Herald Times (Peter Jacobi): More reflections on the recent Cleveland Orchestra residency

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More reflections on the recent Cleveland Orchestra residency

By Peter JacobiH-T Columnist
February 3, 2013

Courtesy photo The Cleveland Orchestra violinist Isabel Trautwein instructs young violinists at Fairview Elementary.

I thought further reflections on the recent Cleveland Orchestra Residency are in order, in that the visitors’ three-day stay attracted a host of folks from both the on-campus and off-campus community, proved a major investment on the part of the IU Auditorium in what, for its management, has been an often de-emphasized focus on classical music, and built on a potentially salutary collaborative partnership between the Auditorium and the Jacobs School of Music.

Because I needed to be out of town for part of the residency period and had other conflicts, I regrettably did not get to avail myself of the various master classes, seminars and additional sessions that mingled the pros with students.

Nor, most unfortunately, did I get to hear the Schumann-Mendelssohn chamber concert featuring musicians both from the Cleveland Orchestra and the Jacobs faculty.

But I was happily present for the main event: that Beethoven and Berlioz concert by the whole of the Cleveland Orchestra, with Bloomington’s own Joshua Bell as soloist. And I attended two other revelatory events: conductor Franz Welser-Most’s rehearsal with his own Clevelanders and his coaching gig with the IU Philharmonic.

The concert itself I commented on in my review for this newspaper. To reiterate: That concert gave us a chance to hear one of the world’s most distinguished orchestras performing with a pride of ownership. The reading of Berlioz’ “Symphonie Fantastique” was astounding for its crispness of attack and brilliance of tonal splendor; one hears such a performance rarely in a lifetime.

What good fortune for the orchestra and certainly for us also to have had Josh Bell as soloist. His presence not only lifted attendance to the sell-out level, but his artistry in the Beethoven Violin Concerto was consummate.

It contained no showing off, no exhibitionism, just playing of the purest, most intimate and intuitive nature. Again, such an exceptional performance is scarce, a treasure.

The morning of the concert, Maestro Welser-Most rehearsed his talented band of brothers and sisters. And that they seemed to be, a family, siblings united in the kinship of music.

For those two-and-a-half hours, as again at concert time, Welser-Most was the benevolent father. In rehearsal, he offered sage advice and carefully instructed the musicians, beckoning them to remember a fine point here and to try for a new effect there.

During the concert, as had been the case earlier, one sensed purpose and determination to achieve the best possible outcome, but one could even spot smiling faces on stage.

There seemed to be absolutely no tension. How changed that was from previous periods, when the likes of Toscanini, Stokowski, Rodzinski, Klemperer and Reiner were appropriately referred to in a book title of the period as “Dictators of the Baton.”

In the Cleveland/Welser-Most relationship, certainly, the atmosphere engendered was one of affection versus fear.

So, too, when Welser-Most stepped upon the podium the previous day in the Musical Arts Center, it was an affable, sharing pro who faced the ranks of the Jacobs School’s most senior of orchestras, the Philharmonic. That two-hour interaction, like most of the Cleveland’s rehearsal, was devoted to the Berlioz. Again, the atmosphere appeared to be relaxed versus tense.

There was more teaching and more learning, to be sure. “It’s wonderful to be here,” the conductor said with a smile, and then: “We start with the Fourth Movement.” He let the students play that short section of the symphony, praised the results in a few words, and declared, “It is always important to know what the music is about.”

In German-inflected English, the native Austrian proceeded to tell them what the music is about, this as prelude to an extended give-and-take during which one heard differing and repeated pleas and insistences, and the do-it-agains were frequent: “When we start, it would be nice if the trumpets sound more bright,” . “The accents have to speak more, have a sharper edge.” . “Don’t lose momentum.” . “Cellos, this is not a march for October Fest. There’s fear here.” . “Don’t forget intensity right from the starting note. And keep it up. Don’t become complacent.”

Guiding the Philharmonic through the Fourth, then the Fifth, then the Second and Third Movements, Maestro Welser-Most sustained a masterful lesson, sometimes singing a point he was trying to get across, sometimes talking: “This is French music, not German. You know the French national anthem. Like that, make your instruments sing.” “When Berlioz wrote that, no one had heard something like it. It was wild. We want it still to be wild.”. “Take a risk. This music is about risk.” . “Now play like you’re really nervous.” . “Spit out those eighth notes.” . “We have to get these two themes together and make them distinguishable.” . “It gets more exciting if you articulate those notes.” . “Play with surprise.” . “You have a great sound. So, use it.”

