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Classical Notes: April 22, 2013 Archive

Alongside Performers

Posted at 9:37 AM on April 22, 2013 by Emily Reese (0 Comments)

I stumbled across this post from Norman Lebrecht this morning; it seems cellist Ian Maksin played for the cabin and crew while flying to Fort Lauderdale (he's playing "Gabriel's Oboe" from Ennio Morricone's soundtrack to The Mission).

It reminded me how much I love watching people play instruments. When the Minnesota Orchestra is performing, I go to Orchestra Hall in the days leading up to their Friday night performances to interview Osmo Vanska (or the guest conductor), and the guest soloist for the week.

Under most circumstances, the guest soloist and I will chat on stage, and he or she will play for me. At risk of sounding strange, it's wonderful to sit so close to musicians during any kind of performance.

In the case of string players, I love to hear them breathe. It's fascinating how important the breath is for an instrument that requires none. And being close enough to a string player to hear the bow push and pull across the strings... it's magical.

For pianists, I'm amazed at how world-class pianists can sit down to a foreign instrument and treat it like an old friend. Pianists don't have the luxury to carry their horn around.

Flute players - how can you do this without passing out? Oboe, seriously? Brass players - you're crushing metal against your face and making beautiful sounds.

Watching musicians can be just as fulfilling as listening to them, I am in awe of them all.

If spring chooses to bestow its gifts upon us this year, I encourage you to go see musicians do what they tend to do best: put on a show.

Check out classical events in your part of Minnesota at our Events Calendar.

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