* Notes *
The Venice Baroque Orchestra (pictured left) and Robert McDuffie are currently touring the United States in a program entitled "The Seasons Project." Their stop last night at Herbst Theatre was presented by San Francisco Performances. The evening started with Vivaldi's famous Le quattro stagioni (The Four Seasons), which was played with much energy and joy, but not very cleanly. There were glaring intonation errors. As the soloist and leader, McDuffie hammed it up and certainly was brazen. The second piece, Philip Glass' Concerto No. 2 for Violin and Orchestra (known as The American Four Seasons) came off better. McDuffie's attack was strong, but when called for, he could float over the other instruments beautifully. The influence of Vivaldi was clear in the work, yet it was distinctly by Philip Glass, hypnotically repetitive and vaguely cinematic.
* Tattling *
There was much talking during the Vivaldi, but hardly any during the Glass.