* Notes *
The Saint Louis Symphony Orchestra came to San Francisco for two performances at Davies Hall, the first of which occurred yesterday evening. David Robertson had the musicians well in hand, they seemed entirely together and produced a gorgeous, clear sound. The performance started with Christopher Rouse's Rapture, which has an apt title and did sound quite like spiritual exaltation. The trombones were particularly fine in their playing. Gil Shaham joined the orchestra as the soloist for Prokofiev's Violin Concerto No. 2 in G minor. The second movement was stunning, and the low strings were especially moving. Shaham's playing was vivid.
The second half of the program began with Sibelius' Symphony No. 7 in C Major. The brass section was lucid, and the horns were exceptionally good. The Vivacissimo was just that, spirited and brilliant, and the tempi in general seemed appropriate. The performance ended with the Doctor Atomic Symphony from John Adams, who was sitting in Loge A. The piece sounded beautiful, and the trumpet solo was absolutely ravishing.
* Tattling *
Though San Francisco Symphony very kindly provides press tickets to me, I still have a subscription and occasionally buy single tickets in the Center Terrace. There was some light snoring during the second movement of the Prokofiev, but very little noise until the last piece. A plump, grey-haired woman old enough to be my grandmother just behind me was speaking at full volume during John Adams, and after turning around once to express my displeasure, to no avail, I was forced to hushed her. She leaned over and hissed "Bitch" into my hair, to which I could only laugh. After the ovation, I asked her if she had really hurled an expletive at me during the performance, to which she responded "Why, yes I did." I thanked her for being quiet for the rest of the performance, and her companion told me that I should hear the things she calls him.