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Press Quotes

A collection of review excerpts about The Cleveland Orchestra.

From the Orchestra’s 2019 Asia Tour:

“Led by music director Franz Welser-Möst, the overall performance was elegant and balanced, utterly in the European manner. . . . It has been thirty-two years since the orchestra visited Taipei, and this fine orchestra’s concert was without doubt worth the wait. . . . The entire audience was captivated and the applause continued for a long time. . . . The Cleveland sound was perfectly balanced, embedded with deep cultural intellect. The experience was like standing in the middle of an ancient forest, inhaling the fragrance of the trees. The lower sonorities were firm, but under Welser-Möst the woodwinds come across very clearly, bearing testament to the conductor’s strength in fine-tuning orchestral timbre.”
               —China Times (Taipei), March 2019

“The nuanced, balanced, and refined musical performance captivated the audience.  The evening’s applause — before the interval, following the concerto, and for Daniil Trifonov’s encore — added up to nearly 15 minutes.”
              —Liberty Times (Taipei), March 2019
“From Beethoven’s Fifth Piano Concerto to Tchaikovsky’s Fifth Symphony, from the mountains of Germany and Austria to the vast wilderness of Russia, The Cleveland Orchestra under the baton of Franz Welser-Möst was clean, refreshing, and nuanced.  The audiences were totally enraptured.  At the end of the second piece, cheers and applause from the audience continued at extended length.”
              —Wuhan Evening Post (Wuhan), April 2019
“With Franz Welser-Möst’s conducting choices, The Cleveland Orchestra abandoned pursuing a rich sound, and focused instead on making the music flow.  Within this framework, while performing Tchaikovsky’s Fifth Symphony, they replaced emotional expression with a stable, smooth, and highly-integrated combination of brass, percussion, and strings.  This was distinctive and unique, when compared with other American orchestras. . . . The most exciting part of the two nights was without a doubt Richard Strauss’s Ein Heldenleben.  This work was full of musical details, providing the orchestra with an opportunity to showcase its strength to the fullest extent.  Welser-Möst’s logical and calm style emphasized structure, both in depth and breadth, reflecting what the work authentically requires. . . . The orchestra’s high artistic standard showed that Welser-Möst is an indispensable force in the ensemble’s history.”
              —Music Weekly (Beijing), April 2019

From the Orchestra’s 2017 European Tour:

“The Cleveland Orchestra’s visit to the Philharmonie de Paris was unquestionably a can’t-miss musical event. . . . Our expectations were fully met as we found the Austrian conductor’s interpretation of Mahler’s Sixth Sympony convincing, both in substance and in form. . . . The orchestra upheld its reputation for excellence. . . . This was a pertinent and intelligent interpretation, a very committed and convincing performance.  Bravo!”
               —ResMusica (Paris), October 2017

“Music is the primary focus — with the excellence of The Cleveland Orchestra under Franz Welser-Möst taking any listener’s breath away.  Even while briefly closing your eyes, you will still hear everything (and so much more) of what is happening visually in the opera.  This was fully-rounded sound with nuance — an event!  Flawless too were performances by Martina Janková as a touching Little Vixen, by Jennifer Johnson Cano as the fox and Alan Held as the Forester, or by Raymond Aceto as Harasta. . . . The cheers at the end were for every aspect of this performance.’”
              —Vienna Kurier, October 2017
“This was  a brilliant performance. . . . . Stravinsky’s Rite of Spring was . . . impressive; the music was precisely led by Franz Welser-Möst through the angular rhythms and contrasts into a thrilling final at the end.“
              —NDR Kultur (Hamburg), October 2017

“Welser-Möst unfolds the details of Mahler’s colossal symphonic scenario in forward-pressing tempos. . . . In doing so, he can safely rely on the abilities of the instrumental sections and soloists of his Clevelanders, who flawlessly savor Mahler’s expressive phrasing and colorful scales.  Powerful crescendos are performed with the same perfection as the softly melting hues of the strings. . . . Great applause followed.”
              —Kronen Zeitung (Austria), October 2017

