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October 26, 2012

On the Record: Elina Duni Quartet, which plays Baltimore Sunday

One of the more intriguing CDs to cross my desk lately is "Matane Malit" ("Beyond the Mountain"), from the Elina Duni Quartet, released on the ECM label.

Duni is an Albanian singer who puts a seductive, jazzy spin on songs from her country, backed by the sophisticated talents of pianist Colin Vallon, bassist Patrice Moret and drummer Norbert Pfammatter.

The distinctive sound of the language has its own musical quality as the warm-voiced Duni burrows into each melody and spins out vibrantly nuanced phrasing.

The quartet visits Baltimore this weekend to give a concert (8 p.m. Sunday) in an ideally intimate space for these performers -- An die Musik. Ought to be a great way to spend the eve of the "Frankenstorm" apparently heading our way.

Here's a brief video about the new CD:

Posted by Tim Smith at 3:57 PM | | 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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