Cleveland Orchestra improvises a solution, after cancellations due to illness

Posted on: January 22, 2018

“A funny thing happened on the way to the Cleveland Orchestra’s performance of Haydn’s oratorio ‘The Seasons’ Thursday night when two of its three soloists took ill just hours before concert time,” writes Mark Satola in Saturday’s (1/20) Plain Dealer (Cleveland). “Tenor Maximilian Schmitt and bass-baritone Christian Van Horne were unable to perform…. Could replacements be found in time? Clearly not…. The orchestra’s executive director, Andre Gremillet, announced the orchestra’s decision from the stage. Music director Franz Welser-Möst would conduct an abridged version of the oratorio, including all the parts with soprano solo and the big choruses. Welser-Möst would narrate the performance from the podium, bridging the narrative gaps…. Welser-Möst was both an amiable and often very funny raconteur, but also an artist with a distinct vision of Haydn’s vigorous and engaging music….. The Cleveland Orchestra Chorus … was in fine voice, throwing themselves fully into Haydn’s choruses and bringing the pastoral scenes to vivid life…. [Soprano Golda] Schultz could not have been better…. The audience had a rare opportunity to experience something that would not be possible in a standard performance of ‘The Seasons:’ a sort of illustrated guide to one of Haydn’s crowning achievements.”

Posted January 22, 2018