* Notes *
Cleveland Orchestra, conducted by Franz Welser-Möst (pictured left, photograph by Roger Mastroianni), played the first of a two night residency at San Francisco Symphony yesterday. The performance started with Mendelssohn's Symphony No. 3, Scottish. The quiet parts were restrained and tasteful, the louder parts appropriately ponderous. The musicians played rather smoothly. After the intermission came the more interesting pieces, beginning with Saariaho's Orion, which Cleveland Orchestra commissioned a decade ago. The first movement, with the title "Memento mori," was a bit like a spectral, somewhat demented music box. The second movement ("Winter Sky") was more subdued, and the final one ("Hunter") spiraled in a dizzying fashion. The concert ended with Shostakovich's Symphony No. 6. The Largo was mysterious, the sound from the orchestra tense and together. The Allegro was bright, and the Presto exhilarating.
* Tattling *
The audience was fairly quiet for most of the evening. A metallic noise in the Orchestra Level, near Row A Seats 6 and 8 was heard during the last movement of the Mendelssohn. An elderly couple in Row G Seats 111 and 112 spoke during the Shostakovich.