Beethoven, Prince -- and football: MN Orchestra plays Vikings-Packers halftime show

Minnesota Orchestra performs during halftime
Fans hold up their cellphones during the Minnesota Orchestra's performance of "Purple Rain."
Max Nesterak | MPR News

More than 65,000 fans cheered for the Minnesota Orchestra during the first halftime show at U.S. Bank Stadium — its largest live audience ever.

Seventy of the orchestra's musicians hustled onto the field and into their positions at the 50-yard line in less than two minutes to start the show with the four most famous notes in music history: the opening to Beethoven's "Symphony No. 5."

Led by conductor Osmo Vänskä, the orchestra also played "Purple Rain" as a tribute to Prince. It was arranged by Prince's long-time collaborator Tommy Barbarella, and the orchestra was accompanied by gospel group, The Steeles.

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