* Notes *
This week Michael Tilson Thomas conducted San Francisco Symphony in a program of Mozart, Holloway, and Schumann. The performance began with Mozart's "Bella mia fiamma...Resta, o cara" and Holloway's Clarissa Sequence, both of which featured the soprano Erin Wall. The Mozart showcased her pure, clear sound, and though Wall warbled a bit, she never was unpleasant. The brass was slightly hazy, but the woodwinds and strings were transparently lovely. The Holloway had a few good moments, and the Wagner quotes in "Fire and Apotheosis" were amusing. Wall's last notes were rather low, perhaps not showing a soprano to her best advantage. The orchestration was rather heavy, and it seemed that there were about two and a half more orchestra members on the stage than for the Mozart. It was impressive to hear one singer take on such a lot of musicians, but it was not always easy to make out the text. The brass was appropriately menacing and the oboe was especially fine. The music was at times feebly romantic, but perhaps that suits the plot at hand. After the intermission came a cheery rendition of Schumann's Symphony No. 3. The trumpets sounded particularly good at the end of the first movement. The Scherzo was fluid, brilliant, and rolling, but the slow movement was occasionally slack. The ending was lively and hopeful.
* Tattling *
There was just a little talking during the Holloway in Premier First Tier last night. One did note a lot of yawning during the piece from the few people in the Center Terrace.
A second violinist rushed off the stage after the third movement of the Schumann. Perhaps it was her cellular phone that was ringing the standard Nokia tune just at that moment.