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Mendelssohn

This tag is associated with 14 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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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.

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.

Concert Roundup Has Beef Jerky

I know this is a lot to get through. If you get hungry later, I have beef jerky.*

  • Oh! Oh oh oh! Yes! Good! The Baltimore Symphony Orchestra is performing Saint-Saens‘ organ symphony this week! I love that piece, especially the bit where it’s in Epcot! Plus an organ concerto by Poulenc and the famous Dukas Sorcerer’s Apprentice. March 14 & 17 at the Meyerhoff. [ See it! ]
  • Or! If you’d rather just the Saint-Saens‘ organ symphony, the BSO presents another one of their Off the Cuff concerts, wherein conductor Marin Alsop and the organist, Felix Hall, go in depth on the history and musicality of this super-amazing piece. March 15 at Strathmore; March 16 at the Meyerhoff. [ See it! ]
  • If you’re in the market for something lighter and more holiday-themed, the National Symphony Orchestra busts out the NSO Pops this week for a concert with The Chieftains, who I am assured are Irish so it all fits thematically for the weekend. “The Wearing O’ the Green” is part of the program so I believe it. March 14 – 16. [ See it! ]
  • This week at StrathmoreJazz singer Integriti Reeves; Bach Choir of Bethlehem performing Mendelssohn‘s Elijah, cutting-edge classical ensemble NOW Ensemble; choral music by the Eric Whitacre Singers. [ See the calendar! ]

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

* This is an inside joke with my IRL friends and you can feel free to ignore it. And/or wish you knew me IRL so that you, too, could enjoy off-handed comments about dried beef.

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.

Concert Roundup, Back In Full Swing

Back in the saddle again.

  • As promised, the Baltimore Symphony Orchestra busts out Bernstein‘s “Kaddish” symphony, with a narrator and soprano and boy choir and everything. Add to that some John Adams and Dave & Chris Brubeck (their Ansel Adams piece accompanied by the titular photographer’s images) and you’ve got a very modern evening. September 28 & 30 at the Meyerhoff; September 29 at Strathmore. [ See it! ]
  • Annnnd they’re back – the National Symphony Orchestra kicks of their season with an opening ball performance featuring Anne-Sophie Mutter. Cool! She’ll be playing Mendelssohn‘s violin concerto. Ugh! (I kid, I kid, but guys, seriously – find a new freakin’ concerto, okay?) Add some Beethoven (YESSS), Sarasate, and Strauss, and we’re in business. September 30. [ See it! ]
  • This week at Strathmore: an urban jazz harmonicist (swear!) and a rock concert complete with tailgate. [ See the calendar! ]

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

That’s right, boys, hug it out

Nothing exorcizes personal demons like a good classical rap battle.

A Concert Roundup is a Joy Forever

That’s all… something something, and all you need to know. Or whatever. Mary Poppins only says the first bit so I don’t remember.

  • This week at the Baltimore Symphony Orchestra, Arabella Steinbacher proves she has excellent taste, assuming she made the call to perform the Beethoven Violin Concerto. If that isn’t enough for you (weirdo), perhaps you’ll be swayed by Weber‘s Euryanthe overture and Schumann’s “Rhenish” symphony (that’s number 3). April 26 at Strathmore; April 27 & 28 at the Meyerhoff. [ See it! ]
  • Why we’re on the subject of the BSO, the annual Decorator’s Show House opens April 29. Wander through a fully decorated home and pick out what you want like some kinda high-class Ikea, only instead of sending your money to the Swedes a portion of the proceeds will benefit the BSO. [ See it! ]
  • No National Symphony Orchestra concert for a couple weeks as far as I can tell.
  • This week at Strathmore, we’ve got Turkish music, gypsy jazz, Tin Pan Alley jazz songs, Moscow Soloists Chamber Orchestra with Yuri Bashmet and Mischa Maisky, Sarah Chang playing everyone’s favorite Mendelssohn violin concert (personal note to concert violinists: CEASE AND DESIST), and more. [ See the calendar! ]

Concert Roundup: Some Will Be Pardoned and Some Punish-ed

Go forth and have more talk of these musical things.

  • Oh, Baltimore Symphony Orchestra. You raise me to the highest highs only to plunge me into the lowest lows. I see a concert entitled “Romeo and Juliet” and immediately I think, PROKOFIEV! SQUEE! And what do I get? Berlioz? NOT EVEN. I get TCHAIKOVSKY. I love almost all Tchaikovsky — EXCEPT HIS R&J. Ugh. What are you trying to do, kill me and then bring me back to life with Mussourgsky‘s Night on Bald Mountain, my boy Khachaturian‘s violin concerto, and no less an adrenalin shot to the heart than Stravinsky‘s Firebird Suite? It’s an emotional roller coaster, I tell you! April 13 & 15 at the Meyerhoff; April 14 at Strathmore. [ See it! ]
    Edited to add: Whoops, jumped the gun. That’s NEXT week’s concert. Unfortunately I built the theme of this post around it, so I can’t take it out. You’re just super-prepared for next week. Hush.
  • The National Symphony Orchestra has no time for roller coasters. They prefer a steady, even keel with ONE composer only, thank you very much. That composer is Mendelssohn, and the piece is Elijah. April 5 – 7. [ See it! ]
  • This week at Strathmore, we have Kevin Costner. No, seriously, Kevin Costner is coming! Do you have ANY IDEA how I feel about Field of Dreams?! But he’s not playing baseball; he’s singing with his band, Modern West. So there’s that, and there’s Video Games Live which I talked about on Monday (you should come and say hi and check out the costume contest and play some Guitar Hero), and a wind ensemble called Flutopia of all things. [ See the calendar! ]

Or Concert Roundup

The letters of the day are “O” and “R.”

  • This week the Baltimore Symphony Orchestra plays Elgar that ISN’T a march from Pomp and Circumstance. Crazy, right? But apparently he also wrote a Serenade for Strings. And if you can’t get behind that, how about the second Bach violin concerto? Or a Mendelssohn octet? March 8 at the Meyerhoff. [ See it! ]
  • Or if you prefer, you can catch the BSO outside their gilded cage in the wilds of Frederick on March 10, with the exact same program only for some reason it’s got its own completely separate link. What a bunch of weirdos. [ See it! ]
  • Or! Have kids? I’m sorry; I would’ve counseled against it if you’d asked me beforehand. Ah, well, fait accompli. You’re probably desperate for a means to distract them on weekends; the BSO can help with that too. Their matinee children’s program “Sea Songs” promises shipwrecks, pirates, and Rimsky-Korsakov. March 10 at the Meyerhoff. [ See it! ]
  • Current Cagematch! competitor Bartok in the house! The National Symphony Orchestra’s house, that is. It’s an all Bartok program, with The Miraculous Mandarin and Bluebeard‘s Castle. March 8 – 10; free discussion after the March 8 performance. [ See it! ]
  • Or! On March 9, the NSO offers a rather more varied program. You still get a bunch of Bartok, but you can intersperse it with Kodaly, Liszt, and all the Brahms you can dance, provide your dance is Hungarian. [ See it! ]
  • A smattering of upcoming Strathmore concerts: a jazz quintet, Ugandan song and dance, classical guitar, and Army and Marine bands. [ See the calendar! ]
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