February 26, 1990 |
A number of Philadelphia Orchestra members enjoyed a busman's holiday yesterday at the Academy of Music during the All Star-Forum presentation of the Cleveland Orchestra under its principal guest conductor, Vladimir Ashkenazy. No doubt the Philadelphia Orchestra's closest friendly rivals for eminence, the Clevelanders share an aesthetic of excellence and refinement that make it one of the most polished and pleasurable ensembles anywhere. On a certain level, the Cleveland Orchestra is more sedate than Philadelphia's, its good breeding occasionally taking an edge off its ability to stimulate and excite.
May 8, 1993 |
The Cleveland Orchestra is an all-too-infrequent visitor here, but the fault is Philadelphia's since there is no theater space to accommodate visiting ensembles of any size. The orchestra played Wednesday, offering a showy program of Rachmaninov and Mahler under its principal guest conductor, Vladimir Ashkenazy. The orchestra showed polished violins, well-balanced winds and a kind of playing that speaks of comfortable communication around the stage. When problems arose - and they did in the Mahler Symphony No. 1 - they appeared to be the result of the hazards that the Academy of Music's stage would present to an orchestra used to the intimacy and sonic clarity of Severance Hall in Cleveland.
March 13, 1988 |
The Cleveland Orchestra is performing at a very high level, if current recordings are a fair measure of its quality. The orchestral sound is transparent, warm and full of life, and the playing is unforced but dynamic. It sounds like an orchestra at peace with itself and its conductor. The Clevelanders, like almost all other major orchestras, are recording Beethoven symphonies, and have paired Symphonies No. 5 and 7 on the latest issue (Telarc CD-80163). Christoph von Dohnanyi has the seeming knack of conducting the music without imposing a very strong personal imprint on it. The performances sound as if they happened in the most logical, natural way, without mannerism, without forcing unnecessary color or accents onto the musical structure.
February 10, 2009 |
The Cleveland Orchestra reaches the ears like some improbable expression of perfection in sound. Visiting the Kimmel Center Sunday afternoon with music director Franz Welser-M?st in Mozart's Symphony No. 25 in G Minor (K. 183), the Cleveland offered a stunning rebuttal to anyone listening for slipping standards. The machine is oiled, the gears are tight, and in this exposed piece every last detail was worked out - dynamics, articulation, phrasing, transitions, length of notes, everything.
December 15, 2011 |
Cleveland Orchestra principal flutist Joshua Smith left his audience wanting an encore, but seemed not to have one to deliver - an emblematic moment illustrating how flutists must search far and wide for first-class solo repertoire. Even his handpicked program, presented Tuesday by the Philadelphia Chamber Music Society at the American Philosophical Society, had composers not known to attract Philadelphia ticket-buyers, from Carl Reinecke (whose music suggests that the world hasn't enough Mendelssohn)
February 10, 2003 |
Home-team advantage? No, in the realm of orchestras and the cities they tour, often the best concerts are performed away from home. Two factors can conspire toward greatness on the road: Playing the same pieces over and over means a better-rehearsed and more cohesive interpretation. And an ensemble is really on its mettle when it knows that the audience is dotted with members of a rival orchestra. Those qualifiers out of the way, the Cleveland Orchestra's concert Friday night in Verizon Hall was nothing less than astonishing.
February 24, 1990 |
Joshua Smith finally played principal flute in the orchestra at the Curtis Institute of Music last week. Normally, there would be nothing particularly unusual about that. Student musicians ascend to the first chairs in their sections over time, and Smith still has a year to go before finishing his formal conservatory training. Three weeks earlier, however, the 20-year-old Smith had been named principal flutist of the Cleveland Orchestra - one of the top jobs in his profession. With the announcement, Smith's relationships with his colleagues at Curtis inevitably changed.
March 19, 2015 |
A memorial service and concert have been set to honor former Philadelphia Orchestra principal cellist William Stokking, 81, of Medford. The service is to be at 2:30 p.m. Sunday, April 12, at the Unitarian Universalist Church, 401 Kings Highway N., Cherry Hill. The concert is to be at 3 p.m. Saturday, May 9, at Field Concert Hall of the Curtis Institute of Music, 1726 Locust St. His wife, Nancy, said both events are open to the public. Mr. Stokking, who retired from the orchestra in 2005, died Sunday, Dec. 14, 2014, at a Moorestown nursing home of complications from a stroke.
January 22, 2015 |
Cellist Oliver Aldort remembers being struck by a particular quality of the Boston Symphony Orchestra while playing in the ensemble as a 17-year-old student at the Tanglewood Institute. "I had been used to a conservatory orchestra in which everyone is young and there is a constant turnover of players," he says, "and I had been used to the fact that so often the conductor will give the downbeat and there will be a lot of hesitation. . . . With the BSO, the orchestra had such a unified sense of rhythm as an ensemble - it was the easiest thing to play with.