Friday, May 31, 2013

three publications in one day

A personal record for me, I think. All three of them were written between Monday and Thursday.

1. Preview of this weekend's concert performance of Sweeney Todd. The Redwood Symphony people kind of pushed me into writing this one. Fortunately the Daily Journal is pushable; I couldn't place an article at SFCV under these circumstances. This is purely work for hire: I posed some open-ended questions to the conductor by e-mail, cut and pasted in chunks of his responses, and that's basically the article. My only personal opinion expressed here is agreeing with him that the movie sucks. I know nothing else about the current performance and can't testify to how good it will be; however, I am definitely going to see it. Perhaps you will too, the locals among you.

2. Review of SFS's new CD of Beethoven's Ninth. It's Beethoven's Ninth; you know how it goes. All the notes are there (except for the second repeat of the scherzo, but never mind that). I couldn't think of much else to say about it, except to crib from my blog review of the concert from which it was recorded.

I chuckled quietly at the CD's cover photo, of craggy mountains. I remember an imaginary dialogue that Leonard Bernstein once wrote, in which he's taking a car trip with a fuzzy-minded poet who looks at the craggy mountains out the window and murmurs, "Pure Beethoven." LB's fantasy self rounds on the poet and spends the rest of the trip mercilessly berating him for the superficiality and simple-mindedness of this equation until the guy cringes under the floorboards.

3. Review of Wednesday's SFS concert. This was more easily reviewable. One piece both more interesting and more horrifying than I was expecting; one simply enjoyable; one rather boring, though it was played exactly the same way. At least it wasn't half as boring, nor as useless, as the interminably detailed description of its scenario given by Scott Fogelsong, the pre-concert lecturer from an even further-off other planet, who seemed to think it was gripping. I feel so virtuous reducing the plot to two sentences in the review.

This was the evening when I headed up early to do my on-the-spot research regarding the sites of composition and first performance of Terry Riley's In C, as reported previously. Driving from Bernal Heights to the Divisadero Corridor via the Noe Valley, CD of the music blasting away on my car stereo, is an interesting route: I recommend it if you wish to prove to visitors that San Francisco is, indeed, composed principally of hills. After finding the concert space on Divisadero, I had a quick light dinner at the Thai restaurant across the street.

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