by Jarrett Hoffman
“First is the worst, second is the best…” It may not be the most profound of old sayings, but there might just be some slight bit of wisdom — I said slight — that can be gleaned from that schoolyard refrain. After all, when it comes to new music, premières get most of the attention, but the far-less-common deuxième performances (aren’t we fancy?) can be just as significant.
Perhaps that’s especially true when it comes to Chava’s Daughters Speak by James Lee III (left). Its premiere in May 2021 at New York City’s 92nd Street Y was presented virtually, with only a limited in-person audience due to the pandemic. And what was to have been the second performance, in Boston last year, was canceled at the last minute when soprano Susanna Phillips developed laryngitis.
That brings us to tomorrow, Tuesday, March 28, when the piece will receive that long-awaited second hearing — its first in front of a full audience — as part of a Cleveland Chamber Music Society concert at Disciples Christian Church. Two of the three performers are holdovers from the premiere: clarinetist Anthony McGill and pianist Myra Huang, who will be joined here by soprano Elena Perroni. Tickets are available here. [Read more…]