Tuesday, November 12, 2013

revivified concert review

The falling banner ad to the right, for a new CD from the San Francisco Symphony, appeared on an ad-driven website I was reading. If you want to purchase the CD, click on the ad; but what attracted my attention was the blurb at the bottom from San Francisco Classical Voice, because it was written by me: it's from my review of the live concert last spring. My words, if not my name, in lights.

Of course, in the review I was referring only to the Symphony No. 2, of which I also said, "This performance is being recorded, and should make a honey of a CD." Unfortunately, they paired it with its concert partner, the Joseph Cantata. Of that I wrote instead, "The instrumentalists and singers alike did what they could to do this work justice. It simply doesn't merit much revival." That wouldn't make much of a blurb.

For some reason, this piece nevertheless gets dragged out on occasion. What hardly ever gets heard is its sister cantata, for in addition to this one on the death of the Emperor Joseph II, Beethoven also wrote a Cantata on the Accession of the next Emperor Leopold II. And it's even a much better work as well as, unsurprisingly, a lot cheerier. (Leopold in turn died only two years later.)

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