German Romantic composer Gustav Mahler was never satisfied with the middle ground. His work, regardless of voice or instrumentation, is massive, dramatic and emotive.
Perhaps this is why his decision to set The Chinese Flute, a series of poems translated from Chinese to German, in a song cycle made perfect sense. The tone of the selected texts alternates between jubilant exclamations of life’s joys and morose resignation to their fleeting nature.
Grout’s A History of Western Music calls Mahler’s Songs of the Earth “deservedly (his) best-known work, one that epitomizes all the traits of his genius.”
Music director Jean-Marie Zeitouni and the Columbus Symphony Orchestra will be joined in a performance of the work by guest soloists Sasha Cooke and Anthony Dean Griffey.
Tchaikovsky’s String Serenade is also on the program, to be offered at the Ohio Theatre Friday and Saturday, Feb. 22 and 23.
Tickets are $25-$65. Visit columbussymphony.com.
There are two upcoming shows for folks predisposed to eclectic, rootsy modern pop-rock.
Akron’s The Speedbumps take the Rumba Cafe stage Friday, Feb. 22. The outfit is a string trio of sorts, the members wielding upright bass, cello, guitar, ukulele and more to create organic and quirky folk-pop. Tickets are $5. Visit columbusrumbacafe. com.
Raw and infused with a sense of wanderlust, Memphis’ Star and Micey could be categorized also as folk-pop, but expect a more bluesy and rockin’ sound when they play Woodlands Taverns Tuesday, Feb. 26. The band is touring in support of its new EP, I Can’t Wait.
Tickets are $10. Visit woodlandstavern.com.
Renowned Danish recorder virtuoso Michala Petri joins ProMusica Chamber Orchestra for concerts Saturday, Feb. 23, at the Pontifical College Josephinum and Sunday, Feb. 24, at the Southern Theatre.
The programs will include music specifically tailored to the unique settings of each location. Additionally, Petri will perform on a variety of different styles of recorder.
David Danzmayr, the orchestra’s music director-designate, leads his last program as “guest” conductor this season before formally assuming the title of music director this summer.
Tickets are $10-$49. Visit promusicacolumbus.org.
New Albany’s McCoy Center for the Arts turns pink, right along with the title character of the hit off-Broadway musical Pinkalicious, which plays Sunday, Feb. 24.
Based on the popular children’s book, the one-hour musical features book and lyrics by the book’s authors, Elizabeth Kann and Victoria Kann.
Pinkalicious will be presented at 1 and 4 p.m. Tickets are $15-$25. Visit mccoycenter.org.
The Beat has always worked hard to “get” anything about which we might write. This is achieved to varying levels of success. Thus we were torn over which of two dance-music shows to feature, and opted to throw in both.
Willy Moon is both awkward and a consummate showman all at once, laying beats and loops over tunes whose foundations are often reminiscent of classic rock ‘n’ roll forms. We’re still wrapping our brains around the tunes, but he puts on quite the show.
See for yourself at the A&R Bar Tuesday, Feb. 26. Tickets are $5. Visit promowestlive.com.
The music of Tiesto is much more appealing to our ears, the Dutch-born DJ spinning melody after sugar-coated melody. Of course, his show is more suited to a dance hall, unless a pleasing-but-not overwhelming light show and a guy standing behind a bank of turntables and laptops is your idea of live concert heaven.
Tiesto comes to Nationwide Arena Thursday, Feb. 28. Tickets start at $30; $40 for general admission floor tickets. Visit nationwidearena.com.