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movie music

This tag is associated with 31 posts

Concert Roundup Likes to be in America

  • This week the Baltimore Symphony Orchestra goes old school cinematic with Leonard Bernstein‘s West Side Story – literally. They’re playing the music live in accompaniment to a screening of the film. To sweeten the deal, some of the original Sharks and Jets will be at the June 14 performance, plus – wait for it – MARNI NIXON! Yay Marni Nixon! June 13 at Strathmore; June 14 – 16 at the Meyerhoff. [ See it! ]
  • Maybe you don’t like to be in America – maybe you’d rather be in Europe. If so, the National Symphony Orchestra has you covered with a program of Ravel‘s Tombeau de Couperin, some Dutilleux, and Vaughan Williams‘ second symphony, also known as “A London Symphony.” June 13 – 15. [ See it! ]
  • This week at Strathmore: CityDance performances. [ See the calendar! ]

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


“Vocal villainies all desire to shirk”

Hi guys! I’m back! And speaking of back, here’s two ways we’re going back in time today:

1. Two weeks ago I saw The Mikado at Wolf Trap and it was pretty awesome. I LOVE Gilbert and Sullivan.

2. So here’s one of my favorite songs from my second favorite G&S operetta, as performed at the Stratford Festival in 1982. If you were alive in 1982*, please try not to bump into your old self while you’re there – I hear it causes all kinds of fuzziness in the space-time continuum.

* I wasn’t!

“How does he make an embouchure? He’s a chicken!”

“The usual way. Cookbooks.”

Composer Cagematch! Round 2: Cage vs. Williams

So… you guys really like Hindemith, eh? I mean, Webern was fresh off a solid victory. He had tasted blood once before. And yet Hindemith cheerfully trounced him. Very, very interesting, you guys. I shall note it in the logs.

Now let’s head back to the homeland with an All-American match, because in this corner, he never gave Reich a chance! It’s


And in this corner, he made Jerry Goldsmith phone home! It’s


Oh my God, guys, it’s a John Fight! I didn’t even consciously plan that!

I didn’t realize it was an either/or proposition

Roundabout origin story for this post: I wanted to find something about the great Jimmy Stewart’s taste in classical music, because happy birthday, Jimmy Stewart! But I couldn’t. What I DID find was a clip of Mickey Rooney and Judy Garland explaining, among other things, that you may like opera or you may like swing but you may NOT LIKE BOTH. As far as I know it’s not either of their birthdays but it will have to do. Hit it, kids!

Good Morning – Stereo – Opera vs. Jazz – Where or When – Judy Garland and Mickey Rooney from Great Movies on Vimeo.

A Concert Roundup in Times Square

  • This week the Baltimore Symphony Orchestra is replaced by a gaggle of small children. RUN! Okay, actually it’s just the Baltimore Symphony Youth Orchestra, and not all the children are small, or even necessarily children; I’m not sure of the exact age ranges, but they seem to follow the popular model of having multiple orchestra levels under one title. Anyway, they’re playing an extremely varied program of everything from Rossini to Holst to Wagner, so if you’re one of those strange individuals who actually enjoys the smiling faces of the coming generations, you’ll want to check it out. May 19 at the Meyerhoff. [ See it! ]
  • The National Symphony Orchestra is busting out the NSO Pops to celebrate songwriter Stephen Schwartz, who apparently wrote Wicked and some Disney scores? You all know I would never in a million years disapprove of Disney music, so I’m comfortable endorsing this one (even if there is a singer from the Broadway version of Newsies; my God did I hate that thing). May 16 – 18. [ See it! ]
  • Or! Or! OR OR OR OR OR! The NSO has a family concert this week too, and you’ll never guess what it is!!! Guys, did you know Chris Brubeck composed a score for A Cricket in Times Square?! Liverwurst! Insects with perfect pitch! Apocalyptic blackouts! AWESOME! Man, I should read that book again. May 19. [ See it! ]
  • This week at Strathmore: Soprano Kathleen Battle. [ 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 As Scored By Charlie Chaplin

  • Hey, remember that time I was all surprised that Charlie Chaplin was a composer? Well, the Baltimore Symphony Orchestra is educating us again with another one of the film star’s scores. This time they’re going with his 1936 movie Modern Times, playing the score in accompaniment to the visuals. The description makes it sound kinda like Metropolis, so that should be interesting. May 10 & 12 at the Meyerhoff; May 11 at Strathmore. [ See it! ]
  • The National Symphony Orchestra isn’t competing with that. No concert this week as far as I can tell.
  • This week at Strathmore: Gypsy jazz violinist Daisy Castro; Bela Fleck tries his hand at jazz with the help of The Marcus Roberts Trio. I feel like I said all this last week; was I running ahead? Oh well. Nothing like a good musical reminder! [ See the calendar! ]

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

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.

I think I hear a ghost

My grandmother doesn’t see very well, and as such one of her favorite pastimes when we’re together is to request that I look things up one my iPhone. During my visits we’ll watch old movies, and she’ll say “Look up when this person died” or “I wonder if he was ever in anything else; look that up.” So I fire up the browser app, head over to Wikipedia, and find out.

Our most recent sojourn was through The Sound of Music, and as the first nuns appeared I remembered that Marni Nixon got some actual screen time in the film, as Sister Sophia. You know about Marni Nixon, right? She was the ghost singer to the stars, working for Audrey Hepburn, Deborah Kerr, Natalie Wood, and Marilyn Monroe, among others.

Curious about her current whereabouts I looked her up of my own accord, and was fascinated to discover that she recorded vocals for such great composers as Schoenberg, Webern, Copland, and Bernstein. I had no idea! Unfortunately I couldn’t seem to locate any real footage of these performances, but I did find this fascinating interview, wherein she talks about how she just dubbed as a means of paying for her singing classes, and more. Find out what it was like for classically trained singer back in the day, where if they found it you dubbed, you were finished!

Composer Cagematch!: Williams vs. Goldsmith

It’s baaaaaaack! Yes, my friends, it’s time for another round of Composer Cagematch!, that spectacular series of cutthroat fights between composers that asks not the question, who is a better composer? but rather, who do you LOVE?

That’s right – throw out all your notions of musicology based merit and vote based on your heart, because the winner is not musicology’s champion – he is the people’s champion!

So where are we starting on this spectacular journey? Well, we were going to start with Schubert, but I still haven’t figured out who’s strong enough to take on Schubert, and I really don’t want to repeat composers, so… we’re starting with two of history’s most successful film composers, folks! And as such –

In this corner, entering the ring with in an imperial march, it’s



And in this corner, he brings honor to us all! It’s



Hey, I know I complain about Williams a lot, but I’ve always liked his Jurassic Park score, and then yesterday I watched Memoirs of a Geisha and found the theme beautiful and looked up the composer and said “Oh.” So you can vote for him; I won’t judge. And Jerry Goldsmith? The Voyager theme? Mulan? The Omen? The Mummy? I mean, this is hard.

But you still have to make your choice.