Thursday, September 4, 2003

Oktoberfest concert blends Pops and hops

Q & A

By Janelle Gelfand
The Cincinnati Enquirer

Cincinnati Pops conductor Erich Kunzel is preparing for his season-opening concert, an Oktoberfest bash, Friday through Sunday in Music Hall.

More than 8 million Pops recordings have been sold worldwide. Kunzel, 68, will be making two recordings for Telarc this year: Ballet's greatest hits and music from films scored by Miklos Rozsa (Ben Hur, Spellbound).

The Pops' 74th Telarc album, Epics, will be out Sept. 23.

The Enquirer nabbed Kunzel between his Concerts in the Park series and a Labor Day show that he was to conduct at Ravinia, outside Chicago.

What German word best describes your Pops show?

Gemutlichkeit. Everybody is happy; it's full of life.

Will there be beer on tap at Music Hall?

Yes. (Beer will be sold at Music Hall's cash bars before the show.)

Did you have an input into the new Hofbrau-Kunzel Brew that Newport's Hofbrauhaus is making in your honor?

I had nothing to do with it. I'm a teetotaler; you know that (laughs). This is the second thing that's been named after me in Cincinnati. I had an orchid named after me years ago at the Krohn Conservatory.

Do you remember the price of a glass of beer the first year you conducted the Pops in 1965?

Yes, very well, because it was called dimeys - 10-centers.

Have you tried yodeling, and if so, what was the outcome?

I yodeled after I drank a keg of beer, and I haven't the faintest idea what the outcome was.

What's your favorite drinking song?

"In Munchen steht ein Hofbrauhaus: Eins, zwei, g'suffa!" (He sings.) The audience will sing along, and we'll have the words printed in the program.

Do you own lederhosen, and do you ever wear them?

I don't own any, but there is a possibility I may wear them (this) weekend. This will be a Cincinnati first, to see Erich Kunzel in lederhosen, suspenders, the whole nine yards.

Is there a German food that you can't live without?

Many. I love spatzle and knodel (dumplings); all types of German wurst; leberkase, which is like a meatloaf; herring, Bienenstich kuchen - bee sting cake. I can't live without these things.

If you go

What: Oktoberfest Zinzinnati Pops, Erich Kunzel, conductor ; Sonnenschein Express; Kolping Sangerchor; The Jack Frost Accordion Band; Donauschwaben Schuhplattlers dancers

When: 8 p.m. Friday and Saturday; 7 p.m. Sunday

Where: Music Hall

Tickets: $17.50-$48.50; 381-3300 or Web site


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