The Cleveland Orchestra to release recording of Tchaikovsky’s Symphony No. 4, led by Music Director Franz Welser-Möst, on December 1, 2023
CLEVELAND — The Cleveland Orchestra will release a new audio recording of Pyotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky’s Symphony No. 4 in F minor on Friday, December 1, 2023. Led by Music Director Franz Welser-Möst, the recording will be available worldwide for digital streaming and download in spatial audio on all major platforms.
Tchaikovsky: Symphony No. 4 was recorded live at the Jack, Joseph and Morton Mandel Concert Hall at Severance Music Center, the home of The Cleveland Orchestra, during two community appreciation concerts in the fall of 2021.
This new album is the fourth digital recording released by The Cleveland Orchestra in 2023 following Prokofiev: Symphony No. 5 in March,Berg: Three Pieces from Lyric Suite – Strauss: Suite from Der Rosenkavalier in June, and Schubert: Mass No. 6 in September. Visit The Cleveland Orchestra’s recordings website for more information on all recent releases.
The 2023-24 season commemorates the centennial of The Cleveland Orchestra’s first-ever recording: Tchaikovsky’s 1812 Overture, conducted by the Orchestra’s first Music Director, Nikolai Sokoloff and released in 1924. In the hundred years since, the Orchestra has consistently been among the most acclaimed and recorded in the world, receiving eight Grammy Awards and many international prize ratings. An enthusiastic adopter of emerging techniques—ranging from the long-playing record in the George Szell era to early digital recording technologies under Lorin Maazel—The Cleveland Orchestra has consistently led the industry as a recording orchestra of the highest caliber, and the Orchestra’s performances have been heard by millions through radio and television broadcasts, physical media, and most recently streaming online.
About Tchaikovsky’s Symphony No. 4
“There is not a note in this symphony which I did not feel deeply, and which did not serve as an echo of sincere impulses within my soul,” wrote Pyotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky of his Fourth Symphony, which he would call his “best symphonic work ever.” The origin of the work comes from two meaningful events in 1877. The first is the start of his relationship with the benefactor Nadezhda von Meck. The second is the composer’s hasty and ill-fated marriage to his former pupil, Antonina Ivanovna Miliukova, and subsequent psychological crisis.
In the wake of these circumstances, Tchaikovsky threw himself into finishing the symphony in late 1877 into early 1878. He later revealed his inspiration to von Meck: “The introduction is the seed of the whole symphony, undoubtedly the main idea: This is fate: this is that fateful force which prevents the impulse to happiness from attaining its goal, which jealously ensures that peace and happiness shall not be complete and unclouded, which hangs above the head like the sword of Damocles, unwaveringly, constantly poisoning the soul. It is an invincible force that can never be overcome — merely endured, hopelessly.”
The second movement represents “a whole procession of memories,” and the following Scherzo, plucked entirely by the strings in pizzicato, is filled with “whimsical arabesques, vague images.” The Finale, based on a Russian folksong, brushes off the previous sorrows and proclaims: “Rejoice in the rejoicing of others. To live is still possible.”
Product information The album will be released on December 1 and available to pre-order from November 3. The fourth movement of the work will also be available for download and streaming as a single on November 3.
Tchaikovsky Symphony No. 4 Recorded live on September 30 and October 1, 2021, in the Jack, Joseph and Morton Mandel Concert Hall at Severance Music Center.
The Cleveland Orchestra Franz Welser-Möst, conductor
Pyotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky (1840-1893) Track 1: I. Andante sostenuto—Moderato con anima Track 2: II. Andantino in modo di canzona Track 3: III. Scherzo: Pizzicato ostinato Track 4: IV. Finale: Allegro con fuoco
About The Cleveland Orchestra Now firmly in its second century, The Cleveland Orchestra, under the leadership of Franz Welser-Möst since 2002, is one of the most sought-after performing ensembles in the world. Year after year the ensemble exemplifies extraordinary artistic excellence, creative programming, and community engagement. In recent years, The New York Times has called Cleveland “the best in America” for its virtuosity, elegance of sound, variety of color and chamber-like musical cohesion, “virtually flawless,” and “one of the finest ensembles in the country (if not the world).”
Founded by Adella Prentiss Hughes, the Orchestra performed its inaugural concert in December 1918. By the middle of the century, decades of growth and sustained support had turned the ensemble into one of the most admired around the world.
