Franz Welser-Most: A New Century | Cleveland Orchestra TCO0001

Franz Welser-Most: A New Century


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Label: Cleveland Orchestra

Cat No: TCO0001

Format: SACD

Number of Discs: 3

Genre: Orchestral

Release Date: 5th June 2020

Gramophone Editor's Choice



Three pairings of works make up the The Cleveland Orchestra’s A New Century collection, available as a three-disc deluxe box set with a 150 page companion book.

All these recordings were made in the intimate acoustics of Severance Hall, and pieces on the set include Beethoven’s Opus 132 late string quartet, performed in a unique arrangement for string orchestra, Edgard Varèse’s wildly noisy 1928 orchestral portrait of New York City, Amériques, Richard Strauss’s first tone poem, Aus Italien, and Sergei Prokofiev’s Third Symphony. Two world premiere recordings are also included, of Stromab by Johannes Maria Staud and Richard Bernd Deutsch’s concerto for organ and orchestra, Okeanos; these first-ever recordings of these pieces continue The Cleveland Orchestra’s longstanding commitment and abilities with new musical scores.  (In both instances, the recordings document The Cleveland Orchestra’s United States premiere of each work.)  Both Deutsch and Staud have served as composers-in-residence through The Cleveland Orchestra’s Daniel R. Lewis Young Composer Fellowship program. Organist Paul Jacobs is the featured soloist in Deutsch’s organ concerto.

These six musical selections showcase the range of the Franz Welser-Möst & Cleveland Orchestra partnership — now in its 18th year.  Welser-Möst’s contract was extended in 2019 to run through 2027, carrying him past George Szell’s legendary status as the longest-serving musical leader in the ensemble’s history.
The Cleveland Orchestra has a long and storied catalogue of recordings, providing testament to the ensemble’s ongoing and evolving artistry,” says André Gremillet, President and CEO of the Orchestra. “As we launch a new series of recordings on our own label, this inaugural set documents the remarkable abilities and achievements of this ensemble under Franz Welser-Möst’s leadership. The repertoire has been chosen to highlight the breadth, depth and great artistic partnership between Franz and the Orchestra, with a particular focus on 20th and 21st century music.”
Each pairing places an older and contemporary work together, showcasing a kind of juxtaposition that Welser-Möst often uses in programming to help concerts act as musical journeys for the listeners.  “I believe that every concert is as much about creating an emotional journey for the audience as it is a musical one,” says Cleveland Orchestra Music Director Franz Welser-Möst.  “An orchestra’s technique and artistry are not just about serving the music as an art form, but creating a special experience in performance.”
In my career, I have found no better place in the world to work and create music than here in Cleveland, with The Cleveland Orchestra,” says Welser-Möst.  “From the beginning, I have been inspired by the musicians and the support and keen interest that the entire Cleveland community provides their Orchestra.  The six pieces on this new album are just a sampling of what we have accomplished together.  We have an exciting opportunity going forward, as we choose additional music to offer the world through recordings on our own label.”

Included with the deluxe box set is an extensive 150-page companion book which explores continuity and change at The Cleveland Orchestra, across musical leaders, changes and enhancements to the ensemble’s home concert hall, and the rock-steady influence of a hometown community that constantly demands and responds to great musicians playing great music with new and refreshing perspectives.

Recorded at Severance Hall, Cleveland, May 2017 - July 2019.

3 x Hybrid SACD deluxe box set with 150-page handbook book.

Box dimensions:  12.625” x 8.75” x 1.625”.

A New Century 150-page deluxe companion book (11” x 7.5”) contents:
·         Introduction by André Gremillet, President and CEO, The Cleveland Orchestra.
·         Essay about “Why Music Matters,” by Franz Welser-Möst, Music Director, The Cleveland Orchestra.
·         Two interviews with Welser-Möst, about The Cleveland Orchestra and its future.
·         Program notes about the six musical selections, taken from the Orchestra’s program book, written by Welser-Möst, James R. Oestreich, Hugh Macdonald, and Eric Sellen.
·         Articles about Severance Hall’s acoustics and the Orchestra’s history, by Eric Sellen.
·         Portrait of Cleveland as a city, by Suzanne de Roulet.
·         Illustrated with over 150 photographs.


We don’t have a record of Strauss conducting his early Aus Italien for reference, but Welser-Möst and his wonderfully responsive Cleveland musicians go straight to the top of the pile alongside Muti in Berlin (Philips, 9/90). … The two new works, by former and current holders of the Cleveland’s composer-in-association post, share a glittering array of textures with Prokofiev and Strauss, also a fairly straightforward direction of travel…  Peter Quantrill (Recording of the Month)
Gramophone July 2020

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