* Notes *
San Francisco Symphony's Schubert/Berg Festival, entitled Dawn to Twilight, began yesterday evening with a performance of the Schubert's Rosamunde Overture. The playing was sloppy, and the entrance of the winds was rather poor. The brass sounded brash, as usual. Things picked up with Berg's Sieben frühe Lieder, as the soloist, mezzo-soprano Michelle DeYoung, has a gorgeous voice. Her silvery, smooth sound has a good heft and is not overly ethereal. She also displayed fine control of her upper range and clear German enunciation.
The second Schubert piece, Symphony in B minor, D. 759, Unvollendete, was somewhat rough but at least more engaging. The winds sounded much better, the oboe and clarinet were particularly good. The horns and trombones lacked clarity. Michael Tilson Thomas gave an extensive explanation of Drei Orchesterstücke from Berg before these were played. He spoke about the "profound belief in notes" both Schubert and Berg had. The pieces seemed a bit disheveled, though they certainly got the demented clownish music of the "Reigen" down well. The "Marsch" made my insides hurt acutely.
* Tattling *
Attendence was a bit sparse, and thus one was not particularly bothered by other audience members. There were at least 5 watch alarms that sounded 8pm during the first movement in Unfinished. Someone in Row Z of the orchestra level had a glowing ball, which he waved around during the last ovation.