The Most Extraordinary Sounds a Human Voice Can Make and Five More Classical Music Events This Week

click to enlarge The Most Extraordinary Sounds a Human Voice Can Make and Five More Classical Music Events This Week
Roomful of Teeth

The Cleveland Orchestra will welcome two guests to the Severance Hall stage this weekend. German violinist Isabelle Faust will collaborate with Canadian conductor Bernard Labadie in Mendelssohn’s Violin Concerto, and Labadie will lead Mozart’s well-known Symphony No. 40 and Henri-Joseph Riegel’s not-at-all-well-known Symphony No. 4 in c. Riegel was Mozart’s contemporary and a famous Parisian composer of his era, and this weekend’s performances will mark the first time the Orchestra has ever performed one of his works. Is there a reason Riegel’s music has faded into obscurity? Come and find out. Performances are Thursday, February 15 at 7:30 pm, Friday the 16th at 11:00 am (no Riegel) and 8:00 pm, and Saturday the 17th at 8:00 pm. Purchase tickets online.

Want to hear some of the most extraordinary sounds the human voice can produce? The vocal ensemble Roomful of Teeth will perform Caroline Shaw’s Pulitzer Prize-winning Partita for 8 Voices, along with music by Missy Mazzoli, Judd Greenstein, Toby Twining, William Brittelle, and Merrill Garbus on the Oberlin Artist Recital Series in Finney Chapel on Friday, February 16 at 8:00 pm. Gregory Ristow’s Oberlin College Choir will join the octet for two of the works. Tickets are available online. Intrigued? On Thursday, February 15 at 2:00 pm, Caroline Shaw will field questions in Kulas Recital Hall, and at 4:30 pm, the octet will appear at a composition forum in the Birenbaum Innovation and Performance Space at the new Oberlin Inn. Those two events are free.

Johann Sebastian Bach’s music seems to have penetrated every corner of Western culture. Baldwin Wallace’s Bach on Screen Conference will devote a whole day on Sunday, February 18 to the subject in four sessions in the Chamber Music Hall of the BW Conservatory. At 9:00 am, the topic is “From Silent Films to Video Games,” followed at 11:15 am by “Bach’s Sacred Music in New Contexts.” After lunch, a 2:00 pm session takes up “Bach in Unexpected Places,” and the day ends with the interesting question, “Genius or Villain” at 4:15 pm. The $50 registration fee includes all conference sessions, conference materials, a light breakfast, a buffet lunch at the Colony Room, and coffee and tea breaks. More information and registration forms here.

The Amici String Quartet will resume its multi-year survey of Beethoven’s String Quartets on the Arts Renaissance Tremont series at Pilgrim Church on Sunday, February 18 at 3:00 pm. For this installment, Cleveland Orchestra members Takako Masame and Miho Hashizume, violins, Lynne Ramsey, viola, and Ralph Curry, cello, will play Op. 59, No. 2, Op. 18, and Op. 130. Come early for a 2:00 pm pre-concert talk by Donald Rosenberg. The event is free, but the organizers will be grateful for your donation at the door.

Also on Sunday, February 18, violist Kirsten Docter will be the featured soloist with the Heights Chamber Orchestra in Benjamin Britten’s Lachrymae. Music director Domenico Boyagian will surround the Britten with Scottish-inspired music by Mendelssohn: the Hebrides Overture and Symphony No. 3. The 3:30 pm concert takes place at St. Paul’s Episcopal Church in Cleveland Heights, and a $10 donation is suggested.

A four-concert Historical Performance WinterFest begins on Tuesday, February 20 at 8:00 pm in Oberlin’s Fairchild Chapel with a farewell performance by the Flanders Recorder Quartet. These Belgian masters of the whistle-like, end-blown Renaissance and Baroque flute (a.k.a. fipple flute, blockflöte, flauto dolce, flûte à bec) have been playing concert tours for thirty years on instruments that come in sizes from miniscule to gargantuan. Their repertoire will include new music as well — expect some up-tempo swing songs as well as the ancient stuff. The performance is free.

Check out details of these and many other classical music events on our Concert Listings page.