Normally I review for the Daily Journal once a month, and in December I'm usually looking for the rare concert which is not a Christmas medley, as I've had enough of those. I found one this year in the Palo Alto Philharmonic, an orchestra I don't often cover. But the program they put on (Strauss, Wagner, Respighi, Mozart) was entirely different from the one they'd had scheduled when I tagged this one three months ago (Zhou, Tchaikovsky, Bizet, Ravel). This change was probably caused by venue problems. I don't know why their usual venue of a high-school auditorium at the south end of town was unavailable, but they wound up in a tiny quaint old stucco church in the older area, one of the few (it seems) churches in Palo Alto that I had not previously been to a concert in. There were no more than 26 players at once.
They did pretty well, especially in the balance of sound between sections and in not overwhelming the sound-carrying capacity, for an orchestra of 26 was a very large group for such a tiny space.
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