We attended a coffee concert of the Minnesota Orchestra this week (March 1). The Program was comprised of a varied number of pieces, all well-performed under the able direction of guest conductor, Juraj Valcuha.
The initial work was a lyrical, other-worldly vision of a mythical body of water by Anatol Lyadov. Calm, peaceful and misty, The Enchanted Lake, Opus 62, is the kind of music one might hear as background to a sensual massage.
Guest pianist Kirill Gerstein thrilled the audience and used all his skill and endurance to perform Rachmaninoff’s Piano Concerto Number 3 in D minor, with able assistance from the orchestra. The work carries themes of two world wars, the conflict in the Ukraine and visions of the Asian Steppes and other catchy tunes.
The final two pieces also provoked sustained ovations from the audience, Respighi’s Fountains of Rome and Debussy’s La Mer. All in all an excellent concert, well worth repeating.