This afternoon, as I was driving home from the fitness center, I heard a very moving story about the Minnesota Orchestra. The orchestra there in Minneapolis has been shut out for over a year now. The conductor, Osmo Vanska, had said that unless the problems were resolved by October 1, he would have no choice but to resign on the morning of October 1st, he did just that.
At the same time, he was planning two concerts the following week-end with the musicians of the orchestra but these were played under a different name, for good reason. The house was packed and, at the end, he made and very poignant musical good-bye. The piece he chose was the beautifully wistful Valse Triste by Jan Sibelius. Vanska told the story that inspired this piece, which is the story of a young ballerina who is dancing alone on a stage. After a short time, she finds herself dancing faster and faster. She is feeling very ecstatic as she dances and believes that she is nearing a climactic ending when suddenly, she realizes that she is actually dancing toward death and that this will be her final dance.
Vanska then told the audience that he felt that this was what had happened to his orchestra. He asked the audience members to listen attentively to this, but at the end asked them not to applaud and to leave the orchestra hall in silence and in mourning. Here is the beautiful, Valse Triste.