For two hours, one watched a conductor of professionals teach an orchestra of students, always respectfully, never condescendingly.At the end, from this music director of both the Cleveland Orchestra and the Vienna State Opera, came praise. “See you here again or perhaps in Cleveland or in Vienna.” He smiled once more. The orchestra applauded.

One hopes, of course, that a third Cleveland Residency is in the offing here. And who knows whether one or more of those young musicians in the IU Philharmonic will some day sit amidst musicians that Welser-Most conducts in Cleveland or Vienna? For sure, he’s got a bunch of IU alums working with him in Cleveland already, including none less than concertmaster William Preucil and principal cellist Mark Kosower.

Whether they’ll link up or not, the hundred or so at the Musical Arts Center that afternoon will surely remember the lesson with the smiling, affable and very helpful Franz Welser-Most.

As for me, and a colleague from the School of Journalism who was present, there’s another lesson: that from the discipline and seriousness shown by those talented Jacobs School youngsters. Would that hundreds upon hundreds of non-music students at IU had been there to witness such discipline and seriousness! It might have inspired them make more of their own instructional opportunities at IU.

But to wind this up: The musicians from Cleveland brought valuable gifts. May they come again, and soon.

Reach Peter by sending an email to features@heraldt.com with “Jacobi” in the subject line.
Courtesy photo The Cleveland Orchestra violinist Isabel Trautwein instructs young violinists at Fairview Elementary.

Copyright: HeraldTimesOnline.com 2013

 

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Review: Cleveland Orchestra and Joshua Bell leave deep imprints on Indiana University

Enjoy Zachary Lewis’ review of The Cleveland Orchestra and Joshua Bell’s performance in the IU Auditorium!

“All of the qualities Bell displayed last week at Severance Hall were present again at IU in another peerless account of the Beethoven Violin Concerto.”

“Inspired, perhaps, by two days of intensive teaching, the orchestra turned around after Bell and gave a hard-hitting performance of its own, of Berlioz’s ‘Symphonie fantastique.’”

Read more here >

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Close encounters with Cleveland Orchestra abound on second day of IU residency

The Plain Dealer’s Zachary Lewis writes on the many activities at the Jacobs School of Music as The Cleveland Orchestra enjoys its second day in Bloomington.

The second day of the Cleveland Orchestra’s Indiana University residency was no less eventful than the first. If anything, it was busier.

After a morning rehearsal with music director Franz Welser-Most and violinist Joshua Bell, the ensemble fanned out across campus and presented a full slate of master classes, lessons and other educational events.

By the end of the day Wednesday, the group had offered detailed coaching on just about every major instrument. Sessions wrapped up just in time for the residency’s main act: a concert at IU Auditorium.

Read More …

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Joshua Bell performs Beethoven with the orchestra

This evening's concert in the IU Auditorium included a spectacular performance of the Beethoven Violin Concerto, with Joshua Bell as soloist. With him in this photo is Jacobs alumnus William Preucil.

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Day One of The Cleveland Orchestra residency

Enjoy a blog post by Zachary Lewis of The Cleveland Plain Dealer that covers three opening events, including a coaching of the IU Philharmonic by Cleveland Orchestra Music Director Franz Welser-Most.

Enjoy a few photos from the opening event >

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Cleveland Orchestra returns to IU for residency, performance with Joshua Bell

WHAT: The Cleveland Orchestra with Joshua Bell
WHEN: 8 p.m. Wednesday, Jan. 23
WHERE: IU Auditorium, 1211 E. Seventh St.
TICKETS: $20 to $41 for IU Bloomington students with a valid ID and $38 to $60 for the general public, on sale now. Tickets may be purchased online at IUauditorium.com and in person at the IU Auditorium Box Office, as well as through Ticketmaster.com, all Ticketmaster outlets or charge by phone at 800-745-3000. The IU Auditorium Box Office is open 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Friday.

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Jan. 7, 2013

BLOOMINGTON, Ind. — The Cleveland Orchestra returns to Indiana University for its second Jacobs School of Music residency Jan. 22 to 24.

The centerpiece of the residency is a performance at IU Auditorium at 8 p.m. Wednesday, Jan. 23. Led by Music Director Franz Welser-Möst, the orchestra will perform Berlioz’s “Symphonie Fantastique” and Beethoven’s “Violin Concerto in D Major,” featuring IU alumnus and Jacobs School faculty member Joshua Bell as guest soloist.

