Simon Keenlyside at SF Performances
A Preview of SF Opera's Serse

Luisotti conducts the SF Opera Orchestra in Beethoven

A--San-Francisco-Opera-Orchestra* Notes * 
Cal Performances presented Nicola Luisotti and the San Francisco Opera Orchestra (pictured left, photograph by Cory Weaver) in a performance of Beethoven on Friday evening. The musicians began with Beethoven's Symphony No. 5. The oboe was especially fine in the Allegro con brio, and the brass were lovely in the Andante con molto. The strings were particularly restrained in the piano and pianissimo portions of the third movement. The second half of the program was devoted to Beethoven's Symphony No. 7. Again, the woodwinds played with characteristic beauty. The violas were rather unostentatious in the second movement. Though the playing overall was not perfectly clean, it was wonderful to see how much all the musicians loved the music and to witness how much joy Luisotti brought to both the pieces. One is dumbfounded when considering this orchestra is in the midst of Don Giovanni performances and will open Xerxes on Sunday, not to mention the Carmen that is also in rehearsal.

* Tattling * 
There was some light talking, but it was limited to only a few minutes. My companion's water bottle managed to roll down an aisle of the orchestra level during Beethoven 7.