by Mike Telin
On Wednesday, December 3rd I found myself in an odd situation – I wasn’t scheduled to attend any concerts, yet I had the urge to hear some live classical music. Checking our concert calendar, I discovered two interesting, and best of all, free concerts in University Circle.
First stop, the Cleveland Museum of Art. On the first Wednesday of each month at 6:00 pm, the museum presents concerts in the galleries featuring musicians from the Cleveland Institute of Music and CIM’s joint program with Case Western Reserve University’s early and baroque music programs. This one featured students from CIM. The one-hour program began with a splendid performance of the “Grave” and “Fuga” movements from Bach’s Violin Sonata No. 2 in A minor performed by violist Christine Wu.
After some very fast furniture moving, the Tramonto Quartet – Katelyn Lyons and Jessica Lyons, violins, Joseph Grof, viola and Sean Lv, cello – presented a completely engaging during the second movement, Andante, from Schubert’s Quartet No. 13, “Rosamunde.”
The Belka Quartet – Beatrice Hsieh and Charles Gleason, violins, Matthew Geise, viola and Daniel Blumhard – gave a well-balanced and emotionally gripping performance of the first movement, Allegro Moderato, from the String Quartet No. 2 in D major by Borodin.
For me, it’s always a pleasure to hear the music of Dvorak. The Empatia Quartet – Genevieve Smelser and Rachel Stenzel, violins Amber Wong, viola and Rachael Lemna, cello – did not disappoint in the performance of the Finale from his Quartet No, 13 in G.
The program ended as it began, with the music of Bach. Cellist Chen Chen’s thoughtful interpretation of the “Prelude” and “Gigue” from the Cello Suite No. 6 in D major brought the concert to a satisfying conclusion.
It was great to see so many people, especially families with children, take profit of the event. One hour of inspired playing by young musicians – what more could you ask for?
Stop number two: Mixon Hall at the Cleveland Institute of Music, where I caught the first half of the Advanced Piano Trio Program Gala Concert, presented as part of CIM’s Winter Chamber Music Festival.
Pianist Adam Kim, violinist Hosanna Carella and cellist Brian Klickman were at the top of their game during Beethoven’s Piano Trio No. 3 in C minor. Playing with assured technique and a keen sense of musical line, the trio’s performance of the challenging four-movement work was beautiful from beginning to end.
Ravel’s Piano Trio in A minor takes it’s musical inspiration from a variety of sources, including a Basque dance and Malaysian poetry, and pianist Beiyao Ji, violinist Victoria Lewis and cellist Carlyn Kessler brought both sources vividly to life. Performing with a single mind, the players perfectly matched each others’ tones and musical phrases through the 30-minute work. The final “Anime” was stunning.
It was fun to do a mini concert-hop and hear great music played by promising young musicians. I highly recommend it.
Photos: CIM’s website.
Published on ClevelandClassical.com December 9, 2014.
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