The Cincinnati Enquirer from Cincinnati, Ohio on April 7, 1995 · Page 89
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The Cincinnati Enquirer from Cincinnati, Ohio · Page 89

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Cincinnati, Ohio
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Friday, April 7, 1995
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Page 89
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7 ; ;...,!. . . ... 1 t Friday, April 7, 19953$ CLASSICAL MUSIC The Cincinnati Enquirer Conductor Gielen enjoying his reunion with CSO BYJANELLE GELFAND The Cincinnati Enquirer Is it possible that German conductor Michael Gielen is reviving his American conducting career? The former Cincinnati Symphony Orchestra music director, who left for Germany in 1986 to conduct the Southwest Radio Symphony Orchestra in Baden-Baden, laughs. "If it wasn't for jet lag," he says, adding it gets worse with age. But next fall, Gielen, 67, will guest conduct the Cleveland Orchestra and the Los Angeles Philharmonic; in the spring he leads the New York Philharmonic and two weeks of concerts with the Chicago Symphony. "Yes, it's the big orchestras," he says modestly. He is relaxing in a hotel, the day after participating in the orchestra's centennial gala. Gielen conducts Mahler's Symphony No. 6 in CSO concerts this weekend. "If I preferred to go to a German radio orchestra instead of continuing here, it was because of the amount of rehearsal time which I have there," he says. Since leaving the CSO, he has thrived with the Baden-Baden radio orchestra, saying, "We don't count rehearsal hours, we count days." He regularly takes his orchestra to Paris, Berlin and Vienna. Gielen bends over a CSO reper toire list, recalling the high points of his six-year tenure in Cincinnati. He IF YOU GO What: Cincinnati Symphony Orchestra, Michael Gielen conducting. When: 8 p.m. today and Saturday. Where: Music Hall. Tickets: $10-$40; half price certain hours on day of con cert. 381-3300. Gielen The program: Mahler's Symphony No. 6 in A Minor. Gielen sums up the character of Mahler's Sixth: "How can you express it in words it's a whole world! These late symphonies of Mahler have more to do with the big novels of the 19th century, like War and Peace. It's a great landscape which presents the totality of society." rarely repeated a work, covering a massive amount of standards, as well as his specialty contemporary music. "If my tenure here was controversial, it was only for the programming," he says. "Many conservative people in the audience and they are entitled to be conservative didn't want that much of modern music. On the other side, I considered my responsibility as an artist to defend the music of my time." Gielen believed the classics should include the "classics" of modern music, from Schoenberg through Stravinsky. He also introduced important American composers to Cincinnati, such as Joseph Schwantncr, Pulitzer Prize-winning Gunther Schuller and Ned Rorem. Although considered avant-garde to Cincinnatians then, they are regularly programmed by orchestras now. He points to Elliott Carter's Piano Concerto, recorded live with pianist Ursula Oppens and the CSO, and Berg's Lulu Suite, recorded with soprano Kathleen Battle. " The Golden Calf,' from (Schoenberg's) Moses and Ann, that was a landmark I believe," he recalls. Gielen hopes that this "modern music" exposure opened some eyes. "Yesterday in the (Music Hall) Green Room, many people said these years changed their attitude toward music in general," he says. "They understood there was not such a big difference between Schoenberg and Beethoven." Beethoven fan Some are surprised to learn he also programmed all nine Beethoven symphonies, three Brahms symphonies, the big sym phonies of Mozart and Tchaikovsky, seven of Mahler's 10 symphonies, many Bach cantatas and all six Brandenburg Concertos. "The things I like most personally, stick out, like the first time I was able to conduct Mahler's 9th," Gie- . len says. "The recordings were outstanding." Gielen's recording of Beethoven's Eroica received worldwide reviews, and was one of the first to attempt Beethoven's metronome markings. Gielen also composed his last major work here, Un Vieux Souvenir, a string quartet written for the LaSalle Quartet and commissioned by WGUC-FM. "I haven't composed for years," he says. He hopes to devote more time to com position, perhaps after he retires as professor at the Mozarteum in Salzburg, Austria. Does what he wants Gielen only conducts projects that interest him. This summer, he will conduct Lulu at the Salzburg Music Festival and in 1997, he will lead Ionesco's Oedipus at Vienna State Opera. "I never learned conducting," he says, laughing. "I am self-taught." Now that he will be in the limelight again in the United States, does he have a goal? "I'm very happy with how my life goes," he says. "I have an excellent collaboration with my orchestra, I only do the things I want to do what more can I expect?" CELEBRATING 1 YEAR ANNIVERSARY Register to win 5' Porch Swing $129.93 relall value Browse through our 7 rooms including an All-Year Christmas Room & Wine & Cheese Cellar. We feature handcrafted outdoor furniture, clocks, country & southwestern prints, a : T i:: i !. .,l..t; n..-.,1u Iliei 1CUU 1 I UUlllUll uaaivns, Mlliri J , Cfri laming uiu aia, I l li o 11 . ' porcelain uous ol many conecuuics. ouut & Gounbuf State 4080 US 52, New Trenton, Indiana Just 5 minutes from Harrison! (Take 1-74 to Brook Exit, West on IS 52 to Broad-Way) 637-0574 Hours: 9:30-6 pm Gielen conducts Monumental Mahler Friday, Apr. 7, 8:00 pm Saturday, Apr. 8, 8:00 pm Michael Gielen, guest conductor Mahler: Symphony No. 6 Don't miss this compelling performance of Mahler's tragic Sixth symphony, led by former CSO music director Gielen in a special Centennial return engagement. Michael Gielen An Evening with Ben Vereen Sunday, April 9, 8:00 pm Keith Lockhart, conductor Ben Vereen, guest artist The Broadway song and dance man made famous by his appearances in "Jesus Christ Superstar", "Hair", "Sweet Charity" and "Pippin", joins Keith Lockhart and the Pops for an unforgettable evening! sponsor: LazarusFederated Department Stores, Inc. .L f Ur(J ML Keith Lockhart Ben Vereen Centennial Celebration Sponsor: The Corbett Foundation For Ticket Information Call (513) 381-3300 Half-price Ziptix for March 7 & 8 concerts available in person 1 1 am 2 pm day of performance only at CSO Sales Office in Memorial Hall. i ii ii iw mui.1111 n mill' iiuiumi n i nf'i 3S

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