* Notes *
David Robertson (pictured left, photograph by Michael Tammaro) conducts San Francisco Symphony in Rossini, Chopin, and Dvořák this week. The overture to L'italiana in Algeri that opened yesterday's performance sounded neat and precise. Chopin's Concerto No. 2 in F minor for Piano and Orchestra, Opus 21 also was together and clean. The soloist, Nelson Freire, seemed contained and self-possessed. His quiet playing was most impressive, especially in the Larghetto.
After the intermission the orchestra gave a tidy rendition of Dvořák's 7th. The middle movements, the Poco adagio and the Scherzo: Vivace, were jaunty and charming. The brass sounded clear.
* Tattling *
There was a lot of talking during the first half of the performance, at least on the odd numbered side of the orchestra level. A woman in Row U Seat 9 even opened up her purse during the last movement of the Chopin, and passed out candies to her friends in Row W. Much crinkling followed as they opened their sweets. Most of the noisiest patrons around us did not return after intermission.