The Mariinsky Orchestra of Russia is a World Class organization. And the so-called “Stradivarius Ensemble” is the string orchestra composed of string members from the Mariinsky.
At about 1:00 PM today I attended a dress rehearsal of the string orchestra, and it was immeidately obvious to me that this group was totally outstanding.
There were ten violin players, five each of viola and cello players, and three bass players.
The rehearsal took place at the Bing Concert Hall on the campus of Stanford University. Most of what I heard was an astounding performance of the “Metamorphosen” by Richard Strauss (1864-1949).
Richard Strauss was nearly 80 years old when he wrote this music in 1945. He was accused as a Nazi sympathiser. I own an original greeting card signed by “Dr Richard Strauss” below the phrase “Heil Hitler”.
The music itself is unbelievably gorgeous, warm, and dramatic. There are hints of Beethoven’s Symphony number 3, and there is also a sense that the music forcasts the end of Strauss’ life.
Conductor Valery Gergiev created am amazing experience for me, personally, even though I listened to a final rehearsal that ended 30 minutes before the performance began. He adjusted seating, walked throughout the new Bing concert hall to evaluate the total sound. All the instructions to the players were, of course carried out in Russian.
Totally enjoyable experience for me!
Here is the Norwegian Chamber Orchestra performing Metamorphosen by Strauss: