* Notes *
Last night Michael Tilson Thomas conducted San Francisco Symphony (pictured left, photograph by Bill Swerbenski) in the first of three performances of Drift and Providence by Samuel Carl Adams and Symphony No. 5 by Mahler. The Adams piece marks a West Coast premiere. The 20 minute work is scored for many instruments, including electronica, but is surprisingly quiet. It had a rather dry quality to it, and gave me the odd sensation of having the inside of my thoracic cavity gently smoothed by a fine-grained sandpaper.
The second half of the evening was devoted to the Mahler. The brass was quite forward and not particularly subtle. I enjoyed Mark Inouye's bright trumpet playing. The pizzicato in the Scherzo was lively and the Adagietto was neither too fast nor too lax.
* Tattling *
Someone was excited up in the Center Terrace, and my companion noted this by creating a diagram in his program. I misunderstood at first and thought the Associate Concertmaster was behaving badly, which seemed highly unlikely.