* Notes *
Los Angeles Philharmonic, conducted by Gustavo Dudamel (pictured left, photograph by Mathias Bothor courtesy of Deutsche Grammophon), marked the first of six visiting American orchestras to take residency at San Francisco Symphony with Sunday's performance. The program began with Short Ride in a Fast Machine from John Adams. The piece does not pull punches, and the playing was clean if not slightly brash. Enrico Chapela's amusing MAGNETAR, Concerto for Electric Cello and Orchestra followed. The soloist, Johannes Moser, gave a credible performance. The employment of gesture, the mimicry of speech, and the heavy metal sensibility of the work were all quite entertaining, but one is not certain it all held together coherently. The last piece on the program was Prokofiev's Fifth. The brass was clear and bright. The tempi distinctions were subtle, and the slower movements were somewhat lax, but the faster movements were more vibrant. The encore was the opening of the Gavotta: Non troppo allegro of Prokofiev's Classical Symphony, which was played with a lovely sense of motion.
* Tattling *
The audience whispered a little, but was, for the most part, silent. The beginning of MAGNETAR elicited restless laughter. Both Adams and Chapela were present, and were applauded with vigor. Someone's cellular phone vibrated in Section D of the 1st Tier during the second movement of the Prokofiev.