Friday, April 23, 2010

In Minnesota Again, Day 2: The Minnesota Orchestra

So my day ends as it begins, on the secure Executive Floor of a hotel in Minnesota. Not the same hotel mind you, nor the same city, but a hotel in Minnesota. Such can be the life of the occassional road warrior.

The decision was made not only to get me closer to the airport for my flight out late tomorrow morning and because I wanted to see, do, or hear something this evening; so I wound up in Minneapolis's Orchestra Hall for the Minnesota Orchestra Concert:

Stravinsky: Concerto in D Major for String Orchestra
Sosa: Elequentia: Espacio para Flauta y Orquesta
Durufle: Requiem for Voices, Orchestra, and Organ, Op. 9
with the Saint Olaf Choir; Osmo Vanska conductor.

The Minneapolis Orchestra experience struck me as quite casual compared to my typical experiences, the music was good, but the hall's accoustics* -- not to mention the giant acoustical cubes decorating the back wall and ceilings of the hall were a bit distracting. Seated on first tier at the back of the hall (religiously avoiding the floor when possible at any classical venue) the orchestra felt so distant as to have no connection: I could barely make out that the choir members had faces much less read their expressions.

I guess I hadn't realized how important, to me, the kenisis between orchestra and audience is, and without the connection I felt like something was missing.

At the conclusion of Sosa's Eloquentia I told my seatmate that it would have to grow on me, the response, "I don't know if I have the patientce for it to grow on me". While I didn't get any of the themes alluded to in the program notes or pre concert lecture during the roughly 25 minute performance I found myself invisioning the depths of the ocean, an occassional burst from a whale or dolphin.

Durufle's Requiem, featuring the Saint Olaf Choir was impressive with beautiful music and great voices surging to nearly overwhelimg moments of passion.

Tomorrow I head home, and have to figure out what to do about my car: On the drive out I hit a bump and it started making a really bad noise. A friend checked it for me tonight and informed me that I have a serpantine belt issue. Fantastic. Of course, I don't get in until 4:30 on Saturday rather than, oh, 9:00 AM on Monday.


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