* Notes *
San Francisco Performances presented a delightful lecture from Alex Ross this morning in San Francisco's Herbst Theatre. The performance included musical examples from pianist Ethan Iverson. We were basically given a tour of 20th century music, Ross would talk about Schoenberg or Stravinsky or Charlie Parker, and then Iverson would play their music for a few minutes. Highlights included Gershwin's first piano prelude and Ross quoting Theodor Adorno on Sibelius in an absolutely ridiculous voice. The 90 minute event covered twelve composers and concluded with the audience suggesting about a dozen keys for Iverson, who took them and improvised a piece for us.
* Tattling *
The audience seemed quiet and attentive, though a mobile phone rang as Ross was speaking about Bartók. Certain people did have difficulty sitting still for the duration of the lecture, perhaps because it lacked an intermission.