“Franz Welser-Möst conducted Mahler’s Sixth Symphony on the second evening of the performances with his Cleveland Orchestra in the Grosser Saal of the Elbphilharmonie. . . . Mahler, known for his demanding requirements, would probably have approved of what Welser-Möst did with this Mahler symphony.  How he merged together dramatic, hard-hitting, and frenetically loving characteristics.  How brilliantly and with caring focus on each detail this American orchestra proved itself in excellent form, especially throughout all the solo wind instruments. . . . Where to start the praise, where to end with the amazement?  Magnificent, for the urgency with which Welser-Möst kept the manically agitated pulse alive. . . This version was delightfully unsentimental, quite lean and sinewy, with the wallowing fat of pathos exercised away, offering an existential rollercoaster ride.  Every single measure called for everyone to give their all, a collective tour de force, an emotional burden that exhausted and animated at the same time.  At the end, there was the hard-earned standing ovation.”
              —Hamburger Abendblatt, October 2017
“The Cleveland Orchestra under the direction of Franz Welser-Möst impresses with its customary clarity and balance, which is their trademark.”
               —Der Standard (Austria), October 2017

“At this year’s residency in the Musikverein’s Goldener Saal, The Cleveland Orchestra and its chief conductor Franz Welser-Möst brought with them a shrewdly-conceived stage production, digitally-created at the highest caliber.  This was Yuval Sharon’s staging of the ‘Cunning Little Vixen,’ developed in 2014 for Severance Hall, Cleveland’s counterpart to the Musikverein. . . . Though the production’s image world was created digitally, it draws from fold-out paper models in a style commonly found in old books.  The full moon is by no means round.  Rather, it resembles a potato. The props impress by their charming imperfections, as if crafted from cardboard.  The audience’s imagination is not suffocated, but challenged. . . . The Cleveland Orchestra cultivates its musical rendering of Janaček at the highest level of color and nuance.  The airy explorations of the score are played with such delicacy, so light and brilliant, they seem to be of silk. . . . Great jubilation and applause for a unique operatic enterprise.”
              —Die Presse (Austria), October 2017

From the Orchestra’s 2016 European Festivals Tour:

“Welser-Möst creates the necessary space indeed for this orchestra to shine.  The dense sound is indicative of a tightly-knit team; Welser-Möst’s reputation of having been instrumental in developing the orchestra’s sound during his tenure as chief conductor is well deserved.  The performance was rewarded at the end with enthusiastic applause and congratulatory calls of ‘bravo’ from the audience.”
                —APA (Austrian Press Agency), August 2016

“This is an orchestra that has the marvelous ability to shift between pathos and clear, structured thought, without exaggerated sound splitting, without theatrics.  This is especially true for their conductor — Welser-Möst’s interpretation of Beethoven was exemplary in its clarity while avoiding extremes, even in the tempos.”
                —Badische Zeitung, August 2016

“Rousing applause sounded on Thursday in Salzburg’s Grosse Festspielhaus in celebration of The Cleveland Orchestra and music director Franz Welser-Möst.”
                —Salzburg Nachrichten, August 2016

“Welser-Möst’s ideas were matter of fact and clear.  He never hesitated, despite the many tempo changes and transitions.  The orchestra forged this piece in a single casting from the initial engaging, exciting note to the final accord.”
                —Salzburg Nachrichten, August 2016

“Under the guidance of maestro Franz Welser-Möst, The Cleveland Orchestra proved itself a superbly trained, beautifully sounding single body.”
                —Kronen Zeitung, August 2016

“The audience could admire the enormous transparency and sensitive subtleness of the chamber music in Bartók’s Music for Strings, Percussion, and Celesta, throughout the entire evening that The Cleveland Orchestra played at Salzburg’s Great Festival Hall.”
                —, August 2016

”The Cleveland Orchestra demonstrated its fabulous technical skill, coupled with rhythmic agility. . . . The adagio featuring some ghost-like effects was especially explored with attention to precision and coloring.”
                —Die Presse, August 2016

From the Orchestra’s Carnegie Hall performances in January and February 2016:

“It’s not often that a performance of a challenging new piece receives the kind of ovation typically awarded star virtuosi.  But that’s what happened on Sunday night at Carnegie Hall when the conductor Franz Welser-Möst led The Cleveland Orchestra in the New York premiere of the Danish composer Hans Abrahamsen’s ‘let me tell you.’ . . . Sunday’s program also offered an outstanding performance of Shostakovich’s formidable Fourth Symphony. . . . Mr. Welser-Möst and his great orchestra just played the piece to the hilt.  In this incisive, brilliant performance, the symphony seemed a purposeful entity, however shocking and excessive.”
                 —New York Times, January 18, 2016

