Classical spotlights: Vänskä returns to Orchestra Hall, then plays Bartok in recital

  • Updated: March 26, 2014 - 2:14 PM
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Conductor Osmo Vanska

Photo: KYNDELL HARKNESS • Star Tribune,

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Vänskä ON THE PODIUM …

Thursday-Saturday: In January, the Minnesota Orchestra won a Grammy for its CD of the Sibelius Symphonies Nos. 1 and 4, recorded before the resignation in October of music director Osmo Vänskä. This week, Vänskä returns to Orchestra Hall for the first time since the protracted labor lockout to celebrate the orchestra’s first Grammy. (A recording of Sibelius’ Symphonies Nos. 2 and 5 was nominated in 2012.) In a review for the Star Tribune, Larry Fuchsberg described the album as “an extraordinary marriage, much worked-at, of conductor and ensemble.” They are distinctly different works: The First Symphony confirmed the composer’s hero status in his homeland, while the Fourth is enigmatic and emotional. (11 a.m. Thu., 8 p.m. Fri.-Sat. $22-$84. Orchestra Hall, 11th St. and Nicollet Mall, Mpls. 612-371-5656, minnesotaorchestra.org.)

… AND ON CLARINET

Sunday: Also this weekend, Vänskä joins the Artymiw-Keefe-Smith Trio as clarinet soloist in a performance of Bartok’s “Contrasts” for clarinet, violin and piano, based on Hungarian and Romanian dance melodies and originally commissioned by clarinetist Benny Goodman. The program, featuring University of Minnesota professor Lydia Artymiw on piano, Minnesota Orchestra concertmaster Erin Keefe on violin and Wilhelmina Smith on cello, includes Dvorak’s Piano Trio in G Minor, Op. 26, and Brahms’ Piano Trio in C Major, Op. 87. (2 p.m. Sun., Ted Mann Concert Hall, 2128 S. 4th St., Mpls., 612-624-2345, music.umn.edu.)

WILLIAM RANDALL BEARD

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