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October 28, 2009

Midweek humor break: A 'Bolero' for one cello, four players

As usual, I'm far behind on everything, so I thought I would try to buy a little time before doing a real blog post by distracting you with an off-beat take on Ravel's "Bolero." It's performed on a single, snazzy cello by four presumably normal players. Seems like just the thing for a midweek humor break. (Thanks to the London Symphony Orchestra's Twitter folks for alerting me to this video.)

Now I wonder what these guys could do with a Bruckner scherzo:

Posted by Tim Smith at 10:09 AM | | Comments (2)


Ha! What a bunch of creative ham-bones!!! Actually, I really liked the overall variety of the sound -- that electric cello reminds me of some of the rich string patches Vangelis routinely drew from his Yamaha CS-80 synth (the cornerstone of his classic sounds). You mention attempting Bruckner's scherzos, but the _real_ test (in so many ways, especially of stamina!) would be the later adagios. ;^)

Loved it!! Fun and innovative!
It brings a new meaning to "string quartet".

I wish I had thought of that string quartet line. Thanks. 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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