by Daniel Hathaway
AT HOME WITH KIDS? A VIDEO FOR YOU:
Today’s 2:00 pm Detroit Symphony Watch Party is an educational program featuring two of the Orchestra’s percussionists in Steve Reich’s Clapping Music and excerpts from Andrew Norman’s Play, which reimagines orchestral music as levels in a video game. Cristian Mačelaru conducts the Norman and percussionists Joseph Becker and Andrés Pichardo-Rosenthal provide the hands for the Reich. Watch here.
ALSO STREAMING TODAY:
On today’s Lunchtime with The Cleveland Orchestra, WCLV 104.9 Ideastream marks Richard Wagner’s birthday with The Ride of the Valkyries plus some Bartók and Beethoven. CIM’s archives yield an interesting arrangement of J.S. Bach’s E-minor Lute Suite for marimba performed by James Leonard. And James Morris and Joan Sutherland star in the MET Opera’s Don Giovanni from a performance way back in 1978. Details here.
On this date in 1874, Giuseppi Verdi’s Requiem was first performed at the church of San Marco in Milan, ending a long requiem saga for the composer, who had originally proposed a collaborative work by several Italian composers to honor Gioachino Rossini after his death in 1868. Verdi himself contributed the final movement, “Libera me,” but for various reasons, the project fell through a week before its premiere in November of 1869.
Verdi found an opportunity to recycle that “Libera me” when Alessandro Manzoni died in 1873 and he embarked on writing a new Requiem all on his own in honor of the famous Italian author and humanist.
Click here to watch a performance of the Requiem by CityMusic Cleveland at the Maltz Performing Arts Center on May 2, 2019 led by James Gaffigan. The special Yom ha-Sho’ah performance commemorated the prisoners at the German concentration camp Theresienstadt, who performed the Requiem 16 times in 1944, before being sent to their death at Auschwitz. Soloists are Chabrelle Williams, soprano, Sasha Cooke, mezzo-soprano, and Joshua Blue, tenor. The chorus was prepared by Ben Malkevitch.
(PS: the Requiem for Rossini was finally performed in 1988 in Stuttgart, conducted by Helmuth Rilling. Listen here.)
And as noted above, on May 22, 1813, Richard Wagner was born in Leipzig. Having just mentioned Theresienstadt, it’s now impossible to talk about the composer of the Ring operas without referencing his popularity with the perpetrators of the Third Reich.
British actor and writer Stephen Fry addresses Wagner’s complicated legacy and his own fascination with the composer’s music in his hour-and-a-half long Wagner and Me, available for free in an occasionally spotty posting on YouTube, and for a fee on various streaming services.
And former Cleveland Orchestra assistant conductor Brett Mitchell joins Bill O’Connell in WCLV’s 35-minute video discussion of the Ring. Watch Gods and Monsters: The Musical Journey of Wagner’s Ring Cycle here.
NEW CLEVELAND ORCHESTRA PODCAST:
The most recent episode of The Cleveland’s Orchestra’s On a Personal Note podcasts features violist Eliesha Nelson, who draws a connection between Bruckner’s Fifth Symphony — one of the final performances before Severance Hall was shuttered — and the daily highs and lows of our individual lives. “She finds strength in Bruckner’s belief that life is a journey and, especially during challenging times, we should revel in whatever provides us with love and support.” Listen to “The Courage of our Convictions” here.
Nelson was the first Cleveland Orchestra Youth Orchestra alum to be accepted into The Cleveland Orchestra. She recalls that experience in a short video here.