Wednesday, March 25, 2015

concert review: London Symphony Orchestra

It's 6 PM on Monday, and I'm standing at the corner of Grove and Van Ness, looking across the street at the huge crowds gathered in front of the San Francisco Opera House, either to get in line for, or to gawk at the celebrities entering the building for (I'm not sure which) the gala celebration for the new season of Game of Thrones.

It's one of the biggest moments in Opera House history, suggests E., my companion. Not as big as the time it hosted the United Nations founding conference in 1945, I reply. But then, I am a historian.

But that's not why we're there. On our side of the street is Davies Symphony Hall, and we're there for dinner and then to hear the London Symphony Orchestra concert. If you wish to measure a very large vertical distance, you could put my desire to hear the London Symphony on top, and my interest in attending a Game of Thrones gala party down at the bottom. I don't like galas, my idea of a party is a few old friends in a quiet room, and Game of Thrones pretty much stands for everything I'm not interested in with fantasy.*

MTT, who's also associated with this visiting orchestra as well as the home band, conducts. He puts yet a different twist on Shostakovich's Fifth, pumps through Gershwin's Concerto in F, and gives equal value to a piece by Colin Matthews which surprises me by sounding minimalist, something I wasn't expecting from Matthews.

Here's the review I was commissioned to write.

*What am I interested in with fantasy? Here's three novels I liked that should make the stereotypical Throney's head spin. Fire and Hemlock. Moonwise. Among Others. Do I need to point out they're all by women?

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