* Notes *
Cleveland Orchestra (pictured left at the Adrienne Arsht Center for the Performing Arts in 2008, photograph by Roger Mastroianni) played a second concert at San Francisco Symphony on Monday night. The program, conducted by Franz Welser-Möst, began with Beethoven's Violin Concerto. The soloist, Nikolaj Znaider, showed a predilection for strong contrasts. One of the cadenzas was filled with choppy, violent double stops. At other points Znaider sounded rather plaintive, and he played with the orchestra, but did not blend in with the rest of the musicians. The horns lacked clarity in their first entrance but otherwise played perfectly well. The second half of the night featured Dances from Powder Her Face by Adès. The pieces were fun to listen to and looked fun to play. The evening ended with the first half of Smetana's Má vlast. The two harps that began Vyšehrad seemed almost scarily together. Vltava flowed, danced, and sparkled. The brass played nicely in Šárka.
* Tattling *
There was light, excited talking during the Adès.