Concert Review: Minnesota Orchestra opens season with new cello concerto

Posted on: October 6, 2010

In last Friday’s (10/1) Star-Tribune (Minneapolis), Larry Fuchsberg writes, “With Orchestra Hall newly wrapped in images of its future self, with memories of August’s European jaunt still fresh and with a rousing, audience-assisted rendition of the national anthem, the Minnesota Orchestra Thursday began its 108th season—its eighth under the leadership of Osmo Vänskä. The center of attention, in a program bookended by Brahms and Carl Maria von Weber, was the world premiere of ‘Towards the Horizon,’ the Second Cello Concerto by the eminent Finnish composer Einojuhani Rautavaara, who turns 82 on Oct. 9. Commissioned by the orchestra, the concerto is dedicated to Norwegian cellist Truls Mørk, who was to have given this week’s performances with Vänskä. But Mørk has been sidelined by Lyme disease, and Polish-born, Baltimore-trained Arek Tesarczyk, who joined the orchestra’s cello section in 2004, has taken his place. … The concerto has a dissonant lushness, at times suggesting a Hollywood film score that’s taken an odd turn. Tesarczyk, wholly secure, proves a strong advocate for the composer’s meandering lyricism, making something incantatory of the high tessitura in the three ‘horizon’ sections.”

Posted October 6, 2010