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By Tim Smith, The Baltimore Sun | March 1, 2013
If you don't mind, I'd like to devote some blog space to something very personal. Last Saturday, my warm and witty father, Ken Smith, died, an event that has not fully registered on the family he led for so long. On Tuesday, in the midst of preparing for his funeral later this week, I got the word of another death that hit close to home -- Mary Corey, the vibrant and endearing editor who guided the Baltimore Sun through some rough years. If anyone could make a newspaper seem more like a family, Mary could.
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By Tim Smith, The Baltimore Sun | March 1, 2013
If you don't mind, I'd like to devote some blog space to something very personal. Last Saturday, my warm and witty father, Ken Smith, died, an event that has not fully registered on the family he led for so long. On Tuesday, in the midst of preparing for his funeral later this week, I got the word of another death that hit close to home -- Mary Corey, the vibrant and endearing editor who guided the Baltimore Sun through some rough years. If anyone could make a newspaper seem more like a family, Mary could.
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By Stephen Wigler and Stephen Wigler,Sun Music Critic | November 22, 1991
The "big tune" of the first movement in Elgar's Symphony No. 1 usually conjures an image of Leslie Howard, resplendent in a uniform and white gloves, making protestations of love to a bejeweled and tiaraed Merle Oberon. This achingly nostalgic melody, rising from the bottom of the strings and reaching an apotheosis in the full orchestra, overcomes you with gratitude that you are British -- until it dawns on you that you're not!Long before he came on stage last night in Meyerhoff Hall to conduct the Elgar First with the Baltimore Symphony, conductor David Zinman must have realized that he's no Brit.
ENTERTAINMENT
By TIM SMITH and TIM SMITH,tim.smith@baltsun.com | February 26, 2009
For many listeners, Edward Elgar's Variations on an Original Theme, better known as the Enigma Variations, is just a great, colorful composition. For others, it's also a 110-year-old mystery begging for a musical detective to arrive at a startling solution. The Baltimore Symphony Orchestra will revisit that mystery with guest conductor Peter Oundjian this week. After leading performances of the piece tonight and tomorrow on a program with Dvorak's Cello Concerto and the Four Sea Interludes from Britten's Peter Grimes (8 p.m. at Meyerhoff Symphony Hall)
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By Ernest Imhoff and Ernest Imhoff,Evening Sun Staff PHOTO | December 7, 1990
CHRISTOPHER SEAMAN, the British conductor in residence, looked like a German nutcracker doll and conducted the Baltimore Symphony Orchestra like a first-class maestro last night at the Meyerhoff Symphony Hall. Leading the BSO in Elgar's "Symphony No. 1," the animated red-headed musician showed the same enthusiasm to his adult audience as he shared with the 14,000 charmed school children in seven recent concerts.As Elgar's symphony drifted past 45 minutes and some yawns about 10:15 p.m., Seaman was still up there keeping a brisk tempo, pivoting frequently to face the next playing section, extending his open left hand to soloists, mouthing passages in mock singing, sweeping strings, brass and woodwinds along with his arms and recapturing Elgar's main theme at the end. The orchestra responded well with either sadness or joy fitting the music's changing moods.
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By Stephen Wigler and Stephen Wigler,Music Critic | October 24, 1993
Augustus Jaeger was an honest, undemonstrative sort who didn't suffer fools gladly. Yet when the German-born publisher first saw Edward Elgar's music for the "Angel of the Agony" section in his "The Dream of Gerontius," Jaeger wrote the composer that "I feel as if I wanted to kiss the hand that penned those marvellous pages."But Jaeger -- whom Elgar characterized musically as "Nimrod" in his "Enigma" Variations -- went on to warn the composer that "You must not, cannot expect this work of yours to be appreciated by the ordinary amateur [or critic]
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By Stephen Wigler HTC and Stephen Wigler HTC,SUN MUSIC CRITIC | October 31, 1997
Among the great English composers, Edward Elgar was "distinguished" by a tin ear when it came to poetry. "The Music Makers," the composer's penultimate chorus-and-orchestra work, is a setting of an amateurish poem by one Arthur O'Shaughnessy, an expert on reptiles who would have been well-advised to have confined himself to those creatures.A composer need not have a good text to produce good music. But it's a measure of the weaknesses of "The Music Makers" that its best passages are those Elgar cannibalized from his earlier works.
