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May 15, 2009

Next dose of anti-recession musical medication

Seems like a good time to take another dose of music for whatever ails you -- the big, bleak picture of the global economy, deeply personal ramifications thereof, or just the pressures of everyday stuff (especially on a glum Friday here in B'more).

So, sit back, close your eyes (there's no real video anyway, just some still photos) and drink in this glorious, still-unmatched 1960s performance of Rachmaninoff's Vocalise, performed by soprano Anna Moffo and conducted by Leopold Stokowski. The only possible side-effect of this medication is that you may not want to come back to reality after taking it.


Posted by Tim Smith at 8:49 AM | | Comments (1)


Quite possibly my favorite version of the Vocalise ever. Such a fantastic voice.

And quite possibly Moffo's finest moment in the recording studio. The breath control alone makes it a winner. I love Stokie's tempo, too. Those were the days.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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