(CarnegieHall) On its gala opening night, Carnegie Hall hosted the Cleveland Orchestra under the baton of Franz Welser-Most, the latest in a series of great Cleveland conductors. Originally polished into one of the nation’s a top orchestras by George Szell, Welser-Most showed New Yorkers a glorious sound. Three famous soloists were featured in the program, which began with a well-known rip-snorter, Otto Nikolai’s Overture to his little-known opera “The Merry Wives of Windsor.” This opera is always overshadowed (justifiably) by Verdi’s towering “Falstaff.”
Anne-Sophie Mutter continued with the “Romance for Violin and Orchestra,” by Beethoven which opens with a demanding section of double stops rendered smoothly by Mutter.(NYClassicalReview) The 250th anniversary of Beethoven’s birth is being celebrated this year by Carnegie Hall and other musical institutions. This enabled us to hear his Triple Concerto for Violin, Cello, and Piano–a masterpiece rarely performed, maybe because it’s hard to get the three top artists you need to do it properly. Pianist Yefim Bronfman and cellist Lynn Harrell joined Mutter for the Concerto. Harrell’s warm tone complemented Mutter’s perfectly. (tootingourhorn) Bronfman, a virtuoso soloist, never swamps the string players. A new work composed for him, “Trauermarsch,” will debut tonight with Bronfman playing. (ClevelandClassical)
The final work, Richard Strauss’ Concert Suite from his opera, “Der Rosenkavalier,” (one of my top five)* and Welser-Most, tore the roof off. The horns had none of the awkward spurts we often hear int the opening, the strings shimmered, and Welser-Most drew a splendid unified sound from the group without any of the gymnastics some conductors (they shall be nameless) seem to need.(wiki)
Tonight is the Cleveland’s last performance–go if you can. They are doing Mahler’s Fifth with the wonderful Adagietto. If you can’t go, try to see or hear the Cleveland soon.
Our seats cost a little more as it was a gala night–we sat in the second row of the Dress Circle, pretty high up, but the acoustics in CH are so perfect, we could hear the instruments perfectly. When you buy tickets, try not to get them under the overhang; it makes a difference. Sometimes we can get the second row of the Second Tier and those seats are terrific and a good value.
*My Top Five Operas: Le Nozze di Figaro, Die Meistersinger, Fidelio, Otello and Der Rosenkavalier.
What are your favorites?