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Brahms

This tag is associated with 33 posts

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.

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The Happiest Concert Roundup on Earth

Here are your concerts for while I’m away. Be good, Baroccos!

  • This week with the Baltimore Symphony Orchestra: They won’t stop ’til they’re a star on Broadway! Or at any rate on Ashley Brown‘s Broadway, which includes hits from Chicago, Victor/Victoria, Mary Poppins, Kiss Me Kate, and more. Apropos of Victor/Victoria, I would like take this moment to point out that Julie Andrews is the greatest human being who every lived. Thank you. February 21 at Strathmore; February 22 – 24 at the Meyerhoff. [ See it! ]
  • This week with the National Symphony Orchestra: OH GOD IT’S THE BLEEDING MENDELSSOHN VIOLIN CONCERTO A-FRICKING-GAIN WHY DO THEY ALWAYS DO THIS WHY WHY WHY WHY WHYYYYYYYYYYYYYYY?! Okay. Okay. Deep breaths. Okay. We’re moving on now. Also a piece by Henze. Also Brahms‘ fourth symphony. Also, violinists of the world, may I respectfully suggest that you LEARN ANOTHER CONCERTO? I mean, I like Mendelssohn! Really! I do! But if this keeps up we’re going to have to redefine the meaning of “ubiquitous,” and it’s so hard to keep the dictionary current as it is. Anyway. I’m sure it’ll be great. Just think about it, okay? February 21 – 23. [ See it! ]
  • This week at StrathmoreTraditional chamber repertory from Aviv Quartet, including my beloved Schubert “Death and the Maiden” string quartet; electric rock; jazz singing classes; electric cello with Wytold. [ See the calendar! ]

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

A Concert Roundup My Mom Won’t Like

  • This week, the Baltimore Symphony Orchestra wants to ravish you with Rachmaninoff, so get ready for that. Yes, folks, it’s an all-Rachmaninoff program – sorry, Mom! Isle of the Dead, etudes, and his third piano concerto performed by Garrick Ohlsson. January 17 & 20 at the Meyerhoff.  [ See it! ]
  • Or, if you’d rather get just the piano concerto, the BSO is performing another one of their Off the Cuff concerts, wherein in addition to playing the piece you get history, context, and commentary on its creation, form, and place in the musical pantheon from none other than Marin Alsop. January 18 at Strathmore; January 19 the Meyerhoff. [ See it! ]
  • The National Symphony Orchestra returns and counters with its own pianist – Tzimon Barto, and I think it it is fair to say he has one of the coolest names ever – playing the Bartok Piano No. 2 – and I think we can say he’s one of the coolest composers ever. So there’s that. Also Beethoven‘s Egmont Overture and Brahm‘s second symphony. January 17 – 19. [ See it! ]
  • This week at Strathmore: a rock-n-classical string quartet; jazz singers. [ See the calendar! ]

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

Concert Roundup, Mostly

I shall complete this! I swear!

  • The Baltimore Symphony Orchestra wants you to know that they consider Dvorak and Brahms lyrical. I know this because this week’s concert is titled “Lyrical Dvorak and Brahms.”  For the former, his eighth symphony gets the nod, and in the case of the latter, it’s the second piano concerto. November 15 & 16 at the Meyerhoff; November 17 at Strathmore. [ See it! ]
  • I can’t seem to get the National Symphony Orchestra page to load, and according to downforeveryoneorjustme.com it’s not just me. I’ll have to check back later, but never fear, I’ll update this page in a couple hours! Or as soon as the page goes back up. You know. EDITED TO ADD: Okay, the site is back! And you have two choices of concert to boot! First is an educational presentation/concert hybrid wherein conductor Vasily Petrenko explores Shostakovich‘s fourth symphony on November 16. Or if you prefer, on November 15 & 17 you can get the Shostakovich plus Tchaikovsky‘s famous violin concerto, although minus the multimedia presentation. [ See the Shostakovich! ] [ See the Tchaikovsky too! ]
  • The American University orchestra has a series of concerts this weekend, but more on that tomorrow! 😀
  • This week at Strathmore: jazz saxophonist Tia Fuller. [ See the calendar! ]