“Both works require utmost precision and high-level solo contributions, abundantly provided by the magnificent Clevelanders.”
                 —Wall Street Journal, January 19, 2016

“The mighty Clevelanders turned their formidable attention to the often grotesque, ultimately sublime, hour-long ramblings and rumblings of Shostakovich’s rarely performed Fourth Symphony.”  
                 —Financial Times, January 19, 2016

“Less than a month after bringing an astonishing, hair-trigger program to Carnegie Hall — a wintry new vocal cycle by Hans Abrahamsen and a sensitive yet turbocharged Shostakovich performance — the Cleveland Orchestra returned on Sunday with something completely different . . . an evening of Mozart.  Clarity, enthusiasm, commitment, a cohesion that’s warmly responsive rather than coldly exact.  You always get the sense that this is a quartet in symphony orchestra’s clothing.  The redoubtable Mitsuko Uchida . . . led two concertos from the piano. . . .Perceptive, receptive music-making. . . . The glory of The Cleveland Orchestra remains its balances:  the smooth yet complex blend of its winds, the way the lower strings offer subtle depth to the higher ones.”
                  —New York Times, February 16, 2016

From the Orchestra’s 2015 European Tour and Vienna Residency:

Franz Welser-Möst led The Cleveland Orchestra on their sixteenth international concert tour and eighth biennial Vienna Residency together, performing twelve concerts in ten cities between October 15 and 31, 2015.  The tour featured performances in a number of Europe’s premier concert halls, including their debut performance at the new Philharmonie de Paris.  The following excerpts are taken from from reviews and commentary about these concerts:

“The Cleveland Orchestra’s sheer virtuosity, the honed precision of its interaction, and the scintillating silver gleam that was once its trademark, are still breathtaking.”
     —Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung, October 19, 2015

“From the famous theme to the most tragic or airy passages, the conductor showed his masterful skill, not leaving out any detail, and transcending each motif.  The promise of a very high quality concert was kept, giving the audience the opportunity to hear one of the best American orchestras in Europe.”
     —Crescendo, October 15, 2015 (Brussels)

“Welser-Möst’s uncommonly vivid conducting left no doubt — the interpretation was an argument that this work, as Beethoven said of his “Pastoral,” is more an expression of feeling than a painting. . . . The burst of excitement that followed gave the strings another opportunity to demonstrate their excellence.”
     —Luxemburger Wort, October 19, 2015

“Without a doubt, the superb Cleveland Orchestra, which prefers roundness to brilliance and never flashy virtuosity, adheres to the approach perfectly.  Their Austrian director successfully avoids the trap of going overboard and shows he knows how to conduct the music, from start to finish, making a tight, unified ensemble.”
     —ConcertoNet, October 22, 2015 (Paris)

“The strings and brass provided gleaming opulence, and Welser-Möst played the mountain guide in overdrive.  Overall, as was made clear at the Konzerthaus this evening, the musicians from Cleveland can play anything.”
     —Westfälische Nachrichten Münster-Stadt, October 24, 2015 (Dortmund)

“Conductor Franz Welser-Möst also strikes the necessary balance between attack and withdrawal, using timbre to maintain the internal tension. . . . Also key: the orch­estra’s clarity and transparency are always present in service of expression. . . . It was a brilliant evening by a great orchestra.”
     —Der Standard, October 29, 2015 (Vienna)

From the Orchestra’s 2015 Lincoln Center Festival performances:

“. . . right now The Cleveland Orchestra may be, as some have argued, the finest in America. . . . At the end of the opera, the ovations for Ms. Hangler, Mr. Schager and especially Mr. Welser-Möst and this remarkable orchestra were ecstatic.”
                     —New York Times, July 16, 2015

“This is a score that thunders and roars, and the Clevelanders absolutely nailed it … ensemble playing was perfectly judged. The sheer musicality of the players’ work was a wonder.”
                     —Musical, July 17, 2015

“. . . the opera poses plenty of challenges for the orchestra and the principal singers, which were handily surmounted in The Cleveland Orchestra.”
                     —Wall Street Journal, July 20, 2015

“. . . The Cleveland Orchestra exemplifies the finest kind of effortless virtuosity, as it demonstrated on Friday night at Avery Fisher Hall during the last of three eagerly anticipated programs for this summer’s Lincoln Center Festival.”
                     —New York Times, July 20, 2015

