Minnesota Orchestra's Osmo Vanska: Please do not applaud
Exiting Minnesota Orchestra conductor Osmo Vänskä added a deafening exclamation point to his farewell concerts over the weekend. Last week, he announced that he was resigning from his position after a decade as music director with the orchestra, and the performances at Ted Mann Concert Hall would be his last. For those, he gave everyone a chilling finale.
Both Vänskä and composer Aaron Jay Kernis decided to leave the Minnesota Orchestra after a year-long musicians' lockout stemming from salary reductions recommended by the board. This past spring, he wrote a letter threatening to resign if rehearsals hadn't resumed by now.
Vänskä chose Valse Triste by Jean Sibelius to end the concerts. Here is what he said before they launched into the piece on Saturday.
A young woman is sleeping and is dreaming and is very happy to see that there is a guy who is inviting her to dance. She accepts, they start to dance, and it goes well, and then the tempo is getting faster and even faster, and then the young lady would like to stop. But at the time the guy is just getting faster and faster and doesn't want her to leave. He's squeezing more and more and more, and the tempo is getting faster and faster, wilder and wilder.
And then there's a moment when this lady understands that she's not dreaming anymore, that it's reality, and she's dancing with Death. And at that moment, she understands that it's her time. She dies. After that, we need only three church bells coming from the violin at the end.
And I would like to add one more thing. You have been a great audience tonight. You have given so many applause. Thank you for all of those.
I ask you to hold your applause after this encore. I have to say that the situation here is terrible, and the orchestra is in so terrible and like almost hopeless situation right now, and that situation doesn't need any applause.
More community concerts by the orchestra are in the works, and the next round will arrive on November 14 and 15. Stay plugged into the Minnesota Orchestra site for more info.
Get the Music Newsletter
Keep your thumb on the local music scene each week with music news, trends, artist interviews and concert listings. We'll also send you special ticket offers and music deals.