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By Tim Smith and Tim Smith,SUN MUSIC CRITIC | October 6, 2001
Anti-Semitism never came up against a more determined foe than Dmitri Shostakovich. This Gentile composer had an instinctive and lifelong aversion to that mindset, so prevalent in his Russian homeland. He also had an uncanny appreciation for Jewish music, its ambiguities and "ability to project radically different emotions simultaneously," to quote Shostakovich scholar Laurel E. Fay. So when he came across a collection of Jewish folk poems published in Russian translation in 1948, Shostakovich could set them to music that was thoroughly his own, yet extraordinarily idiomatic.
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By Tim Smith, The Baltimore Sun | February 20, 2013
Vocal recitals are rare enough in Baltimore that even a program of familiar lieder would qualify as a novelty. A program of way-off-the-beaten-path songs? That's beyond cool. Magdalena Kozena, the high-profile, Czech mezzo-soprano, and her equally high-profile accompanist, the Russian-born, Israeli-American pianist Yefim Bronfman, chose a fascinating sample of repertoire for their recital Sunday night presented by the  Shriver Hall Concert Series . Four of the five composers on the bill came from the mainstream, but the works selected for this occasion did not.  In Mussorgsky's song cycle "The Nursery," which evokes the alternately animated, awed and mischievous mindset of a child, Kozena offered an abundance of colorful vocal touches -- even a nose-thumbing gesture for good measure.
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ENTERTAINMENT
By Karen Keys | February 17, 2000
Jon Marans' "Old Wicked Songs" makes its Baltimore premiere at Theatre Hopkins tomorrow. Set in Vienna during Kurt Waldheim's 1986 campaign to become president of Austria, the 1996 Pulitzer Prize-contender traces the relationship between a young American concert pianist and his elderly professor. The play, starring Stephen Antonsen and Robert Riggs, also examines the emotional charge of music, and uses Robert Schumann's song cycle the "Dichterliebe" ("The Poet's Love") as a framework for the story.
NEWS
October 19, 2012
Sunday, Oct. 21 Festival The annual West River Heritage Day Oyster Festival will be held from 12:30 p.m. to 5 p.m. at the Captain Salem Avery House Museum, 1418 E. West Shady Side Road. The event features children's activities, arts and crafts, food and music by Tim and Savannah Finch, the Eastman String Band, Calico Jack, Sour Notes, the Coastal Flats, and Gary Harmon and Andy Garte. At the end of the day, the winner of the $5,000 raffle, sponsored by the museum, will be drawn. Admission is $6; free for children 12 and younger.
FEATURES
By Tim Smith and Tim Smith,SUN MUSIC CRITIC | November 11, 2003
It's a two-syllable German word that sends some music lovers toward ecstasy - and others toward exits. The word is lieder, defined, broadly speaking, as "songs" - specifically, German poetry set to music for solo voice and piano. But lieder means so much more than that. The imagination, sensitivity, insight and emotional breadth that characterize the lieder of Franz Schubert, Robert Schumann, Johannes Brahms, Hugo Wolf, Gustav Mahler and Richard Strauss can transport the willing listener on a first-class flight to where the air is rare.
NEWS
By Stephen Wigler and Stephen Wigler,SUN MUSIC CRITIC | December 17, 1995
Andre Previn, "Honey and Rue," Samuel Barber, "Knoxville: Summer of 1915," and George Gershwin, "I Loves You, Porgy" and "Summertime," performed by Kathleen Battle and the Orchestra of St. Luke's, Previn conducting (Deutsche Grammophon 437 787-2)The major interest here is Previn's "Honey and Rue," a song cycle specifically written for Battle and on which the composer collaborated with the poet and novelist Toni Morrison.This is a wonderful cycle with a splendid text. Morrison's poems have an aura made up equally of earthiness and ethereal beauty.
FEATURES
By Stephen Wigler and Stephen Wigler,SUN MUSIC CRITIC | December 4, 1995
Many people perform Russian music badly; even more listen to it unintelligently. Some members of the audience for Dmitry Hvorostovsky's recital of songs by Rachmaninoff and Georgi Sviridov at the Kennedy Center Friday complained about the absence of Schubert, Schumann or Brahms.It may be that Russian music is predominantly sad. But the young baritone's superb singing demonstrated that, within their gloomy frame of reference, these songs had enormous range and emotional precision. In Rachmaninoff's "Night," Hvorostovsky created an atmosphere of free-floating melancholy.
