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December 24, 2008

Holiday escape, and the indelible sounds of Streisand

Dear cyber readers: I've managed to escape for a few days, so please forgive any dearth of postings before the new year. Meanwhile, have a great holiday.

And if you're looking for musical ways to enjoy the holiday spirit, after all the Messiah performances and Leroy Anderson goodies, don't forget to relax with the best holiday album of them all (IMO), Barbra Streisand's A Christmas Album from about 1966. Her "Silent Night" remains without peer for sheer beauty and expressive depth, and her poignant "I Wonder as I Wander" leaves an indelible mark as well. Then there's her de-construction of "Jingle Bells" -- still a hoot after all these years. Christmas is never complete unless I get to bathe in the sound of this vintage Streisand collection.


Posted by Tim Smith at 11:45 AM | | Comments (2)


Not really a posting... but Merry Christmas and thanks for your music reviews and articles, much appreciated!

Thanks for the thanks.Tim

With you and the Lady Elizabeth away, maybe the Sun could do a short-term rental on the desk and make a couple of bucks.

Excellent idea. GIven the number of empty desks, unrelated to holiday leave, there could be some long-term rentals, too.Tim

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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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