Thursday, September 15, 2005

Beethoven, bobbleheads usher in new CSO season

By Mary Ellyn Hutton
Cincinnati Post, September 14, 2005

Tattoos? Bobbleheads? Beethoven?

Incongruous? Drop in on the Cincinnati Symphony Orchestra's first concert of the season featuring Beethoven's Ninth Symphony and find out.

Concerts are 8 p.m. Friday and Saturday at Music Hall.

The theme is "Get Your Beethoven On" and the CSO means that in more than a musical sense. You can get a temporary tattoo ("Get Your Beethoven On," courtesy of symphony volunteers), a Beethoven bobblehead doll ($15 limited edition, sold only at the opening concerts) and a Beethoven T-shirt.

All are incidental to the music, which in the case of the Ninth Symphony with its familiar "Ode to Joy" finale, will not be the Beethoven that has been "standardized" and passed down to us, said CSO music director Paavo Järvi.

Expect the inspirational, but also brisker tempos and touches of humor, a Beethoven who celebrated the ideal of universal brotherhood as expressed in Schiller's stirring ode, while realizing that it did not yet exist, Järvi explained.

Performing with the CSO will be soprano Camilla Tilling, mezzo-soprano Jane Gilbert, tenor Stanford Olsen, bass Stephen Powell and the May Festival Chorus. Also on the program are Beethoven's concert aria "Ah! Perfido" with soprano Tilling (conflicting emotions over a lost love) and his Overture to "The Creatures of Prometheus."

Järvi will sign copies of the CSO's latest Telarc recording, Dvorak's Symphony No. 9 ("New World") and Martinu's Symphony No. 2, after the concert. The CD will not be released in stores until Sept. 27.

Tickets are $18.50-$76.75, $10 for students, half-price for seniors. Call (513) 381-3300 or order online at You can get half-price ZIPTIX from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. concert days at the CSO sales office in Memorial Hall, 1229 Elm St. next door to Music Hall, and for $10-$12 you can get "extreme seats" in the rows closest to the stage on the far right and left hand sides of the orchestra.

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