Continuing our leap around the vault this week with a concert by The Cleveland Orchestra, guest conducted by Erich Leinsdorf and featuring the French/Bulgarian Pianist Michel Beroff in music of Stravinsky, Bartok and Bizet/Shchederin.
This concert was part of the orchestra’s 1975-1976 season and was broadcast in January of 1976. The concert opens with Stravinsky’s Symphonies For Wind Instruments – followed by a performance of the Bartok Piano Concerto Number 1, with Michel Beroff as soloist. And the concert concludes with the Carmen Suite by Bizet as arranged by Rodion Shchedrin.
In recent years, Michel Beroff has been undergoing something of a career shift; from the keyboard to the podium, and has been devoting more time to conducting than giving recitals. But that’s not to say Michel Beroff doesn’t have a legacy of highly regarded piano recordings in his vast catalog and has abandoned the piano. He is currently a professor at the Paris Conservatory.
The legendary Erich Leinsdorf had a long and extensive career over several decades. Serving for a time as Music Director of The Boston Symphony as well as the Cleveland Orchestra and holding guest posts with all the major symphony orchestras throughout the U.S. and the world. The last few decades of his life he focused much of his attention on working with the New York Philharmonic and the Metropolitan opera. His last post, before his death in 1981 was Principle conductor of the Berlin Radio Symphony from 1978 to 1980.
Another legendary pairing in a concert of non-standard repertoire. Still qualifies for Anti-Road Rage Wednesday, and the Bartok is well worth investigating further, if you aren’t familiar with that composer. Stravinsky is a welcome addition to any concert and the Shchedrin interpretation of Bizet was a widely played piece throughout the late 1960s and early 70s (it was composed in 1967). It’s fallen off the radar in recent years, but it’s good to get reacquainted with.
Time to kick into low gear and slide into the weekend.