Throughout the residency, students will have the opportunity to participate in rehearsals with the orchestra, attend rehearsals and performances, and participate in events with the orchestra’s musicians and Welser-Möst. IU students will rehearse side-by-side with the orchestra and its assistant conductor, James Feddeck, at IU Auditorium and participate in a coaching session with Welser-Möst at the Musical Arts Center. Principals of the orchestra will teach repertoire classes for strings, brass, percussion and keyboard open to all students, and members of the orchestra will participate in a reading session of Jacobs School student compositions.

A highlight of the residency will be a chamber performance by a combined ensemble of Cleveland Orchestra musicians William Preucil, Stephen Rose, Robert Vernon and Mark Kosower and IU Jacobs School of Music faculty Jorja Fleezanis, Sibbi Bernhardsson, Stephen Wyrczynski, Eric Kim and Shigeo Neriki. The program includes Schumann’s “Piano Quintet” and Mendelssohn’s “Octet.” Additional residency activities include an after-school visit with young string musicians at Fairview Elementary School and an orchestra management seminar presented by Cleveland Orchestra administrators. A complete schedule of events is available online.

“The auditorium is proud to once again help bring together two venerable institutions of classical music, with The Cleveland Orchestra and the IU Jacobs School of Music, for what is certainly a highlight of this year’s season,” said Doug Booher, director of IU Auditorium. “This program will be especially memorable as we welcome back IU alumnus Joshua Bell to collaborate with these world-class musicians as they enrich the university and community with their residency programs and stunning performance.”

The Cleveland Orchestra was founded in 1918, and educational programs led by The Cleveland Orchestra — a cornerstone of the orchestra’s original mission — have introduced more than 4 million Cleveland-area schoolchildren to symphonic music since 1921. The orchestra sets standards of artistic excellence, creative programming and community engagement; since its inception, it has remained one of the most sought-after performing ensembles in the world.

The 2012-13 season marks the 11th year of the orchestra’s partnership with Welser-Möst. Under his leadership, The Cleveland Orchestra has established an ongoing biennial residency in Vienna at the famed Musikverein concert hall and at the Lucerne Festival in Switzerland. It has also appeared in residence at Suntory Hall in Tokyo, Japan, and at the Salzburg Festival with sold-out performances of Dvorak’s opera “Rusalka.” In the United States, Welser-Möst has established an annual multi-week Cleveland Orchestra Miami Residency in Florida and launched a residency at New York’s Lincoln Center Festival in addition to the second residency at Indiana University.

Bloomington native Joshua Bell received his Artist Diploma in violin performance in 1989 from Indiana University. Bell credits a large part of his success to the inspiration of renowned violinist and pedagogue Josef Gingold, former Jacobs School of Music professor and former concertmaster of The Cleveland Orchestra. Bell’s alma mater honored him with a Distinguished Alumni Service Award in 1991, and he has been named an “Indiana Living Legend” and received the Indiana Governor’s Arts Award. In 2005, he was inducted into the Hollywood Bowl Hall of Fame, and he was the 2007 recipient of the Avery Fisher Prize. In the same year, he joined the Jacobs School faculty.

Bell has appeared on various television programs including “The Tonight Show,” “Tavis Smiley,” “Charlie Rose,” “CBS Sunday Morning,” “Sesame Street” and “Entertainment Tonight.” His film-score work has been received with critical acclaim and includes soundtracks such as “The Red Violin,” which won the Oscar for Best Original Score; the Classical Brit-nominated “Ladies in Lavender” and Academy Award-winning film “Iris,” in an original score by James Horner; and while appearing as himself in the film “Music of the Heart” starring Meryl Streep. Bell has performed around the world at countless festivals, including the Verbier, Salzburg, Tanglewood and Enescu, and the BBC Proms at Royal Albert Hall. He frequently performs with major orchestras, including the Russian National Orchestra, Czestochowa Philharmonic, New York Philharmonic, Boston Symphony, Chicago Symphony and The National Symphony Orchestra at the Kennedy Center.

“The Jacobs School has a long-standing and significant association with The Cleveland Orchestra,” Jacobs School of Music Dean Gwyn Richards said. “Faculty members have come to us from the orchestra and Jacobs School alumni have held positions in its ranks. It is especially exciting to pair the orchestra with an alumnus and faculty member in whom we take such pride.”

For more information on The Cleveland Orchestra and the rest of the 2012-13 season, visit IUauditorium.com. The website features video clips and a selection of songs from this season’s performances, in addition to a direct link to the IU Auditorium Facebook and Twitter pages, whose followers receive exclusive benefits throughout the year.

