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July 20, 2011

Midweek Madness: The ultimate performance of a Chopin "Share-zoe"

After some thrilling and/or chilling vocals during the first weeks of Midweek Madness, my humble little blog feature that has already become a global sensation of such proportions that only the Murdoch scandal is keeping it from being covered by major press outlets, I thought it was time for a little change.

So here is a pianistic oldie-but-goodie from the talent portion of the 2000 Miss Texas Pageant. Even if you have thrilled to this audio before, you will surely want to relive the experience of hearing Cindy Elizondo, bless her heart, delivering an incomparable performance of Chopin's B minor Scherzo -- or as they say down Texas way, "Share-zoe."

Now I know what some of you are thinking, that I am being terribly insensitive and unkind and unfair. Well, I can't help it. Like Dame Edna, I was given a precious gift -- the ability to laugh at the misfortunes of others.

So fasten your seat belts. It's "Share-zoe" Time:

Posted by Tim Smith at 6:09 AM | | Comments (2)
Categories: Clef Notes, Midweek Madness


Tim - Thank You! Thank You! That was truly a revelation. It sounded, for the most part, like a herd of small animals (ferrets maybe)on meth were running over the keys, a;though maybe ferrets would have hit more correct notes. Perhaps the definitive rendition of the piece.

It is adorable, isn't it? I think my favorite part (besides the audience's ovation) is the way she manages to squeeze in a little dash of the lyrical theme of the piece for contrast with her astounding attack on the rest. Glad you liked it. TIM

Having heard this many times, I would like to suggest that:
1) We are now becoming aware that bullying is not kind. Maybe we should be aware that bullying can happen in our elite music world as well
2) Perhaps at least one person has heard this who had never heard of Sho-PAN, and the person is now a Chopin fanatic (with lots of money) and will help aspiring young pianists afford to enter real competitions
3 And remember that she does hit those high B's, which Horowitz often missed.

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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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