Thursday, January 11, 2018

Davis and Davies

Drove up to UC Davis today for some library research. It's easier to get in than either Berkeley or Stanford, and has some things they don't. It also has an entire viticulture collection, which strangely was one of my destinations.

Since I don't get there often, I marveled again at how exceedingly difficult they make it to figure out how to pay for your parking.

I picked today for this expedition so that it could be concluded by sidling over to Davies Hall in the City for an SFS concert. I had dinner in the less-known, but better, of the two seafood restaurants in the little mill-port town of Crockett, and set out the last 30 miles in at 6:30. Took just under an hour until I pulled into the garage parking lot two blocks away, which was doing pretty well.

The hall was not very full, and got emptier after intermission when the program took an esoteric turn and introduced Schoenberg. Emanuel Ax, who's 68 and looks older, nevertheless retained an elegant touch at the keyboard throughout two piano concertos, one by Mozart (K.449) that's rather fetching, and Schoenberg's, which isn't. Schoenberg is a bright and colorful orchestrator, to be sure, but that's all I found attractive here.

MTT bookended the lot with two war ponies, the Leonore No. 3 and Till Eulenspiegel. (Ludwig van Beethoven and Richard Strauss, respectively.) Leonore's trumpet call from the tower was played from the top balcony, out in the hall with the door half-open for the first, softer, appearance, and inside for the second.

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