The Cleveland Orchestra at IU Auditorium is sponsored by Hilliard Lyons, WFIU and Indiana University Office of the President. IU Auditorium’s 2012-13 season is presented by Curry Auto Center, B97, The Herald-Times and IU Residential Programs and Services.

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2011 Chamber Concert Review: Cleveland musicians’ recital described as fascinating, fun

The Herald-Times
Friday, January 28, 2011

MUSIC REVIEW: CLEVELAND ORCHESTRA RESIDENCY
Cleveland musicians’ recital described as fascinating, fun
By Peter Jacobi H-T Reviewer

The 100-plus members of the Cleveland Orchestra take special pride in striving for a chamber music intimacy when they play, in making the large ensemble assume the cohesive qualities of a small one.

Therefore, one might have expected that for an event to mark the end of their three-day residency on the Indiana University campus, they would have chosen a string quartet from within their ranks to represent them or a brass quintet or woodwind sextet.

Not so. They decided, instead, to display another quality required in the shaping of a great orchestra: virtuosity. An orchestra is the sum of its parts; thus, a great orchestra is built on great players. Well, three of the Cleveland Orchestra’s “parts” joined for a Wednesday evening recital in Auer Hall that can only be described as fascinating and fun.

Consider the trio: keyboardist Joela Jones, principal trumpet Michael Sachs and principal trombone Massimo La Rosa. That’s quite an instrumental combination. Well, it turned out to be a delight, made the more so by a program of assorted confections. Throughout, the three proved to be marvelous at what they do, very musical, and just as generous.

Jones, the busiest of the lot, divided her time between organ and piano. From up in the organ loft, she contributed three challenging and juicy items to validate her chops: the Postlude in F by Charles Ives in traditionalist mode, Variations on “America” by Ives as iconoclast, and a sumptuous Allegro for Organ Solo taken from Leos Janacek’s “Glagolitic Mass.” She was terrific.

At the piano, she served her colleagues and their musical choices. Trumpeter Sachs selected music by a pair of Czechs. Dvorak provided Song to the Moon from the opera “Rusalka.” Yes, that’s what Renee Fleming has been singing. Master Sachs’ trumpet sang ever so smoothly and with feeling. From the output of 20th century composer Petr Eben, Sachs with great fervor performed portions of “Okna, Chagall Windows.” Like the windows themselves, “Blue Window” was lyrically edgy and “Golden Window,” edgily triumphant.

Trombonist La Rosa, again with Jones, contributed a Carl Maria von Weber Romance and “Morceau Symphonique” by Felix Alexandre Guilmant, both 19th century show pieces that gave La Rosa opportunities to exhibit his remarkable control over an instrument that can so easily glide all over the tonal map. La Rosa allowed no all-over gliding and drew from his instrument the richest of tones.

As trio, Sachs, Rosa and Jones performed a decidedly clever and surprisingly effective translation of Verdi’s Overture to “La forza del destino.” So intriguing were the results that one tended, for the moment, even to forget the absence of strings, so critically important to the original.

To open and close the program, the three picked music of Gabrieli, for which they were joined by gifted musicians from the Jacobs School: on trumpet, John Rommel, Edmund Cord and William Gerlach; on horn, Jeff Nelsen and Zachary Quortrup; on trombone, Carl Lenthe. The readings, from the loft, of the Canzon a 12 in Double Echo and Canzon per sonar No. 2 were majestic and exalting.

Yes, fascinating and fun.

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2011 Cleveland Orchestra musicians complete first IU Residency with organ and brass program

The Cleveland Orchestra IU Residency chamber concert in Auer Hall at the IU Jacobs School of Music concluded the third day of an intensive immersion on campus.

The concert began with Gabrieli’s Canzon for 12 in Double Echo – the centerpiece being the new Maidee H. and Jackson A. Seward Organ, installed and dedicated last year. Cleveland Orchestra principal keyboardist Joela Jones was flanked by Orchestra musicians, along with IU faculty and students.

Other works on the program included showcases for trombone and trumpet by Massimo La Rosa and Michael Sachs, accompanied by Joela Jones, and organ solos of Janáček and Ives. The brass chamber group concluded the concert with another Gabrieli work, Canzon per sonar No. 2.

Earlier in the day, Joela worked with organ students and Richard King taught a session on orchestral performance for French horn. Richard welcomed to the class Myron Bloom (pictured above), the former Principal Horn of The Cleveland Orchestra, who became a faculty member at IU.

Over the course of the three-day residency, over 3,000 people attended the thirty events.

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2011 Final Concert in Auer Hall

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2011: Read the Indiana Daily Student review of last night’s concert

http://www.idsnews.com/news/story.aspx?id=79413

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