“The Cleveland Orchestra sounded absolutely radiant from the wispiest pianissimo to the most thundering fortissimo, and even in the iffy acoustic of Avery Fisher Hall, there was a sumptuous bloom in the tone.”
                     —New York Observer, July 22, 2015

From the Orchestra’s 2014 European Tour:

“Welser-Möst exhibited the mellow, silky sound he has cultivated in his twelve years with the Clevelanders. . . . The Brahms had old-school character — the symphony’s middle movements have never sounded so Viennese.”   
                   —Guardian (London), September 9, 2014

“Franz Welser-Möst is certainly an excellent technician — and last night all his skills were needed to keep a sprawling, fragmentary recent piece like Jörg Widmann’s Teufel Amor on track. . . . The Cleveland Orchestra can patrol contemporary music’s barricades with terrific expertise, commitment, and flair.”   
                   —Arts Desk, September 9, 2014

“Ohio’s prize orchestra is still gleaming, giving performances as precision-tooled as the cars that once rolled out from Michigan’s factories. . . . The orchestra’s ensemble sense is perfect.”
                    —London Times, Sepember 9, 2014

“Welser-Möst’s approach was intimate. . . . In the Brahms First Symphony, the playing was . . . extremely refined, the velvet smooth orchestral texture illuminated with expressive solo contributions and a sense of the musicians listening to each other. . . . The playing was visibly committed and responsive.”
                    —Music OMH, September 10, 2014

“Franz Welser-Möst has managed something radical with The Cleveland Orch­estra — making them play as one seamless unit. . . . Brahms’s Tragic Overture and Symphony No. 2 flickered with a very delicate beauty that makes the Clevelanders sound like no other orchestra.”   
                    —London Times, September 10, 2014

““The interpretations of Jörg Widmann works by The Cleveland Orchestra under Franz Welser-Möst’s baton can be considered exemplary and significant.  They radiated an inner warmth and have been worked down to the finest detail, and are at the same time supported by large voltage playing.”
                    —Berliner Zeitung, Sepember 15, 2014

“The First Symphony of Brahms was interpreted by Welser-Möst and The Cleveland Orchestra with enormous precision, great tempo, polished dynamics, and dramatic intelligence. . . . One not only heard the romantic side of Brahms, but also the wild and almost revolutionary one.”
                    —Kurier (Vienna), Sepember 15, 2014

From the Orchestra’s 2013 European Tour and Vienna Musikverein Residency:

“The handshakes from Franz Welser-Möst said it all.   In acknowledging the principals of The Cleveland Orchestra Friday night at Vienna’s Musik­verein, the music director did what most in attendance probably wished they could do themselves: personally thank the group for three superb performances in a row.  Not once in their concerts Wednesday through Friday was it apparent that the group had been traveling abroad nearly three weeks.  No, here at the end of their 2013 European Tour, the artists played with new focus and energy, and made sure Vienna enjoyed the fruits of their long musical labor.  The main thing apparent, frankly, was that the orchestra had been playing Beethoven and Shostakovich nonstop for weeks, and knew their six scores inside and out.  Here as nowhere else, the artists transcended the numerous pages on their stands, and simply took advantage of the Musikverein’s legendary acoustics.  No less clear was that the audience recognized expertise, and liked what it heard. . . . The response each night was hugely enthusiastic, giving Welser-Möst cause to repeatedly acknowledge individual players and the ensemble as a whole.”
                     —Zachary Lewis, Plain Dealer, Cleveland, November 23, 2013

“Franz Welser-Möst’s interpretations are anything but sober, yet clear in their formal articulation.  It is not the conceited omniscience of someone who pretends to understand the world.  His concerts reveal an earth-bound assurance, free from spectacle, affectation, and sentimentality.  He reads the score and interprets what’s there.  Self-denial in favor of the message of the artwork — this penchant for directness is beneficial. . . . Franz Welser-Möst has long been able to concentrate on works that really suit him, working on pieces he likes to say are ‘close to his heart’.”   
                     —Concerti, November 2013

“The second evening of their visit to Frankfurt started luxuriously:  The Cleveland Orchestra’s own chorus performed Beethoven’s Mass in C major at the Alte Oper, joined of course by the orchestra itself from Northeast Ohio, which was the focus of two concerts in the city.  The Cleveland Orchestra . . . juxtaposed works by Beethoven with the Sixth and Tenth Symphonies by Dmitri Shostakovich.  The symbiosis between the orchestra and the chorus was unsurpassable.  Under Austrian conductor Franz Welser-Möst, who has been music director in the city on Lake Erie since 2002, Beethoven’s lyrical, literal setting of the Latin Mass came across lean, subtle, and transparent, despite all the opulence in the performing forces.  The balance between singers and instrumentalists was perfect in the soft and mild passages.”
                     —Allgemeine Zeitung, November 12, 2013

