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August 12, 2009

Attend a Verbier Festival concert for free -- at your computer

Some very cool musical things show up online, as you know, and I'm not just talking about YouTube (although there's enough classical treasure on that site to occupy months of viewing). I just came across what seems too good to be true -- live concerts from the high-profile Verbier Festival in Switzerland, available for free viewing through August.

As I write this, I'm still in the midst of an hour-plus, crisply filmed and warmly recorded performance by Vadim Repin, Mischa Maisky and Lang Lang, the latter not particularly known for doing chamber music. Their program is Rachmaninoff's Trio élégiaque and Tchaikovsky's mighty A minor Trio. I'm quite impressed with the ...

tightness and expressive vitality of the playing (and I just minimize the screen whenever Lang Lang's trademark bouncing around gets to be too much).

DG, which will release a studio recording on Oct. 20., has teamed with Medici TV to make a video stream of this concert available on the Web until Aug. 31. Although I haven't had time to explore the other Verbier performances that, apparently, are likewise available for viewing this month, they look very appetizing: a recital by Yuja Wang, and portions of the Brahms Violins Concerto with Repin and a Don Giovanni with Rene Pape. Click here for your free journey to this very tony festival.

Posted by Tim Smith at 4:28 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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