Echoes of History Post Performance Reflection

May 02, 2014

Did you enjoy Echoes of History from Osmo Vänskä & the Musicians of the Minnesota Orchestra, a performance recreating the first concert ever performed in Northrop? What did you think of the U of M Marching Band and Chorus addition?  How was your Northrop experience? Join in the conversation!

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What a memorable concert and I'm grateful to have been in attendance. Especially loved the finale with the U of M chorus and marching band. The Northrup was rocking....even in row X. It is awesome to have the Minnesota Orchestra back in action....long overdue. Looking forward to many more performances. Thank you for this one!

The concert was magnificent! We had a wonderful time. We were sitting with several people who had season tickets to Orchestra Hall and the consensus was that the acoustics were better at Northrop.

This concert was my introduction to the orchestra and Northrup and I was impressed. I'm curious about where the canon was coming from. From my seat we couldn't tell what was making the sound.

Computer generated

The canons are real canons that have been recorded and sampled digitally. They are then triggered electronically via a Yamaha Piano Keyboard. Having performed this piece many times and many ways with real canons , guns etc., this is quite effective, safe, accurate and you can control the volume so no one goes deaf. Not quite as dramatic as the real thing. Percussionist, MN Orchestra

The word you wanted, for an item of artillery, is "cannon." Musically, a canon is a form of counterpoint.

Great performance. Well done renovation, preserves the old charm with new comforts and needs

We loved the concert and especially enjoyed the U of MN chorus and marching band joining in at the end. Magnificent! The music was amazing and very powerful, and the venue is beautiful with wonderful sound. So glad to have been a part of this wonderful event!

We were in the second to last row of the top balcony. I can't imagine that the sound was better any place else in the hall.

We were in the fourth row from the top balcony. The seats were extremely uncomfortable! I am short and my feet did not touch the floor for the entire concert. The seats are very narrow (we are not large people) and there were people crawling over our feet to reach their seats - no middle aisle. I also had to lean forward to see well. The sound was great - but we sit in the middle of the second row at Orchestra Hall and the sound there is far superior! Loved the MN Marching Band and the closing Rouser! It was great to have Vanska back with the Orchestra!

The concert was magnificent, the sound was great, the hall is gorgeous. I will say that in the top balcony in row 4, I had some difficulty seeing Osmo and the pianist if I sat back in my seat, because of the railing. Would have preferred that they not be quite so high. While the sound was great up there, I will try to avoid that section in the future. It is awfully high up!

The building is gorgeous and the accoustics are better than Orchestra Hall. Loved it. Loved every second of this fantastic concert. One can see better as the seats are better for viewing as well as hearing.

Attending the concert was a great pleasure. It was a great privilege to be at the first major concert in the new Northrop and hear the Minnesota Orchestra back in that venue. Sitting in row "B" left of the Scholars Circle, I was gratified by the spatial sense of intimacy of the hall (even with 2700 seats) and by the very present, vivid acoustics. Musicians will need to learn that they do not need to play as loudly there as in other halls that size. The bass response was a little light from a seat in the Scholars' Circle, though. I heard more bass on Saturday evening from the University Orchestra when I sat in the President's Circle, row 4 center. I hope that a little adjusting of the acoustics may be possible to address that one deficiency.

We have season tickets for the Minnesota Orchestra at Orchestra Hall and found it so much easier to attend concerts there than at Northrop. We enjoyed the concert at Northrop, although we did not think the acoustics were as good as Orchestra Hall. We sat jin the 4th row in the 2nd balcony and sit on the Main Floor at Orchestra Hall. Also, the traffic getting to Northrop was horrible and parking was a problem. We had to park in the Washington Ave. ramp and didn't realize you had to have prepaid/reserved parking to park in the ramps closest to Northrop. Certainly a bigger elevator was needed to get to the balconies. If the Minnesota Orchestra were presenting all of their concerts at Northrop, we would no longer be attending. We are older people and found it to be a very difficult experience.

I agree. The whole parking situation was poorly planned. Even with reserved passes, it took us 30 mins ( in line with people who did not have reservations). More signage needs to be put out much earlier along University Ave. to keep the cars flowing.gbzyr

I took the #3 bus down Como. It took about 15 minutes to within steps of Northrup. There are park and rides along the route. Couldn't have been easier.

The new Northrop is beautiful. Sight lines are great and so is the sound. I was disturbed by the sound of what I assume is air conditioning. During the first half of the concert a steady, pitched sound was quite audible, especially when the orchestra played pianissimo. I didn't notice it in the 2nd half of the concert. My seat was in the center of row y, main floor. The orchestra played beautifully and I enjoyed the participation of the University groups. 1812 was very exciting!!

