* Notes *
Kirill Karabits made a promising conducting debut at San Francisco Symphony this week in a program of Silvestrov's Elegie, Schumann's Piano Concerto, and Rachmaninoff's Symphonic Dances. Last night's performance began with the piece by Silvestrov, scored for string orchestra. The small ensemble played with grace and the work was rather pretty. Next came the Schumann, the pianist Hélène Grimaud was perhaps ungainly, but perfectly precise and never boring. She listened to the orchestra but sounded quite distinct from the other instruments. The Rachmaninoff dances were fluid and adroit. The trumpets and trombones were clean but slightly harsh. The woodwinds were particularly beautiful.
* Tattling *
The audience on the orchestra level was exceedingly well-behaved for the first half of the performance, especially when Grimaud was playing. Almost no one left during intermission, but light talking was noted during Rachmaninoff, and more than one person fell asleep.