Bruckner and the Columbus Symphony
Midlevel orchestras need to brand themselves. They need to perceived as different from any other orchestra.
Based on the performance of Bruckner’s 9th Symphony this past weekend, I believe our hometown orchestra should start recording symphonies by Bruckner.
You bet it will be expensive. Lang Lang, Dudamel and Renee Fleming make money from their recordings, and that’s it.
But a hometown orchestra often has to get out-of-town to win local acclaim. Regular excellent performances in Columbus will not jump-start the orchestra’s notoriety.
I love them, you love them, all God’s children love them but who cares? A series of recordings of under represented music can be reviewed in the international press; it can be fodder to the bloggers, it can give the world something to talk about vis-a-vis the Columbus Symphony. Something unique to this orchestra.
The CSO has the brass and the winds and the tone to become an American Bruckner Orchestra. Brucknerites will pay attention. The marketing scheme will expand to sell a large, juicy orchestral sound-the sound needed for Bruckner. Marketing is key here. Do you know in this social media age the sites to populate that would spread the word?
Maestro Zeitouni is leaving but will return as a visitor. Great! Do a CD of Debussy, Messiaen and Dutilleux. The performance of Messiaen Offrandes Oubliees last weekend was gorgeous. French music is sexy and sex sells (well, Messiaen is not exactly sexy, but use your imagination!) Sell the idea to Naxos. They have fantastic distribution.
My point is, The Columbus Symphony needs national recognition for one or more composers they play especially well. In Siciliani’s day it was Brahms and Respighi. Today, Bruckner and Messiaen ain’t so bad. And for the money, there are local people who would pony up for a chance at an international press release. I may be off base, but isn’t this worth a try?