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by Daniel Hathaway

Welser-Most-MastroianniLooking fit and energized after his recent back problems, Franz Welser-Möst returned to Severance Hall on Thursday evening, April 18 to lead one of the most exciting and highly-polished Cleveland Orchestra concerts of the season. And one of the most varied: the first performance of Sean Shepherd’s Tuolumne shared the program with Shostakovich’s Violin Concerto No. 1 with Frank Peter Zimmermann out in front, and Dvorak’s Symphony No. 6. One might quarrel with the ordering of the pieces, but the elements that made up this weekend’s musical triptych were smart choices and the performances were winners.

In February, Daniel R. Lewis Young Composer Fellow Sean Shepherd completed his impressions of three Yosemite National Park scenes captured by American photographer Ansel Adams, the final commission of Shepherd’s two-year residency with the orchestra. The composer is quick to point out that the piece is not a musical representation of the Adams images but “a kind of response to that set of three black-and-white photographs… a meditation on and celebration of both the place and the images” — exactly what the French Impressionists had in mind a century ago. Read the rest of this entry »

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