The reviews are in for the Minnesota Orchestra's performance at Carnegie Hall – and they're glowing.
The orchestra had been set to play at the prestigious New York concert venue in 2013 before the infamous standoff between musicians and management saw its 2012/13 and part of its 2013/14 season canceled.
But it was a case of better-late-than-never on Thursday evening as Osmo Vanska brought his orchestra's award-winning Sibelius symphonies to the Big Apple.
The New York Classical Review was gushing in its compliments, describing the performance as a "superb experience, full of deep feeling and explosive energy," with particular praise for the concluding Symphony No. 1 ("The concert built inexorably to a point of complete and profound fulfillment.")
The one criticism the review had was not for the orchestra, but for the audience, saying: "That last moment, one of both finality and a grim determination to move beyond, was frustratingly marred by the lack of silence. The audience could not even wait a hair’s breadth in time to let the power of the performance affect them before they burst into applause."
The New York Times was similarly effusive, reserving praise for guest violinist Hilary Hahn, whose "focused sound was a perfect fit for this orchestra and this repertory, poised between rawness and refinement."
"A Carnegie spokeswoman had written earlier in the day to say that there were no plans to complete the originally scheduled [Sibelius] cycle," the review concluded. "But for the sake of New York’s music lovers — and the sake of Sibelius — the hall should invite this orchestra back, and soon."
The Minnesota Orchestra won a Grammy in 2014 for Best Orchestral Performance Category for their recordings of Jean Sibelius’ First and Fourth Symphonies,