by Daniel Hathaway
IN THIS EDITION:
. Two Opera premieres, cello and carillon music, a festival of experimental sounds, ENCORE returns to Gates Mills, choral settings of feminist psalms: a wide palette of performances is in the works these three days.
. Anniversaries of Delius, Richard Strauss, and an innovative Britten work in the Almanac.
THIS WEEKEND’S EVENTS:
At 12:15 pm on Friday it’s the McGaffin Carillon Concert & Live Stream: George Leggiero, carillonneur. An 18th century carillon prelude by Matthias van den Gheyn, two Songs Without Words by Mendelssohn & Beethoven’s Für Elise. McGaffin Tower, 11205 Euclid Ave., Cleveland. Free. Click here for live stream.
The Lev Aronson Cello Festival continues through Sunday at the Cleveland Institute of Music.
Cleveland Opera Theater world premiere of La Casa de Bernarda Alba at the Kleist Center for Art & Drama in Berea. The opera’s score is by Griffin Candey with a libretto by OBIE-Award-winner Caridad Svich. Based on Garcia Lorca’s last play of the same name, the opera has an all-female cast and a bilingual Spanish/English libretto. Performances are on Friday and Saturday at 7:30 pm and Sunday at 2:00 pm. Tickets are required.
The Cleveland premiere of the opera The Sparks Fly Upward continues its run at the Maltz Performing Arts Center. Written and composed by Cathy Lesser Mansfield, directed by Jeffrey Lesser, conducted by Daniel Singer and featuring Cantor Kathy Wolfe Sebo, the opera recounts the story of three German families, two Jewish and one Christian, who find themselves thrust into the midst of the Holocaust. Performances are on Friday and Saturday at 7:30 pm and Sunday at 2:00 pm. (Rehearsal photo above.) Tickets are available online. Read a preview article here.
The Re:Sound Festival of New and Experimental Music continues through Sunday, with performances by Eunbi Kim and SLOWSPIN (Friday at the Bop Stop), harpist Danielle Kuntz and DechoVoche (Saturday at Kaiser Gallery), Elephant Ornament, Emile Fortin, and Nick Zoulek (Saturday at CODA), and Pink Noise (Sunday at Bop Stop). Click here for tickets. Read a preview article here.
On Friday, June 10, at 7:00 pm, the ENCORE Festival of Music and Ideas will launch its seventh season with “Tales of War & Grief” at the Dodero Center for Performing Arts at the Gilmour Academy in Gates Mills. The concert features music by Schubert, Erkki-Sven Tüür, Matthijs van Dijk, Radiohead and Led Zeppelin performed by the Signum Quartet. On Sunday at 4:00 pm “Tales From the Homeland” features Joseph Lim, Cavani String Quartet, Dan Ruminski in works by Frank Bridge, Gabriela Lena Frank, Roger Quilter, Gerald Finzi, and Franz Schubert. In-person and live stream tickets can be purchased here. Read a preview article here. The Festival runs through July 17
On Saturday, June 11 at 6:30 pm at St. Sebastian Church in Akron, Cleveland Chamber Choir presents “World of Doubt, World of Faith.” Under the direction of Scott MacPherson, the program centers around Adam Robert’s Book of Doubt/Book of Faith for 16-part choir, viola and percussion, that sets secular, feminist “psalms” by poet Claire Schwartz relevant to our time and connected to Jewish history. Also on the program: music by composers who have historically been excluded from the world of classical music. Saturday’s concert is free, but you’ll need tickets for the repeat performance on Sunday, June 12 at the Federated Church in Chagrin Falls.
Check our Concert Listings page for details.
THIS WEEKEND’S ALMANAC:
On June 10, we mark the passing of British composer Frederick Delius in 1934 in Grez-sur-Loing, France. Born in Bradford, on January 29 1862, Frederick Theodore Albert Delius had little interest in the family business. In 1884 he was sent to Florida to manage an orange plantation. Realizing that orange business was not for him, Delius returned to Europe two years later.
His first musical successes came in Germany in the late 1890s although his music was regularly seen on British concert programmes until conductor Sir Thomas Beecham became a champion of his works. Click here to watch the documentary A Portrait of Frederick Delius: Life and work of the English Romantic composer.
Composer Richard Strauss was born on June 11, 1864 in Munich. We all can probably name half a dozen Strauss works without really thinking about it, but here’s a lesser-known but very beautiful piece that deserves more attention. Strauss’ Die Tageszeiten (“Times of Day”) written for the 1928 centenary of Schubert’s death, sets four poems by Joseph Eichendorff for male chorus and orchestra. Follow along with the score in a performance by the Ernst-Senff Choir and the Dresden Philharmonic.
June 12, 1964 saw the premiere of Benjamin Britten’s Curlew River in Orford Church, Aldeburgh, with Peter Pears as the Madwoman, and the composer conducting. Based on the Japanese Noh Drama Sumidagawa, which Britten saw in Japan in 1956, the piece was the first of three “Parables for Church Performance” that merged elements of Japanese and medieval religious drama, and set the composer off on a new stylistic course for the rest of his career. The Burning Fiery Furnace followed in 1966, and The Prodigal Son in 1968.
Watch a production of Curlew River staged at the Church of the Transfiguration in New York with the neXus Instrumental Ensemble here.