The Cleveland Orchestra comes to the IU Auditorium Tuesday, January 25, for a program conducted by Franz Welser-Moest that opens with the overture to Wagner's opera Tanhauser.
William Preucil is Cleveland's longtime concertmaster. Preucil is an IU grad, a seasoned orchestral player who for seven years was also the first violinist of the Cleveland Quartet. He's been concertmaster of the Cleveland Orchestra since 1994.
'A Nice Sort Of Thing To Do'
One of Preucil's teachers at Indiana University was Joseph Gingold. Many of Gingold's former students have gone on to solo and chamber music careers, and a fair number have become concertmasters. "It wasn't that he pushed us to do it, but he had all those stories of his days as concertmaster for Toscanini, and later with Cleveland under George Szell, and he made it seem a very nice sort of thing to do."
On Tuesday's program, Pierre Laurent-Aimard handles the keyboard challenges of Bartok's second piano concerto. The string sections have some special demands, especially in the second movement. "Actually, the challenges of Bartok are really throughout the music," Preucil says. "It's a great piece, and Pierre will play the piano part beautifully. Bartok does ask the string players to bow quite close to the bridge for some parts, but it's an effect that we've become pretty comfortable with."
A Story From Strauss
Following the intermission, the orchestra plays EinHeldenleben ("A Hero's Life"), by Richard Strauss. As part of Preucil's concertmaster role, he's the soloist for the final movement, entitled 'The Hero's Retirement.' "It's a lovely section; it really shows what a great storyteller Strauss was. My violin and the horn play out the touching end of the drama."
The Cleveland Orchestra, conducted by Franz Welser-Moest, comes to the IU Auditorum Tuesday, January 25. On the program are Wagner's overture to Tannhauser, Bela Bartok's Piano Concerto No. 2 with pianist Pierre-Laurent Aimard, and "A Hero's Life" or Ein Heldenleben, by Richard Strauss.