Friday, February 12, 2010

CSO Carnegie Hall Preview Concert

Janelle Gelfand, Cincinnati Enquirer
February 10th, 2010, 2:55 pm

In this weekend’s concerts in Music Hall, see a preview of the Cincinnati Symphony Orchestra’s program that they will perform next week in Carnegie Hall. The orchestra, led by Paavo Jarvi, returns for its 47th appearance since it first performed in “America’s concert hall” in 1917.

Jarvi leads Ravel’s Five Nursery Songs from “Mother Goose,” Bach’s Fuga Ricercare from “The Musical Offering” (orchestrated by Webern) and Lutoslawski’s Concerto for Orchestra, which he and the CSO have recorded for Telarc.

Grammy-winning pianist Radu Lupu, the extraordinary Romanian artist who won both the Van Cliburn and Leeds Piano competitions, will be here to perform Bartok’s Piano Concerto No. 3.

Even though the CSO and Pops have appeared at Carnegie Hall many times, regular invitations to appear there are increasingly rare. Their last appearance was in 2005, when they played in the wake of a blizzard that dumped 14 inches in the Big Apple.

This time they appear on Carnegie Hall’s ”Keyboard virtuosos” series.

Here’s what Jarvi had to say:

“It’s more and more difficult for Carnegie Hall to invite anybody that does not have the kind of built-in caché, like the Berlin Philharmonic or Vienna Philharmonic. Boston and Chicago have their own seasons there, but there are very few orchestras that go there regularly.

“It used to be designed as a showcase place for American orchestras. No more. Now they invite you basically on the strength of a program, or on the strength of an idea. And we came up with something they felt was interesting.

“Carnegie Hall, like all institutions, is financially troubled. They need to make sure there is a box office. The box office for the Berlin Philharmonic is going to be a better bet than Cincinnati. So when we go there, we need to bring something very special, and program-wise interesting. Something that makes sense intellectually, as well. Because every night when those critics go to the concert, they have four other options they can go to. And very often, looking from New York perspective, Cincinnati may not be the hottest thing they can attend at the moment.”

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