Friday, November 25, 2011

A Musical Weekend

That's how I describe last weekend when I experienced two wonderful musical performances here in the Twin Cities.

The first was the incredibly talented Rosanne Cash in concert Friday, November 18, with the Minnesota Orchestra.

Jon Bream's November 20 Star Tribune review says it well:

For her orchestral debut, Rosanne Cash [left] wore black jeans, a sequined green top and a black jacket with (short) tails. The informality mixed with the formality worked for Cash and the Minnesota Orchestra Friday at Orchestra Hall. The symphonic sounds added emotions to a few numbers and buoyed Cash on a couple others. She also offered several tunes, accompanied by her three-man band or merely her husband/guitarist/producer, John Leventhal. . . . [The orchestra's] strings underscored the sadness of Patsy Cline’s "She's Got You" and added a fitting Irish flavor to Cash’s own "The Good Intent," a dreaminess to "The World Unseen" and a loneliness of "Sleeping in Paris." The best arrangements had to be the swelling "Seven-Year Ache," Cash’s biggest hit, and the closing "The Wheel," her most uptempo and dynamic tune.

Oh, and I'm happy to report that Rosanne sang one of my favorite songs: "Dreams Are Not My Home" from her 2006 album Black Cadillac. I particularly love the lyrics of this particular song, including the following.

The waves are breaking on the wall.
The queen of roses spreads her arms to fly, she falls.
If I had wings I'd cut them down.
Live without these dreams
so I could learn to love the ground.

'Cause I wanna live inside the world,
I wanna act like a real girl.
I wanna know I'm not alone,
and the dreams are not my home

The future's like a ringing bell,
the road to good intentions
wanders all the way through hell
The note that hangs in the gilded hall,
the clanging of my empty rooms.
Yeah, I could learn to love them all . . .

Yes, it was a wonderful evening of music, one that I shared with my friend Greg and which I have my generous friends Amy and Dawn to thank for.

The second musical event I attended last weekend was "Everything Changes," the first concert of the Minnesota Philharmonic Orchestra's 2011-2012 season.

The concert was named after a 2006 piece by Erika Foin. This particular piece, which opened last Saturday's performance, was inspired by Cicely Herbert's poem "Everything Changes" which Foin was first introduced to ten years ago courtesy of the London Underground!

My good friend Kathleen (left) is the orchestra's Principal Second Violinist, and Saturday's performance was the first for Jacob Sustaita, the orchestra's newly appointed Music Director.

The MPO was founded in 1993 by Kevin Ford, a gay man who had a vision of a gay and lesbian orchestra that would build community and fellowship through the performance of classical music. Notes the MPO website:

Although Kevin succumbed to complications from HIV-AIDS in 1995, the organization he created continues to grow and diversify today. The MPO includes players from a variety of backgrounds and orientations who share a commitment to inclusivity, non-discrimination, and to the performance of works by under-represented composers.

Last Saturday's concert impressively showcased the MPO's high standards of musicality and artistic integrity. I particularly appreciated and enjoyed the performance of Rodrigo's "Adagio for Wind Orchestra," the nimble playing of guest violinist Andrew Sords, and the gracefully energetic conducting of Jacob Sustaita (right).

I look forward to future concerts of the MPO and strongly encourage my Minnesotan readers to get to know this "instrumental voice for the GLBTA community." You can learn about future performances of the MPO here.

See also the previous Wild Reed posts:
The Beauty and Wisdom of Rosanne Cash
"Movin' On" with Rosanne Cash
The Potential of Art and the Limits of Rigid Orthodoxy to Connect Us to the Sacred
In the Garden of Spirituality – Rosanne Cash

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