Tuesday, May 23, 2023

concert review: California Symphony

And so I got sent out to review yet another new piano concerto. This is the fourth in fairly short order. Did I just compare this piece with Pachelbel's Canon? I did.

Of more interest to me was William Walton's First Symphony, another case from this orchestra of a symphony I never thought I'd hear live in this lifetime. It's fast and complex and ferocious, so this was one piece I wasn't going to tackle without a score. Fortunately I was able to check one out of the local college library and, while full size, it didn't get in the way.

What intrigued me is that the plain, straightforward interpretation at the concert made it a lot easier to follow the score at the concert than it had been with recordings at home. Usually it's the opposite. I didn't take any notes during this performance, but I did stay in my seat after it ended and drafted by hand a full text of the review of that section, which made writing the actual review much easier.

Usually when I drive to Walnut Creek for a concert I stop in Castro Valley for takeout and drive over Crow Canyon and up 680. But this time I came through Oakland and got something to eat there instead. This turned out to be a mistake, as 24 was completely jammed due to a major accident on the connector with 680. Fortunately I had planned to be very, very early, mostly so that I'd have a chance to talk with the Symphony staff about next year's subscription about which I had some questions. In the end I had time for that too.

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