There's no Saturday night concert by the Minnesota Orchestra this weekend, as Osmo Vanska and the musicians will be traveling to New York for a Monday night concert at Carnegie Hall.

Those wishing to preview the main Carnegie Hall musical offering can attend concerts here on Wednesday (8 p.m.), Thursday (11 a.m.) or Friday (8 p.m.). Vanska will lead the orchestra and guest singers in "Kullervo," a 75-minute symponic poem by Sibelius (pictured, below)  that chronicles scenes in the life of Kullervo, the hero of the Finnish epic "Kalevala." This piece was last played at Carnegie Hall in 1979.

Filling out the Carnegie Hall program is a string-orchestra arrangement by Michael Steinberg of Beethoven's "Grosse Fuge" that was played last weekend at Orchestra Hall.

Vanska guest-conducted the London Philharmonic Orchestra in late January and early February as part of the LPO’s Sibelius festival. He lead four concerts at Royal Festival Hall that encompassed all of Sibelius’ symphonies.

Here  is a review from the Observer, which praises Vanska as a “superb interpreter” of Sibelius.

Go here to read pianist/blogger Stephen Hough’s post about hearing one of the Vanska-lead concerts at Royal Festival Hall, of the Sibelius 4th Symphony. He thought Vanska and the London Philharmonic gave the work a “craggy, rough-hewn reading, with a moss-off-the-mountains revelation of the work’s towering peaks.”

Click here to see a video of Osmo, wearing a yellow shirt decorated with a motorcyle-print motif, discuss "Kullervo," written by a young Sibelius. He even sings a few bars.

After this weekend, Vanska will be absent from Orchestra Hall for almost eight weeks, appearing next on April 22. During these weeks he will guest-conduct in Paris and Philadelphia, be back in the Twin Cities for some teaching and to announce at a Minnesota Wild game, and then have two weeks of vacation in Finland.

 

 

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