Les Délices Presents 17th Century Love Songs Transformed and the Rest of the Classical Music to Catch This Week


  • Photo by Steve Mastroianni

Beethoven’s 250th Birthday is approaching in December, and organizations are already gearing up for the celebration. The composer’s music is performed with such frequency that it’s difficult to create special observances — but Oberlin Conservatory is making a brave attempt.

Oberlin voice students have already performed all of Beethoven’s solo vocal music, and the Oberlin Orchestra has already presented the first program in a series that will eventually include all nine symphonies. Up next, the Arts and Sciences Orchestra will present Beethoven’s complete incidental music to Goethe’s play Egmont on Wednesday, March 4 at 7:30 pm in Finney Chapel. Tiffany Chang conducts and faculty members Kendra Colton, Charles Edward McGuire, and Steven Plank will be featured as soprano soloist, lecturer, and narrator, respectively. The concert is free and you can catch a webcast here.

From Friday, March 6 through Sunday, March 8, Oberlin Conservatory string students will present tag-team performances of all of Beethoven’s sixteen string quartets in five concerts in Stull Recital Hall. This marathon begins at 4:30 pm on Friday, with other concerts scheduled on Saturday and Sunday at 1:30 pm and 7:30 pm. Join live webcasts here.

Beethoven also figures in the next Rocky River Chamber Music Society concert on Monday, March 9 at 7:30 pm, when baritone Mario Diaz-Moresco and pianist Spencer Myer will perform the composer’s song cycle An die ferne Geliebte, the Andante Favori in F, WoO 57, and the Rondo in C — plus works by Debussy and Barber and William Bolcom’s entertaining Cabaret Songs. The concert at West Shore Unitarian Universalist Church is free.

Apollo’s Fire reprises its “O Jerusalem!” show this week. This musical and poetical tour of the Jewish, Christian, Arab, and Armenian quarters of that ancient city will be led by Jeannette Sorrell and features soprano Amanda Powell, vocalist and qanun player Hani Dahshan, tenors Sorab Wadia and Jacob Perry, baritone Jeffrey Strauss, and recorder and ney player Daphna Mor. The first of four area performances takes place in Avon Lake on March 5, followed by Fairlawn (March 9), Beachwood (March 10), and the Cleveland Museum of Art (March 11). Some concerts include projections. Tickets and details of venues here.

The Cleveland Orchestra Chorus makes its final appearances of the season at Severance Hall the weekend of March 5-7. The Chorus will join The Cleveland Orchestra in a rare performance of Mendelssohn’s Lobegesang (“Song of Praise”), a three-movement orchestral sinfonia grafted onto a cantata that the composer wrote for an 1840 festival celebrating the 400th anniversary of the invention of moveable type by the printer Johannes Gutenberg. Franz Welser-Möst conducts, and soloists include sopranos Christina Landshamer and Martina Janková. The program begins with another rarity — Ernst Krenek’s Statisch und ekstatisch (“Static and Ecstatic”). You can hear the concert on March 5 at 7:30 pm, and March 6 or 7 at 8:00 pm. Tickets here.

Debra Nagy and Les Délices are teaming up with soprano Hélène Brunet and members of Québec’s L’Harmonie des Saisons for “Torchsongs Transformed.” 17th-century love songs and tunes made famous by Nina Simone, Edith Piaf, and Billie Holiday share a common ground in performances at Holy Trinity Lutheran in Akron (Friday, March 6 at 7:30 pm). Lakewood Congregational Church (Saturday, March 7 at 7:30 pm), and Plymouth Church in Shaker Heights (Sunday, March 8 at 4:00 pm. Tickets are available online.

Cleveland Chamber Choir will mark the 50th anniversary of the shootings at Kent State University with “We March On! Music of Social Justice,” a program of music by Joel Thompson, Ethyl Smythe, Linda Kachelmeier, and Catherine Dalton, and the premiere of Legacy, a new work by Natsumi Osborne, on Saturday, March 7 at 7:30 pm at Kent United Church of Christ, and Sunday, March 8 at 3:00 pm at Cleveland’s St. Ignatius of Antioch Church. Scott MacPherson conducts. Charles Edward McGuire talks about the music 45 minutes before the performances. A freewill offering will be received.

For details of these and other classical concerts, see our Concert Listings page.

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