ENTERTAINMENT
By Edward Gunts, Sarah Kickler Kelber, Mary Carole McCauley, Rashod D. Ollison, Tim Smith and Michael Sragow | February 26, 2009
POP MUSIC Singing jazz Kurt Elling is one of the most daring male vocalists working in jazz today. A sharply intelligent stylist with an expansive range, he pays tribute to Johnny Hartman and John Coltrane in a show of graceful standards at 9:30 p.m. Saturday at the Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts, 2700 F St. N.W., Washington. Tickets are $30. Call 800-444-1324 or 202-467-4600 or go to kennedy-center.org. FILM At the Charles You've seen the winners of America's Oscars; now take a chance on the movie that won four top Cesar Awards (the French Oscars)
ENTERTAINMENT
By Tim Smith, The Baltimore Sun | February 20, 2013
Vocal recitals are rare enough in Baltimore that even a program of familiar lieder would qualify as a novelty. A program of way-off-the-beaten-path songs? That's beyond cool. Magdalena Kozena, the high-profile, Czech mezzo-soprano, and her equally high-profile accompanist, the Russian-born, Israeli-American pianist Yefim Bronfman, chose a fascinating sample of repertoire for their recital Sunday night presented by the  Shriver Hall Concert Series . Four of the five composers on the bill came from the mainstream, but the works selected for this occasion did not.  In Mussorgsky's song cycle "The Nursery," which evokes the alternately animated, awed and mischievous mindset of a child, Kozena offered an abundance of colorful vocal touches -- even a nose-thumbing gesture for good measure.
NEWS
October 19, 2012
Sunday, Oct. 21 Festival The annual West River Heritage Day Oyster Festival will be held from 12:30 p.m. to 5 p.m. at the Captain Salem Avery House Museum, 1418 E. West Shady Side Road. The event features children's activities, arts and crafts, food and music by Tim and Savannah Finch, the Eastman String Band, Calico Jack, Sour Notes, the Coastal Flats, and Gary Harmon and Andy Garte. At the end of the day, the winner of the $5,000 raffle, sponsored by the museum, will be drawn. Admission is $6; free for children 12 and younger.
NEWS
By Janene Holzberg and Janene Holzberg,Special to The Baltimore Sun | June 7, 2009
As she was setting love poems from different eras to music, Paula Diesel Farina kept one thing in mind: Never end a concert on a mournful note. A music teacher, singer and amateur composer, Farina had written music for a pair of contrasting pieces of poetry, one about first love and the other about the torment love can bring. "In the second one, 'Love is a Sickness,' the left hand plays this thumping heartbeat that you desperately wish would stop," she said, referring to the elegiac piano accompaniment.
ENTERTAINMENT
By Edward Gunts, Sarah Kickler Kelber, Mary Carole McCauley, Rashod D. Ollison, Tim Smith and Michael Sragow | February 26, 2009
POP MUSIC Singing jazz Kurt Elling is one of the most daring male vocalists working in jazz today. A sharply intelligent stylist with an expansive range, he pays tribute to Johnny Hartman and John Coltrane in a show of graceful standards at 9:30 p.m. Saturday at the Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts, 2700 F St. N.W., Washington. Tickets are $30. Call 800-444-1324 or 202-467-4600 or go to kennedy-center.org. FILM At the Charles You've seen the winners of America's Oscars; now take a chance on the movie that won four top Cesar Awards (the French Oscars)
FEATURES
By Tim Smith and Tim Smith,SUN MUSIC CRITIC | November 11, 2003
It's a two-syllable German word that sends some music lovers toward ecstasy - and others toward exits. The word is lieder, defined, broadly speaking, as "songs" - specifically, German poetry set to music for solo voice and piano. But lieder means so much more than that. The imagination, sensitivity, insight and emotional breadth that characterize the lieder of Franz Schubert, Robert Schumann, Johannes Brahms, Hugo Wolf, Gustav Mahler and Richard Strauss can transport the willing listener on a first-class flight to where the air is rare.
