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War Requiem

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By Tim Smith, The Baltimore Sun | November 15, 2013
The Baltimore Symphony has presented an epic work every few seasons since Marin Alsop started her tenure as music director in 2007, works that seem to bring out the best in her and the orchestra. Such was the case with Leonard Bernstein's "Mass" and Arthur Honegger's "Jeanne d'Arc au bucher. " You can add to that list Benjamin Britten's "War Requiem," presented Thursday night at Meyerhoff Hall, where it will be repeated Friday before moving to Strathmore on Saturday . This nearly 90-minute score for two orchestras, two choruses and three soloists fuses searing texts by World War I poet Wilfred Owen with the traditional Latin Mass for the Dead.
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ENTERTAINMENT
By Tim Smith, The Baltimore Sun | November 15, 2013
The Baltimore Symphony has presented an epic work every few seasons since Marin Alsop started her tenure as music director in 2007, works that seem to bring out the best in her and the orchestra. Such was the case with Leonard Bernstein's "Mass" and Arthur Honegger's "Jeanne d'Arc au bucher. " You can add to that list Benjamin Britten's "War Requiem," presented Thursday night at Meyerhoff Hall, where it will be repeated Friday before moving to Strathmore on Saturday . This nearly 90-minute score for two orchestras, two choruses and three soloists fuses searing texts by World War I poet Wilfred Owen with the traditional Latin Mass for the Dead.
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By Tim Smith and Tim Smith,SUN MUSIC CRITIC | May 7, 2001
There may be a time when Benjamin Britten's "War Requiem" will seem unconnected with reality, a strange reflection on a strange activity. Judging by even a cursory glance at global news today, that time is still ages hence. Although filled with specific imagery from the First World War, the "War Requiem" stands as a lament for - and a rebuke to - all forms of human self-destruction in the name of God or flag, in times past, present and to come. Its provocative power was reaffirmed Saturday night at the Kennedy Center in a performance by the National Symphony Orchestra, two choirs and three eloquent soloists, led by Leonard Slatkin.
ENTERTAINMENT
By Tim Smith, The Baltimore Sun | November 9, 2013
At the 11th hour on Nov. 11, 1918, "the monstrous anger of the guns" and "the stuttering rifles' rapid rattle" - to quote two of poet Wilfred Owen's indelible phrases - finally subsided. The First World War, the one to end all wars, was over. The silence probably would not have impressed Owen, a lieutenant in the British army. He had already written about the way soldiers "walked quite friendly up to Death" and "laughed, knowing that better men would come, and greater wars. " The poet, killed by a sniper a week before the Armistice at the age of 25, left behind a collection of searing verses that would become integral to Benjamin Britten's "War Requiem," a 1962 score that combines Owen's words with the text of the Latin Mass for the Dead.
ENTERTAINMENT
By Tim Smith, The Baltimore Sun | November 9, 2013
At the 11th hour on Nov. 11, 1918, "the monstrous anger of the guns" and "the stuttering rifles' rapid rattle" - to quote two of poet Wilfred Owen's indelible phrases - finally subsided. The First World War, the one to end all wars, was over. The silence probably would not have impressed Owen, a lieutenant in the British army. He had already written about the way soldiers "walked quite friendly up to Death" and "laughed, knowing that better men would come, and greater wars. " The poet, killed by a sniper a week before the Armistice at the age of 25, left behind a collection of searing verses that would become integral to Benjamin Britten's "War Requiem," a 1962 score that combines Owen's words with the text of the Latin Mass for the Dead.
ENTERTAINMENT
By Tim Smith and By Tim Smith,Sun Music Critic | March 23, 2003
Music has a long association with war. It used to accompany armies into battle and still gets drafted into morale-boosting service. It can soothe the anxiety and pain of those caught up directly in war, or merely watching from afar. It can challenge the very concept of war, too. Shortly after the long-anticipated conflict in Iraq broke out last week, Baltimore Choral Arts Society director Tom Hall kept hearing two pieces of music in his head. "One was the Donna Nobis Pacem by Vaughan Williams," he said.
FEATURES
By Stephen Wigler | September 8, 1991
One of the best things about living in Baltimore is that you can get to New York in 2 1/2 hours, Washington in 45 minutes and Philadelphia in 75. Here is a sampling of the many concerts in those cities worth making the trip for:WASHINGTON*Nobody plays Mozart's piano concertos better than Murray Perahia, who will perform and conduct three of them (K. 413, 482 and 503) with the Orpheus Chamber Ensemble at the Kennedy Center on Oct. 6.NEW YORK*The great Kurt Masur is the New York Philharmonic's new music director, and his presence has made the orchestra a hot ticket for the first time since the Bernstein era ended more than 20 years ago. One of Masur's greatest strengths is Bruckner, and it's no accident that this composer's mighty Symphony No. 7 -- along with music by John Adams and Aaron Copland -- is featured in the orchestra's first concerts with Masur (Sept.
