Review: Cleveland Orchestra’s Beethoven-centric “Prometheus Project” begins

Posted on: May 15, 2018

The Cleveland Orchestra’s Prometheus Project is “no mere run-through of Beethoven’s nine symphonies,” writes Zachary Lewis in Saturday’s (5/12) Plain Dealer (Cleveland). “ ‘The Prometheus Project’ appears to be an occasion to witness music director and project architect Franz Welser-Möst at his most engaged. Fired up like the project’s mythological namesake, the conductor plainly has both a vision for each symphony…. Symphonies Nos. 1 and 3 [were] presented Thursday…. Symphony No. 1 saw Welser-Möst and the orchestra at their refined best…. The singing line and lilting slurs in the Andante could not have been sweeter, and the Finale boasted the ideal blend of resolve and playfulness. Many of those traits also defined the night’s first offering, the brief but dynamic Overture to ‘The Creatures of Prometheus.’ … For the ‘Eroica’ Symphony … beyond simply delighting the ear and intellect, [Welser-Möst’s] aim seemed to be to … keep listeners in a state of breathless engagement…. In the Finale … blazing speed was just what the music demanded, and the orchestra’s delivery was well-timed and powerfully effective…. The one downside to ‘The Prometheus Project’? Four of its five programs are one-time-only affairs…. In most cases, to make up any misses, you’ll have to fly to Vienna or Tokyo.”

Posted May 15, 2018