MSU Symphony takes a ride to Macondo….again

The Michigan State University Symphony Orchestra led by conductor Kevin Noe performed Lorenz’s En Tren Vá Changó (Destination Macondo) on Friday November 16, 2012.  It is the second time in eight years that this work is heard live on the MSU campus.  In 2004, then MSU Assistant Director of Orchestras Raphael Jiménez brought the work for the first time to the University’s Wharton Center.  This performance took place before Lorenz joint the MSU College of Music Faculty and only three years after En Tren Vá Changó received its premiere performance by the Chicago Symphony Orchestra at Ravinia Festival.  

Lorenz greeting conductor Bill Eddins and the Chicago Symphony Orchestra after the world premiere

The ten-minute symphonic opener was commissioned by Ravinia Festival to celebrate its 100th anniversary.  This was the first in a series of so-called “Train Commissions” meant to commemorate the fact that the grounds of the Festival were originally a train station that took Highland Park affluent residents to the city of Milwaukee and back.   “However,” writes Lorenz in the program notes, “my work does not paint images directly associated with trains.  Instead, it attempts to rap the listener in an exotic soundscape that I hope will seem distantly familiar and bestow upon the listener the type of attraction that trains had upon me as a child growing up in a country like Venezuela where locomotives had disappeared due to the enormous impact of the auto and oil industries.”  En Trén Vá Changó (Destination Macando) was recorded by the Moravian Philharmonic under Raphael Jiménez and released in 2009 by Navona Records.

After the recording session with Navona Records' Bob Lord and Raphael Jiménez (center)


Listen to WKAR 90.5FM for the genesis of En Tren Vá Changó recounted by composer Ricardo Lorenz and details of challenges the work presents to performers as explained by conductor Kevin Noe.