Thursday, September 15, 2016

concert review: San Francisco Symphony

MTT conducted 3 symphonies in C. (But not Stravinsky's.)

For Haydn, C Major meant "bring out the trumpets and drums," and that's what his rather military Symphony No. 69 is like. It sounded to me like an inferior remake of his more exciting Symphony No. 48. (Listen to the opening bars of the first movement of each, and you'll hear what I mean.) But the performance was very Haydnesque.

Beethoven's Symphony No. 5 is actually in C Minor, and doesn't get to C Major until the finale. This famous work is a hard and craggy masterpiece, so I was struck at the smooth fluidity of this fine and vivid performance.

Sibelius' Symphony No. 3 is totally different from these, being rather quiet and reflective. Another inspiring and beautiful, if rather over-fast, performance of perhaps Sibelius' most obscure symphony, but my favorite of his. The Maazel recording of the slow movement, with its mournful falling theme, was my comfort music for melancholy moods when I was in college. It was great to hear the piece live again, perhaps only the third time I've ever had the pleasure.

The SF Opera, which is right across the street from the Symphony, is now running a free shuttle bus from the BART station three long blocks away. The Symphony has signed up also, insofar as the buses also leave (though from in front of the Opera House) when the Symphony lets out as well as when the Opera lets out. With my walking what it is these days, I was grateful for the lift.

No comments:

Post a Comment