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February 29, 2012

Midweek Madness: A Viennese waltz to salute Kennedy Center festival

The Kennedy Center launched its latest festival the other day, "The Music of Budapest, Prague and Vienna," which runs through March 29. Lots of great stuff can be savored, from Mozart's "Cosi fan tutte" to Dvorak's "Stabat Mater" and Bartok's Bluebeard's Castle."

Naturally, with Vienna in the mix, there have to be some waltzes, which will be on the National Symphony's program March 16, conducted by Christoph Eschenbach. One item on that concert is "Voices of Spring." I've been thinking about that particular waltz lately, since spring seems to be coming awfully early this year.

Then I started thinking about ...

the sparkly vocal version of the piece that is occasionally performed by sopranos, and I wondered if I could find an ideal recording. Instead, I ended up with this one, thanks to a couple of thoughtful friends.

So, with apologies to everyone at the Kennedy Center, I could not resist offering it here to herald the Viennese portion of the festival, and to provide another uplifting installment my public service, Midweek Madness:


Posted by Tim Smith at 6:17 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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