On Now

Listen to the Stream
  • Crown Imperial 9:33 William Walton
    Eastman Wind Ensemble
    Frederick Fennell
    Buy Now
  • Oboe Concerto 9:12 Ralph Vaughan Williams
    London Symphony Orchestra
    Bryden Thomson
    David Theodore, oboe
    Buy Now
Playlist

You can now listen to Classical and Choral Music on your iOS (iPhone, iPod Touch, and iPad) or Android device.

Blog Archive

July 2013
S M T W T F S
  1 2 3 4 5 6
7 8 9 10 11 12 13
14 15 16 17 18 19 20
21 22 23 24 25 26 27
28 29 30 31      


Master Archive

Contact Us

Purchase the Music

  • Buy the music you've heard on-air! Your purchase helps support our classical service.
    ArkivMusic

Services

Classical Notes

Orpheus Chamber Orchestra in Minnesota

Posted at 12:05 PM on July 11, 2013 by Emily Reese

Last night, the Orpheus Chamber Orchestra performed in Somsen Auditorium in Winona as part of the Minnesota Beethoven Festival.

Orpheus is my second-favorite orchestra (the Minnesota Orchestra and Saint Paul Chamber Orchestra are in a tie for first), and I've always wanted to hear them live. Last night was OCO's first trip to Minnesota in their 40 years of performing together.

It was incredible. I did not want the show to end.

For insight into what makes Orpheus so special, check out this conversation (at least the first few moments) between three Orpheus members and Jeffrey Kimpton, president of Interlochen Center for the Arts.

As for Wednesday night, it was mesmerizing to watch the players work together. After each piece, they left the stage, only to return to a completely different seating organization for the next tune.

The final piece on the program was Tchaikovsky's Serenade for Strings.

I've never been a massive Tchaikovsky fan, and before you hate on me in the comments, let me just say that his Serenade for Strings is one of the most exquisitely written pieces of music by anyone ever. I have such a deep respect and love for that piece, and for Tchaikovsky himself, even if he's not one of my favorites.

On top of that, Tchaik's Serenade is one of OCO's signature pieces. It seems logical then, that they played it beautifully.

I've never heard the 3rd movement played like they played it last night. It was as if the music came from their own breath. This recording will give you a sense of how delicately it can be played with a large orchestra.

When OCO began those opening notes to that third movement, it was like petals of a flower unfolding in the morning sun. My heart ached from the beauty of the music. I wanted to stay in that moment far longer than the moment allowed.

It was one of several magical spells they wove throughout the evening.

The Tchaik was the last official piece on the program, and OCO turned to Bartok's Romanian Folk Dances for the encore. I never expected Bartok, following Rossini, Beethoven and Tchaikovsky, and it was the perfect end to the show.

After Orpheus Chamber Orchestra's performance last night, I decided that were I to strike it rich, I'd hop a plane on a whim to go hear whatever orchestra I want, whenever I want. Berlin, London, New York, LA, or wherever OCO is scheduled. Who are your favorite orchestras?