Conductor Laureate Stanislaw Skrowaczewski on Feb. 7 led the first Minnesota Orchestra concert at Orchestra Hall following the settlement of a labor lockout that dragged on for 16 months. At right is principal cellist Anthony Ross.
Rick Nelson and Claude Peck dispense unasked-for advice about clothing, etiquette, culture, relationships, grooming and more.
RN: Stanislaw Skrowaczewski is my new role model.
CP: That nonagenarian, who led the Minnesota Orchestra in the 1960s and ’70s, is a marvel. Stan the Angular Man appears to have sprung directly from the pages of a Tim Burton storyboard.
RN: He’s nearly twice my age, and yet he seems to possess four times my energy.
CP: At last weekend’s opening concert, I loved Beethoven’s “Eroica” symphony, but nothing showed off the Minnesota Orchestra’s sections quite so well as Stan’s orchestration of that Bach Toccata and Fugue. Hear now the xylophone!
RN: Absolutely. The only missing element was a Moog synthesizer. It was the first piece performed when Orchestra Hall debuted in 1974, so it seems fitting that it played that same role for last weekend’s reopening.
CP: Which brings me to my central query. Whadja think of the new hall at 1111 Nicollet Mall?
RN: So happy to see the cubes again. I’m still not sold on the gray balconies and black chairs. Elegant, yes, but maybe a tad somber for the room’s electric pulse.
CP: Just as a medium brown shoe works with a dark gray pant, the new color scheme inside the hall is growing on me. At first, I was shocked and angry to lose all the burnt orange, which reminded me of my mom’s two-door Nova in the early 1970s. Now I’m at peace.