I Left My Heart in San Francisco

Just a brief note – caught the SF Symphony tonight with sister J. I’m a little sentimental about the group, which is one of the main things I miss about that city.

The program was Sibelius Symphony No. 7, Strauss’ Four Last Songs and Barber’s Andromache’s Farewell, sung by Debra Voigt, and Shostakovich Symphony No. 9. Deborah Voigt has lost a lot of power, but then again she’s singing Isolde this week, but sang well after a slow start. That being said, I don’t like Strauss – he seems to simulate human emotion.

The Shosty was great, the Sibelius – one of the greatest works of music ever, IMO – was stunning. Tremendous shaping and movement, tremendous orchestral sound. This was my last orchestral concert of the season as well, and after seeing Cleveland, Berlin, New York, St. Louis, Vienna and the Brooklyn Phil, this was without a doubt the finest orchestral playing I’ve heard. MTT has gotten new character out of the woodwinds, which were always top of the line, the brass is beautifully full-bodied and the strings are lush and precise. What an orchestra, and conductor.

gtra1n

I'm a composer and musician, and I write about music—I do that here, for the New York Classical Review, at the Brooklyn Rail (I edit the music section there) and any place else that will have me, like New Music Box and Music & Literature. I also wrote the Miles Davis' Bitches Brew book in the 33 1/3 series.