Stellar Reviews for The Cleveland Orchestra: A New Century

As we eagerly look forward to the holiday season and a new year, The Cleveland Orchestra has a can’t-miss gift idea for all the music-lovers in your life — and anyone else who may be longing for a musical reprieve from these challenging times. The Cleveland Orchestra’s A New Century, the ensemble’s inaugural recording on its own label, was released to great acclaim last June — and it’s now available on deluxe CD box set and through your favorite online streaming service. A New Century features six musical selections that showcase the extensive range of Franz Welser-Möst and his partnership with The Cleveland Orchestra, including a pair of works each from the 19th, 20th, and 21st centuries.

“This lovingly crafted box set is a treasure, and a welcome return to what is promised to be a regular schedule of releases. As Franz Welser-Möst says, music tells us who we are, and because of that, we need to hear the discoveries and breakthroughs being made in Cleveland. They don’t just entertain there. They find new worlds.”

          — MusicWeb International

“I fancy that the Orchestra has never sounded finer on disc . . . Certainly the whole set matters, as a flag planted in shifting sands.”

          — Gramophone

“A myriad of sonic color emerges from the vast orchestra . . . With three hours and eight minutes of astounding orchestral performances, A New Century is a must-have set.”

          — Adventures in Music

A New Century | Volume 1

To those who haven’t had a chance to explore A New Century, it offers a diverse selection of musical pieces, from Beethoven to contemporary composers, including world-premiere recordings of works by Johannes Maria Staud and Bernd Richard Deutsch — two debut recordings that continue the Orchestra’s longstanding commitment to new musical scores. (Both Staud and Deutsch served as composers-in-residence through The Cleveland Orchestra’s Daniel R. Lewis Young Composer Fellowship program.) In addition to works by Beethoven and the two living composers, A New Century includes Richard Strauss’s first tone poem, Aus Italien; Edgard Varèse’s frantic portrait of New York City, Amériques; and Sergei Prokofiev’s Third Symphony. It also features celebrated organist Paul Jacobs as soloist on Deutsch’s concerto, titled Okeanos.

A New Century | Volume 2

“In my career, I have found no better place in the world to work and create music than here in Cleveland, with The Cleveland Orchestra,” says Welser-Möst. “From the beginning, I have been inspired by the musicians and the support and keen interest that the entire Cleveland community provides their Orchestra. The six pieces on this new recording are just a sampling of what we have accomplished together. We have an exciting opportunity going forward, as we choose additional music to offer the world through online recordings.”

“The Cleveland Orchestra, America’s finest, restarts recording . . . Mr. Welser-Möst’s account positively glows in its first movement, a glorious evocation of what his strings can do at their best [Strauss’s Aus Italien].”

          — The New York Times

“The sound on all three discs is outstandingly well balanced and transparent, reflecting the exceptional acoustic of the Orchestra’s Severance Hall headquarters . . . the empathy and expressive latitude Welser-Möst has added make you wonder if the Orchestra has ever sounded better.”

          — BBC Music Magazine

“With this surprising start, Franz Welser-Möst and his Cleveland Orchestra are sending out several signals: they do not correspond to the cliché of the U.S. warhorse orchestras with their powerful sound — and they do not present a best-of potpourri of classical music, but rather use the scope of an orchestra’s own label consistently for the implementation of their own ideas.”

          — MDR Klassik

A New Century | Volume 3

For music aficionados or those simply interested in learning more about this gifted ensemble, the collector’s edition three-disc set of A New Century includes a special companion book detailing the recordings alongside discussion of the Orchestra’s achievements during Welser-Möst’s tenure. The 150-page book features an introduction by Cleveland Orchestra President & CEO André Gremillet, an essay about “Why Music Matters” by Welser-Möst, program notes for the six musical selections, dozens of photographs, and a collection of articles designed to provide insight into the Orchestra’s extraordinary music-making and history.

“High-quality and exquisite . . . The combination between repertoire and modernity is consistently maintained, even redefining the term ‘repertoire.’”

          — Neue Musikzeitung

“Have we reached the peak box set? This debut release from The Cleveland Orchestra’s own label ups thestakes considerably, an exquisitely designed and engineered construction involving ribbons, silver card and a 150-page booklet . . . Musically, it’s astonishing.”


Recorded over three years in the lush acoustics of Severance Hall, A New Century takes listeners on an unforgettable musical journey and, according to Welser-Möst, allows us to “hear how music evolves across generations, and how the new repertoire affects our understanding of how older works can be viewed today.” As you may have already concluded from the sampling of praise featured above, this three-volume set is more than The Cleveland Orchestra’s introductory release on its own label — it’s a recording for our times and all time.

The box set of A New Century is available through the Cleveland Orchestra Store or your favorite online retailer    

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