The Cleveland Orchestra and Music Director Franz Welser-Möst launched Carnegie Hall’s festival exploring the cultural and political upheaval of the Weimar Republic era. Photo by Steve J. Sherman.

In Monday’s (1/22) New York Times, Oussama Zahr writes that Cleveland Orchestra Music Director Franz Welser-Möst “is one of Carnegie Hall’s Perspectives artists this season, and with concerts [on Jan. 20 and 21] was opening the hall’s festival ‘Fall of the Weimar Republic: Dancing on the Precipice.’ The Clevelanders, with their evenly balanced tone and precise articulation, reflect the understated poise of their maestro…. [Welser-Möst] surveyed some sounds of the Weimar era—jazz, serialism, lurid down-at-heel drama, machine music—with a rigor and cohesion that were his own. The ensemble’s meticulous and methodical approach found an inspired match on Sunday in two challenging symphonies by Prokofiev—one written during the years of the Weimar Republic (1918-1933), and one during the wartime years that followed…. Felicities abounded in the programming. The first concert paired Ernst Krenek’s ‘Little Symphony,’ a Neo-Classical mishmash of Mozart and jazz, with the Adagio from Mahler’s unfinished 10th Symphony … The second concert juxtaposed two symphonies … Prokofiev’s Second and Webern’s Op. 21…. Prokofiev’s Fifth [Symphony] represented a time when the composer was writing under Stalin’s totalitarian regime; the Mahler, the work of a turn-of-the-century composer whose legacy the Nazis tried to tarnish.”