FEATURES
By Tim Smith and Tim Smith,SUN MUSIC CRITIC | October 6, 2001
Anti-Semitism never came up against a more determined foe than Dmitri Shostakovich. This Gentile composer had an instinctive and lifelong aversion to that mindset, so prevalent in his Russian homeland. He also had an uncanny appreciation for Jewish music, its ambiguities and "ability to project radically different emotions simultaneously," to quote Shostakovich scholar Laurel E. Fay. So when he came across a collection of Jewish folk poems published in Russian translation in 1948, Shostakovich could set them to music that was thoroughly his own, yet extraordinarily idiomatic.
ENTERTAINMENT
By Karen Keys | February 17, 2000
Jon Marans' "Old Wicked Songs" makes its Baltimore premiere at Theatre Hopkins tomorrow. Set in Vienna during Kurt Waldheim's 1986 campaign to become president of Austria, the 1996 Pulitzer Prize-contender traces the relationship between a young American concert pianist and his elderly professor. The play, starring Stephen Antonsen and Robert Riggs, also examines the emotional charge of music, and uses Robert Schumann's song cycle the "Dichterliebe" ("The Poet's Love") as a framework for the story.
NEWS
By Stephen Wigler and Stephen Wigler,SUN MUSIC CRITIC | December 17, 1995
Andre Previn, "Honey and Rue," Samuel Barber, "Knoxville: Summer of 1915," and George Gershwin, "I Loves You, Porgy" and "Summertime," performed by Kathleen Battle and the Orchestra of St. Luke's, Previn conducting (Deutsche Grammophon 437 787-2)The major interest here is Previn's "Honey and Rue," a song cycle specifically written for Battle and on which the composer collaborated with the poet and novelist Toni Morrison.This is a wonderful cycle with a splendid text. Morrison's poems have an aura made up equally of earthiness and ethereal beauty.
ENTERTAINMENT
By Stephen Wigler and Stephen Wigler,Sun Music Critic | October 5, 1990
Hard as it may be to believe, last night's Baltimore Symphony Orchestra concert in Meyerhoff Hall was the occasion for the first BSO performance of one of the most moving orchestral song cycles of the 20th century: Benjamin Britten's Serenade for Tenor,Horn and Strings.In 1943 Britten called this setting of six poems -- all concerned with aspects of dusk, night, sleep or death -- "not important stuff, but quite pleasant, I think." That must be what they mean by British understatement.The composer takes great poems by Tennyson, Blake and others and makes them even greater.
NEWS
By Janene Holzberg and Janene Holzberg,Special to The Baltimore Sun | June 7, 2009
As she was setting love poems from different eras to music, Paula Diesel Farina kept one thing in mind: Never end a concert on a mournful note. A music teacher, singer and amateur composer, Farina had written music for a pair of contrasting pieces of poetry, one about first love and the other about the torment love can bring. "In the second one, 'Love is a Sickness,' the left hand plays this thumping heartbeat that you desperately wish would stop," she said, referring to the elegiac piano accompaniment.
FEATURES
By Stephen Wigler and Stephen Wigler,SUN MUSIC CRITIC | December 4, 1995
Many people perform Russian music badly; even more listen to it unintelligently. Some members of the audience for Dmitry Hvorostovsky's recital of songs by Rachmaninoff and Georgi Sviridov at the Kennedy Center Friday complained about the absence of Schubert, Schumann or Brahms.It may be that Russian music is predominantly sad. But the young baritone's superb singing demonstrated that, within their gloomy frame of reference, these songs had enormous range and emotional precision. In Rachmaninoff's "Night," Hvorostovsky created an atmosphere of free-floating melancholy.
ENTERTAINMENT
By Stephen Wigler and Stephen Wigler,Sun Music Critic | October 5, 1990
Hard as it may be to believe, last night's Baltimore Symphony Orchestra concert in Meyerhoff Hall was the occasion for the first BSO performance of one of the most moving orchestral song cycles of the 20th century: Benjamin Britten's Serenade for Tenor,Horn and Strings.In 1943 Britten called this setting of six poems -- all concerned with aspects of dusk, night, sleep or death -- "not important stuff, but quite pleasant, I think." That must be what they mean by British understatement.The composer takes great poems by Tennyson, Blake and others and makes them even greater.
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