone from the PLACE! Come on with the rain, I’ve a – wait, what were we doing? Oh, right NSO concerts. Would you believe they’re playing the score to Singin’ in the Rain in accompaniment to a screening of the film? August 3 at Wolf Trap. [ See it! ]
  • This week at Strathmore: Free summer outdoor concerts continue, Natalie Cole, guitarists Rodrigo y Gabriela. [ See the calendar! ]

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

Violinists: CEASE AND DESIST

Man, I was so happy, cruising through the Baltimore Symphony Orchestra’s 13-14 season. My beloved Nadja Salerno-Sonnenberg is doing the Shostakovich violin concerto: AWESOME. Itzhak mothereffin’ Perlman is back with his ABSOLUTELY BRILLIANT rendition of Beethoven’s Romance No. 1; as far as I’m concerned his is the only version that matters. Hell, they’re playing the score to Casablanca while screening the film! I love Casablanca! Here are your winnings, sir!

There’s more! Mahler’s “Titan” symphony! Holst’s The Planets! Gershwin! Bernstein! My favorite Tchaikovsky’s first piano concerto! And look, Mendelssohn’s violin conc – STOP RIGHT THERE.

I’ve said it before but apparently no one was listening, so this time I’m going to try it with more shouty capitals: STOP PLAYING THE MENDELSSOHN VIOLIN CONCERTO. EVERY SINGLE SEASON, SOMEBODY PLAYS THE MENDELSSOHN VIOLIN CONCERTO. THERE IS NOTHING SO VERY GREAT ABOUT THE MENDELSSOHN VIOLIN CONCERTO THAT WE NEED TO HEAR IT INTERPRETED BY EVERY CONCERT VIOLINIST ON EARTH. IT IS NOT THAT DEEP, PEOPLE. IT’S NOT EVEN PARTICULARLY IMPRESSIVE. IT’S, LIKE, EVERY SINGLE STUDENT VIOLINIST’S FIRST REAL CONCERTO. I PLAYED IT. NO ONE CARES. KNOCK IT OFF. LEARN ANOTHER FREAKING PIECE OF MUSIC.

And let us not say another word about it. (Please don’t make me say another word about it.)

He ain’t heavy, he’s my leitmotif

Only secret squadron members who have decoders can decode them.

This seems perfectly safe…


Now with a meaner punchline

Q. What do you call a violist with a pager? Continue reading

Concert Roundup Got Rhythm

  • Who doesn’t love Gershwin? NO WAIT DON’T ANSWER THAT I DON’T WANT TO KNOW. And neither does the Baltimore Symphony Orchestra; their program this week is all-Gershwin, with big’uns like An American in Paris, Rhapsody in Blue, and more. July 25 at Strathmore; July 26 at the Meyerhoff. [ See it! ]
  • The National Symphony Orchestra continues to pound them out with multiple concerts at Wolf Trap over the next couple of days: Tchaikovsky‘s 1812 Overture on July 26; a patriotic program of GershwinCopland, and the Brubecks on July 27; and Broadway favorites on July 28. [ See it! ]
  • This week at Strathmore: Free summer outdoor concerts continue, plus outdoor concerts for kids. [ See the calendar! ]

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

Composer Cagematch! Round 3: Schubert vs. Respighi

JUST KIDDING. Apparently we’re fresh out of surprises ’round these here blogging parts. John Williams never stood a chance against Hindemith, who took the match with ease. And that is the right and proper order of things. Clearly.

So we can turn away from that fight with light hearts, only to get them all bogged down again with another age old question (except maybe not really, assuming we really are fresh out of surprises). Regardless, in this corner, he has nothing bad to say about Ives because really, good show, mein Herr! And really, if anyone can afford to be generous it’s

Schubert
FRAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAANZ SCHUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUBEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEERT

And in this corner, he put the rah rah rah in opera! It’s

Ottorino_Respighi
OOOOOOOTTOOOOOOOORIIIIIIINOOOOOOO REEEEEESPIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIGHIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIII

No, but actually, I like surprises. I do.

Me me me me (Carmen)

Um… hi. So… sorry about the whole going AWOL without notice thing last week. I was at a conference and had planned to throw you music jokes all week, but the work laptop I was given was so wildly ancient and ponderous to work with I just said the hell with it and went back to sulking about the San Francisco weather. Which is cold. If you didn’t know. Thanks to Matthew Hodge for rescuing me from what might have otherwise been a very lonely existence at the Wordfly party!

Anyway. Right. Apologies. Here’s a video to make it up to you. I think you’ll find it sufficient.

You’ll need extra jazz if the winter is long


Shucking violists

Q. How many violists does it take to make a batch of chocolate chip cookies? Continue reading