Thursday, January 30, 2014

concert review: San Francisco Symphony

Osmo Vänskä, the heroic conductor who, last fall, carried out his threat to shame the board of the Minnesota Orchestra by resigning as music director when the lockout had not ended, came this week to our city to conduct our orchestra in some mildly heroic music.

Unfortunately, personal exigencies meant I could stay for only the first half of the concert, so I missed his Sibelius Sixth. I'm listening to his recording of it with another orchestra right now.

What I did hear was another Sibelius piece, the little-known (at least by me) Night Ride and Sunrise, and Rachmaninoff's Rhapsody on a Theme of Paganini. The Sibelius was very Sibelian, and the Rachmaninoff was played by Daniil Trifonov, a very young pianist with a very light-fingered style. Matched well with Vänskä's liking to use the brass to punch light-fingered holes in the wall.

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