Thus it is impossible to guess what his University Musical Society concert with the Cleveland Orchestra will be like (they play on Wednesday, October 9, at Detroit's Orchestra Hall). Will his interpretation of Beethoven's Pastoral Symphony be narcoleptic in the "Scene by the Brook," will it be electrifying in the "Thunderstorm," will it be beatific in the final "Hymn of Thanksgiving"? Will his performance of von Suppe's Poet and Peasant Overture be more poetic than peasanty? Will his performance of H. K. Gruber's Frankenstein!! be as hilariously awful as his recording of it, or will he somehow make this piece of postmodernist flotsam and jetsam sound like real music?
There is no knowing what Welser-Möst will do. But whatever he does, one can count on the Cleveland Orchestra. Seventy years of discipline should carry them through even Frankenstein!!
[Originally published in October, 2002.]