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Osmo Vänskä /// Music Director

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"Sounds of the Cinema" - 2018 Symphony Ball

Andrew Litton Prepares a June Triple Bill

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Program Notes: Tchaikovsky Symphony No. 3 and Piano Concerto No. 3

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Tchaikovsky Marathon: Hardly failures
At first glance, this program might seem to offer a collection of Tchaikovsky’s misfires. It opens with his least-familiar symphony, continues with a piano concerto he assembled from an abandoned symphony, and concludes with a ballet score that brought down on the poor composer the most painful failure he ever endured professionally. Though these three works were not immediate triumphs for Tchaikovsky, they clearly flow from the pen of a master, and are most worthy of listening.

It may seem incomprehensible that Tchaikovsky’s music for Swan Lake could have been attacked for its complexity or derided for being “too Wagnerian,” yet it was. Today it ranks as one of his most popular ballets (and in recent years, crossed paths with cinema through its central focus in the film Black Swan). The Third may be the least-played of Tchaikovsky’s symphonies, but it offers distinct pleasures of its own: it is Tchaikovsky’s only symphony in a major key, and one senses its kinship with ballet throughout. Tchaikovsky composed a symphony in 1892, but abandoned it. Rather than burning his manuscript, though, he converted the symphony’s first movement into a piano concerto. This concerto is rarely played, so enjoy this performance—Tchaikovsky himself never heard it.

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Program Notes: A Christmas Oratorio

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Program Notes: Brahms' Fourth Symphony

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Program Notes: Vänskä Conducts the Reformation Symphony

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Program Notes: Beethoven and Prokofiev

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Program Notes: Roderick Cox Conducts Rachmaninoff

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Program Notes: Celebrating Finland's Centennial

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Program Notes: Vänskä Opens the Season with Stravinsky's Firebird

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Program Notes: New York Rhythms

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Program Notes: Opera Finale: Strauss’ Salome

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Program Notes: The Danube Calls: An Evening of Waltzes

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Program Notes: Andrew Litton and André Watts

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Program Notes: Season Finale: Vänskä Conducts Mahler’s Second

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Program Notes: Osmo Vänskä and Yo-Yo Ma

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Program Notes: Mozart and Debussy

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Program Notes: Strauss' Also sprach Zarathustra

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Program Notes: Mozart Sinfonia Concertante

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Program Notes: Haydn and Mozart

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Program Notes: Lise de la Salle Plays Ravel

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Program Notes: Edo de Waart Returns

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Program Notes: Vänskä Conducts Schubert

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Program Notes: Rite of Spring

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Program Notes: Mozart and Beethoven

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Program Notes: Hugh Wolff Conducts Mendelssohn

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Program Notes: Russian Nights

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Program Notes: A Tribute Concert to Sir Neville Marriner

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Program Notes: Roderick Cox Conducts Rachmaninoff and Tchaikovsky

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Program Notes: Vanska and Weilerstein

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Program Notes: Handel's Messiah

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Program Notes: Vänskä Conducts Mahler's Sixth

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Program Notes: New World Symphony

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Program Notes: Josefowicz Performs John Adams

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Program Notes: Celebrating Skrowaczewski

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Program Notes: Paulus Mass

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Program Notes: Season Opening

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Program Notes: Otello

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Program Notes: Beethoven Triple Concerto

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Program Notes: Tchaikovsky Symphony No.4

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Program Notes: Beethoven and Rachmaninoff

Please note: this program has changed. Read the press release for full details.

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Program Notes: Let's Dance

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The Best Piece

By my count, I’ve played on a couple of dozen Minnesota Orchestra recordings in the 15-plus years I’ve been employed here, and there are more than a few CDs in that stack that I’m quite proud to have been a part of. But it’s no hyperbole to say that I had been waiting my entire career to sit down and make the CD that we recorded in the spring of 2011.

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