FEATURES
By Tim Smith and Tim Smith,Sun Music Critic | February 15, 2008
To commemorate in music the human toll of war, any war, is a daunting prospect, involving weighty questions of text and tone, scope and scale. Benjamin Britten's attempt is the best known. He took the massive approach in 1961 with his War Requiem for soloists, multiple choruses and orchestra. It's steeped in references to the 20th century's two world conflicts, but timeless and place-less in its relevance, unmistakable in its anti-war mood. Jonathan Leshnoff followed a much more compact path in creating his Requiem for the Fallen, premiered Wednesday night by the Baltimore Chamber Orchestra and Handel Choir of Baltimore in a welcome collaboration at Goucher College's Kraushaar College (just one performance, unfortunately)
ENTERTAINMENT
By Tim Smith and Tim Smith,SUN MUSIC CRITIC | April 14, 2005
During the course of the next four evenings, the Catholic University of America will be the site of a remarkable examination into one of humankind's most unfortunate activities. "Waging Peace: Music in the Time of War," conceived by Murry Sidlin, dean of the university's school of music and former assistant conductor of the Baltimore Symphony Orchestra, will reflect on conflicts from the Civil War to the Korean War and beyond. The series begins tonight with a program called "Souvenirs," offering popular music that came to be associated with this nation's wars, including "Johnny I Hardly Knew Ye" from the Civil War era; "Over There" from World War I; "The Boogie-Woogie Bugle Boy" from World War II; and songs like "Blowin' in the Wind" that captured opposition sentiment during the Vietnam War. Members of CUA's Musical Theatre Company will be featured in the concert.
FEATURES
By Tim Smith and Tim Smith,SUN MUSIC CRITIC | May 19, 2001
Oscar Wilde observed that the English and the Americans have everything in common except the language. He might also have excepted the music. Folks on these shores have never been wildly fond of most British composers. Other than graduation day, audiences don't go in for a lot of Elgar; Delius and Walton are pretty much fringe composers here, mainstream ones there. Strange. It's not like there's a level of difficulty or lack of melody in their music that makes listening a chore. Maybe it's just some sort of latent resentment over that unpleasantness on these shores in the late 1700s.
FEATURES
By Tim Smith and Tim Smith,Sun Music Critic | February 15, 2008
To commemorate in music the human toll of war, any war, is a daunting prospect, involving weighty questions of text and tone, scope and scale. Benjamin Britten's attempt is the best known. He took the massive approach in 1961 with his War Requiem for soloists, multiple choruses and orchestra. It's steeped in references to the 20th century's two world conflicts, but timeless and place-less in its relevance, unmistakable in its anti-war mood. Jonathan Leshnoff followed a much more compact path in creating his Requiem for the Fallen, premiered Wednesday night by the Baltimore Chamber Orchestra and Handel Choir of Baltimore in a welcome collaboration at Goucher College's Kraushaar College (just one performance, unfortunately)
ENTERTAINMENT
By Tim Smith and By Tim Smith,Sun Music Critic | March 23, 2003
Music has a long association with war. It used to accompany armies into battle and still gets drafted into morale-boosting service. It can soothe the anxiety and pain of those caught up directly in war, or merely watching from afar. It can challenge the very concept of war, too. Shortly after the long-anticipated conflict in Iraq broke out last week, Baltimore Choral Arts Society director Tom Hall kept hearing two pieces of music in his head. "One was the Donna Nobis Pacem by Vaughan Williams," he said.
FEATURES
By Tim Smith and Tim Smith,SUN MUSIC CRITIC | May 7, 2001
There may be a time when Benjamin Britten's "War Requiem" will seem unconnected with reality, a strange reflection on a strange activity. Judging by even a cursory glance at global news today, that time is still ages hence. Although filled with specific imagery from the First World War, the "War Requiem" stands as a lament for - and a rebuke to - all forms of human self-destruction in the name of God or flag, in times past, present and to come. Its provocative power was reaffirmed Saturday night at the Kennedy Center in a performance by the National Symphony Orchestra, two choirs and three eloquent soloists, led by Leonard Slatkin.
FEATURES
By Stephen Wigler | September 8, 1991
One of the best things about living in Baltimore is that you can get to New York in 2 1/2 hours, Washington in 45 minutes and Philadelphia in 75. Here is a sampling of the many concerts in those cities worth making the trip for:WASHINGTON*Nobody plays Mozart's piano concertos better than Murray Perahia, who will perform and conduct three of them (K. 413, 482 and 503) with the Orpheus Chamber Ensemble at the Kennedy Center on Oct. 6.NEW YORK*The great Kurt Masur is the New York Philharmonic's new music director, and his presence has made the orchestra a hot ticket for the first time since the Bernstein era ended more than 20 years ago. One of Masur's greatest strengths is Bruckner, and it's no accident that this composer's mighty Symphony No. 7 -- along with music by John Adams and Aaron Copland -- is featured in the orchestra's first concerts with Masur (Sept.
ENTERTAINMENT
By Tim Smith, The Baltimore Sun | March 1, 2013
There's a light and dark theme running through the Baltimore Symphony Orchestra's 2013-2014 season, which includes works dealing with great loss, as well as great compassion. “Sometimes through tragedy, whether a world war or a personal loss, the beauty of humanity comes out in art,” said BSO music director Marin Alsop. “Great art brings us together in a very authentic and pure way.”    The season will feature Benjamin Britten's large-scale, profoundly moving “War Requiem” from 1962, written for the reconsecration of England's Coventry Cathedral, destroyed in 1940 by bombing.
BUSINESS
By TOM PETERS | February 21, 1994
The arts can learn from business. But business can learn from the arts, too, especially with creativity taking on increasing commercial importance.Consider five lessons from the arts section of the Jan. 25, 1994 New York Times:* 1. Success breeds failure. The lead story discussed the travails of the Sundance Film Festival, started by Robert Redford to tout exciting, low-budget films that get short shrift from Hollywood's high-powered distributors. Trouble is, the festival's success has turned it into a showcase for the establishment; huge studios have started using Sundance to market high-budget releases.
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