by Jarrett Hoffman
First up: a Cleveland native and three Cleveland-based composers. Earth and Air: String Orchestra shares a two-part program in which cellist David Ellis plays works by Jeffrey Mumford, Ryan Charles Ramer, and Margi Griebling-Haigh. It’s available beginning at noon on YouTube and “for a limited time afterwards.”
Part One, “Thankfulness in Solitude,” was filmed at St. Paul’s Episcopal Church in Cleveland Heights. The more informal Part Two, “Thankfulness in Solitude: Music for Home,” covers chamber music for one or two cellos. Also included are links to interviews with the three composers.
Ellis writes: “This performance…is my way of giving back to the composers and community who have inspired me over the years as director of Earth and Air: String Orchestra.” The program is performed in memory of his father, Lloyd H. (Sandy) Ellis, Jr., who passed away a year ago tomorrow.
And this evening brings two local offerings. In a live stream at 7, the CIM Percussion Ensemble plays works by Mark Applebaum, Larry Baker, Tawnie Olson, Adam Silverman, Tōru Takemitsu, and Russell Peck (click here to watch).
At 7:30, Les Délices continues its SalonEra series with “Folk Influences,” featuring violinists Gail Hernández Rosa, Edwin Huizinga, and David McCormick. Performances and discussions include Celtic tunes, traditional music from Spain, and research focused on Black musicians at Thomas Jefferson’s Monticello (click here at start time).
LOCAL GROUPS ADJUSTING TO THE PANDEMIC:
Over the weekend, the Cleveland Chamber Choir reflected on their path since the arts world changed in March, from virtual-only performances that mix together individual voices, to more recently following a collection of best practices for choral rehearsal and performance that were put together by a coalition of 125 arts organizations. But due to the resurgence of COVID-19, they’re now returning to the virtual route for a concert in December — a month that will also bring their first album. Read more on their website.
And as the holidays arrive at a time when “the numbers,” as they say, are getting much worse, Opus 216, is preparing to offer “Pay-What-You-Can Zoom concerts and recordings for families and loved ones separated by the pandemic.” More info to come soon on their Facebook.
Paul Hindemith — that celebrated composer of the first half of the 20th century who was also a violist, conductor, and important music theorist and compositional pedagogue — was born on this date in 1895 in Hanau, Germany. His greatest works include the opera Mathis der Maler and the Symphonic Metamorphosis of Themes by Carl Maria von Weber, but going just slightly off the beaten path, wind players owe him a debt of gratitude for several major works of chamber music.
Oberlin Conservatory faculty members surveyed five of his sonatas on the 2018 album Convergent Winds: Music of Paul Hindemith (read Jeremy Reynolds’ review here).
And for a different and compelling take on standard repertoire — in this case Hindemith’s wind quintet — one can turn as usual to the Carion Quintet, that Danish-Latvian ensemble known for performing with choreography, and without chairs and stands. In this video of the first movement, they add even more theatricality: their performance is paralleled by a silent film that presents the music as a metaphor for disagreement — and maybe reconciliation — among the players. (Below: a horn solo as frustration.)