Thursday, April 21, 2016

concert review: San Francisco Symphony

Pablo Heras-Casado conducting a program from the "long 18th century."

Earliest work, Battalia by Heinrich Ignaz Franz Biber, 1673. Weird multi-movement suite. One movement consists of a quodlibet on eight songs. Serious dissonance, teeth-grinding dissonance, Luciano Berio-style dissonance. In another, the string players are directed to tap the strings with the wood of their bows, col legno, which would produce an arachnoid sound. They didn't do that. They stomped their feet instead.

Rameau, suite from Pygmalion, 1748. Ornate, complex, the music that the word baroque was developed to describe.

Haydn, Piano Concerto in D, 1784. Yes, with a piano, not a harpsichord. Played by Ingrid Fliter with panache.

Beethoven, Symphony No. 2, 1802. Didn't they just do that? Didn't I review it? Didn't they record it? Regardless, after these predecessors this had to be a light, bouncy, fleeting performance, and was it ever.

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