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Beethoven

This tag is associated with 90 posts

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.)

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The philosophy of the second fiddle

This clip, a little segment of the movie A Late Quartet that explains the importance of each individual instrument in a string quartet, is great and vaguely philosophical and stabs at the heart of truth and all that good stuff. But I still can’t shake the urge to apologize for being unable to find anything where Christopher Walken talks about Beethoven.

All right! Who’s ready to win something?

It’s about time we had a contest around these parts, don’t you think?

A few weeks ago I noticed that I was nearing 100 blog followers; I originally conceived this as a push to make that number. But, uh, I already got to 101. So we’re going to do things just a bit differently.

But first! What exquisite prize is up for grabs? Oh, just an ORIGINAL, SIGNED ARTWORK:

EroicatClick to enlarge

This is not a print. This is a hand-drawn, hand-painted piece entitled – wait for it – Eroicat! Why wander around merely saying you love Beethoven when this beautiful, clever bit of art can do it for you? (Yes, that’s a real snippet of Eroica up top.) Suitable for framing, it would look smashing in your music room or studio.

Bone up on your Symphony No. 3, then lean in, because I’m going to tell you how you can lay claim to the crown this amazing painting:

  1. Subscribe to this blog.
  2. ?????
  3. PROFIT!

Okay, that’s not QUITE everything. Here are some additional notes:

  • You have until TOMORROW NIGHT (JUNE 19) AT MIDNIGHT to subscribe to the blog and be eligible for TWO entries (see below).
  • You have until MIDNIGHT ON FRIDAY, JUNE 21 to subscribe to the blog and be eligible for ONE entry.
  • How can you be eligible for two entries? Simple! I think it’s unfair when a contest is only open to new subscribers; if you’ve been a loyal reader for awhile, why should you be punished for being ahead of the game? However, there might be subscribers out there who, for whatever reason, don’t, y’know, actually read the blog. So, if you’re a current subscriber or subscribe by the June 19 midnight deadline above, you can garner TWO contest entries simply by replying to this entry with your email address or WordPress ID for confirmation (so make sure you use the one you’re subscribed under).

Got it? Okay! Don’t have it? Feel free to ask me questions! Contest is open to everyone, everywhere, but any winner outside of the continental U.S. may be asked to pay their own shipping (sorry, guys, but that sucker’s a bit pricey). There’s no age minimum – or maximum, for that matter – but if you’re under 18 make sure you check with your parents that it’s okay to enter and such. All usual additional contest rules apply.

Incidentally, if you’re in love with that kitty image (and why wouldn’t you be?), the artist does sell additional works, both pre-made and commissioned. Check out her tumblr for more info. You can also contact her via email here.

A dance with a broom that is not Fantasia

I don’t know if your violin instructor ever told you to sweep your bow arm, but this… isn’t what he meant.

My favorite bit is when the vacuum interrupts the Massanet. I played that piece way too many times not to be sick of it now, let me tell you.

Ah, good; a best case scenario

Or they could do it alphabetically. Then Bieber really could battle Beethoven!

 

The Little Concert Roundup

  • This week the Baltimore Symphony Orchestra has Midori. Need I say more? I thought not, but I will anyway: she’s doing the Bartok violin concerto (praise be to God that it’s not the Mendelssohn!) and then the BSO follows it up with Brahms‘ first symphony. [Some pun about melon liqueur goes here.] April 25 & 26 at the Meyerhoff; April 27 at Strathmore. [ See it! ]
  • The National Symphony Orchestra counters with a solo pianist: Andreas Haefliger taking on the Beethoven Piano Concerto No. 1. Plus Tchaikovsky‘s fourth symphony (the “Little Russian” if I’m remembering correctly) and did you know there’s a composer named Wagenaar? Did Wagner know about this? I feel like he would have sued. April 25 – 27. [ See it! ]
  • This week at Strathmore: Jazz drumming; boogie-woogie piano; the Marian Anderson String Quartet. [ See the calendar! ]

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

No Beethoven, no loot

Now THIS is a great idea. Although the Moonlight Sonata is awfully well known; they might be able to pick it out, or find someone who can. Wouldn’t it make more sense to program the code with, say, a Prokofiev piano concerto? What piece would you key your lock to? And don’t you love the very serious questions we tackle here at Ain’t Baroque, Ltd?

“Tell me, what comes after the sixty-eighth measure of diarrhea?”

Remember when Beethoven took on the Biebs and rap battled him right out of the music world? Seems Mozart recently caught the rhyming bug. You have no idea how many potential post titles I rejected before I settled on this one. Did I make the right choice?

“Jazz was the maggot-infested flesh of a dead body”

I read an article the other day on Cracked.com called “The 6 Most Baffling Science Experiments Ever Funded,” and, naturally, #6 on the list was entitled “Coked-Up Rats and Jazz.” Apparently some scientists decided to try playing silence, jazz, and Beethoven to rats to see what they liked best. Destroying all the faith you ever had in the humble rat’s taste in music, they liked silence the most, but if it’s any consolation, of the remaining choices they much preferred the Beethoven. (Maybe it was smooth jazz?)

Then comes the bit where it gets baffling: the scientists took another stab at it, literally, by repeating the experiment after first injecting the rats with cocaine. And then the rats loooooooooved jazz.

You can draw your own conclusions on that particular experiment, but if you’d like to poll other rodents before making any pronouncements, here’s David Sedaris enlightening us on what squirrels and chipmunks think of jazz, respectively.

It’s the Easter Concert Roundup, Charlie Brown!

A light load, what with Easter and all.

  • The Baltimore Symphony Orchestra has no concerts going down this week, but I am SUPER DUPER EXCITED about the ones they’re offering next week…
  • Meanwhile the National Symphony Orchestra marches gamely on, bringing you violinist Arabella Steinbacher and BEETHOVEN! Also Blacher and Richard Strauss, but as far as I’m concerned, BEETHOVEN, who has always struck me as very Easter-y, somehow. March 28 – 30. [ See it! ]
  • This week at StrathmoreThe Arts and the Brain series continues with a discussion of imagination, health, and medical avatars with Virgil Wong; vibraphonist Chuck Redd plays movie music; Emmylou Harris is sold out so don’t event think about it. [ See the calendar! ]

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