Wednesday, January 21, 2015

concert review: San Francisco Symphony

First half all extreme modernist. Opening work, a new commission, Carnival Fever by Cynthia Lee Wong, who hails from Schenectady, the place where Harlan Ellison gets all his ideas. This piece could have been the idea for a Harlan Ellison story. I remember it, over the fog of 3 hours' distance, as brightly colored, full of percussion, and chittering a lot.

Then, Alban Berg's Three Pieces for Orchestra. Pre-concert speaker and program notes made two points about this work. 1) That it was written after Schoenberg berated Berg for writing pieces that were too short. (What must he have said to Webern, then?) 2) That it shows evidence of Berg's love for Mahler. Oh, does it. Half an endless hour of Mahlerian outdoing of Mahler. My applause at the end signaled sheer relief that it was over.

After intermission, Bronfman in Brahms' Second Concerto. Hey, how about some music for a change? Very nicely done, but so relaxed and meandering I didn't recognize half of it. But by this time I was so restless I didn't have much capacity for enjoyment left.

Had it not been for two other errands I had in the City, this would have been a wasted trip.

No comments:

Post a Comment