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By Stephen Wigler and Stephen Wigler,Sun Music Critic | October 26, 1990
Near the end of the Elgar Violin Concerto's final movement is an accompanied cadenza in which the soloist rhapsodizes on material from the first movement while the orchestra's string players use their fingers to produce a sound that can only be described as ethereal. It is the most extraordinary part of a concerto that is nearly the equal of those by Beethoven or Brahms. Last night in Meyerhoff Hall, Pinchas Zukerman and the Baltimore Symphony Orchestra, with its music director David Zinman, entered as deeply into the Elgar's heart as any interpretation I have ever heard.
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By Stephen Wigler and Stephen Wigler,Music Critic | May 28, 1993
An irresistible 11 p.m. deadline and an unusually long program made me exit Meyerhoff Hall last night at 10:22 p.m., thus missing the final movement of David Zinman's performance of Elgar's Symphony No. 2 with the Baltimore Symphony Orchestra. What I was wonderful--easily the finest Elgar yet from this orchestra and conductor.The Second Symphony is a problematic work. As Jan Bedell's fine program note remarked, it swings wildly between moods that include joyousness, end-of-the-world desperation and something approaching Straussian nostalgia.
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By Tim Smith and Tim Smith,SUN MUSIC CRITIC | January 24, 2004
There's nothing like some hot music-making to take your mind off the arctic weather. And things were definitely hot Thursday night at the Meyerhoff, where the Baltimore Symphony Orchestra offered one of its most satisfying concerts so far this season. Heat-seekers get one more chance to hear it tomorrow afternoon. The program contains two grand works - Beethoven's Piano Concerto No. 1 and Elgar's Symphony No. 1. The concerto is a new vehicle for Chinese-born Lang Lang. He learned the score at the request of BSO music director Yuri Temirkanov, who was to have been on the podium, but got sidelined by the flu. Stepping in is British conductor James Judd, who made his BSO debut two weeks ago under the same circumstances and really seems to click with the musicians.
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By JEAN MARBELLA | May 2, 2008
Towns usually die slowly in a cascading series of losses - the factory, the high school, the movie theater - making it hard to point to when or even why a once thriving community expires. But with Great Harbour Deep, a one-time outpost in a remote coastal stretch of Newfoundland in Canada, it was clear when the death spiral began and what triggered it. When the cod went away, so did the town. "It was overfishing," said Sharon Elgar, a former town clerk of the former town. "Fish, fish, fish, till nothing was left."
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By TIM SMITH and TIM SMITH,SUN MUSIC CRITIC | July 10, 2006
After a bumpy - make that rainy and muddy - start to its outdoor concert season at Oregon Ridge early last week, the Baltimore Symphony Orchestra opened its indoor Summer MusicFest in the safety of Meyerhoff Symphony Hall Friday night. The program, also presented the night before at the Music Center at Strathmore in North Bethesda, was billed as "The Best of Baroque." It was nothing of the kind. Not an unadulterated note of Bach or Handel or Vivaldi to be found. Better to have called it "The Best of Big Band Baroque," since most of the concert held full-orchestra, larger-than-life transcriptions of music originally written for smaller forces.
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By Tim Smith and Tim Smith,SUN MUSIC CRITIC | June 4, 2005
An air of mystery weaves its way through the latest Baltimore Symphony Orchestra program. Mendelssohn's souvenir of a Scottish visit, the Hebrides Overture, suggests an unstated, melancholy drama underneath the obvious one taking place on a surface awash in sea swells. The second movement of Mozart's Piano Concerto No. 23 conjures up an unexpectedly intense, internal pain, but we can never be sure whether it reveals secrets about the composer's psyche, or just plays to our own preconceived notions.
