Here's a video of The Cleveland Orchestra on October 31, 2009 in Vienna:
Here's a video of The Cleveland Orchestra on October 31, 2009 in Vienna:
The Cleveland Orchestra musicians had a rest day in
Music Director Franz Welser-Möst gave Cleveland Plain Dealer journalist Zachary Lewis a tour of the Vienna Staatsoper, or State Opera in the afternoon. The palatial building was completed in 1869. In the orchestra pit, Franz told Zach about attending his first performance there as a young boy, which was Wagner’s Tristan and Isolde. Last season at the legendary hall, Franz conducted Wagner’s Ring Cycle.
In the fall of 2010, Franz will become the General Music Director of the celebrated opera house. Former Music Directors there have included Richard Strauss, Karl Böhm, and Herbert von Karajan. Gustav Mahler was the Music Director from 1897 to 1907. Later in the tour, Franz visited the library and archives, Mahler’s office, and the large room named after Mahler where they have auditions for the Vienna Philharmonic. The musicians of the Vienna Philharmonic are recruited from the State Opera orchestra. In the summer of 2013, the Lincoln Center Festival will present a Vienna State Opera production in
After the tour, and some interviews for
When The Cleveland Orchestra and Music Director Franz Welser-Möst visited Cleveland's John Hay and James Ford Rhodes High Schools in September, they took many of the students by surprise, winning over listeners who thought they didn't like classical music. In essays written after the concert, students shared their reactions.
"Powerful and hard hitting," said Jasmine W. of John Hay High School. "Mesmerizing," said Jared W. of James Ford Rhodes High School, who added, "Also, the way that the musicians had to work together and had to trust one another was a strong reminder of how a single passion can bring together even the most diverse of people." Read on, for more of these stirring comments from new Cleveland Orchestra fans.
John Hay High School
“This is the first time that I have ever seen an orchestra play. I thought it was marvelous and magnificent. Growing up I thought that orchestras were all boring, but, boy, was I wrong. I could actually feel what they were playing, inside of me. They played so eloquently, but yet it was so powerful and hard hitting.” - Jasmine W.
“This was my first experience with classical music. It made me feel enlightened. It was like something I had never heard before. I always thought that classical music was boring, perplexing, and depressing, but The Cleveland Orchestra proved me wrong. Their expression made me feel the rhythm of the music in my heart beat! The strength and the power of the music was what really made the deepest impression...My taste for classical music has suddenly changed! … The Cleveland Orchestra is the sound of self-discovery.”
- Lilliana R.
James Ford Rhodes High School
“This was a historical moment for me that I will always look back upon. Experiencing classical music for the initial time for me was profound. Classical music makes me feel so sophisticated and important. When I heard this classical music I felt like queen of England sitting in her throne drinking red wine.”
- Miranda J.
“It is no shock that the Cleveland Orchestra is recognized worldwide. Even in the gymnasium of our school, they were mesmerizing. It was a further demonstration of the experience and the passion that the musicians have, as well as the respect that they have for each other. Also, the way that the musicians had to work together and had to trust one another was a strong reminder of how a single passion can bring together even the most diverse of people.”
- Jared W.
“I think that it is great how the Cleveland Orchestra has such a long history, and you can tell by how they play that they plan on making history in the future.”
- Elizabeth S.
“Classical music is very relaxing and heart touching. Classical music reaches my heart in a place nothing else can. It reminds me of all the good times my life and forget the bad.”
- Helena A.
“The Cleveland Orchestra was my first experience with classical music. I thought it was a great experience for myself and my fellow classmates, because it helped expand our musical horizon. The emotion the classical music exudes nearly brought me to tears. The poetic sounds and rhythm to the music touched my soul.”
- Kimberly M.
“Each piece made me feel euphoric and I left wanting to hear more.”
- Natalie B.
"The music gives me a feeling that nothing else could give me. It gives me what seems like all emotions at once. It is an amazing feeing I will only feel when I hear my hometown’s orchestra play their beautiful music!"
- Melodie R.
