Classical Revolution Cincinnati is a free music series that takes place every second Sunday at the Northside Tavern. The series is part of a global movement that offers chamber music performances in places other than concert halls. At 8 pm on Sunday, March 9 a concert will take place that will include the world premier of Mark Lehman’s “Sonatina for Two Violins,” which will be performed by Harvey Thurman and Amy Kiradjieff. Mark is an old friend who has been the music editor of The Absolute Sound since 2009 and has been reviewing classical music for the American Record Guide for decades. Mark currently has three pieces on commercial CDs: a song cycle called “Pilgrim Songs,” a set of “Three Souvenirs” for flute and piano, and a toccata for piano on the anthology Touch: The Toccata Project. “Conundrum,” a piece for voice, flute, clarinet, and piano, is due out on CD this Spring.
Lehman is particularly drawn to the clarity of instrumental duos, which give the composer both the opportunity and the challenge to write music in which every note can be heard and every note matters. He calls his violin duo a “sonatina” not because it’s short or easy to play, but rather to reflect its neoclassic aesthetic, its use of traditional forms and procedures, and its basically optimistic, high-spirited mood. The composers that he most admires and have most influenced him in this piece as in all his music are Bartok, Hindemith—and Mozart.
The classical concerts at the Northside Tavern have been a hit, offering a unique experience for listening to classical music and visiting a bar. In a Cincinnati Enquirer article bartender Beth Harris said of the series, “These nights are different. Delightful, very mellow. I didn’t know people drank so much wine.” To get you in the mood, here’s footage from a lovely Classical Revolution performance by Brickmeat, a saxophone duo: