The Lahti Symphony

Discussion in 'Orchestra / Solo / Chamber Music' started by Manny Laureano, Jan 25, 2005.

  1. Manny Laureano

    Manny Laureano Utimate User

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    Gentle Sight-readers,

    In about an hour and a half it will be my distinct pleasure to cozy up into a seat at Orchestra Hall, Minneapoils to hear Osmo's other orchestra, the Lahti Symphony from Finland. They are on tour and Mpls. is one of their stops.

    It'll be fun to hear another orchestra in our hall conducted by our MD. How often does that sort of thing happen, anyway?

    A Finnish orchestra with a Finnish conductor playing the music of their premiere composer, Jean Sibelius. The featured pieces are Sibelius 2 and 3 with a contemporary piece also written by a Finn. Oh, yeah, this sounds like a unique opportunity.

    I got to meet up with the section when we were in Lahti on the recent European tour and they're nice folks. Hope they're up for some adult beverages afterward.

    I'll give you a full report when I get back or tomorrow morning.

    ML
     
  2. davidjohnson

    davidjohnson Piano User

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    Nov 2, 2003
    arkansas
    eager to hear your report. i have a recording of them.

    dj
     
  3. Manny Laureano

    Manny Laureano Utimate User

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    Sep 29, 2004
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    Gentle Sight-readers,

    I had the pleasure of hearing a good band in our hall last night. I got home too late to write anything but I'll give you my impressions.

    First, it's a wonderful thing that many European orchgestras do on tour and that is to warm up offstage and then enter en masse at concert time along with the concertmaster who is the last to enter but still with the corps. It's different from most American bands but I enjoy the suspense especially when the first piece is unfamiliar to me.

    Then they did something I've not seen a professional American orchestra do and that was to give three "A"s. Strings first, woodwindwind next and then brass. Except it wasn't an A, it was a Bb. It must be an old tradition from when everyone played Bb trumpets. I only saw one Bb, however though I can't trust my eyes anymore.

    The opening number was a suite from a opera by Kokkonen that I assume we'll be playing here sometime as it seems to be a favorite of the conductor, Osmo Vanska who, you remember, is also our MD, too. Good piece called the "Last Temptations".

    The orchestra sits very close together so it looks like a giant chamber orchestra as it's not one of these mega-sized US orchestras. But you are struck by how much sound they produce overall. They have a very wide range of dynamics, to the point where you see the strings barely moving their bows but you hear the faintest of sounds. Very effective.

    Hey, what's wrong with this orchestra? NO SOUND SHIELDS?! Someone must tell them the proper way to set up with as many sound shields in as many places possible to ensure everyone has their own personal postal code within the orchestra.

    Oops... I have to go to work... I'll write more later.

    ML
     
  4. R.A.S.

    R.A.S. Pianissimo User

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    I just caught the end of the concert last night, in fact, just the 3 encores.
    The treat for me was when they started the last movement of Finlandia. Maybe I was hearing things, but it sounded like the crowd really reacted hearing the first few notes of this.
    The brass section was strong and listening to each other.
    Obviously, this tune is their Star Spangled Banner, and they played it well and with gusto!
    (And the town they're from is only pop 100,000??)
     
  5. JackD

    JackD Mezzo Forte User

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    Nov 30, 2003
    Manchester / London
    Forgive my ignorance - having never seen an American orchestra, what is the normal way of doing this over there? (I've only ever seen orchestras come on all together, followed by the leader and then the conductor!)
     
  6. MUSICandCHARACTER

    MUSICandCHARACTER Forte User

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    Jan 31, 2004
    Newburgh, Indiana
    :soap:

    OK, I could get on a soapbox about this subject :x

    But I'll ask instead. Why would sound shields be needed if everyone played the way they are supposed to?

    Jim
     
  7. Manny Laureano

    Manny Laureano Utimate User

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    Gentle Sight Readers,

    There are lots of questions that have spwaned from my initial post but I'll get to them later.

    To continue, I came away very impressed with the unanimity of sound from the horn section in particular. It was ever-so-slightly brighter than the sound I'm used to here but it made for a very nice bridge of sound between the trumpets and tombones. The horns truly played with the same style and sound on every lick.

    The trumpet sound, while very good, was a more directional sound than I'm accustomed to. That is, when I was directly in front of them, I heard one, big, unified sound. As I moved to a different place for the second half, away from the center of the open bell, it was less defined.

    I knew the question would come up so I asked what horns were being played. The answer was one Bach and two Courtois. Don't ask me what models on each, I don't know. The point is it's a mixed section.

    They played three encores after the 2nd of Sibelius. One was a cortege, the second was the Valse Triste of Sibelius, and, finally, Finlandia which was greeted by an outburst of approbation from the audience as the trombones and horns opened up with the famous crescendi.

    They are in Detroit today, Ann Arbor tomorrow and they finish in NYC at Avery Fischer. Please go check them out. You won't regret it one bit. The program has changed to a different one from hear so find out before you go. I think they are playing some piano concerti along with their other repertoire.


    Jack,

    Traditionally, American orchestras will have their musicians out on stage practicing, warming up in full view of the public before the show with everyone finally getting on just before curtain. the concertmaster comes out alone and greets the audience and tunes at that point followed by maestro du jour.

    BA,

    The thing with sound shields is a reaction to something that has been handled in the typically American, litigious way. Not with a kind, civil request but with anger and "I'll show you" malice that has been a pain in the neck for years and is only going to get worse in this country. Too bad.

    It is the same mentality that says if you merely smell smoke you are being damaged. If someone says something, you aren't supposed to go deal with it, you are supposed to find legal protection. We have a become a society that does not solve problems one-on-one, you are encouraged to find a legal remedy without talking to the person. The only reactions you are allowed are blandness or outright being offended. And of course, we know that no one has the right to offend you. Nope. We don't have the skin for it. We're not tough enough to take it or deal with it civilly. We are a nation of litigious wimps with no voice but that of someone else that would speak for us for a nominal fee.

    ML
     
  8. Tootsall

    Tootsall Fortissimo User

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    Oct 25, 2003
    Yee HAW!
    Oh yeah!? I'll have my lawyer contact your lawyer and they can sort this out!

    "And then God created a lawyer.... and nothing has been the same since".

    "Was it a lawyer who created liability insurance?"

    When in doubt, sue.

    It's only 99% of the lawyers who give the rest a bad reputation.

    (OK... I have to go answer the doorbell... I think there is someone there with a subpoena)
     
  9. Manny Laureano

    Manny Laureano Utimate User

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    Sep 29, 2004
    USA
    Oh, and to add insult to injury...

    tomorrow I have to cancel a student because I have to attend a mandatory "Harrassment Seminar" at Orchestra Hall for all employees!

    What a billion dollar industry these folks have created for themselves! Do you know that harrassment has to do with how someone takes a comment you've made, not how you INTENDED it? You can be brought up on charges for a misunderstanding because someone went to an employer before talking to you personally and having a civil conversation first!!!

    ARRGGH!!!

    ML
     
  10. MUSICandCHARACTER

    MUSICandCHARACTER Forte User

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    Jan 31, 2004
    Newburgh, Indiana
    Off on a tangent ....

    I was in a car accident 3 years ago. My back was ruined. 2 lawyers and many doctors later, my back is worse. I am nearly 20% whole body disabled. If I was a wimp, I could live on disability :noway:

    The lady who hit me from behind was given two tickets and admitted fault. No problem there. I got less than $20K for ruining my back for life and that was the very best I could do.

    The average "harassment" lawsuit is much higher than that. What have we come to? Ugh ....
     

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