Monday, August 20, 2007

The Silent Instrument VI - Osmo Vänskä

Osmo Vänskä rehearses almost the way a musician practices. (Could this be related to his active life as a clarinet player?) A master of an orchestra's inner workings, he takes things apart where the hinges don't quite fit to address mechanical issues alone. When the other orchestral elements are replaced, the music moves together smoothly where it hadn't before. This way of working raises the level of ensemble listening, and the focus became palpable at times. I expect it to characterize our concerts tomorrow and Wednesday; an electric attention throughout the orchestra.

He's also charming, and can point out deficiencies while making you smile. "The first violins are just slightly ahead of you, and I don't think they are too fast." "If I'm unclear, you must tell me, If I'm not you must play together."

And my favorite admonition throughout the Beethoven First Symphony, "dance!"

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