Sixty musicians from the Minnesota Orchestra, led by conductor Manny Laureano, illuminated and performed the “Second Symphony” by Johannes Brahms for a large audience of students and guests at Wayzata High School on March 21.
By first highlighting the melodies, motives and instrumental colors Brahms used to construct the opening movement of the symphony, Maestro Laureano prepared the audience to follow the evolution of musical events across the length of the opening twelve minutes.
Following an abbreviated second movement, the orchestra and conductor presented important ideas from the third and fourth movements prior to performing them in their entirety. A brief question and answer session followed the performance ("What are the challenges faced by professional musicians? " and "What's the best part of playing in an orchestra?" were among the questions) and dozens of students and orchestral musicians spent time visiting and taking pictures following the event.
The musicians were impressed by the way our Wayzata middle school and high school music students engaged themselves fully in this experience, with many commenting afterwards on the maturity of the student audience and the thoughtfulness of their questions. The students, some with aspirations of joining the ranks of professional musicians and some of whom were attending a professional orchestra concert for the first time, were thrilled to hear one of the world's great orchestra perform for them in their home auditorium. Inspiration taken from this performance will echo through our school's rehearsal rooms for a very long time.
This performance was given free of charge by the Musicians of the Minnesota Orchestra.