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November 21, 2008

Messiaen immersion this weekend

If you're a Messiaen fan, this is a great weekend in Baltimore. If you haven't yet explored the composer's mystical, sensual, prismatic and totally incomparable music, this is the perfect opportunity to dive in.

Jonathan Moyers's months-long cycle of performing the complete Messiaen organ music, to honoe the composer's centennial, was alreadly scheduled to wrap up on Sunday with a recital, but the organist has managed to add on to that, creating a mini-Messiaen festival.

At 6:30 p.m. Saturday, he'll give a lecture about the composer at Second Presbyterian Church (4200 Saint Paul St.), leading into an 8 p.m. concert there that includes vocal works and the profound Quartet for the End of Time. (Tickets are $10 and $20.)

On Sunday, the action moves to the Cathedral of Mary Our Queen (5200 N. Charles St.), where Diane Luchese will talk about Messiaen's daunting organ work from the 1980s, Livre du Saint Sacrement, at 4 p.m. The Chandos Singers of the Handel Choir will give a prelude concert of Messiaen works at 5:15, and Moyer will then play the complete, 18-movement Livre du Saint Sacrement at 5:30 (free admission).

Posted by Tim Smith at 6:11 PM | | Comments (0)

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About Tim Smith
Born and raised in Washington, D.C., I couldn't help but develop a keen interest in politics, but music, theater and visual art also proved great attractions. Music became my main focus after high school. I thought about being a cocktail pianist, but I hated taking requests, so I studied music history instead, earning a B.A. in that field from Eisenhower College (Seneca Falls, N.Y.) and an M.A. from Occidental College (Los Angeles). I then landed in journalism. After freelancing for the Washington Post and others, I was classical music critic for the Sun-Sentinel in South Florida, where I also contributed to NPR. I've written for the New York Times, BBC Music Magazine and other publications, and I'm a longtime contributor to Opera News. My book, The NPR Curious Listener's Guide to Classical Music (Perigee, 2002), can be found on the most discerning remainder racks.

I joined the Baltimore Sun as classical music critic in 2000 and, in 2009, also became theater critic, giving me the opportunity to annoy a whole new audience. In 2010, my original Clef Notes blog expanded to encompass a theatrical component -- how could I resist calling it Drama Queens? I hope you'll find both sides of this blog coin worth exploring and reacting to; your own comments are always welcome and valued (well, most of them, at least).

Think of this as your open-all-hours, cyber green room, where there's always a performer or performance to discuss, some news to digest, or maybe just a little good gossip to share.
Note: Tim Smith now writes about the fine arts at This blog will be kept in place as an archive for an indefinite period. Please visit the new location to get the latest Mid-Atlantic arts coverage.
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