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

From the Orchestra’s 2011 European Tour and Vienna Musikverein Residency:

“And in fact, the music sounded fabulous — with the weapons that Welser-Möst handles so scrupulously:  precision, rhythmic control, a certain highly effective minimalism.  All that, plus the assurance of having an orchestra like Cleveland at his command:  compact, secure, even luminous.”
                       —El Pais, October 22, 2011

“Welser-Möst was restrained in Mendelssohn, dominating in Stravinsky, and brilliant in Ravel.  His gestures are sober, his movements a bit mechanical; his image ranges from timid to robot-like, from subtle to introverted.  The analytic part takes precedence over the expressive.  The artistic results are overwhelmingly effective.  It is the art of perfection, pure and simple.  No excessive emphases, no special effects, none of those ‘strokes of genius’ that are so often arbitrary.  He even smiled in the Ravel, completely won over by the work’s rhythmic and timbral richness.  All sections of the orchestra responded homogeneously and with great class.”
                       —El Pais, October 22, 2011

“We were immediately won over by the agility of the strings, the warmly streaming sound of the woodwind, the unshakable security of the brass.  The true miracle, then, occurred in the two major works on the program, Tchaikovsky’s Fourth Symphony and, before intermission, the Doctor Atomic Symphony by John Adams.”
                       —, October 30, 2011

“Franz Welser-Möst navigated his orchestra, which cannot be called anything but fantastic, with a secure sense of control and great restraint.  At no time did he give in to sensationalism in this music, which is so rich in contrasts between pandemonic eruptions and soothing major-mode consonance.  Some members of the orchestra distinguished themselves with impressive solos; above all, trumpeter Michael Sachs knocked our socks off with his sovereign technique.”
                       —, October 30, 2011

“In concerts Tuesday and Wednesday at Salle Pleyel, an historic hall near L’Arc de Triomphe, the orchestra and music director Franz Welser-Möst more than proved themselves worthy of a long-term presence here, dazzling two nearly sold-out crowds and leaving audiences eager for more. Both nights, in fact, they were regaled with multiple rounds of synchronized clapping.”
                       —Zachary Lewis, Plain Dealer, Cleveland, October 27, 2011

“This pure-bred elegance is transmitted to all sections; the brilliance of the winds is inspired by the transparencey of the strings, though their sound is never overpowering.  Are American orchestras too flashy, too thundering?  Cleveland is the dream antidote to this persistent cliché.  Here is the most refined of orchestras, where the supernatural cohesion of the attacks never turns into a power show by an advancing army.” 
                       —Le Figaro, October 28, 2011

“The triumph of the evening, marked by a prolonged acclaim, was due to Mozart’s great C-minor Mass (K. 427).  Here Welser-Möst gradually unveiled an overall plan that was as comprehensive as it was successful, dashing and radiant, expressive and stylish.” 
                       —Vienna Kurier, November 2, 2011

“Yet for all the technical craftsmanship, one can also bring out the eloquence of this music, if one lets true emotions resonate.  Franz Welser-Möst has succeeded in doing just that, since he has the finest string playing to build upon and is thus able to turn a breathtakingly beautiful study in sound into a moving, expressive musical statement without forcing the interpretation in the least.”
                       —Die Presse, November 1, 2011

From the Orchestra’s 2011 Lincoln Center Festival Residency:

“Mr. Welser-Möst comes from Linz, Austria, Bruckner’s hometown, and his devotion to this music was palpable. . . . In the Fifth Symphony, the stretches of the Adagio where the music turns two tiered, with ostinato figures in the lower strings and a wafting melody in the violins, were exquisitely rendered. Mr. Welser-Möst brought structural shape to the run-on scherzo, which is not easy. His account of the elusive, iconoclastic finale, which somehow merges complex fugues with a sprawling sonata form, was exhilarating.”
                       —New York Times, July 2011

