by Daniel Hathaway
TODAY’S EVENTS AND UPDATES:
Piano Cleveland’s Virtu(al)oso online competition gets underway this evening at 7:00 with an opening ceremony and recital by Omri Mor. The first round begins on Thursday. We’re interviewing four of the contestants before they play their first 20-minute programs. Click here to learn more about Russian pianist Arseniy Gusev, and check back this afternoon for an interview with German competitor Jonas Aumiller. Both are studying at the Cleveland Institute of Music with Sergei Babayan.
The fifth concert in Kent Blossom’s Virtual Festival tonight at 7:30 features Kent State faculty, the Emerson String Quartet and Met Opera Principal Cello Jerry Grossman.
Les Délices’ outdoor concert at Plymouth Church scheduled for tonight at 7:30 is now “sold out.”
And a new “Best of ChamberFest Cleveland” program tonight at 7:30 on WCLV, 104.9 Ideastream includes music by Janáček, Schulhoff, and Schubert.
See the Concert Listings for details.
On July 29, 1856, Robert Schumann died at the age of 46 after spending two years in an asylum in Bonn, having been taken there at his own request after he attempted suicide by throwing himself off a bridge into the Rhine River.
Among his legacies were wonderful cycles of songs and piano works, four symphonies, and a quantity of chamber music.
Listen here to a 2014 recording of Dichterliebe by German baritone Benjamin Appl and pianist James Baillieu (the two performed the cycle on the Cleveland Art Song Festival series at the Cleveland Institute of Music in January, 2019).
Schumann’s symphonies have frequently come under fire for what conductors have considered the composer’s inept orchestration. George Szell, who made significant changes to the scores, recorded them between 1958 and 1960. Click here to listen to all four works. A Gramophone review of the cycle’s later release on CDs noted:
Szell loved the Schumann symphonies (his eloquent booklet annotation makes that abundantly clear), but readers in search of Urtext reportage should be warned that he attempts to correct – and here I quote the Maestro himself – “minor lapses [in orchestration] due to inexperience” with “remedies” that range from “subtle adjustments of dynamic marks to the radical surgery of re-orchestrating whole stretches.