9/26: The Cleveland Orchestra

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When a conductor like Franz Welser-Möst leads the Cleveland Orchestra through a piece of music that’s as great and as familiar as Beethoven’s Symphony No. 9, you expect more than just refinement; you expect grand ideas and attitude. The orchestra’s most famous music directors — George Szell, Christoph von Dohnonyi and Welser-Möst — have all released recordings of the work. Welser-Möst takes it up once again as part of the orchestra’s season-opening benefit concert tonight. Tenor Frank Lopardo returns from the 2007 CD, but all the other voices are new: soprano Twyla Robinson, mezzo-soprano Michaela Martens and bass Raymond Aceto. The big question questions: Will the audience hear a straightforward textbook reading of the piece? Or will Welser-Möst find ways to make it fresh? Will he keep it under tight control? Or blow the roof off the place with an exuberant finale? Find out for yourself at 8:30 p.m. at Severance Hall (11001 Euclid Ave., 216.231.1111). Tickets: $68-$159. — Michael Gill

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