Wednesday, May 23, 2018

concert review: Telegraph Quartet

My editors sent me up to the City to cover this. I was not really looking forward to it, as I've heard this group play before and they displayed all the emotional effect of the machine they're named after. But this time they were somewhat better.

I spilled some of my thoughts in conversation with Kai Christiansen, the musicologist who wrote the evocative program notes and hosted an after-concert talk with the players, but I managed to get most of them down in writing.

The one word in the review I don't believe is "Valley" as in Noe Valley, the purported locale of the concert. Valleys are supposed to be flat, between the mountains - they certainly are in rugged Montana - but the 1880s wooden church (with the sanctuary on the upper floor, and fortunately an elevator of considerably more recent vintage) where the concert was held is up on a hill, and a fairly steep one, only two blocks from the steepest street in San Francisco.

I'd been hoping to take transit - the bus leaves off less than two blocks away on the less-hilly side - but it was a busy day and with a maximum of 20 minutes wait on Sunday for the BART and again for the bus, I couldn't risk it. So I drove and found exactly the same open parking space half a block away I had the last time I drove here, for the Henry Cowell festival.

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