Showcase March-April 2014 - page 27

Osmo Vänskä
Finnish conductor
Osmo Vänskä,
the Minnesota
Orchestra’s music
director from
2003 to 2013,
returns later this
spring to lead
the Orchestra in
two May concerts
at Northrop on
the University
of Minnesota
campus, recreating
the program that
opened that venue
in 1929.
Guest conductor:
Vänskä has led all
the major American
and European
orchestras and
this season visits
the San Francisco
Cleveland Orchestra, National Symphony, New World
Symphony, Vienna Symphony, Bamberg Symphony, Orchestre
National de Lyon, Orquesta Sinfónica de Galicia, Israel
Philharmonic Orchestra, Singapore Symphony and Finland’s
Lahti Symphony, which he led from 1988 to 2008.
The BIS recording he made with the Minnesota
Orchestra of the Sibelius symphonies featured in this
concert won the 2014 Grammy Award for Best Orchestral
Performance. His other honors include being named
’s 2005 Conductor of the Year.
Tours, recordings:
While music director in Minnesota he
led the Orchestra on four major European tours and several
tours to communities across Minnesota, as well as numerous
Carnegie Hall appearances. He also recorded all-orchestral
Bruckner and Sibelius albums; the oratorio
To Be Certain
of the Dawn
, composed by Stephen Paulus with libretto by
Michael Dennis Browne; Beethoven piano concertos with
Yevgeny Sudbin; Tchaikovsky piano concertos with Stephen
Hough; and the complete Beethoven symphonies. With other
ensembles he has recorded many works by Sibelius and Aho.
one-minute notes
Sibelius: Symphony No. 4
An enigma from the pre-World War I years,
Sibelius’ Fourth Symphony is dark music from a
dark moment in the composer’s life. The beginning
question, elaborated by solo cello, is pondered
throughout the work. The
emerges as if
from nowhere, and the
rises slowly, singing,
to a Brucknerian climax. Before the
brusque ending, it brims with ideas and the bright
sonority of bells.
Sibelius: Symphony No. 1
The work that confirmed Sibelius’ status as a
Finnish national hero balances Classical economy
with Romantic gestures. The symphony opens
with a long, dark clarinet melody. After a second
movement rich in Romantic sonorities, the
brings dramatic accents and vast dynamic
contrasts. Lush and impassioned themes rule in
before the music, now seeming disjunct,
closes on a haunting note.
mar 27, 28, 29
The Grammy Award-winning recording by the Minnesota
Orchestra and Osmo Vänskä of the two symphonies
heard in these concerts is available for sale in the lobby
and at
1...,17,18,19,20,21,22,23,24,25,26 28,29,30,31,32,33,34,35,36,37,...48
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