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By Tim Smith, The Baltimore Sun | February 20, 2013
The last pope to take the name Benedict, before the one who made history this month announcing plans to retire, assumed his duties a few weeks after the outbreak of World War I. As Christmas 1914 approached, Benedict XV, who described the war as “the suicide of Europe,” pleaded for a Christmas truce. The military leaders refused, but somehow, at several points along the trenches, a surreal cease-fire broke out anyway. That short, peaceful spell inspired the 2005 film “Joyeux Noel,” which focused on the experiences of some Scottish, French and German troops on a battlefield in Belgium.
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By Tim Smith, The Baltimore Sun | February 20, 2013
The last pope to take the name Benedict, before the one who made history this month announcing plans to retire, assumed his duties a few weeks after the outbreak of World War I. As Christmas 1914 approached, Benedict XV, who described the war as “the suicide of Europe,” pleaded for a Christmas truce. The military leaders refused, but somehow, at several points along the trenches, a surreal cease-fire broke out anyway. That short, peaceful spell inspired the 2005 film “Joyeux Noel,” which focused on the experiences of some Scottish, French and German troops on a battlefield in Belgium.
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NEWS
By John Rivera and John Rivera,SUN STAFF | December 24, 1998
In churches across Maryland tonight, as lights dim and candles glow, the soft harmonies of choir voices will fill sanctuaries with the strains of a carol welcoming the birth of Christ.Holiday anxieties will melt away as worshipers sing what is for so many the high point of the Christmas Eve service:Silent night, holy night, all is calm, all is bright."Stille Nacht," a poem penned by a Austrian priest and set to music by a schoolteacher, was first performed at a Christmas Eve service 180 years ago tonight.
FEATURES
By Chris Kaltenbach, The Baltimore Sun | December 26, 2012
Ed Reed had plenty of Christmas spirit this year, judging by a video of him singing “Silent Night” that was posted this month. The clip was reportedly made Dec. 2, during a karaoke party just hours after the Ravens were defeated by the Pittsburgh Steelers, 23-20. The video shows the Ravens safety and likely NFL Hall-of-Famer dressed in a three-piece suit and showing off a sometimes-shaky falsetto. Among the pack of fellow singers is tackle Bryant McKinnie, providing backup, moral support and a giant, striped cardigan.  Clearly, both the Ravens players and everyone else in the bar, identified as Supano's Steakhouse downtown (“Supano's knows how to throw a party,” one poster comments unnecessarily)
ENTERTAINMENT
By Tim Smith and Tim Smith,Sun Music Critic | December 24, 2000
It came upon a Midnight Mass, when the snow-draped Austrian countryside in solemn stillness lay, that the organ of St. Nicholas' Church in the quaint little riverside village of Oberndorf was kaput. It was Christmas Eve, exactly 182 years ago today. Mice had chewed through some of the instrument's innards, and the assistant pastor, the Rev. Joseph Mohr, was anxious to find some sort of substitute music for the service. He happened to be a decent guitarist, so all he needed was a song to play.
NEWS
By Garrison Keillor | December 16, 2009
I 've just come from Cambridge, that beehive of brilliance, where nerds don't feel self-conscious: There's always someone nerdier nearby. If you are the World's Leading Authority on the mating habits of the jabberwock beetle of the Lesser Jujube Archipelago, you can take comfort in knowing that the pinch-faced drone next to you at Starbucks may be the W.L.A. on 17th-century Huguenot hymnody or a niche of quantum physics that is understood by nobody but himself. People in Cambridge learn to be wary of brilliance, having seen geniuses in the throes of deep thought step into potholes and disappear.
NEWS
By Leon L. Lerner | February 12, 1991
In this temple of sound,the sounds are speechless speech,the sounds are feeling tones that feel,joined choirs of sound that singtheir messagesinto hushed faces, into the insides oflistening flesh, touched motionlessby sound:within these rhyming walls,inside this shell that rolls in curvingeloquence,beneath the forceful thrust of circlingline on line.To hear such themes as dreamersdream,or clutch wild, giant seas,or smell clean, tumbling air,or laugh at crashing waterfalls,or scream at silent night,inspires the new, allows the old to be.Hearing such themes, we meltin ecstasy.
FEATURES
By STEPHEN KIEHL and STEPHEN KIEHL,SUN REPORTER | December 12, 2005
You've heard Frank Sinatra sing it. Bing Crosby and Andy Williams, too. But, hon, you've never heard a "Silent Night" like this. The Charm City Warblers -- a group of three Baltimore natives now working as musicians in Los Angeles -- have recorded a "Silent Night" in the thickest Bawlmerese this side of a John Waters movie. They've also recorded "The 12 Days of Christmas" Baltimore-style ("12 Preakness ponies, 11 fried tomatoes, 10 Bertha's mussels" and so on). "Baltimoreans are really proud of that accent and the colloquialisms and the things that identify their city, and I just thought that people would get a kick out of it," said Harry Orlove, who formed the group.
FEATURES
By Seattle Times | November 17, 1991
With the holidays approaching, it must be time for a killer Santa Claus movie.What would November be without a new video installment in the "Silent Night, Deadly Night" series?The first of these seasonal thrillers caused an uproar in theaters in the mid-1980s, but the series has since found a welcoming home on cassette. "Silent Night, Deadly Night 5: The Toy Maker," released earlier this month, even boasts Mickey Rooney as part of its cast. This one's about toys that come alive to torment a lone mute boy during the holidays.
