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Press Quotes

A collection of recent reviews of The Cleveland Orchestra.

From the Orchestra’s 2012 European Festivals Tour:

“If the strings are the heart and soul of the symphony orchestra, then The Cleveland Orchestra is essentially in terrific shape. . . . It was the full-bodied attack of the strings in the gutsy opening bars, and their brilliantly delicate and muted virtuosity in the second movement, that were the icing on the cake.” 
                                                                          —The Scotsman, August 22, 2012

“The Cleveland Orchestra is often described as the aristocrat among American orchestras.  If ‘aristocratic’ means spellbinding finesse in sound and style, then their first Edinburgh Festival concert certainly came up trumps. . . . The music we heard gave a lot of pleasure, largely because it was shrewdly chosen to show off the Clevelanders’ fabulous sheen and warmth.” 
                                                                          —London Telegraph, August 22, 2012

“In this one heard a courageous Bruckner, unafraid of dissonances, magnificently brought alive by Franz Welser-Möst and his Cleveland Orchestra..”
                                                                          —Deutschland Radio, August 25, 2012

“Representing the ruins of a demolished tower of concrete and lead, Matthias Pintscher orchestrates a catastrophic destruction in his Chute d’Étoiles (‘Falling Stars’).  Metallic explosions of sound run into the calm of a post-apocalyptic ‘sea of lead,’ and it is left to two solo trumpets to drive this cycle of destruction and new creation forward. . . . Michael Sachs and Jack Sutte performed with great verve and in a mirage-like whisper, using idioms not far removed from free jazz; they gradually soar to a state of golden splendor.” 
                                                                          —Die Südotschweiz, August 27, 2012

“The host of strings (eight double basses, an unusual complement of twelve violas seated on the conductor’s right, etc.) was amazing — a sound mass with a lot of fighting power. . . . This string section can clearly do anything perfectly, and Welser-Möst was able to demonstrate that fact with brio.” 
                                                                          —Südwest Presse, August 29, 2012

“[In Smetana’s Má Vlast] Welser-Möst had the harpist touch the strings with great subtlety, and the wiry immediacy of the strings (with William Preucil as concertmaster) was striking.”
                                                                          —Stuttgart Nachrichten, August 29, 2012

“[In Smetana’s The Moldau] the coloring was precise, almost pointillistic, the tempo flowing and animated, with furious explosive power and dramatic brio in the passage of the cataracts, and with silky sparkle in the violins for the scene of the mermaids in the silvery moonlight.  The conductor thoroughly cleansed this earworm from all the patina of spa concerts.  The familiar sounded excitingly new — this was definitely worth listening to carefully.”
                                                                          —Esslinger Zeitung, August 29, 2012


From the Orchestra’s 2012 U.S. West Coast Tour:

“There were times during the two evenings when the sheer splendor of the orchestra’s playing made you sit upright in awestruck appreciation. On Sunday, the expansive, dark-hued slow movement that takes up most of Shostakovich’s Sixth Symphony was a miracle of expressive grandeur, which Welser-Möst paced with weight and fluidity.” 
                                                                          —San Francisco Chronicle, April 17, 2012

“The playing was gorgeously refined and gorgeously grand.” 
                                                                          —Los Angeles Times, April 15, 2012

“This orchestra is truly world-class. Its sound is rich and full. . . . Welser-Möst has continued the tradition of his distinguished predecessors by retaining the identifiable ‘Cleveland sound’ while bringing a fresh concept of ensemble playing featuring exceptionally subtle dynamic interrelationships, especially within the strings.”
                                                                          —Las Vegas Review-Journal, April 22, 2012