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October 21, 2011

Second Annual Lieder Weekend at An die Musik explores birth of the genre

The mere thought of art songs -- "lieder," to use the even classier term -- drives some people crazy.

An otherwise brilliant and discerning colleague here at the Sun just laughed wildly when, in answer to his query about which upcoming splendors in Baltimore to catch, I suggested the Second Annual Lieder Weekend at An die Musik. "Ooh, you mean all that 'Erl King' stuff? Never. Never." Poor soul.

Well, OK, lieder isn't for everyone. But for anyone who loves poetry, music, the classically trained voice, and the piano, it's an automatic magnet. And for those who would like to get a better idea of where, how and when lieder emerged as a major art form, this Lieder Weekend offers a great opportunity.

Friday night offers examples by Mozart, Haydn and Tomasek; Schubert is the main focus Saturday and Sunday. (You have to love the idea of a lieder fest held at a place named after a Schubert lied.) The performers are well known in this area for their expressive music-making -- soprano Ah Hong, baritone Ryan de Ryke, pianist Daniel Scholsberg.

To get you in the mood, here is ...

a charming example of what's on tap this weekend: Schubert's "An der Mond," a great example of how the composer could spin a beguiling melody. The singer in this clip is the stylish Siegfried Lorenz:



Posted by Tim Smith at 9:10 AM | | Comments (0)
Categories: Clef Notes

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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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