Friday, May 27, 2016

concert review: Peninsula Symphony

I was a bit nervous about covering the Peninsula Symphony for the Daily Journal, as the last concert of theirs I went to, while imaginatively programmed, was wretchedly performed.

This time, fortunately, the wretchedness was confined to the accompaniment of the violin concerto, and instead I could concentrate on the soloist, who not only was very good, she wrestled down to agreeability what I usually find a rambling and tiresome concerto.

The big piece was the Ninth. The Ninth: Beethoven's. I don't care what larger structures have since been built by Mahler and other megalomaniacs: this is the biggest symphony of them all in the subjective and hence meaningful sense. (Though it isn't the greatest, and not even Beethoven's best.) It takes nerve to tackle it, and it was worth whatever extra rehearsal they stole from the rest of the program in order to get it right.

Originally I was going to go on Friday, even though that was up in San Mateo: it's a better auditorium than Flint, which was built for Steve Jobs to pontificate in. (Not really: it predates him.) But then I got the offer from SFCV to cover the Oakland Symphony, which played only on Friday, and after hesitating I accepted and then hastily contacted PenSym to change my ticket to Saturday.

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