ENTERTAINMENT
By Tim Smith and Matthew Hay Brown, The Baltimore Sun | April 16, 2012
Kevin Puts, a composer who teaches at the Peabody Institute in Baltimore, won the Pulitzer Prize in music Monday for his first opera. Puts, a member of the Peabody faculty since 2006, was honored for "Silent Night," a two-act work commissioned by the Minnesota Opera. "I'm still in a state of shock, and I'm trying to get my bearings," the composer said from Minneapolis, where "Silent Night" premiered in November. "It is an enormous thrill. " The opera was inspired by the 2005 film "Joyeux Noel," about the unofficial cease-fire that emerged spontaneously during Christmas 1914, when British, French and German troops socialized during a brief respite before the trench warfare resumed.
ENTERTAINMENT
By Tim Smith, The Baltimore Sun | June 2, 2012
There are unexpected perks that can come with receiving a Pulitzer Prize, as composer Kevin Puts discovered last Tuesday. "It was 'Kevin Puts Day' here," he said by phone from his home in Yonkers, N.Y. "There was a nice ceremony with the mayor. I got a plaque. I never had a day named after me. " Puts, a Peabody Institute faculty member since 2006, won the Pulitzer for "Silent Night," an opera about the unauthorized Christmas truce in the midst of World War I, when troops from both sides of the trenches emerged to celebrate Christmas together before the killing resumed.
ENTERTAINMENT
By Tim Smith and Matthew Hay Brown, The Baltimore Sun | April 16, 2012
Kevin Puts, a composer who teaches at the Peabody Institute in Baltimore, won the Pulitzer Prize in music Monday for his first opera. Puts, a member of the Peabody faculty since 2006, was honored for "Silent Night," a two-act work commissioned by the Minnesota Opera. "I'm still in a state of shock, and I'm trying to get my bearings," the composer said from Minneapolis, where "Silent Night" premiered in November. "It is an enormous thrill. " The opera was inspired by the 2005 film "Joyeux Noel," about the unofficial cease-fire that emerged spontaneously during Christmas 1914, when British, French and German troops socialized during a brief respite before the trench warfare resumed.
NEWS
By Garrison Keillor | December 16, 2009
I've just come from Cambridge, that beehive of brilliance, where nerds don't feel self-conscious: There's always someone nerdier nearby. If you are the World's Leading Authority on the mating habits of the jabberwock beetle of the Lesser Jujube Archipelago, you can take comfort in knowing that the pinch-faced drone next to you at Starbucks may be the W.L.A. on 17th-century Huguenot hymnody or a niche of quantum physics that is understood by nobody but himself. People in Cambridge learn to be wary of brilliance, having seen geniuses in the throes of deep thought step into potholes and disappear.
NEWS
By JACQUES KELLY | December 24, 2005
If I'm energetic on a Dec. 24th night, I'll take in several churches, and by no means will they all be Roman Catholic. I've got friends who sing in choirs all over the place. Why not hear as much live Christmas music as possible in a city where there seems to be a church on very corner? I have no set routine for the midnight Mass except that I prefer one that truly commences at that hour. Earlier in the evening, I'll be at the old Guilford Avenue house with my extended family, and once the noise quiets, I'll slip out into a December night in search lighted beeswax candles and four-alarm incense.
FEATURES
By TIM SMITH and TIM SMITH,SUN MUSIC CRITIC | December 15, 2005
With an uncommonly radiant voice and the kind of glamour that glossy magazines love, Renee Fleming has been a certified opera star for more than a decade. But Baltimore didn't get an opportunity to bathe in her glow until Tuesday night, when the soprano made an overdue debut before a large, demonstrative and miraculously cough-free audience at the Meyerhoff Symphony Hall. Presented and backed by the Baltimore Symphony Orchestra, with Houston Grand Opera music director Patrick Summers conducting, Fleming offered a sampling from her newest CD, Sacred Songs, and a generous helping of Christmas favorites.
NEWS
By CAL THOMAS | December 14, 2005
ARLINGTON, VA. -- The effort by some cable TV hosts and ministers to force commercial establishments into wishing everyone a "Merry Christmas" might be more objectionable to the one who is the reason for the season than the "Happy Holidays" mantra required by some store managers. I have never understood why so many Christians feel the need to see and hear "Merry Christmas" proclaimed to them at stores by people who might not believe its central message. While TV personalities, junk mail letters and some of the ordained bemoan the increasing secularization of culture, perhaps some teaching might be helpful from the one in whose behalf they claim to speak.
FEATURES
By TIM SMITH and TIM SMITH,SUN MUSIC CRITIC | December 15, 2005
With an uncommonly radiant voice and the kind of glamour that glossy magazines love, Renee Fleming has been a certified opera star for more than a decade. But Baltimore didn't get an opportunity to bathe in her glow until Tuesday night, when the soprano made an overdue debut before a large, demonstrative and miraculously cough-free audience at the Meyerhoff Symphony Hall. Presented and backed by the Baltimore Symphony Orchestra, with Houston Grand Opera music director Patrick Summers conducting, Fleming offered a sampling from her newest CD, Sacred Songs, and a generous helping of Christmas favorites.
FEATURES
By STEPHEN KIEHL and STEPHEN KIEHL,SUN REPORTER | December 12, 2005
You've heard Frank Sinatra sing it. Bing Crosby and Andy Williams, too. But, hon, you've never heard a "Silent Night" like this. The Charm City Warblers -- a group of three Baltimore natives now working as musicians in Los Angeles -- have recorded a "Silent Night" in the thickest Bawlmerese this side of a John Waters movie. They've also recorded "The 12 Days of Christmas" Baltimore-style ("12 Preakness ponies, 11 fried tomatoes, 10 Bertha's mussels" and so on). "Baltimoreans are really proud of that accent and the colloquialisms and the things that identify their city, and I just thought that people would get a kick out of it," said Harry Orlove, who formed the group.
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