Wednesday, January 23, 2013

concert review: San Francisco Symphony

It's the annual "Sasha Barantschik leads 18th century music" concert. One Vivaldi - a piccolo concerto - two Bachs - the A-minor violin concerto and one of the keyboard concertos reconstructed to a hypothetical violin-and-oboe original - and two Mozarts: the K.136 Divertimento, one of his most delightful and beautiful works, and the Serenata Notturna, one of his most annoying and boring works. At least as played here, the Serenata Notturna has five soloists, including timpani, and all five get cadenzas (it's like the old jungle joke in which the punchline is "drum solo", and if you heard the joke with "bass solo" instead, Mozart has got one of those too), and all the cadenzas are boring, and the same annoyingly dorky little tutti theme repeats between all of them. I liked everything else, but I was desperate for that one to be over. It sounded a lot longer than it supposedly was.

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