A Barcelona Special and Four Other Classical Music Events to Check Out This Week

You’d normally have to travel to Barcelona to hear Cuarteto Casals, the string quartet named after the famous Catalan cellist Pablo Casals. This week, you’ll only need to make your way to Plymouth Church in Shaker Heights to catch this excellent ensemble on the Cleveland Chamber Music Society series. On Tuesday, October 27 at 7:30 pm, violinists Abel Tomas Realp & Vera Martinez Mehner, violist Jonathan Brown, and cellist Arnau Tomas Realp will play Joseph Haydn’s Quartet in f, Op. 20, No. 5, Dmitri Shostakovich’s Quartet No. 5 in B-flat, Op. 92, and Ludwig van Beethoven’s Quartet in E-flat, Op. 127. Want to learn more about these classic pieces? Eric Kisch, host of WCLV’s “Musical Passions,” will conduct a pre-concert interview with Jonathan Brown at 6:30 pm. Tickets can be ordered online, and the society cuts a terrific deal for students, who pay only $5 at the door.

The “Sarajevo Haggadah” has an amazing story to tell. This medieval Jewish manuscript detailing the celebration of Passover was created in Spain, but after being rescued from destruction on several occasions, ended up in 20th-century Bosnia, where it was finally restored by the National Museum in Sarajevo after the 1922-1995 war. Composer and accordionist Merima Ključo has created a multimedia work around its story, entitled “The Sarajevo Haggadah: Music of the Book.” She’ll tell it with the help of guest pianist Seth Knopp and video imagery by Bart Woodstrup on Wednesday, October 28 in Gartner Auditorium of the Cleveland Museum of Art. Read a ClevelandClassical.com interview with Ključo here. A second interview with Geraldine Brooks, author of a historical novel that inspired Ključo’s piece, appears here. Brooks will be on hand on Wednesday evening to introduce the concert and sign her 2008 People of the Book. Tickets can be reserved online.

German violinist Christian Tetzlaff will continue the 138th season of Oberlin College’s Artist Recital Series on Friday, October 30 at 8:00 pm with a solo recital in Finney Chapel on the Oberlin campus. Expect an intense but engaging experience as Tetzlaff takes the stage all alone with his violin to play Eugène Ysaÿe’s Sonata for Solo Violin, Op. 27, No. 1 in g, Johann Sebastian Bach’s Sonata No. 3 in C, BWV 1005, several pieces from György Kurtág’s Signs, Games and Messages, and Béla Bartók’s Sonata for Unaccompanied Violin. Learn more about Tetzlaff here — he talked with Mike Telin about his recital program and his philosophy of music education last week. Tickets can be reserved online.

It’s Halloween, and how better to celebrate that spooky festival than with Quasimodo and company in the shadows of the bell tower of Notre Dame? The Cleveland Orchestra’s on tour in Europe, but organist Todd Wilson will be on hand to stoke up the E.M. Skinner organ in Severance Hall on October 30 at 8:00 pm and improvise a suitably gothic score for a screening of the 1923 film classic, The Hunchback of Notre Dame, starring Lon Chaney. Tickets can be ordered here.

Oberlin organ students put on a “Friday Organ Pump” once a month at midnight. This informal concert is always fun, but the performers outdo themselves for Halloween. They’ll take over Finney Chapel shortly after Christian Tetzlaff’s recital on Friday, October 30 for an over-the-top musical spookout. It’s free, and costumes are encouraged. (Listeners are invited to lie on the stage to feel the floor-shaking vibes from Finney’s Fisk organ.)

Check out a complete two-week calendar of classical music events here.
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