Five Classical Events to Catch This Week

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It’s a Gallic invasion this weekend at Severance Hall as guest conductor Lionel Bringuier and cellist Gautier Capuçon team up with The Cleveland Orchestra for a four-course feast of French music. The radio spots are hawking Maurice Ravel’s “Bolero” as the prime attraction, but there are other tasty entries on the menu as well: Camille Saint-Saëns’s Cello Concerto, Ravel’s “Le Tombeau de Couperin” (orchestrations of four of his piano pieces evoking the age of the baroque harpsichord giants like François Couperin), and a rarity: Florent Schmitt’s “La Tragédie de Salomé,” the composer’s reworking of his earlier ballet into a symphonic poem that supposedly influenced Stravinsky when he was working on “The Rite of Spring.” There will be full performances on Thursday, April 16 at 7:30 pm and Saturday, April 18 at 8:00 pm, with a Schmittless matinee on Friday, April 17 at 11:00 am. Tickets here.

Apollo’s Fire is “rediscovering” Antonio Vivaldi’s “The Four Seasons” in six regional concerts beginning on Thursday, April 16 at 7:30 pm in Fairlawn. The orchestra’s dynamic concertmaster, Montréal-based violinist Olivier Brault is sure to dazzle the audience with his audacious solos, but Johanna Novum and Julie Andrijeski will bring their own violinistic fireworks to Vivaldi’s two-violin concerto in d-minor — a work Johann Sebastian Bach admired so much that he turned it into a solo organ piece.
The other five performances between April 17 and 26 take place in Cleveland Heights, Rocky River, Painesville and Willoughby Hills (see the ClevelandClassical concert listings for details and reserve tickets here.) Donald Rosenberg will talk about the music an hour before each concert.

The Baldwin Wallace Bach Festival, one of the most predictable traditions in Northeast Ohio, is under new management this year and festival director Dirk Garner and orchestra conductor Octavio Más-Arocas are implementing some exciting changes. As in the past, the festival will center around one of Johann Sebastian Bach’s four major choral works — this time the “Mass in b minor,” on Saturday, April 18 at 7:00 pm — but this year the opening orchestra concert on Friday, April 17 at 7:00 pm will explore Papa Bach’s legacy through the music of later composers including Steven Stucky, Ottorino Respighi, Luciano Berio, Arvo Pärt, and Tom Trapp. Bach’s own solo cantata, “Vergnügte Ruh, beliebte Seelenlust” will be sung by countertenor Eric Jurenas and danced by LoftDance with choreography by Jennifer McQuiston Lott. There’s lots more to the festival: an open house at the Riemenschneider Bach Institute; lectures (“Bach and the Brain” and “Mass Pandemonium”); an organ concert by Edoardo Maria Bellotti of the Eastman School of Music (he’ll play both Bach and his own improvisations); a church service that puts one of Bach’s cantatas in context; and even a 5k run with prizes for those who run in period costume. Check out the ClevelandClassical concert listings for details and links to the box BW office.

No Exit, the title of a play by Jean-Paul Sartre, is also the name of a Cleveland new music ensemble that surfaces a couple of times each year to unveil new music and revisit recent works under the direction of Timothy Beyer. Their performances are always brainy, thought-provoking and accomplished — and usually come in threes. This cycle begins on Friday, April 17 at 8:00 pm at Heights Arts with a concert of world premieres by James Praznik, Greg D’Alessio and Eric M.C. Gonzalez, plus works by Christopher Stark, Beyer, Chris Goddard, Edward Campion & Andy Akiho. The performances will be repeated on Saturday, April 18 at 8:00 pm at Spaces Gallery and on Monday, April 20 at 8:00 pm in Drinko Recital Hall at CSU. All concerts are free.

Arts Renaissance Tremont features The Cleveland Orchestra’s principal hornist, Richard King, in its monthly concert at Pilgrim Church in Tremont on Sunday, April 19 at 3:00 pm. King will join violinist Chul-In Park and pianist Randall Fusco for contemporary chamber music by Lennox Berkeley, Yorke Bowen and Paul Leary, and in a repurposing of J.S. Bach’s “Gamba Sonata No. 1 in G.” The concert is free, but donations are welcome.

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