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by Daniel Hathaway

LaRosaSempreThree years after releasing his CD, Cantando, Cleveland Orchestra principal trombone Massimo La Rosa has once again teamed up with pianist Elizabeth DeMio — and added four Cleveland Orchestra string colleagues — for a new solo album entitled Sempre Espressivo. Recorded in July, 2013 at Mixon Hall at the Cleveland Institute of Music and Clonick Hall at the Oberlin Conservatory, the album was shepherded into production by the eminent team of Elaine Marton (Sonarc Music) and Thomas C. Moore (5/4 Productions) and engineered by 5/4’s Michael Bishop.

The playlist is an intriguing mix of music intentionally written for the trombone and arrangements of solo pieces originally conceived for other instruments. The original works are Frank Martin’s Ballade, Camille Saint-Saëns’s Cavatine and Ferdinand David’s Concertino. The arranged pieces are Puccini’s Intermezzo from Manon Lescaut and Antonio Carlos Gomes’s Grande Valsa de Bravura — both repurposed by Yury Leonovich — and La Rosa’s own adaptations of Wagner’s Träume (Wesendonck Lieder), Giovanni Battista Pergolesi’s Sinfonia in F and J.S. Bach’s first solo cello suite in G. Read the rest of this entry »


by J.D. Goddard

Trinity-Cathedral-ChoirOn Good Friday evening, March 29, led by music director Todd Wilson, the Trinity Cathedral Choir, pianists Elizabeth DeMio and Elizabeth Lenti, soprano Judith Overcash, baritone Zachary Rusk and baritone Ray Liddle joined forces to perform Johannes Brahms’s German Requiem.

In the nineteenth century it was not unusual for orchestral compositions to be arranged for piano, thus making in-home performances more readily available. Brahms completed his German Requiem in 1868, and immediately prepared a scaled down version of the work for piano four hands and chorus. It was actually premiered in a home in 1872.

This scaled-down piano version is not without interest, but those who are used to hearing the orchestral version may find it softened and somewhat bland. Though Brahms did not intend listeners to this non-liturgical requiem to shudder in fear for their souls, it is impossible not to feel a sense of guilt and veneration when lambasted by a massive chorus with full orchestra. Heard as it was this evening, this requiem became a gentler work but the intensity and emotional involvement of the singers made for a deeply religious experience. Read the rest of this entry »

by J.D. Goddard

The BrownbagBrahms-at-Piano Concert Series at Trinity Cathedral has been a weekly tradition in the city of Cleveland for 35 years. Trinity’s director of music and worship Todd Wilson has continued this tradition every Wednesday during the season at 12:10 pm when an always appreciative audience comes to enjoy a one-hour program of musical offerings ranging from the classical to the contemporary — and to grab a quick lunch. This past Wednesday, October 24, members of the Trinity Cathedral Choir and Chamber Singers joined Wilson and guest pianist Elizabeth DeMio in the third and final weekly installment of Brahms-Fest 2012 featuring Brahms’s Hungarian Dances Nos. 1, 3, 5, 11, and 21 for piano four-hands along with the Liebeslieder Waltzes, Op. 52 for piano four-hands and singers.

Brahms Hungarian Dances are a set of 21 spirited dance melodies based primarily on Hungarian themes and completed in 1869. Each dance varies in length from one minute to four minutes. Brahms originally wrote his Hungarian Dances for piano four-hands and later arranged the first ten dances for solo piano. Only numbers 11, 14 and 16 are entirely original compositions and he later orchestrated numbers 1, 3, and 10. Dvořák, along with other composers, orchestrated the remaining dances. Read the rest of this entry »

by Mike Telin

Cellist David Requiro and pianist Elizabeth DeMio continue a long collaboration with a concert on Arts Renaissance Tremont’s series at Pilgrim Congregational Church on Sunday, April 18 at 3. We spoke with David in New York and Elizabeth in Cleveland.

David Requiro

Mike Telin: You studied in Cleveland and then at the University of Michigan, correct?

David Requiro: Yes, and it’s been nice to keep my ties to Cleveland. I spent four years at CIM. I loved it there. I love many things about Cleveland and CIM. I studied with Richard Aaron, and I followed him the University of Michigan as well. The chamber music program at CIM is at the highest level, and I was part of a very serious string quartet for three of my four years. I participated in some very intense quartet seminars. Even the orchestra program I thought was just top notch. So its been great to maintain those ties after leaving, partially through the recordings I’ve been doing. Nathaniel Yaffe, the engineer – producer – editor, is kind of a one-man show. He’s also a former Richard Aaron student. It’s been really nice working on these recordings at CIM, working with Liz and Nathaniel, as well as working with CIM cellists. The debut album that you have was recorded in what was then the brand new Mixon Hall. That was a fabulous experience too. We are actually going to finish up some Beethoven recording sessions right after this recital. This will be the complete works of Beethoven. We’re recording it in Harkness Chapel, and I think Harkness is very fitting for that kind of repertoire. I think it will turn out very nicely. Read the rest of this entry »

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Daniel Hathaway
founder & editor
Mike Telin
executive editor
Jarrett Hoffman
assistant to the editors

James Flood
J.D. Goddard
Jarrett Hoffman
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Timothy Robson
Robert & Gwyneth Rollin
Alexandra Vago
Tom Wachunas