"I am proud that the city of Cleveland can call this remarkable and noteworthy orchestra their own. Every individual here should see them at least once and experience the staggering performance that was witnessed by my fellow students and staff members. Some will have a greater awareness of how engaging classical music is and might even pick up a cello or violin; others might comprehend how much hard work and dedication one must put into a project to achieve great things."
- Ashley F.
Click here to view a video of Franz Welser-Möst speaking about the high school concerts and the Orchestra's Community Music Initiative on WVIZ's Applause with Dee Perry on Thursday, October 29, 2009.
The return of Cleveland - ConcertoNet.com, Paris, October 25, 2009
Cleveland Orchestra opens Vienna residency with resplendent Liszt, Debussy - Plain Dealer, Cleveland, October 29, 2009
A Dream Come True - Ovations for Welser-Möst and his Cleveland Orchestra, Österreich, October 31, 2009
Enthusiasm at The
Colors. When it comes to coloristic imagination and its collective realization, he’s second to none: Franz Welser-Möst understands the importance of contrasting and mixing colors and subtle nuances. When there are passing “Clouds” on the sky, one hears soft, weightless musical drawings, as if the tone picture had been made by Paul Klee and not Claude Debussy. “Fêtes,” in Welser-Möst’s hands, was never turbulent but always remained clear and transparent. Then, for Liszt’s Faust Symphony: three character studies of Faust, Gretchen and Mephisto, now learned, now full of emotion and effect--another interpretation that was carefully planned down to the smallest detail.
The Cleveland Orchestra follows its conductor and his wishes with the greatest sensitivity. The musicians listen to one another and react to one another; they offer delicate ensemble playing, not just a technically perfect delivery. It was chamber music for large orchestra. With Welser-Möst, a dream had come true. - Karl Löbl
Like "Grand Opera!" - Kronen Zeitung, October 31, 2009
The beginning of The Cleveland Orchestra’s residency in
Franz Welser-Möst boldly staged Liszt’s monumental three-movement work as “grand opera,” anticipating Wagner’s Tristan in its expressivity and its colors. The contours were sharp as needles, the cantilenas melting and sensuous. The demonic irony in the Mephisto movement ended in dashing virtuosity.
Debussy sparkled with breath-taking delicacy. Enthusiasm and ovations. As an encore, the prelude to the third act of Lohengrin. One looks forward to the remaining concerts with excitement. - Karlheinz Roschitz
Sometimes the way an audience applauds can be an indication of performance quality. There can be frenetic ovations by fans, covering up any flaws of their favorites; and there can be forms of appreciation that begin hesitatingly and eventually grow, as if to conjure up the special atmosphere only as an afterthought.
The applause that greeted The Cleveland Orchestra and its music director Franz Welser-Möst Thursday night, after the first concert of their Musikverein residency, was different. It was vigorous yet not hysterical but rather satisfied and fulfilled, especially after the encore, the prelude to Act III of Wagner’s Lohengrin, which could be a symbol for everything this artistic partnership stands for. One frequently hears this music with similar passion, but never as flawlessly as this time.
In perfect intonation yet with great intensity, the violins scaled the heights, as particularly exposed representatives of the entire group’s unique musical culture. The conductor could just let it flow and shape some carefully calibrated accompanying voices: he could rely on the absolute precision he was able to elicit with the smallest gestures. That much was evident in two of Debussy’s Nocturnes, which sounded finely wrought and effortless with vital contours, while Liszt’s Faust Symphony was as wild as you can imagine and filled with abundant sonority. Yet for all the energy and sharpness, the dosages were carefully controlled and, in spite of all the mad rush in the “Mephisto” movement, everything was perfectly clear.
