* Notes *
Paul Haas conducted Berkeley Symphony in a program of Penman, Barber, and Tchaikovsky last Thursday at Zellerbach Hall. The California premiere of Songs the Plants Taught Us by Joshua Penman was apropos for Berkeley, though it did veer into kitsch at times. The soloist for Barber's Violin Concerto, Op. 14, Danielle Belen Nesmith, was expressive and athletic.
The timing was off at times during Tchaikovsky's Symphony No. 4 in F minor, Op. 36. The slow parts felt slack, though the pizzicato in the third movement Scherzo was quite violent. The piece ended well, certainly with fire.
* Tattling *
People whispered during the music, yet gave a standing ovation to the performance.