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

All the Concert Roundup You Want

  • This week’s Baltimore Symphony Orchestra concert is deeply romantic when it isn’t being kinda classical. Brahms‘ Double Concerto for Cello and Violin, Mozart‘s fifth symphony aka the “Haffner,” and something called Till Eulenspiegel’s Merry Pranks by Strauss, Richard. October 26 & 28 at the Meyerhoff; October 27 at Strathmore. [ See it! ]
  • Not a concert, but interesting nonetheless while on the subject: the BSO just introduced their “Passport” which, for $75, enables you to attend as many concerts as you like for what as far as I can tell looks like the rest of the season. Caveat: 40 and under. If you qualify, might be worth investigating. [ Learn more! ]
  • Meanwhile, back at the National Symphony Orchestra, the Pops take over with a series of concerts featuring Roberta Flack. Looks like she’ll be interpreting the BeatlesOctober 25 – 27. [ See it! ]
  • Are you plagued by an extremely short person who seems to need things from you constantly? If so, this might be your child. If you suspect you may have a child, you should probably bring it to an NSO children’s concert, just to be safe – don’t want the little bugger to grow up to be some kinda philistine. Luckily there’s a Halloween-themed performance on October 28, including logical stuff like Berlioz and Dukas. [ See it! ]
  • This week at Strathmore: impressive looping fiddler Casey Driessen and two performances by the Dali Quartet. [ See the calendar! ]

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

Dear composers: You’re going to Hell

And now it’s time for another edition of Classical Music Popping Up In Otherwise Unrelated Works of Fiction!

Have you ever read Good Omens? Well, you should. Neil Gaiman and Terry Pratchett with their powers combined! To give you some context, the plot centers around the approach of the Apocalypse and the rise of the Antichrist (did I mention it’s hilarious?). Which is not to say no one’s trying to stop it – two people are, or rather, one angel named Aziraphale and one demon named Crowley are, working in tandem – really.

In this scene, Crowley is making arguments as to why, exactly, the Apocalypse would be a bad time for all of them. Among his points:

Listen,” said Crowley, “how many musicians do you think [Heaven has] got, eh? First grade, I mean.”

Aziraphale looked taken aback.

“Well, I should think – ” he began.

“Two,” said Crowley. “Elgar and Liszt. That’s all. [Hell’s] got the rest. Beethoven, Brahms, all the Bachs, Mozart, the lot. Can you imagine eternity with Elgar?”

Aziraphale shut his eyes. “All too easily,” he groaned.

Well, there you have it. Turns out all those unmusical people in the world are just trying to avoid eternal damnation. But I do rather wonder how Liszt got there and Bach didn’t, you know?

I just want you to be prepared

Hey, remember a month or two ago how I picked out some Baltimore Symphony Orchestra concerts that tickled my particular fancy? Let’s do the same thing for Strathmore, which offers such a dizzying array of concerts over the course of the season that I’m sure attempting to process it all can be daunting. Never fear – I’ve picked out all the classical concerts that have so far been announced, so you’ll know what not to miss in advance. You’re quite welcome.

  • Duo Amaral, Oct 12 – Classical guitar featuring composers like Rodrigo and Albeniz.
  • Guido’s Ear, Oct 18 – Pre- and early Baroque – think Monteverdi, Zanetti, Merula.
  • Dali Quartet, Oct 28 – Spice things up with some Latin American chamber music.
  • Jennifer Koh’s Bach and Beyond, Part 1 (Nov 14) and Part 2 (Feb 28) – Bach violin partitas and sonatas mixed with newer works influenced by the great composer.
  • George Li, Jan 12 – A prodigal pianist, playing Bach, Beethoven, and Chopin.
  • China National Symphony, Feb 1 – A bunch of new works by Chinese composers plus BEETHOVEN’S SEVENTH SYMPHONY.
  • Mattias Jacobsson, Mar 21 – The classical guitarist plays the Bach Lute Suites.
  • Kristin Lee, April 4 – Gershwin’s Three Preludes on the violin! Fun!
  • Cameron Carpenter, April 12 – Well. I dare say I’ll never look at the organ quite the same way again.
  • Maurizio Pollini, April 14 – As if I needed to introduce this one. Not sure what he’s playing, but my money’s on some Chopin.
  • Marian Anderson String Quartet, April 25 – Prize-winning and Dvorak-playing. Nice.
  • Mak Grgic, May 9 – Another classical guitarist, this one has put together a bunch of neato transcriptions of works written by Ravel, Debussy, Brahms, and more, plus traditional guitar pieces.

