* Notes *
Maestro Zubin Mehta and the Israel Philharmonic Orchestra are currently on tour in the United States. Monday night's confounding performance in San Francisco included a program of Beethoven, Webern, and Schubert. The evening started with a rendition of "The Star-Spangled Banner," followed by "Hatikvah." Then came the Leonore Overture No. 3. The string players sawed their instruments without drama. The brass was both hazy and blaring, and the playing of the off-stage trumpet lacked a sense of salvation. The Webern Passacaglia and Six Pieces for Orchestra were were not particularly subtle, but the "Very slow" fifth piece had some appeal. Schubert's Symphony in C Major, The Great was nearly devoid of beauty. One of the French horns had a nice moment. The woodwinds, on the other hand, were not in tune with each other, and some odd sounds emerged from their section. The encore was a bluntly played overture from Die Fledermaus, which Mehta dedicated to Josef Krips.
* Tattling *
The audience was extremely enthusiastic, but many talked throughout the performance. A few cell phones were heard. The orchestra received a standing ovation.
The next day I was asked why there were protesters outside of Davies.