A few minor quibbles won’t diminish the value of this fabulous performance. In the “Gretchen” movement, where Welser-Möst gave the accompanying figures of the solo strings considerable freedom, the latter were not always able to convincingly fill out the space they had received; in general, wherever the music required the individuality of single musicians, the final spark was often missing. Nevertheless, while one can perhaps think of playing that is more original or more subjective, it is impossible to play any better [than The Cleveland Orchestra]. - Daniel Ender
Discipline has a name: Franz Welser-Möst in Vienna and Linz - Neues Volksblatt, Linz, October 31, 2009
Until Halloween, the conductor from Upper Austria and The
It is already the fourth time that The Cleveland Orchestra, from the United States, and Franz Welser-Möst, their music director from Upper Austria, are ‟artists in residence” at the Vienna Musikverein. “The Musikverein is for a musician what the
These residencies by one of the American “Big Five” orchestras take Welser-Möst not only to
Success and Celebration, despite uneasy feelings
The first of the orchestra’s five concerts at the Musikverein was a success and a celebration, even though the audience had to fight some uneasy feelings, since a program without a single work by Mozart, Beethoven, Schumann or Haydn creates insecurity, especially in times of crisis.
The first half, with two of Debussy’s Nocturnes, lasted only half an hour. The opening of “Nuages” (‟Clouds”) had nothing effusive or ostentatious in it; it was painted with lyricism yet everything was strictly controlled. Welser-Möst’s brushstrokes confirmed his profoundly transcendent approach, which can only be reached by asceticism. Thus, thanks to the differentiation between the various instrumental groups, the clouds floated, dissolved, regrouped and subtly announced a thunderstorm to resolve the tensions. As an appropriate contrast, “Fêtes” (“Festivals”) was a wild, orgiastic ride that never fell flat and sent the audience off at intermission.
The greater part of the evening was reserved for Franz Liszt’s Faust Symphony. The title character, Gretchen and Mephistopheles were each thrown on a musical canvas in a separate movement. Gretchen came across more lyrical than lovely. Mephisto was a musical antithesis. Welser-Möst manifested a diabolical weakness in his well-controlled playfulness that was made credible only by his well-known religiosity.
In spite of its brilliance, the Debussy nocturnes received only timid applause; yet Faust was greeted by a veritable storm of ovations. The prelude to Act III of Richard Wagner’s Lohengrin, played as an encore, finally unleashed a truly jubilant mood.
Quotes from reviews in Amsterdam:
"Anyone who might have wondered whether The Cleveland Orchestra was still the best orchestra in the world under its present music director (since 2002), the 49-year-old Austrian Franz Welser-Möst, may rest assured after the opening measures of Debussy's Nuages. What a wonderful English-horn sound, what enchanting dynamic nuances and what a mysterious richness of colors!" - Parool, Amsterdam, October 24, 2009
"The evening began beautifully with two of Debussy's Nocturnes. With little apparent effort, Franz Welser-Möst drew the most magnificent colors and moods from the orchestra, as if he had been Eduard van Beinum's nephew." - Telegraaf, Amsterdam, October 24, 2009
A photo slide show of the famous Musikverein is accompanied by an audio update about The Cleveland Orchestra's first day in Vienna for the 2009 Musikverein Residency.
Photos from Musikverein wesbite: www.musikverein.at
The video includes footage of the Royal Ducal Family, who attended the concert, which was dedicated to the past Grand Duchess Joséphine-Charlotte, who passed away in 1985.
After a triumphant concert last night, today was a private rest day for Cleveland Orchestra musicians in Paris. The Orchestra's Archivist, Deborah Hefling, brought out some photos from past travels. For those of you who are familiar with the individual faces of the Orchestra, see if you can recognize the people in the photos. You can click on the photos to see a larger image.
The Cleveland Orchestra and Music Director Franz Welser-Möst’s live recording of Bruckner’s Symphony No. 7 is now available on DVD. The new DVD was released in the U.S. on Oct. 27, coinciding with the Orchestra’s European tour and its return appearance on November 3 to the Brucknerhaus in Linz, which is named for the Austrian composer.
Recorded by WVIZ/PBS ideastream® at the Orchestra’s home, Severance Hall in Cleveland, during concerts on September 25 and 26, 2008, the Bruckner 7 recording is the third Bruckner DVD featuring the Orchestra and Franz Welser-Möst. Copies may be purchased at the Cleveland Orchestra Store, online at clevelandorchestra.com and at retailers nationwide.
