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By Mike Giuliano | February 16, 2012
The Gryphon Trio will be thinking a lot about Beethoven when this Canadian ensemble performs locally for the Candlelight Concert Society Saturday, Feb. 18 at 8 p.m. at Howard Community College's Smith Theatre. "We love Beethoven," cellist Roman Borys says from his Toronto home. "When we're asked who our favorite composer is, it's usually Beethoven that is our answer. " And so Borys, violinist Annalee Patipatanakoon and pianist Jamie Parker are eager to launch into an all-Beethoven program comprised of the Trio in C minor, Op. 1, No. 3; Trio in B-flat Major, WoO 39; Variations in E-flat Major, Op. 44; and Trio in B-flat Major, Op. 97 "Archduke.
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By Tim Smith, The Baltimore Sun | September 20, 2014
The Baltimore Symphony Orchestra's 99th season -- Marin Alsop's eighth as music director -- promises to be eventful. That's the take-away from Friday night's performance at Meyerhoff Hall, where the concert will be repeated Sunday afternoon. Longtime BSO listeners cannot fail to notice the tightness of the ensemble these days, the disciplined articulation, the cohesive sound. Budget constraints have kept the orchestra from maximum strength for years (100-plus full-time players would be ideal; 80-something has been the norm)
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By Tim Smith, The Baltimore Sun | August 13, 2014
Your Midweek Madness provider is on vacation for a couple of weeks, but understands your need for periodic relief from the dreariness of life, hence this Beethoven-ized blast of a well-known march tune played by the ever so clever Dudley Moore.
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By Tim Smith, The Baltimore Sun | September 15, 2014
Hilary Hahn has canceled her scheduled season-opening performance of Beethoven's Violin Concerto with the Baltimore Symphony Orchestra and music director Marin Alsop this weekend due to muscle strain. In mid-July, Hahn announced that she would cancel all engagements for six weeks due to an inflamed muscle. Her recovery is taking longer than expected; she is now set to resume concertizing in October. Playing the Beethoven concerto in Hahn's stead will be Pinchas Zukerman, his first BSO engagement in 14 years.
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By Tim Smith, The Baltimore Sun | June 7, 2014
A year after 9/11, the New York Philharmonic premiered "On the Transmigration of Souls," a reflective work for chorus and orchestra by John Adams that incorporates words and phrases from messages posted near the site of the World Trade Center, from interviews with survivors and, most chillingly, from a flight attendant on one of the doomed planes. To follow such a somber work, the Philharmonic's then-music director Lorin Maazel chose music of solidarity and joy, Beethoven's Symphony No. 9. This pairing seemed just right to me when I heard that Philharmonic concert almost 12 years ago. It seemed just as right, just as effective, when Marin Alsop led the Baltimore Symphony Orchestra in this same pairing on Thursday night at Meeryhoff Hall to close the 2013-2014 season.
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By Tim Smith, The Baltimore Sun | July 5, 2014
Marin Alsop, who led a vigorous account of Beethoven's Ninth last month with the Baltimore Symphony Orchestra , will conduct that same iconic work on Sunday with her ensemble in Brazil, the Orquestra Sinfonica do Estado de Sao Paulo, as a World Cup salute. This performance will be streamed live for free on the terrific classical Web site, medici.tv , at 4:30 p.m. EST on July 6. Joining the Sao Paulo orchestra and two choirs (Coro Academico da OSESP and Coro da OSESP)
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By Tim Smith, The Baltimore Sun | March 18, 2013
The European Union has been in the news lately, especially with regard to the UK's continued participation, so I thought I would use this Midweek Madness installment to remind everyone of the joy of brotherhood. The Union happens to have an anthem that derives from the much-loved finale to Beethoven's noble, stirring Ninth Symphony, with its message of, well, the joy of brotherhood. How better, then, to underline the advantage of the UK remaining in the harmonious association of nations than a performance of that anthem by the eminent British baritone "Robert Bennington," even if he has a wee bit of trouble with the words:  
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By Tim Smith, The Baltimore Sun | May 2, 2014
Well, that was exhilarating. The Peabody Symphony Orchestra's concert Thursday night delivered some impressive sonic power, with the near-legendary Leon Fleisher providing the ignition. Most celebrated as a pianist of uncommon insight, Fleisher began conducting decades ago when, due to focal dystonia, he lost use of his right hand. He brings to the podium the same striving for musical honesty and communicative depth that has always characterized his keyboard work (one- or two-handed)
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By Stephen Hunter and Stephen Hunter,Film Critic | April 6, 1992
"Beethoven" divides the world into two elementary, unbridgeable halves: those who are owned by dogs and those who are not.If you've never spent the night with a fat beagle rammed up against you, and listened sleeplessly as he snores like a drunken old man, felt him beam rancid breath in your ear, radiate body heat like pure steam, slurp, urp, burp, stretch, yawn, yap and yip, and of course, announce with a throaty aria at 3 a.m. his desire to "go out," then this probably isn't the movie for you.For the rest of us, it's a dream of pure dog love, its manifold flaws somewhat finessed by the good humor and adoration it slathers upon the true rulers of the planet.
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By Stephen Wigler and Stephen Wigler,SUN MUSIC CRITIC | March 18, 1996
Beethoven's "Kreutzer" Sonata not only inspired the great piece of short fiction by Tolstoy that bears its name, but also a countless number of sexy perfume ads. The first movement, particularly, reaches an extraordinary (even for Beethoven) peak passion and fury. The way that violinist Pamela Frank and pianist Claude Frank performed this work Saturday night in the Shriver Hall Concert Series made it easy to understand why the deranged narrator of Tolstoy's novella says this music is dangerous and irrational and that it leads inevitably to adultery and murder.
