* Notes *
James Gaffigan is conducting San Francisco Symphony in a program of Haydn, Thomas Adès, and Mozart this week. Gaffigan is a tiny sprite of a person, brimming with energy from the beginning in the Allegro assai con brio of Haydn's Symphony No. 52 in C minor. The woodwinds sounded slightly squeaky in their entrance for the Andante, and the horns were not clear, though the playing improved as the movement progressed. The strings were a little sloppy in the third movement, a minuet. The finale was oddly not very presto, it was not particularly played particularly fast, though vigorously.
Adès' Violin Concerto (Concentric Paths), Opus 24 has an outer space sensibility and is oddly tactile. I found some of the music rather evocative, though for the most part it seemed both difficult to produce and to listen to. The syncopation at the beginning of the third movement was perhaps the least baffling. The soloist, pert violinist Leila Josefowicz, certainly seemed on the ball and very focused.
The concert ended a delightful rendition of Mozart's Symphony No. 39 in E-flat Major. The flute and clarinets sounded lovely in the Andante con moto, and the Allegro was played with particular zest.
* Tattling *
There were some vague murmurs from the audience, but hardly any other noise.
Gaffigan and Josefowicz answered questions during the post-concert Off the Podium talk. The former is articulate and funny, the latter is endearingly awkward. Josefowicz even good-naturedly explained where she had gotten her striking outfit for the performance.