Saturday, October 05, 2013

The Minnesota Orchestra in Exile

Tonight we listened to Osmo Vanska's farewell concert with the locked out musicians of the Minnesota Orchestra, broadcast live on MPR.

There were three performances over two days, all three sold out. The one tonight had people standing in the lobby watching on monitors.

The performance tonight was the last of the three and well worth hearing. The distinguished pianist Emmanual Ax was the soloist, playing a concerto by Beethoven and another concerto by Mozart. In addition, the orchestra played Beethoven's Egmont Overture and Stravinsky's Firebird Suite. I usually like Mozart better than Beethoven, but in this performance I liked the two Beethoven pieces better than the one by Mozart. The Firebird Suite was also good -- and sounds far less modern than when I first heard it 50 years ago. The encore was Valse Triste by Sibelius, and it was fabulous. Osmo Vanska asked for no applause after the encore. He said the situation the orchestra was in was too terrible for applause. Vanska sounded close to tears, and -- per the MPR announcer -- many members of the audience were in tears as they left.

The Orchestra musicians are planning their own fall season, since the Minnesota Orchestra Association is not having a season. They are fundraising at the moment and have a $150,000 matching grant. You might want to donate. A concert in November is already set.

I spend my money on season tickets for the opera, but I have been thinking recently to going to some concerts of classical music. I'm especially thinking of the November concert that the Orchestra musicians are planning. Former Minnesota Orchestra conductor Stanisław Skrowaczewski will be conducting at the age of 90. The program is Wagner, Mozart and Brahms.

Information can be found here.


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