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Posts Tagged ‘Cleveland Orchestra’

The Cleveland Orchestra at Severance Hall (Photo: Richard Scheinin)

Unsettling news hit classical CD fans last week. For years the entire music industry has seen CD sales gradually trail off as music lovers finished replacing their LPs and interest shifted to instant-gratification music downloads. Through all this, classical CD sales have always held up better than most other genres’. But last year, it was classical’s turn at the biggest sales hit — 26 percent.

This has renewed the clamor from the doom-and-gloom pundits who’ve been predicting classical recording’s imminent demise for years.

They’re still wrong. With download sales growing, classical recording is far from dead.

What has happened, though, is that many of the major labels, saddled with debt from buying each other, no longer are willing to allow their classical divisions to run at a loss. Recording projects are fewer. Increasingly, producers are shying away from risky repertoire and high-cost artists.

Many major orchestras, particularly in the US, have found themselves without recording contracts. A few have foregone recording entirely. Others have forged relationships with small, independent record labels. Still others have taken matters into their own hands, recording their own concerts. They offer the recordings as (usually paid) downloads on their websites, and as CDs in their gift shops and by mail.

With so many large media companies leaving orchestras in the lurch, it was especially gratifying when one of the biggest, Deutsche Grammophon, released The Cleveland Orchestra’s Beethoven Ninth in 2007. Now, DG’s microphones are back in Severance Hall. They recorded this weekend’s concerts (on 8 and 10 January 2009), with soprano Measha Brueggergosman singing Wagner’s Wesendonck Lieder, for a Wagner disc (yes, I said disc) to be released in the autumn of 2010. Robert Woods, the sharp ears behind Telarc Records, is part of the production team.

The Cleveland Orchestra’s agreement with DG will give us four recordings in all. For the second release, Pierre Boulez, who has made several fine discs of French repertoire with The Cleveland Orchestra over the years, will conduct Ravel’s G major concerto and left-hand concerto. The pianist will be Pierre-Laurent Aimard. These recordings, also live, will be made at next season’s concerts.

Repertoire for the remaining two recordings hasn’t yet been announced.

All four recordings are expected to be released both as CDs and as Internet downloads.

Don Rosenberg (

The Baltimore Sun reports today that Donald Rosenberg, longtime music critic of the Plain Dealer, and before that of the Beacon Journal, has been pulled off the Cleveland Orchestra beat. Another critic at the paper, Zachary Lewis, will be covering the orchestra’s concerts in the future.

Read more:

Cleveland critic who dared criticize is reassigned in the Baltimore Sun

The Cleveland Orchestra is wrapping up its residency in Salzburg, Austria and leaves next week for the Lucerne Festival. WKSU’s Vivian Goodman talked with the classical music critic of the International Herald Tribune about the orchestra’s rave reviews.


Have you ever wondered about that theory published a few years back about Mozart? That just by listening to his music you’ll get smarter?
WKSU’s Vivian Goodman chatted about that with the top neuroscientist at Cleveland Clinic. The Clinic’s collaborating with the Cleveland Orchestra in an international symposium on how music affects our brains.

Listen to this story at WKSU News

Gary Hanson tells us how the orchestra is embracing visual performances – staged opera at Severance and ballet at Blossom in the coming year. We also hear about the Orchestra’s upcoming performance at the Salzberg Festival and the continuing competition between Cleveland and the Vienna Phil.

Click here to hear the interview with Cleveland Orchestra Executive Director Gary Hansen


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