"When you have a garden full of pretty flowers, you don't demand of them, 'What do you mean? What is your significance?'
Dancers are just flowers, and flowers grow without any literal meaning, they are just beautiful.
We're like flowers. A flower doesn't tell you a story. It's in itself a beautiful thing."
So said choreographer George Balanchine, who created what's been called the first full-length abstract ballet, Jewels, in 1967. See it come to life this weekend at Northrop Auditorium, with Ballet West and a live orchestra playing Tchaikovsky, Faure, and Stravinsky.
Stravinsky infamously described his tall, serious friend Rachmaninoff as "a six and a half foot scowl." And yet there was so much tenderness and passion behind that scowl! You'll hear it from the Minnesota Orchestra performing Rachmaninoff's Symphony No. 2 this weekend (including our live broadcast Friday night at 8 on Classical MPR). Norwegian trumpet virtuoso Tine Thing Helseth joins the orchestra for a Tomasi concerto, and takes time Saturday morning for a trumpet masterclass at the University of Minnesota School of Music. Free and open to the public, so tell all the aspiring trumpeters in your life.
At the movies, it's a big weekend for "Janeites," as Jane Austen devotees describe themselves. A new adaptation of Emma hits the screen this weekend, and classical music shows up variously in online trailers: Vivaldi in this one, and in this version Mozart, the latter perhaps more appropriately droll, as well as more historically correct for an author who has been associated with Mozart by scholars. BTW, the actual score is credited to Isobel Waller-Bridge, who also wrote music for her sister Phoebe's show Fleabag. And "there would be no Fleabag without Emma!" according to the screenwriter Eleanor Catton. "It's a story about someone realizing how self-centered they are."
Finally, if you're at the movies this weekend and see a poster for Brahms: The Boy II, don't be fooled into thinking it's a biopic of the German composer. The trailer will quickly disabuse you (or just plain abuse you!) of any such notion. Though you'll never hear Brahms' Lullaby quite the same way again...