So, there we were, side by side in our comfortable recliners. The television screen across the room displayed a legend suggesting that members of the Minnesota Orchestra were available. So I tuned up our high fidelity speakers and we tuned in another Friday night concert. Not the full orchestra and we were indeed at home, with wine and companionship. But in this time of pandemic and political danger, it was pleasant to do what we often did, attend Orchestra Hall for a classical concert.
Tonight, members of the Minnesota Orchestra entertained first, with a fine subtle piece by Sibelius. Sara Hicks is the host of this television series and without the program, my notes are insufficient but the piece was fine, even on an almost barren stage at Minneapolis fine Orchestra Hall. The lighting was…interesting.
Next up, after a brief interview with one of the artists, a percussion trio written by a Serbian composer. Having no written program is a definite detriment to one who would comment in some detail on the program.
Still, the performance was rich in nuance and complexities, of both rhythm and sound. The drummers effectively employed a variety of drums, sticks and metal gongs, along with subtle and rich rhythmic changes. A trio of black-clad, black-masked musicians against a plain wooden stage, only enhanced the presentation.
Next an interesting, nuanced piece by composer Louis Ballard called Ritmo Indio. A visually stunning, richly nuanced piece that evoked a wide range of emotional response.
The evening ended with Mendelsohn’s Octet for Strings, a varied, nuanced piece from a youth prodigy. The members of the orchestra performed brilliantly, the staging, minimalist with sometimes bizarre lighting and camera work, was excellent and it was just lovely to enjoy the supreme talents of members of our orchestra in excellent performances of a varied and stimulating program.