by Jarrett Hoffman
At 8:00 pm, WCLV’s “Ovations” will feature the Cleveland Chamber Choir in a rebroadcast of the ensemble’s “Madrigals of All Seasons” concert from May and selections from their recent CD, I Sing to Use the Waiting.
More details about that and many other events from around the globe can be found in our Concert Listings.
NEW SEASON FROM LD:
Les Délices has announced its 2021-22 Concert Series, Until Sky Above. Of the five programs, the first three will be available exclusively in the virtual realm — on the streaming service Marquee TV — while the final two will receive in-person performances followed by virtual releases. Plus, the SalonEra series will continue with twelve episodes (details coming later this summer).
Subscriptions will go on sale here starting August 15. Single tickets for all virtual concerts will be available via Marquee TV, while single tickets for local, live performances in February and April 2022 will go on sale in the fall.
Click here for dates and details about the Concert Series, from “Song of Orpheus” (music by Rameau, Courbois, and a new work by Jonathan Woody) to “Winds of Change” (music from the Revolutionary Age and a new work by Sydney Guillaume), “The Highland Lassie” (music from 18th-century Scotland), “Of Gods & Heroes” (Medieval song), and “The White Cat” (a fairytale Baroque opera pastiche).
Curious about the beautiful images above? They’re silkscreen monoprints that Les Délices commissioned from Cleveland-based artist Jen Craun to capture the series’ overarching theme (top left) and each successive program (continuing clockwise).
CCGS CREATIVE FUSION:
Over 100 people from Cleveland and Mexico participated in the next video in the Cleveland Classical Guitar Society’s Creative Fusion series: Anastasia Sonaranda’s arrangement of the traditional Mexican song La Llorana. The arrangement includes original poetry by Irma Pineda Santiago written in the indigenous Zapoteco language, recited by the poet and sung by Martha Toledo Mar. Watch here.
A quartet of Ohioans and a premiere in Cleveland provide a fitting place to begin on this date in music history.
Those four musicians are all blowing out candles. The first two, both conductors, do so from the grave: John Finley Williamson (born in Canton in 1887), who founded the Westminster Choir School, and James Levine (Cincinnati, 1943), who served as longtime music director of the Metropolitan Opera until being terminated over sexual misconduct allegations.
The other two are both vocalists with operatic credits at renowned stages worldwide, and are still with us: Heldentenor William Cochran (Columbus, 1943) and two-time Grammy-winning soprano Sylvia McNair (Mansfield, 1956), who it should be noted has also successfully transitioned into Broadway and jazz over the past twenty years.
And harpsichordist Elaine Comparone (above) gave the premiere of Vincent Persichetti’s Harpsichord Sonata No. 2 on this date in 1982 in Cleveland. Further documentation about that performance doesn’t seem to exist, but some combination of that piece and that performer seems to have kicked off a spur of enthusiasm for the harpsichord from Persichetti.
He focused his energies around that instrument for the remainder of his life: seven more sonatas followed (the third one written for Comparone), as well as four other works for harpsichord. (The First Sonata is a total outlier, having arrived in 1951.)
Modern works for this “old” instrument — basically left for dead in the 19th century with the development of the fortepiano and piano before experiencing a resurgence — can be absolutely fascinating, and Persichetti’s Second Sonata is no exception. Listen to Comparone’s recording of it here.
Other notable names who grace this date in history include German composer Carl Reinecke (born June 23, 1984), American singer and actress Geraldine Ulmar (born on June 23, 1862), who was known for her Gilbert & Sullivan performances, English folk music and dance collector Cecil Sharp (died on this date in 1924), and Seattle-based pop-classical-crossover composer, pianist, and violinist Jennifer Thomas, who turns 44 today.
Watch the music video for Thomas’s piece The Fire Within, where she faces off with Kimberly StarKey (a.k.a. “The Rogue Pianist”) on a pair of Yamahas. Concerned about the instrument that’s seen engulfed in flames in the desert, whether out of principle, or for the sake of Thomas’s Yamaha sponsorship? No need.
“The piano that was burned was my old Behr Brothers grand piano that I used in three of my other music videos,” Thomas writes in the caption to the video. “It was terribly damaged and had seen its day…A lot of people asked me if I was going to turn it into a table piece, or a garden ornament. I said, ‘No, I think I’m going to set it on fire.’”