* Notes *
Yan Pascal Tortelier is conducting San Francisco Symphony this week in a program of Mussorgsky, Khachaturian, and Prokofiev. Last night's performance began with Mussorgsky's Prelude to Khovanshchina, orchestrated by Nicolai Rimsky-Korsakov. The playing was clear and lively. The Khachaturian Violin Concerto that followed was likewise sprightly, the soloist, Vadim Gluzman, sounded bright and genial. There were times when the orchestra did not seem precisely together, the horns dragged slightly, perhaps. Despite this, the playing did gleam and shimmer. The orchestra was more comfortable with Scenes from Prokofiev's Romeo and Juliet, and the dynamic contrasts here were rather marked. The maestro did many impressive balletic moves whilst conducting.
* Tattling *
The audience on the orchestra level was quiet for most of the performance, until the mandolin players stood up in the Prokofiev. For some reason, more than one person felt that this deserved commentary aloud during the music, despite the fact this part of the music is called "Dance with Mandolins" and it was obvious that mandolins were on stage.