by Daniel Hathaway
Composer Margaret Brouwer’s Blue Streak Ensemble visited Nighttown in Cleveland Heights on Monday, July 15 to preview the concert it would give the next evening in Hoover Auditorium at Lakeside. Two more disparate venues would be hard to imagine — an intimate room in a restaurant/jazz club and an auditorium you could park a Boeing 777 in — but the delightful playlist would work well under any circumstances, and was perfect for a summer evening, whether on Cedar Road or on the shores of Lake Erie.
Brouwer designed Blue Streak as an ensemble that would play summer concerts on the Lake (it gets its name from the famous roller coaster at Cedar Point) as well as a vehicle for performing her own compositions and arrangements of works by other classical composers (above: the 2012 ensemble). The personnel changes a bit from season to season. Monday’s group included Jinjoo Cho, violin, Irwin Shung, piano, Maaike Harding, cello, Sarah Beaty, mezzo-soprano and Robert Davis, clarinet, who played three contrasting pieces by Brouwer, plus movements from a suite by Milhaud, Brouwer’s arrangement of a well-known Rossini aria, Dvořák’s own arrangement for cello and piano of his Silent Woods, a duo for clarinet and bassoon attributed to Beethoven repurposed for clarinet and cello, a virtuosic cello piece by Turtle Island Quartet cellist Mark Summer, and three arias from Porgy and Bess, two of them in virtuosic violin and piano arrangements by Jascha Heifetz written for recital encores. [Read more…]