The past decade has seen an increasing number of young people attending concerts, bringing fresh attention to The Cleveland Orchestra’s legendary sound and committed programming. More recently in 2020, the Orchestra launched several bold digital projects, including a streaming broadcast series and its own recording label. New initiatives for audience growth and community service have been launched in recent years, including new technological infrastructure and capabilities at its home, Severance Music Center, to capture the Orchestra’s unique artistry and the musical achievements of the Welser-Möst and Cleveland Orchestra partnership.
The 2023–24 season marks Franz Welser-Möst’s 22nd year as Music Director, a period in which The Cleveland Orchestra has earned unprecedented acclaim around the world, including a series of residencies at the Musikverein in Vienna, the first of its kind by an American orchestra.
Its acclaimed opera presentations, including Puccini’s La Fanciulla del West (2023), Verdi’s Otello (2022), Strauss’s Ariadne auf Naxos(2019), Debussy’s Pelléas et Mélisande (May 2017), Bartók’s The Miraculous Mandarin and Bluebeard’s Castle (2016), and Janáček’s The Cunning Little Vixen (2014 and 2017), have showcased the ensemble’s unique artistry and collaborative work ethic.
Since 1918, seven music directors — Nikolai Sokoloff, Artur Rodziński, Erich Leinsdorf, George Szell, Lorin Maazel, Christoph von Dohnányi, and Franz Welser-Möst — have guided and shaped the ensemble’s growth and sound. Through concerts at home and on tour, broadcasts, and a catalog of acclaimed recordings, The Cleveland Orchestra is heard today by a growing group of fans around the world.Find out more.
About Franz Welser-Möst Franz Welser-Möst is among today’s most distinguished conductors. The 2023–24 season marks his 22nd year as Music Director of The Cleveland Orchestra. With the future of their acclaimed partnership extended to 2027, he will be the longest-serving musical leader in the ensemble’s history. The New York Times has declared Cleveland under Welser-Möst’s direction to be “America’s most brilliant orchestra,” praising its virtuosity, elegance of sound, variety of color, and chamber-like musical cohesion.
With Welser-Möst, The Cleveland Orchestra has been acclaimed for its inventive programming, its ongoing support for new musical works, and for its innovative work in presenting semi-staged and staged operas. An imaginative approach to juxtaposing newer and older works has opened new dialogue and fresh insights for musicians and audiences alike. The Orchestra has also been hugely successful in fostering a new and, notably, a young audience. To date, the Orchestra and Welser-Möst have been showcased around the world in 20 international tours together. In 2020, despite shutdowns caused by the global pandemic, the ensemble launched its own recording label—and new streaming broadcast performances with the In Focus series—to continue and extend sharing their artistry globally.
In addition to his commitment to Cleveland, Mr. Welser-Möst enjoys a particularly close and productive relationship with the Vienna Philharmonic as a guest conductor. He conducted its celebrated New Year’s Concert three times, and regularly leads the orchestra in subscription concerts in Vienna, as well as on tours in Japan, China, Australia, and the United States. He is a regular guest at the Salzburg Festival, where his work leading a series of opera performances has been widely admired. These have included Rusalka, Der Rosenkavalier, Fidelio, Die Liebe der Danae, Aribert Reimann’s Lear, Strauss’s Salome and Elektra, and Puccini’s Il Trittico. At the 2023 Festival, he leads a production of Verdi’s Macbeth.
Franz Welser-Möst’s recordings and videos have won major international awards and honors. With The Cleveland Orchestra, his recordings include a number of DVDs on the Clasart Classic label, featuring live performances of five Bruckner symphonies and a multi-DVD set of major works by Brahms. A number of his Salzburg opera productions, including Der Rosenkavalier, have been released internationally on DVD by Unitel. In 2019, Mr. Welser-Möst was awarded the Gold Medal in the Arts by the Kennedy Center International Committee on the Arts in recognition of his long-lasting impact on the international arts community. Other honors include The Cleveland Orchestra’s Distinguished Service Award (given during the ensemble’s 100th season celebrations for his focus on community and education), two Cleveland Arts Prize citations, the Vienna Philharmonic’s “Ring of Honor” for his personal and artistic relationship with the ensemble, recognition from the Western Law Center for Disability Rights, honorary membership in the Vienna Singverein, appointment as an Academician of the European Academy of Yuste, and the Kilenyi Medal from the Bruckner Society of America.
Franz Welser-Möst’s book From Silence: Finding Calm in a Dissonant World was published in Austria in July 2020, under the title Als ich die Stille fand, and rapidly rose to number one on the [German-language] bestseller lists, where it remained through much of 2021. The English version of From Silence was released worldwide in Summer 2021. Read more about Franz Welser-Möst.