The new DVD continues the Orchestra’s ongoing collaboration with WVIZ/PBS ideastream. On June 11, 2008, PBS broadcast “The Cleveland Orchestra in Performance: Bruckner Symphony No. 5,” recorded in the Abbey of St. Florian in Linz, Austria, by Clasart and produced for U.S. broadcast by WVIZ/PBS. For 15 years, WVIZ/PBS has been the video production partner for The Cleveland Orchestra’s annual “Star-Spangled Spectacular Concert and Festival” at Public Square in downtown Cleveland.
View a slideshow of photos from the Orchestra's performances of Bruckner on September 25 and 26, 2008:
The Cleveland Orchestra has received eight Grammy Awards and 31 Grammy nominations. In addition to recordings released on commercial labels, The Cleveland Orchestra has itself produced five sets of archival recordings: the 75th Anniversary Compact Disc Edition, the George Szell Centennial Compact Disc Edition, the Christoph von Dohanyi Compact Disc Edition, George Szell – Live in Tokyo 1970 (Szell’s last recorded concert), and the Robert Shaw Legacy Compact Disc Edition.
View a preview of the DVD on the Orchestra’s YouTube Channel or read more details here.
The Cleveland Orchestra performed tonight at the Théâtre des Champs-Élysées in Paris. Prior to the concert, there was a reception for guests from Cleveland, as well as Cleveland's sister city, Rouen, France. After a program of Debussy, Haydn, and Shostakovich, Music Director Franz Welser-Möst and the musicians received so much applause they offered an encore, Wagner's Prelude to Act I from Lohengrin, and then there was a rhythmic applause that continued until Franz brought one hand over his heart in gratitude to the audience.
Here's a video of the acoustic sound check, the beautiful hall, and the applause.
To see a photo slideshow and report about tonight's Cleveland Orchestra concert at the Concertgebouw, click here.
The Concertgebouw is one of the most visited concert halls on earth. Approximately 800,000 people attend concerts there annually.
The hall is located in an area with famous museums and fashion shops. Busy commuters pass by the front of the hall in a flurry of activity.
A poster advertising the performance of The Cleveland Orchestra at Amsterdam's Concertgebouw.
The interior of the hall prior to a performance.
A modern annex was added to the hall - the glass exterior attached to the historic part of the building and the ornate chandeliers hanging in the stylish cafe are an interesting juxtaposition of old and new.
Bicycles are a major mode of transportation in this beautiful city. This bike parking lot on the side of the Concertgebouw is for staff and musicians. A couple of violinists from the Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra were spotted biking into the concert this evening.
These are photos of the view from the Orchestra's hotel in Amsterdam, where they arrived this morning around 11 a.m. You can see the canal - typical here, and the lovely architecture. Around 5:30 p.m. you could see dozens of people commuting home from work on their bicycles. Near the hotel is a walk of contemporary public art and sculptures that are very fascinating. Just in front of the hotel is an enormous - it must be at least 50 feet long - torso of a woman lying on her back. The juxtaposition of the new art in the historic neighborhood is quite provocative.
After a luckily non-eventful trip through Frankfurt, it was a grey, cloudy day, so good for catching up on rest before practicing and getting a little chance to see some sights.
Of course, Amsterdam is known for its museums, the Rijksmuseum of famous classic Dutch art and the Van Gogh Museum. Many people are interested in visiting Anne Frank's house. Outside the building where she wrote the famous diary is a horse chestnut tree - we see many of those in Cleveland. The tree is now fading, but its saplings have been sent around the world to places that advocate for and educate children.
In Miami, tune in to Classical South Florida 89.7 FM on Tuesday, October 27, at 8:00 p.m. or listen online to hear the concert.
The program features the legendary maestro Kurt Masur conducting The Cleveland Orchestra in an all-Beethoven program of Beethoven’s Symphony No. 7; Leonore Overture No. 3; and Piano Concerto No. 1, with French-Canadian pianist Louis Lortie as soloist.
The program is a live recording of sold-out Cleveland Orchestra performances at the Adrienne Arsht Center for the Performing Arts of Miami-Dade County on March 6 and 7, 2009.
In its review on March 7, 2009, The Miami Herald called the performance “…indisputably world-class Beethoven playing. The orchestra’s refinement and technical gleam were remarkably airtight, even in the most hard-driving pages.”
