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Music Review: The BSO’s War Requiem

November 15, 2013
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Music Review: The BSO’s War Requiem

A live performance, of course, always offers something you can’t get from a recording, but that’s especially true of Benjamin Britten’s War Requiem, for in this piece, geography plays a crucial role. When the Baltimore Symphony Orchestra performed this piece Thursday, conductor Marin Alsop, in her black uniform with fuschia cuffs, stood on the...
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Posted in Classical, Live Review | No Comments »

University of Maryland Celebrates Dominick Argento With Week-Long Series

April 19, 2012
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University of Maryland Celebrates Dominick Argento With Week-Long Series

The March 30 opening night of a new series honoring Grammy and Pulitzer Prize-winning composer Dominick Argento offered an approach to opera that was accessible to a variety of audiences. Beautifully crafted sounds combined with familiar plots, moving scenes, and humor helped new listeners understand the performance. And it didn’t hurt that it was...
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Posted in Classical | 1 Comment »

The JACK Quartet Decodes Xenakis At Mobtown Modern Season Opener

September 16, 2011
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The JACK Quartet Decodes Xenakis At Mobtown Modern Season Opener

The name doesn’t come from the phrase: “You don’t know Jack!” It’s an acronym from the first letter of each player’s name. But these knockout young performers may relish the association. After all, they’ve made it their game to advocate challenging repertoire: stuff that’s hard to play and sometimes hard for audiences to take....
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Posted in Classical, Live Review | 3 Comments »

A Tale of Two Commissions: Golijov, Mobtown Modern, and the BSO

June 16, 2011
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A Tale of Two Commissions: Golijov, Mobtown Modern, and the BSO

No, Emaneul Ax didn’t debut a piece by Argentine composer Osvaldo Golijov with the Baltimore Symphony Orchestra June 3. The celebrated pianist occupied the second half of the BSO’s Friday night program and was billed the star of the evening–not the newly commissioned piece: Sidereus, which opened the evening. We were surprised a star...
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Posted in Classical, Live Review | 20 Comments »

Karen Gomyo and Conductor Kalmar’s Wow-Factor with the Baltimore Symphony Orchestra

June 2, 2011
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Karen Gomyo and Conductor Kalmar’s Wow-Factor with the Baltimore Symphony Orchestra

Karen Gomyo and her “Ex Foulis” Stradivarius delivered a resplendent performance of Jean Sibelius’ Violin Concerto at the Meyerhoff Symphony Hall May 27. The Baltimore Symphony players then followed this up with their first-ever performance of William Walton’s Symphony No. 1 in B-flat Major. Both works demanded big sweeping sound from the orchestra, which...
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Posted in Classical | 1,397 Comments »

Alexis Tantau Performs Reynaldo Hahn’s Art Songs at An die Musik’s Sunday Salon, May 22

May 20, 2011
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Alexis Tantau Performs Reynaldo Hahn’s Art Songs at An die Musik’s Sunday Salon, May 22

On a balmy Baltimore night in May, the cream of local salon society crowded around Paul Cassedy’s table for another great night of what he calls “dinner and music.” It’s no mean feat for a Baltimore rowhouse. Cassedy introduced Alexis Tantau, the night’s singer, and her piano accompanist, Elizabeth Brown. He toasted them with...
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Posted in Classical, Preview | 793 Comments »

Q&A: Local Composer David Smooke on the League of the Unsound Sound, March 20 at the Windup Space

March 17, 2011
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Q&A: Local Composer David Smooke on the League of the Unsound Sound, March 20 at the Windup Space

On Sunday night the latest experimental music endeavor with firm Baltimore roots makes it local debut. Co-organized and -founded by local composer and musician David Smooke, the League of the Unsound Sound is a loose ensemble dedicated not only to exploring new composed music and improvisation, but to advocating for both of those camps...
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Posted in Classical, Preview, Q&A | 201 Comments »

Amy Domingues Goes Baroque March 2 at Grace and St. Peter’s Church

March 1, 2011
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Amy Domingues Goes Baroque March 2 at Grace and St. Peter’s Church

Indie-rock fans of a certain generation might recognize the name Amy Domingues. Yes, the longtime Washington, D.C./Northern Virginia cellist was one half of the dreamy chamber pop duo Garland of Hours and the bombastic trio Telegraph Melts with Bob Massey, an erstwhile City Paper contributor, but she’s also been the go-to cellist for regional...
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Posted in Classical, News, Preview | 58 Comments »

The Most Influential Melodrama of the 20th Century–Performed by the LUNAR Ensemble

February 1, 2011
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The Most Influential Melodrama of the 20th Century–Performed by the LUNAR Ensemble

Just down the street from the Peabody Institute, An die Musik recently hosted two smashing world premieres and the melancholic masterwork of 12-tone titan Arnold Schoenberg: Pierrot Lunaire. The LUNAR Ensemble, whose members are all affiliated with the Peabody, managed to pack the house and then some. So no one present had a right...
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Posted in Classical, Live Review | 3 Comments »

Mobtown Modern Receives Well-Deserved Programming Award

December 3, 2010
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Mobtown Modern Receives Well-Deserved Programming Award

While it’s not getting porn industry kudos, the excellent Mobtown Modern contemporary-music series is set to receive the Award for Adventurous Programming next month from Chamber Music America and ASCAP. Which validates what many of us around Baltimore have already known about the now nearly four-year-old series: Bold and challenging programming can be served...
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Posted in Classical, News | No Comments »

Solo Duets: Manuel Barrueco at Towson University’s Kaplan Concert Hall, April 24

April 26, 2010
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Solo Duets: Manuel Barrueco at Towson University’s Kaplan Concert Hall, April 24

As the 20th century recedes in the rear-view mirror, it becomes clearer that Astor Piazzolla was one of that era’s greatest composers, one of the few to integrate the century’s enthusiasms for syncopation, improvisation, stretched harmony, and non-European folk music into a distinctive body of work. Guitar music was only a small corner of...
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Posted in Classical, Live Review | 17 Comments »

Cirque de la Symphonie and the Baltimore Symphony Orchestra at the Meyerhoff Symphony Hall, March 11

March 13, 2010
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One totally hairless gold man is supporting another hairless gold man entirely with his neck. No joke: Atop a platform placed front and center on the Meyerhoff stage, two male acrobats clad in goldish trunks and tinted with golden body paint, slowly move through a series of poses that this writer couldn’t pull off...
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Posted in Classical, Live Review | 103 Comments »