By Daniel Hathaway
. Charnofky’s picks surprise your grandmother, Rocky River Chamber Music Society closes season with Stravinsky
. Almanac: Saluting Monteverdi with modern performances by Apollo’s Fire
2:00 pm – 4:00 pm – This afternoon from 2-4 pm on Not Your Grandmother’s Classical Music, Eric Charnofsky shines new light on William Alwyn’s Sinfonietta for Strings, Louis Moreau Gottschalk’s The Maiden’s Blush, Pasquinade & Bamboula (works for piano), Paquito d’Rivera’s Aires Tropicales (woodwind quintet), Sergei Prokofiev’s Two Pushkin Waltzes (orchestra), Henry Cowell’s Trio in Nine Short Movements (violin/cello/piano) + electronic music by Otto Leuning. Click here to listen to the internet feed: or tune in to 91.1 FM in the greater Cleveland area.
And tonight, Rocky River Chamber Music Society closes its season with an all-Stravinsky program featuring Cleveland Orchestra colleagues and freelancer friends of Daniel McKelway & Amanda Bekeny, offered both live and online at 7:30.
Visit the Clevelandclassical.com Concert Listings page for details including addresses of venues and information about even more concerts in Northeast Ohio.
ALMANAC FOR MAY 15:
Italian composer Claudio Monteverdi was born either on May 15 or 14, 1567 in Cremona, later serving the household of the Duke of Mantua and the “most serene republic” of Venice, and launching the early Baroque period with a flurry of inventive works including opera, church music, and madrigals.
Jeannette Sorrell and Cleveland’s Baroque Orchestra, Apollo’s Fire, have programmed much of Monteverdi’s music in various halls in Northeast Ohio as well as across the U.S. and Europe. Here are a few videos from their archives:
We’ll start with a collection of secular works from the 2020 program, “L’AMORE — Love and Rejection in Old Italy,” performed at St. Paul’s in Cleveland Heights. It begins with a piece by Barbara Strozzi, then goes on to selections from L’Incoronazione di Poppea, and the Scherzi musicali. Watch here.
One of the composer’s monuments is the Vespers of 1610, written for the Mantuan court, and which has required some reassembly, having been published as individual pieces. One of the motets that editors haven’t quite known what to do with but has to be included because of its powerful declamation, Duo Seraphim was sung by tenors Jacob Perry, Nathan Hodgson and Nathan Dougherty at First Baptist Church in October, 2019. Watch here.
Like all Vespers services, Monteverdi’s setting concludes with the “Magnificat.” His bravura setting covers many of the stylistic bases available to the composer, including wonderful echo effects. (I heard a performance years ago in an 18th century church at the Edinburgh Festival where the conductor had the echo tenor sing his part from the Gents’ just off the balcony — a perfect location.)
Apollo’s Fire performed the “Magnificat” in Trinity Cathedral in November of 2014 (video here), and opened their 31st season with a complete performance of the Vespers in the fall.
Finally, here’s an exquisite performance by tenor Karim Sulayman of Monteverdi’s Si dolce è il tormento (How sweet the torment) from an Apollo’s Fire “Blues Café 1610” performance on Valentine’s Day of 2015 at the Music Box Supper Club in Cleveland.