I also noticed the sound of the air conditioning when the orchestra was playing pianissimo. I was sitting in Row a of the President's Circle on the right side. Not noticeable in 2nd half, I assume because the music in the 2nd half was so much louder :-) It was a very exciting, fun concert.

We thoroughly enjoyed the concert, especially because it nostalgically celebrated the (re)opening of Northrup. The program contained pieces we recognized - the Liszt piano concerto was amazing (so many notes) and the 1812 overture has never sounded that good before. Our seats were in the Scholars Circle but we had absolutely no complaints - the sound was great and we had great views of the orchestra.

It was an all time high-never to be forgotten. As an alum and retired prof, I was so proud, glad the orchestra was so thanked for hanging in there and not letting that gem go to pieces. Thanks to all.

The concert was wonderful, the acoustics were crisp (and two of us have degrees in Acoustics), we were able to see everything from the 2nd row of the top balcony. That said, I don't think that I will get seats there again, as it was steeply raked and the railing seemed all too small. The cannon also seemed too reverberant - probably because we were on a level with the speaker.

We support the many positive statements already made regarding both the musicians and Northrop as a fine venue. Positives: improved seating, improved acoustics, lobby areas, access, sight lines to the stage (checked out sight lines from the end seats close to the side wall, even though we sat in the center), lounge areas to sit and relax before the concert (appreciated as we arrived very early and purchased food and refreshments), architectural displays on the top level, ... so in general a very positive experience, especially the excellent music. We would like to suggest one concept for possible improvement. Negative: We had seats in the center section of the President's Circle, row D. Unfortunately, especially prior to intermission, the ventilation system made a distracting noise, which was especially distracting during the quiet music passages. It was definitely louder than anything we hear at other venues. Perhaps some adjustment was made during intermission. The ventilation system noise was not audible during the first piece after intermission, but it seemed to return with less volume in an intermittent manner later.

The concert was just wonderful; I had tears dripping down my face at several points. The remodeled building is gorgeous in pretty much every aspect. And the acoustics are so good that, unfortunately, someone dropping something or coughing reverberated everywhere. Like a few other patrons, I found the railing really low on the balcony. I was on Gallery 4 East and, while the low railing made for better viewing, I was very nervous about standing up and walking along it. One problem on Friday night--maybe not always--was a distinct shortage of ushers. The row I was in, AA, was completely unlabeled both as to row and seat numbers. It was a friendly group of ticket holders and we managed to arrange ourselves, but not without some confusion and concern. It would have been nice to have an usher point us to both the row and the order of the seats (we weren't clear if Seat 1 was at the aisle or at the end of the row, by the lighting equipment), but there were no ushers inside the doors. I would definitely go to another concert at Northrop, but not as high up as I was.

Heart Stopping! Every selection on the program was outstanding--especially the "1812 Overture". What a finish!

So many things going on here. New hall, MSO and Osmo back, history and the students. The 1812 deserves to be recorded. When those peasants started singing we were transported. I will never hear the rouser played with such fire again I fear.

As one of the singing "peasants" to whom you refer, I take great offense to your choice of words. I hope this was just a misuse of language…

I think peasants was likely used as a term of endearment.

Loved the concert and building. We had tickets in the very front, all the way to the left and it was a surprisingly interesting view and the sound was fine; except for the speakers when the mic was used. It seemed as though none of the lower speakers of the arrays were on. I heard a fraction of what was said because it was garbled by the echo, even though the person speaking was 15 feet from us. Thanks for a wonderful afternoon!

On the other hand, Northrop wins big time for bathroom capacity. At intermission not only was there not a line, but there were empty stalls! Yay!!!

Congraulations to all who participated in the planning and construction of the "New" Northrup. My wife and I atternded the Saturday and Sunday performances. The U students were simply great. The revival of our Minnesota orchestra was overwhelming in a house with such tremendous acoustics. We have been suscribers to the orchestra for over 30 years and as rewarding as their concerts have been, this performance topped them all. The U marching band the the chorus was, truly, the icing on the cake. We left with sense of pride as redkidents ofMinnesota.

Congraulations to all who participated in the planning and construction of the "New" Northrup. My wife and I atternded the Saturday and Sunday performances. The U students were simply great. The revival of our Minnesota orchestra was overwhelming in a house with such tremendous acoustics. We have been suscribers to the orchestra for over 30 years and as rewarding as their concerts have been, this performance topped them all. The U marching band the the chorus was, truly, the icing on the cake. We left with sense of pride as redkidents ofMinnesota.

It was worth it to hear Vanska's reading of the Largo. Sitting in last row second balcony was very very warm and it got quite uncomfortable and the balcony was too steep. I wouldn't pay a dime to sit in any of the balconies. Northrop looks wonderful. We could hear fine. Vanska is the real star.

