Thought I’d post some of my favorite videos of orchestras giving unusual and fun performances. I’d love to be able to do this kind of stuff in the future. Of course, it depends on knowing the music extremely well, being good enough at playing to be able to multitask, and having a whole orchestra that can do the same.
First, the Norwegian Chamber Orchestra playing Grieg’s Holberg Suite. Grieg based the suite on 18th century French dances — and if it’s all dances, then why not set up the whole stage like you’re at a garden party and dance your way through it?
Next, an “democratic” orchestra called Spira Mirabilis (based in Italy but with musicians from everywhere from Panama to South Korea) that runs rehearsals collectively and plays with no conductor! Here’s Spira Mirabilis playing Schumann’s 1st Symphony, an extremely difficult piece to play without a conductor because of all the tempo changes in it. The video is from a documentary about the orchestra, so the beginning includes clips from rehearsals; the complete symphony performance starts about 8 minutes in.
Spira Mirabilis also announces its arrival in a city, when on tour, by doing a flashmob performance in some public place. Here’s one of those:
Speaking of flashmobs, here’s an extremely well-done flashmob by the Toluca Philharmonic Orchestra in Mexico:
Know of any more orchestras doing unusual things? Please post!