Plans to record two Sibelius symphonies in Minnesota next month have been called off after the independent Swedish record label, Bis, decided the orchestra was ‘not in good enough shape’ to play, according to NPR reporter Euan Kerr. That’s unsurprising after 11 months of lockout.
There are additional factors. Osmo Vänskä may no longer be music director by the planned recording date. He has announced he will quit unless the musicians are back to work by Sept 9. And, even if the lockout is ended, it’s unlikely the atmosphere in Minnesota will unfreeze sufficiently to yield a good recording. Too many good players have left town to guarantee instant cohesion.
The cost of this confrontation just keeps on rising. By losing its record profile, Minnesota will fade off the cultural map.