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by Mike Telin

WithLeipzig-Oberlin-Mastroianni all of the exceptional repertoire to choose from, why is it that an all-Beethoven string quartet recital still excites audiences and players? “The quartet has performed a lot of complete cycles of composers such as Mendelssohn and Brahms or Mozart, and if you compare the possibilities, you have to realize that Beethoven is the top of the top,” says Leipzig String Quartet cellist Matthias Moosdorf. The quartet, who are currently touring seventeen Beethoven quartets, will perform a concert on Sunday, March 3 at 4:00 pm in Finney Chapel at Oberlin as part of the Oberlin Artist Recital Series.

You can combine any piece with another and it works perfectly, especially when taken from the early, from the middle and from the late periods’” Moosdorf said in a phone conversation from Leipzig. “But it doesn’t matter which quartets you choose because in the end, the result will be a fantastic evening.” Moosdorf will be joined by his Leipzig colleagues Stefan Arzberger & Tilman Büning, violins, and violist Ivo Bauer, in performances of the Quartet in B-flat, op. 18, no. 6, “La Maliconia”,Quartet in f, op. 95,“Serioso” and the Quartet in E-flat, op. 127Read the rest of this entry »


by Daniel Hathaway

TheNoseda-&-La-Rosa Cleveland Orchestra’s 211th visit to the Oberlin Artist Recital Series in Finney Chapel last Friday evening featured two debuts: Gianandrea Noseda’s as guest conductor, and principal trombonist Massimo La Rosa’s as concerto soloist. Nino Rota’s sunny Trombone Concerto shared the program with two more emotionally complicated Russian works by Rachmaninoff and Prokofiev.

One of the pieces featured during Sergei Rachmaninoff’s visit to Severance Hall in 1942 was his 1907 tone poem, The Isle of the Dead, based on a symbolist painting by Arnold Böcklin so famous that the Swiss artist made five versions of it and reproductions, said Vladimir Nabokov, could be found hanging in every Berlin home. Rachmaninoff saw only a black and white photograph of the strange Toteninsel with its mysterious pair of figures in a boat, its rocky mausoleum and tall yew trees, before writing his work, but it took hold of his imagination strongly enough to inspire a 20-minute piece. Read the rest of this entry »

by Mike Telin

Note: this performance was eventually cancelled due to illness.

PerformanceOhlsson-Garrick2 agreements between artists and presenters usually contain a cancellation clause that addresses “acts of God.” And the rescheduling is usually contingent on finding a date that is agreeable to both the artist and presenter. Luckily for Northeast Ohio audiences, when hurricane Sandy forced the cancellation of pianist Garrick Ohlsson’s Oberlin Artist Recital Series debut, his performance was quickly rescheduled.

On Tuesday, February 12 at 8:00 pm in Finney Chapel, Garrick Ohlsson will make his debut on the Oberlin Artist Recital Series. Ohlsson’s program includes Brahms’s Rhapsodies, op. 79, Liszt’s Fantasia on Ad Nos, Ad salutarem undam, S. 259, Scriabin’s Two Pieces, op. 57, Étrangeté, op. 63, no. 2 & Vers la Flamme, op. 72 and Chopin’s Fantasy, op. 49 and Scherzo, op. 31 (all original tickets will be honored). Read the rest of this entry »

by Mike Telin

TheNoseda-&-La-Rosa Risorgimento that united the Italian peninsula’s crazy-quilt of city states and regions into a single nation during the nineteenth century will be reenacted in a small way at Finney Chapel in Oberlin and Severance Hall this weekend, when guest conductor Gianandrea Noseda (born and raised in the North near Milan) and Cleveland Orchestra principal trombonist Massimo La Rosa (a native of Sicily) join together in Nino Rota’s Trombone Concerto. (Also on the program, Rachmaninoff’s The Isle of the Dead and Prokofiev’s Symphony No. 6).

It gets even better with an Italian composer in the mix. “Two Italians in Cleveland playing music by an Italian composer,” Noseda said. “The ingredients are intriguing.” “When I found out that my solo debut would be conducted by Mr. Noseda,” La Rosa recalled, “I immediately thought to myself that the Rota concerto would be the right thing to share with our audiences.” There are also parallels between composer, conductor and soloist. Both Rota and Noseda were born in Milan, and the first performance of the concerto took place in 1974, the year La Rosa was born. Read the rest of this entry »

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