Sunday, February 15, 2015

Heights Arts Close Encounters : Bach, Bartok, Beatles

Bach; Air from Orchestral Suite #3, BWW 1068
Poetry Reading: Kathleen Cerveny: Mended Dreams, a pantoum
The Beatles: Blackbird (arr. Steven Laven)
Bartok: String Quartet #6 (1939) Mvt. 3 Mesto
Bach: Oh Sacred Head Now Wounded Chorale from St. Matthew Passion, BVW 244
The Beatles: Yesterday (arr. Larry More)
Bach: Brandenburg Concerto #5 in D, BVW 1050, Mvt. 1 (arr. Merle Isaac)
Bartok: String Quartet #6 (1939) Mvt. 3 Burletta 
Bach: Sonata in C-Major for Violin Solo, VBW 1005, Mvt. 3 and 4 (Isabel Trautwein, solo violin)
Bach: Art of Fugue, Contrapunctus I
Poetry Reading: Cerveny: Fire and Frost, a villanelle
The Beatles: And I Love Her (arr. Laven)
Bach: From Depths of Woe I Cry to Thee Chorale from cantata BVW 38
Bartok: Dance from Maramos (#32)
Poetry Reading: Stafford: You Reading This Be Ready
Lennon: Imagine (arr. Laven)
Kathrine Bormann and Isabel Trautwein, violin; Sonia Bratten Molloy, viola; Tanya Ell, cello (all members of The Cleveland Orchestra)
At Kalman and Pabst Photo Group's Studio, Midtown Cleveland.

I've been in love with Kalman and Pabst Photo Group's midtown studio space since the first time I wandered in several years ago and I've always wondered how it would sound as a live music space. This season stars aligned in a major way -- not only did the talented crew from KP generously donate their talents to produce the beautiful imagery used to promote this season's concerts but they also graciously hosted us in their studio this afternoon for the second concert of this season.

Today's sold out concert was a unique journey matching three eras of music -- starting with J.S. Bach, skipping forward to Bela Bartok and finishing with the music of The Beatles arranged for string quartet grouped intelligently as musical tastings and with poetry readings interspersed.

Aside from highlighting the versatility of these fantastic musicians through the diverse musical selections, with insightful commentary linking each set of pieces and musical theory and execution -- particularly humorous was when Ms. Bormann related her experience digging behind the music while learning Debussy under the direction of a Russian instructor.

Though the music was as delightful as a whole -- and I don't really consider myself a fan of the Beatles -- I did particularly enjoy this group's performance those pieces reminding me, conceptually of Vitamin String Quartet, a rotating quartet that records string arrangements of popular music.


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