by Daniel Hathaway
So many arrivals and departures to note this weekend.
Debuts include on April 3: pianist Garrick Ohlsson (born in Bronxville, NY, 1948). On April 4: French conductor Pierre Monteux (Paris, 1875), and American film composer Elmer Bernstein (New York, 1922).
Denouements include on April 3: German composer Johannes Brahms (died in Vienna, 1897), British empresario Richard O’Oyly Carte (London, 1901), German composer Kurt Weill (New York, 1950), American composer and arranger Ferde Grofé (Santa Monica, 1972), and British tenor Peter Pears (Aldeburgh, 1986). And on April 4: American composer George Whitefield Chadwick (Boston, 1931).
For Monteux’ 80th birthday in 1955, Igor Stravinsky wrote a Greeting Prelude, “a sort of sung telegram” to be performed by the Charles Munch and the Boston Symphony. Let’s raise the curtain with a performance of the 45-second work by the Radio Philharmonisch Orkest (Hilversum, Netherlands), conducted by Reinbert de Leeuw.
Then, because it’s Easter weekend, the culmination of Passover, and the beginning of spring, three musical selections seem especially apropos.
The 6th movement of Brahms’ Ein deutsches Requiem represents what Easter is all about. Listen here (at 52:46) to “Denn wir haben hie keine bleibende statt” with Tom Krause, baritone, and The Cleveland Orchestra and Chorus, George Szell, conducting recorded live on April 24, 1969 in Severance Hall, Cleveland.
Passover is all about the exodus of the Hebrews from bondage in Egypt, and what music first comes to mind? For many of us, Elmer Bernstein’s film score to The Ten Commandments, directed by Cecil B. DeMille and released in 1956, starring Charleton Heston and Yul Brynner. Here’s the Parting of the Red Sea scene, created during the era of Hollywood’s great biblical epics, with music from the composer who also wrote the score to The Magnificent Seven.
And Easter is also all about spring – which in Cleveland can mix snowflakes with daffodils as Mother Nature did for April Fool’s Day. The idea of the annual thaw and the sudden appearance of new flora and fauna must be intimately linked to Easter for Russians. Sergei Rachmaninoff (whose birthday Mike Telin noted in last Thursday’s Diary) captured the mood of Russian Easter with its cheerful din of bells in his Pâques. Pianists Marta Argerich and Lilya Zilberstein play it here.
ONLINE THIS WEEKEND:
Apollo’s Fire has made its full concert video of Bach’s St. John Passion available for viewing here. The performance was recorded in Trinity Cathedral in 2016with Nicholas Phan as the Evangelist.
Tune in today, for the Jupiter Quartet in concert, the Verona Quartet in an Oberlin master class, and Oberlin’s large ensembles in a Stage Left presentation.
On Sunday, London’s VOCES8 presents the Academy for Ancient Music in J.S. Bach’s B-minor Mass, CIM’s airs its annual Milhaud performance competition, and a CWRU curtain raiser for Daniel Shapiro’s final performance in his season-long cycle of the complete Beethoven piano sonatas features fortepianists Meng Yuan and Mikhail Grazhdanov.
Check the Concert Listings for details.