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By Tim Smith, The Baltimore Sun | August 13, 2014
Your Midweek Madness provider is on vacation for a couple of weeks, but understands your need for periodic relief from the dreariness of life, hence this Beethoven-ized blast of a well-known march tune played by the ever so clever Dudley Moore.
ENTERTAINMENT
By Tim Smith, The Baltimore Sun | July 5, 2014
Marin Alsop, who led a vigorous account of Beethoven's Ninth last month with the Baltimore Symphony Orchestra , will conduct that same iconic work on Sunday with her ensemble in Brazil, the Orquestra Sinfonica do Estado de Sao Paulo, as a World Cup salute. This performance will be streamed live for free on the terrific classical Web site, medici.tv , at 4:30 p.m. EST on July 6. Joining the Sao Paulo orchestra and two choirs (Coro Academico da OSESP and Coro da OSESP)
ENTERTAINMENT
By Tim Smith, The Baltimore Sun | June 7, 2014
A year after 9/11, the New York Philharmonic premiered "On the Transmigration of Souls," a reflective work for chorus and orchestra by John Adams that incorporates words and phrases from messages posted near the site of the World Trade Center, from interviews with survivors and, most chillingly, from a flight attendant on one of the doomed planes. To follow such a somber work, the Philharmonic's then-music director Lorin Maazel chose music of solidarity and joy, Beethoven's Symphony No. 9. This pairing seemed just right to me when I heard that Philharmonic concert almost 12 years ago. It seemed just as right, just as effective, when Marin Alsop led the Baltimore Symphony Orchestra in this same pairing on Thursday night at Meeryhoff Hall to close the 2013-2014 season.
ENTERTAINMENT
By Tim Smith, The Baltimore Sun | May 2, 2014
Well, that was exhilarating. The Peabody Symphony Orchestra's concert Thursday night delivered some impressive sonic power, with the near-legendary Leon Fleisher providing the ignition. Most celebrated as a pianist of uncommon insight, Fleisher began conducting decades ago when, due to focal dystonia, he lost use of his right hand. He brings to the podium the same striving for musical honesty and communicative depth that has always characterized his keyboard work (one- or two-handed)
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By Tim Smith, The Baltimore Sun | April 11, 2014
Few musicians generate the affection that Itzhak Perlman has enjoyed from the public for the better part of four decades. That bond is still going strong, as was evident the moment he made his entrance at the Music Center at Strathmore Thursday night to begin a dual concert with the Baltimore Symphony Orchestra as violin soloist and conductor. The sight of the 68-year-old Perlman making his way on crutches to his chair understandably seemed to worry the audience, and the initial, hearty ovation subsided long before he could get situated.
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By Tim Smith, The Baltimore Sun | March 17, 2014
Baltimore has experienced a bounty of Bach, Beethoven and Brahms, among others, in recent days. My favorite experience came Sunday evening when Shriver Hall Concert Series presented the Scharoun Ensemble Berlin, a chamber group comprising (mostly) of members of the famed Berlin Philharmonic. It's always uplifting to be in the presence of musicians who are at the top of their game. Brahms' Clarinet Quintet, a piece infused with twilight, received a performance of commendable sensitivity, where the spaces between phrases emerged as meaningfully as any of the notes.
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By Stephen Wigler and Stephen Wigler,Sun Music Critic | July 23, 1995
Beethoven, Piano Sonatas, Opus 2 (Nos. 1 in F minor, 2 in A major and 3 in C major), performed by Alfred Brendel (Philips Classics 442124) and Murray Perahia (Sony Classical 64397)Alfred Brendel's disc is part of his current cycle-in-progress of the sonatas -- when completed, it will be his third. That Perahia's disc contains all three of the first sonatas for piano Beethoven published suggests that it may have been intended as the first volume in a complete cycle. If that is true -- and if the cycle is completed -- that would be very good news: Perahia's performances of the composer's first triptych of sonatas are tremendous.
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By Stephen Wigler and Stephen Wigler,SUN MUSIC CRITIC | September 26, 1997
The kind of conductor Gunther Herbig is became immediately apparent last night in Meyerhoff Hall when he opened the Baltimore Symphony's all-Beethoven program with the "Coriolan Overture."The furious anger of the opening was fully realized, but unexaggerated; the contrast with the second theme, whose tender lyricism received an impressively quasi-vocal treatment, was masterly; and, after continuing this command of structure and detail throughout the main body of the piece, Herbig let the final chords sound at a barely perceptible dynamic level.
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By Tim Smith, The Baltimore Sun | January 18, 2014
The sacred triumvirate of Haydn, Mozart and Beethoven accounts for a crucial portion of what we call classical music, so there are plenty of reasons to program works by all three men on the same evening. There is also a risk of taking such material for granted, coasting on the familiarity of the structures and logical harmonic language. No worries about that, though, in the Baltimore Symphony Orchestra's serving of the three composers this week, since Nicholas McGegan is on the podium.
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By Mike Giuliano | January 16, 2014
Beethoven was such a prolific composer that classical music organizations never run out of material when presenting all-Beethoven programs. Such concerts often focus on specific aspects of that great German composer's output. This certainly will be the case when the Amelia Piano Trio appears for Candlelight Concerts on Saturday, Jan. 25, at 8 p.m., at Howard Community College's Smith Theatre. The upcoming concert is billed as Beethoven Complete Piano Trios Concert No. 3. The third and final installment in this Candlelight project, the concert features Beethoven's Trio in E-flat Major, Op. 1, No. 1; Trio in B-flat Major, Op. 11 "Gassenhauer"; and Trio in D Major, Op. 70, No. 1 "Ghost.
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