Labadie Conducts Händel at SFS
May 15, 2009
* Notes *
In his second week of performances with San Francisco Symphony, Bernard Labadie conducts an all-Händel program. The Thursday performance in San Francisco started quite impressively with Zadok the Priest. The piece ranged from beautifully stately to entertainingly bombastic. The trumpets were very fastidious, and the chorus perfectly lucid. My heart is inditing lacked the immediacy of the preceding work, though the woodwinds sounded particularly fine. Richard Paré, the soloist in the Organ Concerto No. 1 had a few uncomfortable hesitations in the 2nd movement. The first half ended with a pure-toned, but somewhat dull rendition of The King Shall Rejoice.
After the intermission, things picked up with Dettingen Te Deum. Countertenor Matthew White was on the edge of being overwhelmed, but his voice is quite sweet and pretty. The tenor, Frédéric Antoun, had all of two lines, but seemed strong and warm. Baritone Joshua Hopkins did not stand out, though his voice blended nicely with the other singers, and he was always audible. Again, the chorus sounded quite brilliant, and was always together. The brass had very few missteps, and overall the orchestra sounded smooth and clean.
* Tattling *
Attendance was somewhat sparse again, and everyone was exceedingly well-behaved during the music, at least on the Orchestra level. Nary a whisper was heard.