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The Cleveland Orchestra Announces Next Album SCHNITTKE: CONCERTO FOR PIANO AND STRINGS

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The album will include a booklet featuring essays by Franz Welser-Möst and President & CEO André Gremillet, and program notes about each piece also will be included.

The Cleveland Orchestra Announces Next Album SCHNITTKE: CONCERTO FOR PIANO AND STRINGS

The Cleveland Orchestra's newest audio recording, featuring Alfred Schnittke's Concerto for Piano and Strings (1979) together with Prokofiev's Second Symphony (1925) showcasing the pairing of an older and newer work led by Music Director, Franz Welser-Möst, will be available worldwide on Friday, November 5. The new album, available on CD (Hybrid SACD), or digitally via online streaming or download purchase, is the Orchestra's third release on its own label with Franz Welser-Möst, following its inaugural album titled A New Century, released in June 2020, and a recording of Schubert's "Great" C-major Symphony paired with Ernst Křenek's Static and Ecstatic, released in October 2020.

The Schnittke Concerto for Piano and Strings was recorded in October 2020 at Cleveland's Severance Hall during the Covid-19 pandemic. It features pianist Yefim Bronfman with the Orchestra's strings, and was part of The Cleveland Orchestra's In Focus digital broadcast series. Prokofiev's Second Symphony was recorded in January 2020 on tour in Miami, in Knight Concert Hall at the Adrienne Arsht Center for the Performing Arts of Miami-Dade County, and features full orchestra ensemble in this work inspired by the early 20th century's fascination with mechanics and industry.

The album will include a booklet featuring essays by Franz Welser-Möst and President & CEO André Gremillet, and program notes about each piece also will be included.

This album release is part of a vision to share the unique artistry of the Welser-Möst/Cleveland Orchestra partnership with audiences in Cleveland and around the world, while expanding the Orchestra's extensive recording catalogue, which includes video/DVD releases of Bruckner and Brahms under Welser-Möst's baton.

On Friday, November 5, 2021, the Schnittke/Prokofiev recording will be available worldwide, via international retail outlets and the Cleveland Orchestra Store. On Friday, October 15, the recording will be available for pre-order. The physical set can be purchased through the Orchestra's Store at cleveland-orchestra-store.myshopify.com/. For additional details, see the Production Information section below and clevelandorchestra.com/recordings.

"We offer this album as the latest testament to the extraordinary music-making happening in Cleveland today. The label was launched in 2020 to showcase today's Cleveland Orchestra under the direction of Franz Welser-Möst, who leads his 20th season as music director during the 2021-22 season. Now entering its third decade, this partnership continues to grow in depth and in breadth, as evidenced through this ongoing series of remarkable recordings," said André Gremillet, President & CEO of The Cleveland Orchestra.

"This recording is the third album released on our own label. Like the previous two, released in 2020, this one captures particular moments in history, both musically and in the disruption that the pandemic brought with it.

"The Prokofiev was recorded just before the Covid pandemic in what it seems like a different era - where seasons were planned and unfolded seamlessly year after year, and music was rehearsed, honed, and perfected for a traditional concert hall with a receptive live audience. The Schnittke was chosen as an invention of necessity, the product of a collaboration with a curious and daring artist who remains one of the greatest pianists before the public today, and the whole-hearted embrace of innovation and experimentation in the midst of uncertainty and lockdown."

"I would say that The Cleveland Orchestra is always ready for a challenge. For example, an extreme athlete will hike mountains of twenty-four or five thousand feet and get addicted to that rush, that exhilaration. And I feel this how our musicians approach their craft. They are driven by these challenges and we are constantly on a journey of discovery, said Franz Welser-Möst, Music Director of The Cleveland Orchestra.

"When the pandemic hit, we were not allowed to have winds on stage. We had to socially distance. And Yefim suggested this piece by Schnittke. I had never heard of it. But everyone was blown away by the quality and the profound depth of that piece.

"With Prokofiev's Second Symphony, which had not been played before in Cleveland we encountered similar challenges. And the first rehearsals were really difficult. But, you know, it seems no hurdle is too big for The Cleveland Orchestra to overcome.

"This is a side of Prokofiev that I didn't know until I discovered this piece. He wrote it in Paris, but deep down, he was carrying his Russian soul - though he was struggling with the political establishment at that time. The symphony was written in the Roaring Twenties, but somehow predicts World War Two, and you can hear the war machine stirring in its mechanical motifs.

"Schnittke, in the years after World War Two, was also suffering from the legacy of Russia's communist regime. And I think that both composers were so grounded and bound to Russian soil that they could not deny that that spirit in their music. You can hear that they are inspired by the same history, the same tradition, and the same heart."


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