“On Sunday afternoon . . . the Ninth Symphony revealed Bruckner at his most forward-looking. The score itself is emotionally tumultuous and daring harmonically, and the performance, another glorious effort under Welser-Most, only amplified these qualities. That the audience sat silent for several seconds before erupting into applause after the Finale was almost no surprise, given the severity of the journey just completed.  But Saturday’s performance of Bruckner’s Symphony No. 8 was in a class by itself, one of those special occasions when conductor and orchestra are in perfect alignment. Every gesture was infused with uncommon zest, from the pounding cascades of the Scherzo to the Adagio’s glimmering harps and shattering climax. Just as the orchestra in the Finale always held one new emotional level in reserve, so did the entire reading sound both surprising and inexorable.”
                        —Plain Dealer, Cleveland, July 2011
“The performance moved naturally and inexorably, feeling neither unduly padded nor overlong. Mr. Welser-Möst’s feel for Bruckner’s sound and idiom was evident in lucid balances, well-judged tempos and a keen sense of how to shape phrases naturally. Other conductors have milked from this work a greater impression of mysticism; Mr. Welser-Möst’s knack is to let Bruckner provide his own best testimony. The orchestral playing was transcendently beautiful, with warm, burnished strings and radiant, weighty brass chorales that were particularly breathtaking. A roaring ovation rang out at the end, undiminished for more than five minutes.”
                         —New York Times, July 2011

From the Orchestra’s 2010 Asia Tour and Tokyo Residency:

“Eight years after Welser-Möst first assumed his post as conductor, the combination seems today to be going perfectly.  Starting from the dreamy soft tones of the principal flautist in Debussy’s Prelude to the Afternoon of a Faun . . . the stage was set from the beginning in the Cleveland Orchestra style.  The themes were presented all the more clearly through Welser-Möst’s delicate direction, leading the audience into the dreams of the slumbering faun.”
                          —Mainichi Shimbun, Tokyo, November 2010

“The sound of the orchestra was also thoroughly refined.  The inner voices that provide subtle flavors and the vivid tonal colors of the woodwinds could be heard with real clarity.”
                          —Hokkaido Shimbun, Sapporo, November 2010
“The performance of Bruckner’s Symphony No. 7 in the second half was singularly outstanding.  . . . Under Welser-Möst’s direction, there were no rough or uncouth sounds to be heard anywhere in this “rustic” score.  Even the first movement, which is like a great river, had a chamber-music-like precision throughout, and was soft and beautiful.  What’s more, the second main theme in the second movement, which continues that mood, was sung gently, with slim lines, raising a delicate beauty that is not heard in ordinary Bruckner performances.”
                           —Mainichi Shimbun, Tokyo, November 2010
“The Cleveland Orchestra performed in Seoul Arts Center.  They showed a refreshed interpretation of Bruckner.  Commonly Bruckner’s work is considered as sacred music, but Welser-Möst presented a new point of view about Bruckner’s Seventh Symphony by bringing out vivid tempos and solid expression. . . . The Cleveland Orchestra showed great insight into the music of Bruckner through this concert.”
                           —Yeonhap News, Seoul, November 201

From the Orchestra’s 2010 European Festivals Tour:

“The orchestra negotiated Berg’s opaque harmonies in a way that made the music sound not just staggeringly beautiful but also effortlessly joined-together — a feat seldom achieved by the Clevelanders’ European peers. Their Brahms Second Symphony might seem old-fashioned to some ears, but it worked on its own terms: technically flawless, exceptionally well-blended, yet full of luminous touches from individual sections and section principals. . . . The orchestra itself is the star.” 
                           —Financial Times (London), August 2010

“The Cleveland Orchestra proved that they are still one of the world’s great musical beasts. With Franz Welser-Möst conducting, this titanic piece reverberated alike in the Usher Hall and in the souls of the audience.”
                           —Wall Street Journal, August 2010

“A gorgeous, sumptuously phrased performance of Brahms’s Symphony No. 2”
                            —New York Times, August 2010

“Their reputation as one of the world’s great ensembles is richly deserved.”
                            —Guardian (London), August 2010

“The Austrian Welser-Möst led his ensemble in perfect rhythm and tempo, and infused the whole work with great radiance in sound and expression.”
                            —Daily News of the Dolomites, August 2010

“There is hardly any better constellation for Bruckner’s music. . . . The performance left a deep impression for the audience.”
                            —Volksblatt (People’s News), August 2010

“These professionals developed all the details of this brilliant composition . . . and allowed the audience to revel in the elements, used by the composer, of romance, impressionism and the color of sound.”
                             —News of Upper Austria, August 2010

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