Accessibility: Northrup needs to be very proactive about letting customers know what is and is not accessible to persons with disabilities. I sat in the Presidents Circle and was disturbed to see so many people in walkers (and a few in wheelchairs) not have easy access to thier seats. Obviously they had no idea that they'd have to climb or descend many stairs to get to thier assigned seats. This confusion and non-access created quite a traffic jam at the entrances as to the auditorium well. Not to mention that there is no place to keep walkers & canes. They were stored in the middle of the hallway which also became a congestion issue later on. Maybe this is an "it is what it is" whith the new design, but I feel that Northrop should make every effort to describe accessibility to these seats to patrons. Ushers: Seemed like the ushers didn't really know the theater (closest doors to seats, where services are located, where the elevators are etc...). I'm assuming this will get better as time goes on. This applied to both the Friday night concert and the Saturday night concert. One usher was absolutely obsessed about preventing people from grabbing a snap shot of the new space on thier phone, so much so that it was fairly irritating to those of us just waiting for the concert to begin. Lighten-up! It is a new theater, people are excited and want to take a picture or two and share thier experience of this new facility.

I've attended many musical events at Northrop (e.g. several Philip Glass concerts) and have always resigned myself to blurry, tinny sound. The new hall is a major upgrade acoustically. It was a joy to be present at the rededication of Northrop and the reunion of Vanska and his orchestra.

An historic occasion, and especially emotional with the recovering MNO and return of OSMO. We recall ordering the tickets online while traveling in Pennsylvania. Wanted to be sure not to miss the concert with Osmo and Musicians of the Minnesota Orchestra, which had arranged to play while still locked out. We stopped at a Panera Bread outlet to use their WiFi (in the first hour we could purchase tickets) and we were amply rewarded Friday evening. Keep up the good work. The revised hall is splendid too. JTG 05 MAY 2014

Absolutely terrific concert with the Minnesota Orchestra, marching band and choir. Wonderful experience.

Heard and was annoyed by the same vent system problem - thanks for trying to fix it at the half - please keep working on it. The building is beautiful and the students were a joy for those not on campus to hear. Kudos to all involved in the music making

We attended both the Friday night and Sunday afternoon concerts and had two contrasting experiences. But first I should say that the music was thrilling, a great celebration of the hall, but even more so of the restoration of Osmo Vänskä to the directorship of the Minnesota Orchestra. Friday night we were on the main floor in the third row center. Now that there are only four doors into the floor, getting into the hall is awkward. After having stood in a long queue to get into the left door, the usher told us to go to the right door (and stand in another long queue). That was frustrating. We enjoyed our seats and the acoustics were good, except when Doug Wright used the hand microphone — we could hardly understand what he said. At intermission, I used the men’s restroom on the ground floor and stood in another long queue. There are two toilets and two urinals, and an enormously long counter with two small sinks in it — very poor use of space. We parked in the 4th street ramp, and it took us nearly 30 minutes to get out. We had paid event parking, but the gates were down afterwards and each driver had to insert their tickets into the machines to get out. Very inefficient. Sunday afternoon we sat in the third tier front row of the west box, we brought an elderly friend who has very poor mobility. The music and the sound was wonderful, this time we could understand Doug Wright on the microphone, but the rest of the experience was frankly awful. The elevators are too small and very slow. My friend was very thirsty, and we were told that the nearest drinking fountain was clear around the other side—there was no way he could have walked there and back in time. And then we learned that the again-too-small men’s room was on the opposite side. We were in the front row of the box, and the rail feels entirely too low — it was frightening to walk to our seats. REALLY FRIGHTENING. I’m only 5’8”, and I had to bend over to hang on to the rail. We had considered bringing my mother-in-law who has even poorer mobility, and had already decided not to because of the challenging parking situation. I am so glad we did not bring her, because it would have been really miserable getting her in and out of her seat. My final assessment? I will attend compelling events in the future, but only with fully mobile companions on the main floor.

Especially nice the Dvorak; intonation, balance, dynamics, nice ensemble in the brass. W.W. playing Listz sublime. Fine job, exciting finale!

I certainly enjoyed the concert. I spent four years as an usher at Northrup when the it was called The Minneapolis Symphony Orchestra so I was more than happy to return again, see the new hall and enjoy the Minnesota Orchestra. Thank you so much.

What a pleasure to listen to this concert at the "new" Northrop. Hearing our beloved musicians under the talented guidance of Master Vanska made for a fabulous afternoon of music. Although all of the selections were great, two specific performances moved me to tears: Dvorak's Largo was heart rendingly beautiful and what a marvelous English horn solo. The 1812 Overture was the other - the combination of Minnesota Orchestra, 150+ singers, and the U of M Marching band led to a once in a lifetime experience. The remodeled Hall is beautiful with fine acoustics; however, from our seats in Scholars' Circle, Row C, 314/315, we could not see a portion of the stage to our right. For $55, I expect to see the entire stage. The elevation of each row of seats also meant that a tall gentleman in the first row managed to block out another portion of my view. The concert was outstanding, but I shall be happy to return to Orchestra Hall for the remainder of this season and for seasons to come.