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By Tim Smith and Tim Smith,SUN MUSIC CRITIC | January 24, 2004
There's nothing like some hot music-making to take your mind off the arctic weather. And things were definitely hot Thursday night at the Meyerhoff, where the Baltimore Symphony Orchestra offered one of its most satisfying concerts so far this season. Heat-seekers get one more chance to hear it tomorrow afternoon. The program contains two grand works - Beethoven's Piano Concerto No. 1 and Elgar's Symphony No. 1. The concerto is a new vehicle for Chinese-born Lang Lang. He learned the score at the request of BSO music director Yuri Temirkanov, who was to have been on the podium, but got sidelined by the flu. Stepping in is British conductor James Judd, who made his BSO debut two weeks ago under the same circumstances and really seems to click with the musicians.
NEWS
By Phil Greenfield and Phil Greenfield,SPECIAL TO THE SUN | November 27, 2003
If the Annapolis Symphony sounded like a different orchestra Saturday night at Maryland Hall, that's because it is a different ensemble from the one that bade farewell to Leslie Dunner last spring. Principal flute Kim Valerio is back after a year playing second chair with the world-class St. Louis Symphony. Several new "acting principals" and "acting associate principals" dot the ranks, and an expanded, refurbished cello section is making an impact. Also, former concertmaster Jose Cueto, an Annapolis Symphony Orchestra fixture in the late 1980s, assumed that same position in an "acting" role for last weekend's concerts.
NEWS
By Phil Greenfield and Phil Greenfield,SPECIAL TO THE SUN | October 16, 2003
The Columbia Orchestra will commence its 26th season Saturday evening at Jim Rouse Theatre and, fitting for this time of year, a pair of autumnal masterworks will dominate the proceedings. "Each is an extraordinary valedictory statement," says conductor Jason Love of Tchaikovsky's final work, the alternately graceful and brooding 6th Symphony, subtitled Pathetique, and Elgar's grand, noble and deeply felt Cello Concerto, the last major composition by the English master. "Both pieces contain interludes of grief," says Love, who begins his fifth year at the Columbia helm with this weekend's concert, "but each has its share of gorgeous, even fun, moments."
ENTERTAINMENT
By Tim Smith | June 18, 2000
"Aqui esta encerrada el alma de ... " This tantalizing inscription in Spanish was written by Sir Edward Elgar on the score of his Violin Concerto in 1910. When asked by a friend to translate and explain it, he responded: "Here, or more emphatically 'in here,' is enshrined or simply enclosed -- 'buried' is perhaps too definite -- the soul of? The final 'de' leaves it indefinite as to sex or rather gender." He might as well just have said, "That's for me to know and for you to find out." Several candidates have been proposed as being the source of the enshrined or enclosed soul, all of them female.
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By Tim Smith and Tim Smith,SUN MUSIC CRITIC | June 4, 2001
A 29-year-old German cellist has walked off with the $20,000 top prize in the Leonard Rose International Cello Competition Saturday evening in College Park, following a final-round performance of the quintessentially British Cello Concerto by Sir Edward Elgar. As part of the award, Niklas Eppinger will also receive a recital at New York's Lincoln Center in the fall, plus two more engagements in the Washington area. The last time the Rose Competition was held, the jury gave no first prize.
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By Tim Smith and Tim Smith,SUN MUSIC CRITIC | November 14, 2001
Elmar Oliveira's recent recital was notable not just for the way he played - rich tone, impeccable intonation and articulation, deeply considered phrasing - but for what he played during the Shriver Hall Concert Series at the Johns Hopkins University. Oliveira, stepping in for an indisposed Pamela Frank, demonstrated aristocratic violin playing Sunday in one of Mozart's less frequently encountered sonatas, and in Edward Elgar and Ernest Bloch sonatas from the corners of the repertoire.
FEATURES
By Tim Smith and Tim Smith,SUN MUSIC CRITIC | June 4, 2001
A 29-year-old German cellist has walked off with the $20,000 top prize in the Leonard Rose International Cello Competition Saturday evening in College Park, following a final-round performance of the quintessentially British Cello Concerto by Sir Edward Elgar. As part of the award, Niklas Eppinger will also receive a recital at New York's Lincoln Center in the fall, plus two more engagements in the Washington area. The last time the Rose Competition was held, the jury gave no first prize.
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