By Daniel Hathaway
The Cleveland Orchestra welcomes guest conductor Pietari Inkinen and violinist Augustin Hadelich (pictured) for Pyotr Tchaikovsky’s Violin Concerto & Antonîn Dvořák’s Othello Overture and Symphony No. 8 on Friday at 7:30, Saturday at 8, and Sunday at 3 at Severance Music Center.
Then on Sunday at 2, Carl Topilow & the Cleveland Pops Orchestra & Chorus will kick off the Holidays at the Connor Palace Theatre in Playhouse Square Center with seasonal faves, a sing-along, & dancing Santas, plus adoptable puppies and kittens from area shelters.
Further afield, the Youngstown edition of TubaChristmas takes place on Sunday at 3:30 in the Grand Ballroom of Stambaugh Auditorium.
And back home in University Circle on Sunday at 4, organist Jonathan W. Moyer will present “Prelude & Fugue — five masterworks by J.S. Bach,” with commentary by Rabbi Roger C. Klein, at the Church of the Covenant.
For details of this and other events, visit our Concert Listings.
Composer David Del Tredici has passed at the age of 86. Read an obituary on The Violin Channel here.
On this date in 1585, English organist and composer Thomas Tallis died in Greenwich, having successfully weathered the back-and-forth religious machinations of monarchs and the stylistic changes that shifts between Catholic loyalists and Protestant reformers brought to the music of the Church of England. As his epitaph notes,
He serv’d long tyme in chappel with grete prayse
Fower sovereygnes reygnes (a thing not often seen);
I meane Kyng Henry and Prynce Edward’s dayes,
Quene Mary, and Elizabeth oure Quene
Tallis’ colleague William Byrd marked his passing in the elegy, Ye Sacred Muses, sung here by countertenor Daniel Elgersma to the accompaniment of a Viola Organistica, one of several such instruments invented by Leonardo da Vinci.
The extremes of musical style during Tallis’ career are captured in the recording Thomas Tallis: Lamentations, Motets, music for strings, performed on period instruments by Theatre of Voices (directed by Paul Hillier) and The King’s Noyse (directed by Daviv Douglass).
But today’s widest audience probably knows Tallis’ name from the simple psalm tune on which Ralph Vaughan Williams based his Fantasia on a theme of Thomas Tallis for double string orchestra and string quartet. The BBC Symphony Orchestra plays it here in an atmospheric performance under Andrew Davis at Gloucester Cathedral, where the work premiered at the Three Choirs Festival in 1910.
On November 24, 1868, American composer and pianist Scott Joplin was born near Marshall, Texas. Most famous for single-handedly inventing ragtime — a syncopated American genre revived by William Bolcom and William Albright, who introduced the young musicologist Joshua Rifin to Joplin’s music in 1968, and further popularized in the movie The Sting — Joplin wrote two operas as well. The materials for A Guest of Honor have been lost, probably seized by a rooming house owner in lieu of rent during a tour in 1904, but Treemonisha enjoyed a full production by Houston Grand Opera in May, 1975. Watch a video (with subtitles in Portuguese!) here.
Back to ragtime: Joplin made seven pianola rolls in 1916 including his most famous piece, the Maple Leaf Rag. In 1970, Rifkin’s Nonesuch recording of Joplin piano rags was the label’s first to sell a million copies.
On November 24, 1940, American jazz composer Wendell Logan was born in Thompson, Georgia. He joined the Oberlin Conservatory Faculty and founded the Oberlin Jazz Ensemble in 1973, later developing a jazz curriculum for the school, which adopted admission standards for jazz students in 1991. Watch a shaky cell phone video of Logan speaking at the dedication of the Kohl Jazz Studies Building in 2010 (he died later that year).
And listen to a February, 1991 recording of Logan’s Roots, Branches, Shapes and Shades (of Green), commissioned by the Cleveland Chamber Symphony, composed for pianist Neal Creque, and first performed under the direction of Edwin London in February, 1991.
On November 25, 1896, Virgil Thomson, American composer and New York Herald Tribune music critic from 1940 to 1954, was born in Kansas City, Mo.
On the eve of suffragette Susan B. Anthony’s 200th birthday in 2020, The Metropolitan Opera presented Thomson’s The Mother of Us All in collaboration with The Juilliard School and the New York Philharmonic. Watch the video here.
And on this date in 1915, American pianist Earl Wild was born in Pittsburgh, PA. Famous for all aspects of his playing, Wild was especially noted for his performances of transcriptions of non-piano music. Click here for a live performance of his program “The Art of Transcription.”