I loved the performance. The renovated Northrop is stunning. I was in the top tier, and still thought the acoustics were wonderful. The historical significance of this concert was most interesting to someone who did not grow up in MN. Of course, I am thrilled the Orchestra lockout is over and that Osmo has agreed to return for 2 years. I loved the choirs and marching band for the 1812 Overture, very thrilling to say the least. The parking situation was horrible, and the email sent prior to the performance was not at all helpful (the Church St. garage was available even without pre-paid, the Nolte was open for the event even though the U's parking website said it was closed on Sunday). The accessibility for older and/or disabled people seems terrible, people were having difficulty climbing the stairs in the top tier.

This is one concert we will never forget....a beautifully redone auditorium where the hallowed and the contemporary flow together so well, with a reborn Minnesota Orchestra with a scintillating conductor back at the helm, a re-creation of the program from Northrup's first opening, and to have the U of M singers and marching band perform the 1812 overture...the emotion and the grandeur of it all was overwhelming...

The sound of the Minnesota Orchestra and its playing were stunning. After all the years of miserable, lifeless sound in the "old Northrop," the sound here was a revelation - bright, vivid, full. Unlike others, in our seats on the main floor right, the bass line was especially fine and full. But the U's planning and lack of celebration was terrible. Very bad, unacceptable parking issues. Flimsy one page "program" that said nothing about the Orchestra's history in the Auditorium from 1949 to its move to Orchestra Hall. No president or dean to welcome the Orchestra back. No displays in the lobby about either the Auditorium or the Orchestra's history there. In the main floor rear, the seats are jammed up against the wall - how would one get out in the event of a fire, especially through the narrow, cramped entrances? I'm surprised that the fire marshall would approve such a design. Fortunately, the sound, music, and playing saved the day, with the 1812 fabulous, and the Rouser even better. I nearly cried.

As a student who is in the know, the Musicians of the Minnesota Orchestra handled many of the logistics for this program. The "flimsy one page program" is one of the things in this category. We in the choral department offered to put together a more elaborate program including names of performers, etc…and that was categorically rejected by the Musicians. They said that they were recreating the original experience, including the program. I'm pretty sure other items on your list fall into this category, too…this was technically an "outside" event.

I heard my first symphony concert there in the 60s and have attended other events at Northrop, but not for many years. I had forgotten how beautiful that part of the UM campus is. I thought the renovation of Northrop was most impressive and the selection of music showed off the beautiful accoustics. The applause on Sunday afternoon was a clear indication the orchestra and director are truly loved by this community. Great idea to include the UM musicians for a "WOW" finale.

We were at the Friday night performance. It was one of the most exciting musical events we’ve ever experienced — everyone was charged up just to be there. Inside and out, the new Northrop is beautiful too – far from the somber and cavernous auditorium I vaguely remember from before. I bought our tickets a couple weeks ago, when there weren’t many left, so wasn’t expecting very good seats, especially when they said “partial view.” We were very surprised, then, to discover we were sitting in the very center of the very first row, directly behind the podium – i.e. just a few feet from Osmo Vanska, our celebrity conductor and Man of the Hour! It was maybe not the ideal placement for the most blended sound – and it was definitely not a good spot during the Liszt PC 1, except for watching the reflection of the pianist’s hands inside the piano lid – but we could hear all of the orchestra clearly, even with our noses inches from Tony Ross’ shoes! The program finale – the 1812 Overture – couldn’t have been more thrilling. The piece is a bit of a caricature of itself anyway, so it quickly put everyone in a jolly, spine-tingling mood. And then, when the university band’s brass players suddenly appeared at the end to join the orchestra and chorus – and sound of canon fire being piped in! – well, it’s a wonder the roof of the newly-renovated auditorium didn’t simply lift off…! What a wonderful experience being part of this night to remember!

What a joy to be present for the opening of The Carlson Family Theatre. At the conclusion of the superb performance of the 1812 Overture tears (of joy) were rolling down my face.

What an incredible concert and beautiful, acoustically exceptional venue. The UMN choir and marching band at the conclusion of the 1812 Overture was so powerful and moving that several people around me were literally in tears. It was an experience I would love to be able to repeat again and again. Thank you!

Wonderful concert. Parking suggestion, since the U is a perpetual disaster in this regard, why not have a shuttle from some place like the fairgrounds? Dvorak largo just superb -- the precision & dynamics that Osmo & the MN Orchestra do better than any other. 1812 was a BLAST!! And Uof M rouser as an encore -- just great! Acoustic good but Orchestra Hall & Ted Mann definitely better.


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