* Notes *
Michael Tilson Thomas is conducting San Francisco Symphony in a program of Schubert and Richard Strauss this week. MTT introduced the Schubert piece, the Entr'acte No. 1 (Allegro molto moderato), from Incidental Music for the Play Rosamunde, D.797, noting it has never been played by SF Symphony before and is in B minor like Schubert's Unfinished Symphony. The Entr'acte struck me as being a bit silly, but fun to play. The orchestra did sound together and the dynamic contrasts were good. Strauss' Vier letzte Lieder was more impressive, not least of all because of the soprano, Elza van den Heever. Her voice is thrilling, and she soared over the orchestra with a beautiful calm. The second Strauss piece, Ein Heldenleben, Opus 40, seemed rather long in comparison to the first. Violinist Alexander Barantschik played well, as did the pair of harpists and the off-stage trumpet players.
* Tattling *
The people in the center of Row E on the Orchestra Level were very quiet and attentive.