|Photo by Nate Ryan LLC|
I'm from Chicago. Our Chicago Symphony Orchestra has an enthusiastic audience. We regularly give our orchestra multiple standing ovations. We applaud for the principals. We applaud for each section. We cheer, some of the older people say "Bravo," and we share a communal excitement for the music and the musicians that we love.
I'm used to standing ovations at classical music concerts. But the audience's response to the concert on April 25 was beyond anything I've ever seen. There were so many standing ovations that I couldn't count them. The scope of the emotion of the audience was tremendous, and it was amazing to be a part of all that. I cried. I couldn't help it. The music was beautiful, but the community was inspiring and heart-rending, especially considering that the Board of the Minnesota Orchestra is trying so hard to destroy the music, the musicians, and the community of the fans who love their orchestra. This even showed me first hand what a musical community is.
Now for the music. Mr. Hara's interpretation of the Mozart Clarinet Concerto was amazing. I have waited too long to review this concert to be as specific as I should about his performance. It was hard to write anything, because my emotions were too present, too strong, and my words couldn't possibly do my feelings justice. Mr. Hara's Mozart was sweet, technically perfect, and musically evocative. He told a beautiful story that is as strong today as it was 222 years ago when Stadler shared Mozart's genius with his audience. Mr. Hara deserves his reputation as one of the best clarinets in the world. He is really something special.
Onto the Bruckner. I was not familiar with Bruckner. I'd never heard a single one of his compositions live or on recording. I wasn't sure what to expect, but I was impressed. Often with a complicated symphony, you need to hear it a few times to sort out what is happening in the music and to truly appreciate it. The Minnesota Orchestra's presentation was the best introduction to Bruckner anyone could have. The music made sense to me and touched me from the first notes. The clarinet and horn solos wove through the entire symphony tying themes and ideas together with a beautiful sense of one uniting idea. I loved it.
I want to see more Minnesota Orchestra concerts, but I fear that the Board is destroying this institution forever, and denying everyone the ability to hear this amazing music. After a year of being locked out, the musicians are being forced to take jobs elsewhere to support their families. The orchestra is dwindling and will never be the same. And that makes me terribly sad.