For more information about The Cleveland Orchestra’s 2010 Miami Residency, or to purchase tickets, visit www.clevelandorchestramiami.com.
The Cleveland Orchestra will be performing in some of the greatest concert halls in the world in the next 11 days.
Like Severance Hall, the Amsterdam Concertgebouw and Vienna’s Musikverein are inextricably linked to the particular sounds of their resident orchestras. Some people say that you can’t have a great orchestra without a great hall. In the case of these pairings, the orchestras and halls go together.
The Amsterdam Concertgebouw is home to the Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra. In 1888, the winner of an architectural competition built this hall in what was then a marsh outside the Amsterdam city limits. One of the Concertgebouw’s neighbors in this museum district is the Rijksmuseum, which is known worldwide for its collection of Dutch art. Another neighbor is the famous Van Gogh Museum.
The Concertgebouw was modeled after the Gewandhaus concert hall in Leipzig, a building that was destroyed in 1943. It has a shoebox-shaped auditorium, a configuration also used at Symphony Hall in Boston. This shoebox shape is softened by rounded corners and is thought to create the Concertgebouw’s famously beautiful sound. The hall seats more than 2,000 people.
In Paris, the Orchestra performs at the Theatre des Champs-Elysées, which is not actually located on the famous shopping street. This Art Deco building opened in 1913 and that same year entered the history books because of the wild reaction to the premiere of the ballet The Rite of Spring, with its score by Stravinsky. The Theatre des Champs-Elysées is the home of the Orchestre National de France and Orchestre Lamoureux.
The newest hall that the orchestra will visit is the Philharmonie Luxembourg, which opened in 2005. This strikingly contemporary structure is shaped like an oval, with curving, sweeping lines. Its façade is a colonnade screen formed by 823 steel columns, for a distinctive presentation. The hall seats approximately 1,200.
The Musikverein was built by the Gesellschaft der Musikfreunde – Vienna’s society of friends of music. Walk inside the building’s large hall, and you are bathed in a golden glow, from the ceilings to the imposing, larger-than-life statues that flank the perimeter. The main hall of the Musikverein has a rectangular shape and a wooden floor, but the certain something that creates its resonant glow remains a mystery. The Cleveland Orchestra feels very much at home here, now that it is returning for its fourth residency.
From Vienna, it’s a quick trip for the Orchestra to perform at the Brucknerhaus in Linz. The hall is named for Upper Austria’s most famous composer, Anton Bruckner. Despite the history, the Brucknerhaus is a modern hall, built in 1974. Linz is also Franz Welser-Most’s hometown, and the whole Orchestra feels right at home here, having played there previously.
To hear an Orchestra musician's perspective on the Concertgebouw, tune in to WCLV 104.9 FM, or listen online at wclv.com tomorrow at 10:20 a.m. or 5:20 p.m.
The Cleveland Orchestra performed in Toronto tonight at Roy Thomson Hall. It's been 20 years since the last appearance here. 102 musicians, Franz, a librarian, Tito Muñoz, assistant conductor, 4 stagehands, 8 staff, 1 tour agent, 1 doctor, and 18 guests departed today from Cleveland Hopkins International Airport. The short flight landed the Orchestra in Toronto early enough to have a late lunch and locate some good spots to practice before a 7 p.m. acoustic check at the hall.
After the brief rehearsal, Toronto Symphony Music Director Peter Oundjian greeted Franz with a friendly welcome.
The Orchestra received a warm ovation with multiple bows, prompting an encore - Wagner's Prelude to Act I of Lohengrin. After the concert, Canadian Opera General Director Alexander Neef came backstage to congratulate Franz and the Orchestra. Also spied in the audience were a former member of the conducting staff, Jayce Ogren, and Toronto Star music critic William Littler.
here's Tito in front of a display of the new Cleveland Orchestra DVDs filmed in Severance Hall.
The first reviews are in! Anthony Kershaw of Audiophilia wrote that the Orchestra played "with flawless tuning and innate musicality." Read the full review at Audiophilia.com.