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December 28, 2012

Some music to help prepare for falling off the fiscal cliff

As a public service -- because that's the sort of caring, sharing person I am -- I thought I would offer some appropriate music to help you brace yourself for the plunge off the "fiscal cliff."

(If such a horrid fate is magically avoided at the last minute, this is still worth a listen.)

Here is the finale of Alfredo Catalani's "La Wally," an under-appreciated opera from 1892 that just happens to end with an avalanche (don't ask) that sweeps the tenor off an Alpine peak to his death, which upsets the soprano no end, so she, naturally, leaps after him. Perfect fiscal cliff-plunging music, if you ask me.

Sorry there's no visual to go with this clip, but the sound effects are good enough to let you know exactly when the fatal denouement arrives for the opera's hapless couple. Feel free to imagine certain politicians joining them:

Posted by Tim Smith at 5:18 AM | | Comments (1)
Categories: Clef Notes


Totally stunned that the Sun did not cover or even mention the remarakable colloboartion between the BSO, MICA, Baltmore Scool for the Arts and the Lyric in last weeks nearly sold out performances of the Nutcracker. Even the haughty Washington Post recoginzed this unique marriage of 4 premier arts groups in a time of fiscal austerity!. (Caveat: I was in it)

Sorry you missed my Sunday article weeks ago that touted the event in print and online, or other plugs (written by others) that ran subsequently.,0,5202712.story -- TS

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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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