So there you have it – all the straight-up classical music programs in the Strathmore season. SO FAR. Don’t worry; I’ll keep you apprised of these and other concerts as the year goes by. Good heavens, is it almost autumn already?

Composer Cagematch!: THE WINNER

Oh, guys. It’s been such a fun journey. Thirty-two composers (edited to add: +2 play-ins) stepped into the ring, and over the year we have slowly whittled it down to two. Before we crown our winner, let’s take a look back over composers past, shall we?

* denotes the winner of the match

ROUND ONE

  1. Prokofiev vs. Stravinsky*
  2. Debussy* vs. Ravel
  3. Dvorak vs. Copland*
  4. Britten* vs. Holst
  5. Rimsky-Korsakov* vs. Mussourgsky
  6. Grieg* vs. Sibelius
  7. Schumann vs. Brahms*
  8. Tchaikovsky* vs. Rachmaninoff
  9. Mahler* vs. Wagner
  10. Monteverdi vs. Verdi*
  11. Schoenberg* vs. Berg
  12. Bernstein vs. Gershwin*
  13. Handel* vs. Haydn
  14. Chopin* vs. Liszt
  15. Bartok* vs. Shostakovich
  16. Saint-Saens* vs. Khachaturian

ROUND TWO

  1. Stravinsky* vs. Debussy
  2. Copland* vs. Britten
  3. Tchaikovsky* vs. Rimsky-Korsakov
  4. Bartok* vs. Schoenberg
  5. Saint-Saens vs. Grieg*
  6. Brahms* vs. Mahler
  7. Verdi* vs. Handel
  8. Gershwin* vs. Chopin

ROUND THREE

  1. Stravinsky* vs. Bartok
  2. Copland vs. Tchaikovsky*
  3. Verdi vs. Gershwin*
  4. Grieg vs. Brahms*

ROUND FOUR

  1. Brahms* vs. Stravinsky
  2. Gershwin vs. Tchaikovsky*

ROUND FIVE (PLAY-IN ROUND)

  1. Tchaikovsky vs. Mozart*
  2. Beethoven* vs. Brahms

ROUND SIX

Mozart vs. Beethoven

And so we arrive here, at the end. I think we all know whose t-shirt I was wearing, but it wasn’t a question of my sartorial decisions; it all came down to the best man taking the Composer Cagematch! crown. Are you ready? And the winner is…

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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.

Composer Cagematch!: Playing In

It wouldn’t have been fun to let them in from the beginning, you know? They would’ve swept away all of the competition without the slightest question, and where’s the challenge in that? But then also, it wouldn’t really be a solid Composer Cagematch! without them, would it? Far better, then, to let the others fight it out and then bring in the big guns in the end.

And that’s what we’re going to do. So it is with great pride and pleasure that I say that in this corner, I can certainly believe it! It’s

PIOTR! ILYICH! TCHAAAAAAAAAIKOOOOOOOOOOVSKYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYY

And in this corner, remind him to give the horns something to play! It’s

WOLFGANG! AMADEUS! MOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOZAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAART

But wait, there’s more! Because over here in this other ring we just realized we also had: in this corner, I still can’t believe it! It’s

JOOOOOOOOOOOHAAAAAAAAAAAANNEEEEEEEESS BRAAAAAAAAAAAAAAHMS

And in this corner… tee hee… oh, this is gonna be fun…

LUUUUUUUUDWIIIIIIIIIIIIG VAAAAAAAAAN BEEEEEEEEEETHOOOOOOVEEEEEEEN

After this one, guys… THE FINAL FIGHT.